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Ok, so I've been on so many different anti-depressents and combos that I'm just about to give up. I just was put on Cymbalta on top of my Wellbutrin. I seem better. Sweaty, but better.

The thing is, it never lasts, and I'm getting to the point where I'm wondering if any drugs will help me for long. Maybe I need something else... I'm searching online for opportunities to go to the local University to be a test subject. They have this vagus nerve stimulator thing they are testing. It's an implant that they program to give a certain degree of stimulation (shock) to the vagus nerve depending on how you are doing. Insurance does not cover it, and frankly the whole "implant" thing kind of freaks me out. I don't know. My pdoc keeps saying there's more things we can try ("we", as if he's doing it too), more anti-depressants and cocktails. I'm tired of taking pills, but if I stop I know I will regret it. I've done that before. What to do...???

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before looking into VNS, which hasn't been approved yet, i'd look into ECT. it is often a last-resort treatment for people with chronic, treatment-resistent depression/bp/even psychosis. my pdoc offered it to me at my last hospitalization and i said i'd look into it. i've looked into it, and i've weighed the pros and cons for myself individually and found that for me, the pros would outweigh the cons and if i go to the hospital again, i'll do ECT.

it is a proven, safe method. the VNS is new and unproven, and not covered by insurance. ask your pdoc about ECT.

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before looking into VNS, which hasn't been approved yet, i'd look into ECT. it is often a last-resort treatment for people with chronic, treatment-resistent depression/bp/even psychosis. my pdoc offered it to me at my last hospitalization and i said i'd look into it. i've looked into it, and i've weighed the pros and cons for myself individually and found that for me, the pros would outweigh the cons and if i go to the hospital again, i'll do ECT.

it is a proven, safe method. the VNS is new and unproven, and not covered by insurance. ask your pdoc about ECT.

My Pdoc said ECT can cause memory loss. He wanted to keep trying other meds first. Besides, I keep picturing Russell Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind". Yeah, I know it's different now, but still...

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yeah, ECT and the memory loss. i guess it depends on where you are in your med trials and how desperate you are. i'm at the point where i've tried all the mood stabilizers and all the atypical antipsychotics (i'm bipolar- and i have no issus with depression meds, just bipolar meds), so the next step for me would be ECT. i'd trade memory loss for my relative sanity any day.

the VNS, to me, is more frightening than ECT. we've used ECT for so long, have gotten it down to a science, know it well, and have used it on so many people. the VNS is a weird, new thing. promising sure, but i don't know anyone who has had one.

maybe more med trials would work for you. a lot of depressed patients benefit from mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, like bipolars do.

i take it you've tried all the SSRIs? i LOVE paxil, it was such a wonder drug for me, and lex isn't that bad (but could be stronger and better). paxil is about as strong as you get in the SSRI department.

have you maybe tried to mix wellbutrin with an SSRI? an increased dose of wellbutrin, like 450? maybe lamictal is a hope- it is a great mood stabilizer that helps wtih the depression side moreso than the manic side (i love this med personally).

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Don't know if you've read any of this but there are some previous thread talking about it. I just logged onto the boards today to look into VNS... obviously I'm at the same point you are so I can't really be of much help.

VNS Device For Depression Under Fire - Watchdog Group

Vagal Nerve Stimulation for Depression, Will be approved in about 1 month (it worked for one CB user)

Vagal Nerve Stimulator for Depression

Vagal Nerve Stimulation Approved, Finally!

Search for Vagal Nerve Stimulation for more

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lost,

It might help if you could give us an idea of what other ADs and combos you've tried. You might also want to talk with your pdoc about the MAOIs. They can be a drug of last resort becuase of the dietary restrictions, but they often work when nothing else will.

Greeny

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just want to tell you that I can really relate to what you are going through.

I took a total of 20 different medications before I found the combo that worked for me.

Please dont' give up-- your pdoc is right, there will be the right combo eventually.

Shana

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Oh man have I been there and done that and though I'm not currently arguing about anti-depressants(I'm on wellbutrin) I AM arguing about which anti-anxiety med I want to be on. jeez it's always something. Don't you just sometimes wish that they'd shut the hell up, keep you stable, and write the damn prescription that you've asked for?

(Just ranting-they have to be cautious to make sure they give you the best care)

lilie

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i think it was last sunday when i saw a segment on 60 Minutes about the VNS. it is still in trials they said. it only works in about half of the patients they've tried it on. it involves drilling into your skull in two places, one on each side, to find a certain area of your brain "area 25" that activates positive mood. the electronic implant then sends pulses, which can be adjusted, to the area to try to lift the depression.

the people in the small study were all very, very chronically depressed people who had exhausted all possibilities, and who basically were in bed all day, every day. their SO took care of them and the kids. they had a lifeless existance.

one of the ladies they followed (and we watched her surgery- not graphic, but in the OR) felt like she could get up again and be with her kids, but still felt depressed. another lady said she felt great and it changed her life.

they're looking to do a trial of about 100 people coming up. i wish i remembered the names of the people and the institution they are a part of who are pioneering this effort.

personally, without pain relievers (you have to tell them where in your brain to put the wires), i'd never let anyone drill into my skull. they'd have to knock me out for that! i'd freak totally! i'd rather stay in bed forever! lol.

speaking of bed, i've been in bed quite a lot lately, worrying about my test coming up tomorrow (colposcopy)...ouch!

no one is drilling into my skull without some serious pain medication, and no one is messing around with my brain with wires or implanting things in it.

both of these women had gone through several rounds of electric shock therapy before getting to the point where they were considered to be pioneers for the trial. they've done it to 15 people according to the show.

you could probably get a back episode from somewhere, because the information was very good.

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I have been through a lot of different combos and when I was hospitalized last year I under went ECT treatments a total of six and it helped for a very short period. Within a month I was back to where I started. As for the memory loss the big blank is when I was under going the treatments so two total weeks are gone and a few more are pretty hazy.

I watched the 60 minutes feature with my mother of all people, who was visiting at the time, and she asked if I would under go the treatment and to be honest I think I will have to see a major study done with positive results.

trg247

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When do you say ENOUGH? As soon as possible. Because finding a neurosurgeon and psych with the knowhow and willingness to do this is not nearly as quick and easy as dialing the 800 number and being approved for the device medically.

VNS has been approved in the US for the treatment of intractable epilepsy for years now, and was approved for treatment-resistant depression last (March? May?) Just like rTMS and duloxetine, it has long since been in popular use in Canada and Europe.

What Loon-a-tik is describing is a different treatment, called Deep Brain Stimulation. This actually struck me as probably being an even more effective use of the technology. If I could stand to wait for further inquiries, or had a 4-leaf clover growing out my ass, I'd press for DBS. If you believe the 60 minutes vid, it works instantaneously. VNS takes months to years to show results.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey lostdata,

Have you tried MAOIs yet? After roughly 20 trials my pdoc put me on Parnate. All the other meds made me sick and/or just didn't work. The upside is that it's actually working. Not out of the woods but not actively suicidal anymore. THe downside is a minor (depending how you look at it) inconvenience in diet and you really have to watch med interactions.

Most docs don't like to prescribe them though. THey are obscure drugs that haven't been largely used for decades.

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