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Author Topic: Concerned for my sister, her depression, and her medication.  (Read 156 times)

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Offline NINFan94

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Concerned for my sister, her depression, and her medication.
« on: January 21, 2014, 11:54:27 PM »
Hi everybody. I've been here before due to my GAD, but I just came back because my concern for my sister was making my GAD even worse.

Ok, so, just like I did for myself, I guess I'll start from the beginning when it comes to my sister, too.

Alright, so.. All through her pre-teen and teen years, my sister has struggled with anxiety. More specifically, hypochondria (which may or may not be the case here, as I've gone through hypochondria about depression before). A couple years ago, she started a relationship with her now long time boyfriend. In attempt to calm her anxiety a little for her boyfriend, she went to her doctor. Her doctor prescribed her Cymbalta, which was a relatively new drug at the time.

All was well and good until just recently.. In October, my parents bought her a puppy, which, I'm sure as most of you know, is a LOT of responsibility. A big handful. My parents bought the puppy for her as a Christmas present, thinking it would be a great thing for her.

I'll just say this... It wasn't. My sister is the type of person who is easily stressed out, so you can imagine how stressed out she was with this puppy.

Shortly after this, she began to tell us she was feeling depressed. She said that for the past two years, her Cymbalta had put her in a great mood all the time, however she said she didn't feel as though they were working anymore.

Now, for some reason, during the christmas holiday, she asked for a layoff from her job. I'm not really sure why, as I think it would have done her a lot better if she kept working. I find doing something always helps with my anxiety, I figure maybe it would help her. I digress.

On January 1st, I moved to the city where she lives. Just up the street, actually. Very quickly, I realized that she wanted the company of family (me) around ALL the time. I was annoyed by this, until I found out how seriously she NEEDED someone around. I would visit her quite frequently, until one night, she asked me to stay over. I said sure, expecting to go back to staying with my brother (which is where I had all my stuff and had moved in) the very next day.

That night, we saw a movie. After the movie, Ashley called her boyfriend to come pick us up. He was unusually quiet. My sister asked him what was wrong, and he snapped back at her. She was offended by this, and later talked to me about how unhappy she was with him. I thought it was nothing, just an impulsive thing to say, and went to bed thinking everything would be fine the next day.

Well, the next day came and I was woken up by my sister to the news that she was leaving her boyfriend. Again, I thought this was just something impulsive and that everything would quickly go back to normal a few days. Well, that didn't happen either. He quickly moved his stuff out, they both agreed that they weren't happy, and I was pretty much forced into moving in with her by my parents. Again, I was annoyed, but I didn't realize how serious the situation was.

Well, that day I talked to my sister about the breakup. And for some reason, she would just constantly go in and out of crying fits. We'd be sitting there, talking, and she would say things like "Yeah, we both agreed to split up. We're both just not happy with eachother. I think this is what I need. She seemed fine until I told her that I was going out to get something to eat for a few minutes. She would then proceed to start crying out of nowhere, not letting me leave and saying things like "I'm not going to be okay" and "I'm never going to find happiness.".

I started to comfort her, and THAT is when I realized that something was seriously wrong.

Anyway, that was 7 days ago.. Last night, she announced something to me that was very frightening. She said she couldn't remember if she took her Cymbalta during lunch that day or not. We decided that it was best for her to not take it that night just in case she did in fact take it that day. Today, she woke up and said that she was feeling "okay". She went to work (she works part-time now) came home and still said she felt fine. Around 6:00, she took what was (I assume) her first Cymbalta in almost 48 hours.

She began to get into these random fits of laughter, and then she began to cry uncontrollably and start talking about how she doesn't know how much longer she can go on and that she couldn't take it anymore. Worried, I took her to a movie to get her mind off things.. She went to bed about an hour ago, she seemed to be fine. Just a little down all night, but she seemed to enjoy the movie. Earlier today, she went to her doctor, told her about what she was going through, and her doctor told her that she would try to ween her off the Cymbalta by bringing her down to 30mg instead of 60, and then after a week, start her on another anti-depressant called Zoloft.

Anyway, I have some questions regarding her and myself..

-She was supposed to start her 30 mg tonight, but I convinced her that it was probably best to take a 60 mg tonight since she (I assume) missed one the day before. Should she start her 30s tomorrow night, or stay on her 60s to get her back on a regular schedule?

-Is the doctor's plan a good idea? Believe me, this doctor is NOT  psychiatrist. But is weening her off a powerful drug like Cymbalta with a week of 30 mg and a prescription of Zoloft a good idea?

-Not to sound selfish, but what I should I do? Like I said, this is making my GAD REALLY intense, and it's a bad thing for the both of us. I'm 19 years old. I came here to get a job, to do this and to do that, but she will not let me leave the house. She keeps saying things like "Do you really think I should be left alone in this state?" and she starts bursting into tears. What am I to do?

I'm just constantly worrying about her around the clock. About her medication, about her depression, about everything. She says she wants me to "live with her forever". I love her, and I've been doing pretty much everything I can for her for the past week, I care about her. But the thought of this terrifies me. Forever? Worrying and being anxious 24/7? Not ever being able to leave the house? Not getting a job?. She makes me get up and keep her company in the morning while she gets ready for work, and calls me constantly to make sure that I am home for when she comes home.

The thing is, I can't leave her here. Not in this state. She's even said that without me she'd probably be "six feet under right now". I don't want her to be alone, but I want to have/live my own life.

I'm sorry for the long post but.. I need answers. :(
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Offline NINFan94

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Re: Concerned for my sister, her depression, and her medication.
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 11:59:11 PM »
Also: I assume the uncontrollable laughter followed by the fit of crying and depression was due to the fact that she hadn't taken a cymbalta in nearly 48 hours? It really frightened me. I wasn't sure what to do. Can anybody confirm if this is common or not?
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Offline insights

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Re: Concerned for my sister, her depression, and her medication.
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 12:48:24 AM »
-She was supposed to start her 30 mg tonight, but I convinced her that it was probably best to take a 60 mg tonight since she (I assume) missed one the day before. Should she start her 30s tomorrow night, or stay on her 60s to get her back on a regular schedule?

She should do as her doctor instructed and go down to 30mg if the plan is to switch to Zoloft. BTW-I wonder if this isn't the first time she has missed a dose and if this is why her mental health is suffering. Do the number of Cymbalta capsules she has match with how many there should be given when the prescription was last filled?

Quote
-Is the doctor's plan a good idea? Believe me, this doctor is NOT  psychiatrist. But is weening her off a powerful drug like Cymbalta with a week of 30 mg and a prescription of Zoloft a good idea?

Cross tapering between SNRIs and SSRIs is the most common way of switching between these antidepressant types. It does seem to be a little faster than optimal, but your sister's doctor may be trying to get her onto Zoloft asap because of her condition.

Quote
-Not to sound selfish, but what I should I do? Like I said, this is making my GAD REALLY intense, and it's a bad thing for the both of us. I'm 19 years old. I came here to get a job, to do this and to do that, but she will not let me leave the house. She keeps saying things like "Do you really think I should be left alone in this state?" and she starts bursting into tears. What am I to do?

I'm just constantly worrying about her around the clock. About her medication, about her depression, about everything. She says she wants me to "live with her forever". I love her, and I've been doing pretty much everything I can for her for the past week, I care about her. But the thought of this terrifies me. Forever? Worrying and being anxious 24/7? Not ever being able to leave the house? Not getting a job?. She makes me get up and keep her company in the morning while she gets ready for work, and calls me constantly to make sure that I am home for when she comes home.

She needs to stand on her own two feet and you need to live your life. That sounds and is harsh, but from what you've written her problems are affecting you and could drag you down too which won't help either of you. If she can't look after herself then maybe she needs to go back to your parents.

Quote
Also: I assume the uncontrollable laughter followed by the fit of crying and depression was due to the fact that she hadn't taken a cymbalta in nearly 48 hours? It really frightened me. I wasn't sure what to do. Can anybody confirm if this is common or not?

Perhaps, but you've also written that she's had crying fits before. Missing the dose won't have helped, but I don't think it is the primary cause of the laughter, crying and depression. However, missing lots of doses may be. I also think there is more going on here than what you know and that it's been going on for longer than the last 3-4 weeks. IMHO, you need to talk with her ex boyfriend.

Ian

PS: Please try and keep this in one thread to avoid confusion.





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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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