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For those not on Anti-Depressants , how do you manage the pain without them?

ButterflyPainBButterflyPain Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I know everyone reacts differently to pain, and everyone's chemistry is different...But I am trying to live with the pain without one of my anti-depressants (Lexapro 10mg). I want to get off of it, because less pills is always better, been on it for two years, and want to lose the weight it has put on me. I am still going to stay on cymbalta 30mg , even though I want off that eventually too.
I am just hoping when I get off lexapro all together, my pain won't increase and therefore messing with my emotions again.

Any personal stories would be great.


  • Hey BP, I too am on anti-depressants. I was only on Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2 times daily, then went thru a remarkable post surgical depression, and had Celexa prescribed. Now I take Celexa 20mg in the am and Wellbutrin Sr in the pm. It helped the depression very well. But I have not noticed any difference in my pain levels. Currently having reinnervation issues after single level fusion in 11/09.

    Let me know how it goes. I too want to be off all meds at my 1yr fusion anniversary. That's just a personal goal :)

  • ButterflyPain,
    My own doctor explained that my depression was only temporary and the medication was to be used to get me through the worse time until I developed an improving coping strategy. Nobody who has chronic pain is not touched by depression at some time and having experience of the “black dog” as it was once called I have never forgotten that place or experience.

    The good thing is that you want to stop taking the medication, what has your doctor said about this, wanting to stop has to be equated with reality and I am sure the doctor would not continue prescribing these if he thought they were not helping. You have the strength and desire to want to stop and that for many people is the deciding issue and I applaud your courage, in making that decision. As you say less is always better, and the weight aspect can be a problem.

    Only you know how you feel and perhaps you could get some professional support in trying to reach this goal My experience only relates to me as nobody here has identical personal experience, I needed to be in a better place at the time that would then enable me to progress, to my own weight loss and increasing to do list.

    What small changes could you make that would get you to where you want to be.

    Go and see you doctor while you enthusiasm is one the way up and see what they say.

    Good luck and tell us how it is going.

  • Hi butterfly,
    My own personal experience is that when the doctors put me on anti depressents it made me worse. I had started Cymbalta and was on it for almost a month and would cry all the time. I actually got more depressed and had thoughts of gloom and doom. I stopped that one. There were one or two other meds that made me worse, so I dont take anything. I deal with my depression by distraction/meditation. When I start feeling really bad, I sit outside and watch the birds, enjoy the warm breeze on my face, look at the blue sky, clouds, anything to stop feeling sorry for myself. I try to think of positive thoughts. I also do my own form of meditation.

    I know everyone has their own coping skills and some are better than others. There is nothing wrong with taking anti depressants if you need them. Support is so important in coping with depression. Good luck and I like John (great post John) applaud you for searching other avenues in dealing with depression. You will find one that works for you. Keep us all posted on your progress
  • While I think it is wonderful that you want to stop your anti-depressants, please do so under your doctor's supervision.

    Some cases of "feeling down" can be helped with distractions like Diane has suggested, but other cases of clinical depression can be much more complicated than that.

    I take Cymbalta. Occasionally I will think I am to a point where I can go off of it, and find that without this medication I do much worse. In fact I become more tearful and more withdrawn. Without cymbalta I find that I can't handle my chronic pain as effectively as I do with cymbalta. As is the case with many people with depression, it isn't a matter of feeling sorry for myself or needing a distraction. And there is nothing wrong with realizing and accepting that depression is real and I need help.

    Please discuss the issue of going off of anti-depressants thoroughly with your doctors, and do it under his/her supervision.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hey butterfly,
    I have to agree with most of the others, I have quit all my pain meds for almost a year now just because I worry about side effects to other organs.
    Distraction is key for me, keep busy, move on to other projects so I don't get bored then sit down to think about things. To me I view pain as being only relative. I am also fortunate to tolerate pain well and I realize that others cannot, we are all different no doubt. I would also take Cindy's advice and be sure to consult with you physician before changing your medication.
    Take care,
  • I have read all your comments, and want to thank you all! They are all filled with comforting and good advice.
    I of course am doing it under my doctors care. I've been doing pretty good on the 5 mgs, till this weekend. I'm not sure what changed, but I suddenly am hit with more pain and spasms , that meds aren't helping for a good amount of time for relief, like before.
    Although yesterday I had a fairly good day in comparison to Saturday. I did go out and do a lot of walking, and I do find that helps, but I can't do that everyday. Also when I do too much , I come home and sit and instantly all my muscles tighten and hurt more .
    It is a cycle, but I don't know. I think I might go back to ten mgs like before tonight...See if that is the reason for all these random cramps from spasms everywhere that I haven't had since before I started my psych and pain meds.
  • Butterfly,
    Pacing is sometimes the key although not always and keeping our activity under the threshold of increased pain is a continual and evasive objective.

    Balance is about having control and as N o Steel said, surmising we could do better seems an easier concept when we feel good inside, could we sustain that on our bad days.

    It is important that increased activity does not equate to more pain and become behavioural, we refrain from exercise on the basis that we think it will automatically make our condition worse. On the good days similar activity levels will pass unnoticed that on others days are problematic, knowing where to set our capability is a constant battle, it is never easy.

    If in applying the same strategy we incur the same results then perhaps an alternative plan may be preferable, in finding where too much is located.

    Good luck.

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