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My swan song, sort of

Joe749

Regular Member
#1
Hi all,

I've been a member of this forum since 2009 (I had to look it up), and the information, feedback and support from members has proven helpful--even lifesaving at times. However, as I posted in another thread, I've decided it's time to turn to my GP for a prescription antidepressant. This is a step that I take reluctantly, because I had an early, unpleasant experience with Prozac, and also because the idea of taking an herb or herb-derived substance has always appealed to me more than joining the legion of people hooked on Big Pharma.

Still, SJW is no longer helping me cope with my depression, which manifests itself as a viciously self-thwarting inability to act.

I started taking SJW years ago, and have been taking it steadily since the late 1990s. For a number of years now, I've been taking one capsule of New Chapter Serafin twice a day. But it seems to have stopped working.

As a freelance writer, I find that I am no longer able to complete my assignments on time. Even waiting until the deadline is "hitting me in the face," I just can't seem to start.

And, last winter, I was elected officer of a sailing group through which I had made many friends. I'm supposed to be organizing events and planning for a big national convention--and I have not been able to do much at all.

Lately I've also felt myself close to tears, and sometimes muttering to myself about death--either my own or others. Clearly this cannot continue.

My wife has been suffering from depression for years--especially since losing her part-time teaching job. She finally turned to our GP, who prescribed a mild antidepressant. Her first prescription made her feel better, but she could not sleep. The doc moderated the dosage, and finally settled on something called Citalopram (20 mg).

The change has been dramatic: Lynne sleeps well, gets things done and no longer sits in her studio and weeps (she's an artist).

She's noticed my increasing depression and anxiety--and I've told her how depressed I am. She does not know the extent of my paralysis--I spend whole days in front of my computer, but I'm not writing. I'm just checking e-mails and wasting hours "surfing" needlessly.

Finally my wife convinced me to make an appointment with our doctor. He's a very nice guy, close to our age and very friendly. He is also very conventional--has no use for supplements of any sort (we take lots of them), but he's the only doctor practicing in our small town--and we like him personally.

So, on Wednesday I will get a 15-minute sit-down appointment with the doc; I'll ask him for an antidepressant prescription--and we'll see how it works out.

Right now I feel kind of disloyal--like I'm turning my back on an old friend (and on the friends on this board, who have been there for me when I needed you). But my rationalization is this: I've spent years tweaking my own self-medications. Why not try out some of the offerings that are available thanks to the pharmaceutical industry?

Will I keep taking SJW in some form? I'm not sure what the doc will suggest. Since he doesn't really believe in dietary supplements, he might just shrug his head and think I'm just taking a placebo anyway.

Any thoughts.

--Joe
 

LINDYLOO

Senior Member
#2
best of luck joe in what ever you chose to do....like all medications each works differently for different people....i hope you get yourself sorted soon...let us know...i myself havent been on here for a while but im sure the others wont feel like your turning your back on them...they will only wish you the best....stay strong hun...
;););););)
 

Joe749

Regular Member
#3
Thanks. OK so far

Lindyloo,
Thanks for the encouragement.
Here's a progress report:

Two weeks ago, just as my wife and I were leaving on vacation, the doc gave me a prescription for a tiny (kids' dose), 10-mg daily dose of Citalopram, a SSRI. I had stopped taking SJW 48 hours before starting the med.

In general, I've been feeling pretty good ever since. However, I have also been on vacation, away from the daily stresses at home.
Also, I have not slept well during the trip, which was otherwise wonderful.

So, I won't really know if this is working until I continue trying it in the real world. The doc thinks I'll probably have to up the dose, possibly to 20 mgs, which is what my wife has been taking for a while.

In addition to the sleep problem, I have noticed a decline in libido--which is expected with SSRIs. At my age that isn't much of a problem--but I wouldn't want to lose that altogether.

Still, life seems better than it did as of my last report. If this stuff works, I'll take it.

--Joe
 

LINDYLOO

Senior Member
#4
good for you joe...it all seems to be moving in the right direction so far....im a week back on sjw and today was the first day i didnt feel tired by 10.30am...im awake at 7am work from 8.30 to 6.30pm then fall into bed about 10.30pm...or later....but ive managed to get through the day so far althought im tired at min im more positive than normal.:roll::roll::roll:.....hope your wife is still doing well....keep in touch...and give it time joe.....
:dance::dance::dance::dance::dance::dance:
 

Madelene74

New User on Probation
#5
Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful u0026 it helped me out much. I hope to give one thing again and help others such as you helped me.best wishes
 
#6
Joe749;13619 said:
Lindyloo,
Thanks for the encouragement.
Here's a progress report:

Two weeks ago, just as my wife and I were leaving on vacation, the doc gave me a prescription for a tiny (kids' dose), 10-mg daily dose of Citalopram, a SSRI. I had stopped taking SJW 48 hours before starting the med.

In general, I've been feeling pretty good ever since. However, I have also been on vacation, away from the daily stresses at home.
Also, I have not slept well during the trip, which was otherwise wonderful.

So, I won't really know if this is working until I continue trying it in the real world. The doc thinks I'll probably have to up the dose, possibly to 20 mgs, which is what my wife has been taking for a while.

In addition to the sleep problem, I have noticed a decline in libido--which is expected with SSRIs. At my age that isn't much of a problem--but I wouldn't want to lose that altogether.

Still, life seems better than it did as of my last report. If this stuff works, I'll take it.

--Joe
For the benefit of people who may have been weighing the options of prescription therapy vs. natural/ herbal, it would be nice to hear further conclusions drawn between the two. (even if it may be relative to the user, etc.) Whatever the case, hope it's going well for you.
 

maddog

Regular Member
#7
arniegrape;13867 said:
For the benefit of people who may have been weighing the options of prescription therapy vs. natural/ herbal, it would be nice to hear further conclusions drawn between the two. (even if it may be relative to the user, etc.) Whatever the case, hope it's going well for you.
I took citalopram for a month a couple of years ago and I became suicidal. I quit and switched back to SJW. My doctor said it was because of SJW withdrawal that I was suicidal and wanted to increase the dosage of Citalopram. What a muppet!
 

Joe749

Regular Member
#8
maddog;13870 said:
I took citalopram for a month a couple of years ago and I became suicidal. I quit and switched back to SJW. My doctor said it was because of SJW withdrawal that I was suicidal and wanted to increase the dosage of Citalopram. What a muppet!
Hi again,

I thought I should post a follow up to my "swan song," especially since it was nearly a year ago, and because some folks have asked for a progress report.

I've been taking 20 mg., a pretty small dose, of Citalopram, for about 11 months. No, my life has not turned around--I still sometimes have difficulty getting motivated. And I still have awful bouts of writer's block now and then. But I don't generally feel depressed.

As for Maddog's observation: I stopped SJW for two weeks before starting Citalopram, just because I was not sure that I should use SJW and a SSRI at the same time.

But my experience doesn't necessarily apply to everybody. I was very nervous about starting this course of treatment, specifically because of some scary side effects that these medications can have.

So, do whatever works for you. If you turn to SSRIs, I'd recommend starting gradually. And, at least in my case, exercise helps a lot, too.

Good luck to all,

--Joe