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Chronic Pain and Anti depressants
77grace posted:
I am trying to get some input from others here on your thoughts or experience with using Antidepressants to help Chronic pain! I'm kinda confused because I have tried a few but never really felt any better mood wise or pain wise!
I don't think I'm a depressed person,but I don't have the drive or should I say the ge up and go that I used to!I think it's because of the strong pain meds<Can anyone relate??
annette030 responded:
I just blame it on getting older, lol.

The reason antidepressants help some folks with chronic pain is that the main neurotransmitter that they mediate also helps control pain signals (in addition to mood modulators). It really has nothing to do with the doctor thinking you are depressed.

I get rather severe side effects with all different kinds of antidepressants, memory loss, etc. I don't try any of them anymore. Everyone reacts differently to drugs.

Take care, Annette
77grace replied to annette030's response:
I hear you!!!Right now,its memory loss,concentration,dry mouth and Blurry vision!!My memory is getting so bad,I might say,feed the Dog at 8:00 and around 10:00,I can't remember if I fed the Dog!!!Thats scarey!!
heavenbound77 replied to 77grace's response:
I understand both of you! I am sure it's the meds causing memory loss. Not the pain pills, because I was on those for a long time and just had the "average" forgetfulness. Now, they put me on Cymbalts and Gabapentin, and I am horribly forgetful! And, I'm also on Paxil. Yet, I still suffer with depression. After my husband died, my car was stolen and was
totally destryed. So, I have to depend on others to get me to the doctor and the grocery store, etc. I also think that's another reason my depression is so bad; (and therefore also the pain gets worse.); There are onlt 2 people who can help me, and they both work and have families, so if I run out of food, meds tec. I have to wait until someone is available. Severe stress causes depression to get worse. And, I have a lot of stress.
77grace replied to heavenbound77's response:
Hi heavenbound77,
Thank you for your input,that makes me feel alot better!!
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your Husband,and all the other stress you are going through!!!It seems like it all hapens at one time!!!
Sounds like you are a Believer too!I will send up extra prayers for you!
Take care,77grace
annette030 replied to 77grace's response:
I had the same kind of problems with antidepressants back when I took them, many years ago.

As far as the dog goes, my husband and I mark it off on a chart when we give the dog his meds, and feed him. It isn't that hard, and it is much easier than worrying about it.

Take care, Annette
annette030 replied to heavenbound77's response:
Does the same doctor prescribe both the Cymbalta and the Paxil? It is unusual to be on two of them.

If it is safe for you to be driving, get another car as soon as you are able. It sounds like it would be hell to be that dependent on others if there are alternatives.

Take care, Annette
Peter Abaci, MD responded:
It seems that a number of folks here can relate to your problems with the antidepressant medications. It always helps a bit when your realize that you aren't alone in what you are dealing with.

In general, antidepressants often get prescribed in treating chronic pain because certain ones can potentially help with nerve pain, muscular pain, and mood changes like depression or anxiety. I commonly see patients get frustrated with their medications. One conversation that I often end up having with patients is that, unfortunately, there aren't any great medications out there for treating chronic pain. By that I mean in my experience I haven't come across a medication that can provide substantial relief that lasts for years on end and doesn't have any side effects.

I happen to believe that the brain plays an active role in healing and promoting wellness for the rest of the body, so I am always careful about medications that can slow down cognitive activity, but that is a whole other topic. Nevertheless, now would be a good time to explore other tools, in addition to your medication options, that can help you better manage your pain.
77grace replied to Peter Abaci, MD's response:
Hi Dr.Abaci,
Thank you for your advice,I appreciate it!
I have Nuerofribromatosis and the tumors grow on the nerves on my spine!So I have been on Pain meds awhile aand don't want to but I have tried both ways!This is something that will be with me !So I do try other things for pain!Right now I really want to find out more abouit Biofeedback!Do You have any suggestions?
Peter Abaci, MD replied to 77grace's response:
Biofeedback has actually been used for many years to help manage things like chronic pain, stress, and anxiety. The purpose behind it is to connect the mind and body to help improve the overall well-being of the individual. With biofeedback, patients are connected to electrical monitors that measure an receive information (feedback) from the body (bio). Some of the bodily activities that can be measured include heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and skin temperature. Patients are taught how to modify this information about their bodies through relaxation techniques.

There may be a practitioner in your area certified to train you in biofeedback. If you try it, let us know how it goes.

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Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

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