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Nothing NOTHING helped my mother's quality of life as much as the correct combination of antidepressants and anti anxiety meds.

There was no amount of reassurance that calmed her. Not the presence of 24/7 aides. Not quiet music. Nothing else worked

When your brain is broken from dementia, the right meds, administered in a thoughtful manner by a qualified psych doc or NP, can make all the difference in the world.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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If your husband has Alzheimers and/or dementia & also seems to be suffering from depression, consult his doctor for the next course of action or treatment. It's not about what you are 'against' or 'for'........it's about what your husband needs to keep him comfortable, not upset or depressed, and having the best quality of life possible for a person with his afflictions. If he's truly depressed, then he truly 'needs' medication to help him. The days of attaching stigmas to any types of medications should be long over with. Quality of life and the best of medical care is the ultimate goal for all of us.

That said, my mother is 93 and became severely depressed after suffering a serious illness in 2011 (she now has moderate dementia & lives in Memory Care). I called her MD up immediately when I saw how she was acting, told him her symptoms, and he prescribed Wellbutrin which helped her enormously. She still takes that medication to this day and I shudder to think how she would be acting without it.

Best of luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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If I had notmhad antidepressants and anti anxiety meds 20 years ago, I would not be here today! Without a shadow of a doubt I would have taken my own life, I was so unbearably depressed/anxious.

Nothing I 'did' or 'caused' to have happen, I simply was worn to a nub with my family and DH and living in a very small homw wiht TOO MANY RESPONSIBILITIES. I had an emergency choleocystectomy and didn'd do well wiht the anesthesia--and couldn't get back to 'normal', I got really, really sick before I told my DH that I was miserable and going to take my own life.

Hot footed it to the hospital where I was dxed with severe depression/anxiety.

Probably had it all my life, but the surgery caught me off guard and I didn't have any reserves of emotional strength.

A good psych doc and patience brought me back slowly to 'myself'.

I don't think AD's are the answer for everyone. But for me, a godsend.

MY brain was 'broken' and as I got better, I also gained a LOT of empathy for people who struggle.

Would you withhold insulin from a diabetic? Antibiotics from someone with strep throat? No. And I would not withhold AD's or benzos from someone who was suffering from mental issues.

After 2 heart attacks within a week, Dh was prescribed AD's--either he take something for his chronic depression or I was leaving him. (Long backstory). He really DID have a choice---but he chose to have me stay and the AD's work and continue to work and he is better.

I hoped the stigma of 'mental health meds' had gotten less over the years. I have been very upfront about my battle wiht depressin and it's comorbid friend, anxiety. Esp now as we are facing an uncertain time--if I KNEW that we'd be back to 'normal' by,say, May 15th,. it would really, really help my anxiety. As it is, I have been in hyper drive, anxiety wise and I am so glad I can take a benzo and calm down and look at life with better eyes.

My MOther NEEDED Ad's all my life. She never took them, preferring instead to drug herself into oblivion on barbiturates and Valium. She was completely useless as a mom, most of my life, but by DARN, she was never one of the 'crazies' who needed and Antidepressant. In return for THAT, 5/6 of my family (my sibs) are on an antidepressant. We all wanted to NOT be like mom.
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Reply to Midkid58
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AT1234 Apr 26, 2020
Amen and amen right there with you.
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Bobbie-
I truly am happy for you that you have had a depression and pain free life. You do know that you are HIGHLY unusual in that, right?

I know that I do eat healthily, (as many people with depression do!) I don't drink, smoke or even drink coffee. I take a good multivitamin each day. I have had years of therapy (again, as many people with depression have done).

One things that was absolutely of NO help to me when I was suffering was people who 'knew it all' and told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to
just do A, B, and C and my life would be like theirs. Talking to someone who is mentally ill--those kinds of brushoffs are PAINFUL.

I think each individual needs to have a good evalation done and medicines prescribed if needed. I have been off and on Zoloft for years. Am now on a small maintenance dose, but during this quarantine, I had to go back up. AND THERE IS NO SHAME IN THAT.

I know you meant well, but you were blessed with a good immune system, a body that doesn't hurt all the time and a loving upbringing.

Many of us did not have that.

And I DID try vitamin supplements and potions of all sorts. What finally did the trick was replenishing my brain wiht the chemicals it simply DID NOT MAKE anymore.

For people who are suffering, and I mean SUFFERING, hearing how healthy someone 20+ years their senior is living an amazingly healthy life--it doesn't HELP. Just makes us want to crawl back into our shells.

I know you meant well. It was your kind of 'judgy' that almost made me take my own life. I actually had someone tell me I was probably suffering from some un-repented sins--that was the cause of my illnesss.

Uh, no.

Nobody can go back and change how they were raised or change their basic physical and mental state. They can work on it, and trust me, we DO.

I'm glad for you, but sad for the folks who read your post and felt worse.
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Reply to Midkid58
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dragonflower Apr 26, 2020
Hi, Midkid58.

As a retired psychiatric nurse, I appreciated your statement that: "What finally did the trick was replenishing my brain with the chemicals it simply DID NOT MAKE anymore."

Prior to the invention of psychotropic drugs, people with severe mental illness, such as Schizophrenia, were confined to insane asylums, chained naked to bedposts.

We know now that Schizophrenia involves a brain chemistry imbalance. Once we give a person with this disease the correct combination of brain chemicals, their symptoms resolve. A similar thing is true of other psychiatric illnesses, such as Bipolar Disorder.

I have some well-meaning friends who "assume" that if a person suffers from mental illness, that they are either not "eating right" or they are not "right with God."

In reality, mental illness is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate. It affects persons of faith and persons of no faith alike.
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equestrienne, I do not have any personal experience with depression but I am of the same mind when it comes to medications. I was having trouble accepting my MIL's use of hydrocodone for back pain when she was in physical rehab, but then the doctor made it more palatable by explaining my MIL won't do the PT if she is in pain, therefore the meds are necessary. I would look at depression the same way: the depressed person cannot really move forward without getting at least some of the depression out of the way. I hope this helps, and wishing you much success in supporting your husband through his challenges.
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Reply to Geaton777
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For all the caregivers, staying at home and isolated, here are some signs of depression:
1. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
2. Loss of interest in daily activities. You don’t care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
3. Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
4. Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.
5. Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
6. Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
7. Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
8. Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
9. Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
10. Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
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Sendhelp Apr 25, 2020
The SILENCE is deafening. It says: "So what else is new
(besides the Covid-19!), either me or the person I am caring for has many of these symptoms over this past year, (or more).
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Sometimes, I have to take a step back, put my strong personal preferences and my own experiences aside when it comes to anyone else's healthcare but my own. It is a greater challenge when having responsibility for a family member as a caregiver.

There are other treatments for depression, but if a person needs medication, those other treatments will not work. imo.
Medication used in combination with therapy and other treatments does help depression.

You are part of the healthcare team (along with his doctor) so your input will be invaluable, and you are in a perfect position to monitor your husband's response to treatment. As long as he has the right doctor, and the doctor is recommending medication, try that.

Good question Equestrienne, because I was just thinking what to do if my husband is now depressed. Watching a movie in tears unexplained, unable to perform regular chores, growling from irritability, sleeping too much....

What are your husband's symptoms? Has he been to the doctor?
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Reply to Sendhelp
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Let me be direct. It doesn't matter what you would do, or what others would do, or, frankly, whether you are or are not against anti-depressants.

Please take your husband to a psychiatrist and/or a geriatrician (you don't specify his age, but this is agingcare.com).

Depression is both psychically and physically painful- I can attest to this and would be glad to share more details with you. Depression also causes suffering.

Yes, I am strong in my thoughts about depression, having suffered from it since childhood.

Why would you deprive someone of relief from suffering?
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Reply to Rabanette
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When my husband found out he had early Alzheimer’s he became very depressed which was exhibited by anger towards me. It was so bad that I was preparing to leave him. He also had suicidal thoughts. He started on Zoloft and it has helped him tremendously. For whatever it’s worth I am an RN and work on a unit that specializes in geriatric psych. Of which many carry dementia diagnosis’s. Hope this helps.
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Reply to Pamela8
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I agree with other posts here: please please take your husband to a psychiatrist. They will tell you what the problem is.

Your stance against medication should only be the reason for you not to take medication, but not for your husband. Let him benefit from the miracles of medication.
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Reply to Worriedspouse
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IWashington27 Apr 26, 2020
Worried spouse, your reply is the best answer to the question
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