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MermaidPaz

How Do You Deal With Waves Of Depression Post Exposure?

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I am experiencing intense waves of anxiety and depression after a wheat exposure.  These feelings are so strong and without acute emotional cause, that it is often the factor that causes me to make the mental connection that an exposure has occurred.  This has helped me pinpoint several exposures, especially just before and during my menstrual cycle.  Because of this I can intellectually understand the fact that my horribly intense negative emotions aren't "real" as I sometimes say, but it's still very difficult for me to work through the fact that such emotional responses have no emotional cause or resolution.

 

It is usually several days afterwards before my spirits feel more normalized and I no longer have the waves of emotion.  Those two or three days feel so hopeless, miserable, frustrating, depressing and dark that I feel suicidal even though I know intelligently that that I would never kill myself.  Is there anything that you have found helpful in making it through the reaction rollercoaster or easing emotional distress during this time?  I have very little immediate community to draw from as far as support.  It does help knowing the turmoil will pass, but telling myself it will be ok in a few days only does so much to get me through the situation.  I don't typically have a difficult time working through actual emotional triggers such as life events, so it's quite hard for me to process just sitting and waiting for the emotions to be over (which seems to be the most effective, just waiting).  It adds to the frustration.

 

Thank you for the support and understanding of this community.  It has helped greatly just to know others go through the same, and they have experience to share.

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Maybe there is a hormonal element?  You say before and during your period this is worse.  Maybe check with your OB/GYN. There are things they can do to help with that.

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I don't get waves of emotion...but do become extremely grumpy and a bit short with those around me -- it doesn't happen much anymore as glutenings are extremely rare for me these days...when they do those around me have learned to duck, cover and wait for it to pass.

 

For you...try to limit all possible gluten exposures -- but when they happen, drink lots of water, rest and be kind to yourself.

 

And as Karen mentioned you may want to have your hormones checked...all of mine tanked at once a few years back -- can't hurt to have it checked out.

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I actually take hormone replacement for an autoimmune thyroid condition, but I believe you're talking more about female hormones?  I have been to OBs and their main solution to the issues surrounding my period being worse is to put me on the birth control pill, which I do not do well with.  I tried a couple of them, each of which made things worse.  Also, I have these periods of severe anxiety and depression regardless of what time it is in my menstrual cycle.  I know that they are linked to exposures because of the fog, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, pain, bowel distress and fatigue that follow for the next week or so.  The emotional issues are only for the first few days, however.  I do try to rest, keep hydrated, and eat well.  All of these help me recover physically more quickly.  Unfortunately it did not seem to affect the length or intensity of the extreme emotional irritability.

 

I was more or less looking for some advice or experience with coping or easing the emotional side.  It seems like many of my symptoms after an exposure, where the only thing you can do is wait. Thanks for the recommendations and the sentiments.

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There may not be much you can do about it except try to prevent the glutenings.  I don't know how long you have been gluten-free, but it gets easier and you learn how to avoid the "glutenings"

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Those horrible dark feelings are for me the first sign I have been glutened. If life seems not worth living I know I am in for a couple of rough weeks. It does help pinpoint a gluten incident for me also. You need to be as strict as possible with the diet. It can be hard when your new to the lifestyle but it will get easier in time. 

I wish I could be more helpful in ways to deal. I try to stay busy with mindless stuff and make sure I do something that I consider a treat. I know that my mood will impact how I perceive stuff other people say or do around me. I try to keep that in mind so that I don't snap at someone or burst into tears over a misunderstanding. 

I make sure not to forget my vitamins, especially my sublingual B12. Excercise, a long walk, hot bath and lots of chocolate seem to help a bit also. 

It may not be the case for you but over time the duration of my depressions has gone from days at the beginning to just 1 day now that I have been gluten free for long time. 

I hope things get better for you soon.

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So sorry you've between going through this, sincerely. I experience the same type of symptoms from glutening and it's incredibly difficult - honestly it's a traumatizing experience to realize that all of your emotional stability can spontaneously disappear, in a way that you're powerless to do anything about until it passes. My boyfriend tells me it's like he lives with a different person when it's hit me like that - the best way I can describe it to him is that it's like I've been thrown down a well. Everything goes dark and there's no way I can even start to pull myself out of it : (

It's led to me becoming extremely, extremely cautious in avoiding gluten - after riding this lovely ride about once a month for the first 6 mos after I was diagnosed, I'm either irrationally phobic about gluten, or I've rationally decided no risk is ever worth feeling that way, depending how you want to look at it - but since I got super strict it's only happened once (freak contamination accident). It sucks for what it's done to the rest of my life, but it is no question so much better for me to avoid going through that, as much as I possibly can.

In terms of getting through it, here are the best tactics I've found, such as they are:

With the small rational piece of my brain that still works, remind myself as often as I can that this will pass, that it's a physical reaction, and that even though I can't conceive of it in that moment, I'll feel happy and sane and positive again in a few days.

Eliminate all obligations/activities/stress that I can for those few days. Stay home from work if I can, and try not to expect anything from myself until it passes. The only thing worse than having a completely broken brain is attempting to be a productive person or deal with any kind of difficult situations while I'm stuck with it. It took a while (I'm a bit type A by nature) but I try to accept and not blame myself for respecting my limitations when this happens.

Do something mindless, to try to occupy your brain while you wait it out. Seriously, Netflix has been a godsend for me at these times. I find anything I think about while my mind is in that state gets cast in the darkest possible way, and I can end up thinking awful, very upsetting thoughts if I give my brain any rein to wander. So I try to put on a documentary or whatever show I can think of to distract myself, and just keep letting the next episode play and trying to not let myself think about much of anything until I can fall asleep.

I wish I could be more help! I guess the best thing I can say is that it does always pass, eventually, and keeping safe from gluten is keeping my brain on track too : ) I'm normally pretty balanced and upbeat and have lots of fun and joy in my life without gluten - and I've been able to keep in that place pretty well for the last 6 months. I hope you get to a safer, happier place soon too : )

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Unfortunately I don't deal well with my own emotions. Periods of intense depression, outbursts of anger and anxiety that I now associate with undiagnosed celiac disease are why I don't have a career.

Short-term though, realizing that it's not you but something else controlling you, paradoxically, can help a lot. It WILL pass, and you'll probably find patterns of your own thinking that tend to lead you to darker places, and that can help too. Realize that during these times, you simply will not be able to cope with life as you can otherwise. Don't be afraid to cancel or delay things, because you are sick at these points in time.

As to feeling like you want to die, take time in those moments to think about what you want at that point in time, what will comfort you at that moment, and do it. Be it sleep, eating (safely of course!!!), a movie, music, talking to someone, a walk, reading, dancing, adult stuff, doesn't matter. Being hedonistic and removing my guilt is how I can best help myself. Then, when you can, do some work or something that should get done. And if you try and fail, just stop and be like 'oops, guess I wasn't ready just yet'.

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I have positive messages I've written in bold print on 81/2 x 11 paper hung up here and there. They help snap me back to reality when my anxiety hits. That way even though my anxious thoughts feel real, I can remember they are only a symptom, not what's really true.

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This is my life today. I went on an out-of-town trip, and was extremely careful. I only ate at places recommended on my findmeglutenfree app, I told all the servers about my needs, I only ate gluten free food. I ate a LOT of salads because that was all I could figure out to eat at times. Sometimes, I just didn't eat at all if it didn't seem safe. And then...

 

On the way back home, I drank a liquor that I didn't realize most likely contains gluten -- at least I think it was that. It's possible I may have been glutened by cross-contamination somewhere along the line. Whammo! Today, I am depressed and self-condemning. I have tons of work to do, and I can't face it. 

 

I don't have any answers other than those given by others above. I'm just glad this thread is here, because it reminds me that I'm not crazy, and that I'm not alone in experiencing these types of symptoms.

 

I think the thing that I'm beginning to realize is that when this happens, it's not a weakness on my part. I'm actually physically ill -- even if the symptoms are all appearing in my brain. In the past, it has been hard for me to tell myself and other people that I am sick when I feel this way, as I felt as if I was really only sick if I had something more tangible, like the flu. Now, however, I realize that this is real, physical illness. I admit, though, that I still have to remind myself of that over and over when I'm feeling this way.

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Today, I am depressed and self-condemning. I have tons of work to do, and I can't face it. 

 

I think the thing that I'm beginning to realize is that when this happens, it's not a weakness on my part. I'm actually physically ill -- even if the symptoms are all appearing in my brain. In the past, it has been hard for me to tell myself and other people that I am sick when I feel this way, as I felt as if I was really only sick if I had something more tangible, like the flu. Now, however, I realize that this is real, physical illness. I admit, though, that I still have to remind myself of that over and over when I'm feeling this way.

 

This is exactly the thought process I go through. It is a real physical illness, and the psychological symptoms are part of it. The hardest part for me is to give myself permission not to worry about what I'm not getting done, and get the extra rest I truly need. Extra sleep helps me a lot. I also have to remind myself over and over why I am feeling that way and that it's as real and debilitating as any of the other other physical symptoms I experience, like nausea or headache.

 

Even though I know this is all true in the rational part of my brain, I continue to struggle with it anyway. It is helpful to hear someone else verbalize it, sort of validate my own experience. Thanks for sharing this.

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Thank you all for your advice and support. I came across this thread in search for help after a gluten exposure. I got one of the contaminated Cheerios boxes and am fighting depression among other fun symptoms now. It is a huge relief to know that this reaction is not uncommon. I'll stick it out and follow your advice! Thank you for being such a supportive community! 

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So I am very new to the Celiac world.  For many years I have dealt with digestive issues and anxiety,  adhd, depression.  For the past 8 months I have been very ill, drained of money over medical bills and medications.  It seemed every week I was sick and felt like I was losing my mind and control over my life. For a while I thought I was crazy.  I felt weak and like a burden to my kids and family.  It was almost a pattern of sickness.  Symptoms mimic panic attacks,  thoughts of suicide,  vomitting, fatigue etc. So far I have had a positive blood test for gluten intolerance.  Between a money pit GI doctor and an MD just pushing his self made blends,  I have had enough.  I have no doubt in my mind that I have not only gluten intolerance but Celia disease.  My next step is biopsy,  not sure if it will really help but I have heard it's a definite diagnosis.  I have had a weight lifted from my chest knowing that I am not alone. That others feel what I have felt.  I can only hope one day there will be help for people like us.  It is so hard to change your lifestyle,  especially with kids.  

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Thank you all for your advice and support. I came across this thread in search for help after a gluten exposure. I got one of the contaminated Cheerios boxes and am fighting depression among other fun symptoms now. It is a huge relief to know that this reaction is not uncommon. I'll stick it out and follow your advice! Thank you for being such a supportive community! 

Welcome!  I am so sorry that you were glutened.  celiac disease can and does impact you mentally.  I hope you recover soon!  ?

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So I am very new to the Celiac world.  For many years I have dealt with digestive issues and anxiety,  adhd, depression.  For the past 8 months I have been very ill, drained of money over medical bills and medications.  It seemed every week I was sick and felt like I was losing my mind and control over my life. For a while I thought I was crazy.  I felt weak and like a burden to my kids and family.  It was almost a pattern of sickness.  Symptoms mimic panic attacks,  thoughts of suicide,  vomitting, fatigue etc. So far I have had a positive blood test for gluten intolerance.  Between a money pit GI doctor and an MD just pushing his self made blends,  I have had enough.  I have no doubt in my mind that I have not only gluten intolerance but Celia disease.  My next step is biopsy,  not sure if it will really help but I have heard it's a definite diagnosis.  I have had a weight lifted from my chest knowing that I am not alone. That others feel what I have felt.  I can only hope one day there will be help for people like us.  It is so hard to change your lifestyle,  especially with kids.  

Welcome to the forum!  

You probably all ready know this, it keep eating gluten until you get your endoscopy for accurrate results.  Never, never give up advocating for your help!  Hang in there!  ?

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Tissue transglutaminase is involved with 5HT in serotonin production. I occasionally take a very low dose of 25 mg of 5-htp to build up my serotonin stores. I would not recommend taking 5-HTP more than a few days, but a dose here and there can work wonders.  Rumination is one of the first signs of depression. When I find myself ruminating I take a 25 mg a day for a couple days and stop as soon as I stop ruminating. 

 

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