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ERA's mom

Daughter's Depression And Meds

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A brain scan (Amen Clinic, Tacoma, WA) over a year ago revealed my daughter, now 20, has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (like me...runs in the family); Generalized Anxiety Disorder; and developmental delays (with learning challenges). For over 10 years, we avoided putting her on medication trying learning therapies, etc. etc. but after natural supplements (prescribed by the psychiatrist) didn't help, Effexor (150 mgs.) and Zoloft (25 mgs) were prescribed. This helped her focus, and she remained the happy, optimistic, never depressed girl she has always been. Then, as I posted a couple of months ago, she was diagnosed Celiac or gluten intolerant via a blood test in July. Birth control pills prescribed for severe menstrual cramps in the fall...and various changes in her life...and a depression (includes not wanting to socialize, etc.) that hasn't stopped yet. Took her off The Pill after 2 or 3 wks. We are very, very careful of her gluten-free diet, and I am researching all the time, it seems. Her Effexor was bumped up by dr. for a few weeks to see if that helped (it did not). All of her life before finding out she was Celiac/or gluten intolerant, she struggled with bad constipation; that has improved now. Recenty, her headaches have become severe, and Ibprophen has not helped. She has crying jags, and sometimes will start to shake. The PA-C is wondering if the shaking is a sort of seizure, and our daughter asked me if that was what she was having after a short episode. We have seen the dr. about this. I am wondering...anyone else out there with similar stories concerning meds since being diagnosed with Celiac? And also started wondering if because her nutrition has improved and hopefully nutrients are being absorbed better now, that her body is reacting differently to the meds. The next step the dr. suggests is a local psychiatrist (for behavioral cognitivie therapy, etc.) and perhaps a neurologist, which we will do any day now. I am worried. I know God made her and knows all, and His words are so comforting.

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Hi ERA's mom. I've got a lot of family history of psychiatric problems. Personally, I have depression and anxiety, including anger, social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, insomnia, anxiety dreams and nightmares when I'm on gluten. I also have a hard time with memory, concentration and comprehension when I'm on gluten. When I'm off of gluten, I feel like a totally different, happy, well-adjusted person. What you said about her maybe absorbing things differently now that she's gluten-free makes a lot of sense. Have you talked to her doctors about that? Has she been on the medications consistently from the time before finding out about celiac and up to now? You might want to talk to her doctor about the possibility of working out of schedule of reducing her dosage or going off meds and seeing if that helps. (Never, ever reduce dosage or go off psychiatric medication without your doctor's assistance, especially with children.) Celiac can contribute to all sorts of psychiatric problems, depression being a very, very common one. If you think about it, if the psychiatric problems were caused by gluten, and you take her off gluten, but still have her on the psych meds, you could be overcompensating, in a way. If you don't know how she is off gluten AND off the meds, it might be an avenue worth investigating. Once you know what your daughter's unmedicated AND gluten-free symptoms are, you can go back on the meds if you need to. If I were in your shoes, I'd work with the doc for a trial off meds to see what her unmedicated, gluten-free, "normal" is, and then go from there. Celiacs also tend to have other food allergies, so you might want to explore that as well.

I'm praying that you guys get this figured out and your daughter starts feeling better soon.

Nancy

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Hi ERA's mom. I've got a lot of family history of psychiatric problems. Personally, I have depression and anxiety, including anger, social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, insomnia, anxiety dreams and nightmares when I'm on gluten. I also have a hard time with memory, concentration and comprehension when I'm on gluten. When I'm off of gluten, I feel like a totally different, happy, well-adjusted person. What you said about her maybe absorbing things differently now that she's gluten-free makes a lot of sense. Have you talked to her doctors about that? Has she been on the medications consistently from the time before finding out about celiac and up to now? You might want to talk to her doctor about the possibility of working out of schedule of reducing her dosage or going off meds and seeing if that helps. (Never, ever reduce dosage or go off psychiatric medication without your doctor's assistance, especially with children.) Celiac can contribute to all sorts of psychiatric problems, depression being a very, very common one. If you think about it, if the psychiatric problems were caused by gluten, and you take her off gluten, but still have her on the psych meds, you could be overcompensating, in a way. If you don't know how she is off gluten AND off the meds, it might be an avenue worth investigating. Once you know what your daughter's unmedicated AND gluten-free symptoms are, you can go back on the meds if you need to. If I were in your shoes, I'd work with the doc for a trial off meds to see what her unmedicated, gluten-free, "normal" is, and then go from there. Celiacs also tend to have other food allergies, so you might want to explore that as well.

I'm praying that you guys get this figured out and your daughter starts feeling better soon.

Nancy

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jlanastasia accidentally sent this reply as areport to the moderators:

Has anyone ever thought about accupuncture to "cure" Celiac disease? It is an allergy after all, right? Accupuncturists cure allergies, right? I was suffering badly from Celiac and decided that I did not want to live that way - only eating certain foods, not getting to go out to eat with friends and family without having to be so picky I feared that restaurants would retaliate by spitting in my food, or worse. I had terrible bloating, constipation, and I've had depression all my life. Then I was told by a friend to get accupuncture, so I did. The symptoms disappeared and I was able to eat anything and everything again. Life is good! However, I had to have an emergency appendectomy. Since then I've had all of the symptoms back again. My accupuncturist told me that once your body is cut open, it messes up the flow (I can't remember the word she used) and then you have to start your accupuncture treatments over again. I am about to start them again on Jan. 3rd. I did notice, however, that the Celiac antibodies are still in my blood stream after having been "cured" by the accupuncturist. I think that it's not cured, but just in remission. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

I would just like to comment here. I also experienced a remission of SYMPTOMS when I was younger (16-18) and getting accupuncture treatments, but it is in no way a cure for Celiac. My symptoms returned again after the birth of my son at age 21, and progressively got worse until I diagnosed myself at age 30. I would think that accupuncture (by a qualified professional) combined with a well rounded gluten free diet would certainly be a great idea to be a healthy Celiac.

God bless,

Mariann

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I agree that there are things that make it appear that the Celiac may be in remission. I had a period of feeling well for about 4 years. Prior to that, I remember the ENT Dr. had given me steroid injections for "sinus infections". I'm sure they masked the symptoms and calmed things down for a while. I also tried Accupuncture a few months before I was DX with Celiac. While I found it relaxing, and it got rid of a pain I had in my shoulder, it did not help my anxiety and stomach issues--the things I went in for. Again, these are things that occured before I had even heard of Celiac.

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Mom:

I too had a daughter on Paxil, Adderall while she was in college. Please note that she does not have celiac disease. She was very shy and anti-social, in the mist of rowdy college girls which made her the attack of their cruelness. She became increasingly depressed (although I saw it, but she did not mention it to me).

It became a very critical situation, with my concerns of someone being hurt. My concern was for my daughter (did not give a dookie about the other cruel girls).

The manager of the house was called in to a very volital situation and he agreed to release the lease and separate the girls. I feel stongly that this saved her life.

Please make sure that these drugs are monitored closely by the prescribing doctor. It is vital.

As mothers, we watch our children struggle and it tears at our heart. We made it through that tough time and she is now off the drugs. She is so much more happy and feels the ownership in her own life.

I don't know if any of this will be helpful. But, I certainly feel what you are struggling with. I hope you find a solution that will give her peace and health.

Lisa B.

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Hi ERA'S mom,

Antidepressants can cause seizures and depression, as well as suicidal tendencies. Going off those (closely monitored by a doctor, as the withdrawal symptoms can be horrendous, especially for Zoloft) might 'cure' all those problems.

The depression may have been caused by Celiac Disease, and therefore going off gluten will hopefully eventually take care of it. It won't be an overnight cure, though, as it takes time for the body to heal and adjust.

What do you mean with developmental delays? I have Asperger Syndrome, which is considered a developmental delay (even though personally, I consider it a difference). And I am naturally not a very social person, which others might interpret as withdrawn and shy, even though I believe that people are wrong to believe that only very social people are 'normal'.

I agree with the rest, find out what she is like without gluten and drugs, and you might be very pleasantly surprised by the girl that will emerge.

One of my husband's cousin's daughters was diagnosed with Celiac Disease two years ago. This girl had become withdrawn, antisocial, moody and just plain unpleasant to be around. She was 17 years old when she was diagnosed. Within a couple of months on the gluten free diet (no meds) she was a different kid! Happy, upbeat and a joy to have around. Her mother couldn't believe the change, and couldn't be happier. Liz is now 19, going to college and having a great time, with lots of friends.

I hope you figure it out! All the best to you and your daughter.

Ursula

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I just want to add, that pretty much all people with 'developmental delays' (as in being on the autistic spectrum) have low serotonin levels. Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (RRSIs, of which Zoloft is one) will lower those serotonin levels even more, making things worse instead of better. People on the autistic spectrum need to boost their serotonin levels, rather than depleting them more. Low serotonin can lead to moodiness, depression, sleep problems (insomnia), low energy (caused mainly by poor sleep) and many other problems.

Of course, serotonin levels that are too high can cause those very same problems! That's why SSRIs work for many people (even though I believe that there are better ways to deal with it than taking antidepressants).

It's been shown that 5HTP (available in health food stores) will help with serotonin production, and has been helpful to me.

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From ERA's mom...

Thank you all who responded to my e-mail. One of you asked what I meant by developmental delays...these were tracked early on with her development by her dr., and then also showed up in the brain scan. Physical milestone delays, plus academic delays, and now social ones with peers. Also, she had a difficult birth, with included forceps. Altho the psychiatrist didn't say that was the cause, there was evidence of injury on each side of her brain. I myself had a clinical depression that involved OCD way back when, and did not want to turn to meds, but it has been night and day for me personally, taking Paxil, and one of those things that God has used to be able to tell people, "Been there, done that" and minister to them. Yes, it is very very important to have meds monitored by a dr. Thank you again for your input, and I will ask the next dr. (psychiatrist) some of the things you have brought up. PS Not sure that I asked this, but have any of you been thru cogitive behavioral therapy? (This was suggested for my daughter, for anxiety). And can you give me a quick description? Thanks.

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Guest BERNESES

Hi ERA's Mom- I was just searching for posts on depression and medications etc when I found yours. I am on Celexa (an SSRI) for depression and klonopin for anxiety. I have begun wondering why at first, when i went gluten free I started feeling better and reduced my klonopin from 3 to 2 mg because my doctor thought it was making me depressed once I started absorbing things better (I began to taper VERY VERY slowly after about 2 months gluten free. then in July I began to feel very tired and mood swing-y again. But I did not cut down on my medication again- we added something this time (which didn't work) but now I'm thinking, I've been gluten-free for almost a year, but my medication hasn't been adjusted at all, so I'm wondering if I'm being over medicated.

I haven't been through CBT myself but I have heard wonderful things about it. There are several books on it- I read one by David Burns called Feeling Good when I was first diagnosed back in 1989. There is an accompanying workbook you can get. For me, it was a lifesaver. Health and peace to you and your daughter, Beverly

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I am going to get a little personal now, I have GAD, and mild OCD, and I have suffered from depression before too. Cognitive therapy helped me more than any medication ever could, it's something to look forward to, not so much a "last chance", sometimes you can do the therapy and medication too.

Drugs for psychiatric problems are tricky, what works for someone else may not work for you, and what used to work for you may not work again, it's stressful finding the right balance. Even different drugs in the same family may have very different results. You just keep having to try new stuff until you find what works. Remember it takes about 4-6 weeks to really tell if a med is working for you or not. I have been med free for 9 months, cognitive therapy helped me so much to know why I thought the way I did and I learned ways to cope with my mind. I hope everything works out well for your daughter, as far as gluten free meds, I have no idea.

I will keep you and your daughter in my prayers, and remember everyday is a new challenge, some days are better than others, and some days just are really bad, but there is always tomorrow to try again.

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HI, I'm not sure of your location, but have you thought of SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? Generally, it's for the northern states like here in Michigan. Also, have you checked the vit. levels like d and b?

Nicole

also, check her TSH (thyroid). Hypothyroid can also cause these things.

Isn't it great to be a women! :) GIGGLE

Nicole

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Lisa B: I agree with your advice -- monitor her meds closely and monitor HER closely. I'm getting REALLY personal. My daughter was diagnosed with depression and anxiety (she is not celiac), and was given Paxil when she was a junior in high school. The pediatrician prescribed Zoloft, CHANGING what the child psychiatrist had prescribed, telling me that "this would be much better for the anxiety" and stating that she didn't like the child psychiatrist. (My daughter was doing very well at the time). I was naive enough to just blindly change the medication, "because the doctor said so." Ten weeks later, I was in the emergency room, then the intensive care unit with my daughter. She had taken an overdose, and they were hoping that the charcoal which they put down her in a tube would absorb enough of the medication that DIDN'T get into her bloodstream. Her heart rate was 260 (maximum heart rate of anyone is 220), and they were wondering if her heart was just going to stop.

I urge you to watch your daughter CLOSELY. What scares me is that, my daughter was having difficulty "fitting in" at school, as well. She was forced to change schools mid-year because we had pulled her out and done home hospital because she was ill, then she was re-routed to a different school because of it (long story). She was unable to participate in all the choral events that she previously had (this school had little or no choral program), and was unable to get the written recommendations from the teachers which she needed to get into the Governor's Scholar program in our state. She was prevented from getting them from her former school, and the new teachers didn't know her. She had previously been accepted and had participated in the Governor's School for the Arts, and she knew that participating in the Governor's Scholar program guaranteed her a full scholarship to any school in the state. She REALLY wanted that -- it was a personal goal that she had. The kids at the new school were cruel, she had a difficult time finding a group in which to fit in, and in general was very sad. That was when the psychiatrist put her on medication. She did well for 3 months, then the pediatrician butted in. When my daughter took the overdose, she showed NO SIGNS of suicidal ideation. There was not ONE of the signs at the time it occurred. We had watched her like a Hawk previosly, when she was first put on the Paxil, because she did show the signs. That is why she first went on medication.

I guess I am just really passionate about this, because I know what can happen -- I've been there, and by the Grace of God, I was allowed to have my daughter stay alive. I do believe in medications -- our entire family has a history of depression, and I strongly feel that it has a genetic component. Medications do work -- along with cognitive therapy, and all kinds of other therapy. I just want you to be aware that not always do you get the "signs" -- social withdrawal, lack of zest for life, etc . . . -- we had none of those. Please watch your daughter closely.

I didn't write this to scare you or anyone else, and I apologize if it does. It's just that if I can prevent one other mother from having to go through what I did, it will be worth it to post my experience. I'll keep you and your daughter in my prayers. Hang in there . . . Lynne

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be a very good way to get healthy emotional/life habits and structures in place to help her weather all this stuff. It won't "cure" seizures or anything like that, but it can help make her more resilient.

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SSRI's do not lower the amount of seratonin a person has. they prevent the reuptake of it, thus making more of the seratonin available.

christine

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