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Canadiangirl

Has Anyone Been Refered To A Phsyciatrist As A Result Of The Emotional Ups/downs With Celiac?

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Just wondering if anyone has had any experience in this regard. I have some pretty low lows and then good days too. The lows, I beleive, are to do with gluten ( big suprise) but last month my doctor suggested I see a phsychiatrist as I was have a rough go. Is this a bad idea? Should I even bother as I know that I can keep myself gluten fere to the best of my ability and be ok. When I am low I am so negative that people don't want to be around me! Has anyone had problems with signifcant others getting tired of 'negativity'?

Thanks :(

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Before I was diagnosed, (i was 12 y/o) my doctor sent me to a physciatrist. I had to see him for a year and was diagnosed with "schoolaphobia" or something to that effect. They thought it was all in my head and I was afraid to go to school. My mom didn't believe it, thankfully. After I got a diagnosis she told the shrink to cram it.

So I don't have real high regards for them. But it may be beneficial for you, obviously not all shrinks are that way.

-Laurie

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I have the same ups and downs. I just got diagnosed so I am hoping I'll stop crying at commercials on the radio or tv. Yesterday a song by Rascall Flatts "Stand" made me cry like I haven't in a good long time. Add to that a teenage boy I'd like to hang by his toes sometimes (I wouldn't really do it...) I'm better today but some days I know I'm a big grumpy blob! Hang in there, we'll get through it. A counseller never hurts, even if the venting just gives you an avenue to get it out.

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All most psychiatrists can think if is to prescribe antidepressants. Those are dangerous, and in your case, useless. You know that it's gluten making you depressed. Do your utmost in being gluten-free, and tell the rest of your family that being glutened makes you depressed, as gluten affects your brain. Ask them to help you out by making sure they don't accidentally gluten you with cross contamination, or deal with the consequences.

It might be helpful to find a good counselor, just to have somebody to talk to when things get rough. If you do find one, make sure he understands about celiac disease, and that you really like him/her. There is no point in talking to somebody who you don't like enough to think of him as a good friend, and who you really trust.

My husband constantly complains about my negativity, but he is the one leaving crumbs everywhere. He doesn't believe that gluten is the problem, and claims it's demons affecting me. Sure, it's the 'demons' in his gluten foods!

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Most of the last few generations of psychiatrists have been trained largely to deal with things from a neurchemical/pharmaceutical treatment standpoint, so they may not have a lot of training in psychodynamic kinds of therapy, although I've found several exceptions to that rule. So, you do risk seeing someone whose main approach will be to prescribe medication. However, I've run into a few psychiatrists who also recommend exercise, nutrition and meditation as well -- it depends on the psychiatrist.

For counseling, you'll want someone who does some form of psychodynamic therapy -- cognitive behavioral, family-of-origin, and other kinds of therapy. These can be useful for getting at the beliefs, patterns of behavior and underlying causes for the emotional dips -- it can help a lot to have someone to talk things out with -- and, in my case, it helped a lot to have someone take a cognitive approach where they basically just kicked my ass into shape about a few things I really needed to change (my phrase -- the actual therapy was much gentler than that). This will be someone with a degree in psychology or possibly one in social work. They might refer you out to someone for medication if that's the route you eventually decide to go (and it can be a helpful one depending on the situation).

What has helped me -- mind you, after years of therapy and an attempt once or twice at trying various medications (all of which were more troublesome for me than they were worth) -- has been to really focus on developing and maintaining habits that encourage emotional control and balance -- mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, exercise, etc.... Different things work for different people and there are definitely circumstances where medication can be helpful to lift the emotional burden long enough to get some healthier and more emotionally stabilizing habits in place -- so I'd never tell someone not to try medication. Rather, I suggest you look at medication as one possibility in an arsenal of tools you can use to get this stuff under control. There are a lot of different options, however, so it helps to do some research on your own into this stuff as a way of making the best decisionl.

eleep

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Just wondering if anyone has had any experience in this regard. I have some pretty low lows and then good days too. The lows, I beleive, are to do with gluten ( big suprise) but last month my doctor suggested I see a phsychiatrist as I was have a rough go. Is this a bad idea? Should I even bother as I know that I can keep myself gluten fere to the best of my ability and be ok. When I am low I am so negative that people don't want to be around me! Has anyone had problems with signifcant others getting tired of 'negativity'?

Thanks :(

Hi Canadian!

I've been surprised at how much gluten can affect my emotions... I've had pretty good luck seeing a Licenced Social Worker (a counselor, does not prescribe meds) for several years. It won't "cure" the gluten-triggered lows, obviously, but it could help *if* you find the right person to talk to. She may be able to help give you some survival techniques to manage some of those lows. And of course, it's no picnic going gluten-free either, or dealing with people who think it's in your head (or in "demons"-- poor Ursa!)... As I just posted in another thread, be willing to meet a few shrinks/counselors/etc. before you decide. You may have to visit a few before you find one you like. I met with five before I found the person I see now. And trust your gut (er, so to speak). A good counselor can be a great help, but unfortunately there are a lot of really bad ones out there, too. Remember, you're paying someone to help you. Don't be afraid to screen them like you would any other job applicant.

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p.s.

..and I second everything eleep just posted [excellent post!]. I try to be open to anything that can help, even if it's a little out of my usual comfort zone. Sometimes you have to look past the edges to find what works for you.

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One more thing I'd like to add -- the emotional downs from celiac were definitely a huge problem for me (and they contributed to the demise of a long relationship -- although, frankly, I realize now that the stress and instability of that relationship had a lot more to do with why things felt out of control to me -- whoops, guess I had to get that off my chest).

However, I can definitely pinpoint gluten as the cause for a lot of the seemingly-unrelenting feelings of depression -- all of which is gone now despite the fact that I've been going through a rough time. The last time I got glutened, things looked pretty low, but it helped me a whole lot to know that was the cause and it did lift after a couple of weeks. Depending on how long you've been gluten-free, you may eventually find that your reasons for wanting to seek out a psychiatrist will diminish -- which doesn't mean it isn't a good idea to seek out treatment of some sort in the meantime.

eleep

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There are many different levels of mental health services. My son has Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism) and mild motor ticks. As a result, my family has been in contact with many different mental health care professions in the last 13 years. Finding the right mental health professional may require several tries. My personal opinion is that psychiatrists are great for determining medication needs and other mental health care professionals (psychologists, social workers and therapists) were the best providers for therapy and counseling.

The right mental health professional(s) could make a positive difference in coping with celiac. I know in dealing with my son they were a godsend.

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I was completely surprised last week when I realized that gluten could make me feel so depressed.

I haven't felt that way in years ... It simply came on out of the blue ... and is now gone again just as quickly as it came on ... I was a completely different person.

My symptoms from being glutenned have changed from seizures, ataxia, "C", "D", cramping, etc to feeling depressed. :blink:

I wouldn't recommend going to a psychiatrist / counselor for depression brought on by gluten.

Give yourself some time and see if the feeling lifts on it's own.

Meanwhile, be sure to treat yourself to something you enjoy. Chocolate is always good for depression too. Hot baths, a funny movie, lunch with the girls, etc.

Marcia

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My personal opinion is that psychiatrists are great for determining medication needs and other mental health care professionals (psychologists, social workers and therapists) were the best providers for therapy and counseling.

Exactly what I was going to say.

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Guest cassidy

I agree with everyone else. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who prescribe drugs. Since you know your problem is from gluten and antidepressants take a while to work it wouldn't make sense to take them for the few days you are glutened and feeling bad.

Psychologists are more therapists that help talk things out and can try to give you coping strategies to help you when you are feeling down because of the gluten. This is always a good idea, even if you just talk about how frustrating it is to feel depressed when you are glutened, because there are many emotional aspects to this disease.

Another idea would be a short acting relaxer like xanax. I get anxiety when I'm glutened and I take xanax and it just calms me down. 20 minutes after I take a pill I feel myself take a deep breath and nothing seems as bad as it did before. They really don't make me feel funny, just normal, like I feel when I'm not glutened. Something like this may relax you enough that you can better deal with things. I like it because the work immediately and I only have to take them when I'm feeling really bad so it isn't a daily thing. Your primary care doctor could prescribe this if he thinks it would help.

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as a liscensed social worker, i wouldnt recommend a psychiatrist (although i once had a great experince with one in toronto who recommended mediation and mindfulness). as others have said a social work or psychologist would be more appropriate. just make sure they are liscensed!

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When I first went gluten-free I was doing great. Then along came the holidays, major stress at work, my daughter was very ill.... and suddenly I was a WRECK. I wasn't eating anything, esp. at the holidays even though my parents take this very seriously, and I wouldn't eat much of what I made either. I wasn't sleeping at all. I decided that I couldn't live like that, so I went to my dr. He put me on an anti depressent and sent me to therapy. Because of my insurance policy I had to see either a psychologist or psychriatrist for the visits to be covered. I was referred to a lovely psychologist who was very helpful.

Since you have different health coverage then I do, first find out any limitations or restrictions you have on finding a therapist. Then I would start asking friends and family if they know of anyone, this is often the best recommendation. Please remember that this is this busiest time of year for therapists, I started calling around in mid-January and it seems that everyone makes a new year resolution to get some help and there's often a waiting list or limited availability.

Good luck!

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I'm only six months gluten-free and can't make it yet without my psych meds. Of course I started them years before knowing I was Celiac, but they do still help, especially with sleep.

A recent bit of encouraging news came from a woman I met at our local Celiac Christmas party. She had more neurological/psychiatric symptoms than GI before diagnosis. She was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic and was told that though her GI symptoms would improve rapidly, she would need to be strictly gluten-free for a good 18 months before her brain issues resolved. So though I know my psych meds aren't treating the root cause of my depression, anxiety and insomnia, they are somewhat effective bandaids that I can't currently do without. Seroquel, especially, for sleep.

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I'll echo what others have said about being cautious about seeing psychiatrists. My experience is that they take a 'drug first' attitude. Antidepressants can be helpful for some people --- those who have some sort of chemical imbalance that's causing their depression. But those of us suffering with the emotional effects of celiac disease won't be helped by antidepressants. And they can be downright dangerous for people who have normal brain chemistry.

I group the psychological problems associated with celiac into two categories:

(1) there is definitely some chemical affect that gluten has on the brain. (It makes me very testy. . . .) Nothing but being gluten-free will help that.

(2) lots of us have been sick for a long time and have to struggle with the emotional effects of a chronic disease. I saw a psychologist a few years ago (before i was diagnosed with celiac) who basically said, "Oh course you're depressed! You've been sick for years, you've lost your job, your family and your savings! You're should be sad! If you weren't, THEN you'd have a psychological problem!"

It was kinda surprising, but it made me feel a lot better!

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I was on an antidepressant pre-gluten-free. It was helpful but I feel even better now that I'm gluten-free. Within 2 days of the gluten-free diet, I felt giddy from the a/d so I got off from it. Now my depression symptoms return if I've had some gluten but I think if I stayed on the a/d, most of the time, it would be too much. My solution is to be very strict with the diet.

My daughter is also on an a/d. We've been able to cut her dose in half and are planning on getting her off from it completely because I'm convinced her problems are gluten related also. Unfortunately, she cheats and still has a number of days of negativity so it's taking longer for her to get off from it.

I have heard from our therapist that some women take an a/d at certain times of the month for help with moodiness. If that is true, I would think it could be used on a short term basis for glutenings, too. That might be something to look into, if you feel the need for some extra help now.

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If you are looking for medications, as mentioned above, either your family doc or a psychiatrist can prescribe them.

If you are looking for counseling, you might look into a Marriage and Family Therapist. I was in the Human Development graduate program and we had the MFT students in our program as well. They are really trained in a wonderful way-to look at people in the context of systems, etc. So even though they deal with marital issues, they would potentially be well suited to your needs (your health, how it affects you, your family, your relationships, etc). I highly recommend a licensed MFT practitioner.

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I too felt the same way, I also had panic attacks and anxiety. I went to see a naturopath and he put me on about 8different vitamins. I noticed the difference within a week. Even though I've been glutened now, I don't get that depressed/brain fog/anxiety feelings anymore.

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