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Vascular Depression after SAH


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Hi,

I had a grade 4 SAH in Feb of this year. Any and all complications that could have happened...did. But, I did manage to shock the doctors and survive, not only survive, but with just a few nagging side effects (vision problems and depression).

Which brings me to the reason I am posting today. I was wondering if anyone else has had new or worsening depression symptoms since their SAH? My doctor is having trouble treating my depression because he says it's 'vascular depression' and that anti depressants won't work properly on me because of the bleed and stroke that I had.

I was hoping someone here would maybe have some advice on how to deal with this depression.

Thank you,

Stephanie

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Welcome Stephanie from Ohio!

I am glad you found this site. I am coming on my 1 year mark and I am still have some problems. I cannot tell you anything about "vascular" depression. I am already medication Cymbalta for Fibro so I believe that is helping the depressin part for me. I think everyone that goes through any kind of neaer death of major health crisis suffers from deprssion. Feb. 2012 is still young in your recovery. Have you spoken with a neurologist or GP about this? I have vision loss in both eyes but I am getting more use to it as time goes by. I hope to hear back soon from you.

Maryb

PS Just read up on your vascular depression. I am wondering if they even tried any medications to help? I know what I read said they won't help but just in case?

I know more about the brain than I ever thought possible. Smedays I swear I cannot remember any of it!!!!!

Edited by MaryB
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Mary,

Thank you for replying. Yes, my GP has put me on Buspar for anxiety (I was on that pre-SAH) and zoloft 200mg (the highest dose). It 'takes the edge off' the depression I suppose, but I still find myself zoning out on the couch or sleeping for 12 hours at a time. I want so badly to go out and thoroughly enjoy the life that I've been given a third chance (I had a massive heart attack in Dec. 2010) to live to it's fullest...but I just don't seem to have to get up and go to ...well, get up and go.

I'd talk to my neurologist, but when I went to see him 4 months post SAH, he discharged me from his services saying he didn't need to see me again because he'd done all he can do for me. He won't see me again unless I need further surgery to replace the shunt he put in. (he's a jerk lol)

I know what you mean about the memory thing. I read up on things constantly, and 10 minutes later, can't remember a thing. I am forever having to write myself notes to remember to do the simplest of things that most people don't think twice about (ie. take a shower)

I too have vision problems. The eye specialist calls it 'tersons syndrome' where I have blood pooled in the vitreous of my eye (a sac in the back of the eye that should be filled with clear fluid). For months I was completely blind in my left eye and only half vision in my right. The eye specialist did surgery to remove the blood from the left, he got most of it. They are waiting to see if the blood in the right eye dissolves on it's own, but they aren't very hopeful since they've only seen this syndrome in autopsy. I had to be difficult and survive lol.

Stephanie

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The overwhelming fatigue is very common as are headaches. I think that is what most of us have the biggest issue with. Maybe memory as a 2nd or 3rd place? We all say drink plenty of water and rest when needed. Do not over do it. DO you have a job? You are a lucky woman! Take it slow this will take time to recover. I was really counting on 3 months, and then it was 6 months now it is a year and I am like “Hey, You liars!” Although I do seem to get better all the time – it is like one step forward 2 back, 3 forward, 2 back. Like a baby when you learn something new you often regress somewhere else. I miss my stamina.

Although my Neurosurgeon released me after 6 months (found I had a pesky brain tumor as well). I see him yearly for MRI scans now. I am seeing my second Neurologist about the fatigue, memory loss, and headaches. I see him again Tuesday. He had me do a psychological evaluation, which turned out pretty well. Processing is slower than normal but if I took test late in day I am sure I would have completely different results.

Good luck! I am off to bed as I have to work a full day tomorrow. Maryb

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Hi Steph

Welcome to BTG.

I had severe depression after my SAH and was referred for counselling immediately. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - very common after a SAH. I was offered counselling before anti-deps and it did wonders for me. It helped me come to terms with what happened and realise that it wasn't my fault. If you can try counselling, I would recommend it any day of the week. I can't understand why anti-deps wouldn't work tho, a few on here have been offered them, I think.

Take care and I found another great therapy was being on here and realising that all I was feeling was perfectly normal after what I'd been through.

Take care

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Mary,

No, I don't have an out of home job. I'm a stay at home mom. I've been on disability for 19 years for bipolar disorder. I never thought I'd MISS rapid cycling on my moods, but I do now. The only thing I see a doctor for at all for the SAH anymore is my neuro interventionalist. He insists on seeing me once a year to do a repeat angio to make sure the coils are holding in my brain. I can't get an MRI done unless my neuro surgeon is present because of the shunt. He would have to reset it.

Skippy,

Hi, and thank you for the welcome. Yes, I've been seeing a therapist for over 4 years. I had to change therapists shortly after my SAH though because of insurance reasons, so the new guy doesn't know alot about me yet. He seems to want to talk about my 'mom issues' lol and tells me that he can't believe I have bipolar because all he sees is depression. Well, what does he expect? My freaking head exploded! lol he'd be depressed too!

I am very appreciative of coming here and being able to hear that I'm not losing my mind entirely. My friends and family don't really understand what's happened to me or the changes in my personality.

Stephanie

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  • 3 weeks later...

Welcome to the site Stephanie !!!!!

I have been suffering depression since my SAH which was over 2 years ago!!!! I find it really hard to get going :(

I have been trying many different anti d since my bleed but none seem to be working. Before my bleed I was a healthy and happy person.

You are most definitely not losing your mind many of us feel this way!!! Just be strong and rest loads if u ever want to talk just PM me

Take care Donna

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