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So this week I went to my docs for a regular check in and discussed with him the fact that I am so exhausted the whole time and shared my frustration that it is stopping me getting on and doing things I would like to do, especially physical things.

He then surprised me by suggesting i start on a low dosage anti depressant to try and help me lift my energy

I am just not sure that I want to take them, so havent. I know you cant advise me on that and I have nothing against taking them either, plenty of friends and family do and beleive me when I say if I thought it would help then I would.

Thing is I am on the waiting list to see a CBT counsellor as they suspect I have PTSD after my episodes end of last year but I have made a lot of progress again over the last few months in managing my fears and emotions and I try and have quiet moments every day which really helps. Health wise I am doing well and physically managing to do more. Not to the levels I did pre SAH but I am really not trying to measure against that and I do feel happy most days. I look after my daughters with little assistance, I am back driving and working 12 hours a week and generally take pleasure in what I can do.

Thing is I feel that the exhaustion is just a part of the brain injury and my husband and I both feel that my mood is actually better and more positive than I was before my SAH , (and tbh I was pretty upbeat before then.) I know that I do have fears somedays which is why I am keen to do the counselling so I guess what I am saying is that I really don't feel depressed. I have appetite to do new things, I am happy to go out and do things when I have the energy to but even with pacing myself I wake up in the morning and feel exhausted and part of me suspects that is donw to the shunt which after all creates an unnatural environment in my brain.

what would you do? I think I am going to go back for my follow up next week and tell him that I want to try the counselling first before stepping into any tablets or do you think I am in a bit of denial..? points of view welcome

I

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Hi Daff,

This is just my opinion, if you are depressed, give it a try. But, if you are taking the medication for another reason such as, to increase your energy, hold off and try the counseling first.

Just my 2 cents.

iola

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I find those drugs are not just for depression they also help pain and other issues. AND I agree with Iola. But I think one of the first doctors we should be set up is a neuropsychologist even if I had to pay it out of my pocket it would of been money best spent.

I cannot express that enough. I wish they did an evaluation on all us ASAP, it only makes sense to have someone that understands us mentally & what our personality type is to help us in recovery.

I also think we would stop thinking neurologist were suppose to be doing the therapist job! Boy once I got that neurologist aren't there to hold our hands and care about our daily coping life got much easier for me!

The therapist is a God send as far as I am concerned and I did not think I was depressed but she DX me with it due to "medical condition".

Good luck, mary

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Daff, you have to do, what's good for you ... I think that probably all of us have experienced PTSD, which is post traumatic stress disorder and very few of us have had it diagnosed and have had the help with counselling and have struggled to deal with our lives being turned around ... it's a post code lottery as to the help that you get and also down to your GP and their knowledge, which in most cases doesn't seem to be good.

I recognise now, that I had it and didn't get any help and just didn't know about it ... I just thought that I was weird and not coping ... hence this site and I can often see many members that join us, who are suffering the same.

I think that Anxiety, is the major key and perhaps not always depression, well not in my case and I can only speak for myself... but the anxiety is a huge key player in my life since the SAH's.

Again, it's only my opinion and you have to be honest with yourself .... but if your "mood" is good and I'm not a Doc and can't advise you, as you know, but would say that it sounds as though your anxiety level is higher .... did you do the test re: Anxiety v Depression at your Doc's?

For some people on here, anti-depressants have improved their lives as it's helped them to remain on an even keel ... for me, I tried them and experienced side effects, so it wasn't the answer for me personally and I found that it increased my "sleepiness" and didn't increase my energy in any way at all and found it to be the complete reverse in my case and I stopped taking them.

I'm not sure if any of the medics have ever tackled the subject of fatigue, low energy and lack of motivation when you have fatigue to deal with .... which is a complete vicious circle. I don't have any experience on shunts, as I don't have one, but don't think that you're experiencing anything more with having the shunt, then some of us and I can certainly empathise with you and what you're going through.

I'm on a low dose Beta Blocker to help with anxiety and it also helps to keep my migraines at bay ... it's not the cure all, but it has helped.

I also make sure that my diet/food includes the B vitamins especially (worth doing the research) and that I have plenty of Iron in my diet to help reduce fatigue and anxiety ... I also take a daily supplement B12 in the form of Feroglobin B12, which comes in liquid form and includes Vitamin B Complex, Zinc, Iron and folate, it's made by Vitabiotics and I find that it helps me with the fatigue. It can be purchased from a Supermarket, but you need to check with your GP that you can take/tolerate Iron etc.

Take care lovely and many of us will know how you're feeling. xxx

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Daff I can only tell you about my own experience. I too felt exhausted all the time, when I wasn't tired I was angry but also totally deactivated. I had been offered anti depressants on number of occasions but always felt I wasn't really depressed. I was doing more things but still feeling tired and that got me down. I had cbt which only helped a little as I was overly anxious about things happening again.

I finally agreed to try a low dose anti depressant about 18 months ago and was surprised how much better I felt. I felt calmer and happier (or a lot less low) I really wished I'd tried them before. I am still constantly tired(sleep apnea doesn't help) but I'm more able to cope with it and prone to less anger or frustration.

I am now thinking of trying to come off them but have no idea how I will feel and that does worry me. It will be a gradual process over a couple of months. It's an option to consider if nothing else is working for you and it doesn't have to be a long term thing. A temporary boost may be just what you need xx

Edited by Karen
correction of text
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Hi Daffs,

I cannot say as I am not in your position. But (and with me there is always a But) when I was younger I went to my Doc and said " I feel on a downer and very teary" he got his pen and wrote out a prescription for anti depressants.

Never checked me over just said " take these".

I got home read the jargon and it scared me, so I went back and told him "You wrote me out this prescription and all I wanted was a talk about me feeling down" etc. etc.

What I am trying to say is, just be sure before you start taking them, whatever happens I wish you well.

Keep Well Daffs xx

Love

Win xx xx

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Thanks everyone for the clear headed ( no pun intended) points of view you have shared with me.

Gill, that's the thing I don't want to turn away from something that might actually help but that said after reading the side effects I think I am leaning towards going with CBT first before I try anything. I am glad they have helped you, that is reassuring and I am sure when it's time to come off that it will be ok. Karen, your post really helped. I have a low dose beta blocker which I can take if I feel anxious which has definitely helped on the occasions I needed it and I think I need to investigate and managed my fearful and anxious thoughts rather than being sad or down , those two I am not.

Win, I can just imagine you telling the doctor that and to be honest I feel a little like that is what happened, I welled up whilst I was there, but only for a moment and I wonder if he just thought, 'hey she's emotionally been through the wringer so let's help her out' when in fact I am quite happy that I am more emotional these days, it helps get rid of any nasty head feeling rather than bottle it up. Maybe I should tell him that is what I have learnt about my head injury.

So I will go back on Thursday and have a longer chat I think about why this May or may not be the right route for me.

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Daffs,

You do what's right for you my old pal xx ignore the old !! lol

I was in my change when he wanted me on anti's and I knew in myself I never needed them.

I was missing my Mum to talk to etc. etc. and things pile up on you so what do we do, we cry it's a release

mechanism well for me it was. (always been watery headed, so true!!).

Keep smiling Daffs and do what's right for you.

Good Luck Daffs now lets see a smile break through.

Yeah you managed a smile xx

Love

Win xx

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OK, so similar to me.

They started me an an antidepressant in rehab. They had to switch it because it was making me so overly worried. It did nothing for me. I cried about 6Xday for up to an hour each, but in between, my mood was better than it ever was before SAH usually. I stopped the drugs. I started getting anxious. I realized that my level of anxiety was not typical for me. However, my overall mood was still good. I went to a neuropsychologist and had PTSD. My goal was to never see him again and it worked after several months.

I realize that my brain is on high alert all the time. Sometimes, when my husband is driving I see a red tail light and think he's going to hit the car in front. Other times, I have no feeling like that at all. It comes and goes, but I can recognize it now and don't worry about it now. The smallest things scare me or they don't...it all depends on the state of my brain at that time. Noises, lights, working, obligations, decisions they all add up and sometimes I don't notice anything and at other times for some odd reason they are overload. It is hard to tell which type of day it will be...even which type of moment it will be.

Today, for instance, I had a very quiet morning doing laundry, playing cards, and listening to talk radio. As soon as it was lunch time and my husband came home, I couldn't even decide what to eat and ended up curling up in a ball on the kitchen floor because there was no more coffee in the pot! Was this part of the SAH or part of the PTSD? At this point, I don't care. I just try and recognize when things like this are hitting so I can just take a rest...which came out of nowhere since I hadn't really been doing much before this. I just wish I could actually sleep.

~Kris

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Kris,

I find that when all is quiet, then I am okay.

In comes hubby all happy and I well up, think it's a noise thing with me ! I hope.

I feel so bad about how I react to them ruining my peace lol.

I keep saying to myself "stop being selfish Win" but I do need more peace since the SAH.

Well my doc has at last listened to me and I am to go to hospital about swelling and check all is okay.

Scan but what one?

Be well all.

WinB143

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Daff,

I was on antis for a while recently, they didn't do a thing for me. I think sometimes real situations make my imagination run away with me when there's no-one around to provide me with balance.

Like Kris, things can make you worry until you learn to recognise what's wrong and then find a coping mechanism. That's brilliant if you can learn to do that. Hats off to you Kris!!

When that happens to me, I find that being in someone else's company quickly dispels your worries because you now have something else to focus on and talk it through with, or talk about something completely different. Then I can become irritated and want to be alone - just down to the mood I'm in I think!

Sometimes I dwell on things too much, think too deeply. I think that we all seem to do that to some extent, because we all had that close call. Subconsciously I think we're all looking for, or are at least trying to explain, the meaning of life itself.

Here's to still looking for many more years yet!!

Best wishes

Macca

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Thanks Macca, Kris and Win. Interesting that our brain creates this ' High alert' state. That's exactly what I feel like and I do wonder if that contributes to the exhaustion sometimes...

So I went back to the doc and handed him back the tablets and said ' no thank you for the moment' I explained that I actually didn't mind the tears and really I think I had just vented with him. He was very understanding and said one of the things he thought it could help with was the ' high alert' state which would then allow me to push on with things. He said he wants to make sure that I see my future not in terms of 'can't ' but just ' not yet' for some things ....I liked that , he wants to make sure that I don't shrink my world further than it has.

I do think that it's so hard to explain that even if you do 'push on' you can end up feeling worse as you just don't have the energy to push to the same level without repercussions.

Anyway we agreed that I am going to work on my physical side and fitness and hopefully the CBT will come through soon. I haven't discounted taking tablets for any reason that we all agreed that I don't have low mood and as I have other tablets to take if I feel anxious we are going to stick and not twist on the playing stakes ...for now anyway.

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Good luck Daff, it's all so very difficult to manage and I'm still trying different ways. It would be great to see some research carried out, as we all seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet on here and not getting the help that we need ... very frustrating. xx

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Well done Daffs,

Karen I like the saying same hymn sheet.

We all get days when we are down, now do we let it beat us ? NO ! Do we cry ? YES if it helps.

Do we laugh? WHY NOT.

We all have our own release mechanism so lets use it.

You lot put things in the correct order xx

Good to have a place to type on about worries, you are all my best mates as you understand xx

Good luck to us All xx

WinB143 xx xx

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Daff,

'I do think that it's so hard to explain that even if you do 'push on' you can end up feeling worse as you just don't have the energy to push to the same level without repercussions. '

I can so relate to your words above and the others regarding 'high alert'. I do believe that this does contribute to the exhaustion and fatigue we all feel. So very frustrating!

It is good to read that your Doctor is listening to you and being very understanding.

Take care xx

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I just wish I could tell when I'm pushing too much. Sometimes I can do it. Sometimes I can't. Which time is this? It seems it is in a box ,under some master control, in a room where I don't have the keys.

I've been tracking my energy levels for 3weeks to see if my patterns have changed. It is the only way I know how to objectively realize it. Otherwise, I can't predict it.

My results:

The amount I sleep has little to do with my next day.

Noon is either good or resting...which can also be good or not

A common pattern is 'slow, good, tired' or 'slow, good, frazzled'

I guess I should schedule important stuff at noon. Or do something I've been wanting to get done.

~Kris

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  • 2 months later...

Kris, I think I have had the 'slow, good frazzled' one recently and just coming out of frazzled...I like how you put that, I don't think I am pushing too much and even then I still get walloped on a go slow. Tears and pain last night and then the fog starts to lift as if I needed the release of emotion even though nothing was particularly bothering me....so strange....

I have had my first could of CBT but to be honest we have only really gathered the history of the event so far but I am open to how it goes so I will keep you posted. I do read a great book though recently by Canadian comedienne Ruby Wax who after living with depression all her life studied neuropsychology and then a masters in mindfulness at Oxford, Kris, her matter of fact view on things made me think of you at times but I found the advice in it useful and also validating for some of the techniques I use .

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Daffodill. This is my first post ,in nearly two years. I was diagnosed with ptsd,.prescibed beta-blockers and re uptake inhibitors. They do work,......but have alarming side effects.  Things are much more stable now. I am venturing out of the house, though the fear is still monstrous. I was in a terrible place last year. Aggression, short temper, lack of modesty filters,..........all of which led me to withdraw from normal life.

I had 18 months of counseling, and a complete drug regime, all of which, has let me venture out ,safe in the knowledge, that I will not be a harm to myself, or others. Ptsd is an horrendous condition. Vertigo, loss of balance, adrenaline rush, hallucination, and withdrawal from normality. Controlling the symptoms is a real struggle,.........but the meds help! I hope it all improves for you. Love,Bill.

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Hi Bill. Good to see you back, not so great to hear your challenges over the past 18 months but I am glad it sounds like things are on a more even keel for you.what a time you have had.

Update from me is I have been attending counselling regularly since May and we have just agreed I will take a break of three months as I am in a much calmer state. I found it very helpful to talk through and recognise the high alert feelings and be able to observe them as worry and not panic that something may be wrong with my shunt or worse still a bleed. The positive thinking combined with not doing too much daily, pacing myself , the mindfulness I practice, being kind to myself and not forgetting the beta blocker I have which I can take if I have anxiety and I find I am doing steady too.

I remain convinced that for me accepting the changes is my hardest challenge even beyond all the physical trauma and that is saying something. On the days I am more peaceful with what I have lost I find things and my mind is easier, the days when my ego reminds me of what I was and could do then I struggle more but I don't have as many unprompted fearful thoughts right now, I'm grateful for that as I hate it when those wash over me when I least expect it.

Bill and everyone else struggling with these feelings post SAH I hope it continues to improve for you and always remember how far you have come from the hospital bed in the days post SAH . That's our marker.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Daffodil

 

I too have felt some of what you describe but to a much, much lesser degree thank goodness, you have my sympathies. Thanks to this great site, I have so much insight to the legacy of SAH, and when things like anxiety and tearfullness, brain fog and irritability, catch me out I try to roll with it.

 

I was out for dinner with a pal from work, and on looking at the indian menu, realised I just couldn't read it, and concentrate on what we were talking about, so just asked her to order me something! She happily complied without turning a hair, and we had a great catch up over a fab curry.

 

It helps that her husband is still recovering from a head injury, so she has been through the journey with him, and had no problem with my weaknesses. Maybe not everyone is so understanding, but every little helps. Good luck, keep recovering x

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hi i hope you're felling well today :)

 

I was on anti-depresents before my SAH ( 0ct 30th 2013 )  i have found they made me very tried the first few months so take them in the eve before bed time.  i am now starting to take myself off them as i have bad ' brain fog ' and hopeing that once off them it will clear a bit or even go away :D

 

why i'm responding is to say it's your body and your choice weather or not to have meds.  can i sugest reading everything you can about any offered before you take them as the side affects can be bad. i havent had any thank goodness :wink: 

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  • 1 month later...

Daffodil 

 

I haven't been on here for quite some while because I have been battling with numerous additional health issues. And it's been hard coping and I have been down - and angry again. 

 

I have talked to a good friend - who happens to be a retired psychiatrist - and his considered opinion is that I am suffering clinical depression. It's not something I ever wanted to hear - but his advice is to talk to my doctor, get some drug relief - before embarking on any CBT. He says you need the ability to concentrate before you can get the benefit from CBT.

 

I'm in a quandry, like you, I think. I really don't want to take any more drugs - seem to have acquired a cocktail already.  Whatever, I have booked an appointment with a doctor who I consider will listen - but not till week after next. 

 

So - pending that, my only conclusion is we have to face the drugs...........   

 

Hope you're OK

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Hi,

I think the key to all of this is to be able to identify the problem because once you have done that plans can be made to overcome it.  The difficulty with that is that the brain is such a complicated piece of kit and it is different in all of us.  After I was 'repaired' with coiling and came out of hospital I felt completely bereft and bewildered - so many things going round my head and so little understanding of them.

 

The hospital team were fantastic, when I was there, but when they are not 'there' then the sense of loneliness and abandonment is heightened considerably even when others are around you - because they don't truly understand our condition as they haven't been through it themselves, even though they may try to, bless them.  

 

The lack of follow up therapy and/or counselling is what is lacking and in my opinion is why BTG is so valuable - it fills a whopping great hole, but sometimes I would like to speak face to face with others who know what it truly means to suffer a SAH.  I have got to know a couple of others locally who have been through it and they say similar things.

 

Many of our problems are similar but different, yet they are inextricably linked to the common experience we all share.  That is the golden thread that binds us together and that we continue to explore every day.  More scientific research would be great too.  I think there is some of that "if you can't see it it doesn't exist" type of mentality amongst the general population.

 

The more I watch the progress of robots and modern technology, wonderful though it is, I think it is still miles away from thinking in the same way as the marvel that is the human brain, although I do envy their (the robots) ability not to have headaches!

 

As for anti-depressants try them if you need to, but for me, identifying and dealing with the problems (which are sometimes deeply rooted but are accentuated by the infliction of the SAH) that cause depression are more effective, unless the problem is the brain itself.

 

I hope I am making sense - like I said, sometimes I think too deeply don't I?

 

Macca

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