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Depression setting in 8 months post NASAH, help..


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My partner has just discovered your site after googling the same title above..and I just need to speak to other people in same position as I feel my life that I once had is disappearing.

 

I suffered an SAH last May ( 8 months or so ago) and spent nearly 5 weeks in hospital, 2 of those on ICU, I know I was so lucky to have arrived  home with not too many "defects", some short term memory problems, balance not as it was, cognitive problems etc and over these last 8 months we have exercised daily to correct balance, have walked, firstly with the help of those ramblers sticks but now unaided,

 

Have downloaded lots of brain training apps and could see that I was beginning to start feeling like my old self of 63 years.,

 

But in the last 3/4 weeks I have been suffering from deep, dark thoughts about worrying if I may die, as I wake up feeling so low and ill, even though I realise that I'm not in physical pain, I'm unable to come to any decisions about anything in our lives, we were planning to make changes  in the next couple of years but I just don't have any interest in anything.

 

I feel useless and I know we are so lucky to be in a financial position not to worry about working again, but all my thoughts seem to spiralling down.

 

I eventually went to the doctors 10 days ago and she said I was suffering reactive depression, similar to ptsd, and I am now on a low med, I noticed a slight change and felt quite uplifted two days ago but have dropped back.

 

Having read so many of your posts I realise that this is unique for me but normal for us all, just wanted to tell my story and know that someone out there can say that there is light at the end of the tunnel ??

 

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Tim,

 

I am sending a prayer for you.  I am sorry to hear of the depression.  I only suffered a NASAH, but I do seem to have low periods occasionally, though not constant.  I don't have a fear of death so much as just a black cloud that attacks me from time to time.  So I can't offer much advice.  I am glad you talked to your doctor as you should.  We all have things we have to overcome and I wish you strength, resolve, patience and ultimately triumph over the sad feelings.

 

Chris

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Hi Tim

 

As the others say low mood is often a symptom of SAH. The medication you are given often takes a while to build up in your system so give it time. If things don't improve soon go back and see the doctor again, sounds like he is understanding anyway so that's good.  

 

There is light at the end of the tunnel you just have to find the right torch to get there. ? Try some exercise or doing something different to your normal routine. Change often helps. 

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on. 

 

Clare xx

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Hi Tim :)

 

A very warm welcome to BTG. So glad your partner found us.

I think that many of us are so grateful to be alive and concentrating on getting better in the first few months/years. Then it all hits you, how your life may have changed and what you and your family have all been through. 

 

Going to see your Dr was a very good thing and I agree with the others, let your Dr know how you are doing. Also maybe ask about some counselling, i found it very helpful to be able to talk to someone away from family and friends. I did have to wait over 6 months, but it did help.

 

Keep coming back here, you will find lots of helpful information and friendly caring support for both you and your partner . Feel free to join in the daily banter in the Green Room and the Brain games.

 

Take care

Tina xx

 

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Hello Tim, and also a warm welcome to BTG.

 

So glad your partner found the site. Reading the various Forums and personal experiences of our members post SAH will give you much encouragement.

 

You are definitely not `useless`. You have survived a potentially life threatening trauma and your brain is now trying to adjust and deal with the trauma of eight months ago. Well done for your efforts to regain your physical abilities.

 

Everyone who has experiences SAH is unique in how they are affected and how their immediate family unit adjusts to the dramatic change to their circumstances. All involved know of being faced with so many mixed  emotions as they think of the past and feel so uncertain about the future. I am sure your partner can well relate to this.

 

So eight months on, concentrate on how much you have achieved. As others have said, feelings of depression are not unusual. Do keep frequently in touch with your doctor to help you through this difficult time. This site will give you great encouragement ...there are many who have shared about how they have grappled with the issues you are experiencing now.

 

Take care, and I do hope you can get back to `enjoying`  the retirement that you no doubt have worked so hard towards throughout your life.

 

 

 

 

Subs

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Hi Tim,

 

From what I know about anti-depressants, it takes around 6 weeks to start working effectively, so if after that time you feel no benefit, go back to your Doctor to see if he can increase the dosage a little.  When I first came on here I was feeling very down, worrying about having a re-bleed, worrying about all sorts and Macca soon sorted me out. Since then I have stopped focusing on the negative so his post really helped me. I think you will find this site a great comfort as we have all been through similar experiences, and just talking to others who understand will help a great deal I'm sure.

 

Give the new medication a little longer to get in your system and I'm sure your dark moments will become much lighter. Good luck and keep us all posted on your journey.

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Hello to all that have replied to my post, and especially for letting me know that it's only early stages for my medication to kick in, just very hard to have a good outlook at the moment, yet can't put my finger on why I should be feeling this way, have never been an "up or down mood" type of person.

i will try and  stay focused and work my way around this site as it's just comforting to know that we're not alone and sinking at home, could anyone tell me how I get into the chat room as not sure, thank you

 

 

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Hi Tim,

 

Welcome to BTG!

 

I can relate to you for many reasons.  First I am male and now 61 years old, so not too different! I was coiled, having spent a week in a coma and more time in ICU.  I too, was lucky to come out relatively unscathed in comparison to some, but that doesn't mean I got away scot free. 

 

I still have short term memory issues and have to have daily injections of growth hormone because of damage done to my pituitary gland as they saved my life.  But I look at that as acceptable collateral damage, in return for the gift they gave me - a new chance at life!

 

I am now 6.5 years down the road you have now embarked upon, so I hope you will take on board some of what I have to say.  As you say, you are unique, as we all are, but many of the traits you feel are ones we have probably all felt to one degree or another. They are different, however, in effect because of your own perceptions, set of circumstances and that you have to live with them daily because of what happened to you.

 

Let's get this into perspective.  You are only eight months down the line.  This is still relatively early in your recovery and experience tells us that this is the brain you're dealing with and it needs more time than anything else in your body to recover.

 

I read your post with interest because it was like looking in a mirror 6 years ago and seeing myself.  Slow progress, depression, apathy, hesitant and the rest.  You have identified, yourself, several positives though.  You started to walk with sticks, and then threw them away to walk unaided. 

 

In another time, and without wanting to seem facetious or disrespectful, that might have been called a miracle.  And in its way, it still is and if you are a person of faith, it will help to enhance it.  If you are not then it is still a wondrous ability that you might have lost, but didn't.  That's got to be a positive hasn't it?  It's definitely progress.

 

Who knows, in another month or two, you might be jogging.  Keep a diary to chart your progress.  The recovery isn't happening as fast as you would like, that's all, but its coming!  When you can't do something, ask yourself "How else can I get the same result or get to the same place as I did before?"  You will be surprised with what you can come up with when you try.

 

You say, too, that you are financially ok not to have to work again.  Fabulous.  That's called freedom.

 

A position that sets you free to do as you please, to pursue hobbies, to work at what you want to, for as many or as few hours as you want or feel the need to. To continue full time your aspiration to get better and as near 'back to normal' for you.  A word of caution though. 

 

If you get back to 'normal' that's great, but for me, it is the wrong mind-set. It is setting yourself up to fail in most cases. It is an unachievable aspiration because it is unrealistic after a trauma involving the body's most complex organ.  What you must do instead is change and adapt, as you do on many occasions throughout life.

 

A better way in my view, is to look at it this way.  Change has been thrust upon you in an abrupt manner.  Change normally happens over time, gradually, and you deal with it and adjust in a more leisurely and agreeable fashion, ie as we age we slow down, as our eyesight starts failing we get glasses, as our hearing goes we get a hearing aid and so forth. 

 

In this case, a SAH has thrown you a curved ball, and it means you have to make changes immediately and meet the challenges suddenly and head on.

 

If you can do this you will emerge stronger, more experienced and more comfortable with the second chance life has thrown your way.  Look at Jan's thread called 'Adapt'.  She puts it plainly in simple language what it means to have a SAH and to progress in life afterwards.  It's a beautiful thread that makes complete and utter sense to me.

 

You say you worry about dying.  Well, we all will one day, it's just we want it to be way off down the line.  All the SAH has done is make you ask the question of yourself when you weren't ready to ask it, and your body has answered for you and said "Hey, I'm not ready to go yet, so back off!"  So there is every reason to be positive about this. 

 

You still have a lot to offer life and family so get out there and enjoy it.  We, on this site, have all had a SAH (carers excepted) and we're all still here, so forget that question Tim, and embrace every extra day, week, month, year that comes your way. 

 

You have been unshackled from all of life's burdens now and adapting to that change is yours for the taking.  You've been given a blank sheet of paper, here's the pencil, now go and map out your new life and don't look back too often, except to learn from the past, and forge a new exciting venture that is the rest of your life.  You've got your second chance - grab it with both hands!!!

 

Good luck, and any time you want to come back on here and open up to us. We will respond as best we can.  There are a lot of good people on here and we all want the same thing - quality of life, the best we can get!

 

Macca.

 

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Hi Tim. 

 

Welcome to the forum and glad to hear that physically you are starting to feel a more familiar form of yourself.

 

The feeling you describe I completely understand , i think I posted a similar question as whilst I didn't feel depressed as such I just felt 'adrift' 'lost' and 'detached' . I don't know if those words resonate with you but I sought help here and from my doctor who diagnosed PTSD and like you I was offered anti depressants. I chose however not to take them and try some counselling first.

 

Everyone is different but for me my reasoning in that decision is that I was already taking quite a lot of different medication at that time and didn't want to add to that without trying first to solve my mood first . The talking and cognitive behavioural therapy was useful plus I also looked at what I was eating and made sure I got out for a walk everyday regardless of mood.

 

I also kept a diary which helped me note positives in the day and small successes.

 

The Thing Tim is things have changed for you, you have had a sudden traumatic event so be kind to yourself and give yourself time to adjust.

 

Take care

Daff 

 

PS I should also add that with the counselling and food changes I found this dark time passed and my mood improved within the first two years, I rarely have low mood now, no more I expect than anyone else. 

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Welcome Tim and thank you for being able to share how you feel, some excellent posts which I hope  will show you the support that is in this group.  I too suffered awful low mood, anger and a numbness around all the things that I had previously enjoyed.  It felt like life was flat and grey.  

 

I too had some counselling it did help and whilst I still have low mood  at times I think that is now more related to life's general up's and down's.

 

I agree your medication may take time to have effect, like Macca says you will emerge stronger and whilst things may have taken a different course you will find your enthusiasm returning slowly but surely.

 

Regards

 

Sharon

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Hi all

and thank you for all your good wishes and links to other posts, just knowing your not on your own makes a difference

 

Visited doctors again yesterday, last few days have been my worst, couldn't see my way out of anything, even had thoughts that life was never going to get better and "what was the point", I know this sounds sympathetic and self obsessed but this is not me and I'm therefore finding it hard to navigate around these thoughts and feelings...

 

Anyway, my very understanding doctor suggested to increase the medication dose by a small amount and to revisit in three weeks, if they were helping then not only to continue with the meds,  but she also gave us a number to call a dedicated NHS counsellor who would  be able to offer advice

 

I'm aware that these tablets, prescribed for PTSD, OCD and similar, may take a while to kick in but I've already been on them for a month, so taking the higher dose yesterday, along with the encouraging talk with the doctor and doing some gentle exercise.

 

I actually awoke a little empty headed this morning but without that huge black cloud....perhaps this is the start of me turning it around, albeit slowly, will keep you updated 

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Hang on in there Tim,

 

It does get better, but you need time and patience.  Please don't expect too much too soon.  You are dealing with the very core of your being - the brain - and it is very complex and therefore it takes longer to get over things than other parts of your body.

 

Keep talking to people - don't sit there on your own letting your imagination run away with itself.  Talk to your doctor, friends. relatives, and yes - us!  Don't try and over- think things, just settle down to getting through each little step and each day at a time. 

 

Little steps become bigger, a walk becomes a trot, and a trot a run.  Just don't expect to do it too soon.  Give yourself and your body time and don't beat yourself up about it.  Every little goal you reach is progress and is further cause for optimism. Keep in touch, we're here when you want us,

 

Macca

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Hi Tim

 

Glad you went back to the doctor and talked about how you were feeling, talking really helps and makes you realise you are not alone. Persevere witht the increased meds, may make you feel a little empty headed to begin with but hopefully with time you will settle down with them and they wil have  the desired effect on your mood.

 

Life post SAH can be very challenging and you are not alone in feeling that you don't want the fight. But bear with it, things do get better but as Macca says don't expect it too soon. I still have down days, today is one, but I know there is always someone I can talk to on BTG so keep coming back and sharing your feelings.

 

We've all been there and worn the T shirt so we recognise how you feel.

 

Clare xx

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Tim, Macca and Clare are right, hang in there and just take baby steps each day. The unseen trauma in our heads does create havoc, There is no other word for it.

 

I think a bleed like ours creates a disruption of our ability to process the chemical reactions created by everyday emotions and events , that natural process gets broken or at least disrupted temporarily when blood spills in the surface. That's my personal theory anyway. 

 

Maybe take a look at your eating habits, don't let yourself get hungry as the brain is using lots of energy, I also find at this time of year I have to take a vitamin d supplement , obviously please don't do anything without seeking medical advice for what's best for you but my vitamins and mineral levels were dreadful for the first year post so my doctor advised a good vitamin intake and I also made sure I ate lots of things with zinc, potassium etc in, all good brain foods which helps mood also. 

 

Go steady. 

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Hi all

and thank you for all your good wishes and links to other posts, just knowing your not on your own makes a difference

 

Visited doctors again yesterday, last few days have been my worst, couldn't see my way out of anything, even had thoughts that life was never going to get better and "what was the point", I know this sounds sympathetic and self obsessed but this is not me and I'm therefore finding it hard to navigate around these thoughts and feelings...

 

Anyway, my very understanding doctor suggested to increase the medication dose by a small amount and to revisit in three weeks, if they were helping then not only to continue with the meds,  but she also gave us a number to call a dedicated NHS counsellor who would  be able to offer advice

 

I'm aware that these tablets, prescribed for PTSD, OCD and similar, may take a while to kick in but I've already been on them for a month, so taking the higher dose yesterday, along with the encouraging talk with the doctor and doing some gentle exercise I actually awoke a little empty headed this morning but without that huge black cloud....perhaps this is the start of me turning it around, albeit slowly, will keep you updated 

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Well I'm so pleased to inform you all that these last three or so days are probably the best I've felt in a very long time, I know I have to thank the medication but I'd also like to think that your comments have helped spur me on to recognise that my baby steps become a walk, become a slow jog and in time, and I realise I can't rush time, that I may be running...

I will keep reading other people's posts as you never know, I may be in a position to pass on any optimistic thoughts which may help others ?

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Tim I had my SAH in 2009 and today I walked into Sainsbury's  Supermarket !!

 

Before I come onto this site I had feelings of dread and this "Well that's it for me"  But we will get there and we are survivors.  

 

We cannot rush getting well we have to listen to our bodies and brain telling us to take it easy.

 

Wishing you all the best and remember a happy song or a smile can help. For when you smile doom and gloom cannot get in.

 

Good luck Tim and keep smiling when possible xx

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Hi Tim and welcome to the group,

 

Ditto to all that has been said. I suffered emotional swings in the early years, bouncing between a fear of dying to anger that I hadn't.  I had problems with memory and attention span, as though I had suddenly developed ADHD.  Finally, five years in, I decided to see a neurologist and get help.  He explained that some of the issues were a direct result of parts of my brain dying and each part has specific jobs to do. Miraculously, other parts can take up the tasks but don't do them as well as the original. I ended up taking a low dose of antidepressant and it has made a difference.

 

I also echo what Daff said about vitamins.  About six months after my SAH I had routine blood work that showed I was quite anemic.  In my case I was seriously deficient in B12 and D. I definitely can tell when I get lazy about taking my vitamins. You may want to consult you doc about that. Beyond that, eat healthy, rest a lot ( I'm very bad about getting enough sleep) and do what makes you happy!

 

Best wishes, Colleen

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