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Overwhelming lethargy - Out of ideas
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Overwhelming lethargy - Out of ideas

My name is Stephanie, I’m 30 years old, I live in Canada. I have had some kind of anxiety or depression since I was very young. I had a lot of health problems when I was younger, which I think contributed to my anxiety, and the depression started when I was a teenager and runs in my family. I am looking for some advice, I feel like the state of my mental health has gotten out of control and I am at a complete loss of what to do. I am sure I have written way too much, but I really appreciate anyone who could read and offer any suggestions, I feel like I am right on the edge of this ruining my entire life.

The situation right now is that I am having days where I am unable to function. I wake up in the morning and I physically can’t make myself get out of bed – it’s like I feel sedated. I feel trapped in my own body, I am screaming at myself inside my head to just GET UP but I can’t do it. I go to bed at night thinking, “I sure hope I can get up tomorrow”. And more times than not, I do. But every once in a while, I just can’t. The other day, I woke up at my normal time, took about 40 minutes to write an email on my phone of just a few lines to tell my boss I wasn’t coming in, fell back asleep and was dead to the world until 4 in the afternoon. Other days, I am able to get up and about but I am very lethargic. On a weekend, if I manage to get groceries, it’s a productive day. I just lie on the couch, thinking about all the things I want to do, feeling guilty that I’m not doing them, and mad at myself that I can’t just make myself do it.

I have been to my GP and the psychiatrist at the local hospital, who have put me on medications, none of which are fixing the problem. I am currently taking: Effexor (150), Gabapentin (300), and my doctor has added in Wellbutrin to give me more “get up and go”. I have been on the Wellbutrin for 6 weeks, and am only finally feeling less jittery, shaky, and able to sleep through the night without waking up in a terrified panic. But I haven’t experienced any noticeable increase in energy to be productive. Now my doctor wants me to start taking amytriptiline at night to go to sleep, but I am scared to do it because I am already so tired – even if I can’t sleep.

Background:
When I was about 21, my anxiety started to get really severe. I was having panic/anxiety attacks and became essentially agoraphobic. I saw doctors and specialists, was put on medication, and managed to sort of cope. I was able to leave my home, but anything outside of my regular comfort zone caused a lot of anxiety and often panic.
This started after I met my to-be husband and continued throughout our relationship, up until we were married when I was 26. He left me just over a year after we were married and I was devastated. My anxiety skyrocketed.
I went to an anxiety and panic support group at the local hospital and through exercises and coping strategies I learned to get a handle on my anxiety. At the same time, I was seeing the psychiatrist who changed my meds a bit and I finally felt in control of my life.
The depression, or whatever this is, took the anxiety’s place. That is when the lethargy and the guilt and the weird sleeping all got worse and worse. I told my psychiatrist, but he said I “seem fine” and that if I can go to work more days than not, that’s good.

I am missing work, not able to get things done, and the helplessness of it is starting to make me feel crazy. I am terrified that I’m going to lose my job, I hate going to bed at night because I don’t know if I am going to be able to get up in the morning, and I feel miserable. I feel like I have done everything I’m supposed to do, but I just feel like things are getting worse. I really need some help.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi. Your story sounds a lot like mine. Believe me when I say I know how you feel. I've been going through the "experiments" with medications quite a while myself. I went to the doctor today and we're weaning me off Wellbutrin and going to change to Cymbalta. Wellbutrin helped me some, I've been on it a couple of years. We're changing to Cymbalta to see if it helps with back and joint pain as well as depression.
I know it's tough. Let me know how things are going. Good luck :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey there,

Thanks for your reply, it's definitely nice to know I'm not the only one in this spot. I'd be interested to know what your experience with Cymbalta is like.
I can't even be 100% sure that this lack of energy and ability to get out of bed from this overwhelming fatigue is depression, but I can't think of what else it could be. I have had tests for my thyroid and everything to see if it's something physical and it's all fine.
I just don't know what to do, I can't lose my job - I am already in a really tight financial situation.
At this point, all I want to be able to do is make myself get to work every day. Even if I feel down, or tired, or whatever - I just need to control my body and get up every day... but I can't and I don't know what to do.
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Avatar_f_tn
You said they ran some bloodwork. Did they check your iron, Vit D and Vit B's? If you are deficient in any of these it could explain your symptoms.

How long have you been on your current meds? Many meds cause insomnia. Also having a lot of stress and anxiety could cause sleep problems.

I'm wondering about your dr. Since you told him your symptoms and he said you were fine makes me question him as a dr. Doctors are suppose to listen and help you, not ignore what you are telling him. What you are going thru is real and should be addressed. I would find another dr.
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1756321_tn?1377771734
Factors which reduce serotonin levels (symptoms of low levels include depression and anxiety):

* Poor diet
* Stress and anger
* Lack of exercise
* Lack of sunlight/lack of vitamin D
* Hormone imbalances (thyroid, adrenal, estrogen, progesterone)
* Problems with digestion (eg: low stomach acid/GI inflammation)
* Under-methylation - folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 deficiency
* Iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B3, vitamin C deficiency
* A lack of omega oils
* Ecstasy, diet pills, and certain medications
* Hypoglycemia
* Insulin Resistance
* Diabetes
* Inflammation
* Infections
* Problems converting tryptophan to serotonin
* High cortisol levels (stress hormone)
* Excess caffeine
* Cigarette smoking
* Chronic opioid, alcohol, amphetamine & marijuana use
* PCB's, pesticides and plastic chemicals exposure
* Artificial sweeteners (aspartame)
* Glutathione deficiency
* Genetic serotonin receptor abnormalities
* Human growth hormone deficiency
* Impaired blood flow to brain

Factors which reduce GABA levels (symptoms of low levels includes anxiety):

Glutamine (precursor) deficiency
B1, B6, zinc, manganese & iron deficiency
Chronic stress
Chronic pain
Inadequate sleep
Progesterone deficiency
Mercury and lead exposure
Alcohol withdrawal
Excess caffeine
Excessive electromagnetic radiation
Excessive loud noise exposure
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Avatar_f_tn
I forget to mention getting your Thyroid checked.
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