Depression Community
10.5k Members
3199802 tn?1362254159

Managing depression without meds

I have had depression most of my adult life. I am 50 years old and have taken so many antidepressants throughout my life without any real happiness. It seems the meds work for awhile and then they wear off. I recently stopped using Vicodin after a 7 year affair. I have been in the substance abuse community for support related to detox. I presently take Wellbutrin XL 300 mg daily for depression and Savella 50 mg twice a day for fibromyalgia. I just am having a really hard time- constant crying, horrible anxiety and can't sleep. Obviously my detox from Vicodin is playing a part here but the depression has been forever. I guess what I am wondering has anyone used any OTC meds for mood? Also, is therapy helpful?  I have been only a few times and didn't seem to benefit. I don't know what to do; I don't want to keep going through life like this. Any suggestions?
19 Responses
480448 tn?1426952138
Hello and welcome!

How long have you been  off the Vicodin?  The emotional fall-out post opiate w/d can be pretty significant, and can last a good while.  There are a few things you can do to help things along.  One, exercise.  Even if it is just some brisk walking every day...that will get those endorphins flowing, that will really help.  Make sure, if your sleep has started to return, that you're getting adequate sleep every night.  Therapy?  YES!  Give it a shot!  It can be VERY helpful...you have a lot of emotions to work through, I'm sure!

Most likely, when the opiate part of this feeling is done, the Wellbutrin will start to work a bit better.  You have to remember....those "happy" chemicals were strictly from opiates for 7 years.  That kind of thing takes time.

Certainly, you can talk with your doc, see if he has any siggestions, tyo possibly recommend an adjunct med, just while you're in the earlier stages of recovery.

Very best of luck to you, and congrats on your committment to get clean and stay clean, hope you enjoy a flawless recovery!  Take care!
3199802 tn?1362254159
Yeah that exercise thing is something I need to really do but I just haven't found the energy. I have good intentions but when I come home from work I can barely function. It has only been 22 days off Vicodin and sleep is 3-4 hours max. My mind just wanders and won't stop; it drives me crazy. I guess I need to give therapy another try. It's difficult to find the right therapist to establish a rapport.  Yeah there are a lot of issues but nothing horrible. It's just frustrating to be so darned depressed for no reason. Thanks for responding!!
480448 tn?1426952138
You nailed it hon!  Give that therapy another try, and as hard as it is....try to do some exercise.  I know that's hard when you still have no energy, but your sleep is actually pretty good for this stage!  You're still in the early stages, you have to give this some time.  I know that is hard to do when you feel so lousy.  Your brain chemicals are still trying to readjust!

Hang in there, you'll get there!  Congrats on your 22 days!  :0)
1110049 tn?1409405744
Hi, How are you doing?  Are you managing OK?  My depression has popped up whenever if felt like it for no reason.  Some of us have this type of depression.  Others are depressed because things that have happened to them.  

Do you think you will be able to cope without medication?  I've tried quite a few times in the 20+ years I have had depression, but the darn thing always comes back.  I'm still fighting, but cannot cope without anti-depressants.

Keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on please.
Avatar universal
I think therapy is critical!  Medicine alone is at best, a band aide.  Medicine does not address the root cause of the depression, but will alleviate the anxiety from the depression for a while.  Getting to the cause of the depression and addressing that is of the most importance.

Think about it this way.  You've got a splinter in the palm of your hand and it is painful.  It continues to cause you pain, but you keep putting hydrogen peroxide on it and covering it with a band aide.  As time goes by, it continues to hurt.... one day, you grab a needle and remove the splinter.  The next day, the pain is lesser.... the following day, lesser again.  

You have to get to what is causing the pain....

Try therapy.  It's worth it.
1110049 tn?1409405744
You infer that everyone has a cause for depression and therapy will address that.  But, myself has no reason for depression.  It just is.  Therapy in UKdoes not exist as such.  I have lots of counselling, which is probably the equavalent.  Got nowhere, and had some stupid ideas put to me.

Probably if people here need what you call "therapy" that would have to pay an amazing amount for it.

People like me have what is called endogenous depression - ie there is no obvious reason for it.  Then there is reactive depression which occurs because of something that has happened in a persons life like death, a relationship breakup, loss of job, accident etc.  So really people like me with the endogenous type of depression have no root cause to address.  

Therapy does not work for everyone.
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.