Depression Community
10.5k Members
Avatar universal

anti depressants and memory loss

I have been on anti depressants for 8 years. I am 35 years old and have noticed memory issues. I forget things recent and have trouble remembering past events. I can read and enjoy a book but couldn't tell you the main characters name or sometimes not even a good description of what it was about. I have been trying to memorize bible scripture and draw a blank. i often come off as ditzy or uncaring because stuff doesn't sink in. is this from the anti depressant? Is there a way to get back some clarity ? Vitamins mind exercise anything? scant remember how to spell correctly a lot of times. I am frustrated and have no health insurance
35 Responses
1110049 tn?1409405744
Hey there, I really don't think that your memory loss is due to the anti-depressant.  BUT who knows?  

I have been on anti-depressants, lots of different ones, for 20+ years, but I can honestly say I have no loss of memory.  Well only the usual old age thing.  

I think you need to discuss  this with the doctor who prescribed your medication.  I don't think what you describe as memory loss is any different from what a lot of us have.  I used to spell OK, but now it is getting worse.  But I don't worry about it, or think it is due to my medication.  What anti-depressant are you on?
Avatar universal
   I don't want to alarm you and insult 4Maddie44-but I disagree. I would be worrying about that many memory issues at your age. I am 61 and don't have that many problems AND I'm on all kinds of drugs. I can't answer either way regarding your antidepressant, not knowing what drug it is.
   It ***** to not have health insurance! You could check to see if there is a community health center in your area. We have one here and they see people on a sliding scale depending on your income. However you are able, I would see a well-reviewed doctor (Sometimes can find reviews on the internet) or one someone recommends. You might start with a FAMILY PHYSICIAN who is experienced. Many doctors listed that way have a broader knowledge of the body and issues of the body, as compared to just a Doctor. They might refer you to a neurologist, unless some other problem is indicated. Not to alarm you, but your problems (especially many in the short-term realm) could be related to 'early onset Alzheimer's' which is often hereditary. You want to catch that as early as possible because there are medications which can slow the progress of that disease. Very serious.
     Depending on the antidepressant thing-if you are now getting too much seratonin in your brain-that can be life threatening also.
     You could have had a small stroke like what's called a TMI-that is serious.
     You could have a brain tumor.
     You could have some form of other mental or physical disorder that may be relatively minor OR not. The thing is: with that many symptoms (which are not 'normal' as you describe them) you should see a doctor as soon as you can!! Borrow the money or see about a payment plan if you have to. If you are low income and have younger children, maybe you are eligible for Medicaid. Contact your Department of Human Services or go on-line and you can look at the income limits. You usually can apply for some benefits on-line. If you have a local Health Department (the kind that usually provides the WIC program, has flu shots available, birth control and STD testing) they might be able to refer you. Also-the local library, a system known as 2-1-1 (you telephone those numbers like you would 9-1-1) the HeadStart program if there is one in your area: there should be some place that gathers information about all the local agencies that help with things like food for the needy, clothing, medical care for people without insurance should be one of them.)
     Don't panic! If it is nothing, then great! You will be relieved and so will we. If not-then you need to start addressing the problem. Please check back in and let us know what you find out! God bless!
Avatar universal
I also think that you should see a doctor about such extreme memory loss.  It could certainly be from any of the problems listed above.  And you need to get help with it as soon as possible.  I don't think that an anti-depressant, especially one that you have been taking for the past 8 years, would suddenly cause this type of memory loss.

I only had such bad memory problems the first week after having a major stroke and was diagnosed with aphasia. I am 60 years old and my friends talk about not being able to find a word that they want to say, but nothing like the memory loss that you are talking about.  

So take some of the suggestions offered above to help with it financially.  It may be something that can be treated very easily, so again, don't panic.  And wish you all the best.  
Avatar universal
I am currently on the lowest dosage of prisiq . I was on effexor  160+\- Mg 1 time a day for a few years but developed shaking/tremors. I've been on the prestiq 3 yrs. I've had MRI s done just this year. I have a small normal cyst in brain but the doc. said it Will cause absolutely no problems. I do suffer from restless leg syndrome and occasionally need to take requip  at night to help. I am on a patient prescription program were the drug company send me 3 months supply at a time for free. I don't currently qualify for state help but Do qualify for a sliding fee scale at my family doctor. my mom passed away at 56 due to cancer, but I know none of my grandparents had Alzheimer. thank you so much everyone for responding so fast. I am really surprised :) I guess it would be a good idea to make an appointment. I'm sure I Will procrastinate but Will let you know what's up
Avatar universal

     I'm glad to hear you have all your bases covered! Sorry about your mother though. That is quite young. May I ask what kind? Or not-that's cool too.
     Did you know that Pristiq is very close to being the same drug as Effexor?
  ***You might want to read some of it on-line at Livestrong.com and the article "A comparison of effexor & pristiq." The chemical name for Effexor is 'venlafaxin.' The chemical name for Pristiq is 'desvenlafaxine.'***

     This is MY take on it-ask the experts though. I'm not detailing this for you specifically. It is stuff I'm just learning for myself with this Effexor nightmare. I sure wish I would of been more cautious sooner. But when you feel like dying and a doctor tells you it's ok ("most people don't have major side effects"), I'm like "ok-whatever!" I was prescribed it by an internist initially. She said she was taking it for chronic fatique syndrome (the reason I went to her as well) and how 'wonderful' it was!
     Effexor is metabolized by the liver. Some caucasions lack an enzyme that can interfere with their metabolism of Effexor. Effexor takes longer to build up in the blood system (plasma levels) so it can take longer to help with people's depression symptoms. People may have more risk of liver problems with Effexor-especially if they use alcohol, other drugs or have hepatitis. BUT-one side effect of Effexor can be hepatitis B and even liver failure.

     Pristiq is not metabolized by the liver. People with the 'missing enzyme' might do better on Pristiq than Effexor. It goes straight to the blood stream so it may be used to treat major depression more quickly. Pristiq is less likely to have as many drug to drug interactions as Effexor does. Pristiq has more affect on the seratonin system than Effexor does. They both affect the norepinephrine system-so they are both SNRI's as opposed to SSRI's.  
     Effexor is also used to treat anxiety, general and social anxiety disorder and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. Pristiq is only approved for major depression.
     Both can be very toxic is you drink alcohol with them. Alcohol with either can increase the risk for liver disease. In the third stage of cirrhosis, toxins build up causing mental impairments such as loss of concentration and memory impairments.
     (On another post, I talked about how I accidentally overdosed on Effexor, a couple of extra .5 mg lorazapams (didn't seem like much), and a couple of small glasses of cooking wine!!! That was the only alcohol I had so I didn't think it would do that much. A close friend had suddenly and tragically died, and I wanted to numb the pain out. Also my boyfriend was out running around on me that very night and wouldn't answer his cellphone. I was stupid! Before the evening was over, I was trying to load a gun to kill myself. Luckily, I knew nothing about loading guns. I was so mentally impaired that I couldn't AND I didn't even remember this the next day. I was shocked, humiliated, and so remorseful that I had let such a thing happen. It scared the heck out of me and I was apologizing to everyone. My daughter called the police and had me put on a 72 hour hold. I went willingly (well really what choice did I have?) and was zoned out for a couple more days. I came out of there with renewed conviction not to drink alcohol ever again! And I left that boyfriend, never to return! )
     For most intent and purposes, you could say they are the same drug. I think Pristiq has a stronger warning about using alcohol with it since it goes straight into the bloodstream AND it has about DOUBLE the 'bioavailability' in the bloodstream. A NORMAL dose of Pristiq is 50mg. Most studies have shown that more isn't necessarily better either. Effexor has much higher dosing. I was on 450 mg. a day at one time. (sometimes-I swear-I don't know where these doctors get these their numbers from!)  No offense to my dr. intended. But on another discussion of Pristiq, on person said they were on 200mg. I haven't read anything suggesting that kind of dosing. But no wonder there are deaths from prescription drugs!
     Almost done (apologies!)  So they both have the same side effects. And both the info says 'NEITHER' should be prescribed for people with: bipolar, cirrhosis or liver disease, glaucoma, bleeding or blood clotting disorders, seizures, epilepsy,high cholesterol, kidney disease or high blood pressure. One site said no effexor and thyroid disease. Now that's A LOT of women-me included.
     MedicineNet.com has a slideshow on dementia that gives about 25 diseases that can cause memory loss problems. Sweet! So many other things cause this. I'm just hoping you will look into the medication thing since it may be one of the easiest. Keep in mind, they BOTH can cause similar withdrawal symptoms.
     Please keep in touch!

1110049 tn?1409405744
Oh I got more depressed reading your above comments.  Sorry.  I looked up the effexor petition, and that made me feel even worse.  Oh dear, people like me on Effexor feel we are taking poison when we read the commenbts there.

Please do not be so blunt - it hurts.  I know you are trying to help, but for very sensitive people like me, it is upsetting.  I'm not having a go, but I hope you understand what I am saying.  Oh god, so much awful information - brain tumours, kidney disease, dementia.  I'm depressed enough!!!
Avatar universal
    I apologize! Please forgive me. I had no idea you were on Effexor.
And I apologize that you felt my comments are too blunt, depressing, hurtful and detailed in my response. And to anyone else who may feel the same way, my apologies! None of these things were intended.
     In the spirit of healthy communication let me explain my response to your comment: I feel hurt as well, somewhat wounded at your bluntness. It feels to me that despite your "I know you are trying to help" you are still implying I am an insensitive, inconsiderate, dreadful person with malicious intentions and should know better.
     I'm a sensitive person in that regard. My self-esteem is poor at times. And I have heard so much criticism in my life that it cuts to my core (whether that is anyone's intent or not.) I would say to you from MY 'sensitive self:' Please realize that you don't know how I receive messages such as your. Please realize that I might be a very sensitive person as well. Please realize that it takes nothing more than a gentle nudge to help me realize what you are feeling. I guess what I'm saying is I feel 'shamed' reading your comments. Especially because you chose to post this comment (which to ME feels more like a personal 'attack' on the forum-'for the whole world to see!' rather that write me a private email so it feels less like I am being humiliated. Do you understand where I am coming from. Please tell me if not. I am not only writing this response for myself to you, but hopefully for the BENEFIT of others who may interpret things the way I do. But you aren't a mindreader either and couldn't know how I might respond.
     I don't know anyone here personally. Nor do I know how you think or how an individual will respond to my comments. That is a negative with this kind of communication-online.  We don't have the benefit of looking into the face of one another. If you were in front of me, I would be able to see and intuit your response and certainly adjust my comments based on how Maddie is feeling. Nativeco did not intend to hurt Maddie.
     Or if I knew 'Sara' was not interested in knowing about the negatives of Effexor, I would certainly avoid that conversation with her. I am not attempting to push my beliefs on anyone. My intention is to educate something that I feel passionate about FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO ARE OPEN TO HEARING IT.  I can't find the number I read earlier this morning so this number is from my faulty memory (feel free to 'gently' correct me) but something like 25 MILLION people A MONTH take part in this website. That's a HUGE 'audience.'  There is really no way we can individually tailor each and every communication to that number of people. What you find dreadful, another person may find illuminating! And so NONE of my comments are necessarily even written solely for the person who posed the question.  There are many who come, read the comments and never enter into the discussion. There are many who read 'old threads' from 6 years ago and those comments may still speak to their concerns. It's more like reading a book in that sense. And in reading a book SO much of it is using our own imagination!  It is also OPEN FORUM to those who choose to participate.  It is so diverse that all of us have a very incomplete knowledge of the 'audience' we are addressing. It's like what they always say at the start of a 12-step meeting : FEEL FREE TO TAKE WHAT YOU LIKE AND LEAVE THE REST
     We all make the choice to read or not read any person's comment. If someone doesn't like my 'style' or whatever---I'd say skip my comments and don't read them. I'm not here to win a popularity contest. This isn't JUST a support group or a chat room.
     It is supposed to also be a knowledge-based forum (as in EDUCATION)for people to get answers to there often very complicated questions. I am people too.This is MY support group as well.  
     I know in most chat rooms it's all about personalities and everyone is supposed to write brief concise statement. That is a weakness of mine. In college when we had a 10 page subject assignment, everyone else groaned "HOW in the world can I stretch this into 10 pages!"  I said "Oh my-how in the world can I condense that subject into 10 pages." That is NOT a strength of mine. It is how MY MIND works. It probably IS a barrier in communication with many, many people.  Some read "Attitude!" into it.  Not so. Call it screwed up-whatever you want to. I would be inclined to say "OH! I'm SORRY about that!" but I'm not. Because that is part of who I am, and I deserve to be loved and accepted for who I am NOT who you want me to be. And that goes both ways! That is one of MY main lessons in this life school. "I will love myself and protect the right to be myself. I am worthy because I AM" It's tough for me, but I'm plugging away. I was never allowed to be or even KNOW who I really was growing up and a large part of my adult years in a destructive religious cult.  
     Some people will appreciate the detail or manner in which I respond-they can read mine and skip yours if they choose to. Its all a choice. And EVERY one of us is responsible for our OWN feelings. YOU can't MAKE me feel any way I don't also CHOOSE to feel. How I feel about what you say, is more about ME than it is YOU. You can try to put that on another person, but they can choose to let that 'go' too.
    Please understand that we 'read' or project our own interpretation of things into these communications. You may see it 360 degrees differently than another person would. So-this sort of forum is very open to misinterpretations.
In the REAL world we have the benefit of ALL FIVE senses to interpret communication. Here-we don't have the benefit of seeing non-verbal communication like reading body language. Or hearing, smelling, tasting, touch. James Borg (cited from Wikipedia) states that human communication consists of 93% body language and paralinguistic cues (((this is our pitch, volume, intonation of speech))) while ONLY 7 percent of communication consists of words themselves. Do you see how much room is left for mis-interpretation? Other things that can be barriers to effective communication and create distortion are:  physical barriers, cultural barriers, perceptual and psychological barriers, emotional barriers, language barriers, gender barriers, interpersonal barriers. OMG!!!  (Did you know there are cultures that don't even have a word for 'depression' in their language?)

     In regards, I also acknowledge that I will be more sensitive to the fact that others do not appreciate or process information in the same way I do. Please feel free to overlook my comments. The designers of this program did extend and limit the comment section to 8,000 words. So I promise I will answer in 8,000 words or less!  
     I really like you Maddie. I'm sorry if I unintentionally hurt you. You can choose to forgive me or not-but I pray we can continue deepen our understanding of one another-in spite of these considerable limitations.
Avatar universal
Don't be upset until you've read what I have to say below.

The literature does not say to not take Effexor if you have high cholesterol, kidney disease, high blood pressure and so on.  It says that if you have those conditions, you may need a Effexor dose adjustment or special tests.  One thing that is spelled out very clearly is to not drink alcohol while taking Effexor to avoid the kinds of problems illustrated above to further scare you.

I got high blood pressure and kidney failure (from the dyes going thru during CT scans) following my stroke. Plus I have high cholesterol.  I have been on Effexor, and now on Pristiq for years with no further damage to these.  I do have a life without depression.  Effexor (and Pristiq) is the only anti-depresssant that worked for me over a period of 25 years of trying anti-depressants as well as all kinds of other remedies.

Every medication has its risks.  Below you'll see just some of the many risks from aspirin which many people take every day to prevent heart attacks, brain aneurysms bursting and strokes.

And if you don't properly control your depression, it is now thought to be a whole body ailment.  The Wall Street Journal, 4/9/2012, said that scientists believe that people with depression "tend to develop earlier and more serious forms of physical illnesses that usually hit people in older age, such as stroke, dementia, heart disease and diabetes. . . brain scans of older people with depression showed much faster age-related loss of volume in the brain compared with people without depression.. "  Also, studies show that people with depression are more likely to have osteoporosis than people who aren’t depressed.

So take your pick---stroke, dementia, heart disease, diabetes and osteroporosis or the possible side effects from Effexor.  Millions of people are on Effexor.  The FDA has very stringest requirements on manufacturers to test these meds before they can be released.

ASPIRIN PROBLEMS: Taking aspirin can result in symptoms resembling an allergic reaction, including hives, swelling and headache, an increased  risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, iron deficiency anemia.  Plus Reye's syndrome, a severe illness characterized by acute encephalopathy and fatty liver, can occur when children or adolescents are given aspirin.  Aspirin can induce angioedema (swelling of skin tissues) taken in combination with another NSAID-induced drug.  Aspirin causes an increased risk of cerebral microbleeds which are important since they often occur prior to ischemic stroke or intracerebral hemorrhage, Binswanger disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Again, every medication has some risks, but what do you gain by taking them?  Taking aspirin can help prevent strokes, heart attacks and brain aneurysms from bursting.  Not taking blood pressure medication can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Stop being scared. But if you are still depressed, you should see a psychiatrist who understands medications, because a lot of times a combination of medications is the answer.  Or maybe you need the dose of Effexor to be raised or need to be on another anti-depressant.  Effexor saved me from a severe nearly suicidal depression caused by chronic severe pain by simply increasing the dose of Effexor by 37.5mg.  Many people with chronic pain DO commit suicide.  But that drug saved my life.
Avatar universal
Plus my searches also showed, there is evidence linking depression with several major health conditions, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, disability, chronic fatigue and obesity.

So take your pick.

Avatar universal
  I agree with you. This conversation did start out with a question mommylady asked which was about her memory issues and if it were possible that an antidepressant could cause it. I answered with information I have recently been made aware of, my personal experiences & others.  After all I did take it for 13 years at at low doses from 75 to 450 mg a day. The issue many people have is primarily that Wyeth-A...did not and still hasn't fully disclosed the problems thousands of people have experienced since. So to some..not all!! that would be like discovering trying to hush up the fact that thalidomide did not cause birth defects in babies!! Is that ethical?  I am an advocate of medication for the treatment of depression. Everything has possible side effects. Hey-if it is working for you-keep taking it.
Avatar universal
Does anyone know how I can get word to the management here or somehow get the 6 comments that I am missing on this question.  

When I click on specific responses in my email, they are not showing up.  Plus this site shows 10 comments here, but on my email, it says there are 16 comments.  And I have not received them.

Any help would be appreciated.  
480448 tn?1426952138
I posted on your other thread.  There were several posts deleted from the thread, that's why you're not seeing them.
Avatar universal
Thanks for letting me know.

Did management decide to delete them?  Or can a responder ask for answers to be deleted?
480448 tn?1426952138
I don't have any details on that.  Because there were multiple posts, from multiple posters, it's probably safe to assume they were pulled because they violated the TOS.  

In the end, it was probably a good thing, as those posts were all starting to go off topic, and could have been seen as disruptive to the thread (a "hijack" if you will).

The mods have a rough job, I don't envy them!  :0)
Avatar universal
Very good explanation. Thanks so much.
1110049 tn?1409405744
I am so sorry about all the above which had absolutely nothing to do with your original question.  Let's get back to that.

How are you.  Have you had any luck with the doctors about your memory loss?
Avatar universal
The practice of medicine is confusing I'm sure, but then you throw in physical and mental individualism and it seems no more healing than throwing confetti in the air and yelling "TA-DA !!" LOL, that being said, I think that is why these forums are so helpful. they help us through the good bad and ugly. a doc. looks at a drug and thinks ok that may/may not help you...you take it and say it works or get me off this junk. all these drugs are not natural and pose serious risks to our health. the question is it worth it in order to be a productive human being. that's to the individuals discretion.
to answers about my mom...no prob. I feel soothed telling her story. she was 36 when she got breast cancer, she had 9 lymph nodes removed, a lumpectomy radiation and chemo. 8 yrs later she found a hot Mark on her arm which turned out to be mircle(?)cell cancer. radiation,chemo. then about. a month later thought she had a bleeding ulser but it was esophageal cancer. Docs removed part of stomach and esophagus and next day she developed gangrene. she had to have 40# of muscle and tissue removed before they caught up with it. she was in ICU for months. she healed up and had chemo for the cancer. when she went in for a check up she was 54 found out she had lung cancer and a tumor was developing behind her eye. she decided no more chemo...she sold everything she could and took me and my kids for swimming at motels and all kinds of fun things. she died a month before her birthday. we had home hospice. it was extremely hard to watch her die. i am an only child and was very close to my mom. I went into shock for about 5 years. nightmares, panic attacks, depression weight gain..you name it I did it. I finally feel I've regained something.of what I once was. but I missed a lot. I focused on my children to keep myself from dealing with it head on. it helped them,but not me. I don't have nightmares or panic attack anymore, but I am inactive and UN motivated a lot.
Avatar universal
I plan trying to get in soon. but as I said earlier I am a procrastinator especially when it comes to me helping me.  I wonder seriously about the possibility of just being overwhelmed causing memory loss. I have lots on my mind forsure. I remember symbalta made me angry, effexor made me jittery, yet tired. wellbutren made me nauseated. some L one helped develops a shoppi.ng phobia. thanks again folks. this is the first time I've felt secure in telling all my mental problems. I hate the way people look at you if you tell them your on meds for depression and anxiety .. even friends :/
1110049 tn?1409405744
Do you know I am the same about helping oneself.  Easy to tell others to do this, or do that, but do we do it ourselves?  

Yes I too have anti-depressants that have had some unacceptable side effects.  Been depressed 20 odd years, and I have tried many anti-depressants.  The first I was on made me aggressive, another gave me jerks I could not control, another made me climb the walls and run around all the time crying.  You name it, we have had it all haven't we?  

So glad you can tell us your problems.  We all understand as we have been there too.

I am so very sorry about your mom.  Too young to die.  

Yes it is difficult to people who do not understand depression because they have never had it.  How could they?  So many things are involved with depression.

Hopefully when you are less stressed, things will begin to get better.  Meantime keep posting here, as we all like to "talk" to eacch other, as it does help so much.

Take care.
480448 tn?1426952138
My goodness, I wish I could give you a hug right now.  Your Mom sounds like one hell of an incredible woman.  My God, to have gone through SO much!  What a fighter she was!  I can understand her finally deciding enough is enough, and God love her, despite probaby feeling terrible, for her to make her final days with you and your kids the best she could.    That's just something else!  That was such a touching story, thanks so much for sharing that with us.  I'm sure you hold your Mom close to your heart every day.  

If she were here, I bet she would tell you, "Look how I suffered, it may be different, but a fight is a fight".  She would want you to fight like hell for your kids, just like she did.  She would have kept fighting too, I'm sure, but she probably knew how bad her prognosis was.  Lung cancer usually is so very swift.  But anyway...I bet she would be pushing you to do whatever you needed to do, and she's always probably been your biggest cheerleader.  Despite what you may or may not believe religiously, but I bet she still is, hon.

We've all had our ups and downs, trying different meds, putting ourselves through hell....sleepless nights, then too much sleep, being so nauseated, that it was hard to eat, to weight gain because of an increased appetite.  Feeling jittery, feeling sad, feeling angry, feeling nothing at all.  You know what though?  Personally, I'd do it all again though, because the outcome (when you FINALLY get there) is SO worth it!  I always tell people that with treatment of anxiety and depression, often times we have to feel worse before we feel better.  It's a fair trade off, IMO.

I have to say, and I know everyone feels differently, but I don't really feel a big stigma related to having panic disorder, or depression, or having needed to be on meds at various times in my life.  I found that once I started coming out of my shell about it, I was finding out that there were all kinds of people in my life (VERY close people even) that had VERY similar struggles.  Just before that, no one felt comfy talking about it.  You'd be amazed at how many people you know who suffer with similar battles.

I think you may be onto something with the memory loss.  If you have a lot going on, and a lot on your mind, that most certainly could cause you to be distracted enough to forget things.  I also agree that meds can be the culprit with something like this, but the thing that makes me not as likely to feel that way for you, is because you've been on these meds for a long time.  If you had just recently started taking something, I would be more apt to believe it was med related.  I guess, bottom line is, we could guess all day, and the truth of the matter is, even the doctors would be just guessing.  

It's not like there is a memory blood test where they could draw your blood and say "a-ha!"....your memory loss is from X, Y, or Z.  Even something like Alzheimer's is only diagnosed based on familial history, and symptoms.  It's VERY difficult to determine what kind of dementia a person has.  There is no physical test for Alzheiemers, the only way a diagnosis of it can be completely confirmed is through examination of the brain during a post-mortem autopsy.  Not a lot of people know that.

So, I think the best advice for you is for you to keep an eye on this, and certainly clue your doc in.  There ARE some very basic things he can look at to see if they are contributing to the memory issues (anemia, etc).  I think addressing the stress, and the other emotional issues you have going on would be a VERY good idea, because if THAT is a big factor in you feeling your memory isn't at full throttle, addressing it will improve your memory.  I['ve been posting on these forums since 2008, and I can tell you that memory problems are onwe of the more commonly mentioned symptom when discussing anxiety and depression.

The other possibilities that were mentioned earlier in the thread would be highly unlikely, as seldom would they present with just one vague symptom.  A TIA (transient ischemic attack), or mini stroke, for example usually involves some kind of numbness, tingling, weakness in the extremities, headache, etc.  A TIA won't always be clearly evident on a CT scan or MRI either, it depends on what part of the brain is affected, among other things.  A brain tumor?  Same thing.  Rarely would that present without other, pretty obvious symptoms (headaches, visual disturbances, nausea, vertigo, etc).  Certainly, any new symptom needs reported to your doctor and needs explored.  I'm just trying to put your mind at ease a bit that the chances of what you describe being something very serious like that are pretty slim.

Please continue to share with us, and let us know how you're doing.  We really care, because we understand based on our own personal experiences.  It's a lot easier to talk about these issues with people who "get it".

Take care!
Avatar universal
With all that you have gone through with your mother, maybe therapy will work for you instead of the anti-depressants.  Sorry that you've had problems with your meds, but you really should try other ones if the therapy doesn't help you.

You talk about the meds "pose serious risks to our health. the question is it worth it in order to be a productive human being.."  It goes far beyond being productive and happy.  

Depression is linked with several major health conditions, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, disability, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis and obesity.

Because of the deterioration of telomeres in the body, people with long term depression "tend to develop earlier and more serious forms of physical illnesses that usually hit people in older age, such as stroke, dementia, heart disease and diabetes. . . brain scans of older people with depression showed much faster age-related loss of volume in the brain compared with people without depression.." See Wall Street Journal, 4/9/2012.

So there is a lot more to weigh in on getting successful help for depression.  Also ECT, electro convulsive therapy, is entirely different from the past.  Many have found help with that, when nothing else helped them.

And yes, I still think that you should go to a doctor ASAP about your severe memory loss.  Go take care of yourself for the sake of YOUR CHILDREN if not for yourself.  You owe it to your children.  

Take care.
Avatar universal
I'm going to say almost the same thing that I just told mommylady.  I feel so bad for you having to struggle with depression for 20 years with all the problems you've had with various anti-depressants.  Totally not worth the side effects that you described.  If there are any other major classes of meds that you haven't tried, you really should try them.  

Again, depression is linked with several major health conditions, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, disability, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis and obesity.

Because of the deterioration of telomeres in the body, people with long term depression "tend to develop earlier and more serious forms of physical illnesses that usually hit people in older age, such as stroke, dementia, heart disease and diabetes. . . brain scans of older people with depression showed much faster age-related loss of volume in the brain compared with people without depression.." See Wall Street Journal, 4/9/2012.

Also ECT, electro convulsive therapy, is entirely different from the past.  Many have found help with that, when nothing else helped them. I think I saw other people talking about their experiences as well as a doctor's comment on it as well on webmd I believe.

I really hope that something will help you.  Take care.
Avatar universal
Also, I wonder about your friends, if indeed they really are looking at you with judgment when you tell them about your medications. That's not a good or understanding friend.  I've never had this problem with any of my many friends.  That may be because a good percentage of them either are or have also taken anti-depressants.  I never tell people who are not friends.  Although I did mention it to 2 aides at my mother's hospice facility, who also turned out to be on the same anti-depressant as I'm taking.

You might want to directly ask them what they think about it.  You may hear back that they really care about you and do understand.  

If not, you may consider finding better friends.  And you can always tell them that you no longer take the meds.  There's nothing wrong with lying to people who don't have your best interest.  It really disgusts me to hear what you had to say about your friends.  And especially what you've gone through with your mother.  

I just lost my mother several months ago who I was also very close to.  But she was much older than your mother.  But it still hurts terribly.  I dream about her a lot.
Avatar universal
I often wonder if its just me..the look may be imagined. I have had the symptoms...more severe, before anti-depression meds where walking into Wal-Mart started with a trip to the restroom to see if I got something in my teeth,something hanging out my nose or dragging t.p. on my shoe. I'm not sure under what category of mental illness that goes undercut for the most part its gone.  I saw a few different therapists many years ago while I was covered by state insurance,right after my mom passed. one cried the whole time literally. my moms story touched something deepdown in her, she asked to see her pic. and started bawling. I had to console her...it was very awkward!! I didn't go back. another was a man, he was nice but I'm not into gruff Hunter guys with deer heads on the wall asking me to explain my feelings. Like hey this is private and Rudolf is cleaning me out
Avatar universal
Sorry I only have this dumb phone with anyauto correct and went to delete cleaning and put creeping * and the thing posted. Any ways , so I tried and failed at therapy . I keep my eyes out for those free ones, but I tried one last summer and I just wasn't impressed. believe it or not this has been the best therapy so far. I'm getting responses that make me think and learn. I really didn't have that in any of my doctor conducted therapy sessions. I am from a small area, our largest city in 5 miles drive is in another state. that may be a reason for my inability to find free local help. I do have great friends, and a great husband its just that they seem to handle life up and downs better. I sometimes wonder about bipolar disorder. man, just thinking, between all I've been diagnosed with...add hormones to the soup once a month..well, maybe bipolar is a natural disorder. or maybe an answere. its just the friend thing..they are caring, loving, but if I am overwhelmed with something it almost seems as if I'm the only one who has been there. like, if they could write it down I'd be a science experiment. I love my life, my spiritual happiness is fulfilling, its just...sensitivity to their reactions. I wish I had a meter that helped me gauge what "normal" and reaching far left was.
do my posts seem scattered, unnatural,bipolar,or strange...bet it does now, lol. its there low lying and once in a while that sensitivity to what people think takes center stage,and I feel like I'm weird. oh also I forgot to add at sometime in the past I was told by a therapist that I had co dependency ...my spouse was the target. but with age and reading books on it I don't think that is the case here. who knows,lol. I shouldblog a journal if I ever get a computer( this hen picken texting keyboard us driving me nuts) haha..that way I can track myself and if others so choose they may. what Di you think. I really thank all of you..again,and again, forever again for your info,help, and wellwishes
Avatar universal
How are you handling the loss of your mother? I'm sorry I didn't post sooner. I felt like a baby. when by myself I'd cry I want my mommy back. A friend of mine.e lost her mom last year, my friend is in her 50's ans said she felt the same way. the age you lose a parent doesn't seem to determine the healing or bouncing back time. it just is a horrible lonely feeling. I wonder if my moms death made me this way, or if it just brought it to the surface. how do you feel it has affected your mental wellbeing??  How are you holding up? Do you have friends and family to help you through this? I hope so. I am truly sorry for your loss.  it was for me a life changer, that no-one should have to go it alone
Avatar universal
My gosh, what a bad run of therapists you had in the beginning with you having to be the therapist to the one who cried and then that gruff one with the deer heads.  That doesn't sound appropriate for a therapist's office. Glad that you have found a better therapist.  It's very important to realize that therapists are just people and that they can be wrong, e.g. the co-dependency.  It's the right thing to get rid of the ones that don't suit you.

I just had a bad experience with a therapist who was supposed to specialize with people who have disabilities and pain.  I have 24/7 migraines, had a stroke, fibromyalgia and much more.  But she told me that everything that I haven't been able to do were "my choice".  Even when I had my major stroke and was in the hospital hooked up to lines including pain medication for the worst head pain in my life.  She said that during that it was my choice to not go to my brother's wedding!!!

And then she talked about being in the moment--separate from meditation.  I said that I would rather focus on other things when I'm washing the dishes.  She asked if that has worked for me.  I said yes.  I told her that ignoring all my pain has allowed me to focus on what I do want to do.  And I hate to eat since my stroke.  The only way I am able to eat is to think about anything else other than the terrible way the food tastes.  So much for that therapist.

No you don't sound "scattered, unnatural,bipolar" to me. You may be bipolar, but you would know better than I. You just don't sound that way.  Your feelings about your friends thinking you are a science project--perhaps they don't have as intense feelings as you do, but you say they are loving and caring.  That's what matters most. My husband has absolutely no idea what it feels like to be depressed, have fibromyalgia or severe migraines--heck he's never even had a headache.  But he is understanding and caring.  THAT's what matters.

On this site you will find many other people who have had your same experiences and do understand your feelings.  
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for asking about how I'm taking my mother's death several months ago.  I suddenly for no reason will burst into tears about her, like I think many people who have had a terrible loss.  But I had a full 2 years of my mother in hospice.  It began with the doctor telling me that she had 4 days to live.  And she was almost comatose, breathing with oxygen, barely able to eat with someone else feeding her.  She kept getting better.  Then she kept having stroke after stroke when I was sure that she was about to die.  Each time I would go through major grieving, only for her to perk up again.  Such a long time of grieving, that by the time she did die, it was almost a relief, but at the same time great grief.  

Those 2 years were very difficult for me, because I had a stroke which caused 24/7 migraines which were often so severe that I had to go to the ER.  Some days I couldn't get out of bed. Plus, I've developed a lot of other illnesses caused by either the stroke or the pain.  I've also needed at least 12 hours of sleep every night and I still have to work some to keep my health insurance.  It's amazing that I ever got through it.  It was such a burden to have to visit my mother almost every day with all my pain, but those times were also the most CHERISHED days of my life.  So that's my story.  Where there's a will, there's a way.

So I hope that you will have the will to take care of yourself.  I'm so glad that you have a great husband and great friends and that you say, "I love my life, my spiritual happiness is fulfilling".  Please help me to not worry about you and see a doctor.  I do wish the best for you.

Avatar universal
I am on Pristiq 100mg and i am having the same problems. I walk in circles all day because I cant remember what i started to do. I cant remember past or present events, names etc , I wouldnt dream of getting a new phone or appliance because I wouldnt be able to learn how to use it and I am normally very good at that. I cant text message anymore, it takes forever to remember how to spell. I'm also climbing the walls,crying all the time and so irratable. Please excuse my spelling. I am normally so particular about that but I just cant remember. I have only been like this 10 weeks since being on Pristiq and its been hell. I would definately suggest that this is your problem. I see my Dr next week and I am demanding a change of medication. I have even had two suicidal episodes and my problem was anxiety, not depression. I am 54
Avatar universal
I know what you mean. I have been off of Lexapro for two years now, and still have problems with both long and short term memory. It is extremely frustrating . When I was still taking it, I had to search to see if some anti depressants are linked to memory loss . Though I didn't see any studies, at the time, there were many complaints by the people using them. That, alone,made me feel a bit better. Knowing you're not the only one dealing with certain things , selfishly makes me a bit more comfortable. This was certainly the case with my memory loss. I felt as if I was going insane because I couldn't figure out what was going on with my brain. So just know that, there are many, many people dealing with this. I will continue to check back, in hopes that someone will let you know if there is anything to help the situation. I've thought about vitamins and brain exercises. I can't wait to hear what others may know about reversing the effects of some antidepressants on memory.
Avatar universal
Are you aware that the normal dose of Pristiq is only 50 mg?  I don't know why your doctor would have started you on 100 mg.  I would talk to your doctor about reducing it to 50 mg.  The 50 mg has worked fine for me and has caused no memory problems.  But if I were to double it, who knows?
Avatar universal
have u had your thyroid checked lately.  I had the same problem a few yrs ago and it wasn't memory loss as such, it was a concentration problem.  Thyroid med worked wonders for that problem.
5386835 tn?1368544415
hie i am 30 years old i also had lot of antidepressants,and i have exactly symptoms like you,i have consulted neuroligist he told me that its because of stress,currently i am on clomipramine and on the same memory issue as your .i have tested my vitamin B12 its on lower side i had saw symptoms of it,it can be due to vitamin B12 also and checked my vitamin D its also on lower side.if you find other reason please share me i am having extreme problem because of it finding difficult to work.
5386835 tn?1368544415
yes i also believe its concentration problem because i have such a low concentration,i am taking thyroxine,you have taken medicine for T3 also,i have listen T3 plays a great role in metabolism.
Avatar universal
I am on pristiq and viibryd. I am having extreme memory issues as well. Have to speak to doctor as I can remember nothing I'm not extremely interested in.
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
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.