Hepatitis C Community
13.4k Members
1711722 tn?1356487554

Mental Struggle

Anyone else out there having mental struggles out of the norm for you??  I haven't been depressed but very unmotivated, depending on the day.  I am keeping a journal of side effects, and also of any noticeable mental changes, to share with my doctor (and to help others who may be wondering about sides).  Considering asking for an increase in the AD, but not really keen on that idea, as I don't want to be sleepy.  Any opinions on increasing??


28 Responses
163305 tn?1333668571
The lack of motivation may be physical due to drops in wbc or rbc. Let it be. Don't try to do too much. Take walks when you can, rest when you feel to. Listen to good music, watch comedies.

I don't take ADs
What I do is a form of positive thinking.
Have you heard Tracy Chapman's song, "There is Beauty in the World' ?
That one always takes the blues away.

I take my thoughts outside my body and concentrate on the things that bring me joy, like loving kindness towards others or the beauty of the sky or smiling babies.
My perspective changed after my transplant. Now, just being alive is so amazing, it helps me transcend the pettiness of everyday existence and aches and pains. It's all temporary.
Don't worry, you will feel better.
1815939 tn?1377991799
I am not depressed (sad) either but I am totally unmotivated many days, especially the first few days after my injection. I am so tired and have aches and headaches after the injections. The first day after the injection I mainly sit and watch educational tapes or rest. I don't get a whole lot more done on the second day after the injection. By the third and fourth days I am a little better but not great. The last 3 days before the inj. I have more energy but still not a lot of motivation. I just figure it is the side effects and when I am off the meds hopefully they will go away and I will get some zip back.

I am on Wellbutrin for depression but this is not necessarily depression, in my opinion, at least not for me. It is true that during the two depression episodes I have had (1983 and this year) I had no motivation, but when I am depressed I am also quite sad, don't think straight in several ways, pessimistic, sometimes cannot figure out simple instructions such as how to lubricate my exercise machine (something I figured out in about 5 seconds once I was not depressed), and tend to go from white to black (ie no in between in my thinking, especially if something goes wrong).

I just think this lack of motivation is because I am so tired and just don't feel that great. However, I am not saying that is the case for you or anyone else. It is just my perspective on how the meds are affecting me and perhaps are affecting some others.
179856 tn?1333547362
If you can find a way around not increasing the ADs it's a good idea. I loved my ADs on treatment but have to admit it wasn't all that easy getting off them afterwards, I thought I was going crazy for a little while but it did ease.

The less you are on the less to wean off of.

And no I felt like doing NOTHING on tx I was the most unmotivated human being in the world and sometimes I fell asleep on my desk at lunch time. It's pretty common.
1654058 tn?1407159066
Love you girls..lol. Today is the day I called my dr n asked for an AD. I'm just not ME! I'm not terribly sad. I eat healthy, work full time, journal, pray, meditate. Everything is going super well. My response to it is not objective.
I can't quite grasp how to process the myriad of things that I'm dealing with. 33 weeks to go, I'm gonna give ADS a try. I'm not sleeping well. Up itching n Lasix keeps me going to bathroom all night. I know I'm gonna need a sleep aid too.
I'm feeling good about the decision. Reading ur posts just bolsters my resolve... Whatever it takes to get thru tx.
Undetectable.... That's what we are. (sung to the tune of Unforgetable by Nat King Cole) haha!
Karen :)
1815939 tn?1377991799
I just want to make clear, I am not knocking ADs. I am on one, LOL. It is just that I started the Wellbutrin in May and so by the time I started triple therapy I was no longer depressed. However, I know a person has to stay on ADs for about a year to be sure the chemical imbalance goes back to normal and stays there. Also, my doctors wantred me to stay on the ADs because I am probably at greater risk of becoming depressed on interferon. My point was that I think my lack of motivation, at least this time, is from the triple med treatment and not depression. However, I am only speaking for my self.

I agree that it is really difficult to process everything and you are dealing with so much more than I am. Hopefully the ADs will help.

I am on edge and worried about the 4 week VL result on this Monday. I am so afraid I may not be responding. I am hoping and trying to be optimistic. I am just apprehensive.

I agree, whatever it takes to get through treatment!

Avatar universal
It's not just you,the not normal would be the person who doesn't feel like that.Lucky them.I don't take ADs, but I wish it had been suggested to me before tx.I just finished incivek a couple days ago and other than taste and smell and an interest in food,things are the same but I do have more hope now of general improvement.Besides the itching and rash and lack of sleep that normally would put you off,now add the drugs that drain the remaining energy.All you can do is go with the flow and know that its all temporary.But by all means find whatever you can to make it less difficult.Remember its just the drugs its not you, anyway that got me through the sixties.
1654058 tn?1407159066
Oh I remember that 1st VL lab. Lol. Can't wait to get ur news! I asked for wellbutrin. I took it 2 years before my diagnosis. I also felt a lack of motivation n droopy. I wasn't able to sleep well w it, so may need a sleep aid. Melatonin made me zoney heart racy hangover ish.
I'm not afraid of ADS, but w g4/s4 I want as few Rx help as I can get. I haven't kept my energy level up all these years w/o relying on healthy nutrition. I guess I'm kind of admitting I need some help. I'm stubborn and really want to give my liver every break I can. It was a tough choice for me. Thanks for feedback. So comforting. Karen :)
1815939 tn?1377991799
This forum is a Godsend. I am not sure what I would be doing if I did not have this forum to come to and ask questions and get feedback and read what everyone else is going through. There is a lot of knowledge (and caring) on this forum. It surely helps us get through treatment.
545538 tn?1295992017
I was so incredibly tired on txt. I would get up to get ready for work. Go to the bathroom. Get back in bed. Take a shower. Get back in bed. Pack a lunch. Get back in bed, etc etc. You get the idea. It took me a long time each day to get to work. But I got there. I only missed one day out of 48 weeks of txt. I took my shot on Thursday so I had the weekend to recover. I didn't plan on doing anything on the weekends so I could get through another work week. Exhausting, but doable.
1711722 tn?1356487554
Thanks everyone.  This helps put things in perspective.  I am pondering everything that you have shared here.  I am prone to sadness but this isn't that.  I only started ADs a couple of months prior to tx because the anxiety was really getting to me.  After the first shot and first week, I have felt relatively calm and normal.  No rage, no depression.  Just want to make sure I am not slipping now.

OrphanedHawk -- I am praying through this.  God is carrying me.  I do have (nearby) my list of DVD's that I know can always make me laugh.  So it's not about that, it's more.....can't snap out of it (maybe brain fog?) some days.  I'm really hoping it is not my hemo numbers tanking, but know that is a possibility too.  Thanks again.
Avatar universal
I have no motivation at all, and I cut back on my ad as I just couldn't swallow any more pills, I seem to be doing ok I have my moments like everyone else does. I also am not sleeping well and doc offered ambian I turned it down another pill ick. We are all in this together and I have to just say that I admire all the people who went before us in study groups for what they went through and all those now going through tx, ya'll are a strong bunch of people and I am glad to know you all.
1711722 tn?1356487554
Hey Screaming.  The Vertigo interferes with my sleep as, when I turn my head, it sets it off.  It does kind of knock the wind out of me too  and I wonder if that is in the back of my mind, adding to this feeling.  So I will probably have to sleep half sitting up, without hurting my neck back or shoulders, for the rest of treatment.  Hoping your sleeping improves.  Totally agree with you about the folks that came through tx before us.  There are some unbelievably strong people passing through the pages of this forum.
Avatar universal
My feeling is less is more. Unless you absolutely have to, don,t take anything else or increase . It throws. Something else into the mix,. I think the part about no.motivation applies to just about everyone on tx, we r introducing our bodies to some heavy drugs, we are anxious about clearing, and staying well and able to function while on tx. I have no real desire to do anything except work, because I need to. I am not depressed just tired and not feeling like myself, so I.think this is why we r so unmotivated. I am not on any ads, but this works for me and am only giving an opinion. Ads can create oroblens when u need to wean yourself off them  good luck with your decision and do what us right for u.
163305 tn?1333668571
I am personally very wary of anti-depressants. Although they work wonders for some, for others they can increase feelings of depression. In my experience these sides from tx ebb and flow. I can't see being on an AD full time for periodic emotional tidal waves. This is only my view which explains my decisions.

Like you I was quite anxious until I did the first shot. Then, WOW, it wasn't horrible like last time, it was so much easier that the anxiety slipped away.

It's good you have your faith to help you along.

One last thought.
Today, I felt pooped. After lunch once the sun broke through the fog, I drug myself out and landed up walking over a mile. Sometimes making ourselves just move, get the oxygen flowing, can help us over the hurdle of fatigue. (Of course, the tiredness returned.)
Time to drink water, make sure you are drinking lots of water!
190885 tn?1333025891
i'm glad i started an ad before tx...i think i went too far with it....zoloft.150....just cut it back 25 mil...i thought i might cut 25 per month or so...i'm on 125 now...i'm not depressed..just want to do what it takes to get through tx....i think its a good idea but maybe not too big of a dose....we will see how it goes....good luck....billy
Avatar universal
Yes, at different times.  I am not prone to depression or outbursts nor was I on any sort of AD's during treatment.  However,  I think the treatments owre me down physically and therefore mentally because I couldn't be in my active routine of socializing and physical activity.  It may have had something to do with endorphins - who the heck knows.  Anyway, this upbeat girl did try to put a good face on it usually but my kids did know I was struggling and twice I had had uncontrollable crying jags and unreasonable thoughts.  They didn't last long - an hour maybe and then I seem to "snap" out of it.  It was clearly drug related.

If it is any consolation,  any tendency toward mood alterations went away first after the meds stopped.  And, the big thing is, my kids are great and at first they balked and then realized this was an out of body thing happening to me and were quick to be supportive.

What helped me most was to stop keeping journals and focusing on myself which I did within the first few weeks of treatment.  I didn't want it to be what I was all about and made it my mission to find out how others were doing.  I didn't want people to ask me about it it or how I was feeling - they knew, they could see it in my face, in my skin color, in my weight, in my energy level.  I treated it as almost a side kick instead of the predominant thing I did like not thinking about "the shot" all day.  It became an after thought, a routine, but not my life.
1711722 tn?1356487554
You people in this community rock!!!  I appreciate your honesty in sharing your experiences so much, you just don't know.  Decisions are difficult because we are not trying to "doctor ourselves" but at the same time....we do still have to monitor, and give our docs a heads up when needed.  Thank you for the reminder that it's the meds and not me.  Thank you for reminding me also that the only reason I started ADs was for this treatment, so I am not looking to stay on them long term, and don't want to deal with stepping down from too far (so to speak).  That said, I think the coming days, prior to my next doc visit, will better tell the story.  I am journaling so I won't just cast my feelings aside, as only happening once.

Blessings and hugs to all of you!  Wishing us all SVR, and for those of you who have reached that already.....wishing you the best of health and happiness.  Never forget the encouragement you received from total strangers in this forum.  You have more strength than you realize, in other areas of your life, as well.  Have faith, through the bad as well as the good.
131114 tn?1380083190
yes yes yes all that's true- i was advised to get on the AD meds and i resisted until i got so wacky, i gave in and took them. it helped, but i had major reactions to the tx meds. soooo i did stop after about 6 months post tx and then it took another period of time to ditch the anti-ax meds! i am finally drug free, but hoping to get back on drugs :)))

and you will feel fine once you are done and your body can re-balance!
317787 tn?1473358451
Hello, as you can see you are in good company.  When you are on these meds, tired, or your blood levels drop it is hard to have any motivation.  The first tx I did it drove me crazy that I could not force myself to clean or do anything I did not have to do.  This time I know it is the nature of the beast and I  just do the best I can.  Now if I could figure out what to do about the itch attacks :)
NYGirl7 thanks for the info on A/D's I was thinking of increasing.  I am taking the A/D's to help with the tx
Wishing you all well
317787 tn?1473358451
Forgot to mention that my doc strongly "suggested" I get on A/D's because Tx was going to me make me anxious.  I was already anxious and decided I would listen to the doc
In my mind you do what you can to get through this tx
Good luck
Avatar universal
Well, I was cruising along in week 16 of triple therapy (boceprevir) undetectable at week 12,  I was managing the low blood counts with procrit and nuprigen, I take 20 mg of Lexapro a day.  Some of the typical side effects fatique, dizziness, head aches, insomnia etc.   Last week suddenly my red count went from 11.5 down to 8.5 and whites from 2,7 to 1.7. They wacked me with 60,000 nuprigin and a big dose of procrit.  I have missed four days of work for the first time this week.  All these drugs I think have a cumulative effect.  Just about the time you get adjusted to a certain level or regime... Wham! your system gets jolted with a new attack of stimulus.  This ***** but I'm in it for the long haul.
1391441 tn?1333847961
Thought you might get a laugh out of this. When I went through tx in 2003 I found it put a little humor in the equation.
God Bless,

This was copied from a forum entry back in 2003 by Waterspider:

If your liver's getting bigger and your ALT's are high,
And your RBC's are dropping like a cloud of dying flies,
And the best that you can manage is a feeble little sigh,
Then your treatment is a-working like the apple of your eye!

If your coughing like a dog and your throat is scratchy-dry,
And your eyes are kinda yellow like a San Fransisco sky,
And your wife and friends all left you cuz you always made them cry,
Then your medication's happy as a piece of pumpkin pie!

If you're unemployed and facing jail and psychaitric care,
But the riba-rage still leaves you like a mad old sore-pawed bear,
And your pillow's all but covered with your newly fallen hair,
Then you know your drugs are working in a good way very rare!

If your mind is all distorted and you're feeling very lost,
And your aches and pains won't go away at any ******* cost,
And your guts are knotted up and your cookies getting tossed,
Then you know your meds are working like an evil old Jack Frost!

If your body's feeling beaten-up and washed right down the drain,
And the Energizer bunnies have absconded with your brain,
And the only thing to get you up would be a ten-ton crane,
Then it's time to do another hit, just don't jam it in a vein!

1711722 tn?1356487554
Oh my, a poem!  I actually did read most of this the other day when you put it in your journal.  Hilarious!  sorta.  Thanks :)

Thanks everyone (all + the additional all) again for sharing your experiences.  It DOES help.  I also wonder if the way I am feeling may be "because" of the ADs.  One side effect is lack of libido (but I think mine is intact, hahaha), so maybe that is triggering something throughout.  Dunno.  I will have another look at the sides when I get home.  You guys are the best!  Thank you
789911 tn?1368636783
love it! THanks
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473358451
683231 tn?1467323017
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
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.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.