Hepatitis C Community
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2011699 tn?1328936953

Treatment and depression

I suffer with depression and a concerned about treatment and the effects of....~  I have actually acted (tried suicide)
on my depression twice~ending in the ER. I a happy,now~This really scares me~ Thoughts please??  Augustvon
12 Responses
163305 tn?1333672171
You have good reasons to be concerned.

Depression is a common side effect of treatment.
Many patients who are normally even tempered land up taking ADs.
And suicide is listed as one of the less likely, but possible side effects of interferon treatment.

My advice is to seek out a top notch hepatologist/liver clinic with a lot of experience treating many hep C patients.
Then consult with the  doctor honestly.

Here's a good video which talks about the obsessive behavior treatment can induce:
789911 tn?1368640383
see a good psycologist that understands hep treatment.  I have had a many mental side effect as physical.  which mental is physical also to me.  I have thought several times that I might not make it .  As mean, hateful, depressed, sad tearjerker, whiner, control freak. Dead in the water- baton twirling crazy idiot lady, the list goes on and on  If I told my doc everything she would probably pull me off.  My family and I have decoded to stick it out.  I would say because of the serious mental side effect that come along with this treatmant for a lot of us, I would weigh it out.  I did not understand what kind of efffects, so how would anyone be able to make a judgement call.  It might not even effect you that way.    If you decide to treat. either weight for shorter duration treatments. or before you start get in with the good phyc doc and get your plan.   I have thought so many times I would rather have HCV than loose all my friends and family since Im so hard to put up with!  But here I am.  Actually at this point I dont care if anyone talks to me again or not ever!    Only 8 more shots to go after tonight.  Whew!        
446474 tn?1446351282
Are you currently taking an antidepressant?
Are you seeing a psychiatrist?
You should do both before ever starting hepatitis C treatment.

A serious potential side effect of Hep C treatment is depression. People who suffer depression while taking treatment, people who have thoughts of suicide or self-harm or people with a family history of depression should be encouraged to access support and counseling. Anyone with a history of depression should be monitored throughout their treatment to make sure that treatment is not causing a major depressive episode.

Antidepressant medications should also be prescribed before and during treatment. An antidepresssant that works for the patient should be given 4-6 weeks before starting hepatitis C treatment. So that the therapeutic effect of the antidepressand is working to prevent a major depressive episode.

As long as you have good help for your mood issues it is doable. I had major depression for decades and was able to do hepatitis C treatment with the help of an antidepressant and a psychiatrist monitoring me throughout my treatment. I had many other side effects but I never became depressed.

From the Pegasys (peg-interferon) label

"5.2 Neuropsychiatric
Life-threatening or fatal neuropsychiatric reactions may manifest in all patients receiving therapy with PEGASYS and include suicide, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, depression, relapse of drug addiction, and drug overdose. These reactions may occur in patients with and without previous psychiatric illness.

PEGASYS should be used with extreme caution in all patients who report a history of depression. Neuropsychiatric adverse events observed with alpha interferon treatment include aggressive behavior, psychoses, hallucinations, bipolar disorders, and mania. Physicians should monitor all patients for evidence of depression and other psychiatric symptoms. Patients should be advised to report any sign or symptom of depression or suicidal ideation to their prescribing physicians. In severe cases, therapy should be stopped immediately and psychiatric intervention instituted "

Good luck.
1856494 tn?1340546214
Hi,  Personally, I think one is darned if they do and darned if they don't.  I never revealed that I have attempted the big "S" a few times (can't even say it anymore) and that I ideate with such thoughts every day.  I believe the disease itself creates depression.  When I tried my hand at atleast 4 different ADs and lost even more of my mind and direction, I turned to weed and like minded people with whom I shared an understanding and could be up front with our frailties or not - becoming a recluse temporarity was an option.  I stumble through life.  

I was tired.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  Hep C is a robber.  I wanted my life back - used cognitive therapy (talk therapy) and that was wonderful, a couple groups helped too.  I guess I do not trust ADs.  The idea of delaying treatment was not copesetic for me and I am so greatful to have 3 shots left.  

I hope you will find stores of energy and commitment to go around this supposed impediment and fight one more hard as hell battle that may free that blossom waiting to bloom with in you.  We are here for you.
1815939 tn?1377995399
I concur with Hector. He has covered the major points and given you some good advice.

I know true clinical depression cannot be taken lightly. It won't just go away by wishing it away. And, it can be deadly. However, you said you are happy now and that is excellent. If you are not already seeing a good psychiatirs familar with Hep C treatment, then I would agree with Hector, to find one and seek his/her treatment. I am sure if you are not already on antidepressants, a good psychiatrist will get you started on them a few weeks before you start Hep C treatment.

It is doable with the right care and treatment.

I also have a history of clinical depression and have been on ADs twice. I am currently on Hep C treatment with triple med treatment and I am currently taking an AD. I have had no problem with depression, mood swings, anxiety, anything mental/emotional, since starting triple med treatment in Sept. In fact, my mood has been exceptionally stable (more than I can say for the physical side effects, lol) (but they are also doable).

Anyway, don't let your history of depression scare you away from Hep C. I know it is serious, but generally speaking, it can be treated and controlled with good psychiatric care and the correct antidepressants.

Please keep us informed. This is a great forum for support and questions.

I wish you the best.
148588 tn?1465782409
From your first posting:

".....told I was in aperiod where I would benefit treatment RIGHT AWAY,verses waiting~UNTIL I brought up the fact I was concerned about my depression issues and how severe my depression was off meds~Than the Dr. did a complete 180 and told  me I should wait 3 months!!? Than do a biopsy and see where I a at....~"

There are some things you need to get straightened out before even discussing stategies for dealing with interferon induced depression.
First, you need that biopsy to determine the true condition of your liver and whether treatment is even necessary at this time.
Next, you need to find out why your doctor thought you would benefit from treating right away. There are several different reasons I could speculate on why your doctor would do "a complete 180" on this, but *you* need to be clear on what your doctor's reasoning is and was. This means doing a lot of reading, here, on this forum and anywhere else you can gather information. As others have posted, alpha interferons can (possibly) have serious side effects and if you and your doctor feel you have time to wait for an interferon free treatment to be developed, that's great. Otherwise you need to have a doctor with a lot of experience using these drugs who is willing to work closely with you.
Good luck and take care.
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