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Avatar universal

major depression-no treatment available?

i was diagnosed with hep c ten years ago and thought i was fine because i never had symptoms. i finally went to an internal med dr., who told me that i could have liver problems with no symptoms, but that because i have major depression,there is no treatment available so he won't bother with a liver biopsy. i wonder if this is common, i would kind of like to know if i have cirrosis but he said there is no treatment, so why bother with the biopsy, and to come back in a couple of years, maybe there will be. i feel like a time bomb now!
13 Responses
Avatar universal
He's wrong. Find another doctor!
Avatar universal
There is treatment - your depression needs treatment (hope that is going on now). I suggest a different doc. I hope he just didn't leave it at that. If you have hcv you should automatically have a liver biopsy. Depending on the results and other factors a decision to treat or not treat can be made. There is definitely a treatment available. Before starting treatment they would like you to have a handle on your depression because the treatment can possible be depressive in it self, magnifying your present state. But both have treatments. Be aggressive in finding about your hcv status!
Take Care of Youself, alan

p.s. They would not let me start treatment until I got help with my depression which I did so I am now clear to start.
Avatar universal
I've got a couple you can bury.  One (I like to call him Dr. Doofus) is from the "prestigous" Cleveland Clinic -- which just goes to show you that idiot doctors can be found in even the most unlikely places.

Hopefully, my visit with Dr. Cecil next month will restore my faith.

Avatar universal
If I were to tell you the "whole story" over the phone, you'd  hear that I haven't entirely given up hope of getting -- and staying -- pregnant, and I don't want to annihilate the slim chance I have by doing the treatment.  Although my husband and I are actively pursuing having a family through a gestational surrogate, it hasn't worked after four tries (I know, my luck stinks).  Emotionally, I'm just not ready to permanently take my small chance at a viable pregnancy off the table by using these toxic drugs.  

That's not to say I would absolutely be jumping into treatment if it weren't for these circumstances.  It's still hard for me to justify that choice when I truly believe a better treatment will be available within the next few years.  My HCV is about as mild a case as one could possibly have, and that gives me the luxury (in my opinion) of considering other options. Either way, it's a gamble, as you say, and only time will tell if our choices were the correct ones.

Take care,

Avatar universal
it looks like we all want a piece of the quack to bury in our yards, perhaps an e-bay auction might settle this?
get a 2nd, 3rd or 4th opinion , if neccessary.
Avatar universal
Always remember, the doc you see for the first time could have graduated at the bottom of his class and barely made it out of med school. Dumb and dumber. Some docs are just burnt out and no longer care about providing top level health care. Visit as many doctors as it takes until you find one that listens, cares and is up to par for your illness. Be sure not to tell the next doc who you saw. There is an old boys network that goes on where one doc calls the other doc to trade info. The second doc could go along with the first doc, and so on, leaving you back at 1st base.
Avatar universal
21664...I can only echo, what has already been said... Fire Him... He's working for YOU

I KNOW my "Old Doc", most definately didn't graduate within the top 10 of his class!!!!
He was actually quite arrogant & defensive when I would bring him info. & research from this board too.. WOULDN'T even believe me when I tried to show him in "Black & White" on the pkg insert that he was UNDER DOSING me for my genotype....
The JERK...
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with hep-c 3 months ago. I have been treating depression on and off for 12 years.  I did switch anti-depressants b/c the one i was on (wellbutrin) i found out on this post was not liver friendly.  I am now on zoloft.  this did not stop by dr. from treating me.  I am type 1; 1mil.5 vl; and biopsy showed stage 2 - this was all reason enough to begin treatment he said and continue to treat my depression and any other side effects that should occur.
ur in the right place. and i'm sure another dr. will decide to treat you also.
good luck!
<3 michelle
Avatar universal
I 100% agree to get rid of that doctor. When I was first told about my hep c I was in the worst shape of my life mentally. My only child ( son) had just left for the Navy and I was in the middle of a nasty divorce and moving.(borderline clinical depression) They wouldn't let me start treatment till I was on antidepressants because of all the stress I was already under and because the number one side is mental depression. They did however do the biopsy to see how bad of shape my liver was in (thankfully no damage). I was able to start round one of tx within 2 months of taking antidepressants. Unfortunately it don't not work and I had to try again. I am now 6 months post treatment and clear.

MY advise:  Get rid of that doctor, get on an antidepressant (if you're not already) find a new doctor preferrably a hepatologist and get your biopsy. A biopsy is the only way to tell how much damage you have. You can do this!!!

Good luck to you, I will be looking  for you so keep us informed.
Avatar universal
he's telling you that there is no treatment for those severely depressed...there is certainly treatment for hepc and depression....but, drs are "suppose to weed out" the depressed and concider them "too high a risk" for treatment...because the treatment itself sometimes can make the depression worse...and they are afraid it will lead them to suicide!

well i have two things to say about that...one is that there is a serious risk for you to go on treatment with major depression and you should be aware of that...no one wants you too reach your end point and freak out and kill yourself...but you would feel that change and see that coming and would have ample warning time to react before going down that road...but he probably is being stuborn about this as the protacal suggests to him he should be...but drs are realizing there is a way around this and that those with depression risks are able to be treated if careful...

for this you will have to get your depression under control and be monitored very closely on treatment to make sure you don't go over the edge...no one wants that...that is not in your best interest either...so alot of drs want you to work with a pyschologist too while treating and perhaps have a support group too... this one here at medhelp may be sufficiant or an in person type may be sugested...but you must have the attitude that you will do anything to get rid of this virus...you sort of need to find within yourself an "attack mode" to deal with being on treatment...if you feel too weak or mowed down you will not do too well...so you gotta do what you need to to get yourself mentally ready to treat this...it is tough treatment...it's like chemotheropy or being in boot camp! "arg, arg, arg" and you get yourself through the challanges...when the virus spits at you...you spit back!!! it's actually good for the psychy...it toughens you up...but if not careful or ready it can tear you down...

so, get on treatment for the depression and tweek the meds and dose until you feel good enough and then start treatment! you can do it with some help from others!!!

the other thing i have to say is that drs are now discovering that for many of these patients, that previously were concidered at too high a risk for treatment because of physcological problems, can get that under control and be closely monitored so that they can be very successful for treating hepc with out incidents...i think it was califia that posted that down this list...look under "depressed" a few posts down...she has some good links to read...if that doesn't work do a google on "hepatitis c treatment and depression"...you will find tons of good articles to print out to your dr so that they can learn that it can be done...

oh and the most important thing for you to do is NOT put your head in the sand as your "dumb and dumber" dr is suggesting...you gotta find out the condition of your liver with a biopsy!!!  does he think you can't have one of those either because of depression?...SILLY MAN...looking away does not make it disapear!!! that always reminds me of that game toddlers play where they cover thier eyes and pretend "YOU" can't see them!!! just cause they closed "thier eyes" dosen't mean they went anywhere!!! silly kids!!!...tell your dr to grow up! not really! they have thier ways to make life dificult if we don't play thier games...so "stroke his pride" and play along if you must, but make him play "your way" while your at it... especially if you can't find another dr who will work with you on your unique situation...

boy, do i have experience with manipulation or what??? i'm a typical daddy's girl i guess...

if you find out you have a stage/grade one or less you can relax a bit and focus on getting that depression under control before worrying about starting these meds immediately...

if you are advanced in liver fibrosis there is a reason to be very concerned and get started on treatment asap...dieing of liver disease is just as high of a threat to your health as suicide...so they may risk the treatment even if you have depression and just monitor you that much more closely...

so you gotta know where you stand with liver damage right now...once on treatment it will be really important for you to watch your own feelings and if you start going over the edge you GOTTA tell your dr to help you get that under control with other meds first before lowering your dosage or stopping the treatment...

if this dr is a dummy then dump him and move on to one who understands this disease and the side effects of treatment and how to controll them...one who will work with you to save your life...yes, be sure to find a hepatologist or at least a gastrointerologist...they may be more familar with what is being done now for depressed individuals with hepc...ASK THEM TO WORK CLOSELY WITH YOUR PSYCOLOGIST...TO ENSURE A SAFE TREATMENT PLAN FOR YOU...

i guess i just repeated what everyone else already told you, but i figured hearing it from as many people as possible would show you how important this is for you...take care and stick with us!


Avatar universal
I just posted you on the thread where you said you have a 13-hour drive to your doctor.  I couldn't remember if you were a patient of Dr. Cecil's or not, but now -- after reading this post from you -- I'm fairly certain that you are.  I'm eager to get established with someone good like him.  That's another reason why I would never consider treatment now -- I simply don't trust either of the doctors I've seen so far.  

Thank you for your good wishes for our baby-making plans.  

Avatar universal

I was seriously depressed after my first and second round of TX. We took a break till I could be TX with a antidepressant that worked for me...Once we found one, I proceeded to start and completed this last tx....I am in agreement with..

Avatar universal
Find another doc. I was already ahead of the game.these drugs cause depresson an some suicidal thoughts.My gastro. Doc told me to make sure my pych. knew what was going on.All he did was ajust some of my meds till I was off,pegasys&co-pegasys.
Have been being treated for depression,panic attacks an a few other things for the last 5 yrs.Am hep free for 6 months now.but still going to my shrink,whom is great.
Find you a good doc. good luck an God bless you.
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