A Different Kind of Problem

jannieJune 17, 2013

I've written many times about my DH. He's 66, confined to bed, has multiple sclerosis (MS), "Alzhymer's-like" symptoms and seizure disorder. recently he's been very depressed and apathetic. I am his caregiver. Lately he's been very sad, saying things like 'I wish I would die... I don't care". He doesn't have a psychiatrist right now. He broke so many appointments with the last one, she refuses to see him. He can't get out of bed to even take him to a new doctor. His regular neurologist doesn't want to see him until september. I've called and told the neurologist how depressed he is, all he's done is prescribe an Antidepressant named "Lexapro." I hate to see him this way. Any advice?

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I don't know if I can give you any advice, but I hope I can share a little support. Antidepressants can be very effective, so I would definitely give that a try. Keep in mind that they often take a week or two to see a change, and sometimes (most times?) you may need to adjust dosages or even try a different antidepressant to maximize improvement with minimal side effects.
Antidepressants also typically are best used with psychiatric "talk therapy" so it is wonderful you are trying to arrange that, despite the challenges. Maybe you could find a psychiatrist who would be willing to do sessions over the phone, or even a video link like Skype?
There is also research showing the benefits of therapy animals - does DH like animals? Maybe you could find a therapy animal service willing to visit your home, or even just a friend with a gentle pet who would be willing to come over?
Wishing you all the best ((((hugs for you and DH))))

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Sometimes such talk is also the dementia at work in other ways. The grandmother gets in deep anger and talks of death ... even begging me to kill her ... when she's frustrated and confused or overwhelmed with too much information-input. She doesn't remember what she was saying later when she's back to "normal."

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:34PM
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Thanks for the information. Yes I do think this suicide-related talk is part of the dementia aspect of his diseases. I'll be back in touch with the neurologist (who I see as hubby's most reliable and experienced doctor). Plus I'll carefully monitor his medications. Doc did offer to up the dose on the Lexapro. Maybe a dosage change will help.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Actually, anti-depressants can take up to 6 weeks to bcome fully effective, so be patient.

My MIL has dementia, and became so over-anxious that we finally convnced her doctor to prescribe a mild dose of ADs. Two months later, things are so much better now. I hope they will help your DH as well.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 1:24AM
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