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Chemical imbalance?


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I had an interseting and insightful conversation with T last week. Since my hospitlization last month, I truly feel more normal than I have felt in 5 years! I am having lunch with friends, going shopping on my own, planning a vacation for JUST my kids and I (I usually bring someone else along), thinking about returning to work sometime in the future, volunteering at church- all the things I have not been able to due for some time due to my depression and anxiety.

What changed during that admission was a complete overhaul of my meds. I am now on Cymnalta, Seroquel and Xanax. Because this med change made such a drastic impact on me, T feels (and I agree) that my depression is likely caused by a chemical imbalance that is exacerbated by stress or severe anxiety. So, she suggested we make a "plan of action" for the next bout of depression while I am thinking clearly so that, hopefully, it won't spiral so badly again.

So, here's my question: if my depression truly is caused by a chemical imbalance and the new meds seem to be controlling that imbalance, then shouldn't I continue to do fine as long as I am on these meds? I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder by pdoc and he says that, due to the number of severe episodes I've had, my chances of future episodes are high. But, I guess I'm not understanding it, then. Didn't those episodes happen when my imbalance was not treated properly? If I am now "balanced" what would cause future episodes? I guess what I am wondering is why is it a foregone conclusion I will have future episodes of depression?

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Proverbs, from what I understand, this can happen because the brain gradually gets used to the medication. Some of us are prone to develop imbalances based on events in our lives and the way that we process them. The drugs help, by getting you back to balance and making it harder to get out of balance, but they don't guarantee that you'll never get out of balance ever again.

But even if you never feel depressed again, where's the harm in learning what to do if you do?

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But even if you never feel depressed again, where's the harm in learning what to do if you do?

I guess there's no harm, per se. I am just thinking this through logically and trying to understand it, I guess. Why? I don't know. Just because I always feel the need to understand everything. Its a control thing, I guess. I can't be in control of something I don't understand, kwim?

The truth is I have been wondering when the other shoe will drop? How long will I enjoy this new sense of self and purpose before I am back climbing into bed in the middle of the day and avoiding people, events and activities. I feel like I am trying to cram so much into what is an unknown window of time before this feeling of normalcy wears off. I have scheduled a vacation for my kids and I, I am getting out of the house more, I am accomplishing at least one thing every day. These are all things I have not been able to do in at least 5 years and I feel like I need to do it all before I spiral again.

But, even then, I wonder why it would happen again if I have "solved" my imbalance. :confused: What you say makes sense, but it also scares me to some degree. :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

I guess you could use this analogy but when I was going to be put on drugs the doctor gave me two options, you can take the short term pill where it effects immediately but you'll get used to it over time, or you can take the long terms where it will take a week or two to effect but you will feel keep feeling better. I took the long term and maybe that's all this is.

By the way I'm very happy that your starting to figure things out, I feel great that your feeling great and getting better, and volunteering more at church and planning a vacation which I pray you have an absolutely exellent time on. Keep praying and pushing forward because your getting towards the end of this so after all this God bless you.

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I was told that I had a chemical imbalance when I was diagnosed with BPD. I am still in the middle of swapping and changing my meds for this, as well as my BPD.

I seem to be more down than up which, I understand now, is going to occur, till I get on the right meds that suit me?

I see my Pdoc on Friday so... It will be very interesting to hear what he has to say, after my latest episode of mood swing and depression?

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Hey everyone,

This "chemical imbalance" thing is very complicated.

The problem is that no one is REALLY sure what the "chemical balance" in your brain should be to start with!!

You're right malign, your brain does get used to a chemical you're taking.

And when you add naturally occuring hormones, which will fluctuate due to aging, stress, etc. then you really have a situation!:eek: (Both men and women go through "menopause"; male menopause just isn't as drastic as that for females.)

Here's an example I hope makes sense: alcohol can cause your brain to be "chemically imbalanced". And how one drink affects one person can be drastically different from how one drink affects someone else.... Does this make sense?

If you have a med combination that is working for you mentally that's great - just be sure to pay attention to how you feel PHYSICALLY and make sure your doctors - all of them - know if you start feeling "out of sorts" or "not quite right".

You have to keep in mind that the drugs prescribed for your brain ALSO affect your body!:(

I guess you might say it's that "healthy body healthy mind" thing.

For myself, I was on an anti-depressant and an anti-seizure med for eight years. The only changes that were ever really made were to increase the dose whenever I began to feel bad or my migraines became frequent.

Unfortuantely I began to feel physically bad after all that time.

I chose to try a different route and have been able to eliminate the meds for me, using herbals instead.:)

Yes, I'm having problems with being depressed, anxiety, etc. and have "regressed" in terms of my mental state (therapist's words, not mine), but physically I'm going great. I just have to keep working on myself for what doesn't seem to be right.

I'm VERY THANKFUL for this website and the forums that it has - it's helping me IMMENSELY!

I hope I am helping some too with my posts...I guess if I'm not everyone will let me know!!:)

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