Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 120074

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 25. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

working.out.blues

Posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

i have been taking various anti-d meds for around 4 years now. my weight has steadily increased because of my inability to exert when working out. 4 years ago i could run 5 miles a day w/o problem. now, i'm doing good if i make 5 minutes (about 1/3 mile) at embarrassingly slow pace. my main meds have been effexor & dexadrine. i would like to be able to work out and get in shape again. i know this would help my depression. any ideas???

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by butterbay on September 17, 2002, at 1:31:03

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

i too take effexor. it is wonderful for my depression, but i also have gained a lot of weight. i'm kind of lazy, though, so my situation is a little different than yours. have you heard of the apple cider vinegar pills? they are supposed to help a great deal in weight loss. they are, of course, all natural and many people have lost weight that i know by taking them, they really don't watch what they eat, either. it doesn't work fast, but it works. i have just started taking them myself. there is a lot of info on the web about them, if you want to read up on them, it may just be the boost you need. good luck

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by rainbowlight on September 17, 2002, at 1:46:59

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

I have a hard time exercising too. I have also put on 30 pounds from the meds. A week ago I bought a treadmill. It's been great. It's convenient and I can use it any time of the day. So far I have lost 2 pounds. I am trying to remember that it took months/years to put the weight on, and it will take awhile to work it off. Sure is frustrating though huh?

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by katekite on September 17, 2002, at 7:07:48

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

Why are you not tolerant of exercise? What happens?

kate

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by sjb on September 17, 2002, at 8:39:44

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

I have had incredible differences in my ability to work out on meds. Have you changed or increased dosages?

Also, this is really hard, but try right now NOT to think about what you used to do. I can't believe I'm telling someone that because my poor husband has heard me many times cry and whine during phases when I can't run. I digress.

If you cannot run very far right now, your best bet is to briskly walk or try another form of excercise (preferably outside) for the period of time you used to run. That way your getting exercise but not beating yourself up over it thinking about what you used to do, which just aggravates the depression.

I remind myself during these phases when I walk, that many folks cannot even do this, thank God for my blessings and try to be grateful. It's difficult, I know.

 

Re: working.out.blues sjb

Posted by audrey on September 17, 2002, at 10:01:45

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by sjb on September 17, 2002, at 8:39:44

SJB's advice is very good. If you have indeed changed meds or dosages, just remember that your body is trying to adjust. Also, if you are embarrassed to be outside, do you have access to a treadmill? I am a competetive runner, but there are weeks when I can barely walk the five minutes to work, let alone run 6+ miles, so I get on the treadmill and do what I can. If it means I can only run for 2 minutes, then walk for 5 minutes (or even 10 minutes!), then run for 2 minutes, well, I feel a heck of a lot better that I got out there instead of sitting on the couch with a container of Haagen Daz, watching bad TV! SJB is so right -- be patient with yourself, and encourage yourself for everything you accomplish instead of berating yourself for not running your usual 5 miles. Just getting off your butt deserves some kind of praise. Good luck!

> I have had incredible differences in my ability to work out on meds. Have you changed or increased dosages?
>
> Also, this is really hard, but try right now NOT to think about what you used to do. I can't believe I'm telling someone that because my poor husband has heard me many times cry and whine during phases when I can't run. I digress.
>
> If you cannot run very far right now, your best bet is to briskly walk or try another form of excercise (preferably outside) for the period of time you used to run. That way your getting exercise but not beating yourself up over it thinking about what you used to do, which just aggravates the depression.
>
> I remind myself during these phases when I walk, that many folks cannot even do this, thank God for my blessings and try to be grateful. It's difficult, I know.

 

I HEAR you big time wsj

Posted by johnj on September 17, 2002, at 10:25:14

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

I have been taking nortryptline 50 mg, lithobid, 600 mg day, and tranzen 15 to 22.5 a day. I cannot work out or my mood goes to total hell. I used to work out like crazy and now nothing or my mood crashes. I have found, by posting here, that other people on the same or mother drug of nortryptline have had similiar problems. I have had this usually after a few weeks to months after starting a program. I make sure I get enough salt so my lithium level doesn't increase, but to no avail it is happening sooner now, like a few days after working out(age related?). Most people have hinted that it is probably the TCA. I have not heard of people with this problem on ssri's so I intend to give lexapro a shot in the near future. If I can successfully switch AD's I will start very slow and work up to excercising very slowly. I sometimes wonder if I need the AD anymore if it is causing such a problem? It is indeed perplexing.
johnj

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 11:18:33

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

the reason i stop after 1-5 minutes is fatigue, legs that feel they can't run another step.
i have both a treadmill and a lifecycle - but niether give me the feeling or get me in shape like running outside.
i don't buy that i have to reduce my expectations just because i'm on meds.

thanks for the posts!
wsj

 

Re: working.out.blues wsj

Posted by audrey on September 17, 2002, at 12:28:05

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 11:18:33

I respectfully disagree with you -- being on meds does in fact mean that certain expectations have to be reduced. I can't expect to go out to dinner with my friends and have a cocktail or two and feel only minor effects the way I used to. I can't expect that I'm always going to feel full of energy the way I used to. You originally asked for advice on how to get motivated and how to get rid of the weight you've gained. Well, I hate to advertise for a company that exploits young children in third world countries, but JUST DO IT. Do what you can. And keep doing it. Accept what you are capable of right not. So today you only go out for five minutes. OK, next week maybe it's six minutes or ten minutes or whatever. But complaining about it and not doing anything isn't going to get you back in shape. Trust me -- I've been right in your running shoes. Maybe this isn't the answer you wanted to hear, but it's how I've managed to get back into shape. I have been on and off so many medications and suffered so many side effects and exhaustion and not wanting to get out of bed, but I did what I could, and in October I'm running the Chicago marathon. Maybe I won't run it as fast as I did before I was on meds, but I'm going to do my best.

If your meds aren't helping you with your mental illness, then that's a whole different story, but if they are, then you need to weigh the benefits of being on them vs. not being on them and being able to run five miles.


> the reason i stop after 1-5 minutes is fatigue, legs that feel they can't run another step.
> i have both a treadmill and a lifecycle - but niether give me the feeling or get me in shape like running outside.
> i don't buy that i have to reduce my expectations just because i'm on meds.
>
> thanks for the posts!
> wsj

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by sjb on September 17, 2002, at 13:35:41

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 11:18:33

I agree with Audrey. Your last statement is "all or nothing" thinking and perhaps some denial thrown in there as well. Neither are helpful at this point.

Listen, I've had a lot of set backs but still have goals in racing from the 5K to ultramarathoning. However, I may have to re-evaluate these goals depending on how things go. I think, for all of us, our mental health is the most important thing we should be focusing on right now.

I don't think any of us know now what the short and long term effects are from the medication we take and have taken, but here we are. Our jobs are to make the most of it.

Let me clarify: I didn't say that you must lower your long-term goals, just your short term goals, like what can you do today? I assure you that walking and/or hiking for a substantial amount of time is preferable to slogging through a bad running spell of 5 minutes and then quitting for the day in disgust.

I speak from experience. I have a run marathons and ultra marathons of 50K, 50 and 100 miles. I come back much faster when I manage to do SOMETHING. Another thing that helps is doing more weight lifting, stretching, etc at the gym when your running's not going well.

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by Mr Beev on September 17, 2002, at 16:10:30

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

I should like to add my two groats' worth to the preceeding good posts; two amplifications:

1. As has been pointed out, if you can run only in five minute segments, by all means do so; something is better than nothing. I took up running whilst (1) on effexor or luvox, (2) with their added weight gains, (3) with severe carpal tunnel syndrome, (4) drinking heavily, (5) being a smoker (!), (6) middle-aged, (7) having an amoeba-like physique, and (8) a negative attitude. But perseverance and reasonable goals - however minute - is the key.

2. johnj brings up an excellent and important point, namely that, although exercise is one of the few activities that it is agreed upon by all hands will ameliorate depression, except in severe cases, sometimes in rare cases it can backfire. In my case it happened because of an electrolyte imbalance, which I cured by adding salt to my gatorade.

I truly believe that if I can do it - running 20 miles/week now for 2.5 years - anyone can!

Mr Beev

 

Re: working.out.blues Mr Beev

Posted by johnj on September 17, 2002, at 22:45:07

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by Mr Beev on September 17, 2002, at 16:10:30

Hey Mr. Beev how is it going?

I am still on the same meds, but looking hard at lexapro. I would like to boot the TCA and hopefully I can slowly get back to working out. If I don't excercise I get back to feeling decent and have one tenth of the depression/anixety. I really hope it is the TCA and changing will help. You both hit the nail on the head when you said a little at a time and even if it is walking it is better than quitting and feeling horrible the whole day. Hope you are doing well. I have been adding sodium to my diet since I eat a lot of fruit and it seems to help. Glad this site exists because I have learned things the docs never told me. take care.
johnj

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 23:10:20

In reply to Re: working.out.blues wsj, posted by audrey on September 17, 2002, at 12:28:05

i failed to communicate that i don't stop at 5 minutes except to walk until i try again - and i do this for 1-1.5 hours a day. i have at times gone to two-a-days(2-3 hrs/day). i am not lazy and i am not unmotivated, i am simply frustrated w/ the lack of progress and continuing weight problem. it gets to a point that you feel like for the return it's not worth the time invested. i'm coming on this site to see if someone can help pinpoint the problem and give me hope.
p.s. my wife and i just got back from chicago sunday - she wants to run that marathon as well.

thanks for the advice,
wsj

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by sjb on September 18, 2002, at 9:49:12

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 23:10:20

Ok, I did misunderstand and can sympathize with your dilemna. Now, I'm thinking you may be experiencing some kind of burnout.

I have had some especially bad depressive spells and weight gain after a hard endurance race or a period of intense training. These spells come on anywhere from 1 - 6 weeks after the event and can last weeks.

I have been extremely hard on myself, because like you said, it's like all the work you've done with training appears to go down the drain. Let me emphasize, it does not. You may loose some fitness, but usually not as much as you think.

I remember my first experience after my first marathon in '94. I had been routinely running 80 miles a week in preperation. I started out conservatively and ran a fairly comfortable 3:16. Well, I had some of the normal soreness the next 2 two days, but I was feeling "high." I immediately resumed my 10-12 miles a day and thought, "Where's the next race?" My husband cautioned me but I did not listen. Three weeks later I went out for a run with him and could barely make a mile! Nothing hurt, physically, but I just couldn't run! I was devasted, cried, whined and went through a good 2 week depression where I slept a lot, ate a lot and was unmotivated. I gained weight, duh.

This pattern has repeated itself after many of my endurance events. Some of the symptons I experienced are somewhat atypical of burnout and overtraining, notably the weight gain.

I'm only telling you this, so you know that these things can happen. I often feel terrible that my athletic friends can consistently train and race without these problems, but then, they're not on this board either. Should tell me something and I may have to re-evaluate my goals.

There is all kind of things that happen to our endocrine system, etc and sometimes we just have to wait it out. Everyone processes the stress of training differently.

Perhaps you'll find a better way, I hope so. I just want you to know that we support you and that you are not alone in your frustration right now.

I would also urge you to take your resting heart rate in the morning and keep a log. If it is elevated, this is a classic sign that something is wrong.

 

Re: working.out.blues - meds

Posted by sjb on September 18, 2002, at 10:03:03

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 23:10:20

I forgot to add my 2c regarding meds and to agree with a previous poster, about salt intake.

I performed at my best on low dosages of the following: Prozac, Luvox, Wellbutrin and Adderall, and now Lexapro (knock on wood - only on it for a week). I was taking these individually, with no other meds.

The following meds adversely affected my strenth and endurance: dosages of Prozac over 60mg, Luvox over 100 mg, Parnate, tycyclics, Zyprexa, and mood stabilizers.

I crashed terribly after taking Adderall and now that I'm competing again, I will not take it for ethical reasons. It is a banned subtance. (Not that I would ever be tested as I'm obiviously far from an elite athlete, I just don't feel right, even it is just a local 5k.)

I sweat a lot. When I added more salt to my diet, I noticed a big difference in my ability to recover from work outs and had much less delayed muscle soreness. Endurance athletes need salt! This is even more important if the meds you are taking increase sweat, as they often do. Luvox, in particular, is a sweat inducer, indicating more of need for good hydration and salt intake.

 

Re: working.out.blues - meds sjb

Posted by johnj on September 18, 2002, at 10:45:01

In reply to Re: working.out.blues - meds, posted by sjb on September 18, 2002, at 10:03:03

HI SJB:

I would appreciate your continued posts about lexapro and working out. I am very anxious to try a med change, from my TCA, to lexapro in the near future. For the time being I have stopped working out because I have an exam in late October and have stabilized somewhat for the time being. After that is said and done I want to try a change and hopefully find an ssri that will let me work out. I do take lithium, but I am aware of the salt intake that is needed. I do believe the TCA is casuing the mood change when working out. Right now any ability to work out is an improvement. Hope the lexapro works for you. I am med sensitive so I will start very low and work up. Just want to get off that dirty TCA. Thanks for posting.
Johnj

 

Re: working.out.blues - what's worked for me

Posted by jrbecker on September 18, 2002, at 10:48:26

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 23:10:20

I've always suffered from atypical depression, which is probably the worst kind for trying to keep in shape considering the unbelievable amout of lethargy, food cravings and hypersomnolescence that comes with it. Ironically, though, I've been a long time 'athlete' (varsity sports, long distance running). It was just something I was raised on, and thank God, b/c I'd be all the worse probably without it.

My pdoc though has always stressed the need for exercise as just as equal in therapeutic efficacy as my meds, and I definitely agree. In her opinion, it is usually her most worst-off clients who commit themselves to exercise, since they know how much it can make a diffrence.

Most of the meds I've taken, including most of the SSRIs, atypical ADs, and mood stabilizers, have all had the dual role of helping but also hindering my exercise. More or less, it usually comes down to a benefit of mood lift vs their somnolescent/lethargic side effects. I'm able to recognize that without the mood lift though, I'd never be able to get out the door to begin with though. So in the end, I give more importance to increasing my MOTIVATION to go and exercise, since it's really something I have to be cognizant of all the time since most meds can make you feel so apathetic.

So medication issues aside [even though that's the first issue to be addressed if it's making you overly apathetic/somnolescent], I thought I'd add my own two cents on what's worked for me, since I have always battled periods of a total lack of motivation [they of course, always correlate with my most depressed/stressed days]. I recognize these proceeding tips are fairly common-sensical statements, however, I think they're worthwhile for any novices out there or anybody else that hasn't considered them. So apologies in advance if I come off like a personal trainer:

1) Make a commitment to someone else besides yourself. Recruit a friend who maybe knows about your condition and tell him/her that exercise is essential to your well-being in staying mentally healthy. Let him/her be your watchful observer/motivator/cheerleader/coach, even if he/she is not directly involved in the exercising regiment itself.

2)Plan it out, schedule [on a calendar if neccessary] the times and dates when you're going to go and do your exercise sessions.

3) Know your limitations. Start slowly in adding to an exercise regiment. It' easy to over-exert ourselves, be discouraged or burnout. And you WILL burnout, it's only a matter of time given our periods of highs and lows. Allow yourself to recover and get back into it as soon as you think you can.

4) monopolize on peak energy periods of the day. Like most of us depressive sufferers, I feel pretty tired througout the day, but I tend to get a slight boost of energy in the late afternoon/early evening. I take advantage of this time to go out and get some exercise, knowing it's when I can be the most motivated. Also, it a great way to take the edge off from the stress experienced early in the day. Ideally though, I'd like to be able to get up in the morning and jump-start the day in exercising the first thing in the morning. Most of us will recognize that this isn't possible, especially if you have to rise early for work. If you can do it though, all the more power to you, since it will definitely give you more energy throughout the whole day than exercising at night. On the other hand, if you do exercise in the afternoon/evening [like most people do] it is important to obviously not over-exert yourself if you are exercising since it might contribute to any insomnia you're pre-disposed.

5) MUSIC -- by far, this is the one thing that keeps me in going. If you do solitary exercise activites like run, bike, or workout in a gym, one of the things that keeps me going is having a walkman with me to keep me stimulated. I even have a 'pump up' session before I head out to exercise where I turn the music up, let the adrenalin levels surge a little, and get myself out of any funk I'm feeling at that moment.

6) Try yoga or pilates. As someone who's always done more tradtional things like sports or running, it's totally opened up my perspective on what exercise can do for you. I've been used to feeling exhausted from exertion at the end of most activities, with the relaxation coming later. But with yoga, the relaxation you can tap is totally even more rewarding since it can definitely add to a sense of inner peace, possibly even spirituality.

7) Join a gym. Group participation is the best motivation. Take an aerobics/yoga/spin/cardio class and commit yourself to the routine. In the end, all the motivation you'll need is to show-up.

8) Other tips, Visualization: imagine yourself feeling/looking better or anything else that adds to your motivation, before or during your exercise session. Consume a small amount of caffeine or sugar before you exercise if you're feeling sluggish or un-motivated.

That's what's helped me. And no doubt, exercise gives me more energy, confidence, and helps to combat any somnolescent symptoms of my depression and med therapy.

Good luck.

 

Re: working.out.blues johnj

Posted by Mr Beev on September 18, 2002, at 12:34:41

In reply to Re: working.out.blues Mr Beev, posted by johnj on September 17, 2002, at 22:45:07

Hi johnj! Things are going quite well, I think, thanks for asking!

I'm stabilized on 150mg Effexor and 2.5mg Zyprexa as needed (though I am supposed to be taking it every day). Contrary to many posts here, I have done well with Effexor, though there were/are obnoxious side-effects, such as weight gain (10 lbs.), some jaw-clenching, and some loss of conditioning (I run about 1 minute per mile slower than I did when on Luvox - but that's better than nothing!).

Give Lexapro, or Celexa, or perhaps another SSRI/SNRI a shot. My pdoc tries very hard to avoid TCAs in all but the most intransigent cases. One reason she gives is their wealth of side-effects, which she considers much worse than those of SSRIs (in general). Glad the sodium seems to be helping; if blood pressure etc. is not a problem, you've got little to lose, and, as another poster stated, exercisers need a lot more electrolye replacement.

You are wise to take up walking even if you working out isn't an option. One thing I've learned from my fairly extensive researches into repetitive stress injuries, is that the human body is not meant to sit still or be stuffed into cramped/bad postural positions all day. It's really important to stretch, move around as much as is reasonable. I even find that moderately-paced walking helps my running injuries!

Hope things go well with dropping the TCA,
Mr Beev

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by LynnPerley on September 18, 2002, at 22:20:02

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

What a wonderful thread!!

Nobody has mentioned strength training. Wsj, have you tried lifting weights, even light ones? If the aerobic exercise is troubling, I was wondering about it as a potential solution for you. Otherwise, perhaps switching to a different exercise or doing yoga/pilates would help.

A year ago, I was in great shape, healthy weight. Regular exercise had kept me functioning at a basic level for almost three years. It's a wonderful antidepressant. When anxiety was thrown into the mix, I needed help. I've been taking effexor xr since March and I've just finished 3 months at 225mg dosage. I cannot stay committed to exercise. Some of this is due to scheduling issues but I'm too lazy to choose easy alternatives (work late and miss aerobics class, but won't do the aerobics tape I have at home). I've gained 10 pounds since March and physically I feel low. I think I'm hitting bottom and I'm about ready to buckle down and get going again.

One thing that I have resolved to do which will help is to cut way back on my alcohol consumption. I should not be consuming alcohol on this med, anyway, and I'm sure it's having an effect on my attitude.

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by wsj on September 19, 2002, at 0:16:17

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by Mr Beev on September 17, 2002, at 16:10:30

salt may be the answer! i eliminated salt from my diet around the time this problem started!

thanks for the posts,

wsj

 

Re: working.out.blues - copied from above post

Posted by sjb on September 19, 2002, at 8:21:08

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by LynnPerley on September 18, 2002, at 22:20:02

Another thing that helps is doing more weight lifting, stretching, etc at the gym when your running's not going well.

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by Mr Beev on September 19, 2002, at 9:34:51

In reply to working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 0:01:27

My physical medicine doctor rated the following activities in decreasing order of importance:

1. Flexibility - stretching, yoga, etc.
2. Aerobic - jogging, swimming, etc.
3. Strengthening - lifting weights, isometrics, etc.

Her rationale: there is less reason to be aerobically fit if one is as stiff as a board. Stretching and the like is especially important as we age or if, like myself, one seems to naturally slide into decrepitude. Similarly, strength is important, but there is less reason to do it, if one is stiff and the arteries are all a-clog; also, whilst one may indeed work up quite a sweat lifting weights, it does not provide the important sustained heart rate of aerobics. Such are my doctor's thoughts, but they seem logical to me.

Best regards,
Mr Beev

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by Angel1 on September 19, 2002, at 19:20:38

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by wsj on September 17, 2002, at 11:18:33

I stopped taking effexor because it turned me into a sleeping machine. I too, could not work out like I used to because the med slowed me way down. It helped my depression but not to the point where I wasn't willing to try something else. I am now on 100mg Desipramine and am back to my usual work out and energy level. Just remember there are other meds that can help you without the side effects of weight gain.

 

Re: working.out.blues Angel1

Posted by johnj on September 20, 2002, at 9:27:49

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by Angel1 on September 19, 2002, at 19:20:38

How are the side effects of the Desipramine? Does it disrupt your working out at all. Do you know if it is a metabolite of another AD? Sorry for all the questions.
Thanks
johnj

 

Re: working.out.blues

Posted by sebastian on September 23, 2002, at 10:28:01

In reply to Re: working.out.blues, posted by butterbay on September 17, 2002, at 1:31:03

I take Celexa, with no wight gain.


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