Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Medication Depression

When I was going through early treatment for arthritis, I was very depressed. Part of it was due to medication. Very few people realise it, but medicine can affect our mental health more than we think. It makes sense when you think about antidepressants affecting one's mood. What we put into our bodies has a great affect on what comes out, whether it's a good result or a bad attitude.

Many medications warn they can cause mood changes or depression. Medicine for autoimmune disease is no different: several of these can cause mood changes. I can't talk from personal experience about many of the medicines, however I can talk about two: Methotrexate and Enbrel. If you're a frequent reader, you may already know that methotrexate did not work well for me whilst Enbrel has.

I've taken Methotrexate for two years; one year at a time with a year between. I took it both through subcutaneous injection and orally. Both times I experienced mood changes. The first year I mostly experienced depression (as I talked about in My Arthritis Depression). Once I stopped taking methotrexate, I became very happy again. After a break, we decided to try it again. As well as depression, my mood could change in an instant. I would sometimes burst out in tears over nothing, and could quickly become angry or frustrated over something minor. That's a hard way to live, so that  ended. Later that year, I began Enbrel. I haven't experienced any mood changes, thankfully. I probably just jinxed myself, since mood changes can happen on Enbrel too.

If your mood seems to change when you take a certain medicine, it could be a side effect. Though it doesn't happen to everyone, it is possible. Of course, it could be something completely different. I'm not trying to suggest that any mood problems are the medicine's fault: I'm saying it's a constantly overlooked side effect. And I'm not by any means saying you shouldn't take medicine because of the  small possibility of this side effect: I encourage you to take medications that you and your doctor decide could help! You never know what may work until you try! Of course, in autoimmune disease, it's very easy to become depressed. If you feel sad, please reach out for help. It can't get better until you ask for help.

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