Author Topic: SJS and Depression  (Read 4644 times)


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SJS and Depression
« on: March 07, 2010, 08:48:16 PM »
I would like to know does severe depression associated woth sjs or just a coincidence. I have felt very weepy and depressed for months now, and my dr says it is from the sjs. I was put on 20mg Prozac approx. 6 weeks ago but I don't think it is helping.

What I am wondering is how common is depression in people with primary sjs. and do the meds help or am I just not on a high enough dose?

Thanks for any help.


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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 09:00:51 PM »
Depression and chronic illness seem to go hand in hand...I know there are so many people who are on anti-depressants who post on these boards. If you put some of these words in the search box will probably find a lot of information on this very subject.

As far as the medication....there are so many medications and dosages and this is such an individual thing that it is actually a trial and error for many of us. I personally benefit from taking Lexapro (20 mg/day).

I truly never thought that a medication like this could help me so much until I found myself in a situation of sadness and crying for unknown reasons. We all get sad...but when we don't know what is causing it and it affects our daily lives...its time to seek help. Please talk to you doc and I'm sure that your dosage or medication can be adjusted until you find what works right for you!

Hang in there...there's a light at the end of the tunnel!



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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 09:02:23 AM »
It's been so long since I posted of the many reasons is depression I think.

It's one thing to be diagnosed and then another to be treated and then another to accept it all.  It seems that depression is overlooked big time and I'm really sorry you are going through it.  It definitely helps to sound off here where people understand.  I feel guilty if I talk to family members or close friends but you do need to let it out so rant away!

I suppose my depression came on when I began to receive treatment (on Warfarin as I also have APS/Hughes) and I realised that my life would never be the same.  I really want to work but can't and I don't seem to be able to feel excited about anything anymore but I find you do have to be quite strict with yourself if you can.  I find it helps if your brain is occupied and I try not to give myself the opportunity to think too much (very difficult when stuck inside feeling awful!).  I sort of trick myself into thinking about something else and although the depression does not disappear all together, it does diminish.

Will stop rambling....really hope this helps....hang in there and know you are supported by all the lovely people here,



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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 10:22:08 AM »
Thanks T and LynnMarie. I feel so hopeless right now, like I will never have a normal life again, and I don't know if this is normal to feel this way or not. All that my Dr tellls me is that it is the disease. Maybe I need a different antidepressant.


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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 11:57:00 AM »
Hi Patty,

I have been off teaching for five weeks because of a flare, but when I went to the Dr. on Saturday he signed me off for twelve weeks with SJS and reactive depression.  He said reactive was the important word and that it was linked to the systemic nature of Sjogrens and the related fatigue which hindered my attempts to do my job well.  It is the inability to overcome the fatigue and resulting inefficiency that causes the depression.  I'm not on any medication for the depression just on long term sick leave.

I guess I'm not all that surprised that the illness has led to this - I have struggled on with a demanding job that needed a 50 hr + a week input in order to do it well and I increasingly put in those hours and found I that I still hadn't done enough.  Very frustrating!

Like you, right now, I cry at the drop of a hat and I am very annoyed with myself for being so weak and that makes me sad again - vicious circle.

I know I have to allow myself time to heal and that is my advice to you.  It is difficult to do and I'm not being a very good example right now, but time, rest and lack of stress seem to be the way to go - except I am eating so much I shall need a fork lift to get around soon!

Look after yourself and don't rush things.



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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 02:50:16 PM »
Thanks Beverly,
I haven't been able to work in 2 and 1/2 years. I was forced to quit work even before I was diagnosed I could not do my job. I think part of the problem is I have been having so many issues in the past year. Stomach ie, heart burn, acid reflux, emptying problems, acid burning my throat and make it impossible for me to swallow. Dry mouth and throat, fitigue, pain, brain fog, infections in my mouth.
I just wonder at this point is anything ever going to go away and be somwhat normal again. I have to sleep elevated 10 inches or I have reflux problems oh and on my left side. which makes my left hip hurt to heck and back.

I just want to scream some days.

Thanks for all the support.


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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 04:18:26 PM »
Hi  :)

I agree that its not surprising that anyone with a chronic illness is prone to depression. It's more amazing that people soldier on without getting depressed!

I hope the Prozac helps. Anti depressants can take a while to kick in - and you may not have given it enough time yet. I'd check with your doc and if he thinks you have given it long enough - he could maybe switch you to something else. Like most meds - one size doesn't fit all.

The other thing I'd do is make sure your thyroid is behaving. If my thyroid goes even a little bit underactive, I get terribly depressed. I was on anti depressants for over a year once and I eventually weaned myself off them because they weren't working. I just decided that depression was a way of life and that I really didn't like life much.

Some time after that I got dxd with an underactive thyroid. Thyroid medication changed my life. I think it must have been slowing down for years but no one had ever tested it. The depression lifted.

A couple of times it's come back and both times I've needed the thyroid medication adjusted. Within 'normal range' is no good for me. I need to be half way or preferably lower within the normal range (talking TSH) High end of normal I feel ill.

Speak to your doc though. Depression can usually be helped one way or another.

Take care - scottie  :)   (our home page)   (find our chat times here!)  (way to chat + nickname and #Sjogrensworld)

Never do tomorrow what you can put off till the day after tomorrow!


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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 06:20:09 PM »
My gp once told me my depression and anxiety was situational. Well DUH!  :o

(It's one thing to be diagnosed and then another to be treated and then another to accept it all.) = boy is that true.  I had a few visits with a physchologist that helped me look at things differently and better get my head around dealing with stuff. I was a caretaker for my folks for many years and seeing someone you love be ill and you can't help them really makes you depressed.   My depression has gotten a lot better over the years. As for anxiety - my mind tells me it is ok and my body says the heck with that.  It is almost like I build myself up to deal with something and two days after dealing with it,  it hits me.

Sorry but I dont' think depression is JUST from the SJS.  Yes, it takes awhile for meds to work on depression. I think along with a med(s), you need to take with someone to help you get things off your chest and help deal with "life" better.
Good Luck!

Joy Cox

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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 08:10:13 PM »
Pisces, you certainly said a mouth full of truth with this statement: (It's one thing to be diagnosed and then another to be treated and then another to accept it all.) = boy is that true.

My personal opinion on the matter: Anxiety, I have found over many years has caused me as much trouble as depression, frustration; whatever it is deemed.  I can just feeeeeeeeeeeeel it welling up in my body...anxiety that is!

Then before you can turn around, you're stressed out!!!!!!! 

Its bedtime here in TN; lets sleep on it tonight and talk more tomorrow. OK?     ;)


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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2010, 01:15:45 PM »
Me, too, Joy, me too.  Anxiety is the pits.  I think part of the problem, with me, anyway, is that I have not sure how my life will be down the road.  Will the problems progress causing me to have  a loss of independence.  My husband said I could write the book on that.   ;D



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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2010, 07:53:05 PM »
I have been on 100mg of Zoloft and still have good days and bad days. Life seems like a roller coaster ride anymore. I talked to my doctor about getting off the Zoloft but he said it was a bad idea. Basically he thinks that as long as I have an autoimmune disease I should be on antidepressants. He might as well said he didn't care and hey pop a pill it's the easy way out.  Since it's still new to me I will stay on it, but I like to think that some day I'll just be able to except it. I am on the search for all natural ways of dealing with the disease because I am 26 and if I have to take medications the rest of my life who knows what the side effects will be, probably worse than the disease itself. Anyways, if you have been on the antidepressant for over a month I think it is, I would definately look into a higher dose or a different kind. Some antidepressants can actually make you feel more depressed, so trust your heart; you know how you should feel and how you shouldn't feel. Sorry, wow am I ranting and raving. Good Luck! ;)

Joe S.

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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2010, 02:09:21 AM »
yankeeinthesouth please read "Feeling Good" by David Burns. If you practice the exercises he has it will help you to feel better.
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Blue Kat

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Re: SJS and Depression
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2010, 10:25:32 AM »
I'm thinking it's probably a coincidence in my case, since I've been dealing with depression for over 30 years and only had my first known symptoms of Sjogren's about 12 years ago.  I've been on many different antidepressants over the years and am currently on a combination of Lexapro and Buspirone that is helping me tremendously.  I haven't had a depressive episode since last July, thankfully.