Does Depression Cycle?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Butterfly, Oct 19, 2011.

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  1. Butterfly

    Butterfly Resident SF Sims Enthusiast Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    I am not sure how to explain this but I am hoping that someone will relate or will be able to shed some light on this.

    I have depression and I take 100mg of sertraline which may be increased in November. What I have noticed is that I seem to go through phases of being okish then I will have a period of being quite acutely suicidal and will go on a mission of self destruction.

    When I go through an ok phase it will usually be around 2-6 weeks. I dont feel happy but I dont often think about suicide of self harm. I can be low at times but that is as far as it goes. I dont feel particularly bad but I dont feel particularly good either so I class it as being ok.

    When I go through my bad phase it usually only lasts a week to two weeks but I take overdoses, cut, burn and plan on ways to kill myself. During these periods I have hallucinated, auditory and seeing things. It tends to die off when the crisis phase has finished although I still see things from time to time. Dueing this time my anxiety is through the roof and I get massively paranoid and constantly on edge. I have done some quite dangeroua things such as swallowing metal and stupid things with needles.

    I just wondered if this was normal cos it seems to cycle and bad phasea seem to come on randomly without cause. I have been thinking about this and just wanted to know what others think. And if there is anyway I can stop this vicious cycle. Each bad phase seems to get worsw and during these phases I do not think rationally and tend not to ask for help or acknowledge I am in crisis.
  2. Isabel

    Isabel Staff Alumni

    Hi Lexi,

    While the symptoms were not exactly the same, it tended to run in cycle as well. And for many years, it got worst with each cycles until I got serious treatment. Then it went the other way around with the crisis diminishing with each cycle. One thing that really helped was becoming aware more rapidly of the symptoms indicating I was on the down slope and heading toward the cliff. I could take measure more rapidly.
  3. OhneDich

    OhneDich Well-Known Member

    Hello! :)

    Well, i dont know why you're having these problems with sertralin, but im gonna search for it. Have you talked to your doctor about it? He/she would probably tell you if these symptoms are normal. Some medictions in the beginning of threatment cause an increase of depression and sometimes even in suicide thoughts.

    If i find anything about it I'll let you know!
  4. Butterfly

    Butterfly Resident SF Sims Enthusiast Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    Thank you Marie. It helps a lot to know that it is not only me who seems to have crisis cycles and that it is controllable. I think with me I know when I am going down the slope but I kind of like go in denial thinking oh it is just starting I can fight it off but then I sit and fester and ruminate a lot which obviously makes it worse.

    Nayara, I have been on sertraline for a little while now and I do find that it is the best anti depressant I have been on. I was put on it more for my anxiety issues and it has helped there quite a lot and has worked wonders recently as I have a lot to be anxious about. I have had these cycles when I was on citalopram and fluoxetine so I dont think it is the sertraline that is causing it.
  5. JustFirefly

    JustFirefly Well-Known Member

    From my own personal experience i also go through cycles of how strong my depression is. I always thought it was normal so i never questioned it though. I go from everything being okayish, maybe happy for a little while, then i see whats going on and i know the patterns (because ive go through ti over and over again) and i say, just like you do, i can handle myself. I wont let it get THAT bad.. And i push it away..

    For me its my anxiety... My anxiety all of a sudden shoots through the roof. And it becomes uncontrollable. I push away from friends who care about me to "protect them" from god knows what is in my head. Then i go to being alone and my anxiety picks up more and pushes me into a horrible state...


    I dont know if its normal or not, but i can tell you that i go through it and maybe it might make you feel a bit better to know that ive delt with it my whole life... The cycles alwasy change for me. They are never an "exact" time.. But on average they range from 1-3 weeks each side...
    But sometimes can happen MUCH quicker (sometimes i go through a day of being "okay" or depressed then other times 2 months and i think HEY i might be getting better or i feel hopeless because ive been sad so long there is no hope)...

    Idk.. I wish i could tell you what caused it but you sparked my curiousity so im googleing and trying to figure out information now :3
  6. Butterfly

    Butterfly Resident SF Sims Enthusiast Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    The cycles are awful, absolutely awful. I didn't know whether depression should be a constant sort of low feeling with the occasional crisis when things get worse but I can tell you when I will be on a downward spiral. It's often strange aswell cos I can have a couple of weeks of being completely bat shit crazy then I will wake up the next day and be completely normal.

    Have you ever had problems with having so many emotions in one day? Sometimes as my crisis period starts like a few days before I will go from being ok, to irritable, to frustrated, to hyper, to normal, to very suicidal then feel ok again all in the space of one day.

    Now that I have noticed these cycles it has made me very confused. Because like I say when I have an ok period I am still quite low and depressed but I am not dangerous and I am able to distract myself, go out and actually look after myself etc.

    Anxiety is also a big problem for me but I have to say I do feel the sertraline has helped me a lot anxiety wise cause I had says where I had anxiety attacks lasting all day and it was absolutely awful. Now I get one every few days or if I have to go out anywhere.
  7. JustFirefly

    JustFirefly Well-Known Member

    For me i go through the exact same thing. I can cycle through extreme sadness and depression, pushing away from my friends and hurting myself to try to give into suicidal thoughts then later on that day my mind is completely fine. I think it has something to do with the depression, maybe there are certain types. Ive been reading up a bit about the cycles. I can tell you that its most certiantly not just you and me but a whole spectrum of people ranging from all sorts of ages. Im looking through to see what it could be still and i will hit you up if i figure anything.

    My emotions each day? Ohh jeez. Ive felt like i completely loved someone, hated them, hated myself, Loved myself, Confused, and certain on what i wanted.. Then next moment all the emotions would change.. and i would just not understand anything... But yeah. I can go from normal. To frustriated, to something else.. And eventually back to normal...
    A lot of times for what seems like "no reason". Yeah real reasons do it too.. And i can tell you it does confuse me too.

    But i feel that...

    I am depressed the whole time.
    And the cycles are something else, maybe a type of depression? That increase or decrease the level of depression... I guess the best way to describe it is like...
    If depression was a graph.. All the points are not on the line..

    The line would represent my "Cycled mood"..

    Soo say i was feeling fine. But something could happen or something. Then the point wouldnt be on the line, it would be much lower.. Say 10 points lower.

    Then when the cycling depression gets worse and its at its lowest.. The same thing could happen and instead of just making me more depressed i hit the suicidal line..

    Okay okay so im bad at examples..

    But thats how I Personally View it..

    Anxiety wise Jeez. I go through bad attacks at random.. im unsure if its connected...
  8. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    Butterfly, i rapid cycle thru all the different moods myself all the time.. difference tween me and you is that cause i have a 34 yrs old disabled son johnny that i have to take care of i do not do self harm ever..

    sounds like these really down times for you that you are in real danger to your professional psych team about this and how you are feeling then.. maybe they can add another med which will stop the deep moods some for you.. also maybe together you can come up with a coping technique for you.. take care, Jim
  9. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    thought some more and perhaps like my autistic son johnny who used to do wide mood shifts constantly you might benefit from a mood stablizing med like depakote... this has helped my son a heck of a lot..

    he is not flat with it at all.. just not the wide swings now..
  10. pancake111

    pancake111 Well-Known Member

    The same thing sort of happens to me too. There will be days when I feel fine, but not necessarily happy, but there will be days when I can't get suicide out of my head. It was almost the only thing I was thinking about yesterday.

    I don't really have any advice because I don't know how to help my own vicious cycle either :(
  11. Butterfly

    Butterfly Resident SF Sims Enthusiast Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    Thanks Jim. I don't see the psych till November so gotta hope I don't go through a bad cycle again but I feel as though I might be on the verge of one after 4 weeks of being relatively ok. I am going to keep myself a little mood diary so I can show the psych so hopefully it will help. When I saw the psych last time he said he may add another medication so I am going to assume it will either be a mood stabiliser or an anti psychotic but he didn't really say a lot last time.

    I will try and reason with them to try and get some sort of mechanism in place for when I go through a bad phase because I am very, very impulsive and I would say dangerous on occasions.

    Thanks for the replies guys. I thought I was the only one who seemed to go through these cycles so I don't feel alone and it's nice to be able to relate and discuss with other people.
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