Anxiety / Depression Medication + Lots of Exercise

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition' started by Daria, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    I have some questions I would like to post here for anyone that does alot of exercise but is also on anxiety/depression medication or knows about it. Perhaps someone could point me in the right direction to help me find some information on this subject.

    Back story:
    When I first started my anxiety/depression medication (combination of Celexa and Wellbutrin), I was only doing light exercise to maintain my weight (ex. swimming and walking), nothing strenuous. I would also like to note that I am on this medication because of post-traumatic stress from childhood events.

    Present:
    A little under 3 years ago, I decided that I wanted to be more fit, so I got a gym membership and became hooked to higher-intensity workouts. I do endurance training with weights, hour-long cardio workouts, and in the summer, I go biking for 2+ hours every other day, more on weekends. My daily exercise consists of 1-2 hours of walking plus an hour of intense exercise (weights for endurance/cardio). I have 2-3 rest days a week.

    Problem:
    I have noticed that since I have increased my physical activity significantly, I have been having very turbulent mood swings (ex. unexplained anger, general feeling of irritability). The depression also increases. This all comes from inside, as opposed to being trigged by an external event.
    When I have periods of low physical activity (ex. overtime at work or illness), my mood stabilizes and the depression ceases.

    I have seen my doctor about this and he suggested increasing the medication, which helps. However, the further I push myself physically, it feels as though the emotional turbulence returns.
    I do not want to limit my physical fitness pursuits and at the same time, I do not want to keep increasing my medication.

    Does anyone here have any insight, suggestions, or ideas on what I can do to avoid increasing my medication, but still continue to improve my fitness?

    Also, I have noticed that when I push myself to do more in my workouts, I will get adrenaline rushes, similar to those I experienced in the past when having a panic attack. Except this is not a panic attack. The adrenaline I get when exercising is giving me a boost of energy to continue. Since Celexa is partially distributed with adrenaline, is there anyone that knows about Celexa that could let me know if the adrenaline may be part of the problems I'm having with my turbulent moods?

    Any comments, suggestions, or information appreciated.
    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. BobG

    BobG Fuchs.

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    It's well known that exercise at all levels has measurable effects on many chemicals in the blood that regulate quite a bit of what goes on in our brains and CNS. Serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, etc.

    Check this out: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article folder/mysteries.html

    Are you absolutely certain you still need the medication? Do you feel you have reached a point where you can begin to wean yourself off?
     
  3. Bacchus

    Bacchus Skinny Guy

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    very valid question.

    my anxiety issues were always improved by exercise. Anxiety causes adrenaline levels to surge.

    The best way to change that? let that adrenaline out.
     
  4. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    Thank you for the link. It was an interesting read and actually specified that cardiovascular exercise can effect the presence of noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain, which are the two chemicals which my medications help me to produce more of. There was nothing conclusive in there for me, specifically pertaining to my situation, but it does give me something to think about.

    I am definitely not in a position to wean off the medication at the moment.
     
  5. PurEvl

    PurEvl going out gassed and not half assed...

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    i trained on xanax an zoloft for years because of a extreme panic attack disorder i had as a kid. The endorphin rush from exercising is causing it with you. Your on two strong ssri, you might be getting a little bit of seratonin syndrome as well. Monitor your bp when you are training or right after. Talk with the Dr a little more because i wouldnt mix those two ssri
     
  6. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    The reason why I'm on both, is because the Celexa helps promote one chemical in the brain, while the Wellbutrin promotes another (this is how my doctor explained it to me).

    I was on Celexa solo for about a year, and it took away one of the most problematic symptoms (I do not want to go into details), but I was still having anger unrelated to external factors. My doctor then put me on Wellbutrin and I have been having a very, very good quality of life now for 4 years on these medications.

    I would like to know why you think the two should not be mixed.

    As for checking my blood pressure, is there some sort of personal device I can buy? My gym does not have a machine to check blood pressure.

    I would also like to note that I have my blood pressure checked frequently, and it is within a healthy range. However, when my blood pressure is checked, I am in a rested state.

    Edit: I checked up on what Seratonin syndrome and I don't think I have this, but I will ask my doctor about this on my next visit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  7. keeler

    keeler New Member

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    for me exhaustive exercise including aerobic cardio and weight lifting resulted in lower anxiety levels and extremely improved my problem with depression.
     
  8. timberwolf

    timberwolf New Member

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    I was on zoloft for years... finally weaned myself off about 9 years ago and was on just St. John's wort. Went off that a year after. I always attributed my better mood to training. Once in a blue moon...2-3 times per year if that I might get depressed for no reason I can think but figure that's normal.
     
  9. keeler

    keeler New Member

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    i took zoloft for about 7 months and it improved my depression but I was a total zombie, never sad or happy, also had a lot of bad side effects. I switched to a different med and have been doing great ever since, less zombie like and no noticeable negative side affects.
     
  10. timberwolf

    timberwolf New Member

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    I was also on tranquillizers because of the insomnia it gave me.
    Beer and tranqs ftw.:coolugh:
     
  11. PurEvl

    PurEvl going out gassed and not half assed...

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    theres many newer ones out now that can address both your chemical needs. You have gaps in your brain that these chemicals fill. Believe me i know how they all work in depth. Im assuming he has you on both because some of the newer ones are not covered yet and also can be very expensive. Also dr's will leave whatevers working alone rather than give you what is truly best for you.

    As long as the doses are not high with those two i do not believe they are effecting you in an ill way. Do you have any xanax or valium in case of break out anxiety? Im surprised if you dont. As for the gym its endorphin related an also most likely aggravating your brain synapses. Wellbutrin can also cause aggression in some people. Just like prozac can make someone whos got anxiety become manic and suicidal. I will investigate this a bit further for you, i havent played with wellbutrin in long time.
     
  12. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    :bowdown: sweet, thanks

    yes, my doctor is keeping me on 'what's been working'. He has told me that. I will ask him about new medications too, to see if he can give me some info.

    I am on 40mg of the Celexa and 150mg of the Wellbutrin. I don't know if these doses are considered 'high doses' or not.

    I do not have any xanax or valium. I do not have any anxiety break-outs anymore. The main problem with me was depression. The anxiety was mild.

    Is this detrimental, or just temporary discomfort?

    I had this happen to me at 15, which led to me refusing anti-depressants until age 18 when my situation worsened.
     
  13. JeremyD

    JeremyD New Member

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    Bupropion might be a better choice than typical benzos for your anxiety. I think benzo's in general are shit drugs (as an admitted valium user).
     
  14. HalfPastGone

    HalfPastGone OT Supporter

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    about 2 months ago i noticed an increased level of anxiety, about the same time i started training harder, which i found odd. even though training harder in the past never had this effect. i started taking zoloft 2 weeks ago for anxiety, not depression, and it has been great. i notice no difference in mood (since i wasn't depressed in the first place), but my anxiety has definitely improved.
     
  15. Alaya

    Alaya Active Member

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    I'm currently [and have been for years] on Wellbutrin, used to take Klonopin for my anxiety, etc. as well, and now I only take the benzos [klonopin] as needed for heightened anxiety/sleep, etc.

    I actually notice quite the opposite... excercise greatly improves my mood, even on those medications. Is it possible you're on the correct meds? Have you tried anything else? Sometimes it's a bit of trial and error with medications, I had to go through that for awhile with all my medications until I got the right ones/right doses.

    Have you looked into benzos/ever tried them for your anxiety? Those were my saving grace.

    If the meds are interacting with excercise... I don't see how upping the dose as your doctor suggested is going to help... there's something else going on there. I think you should look into switching medications :hsd:
     
  16. Alaya

    Alaya Active Member

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    bupropion is the generic of wellbutrin which is what she's already on :hs:

    I couldn't disagree more with the benzos part :o
     
  17. Alaya

    Alaya Active Member

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    dunno about the celexa, but 150 for the wellbutrin is decently low :hsd:
     
  18. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    wellbutrin's not an SSRI so you can't get seratonin sydrome from that.
     
  19. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    I am not medicated only for anxiety. I am medicated for severe depression and mild anxiety.

    I didn't see how upping the dose on my medication would work either, but I followed my doctor's suggestion and it actually did help stabilize my mood.

    My problem, is that my mood isn't stabilized to the point it was before I started increasing my exercise. I have told my doctor this and that I didn't want to be continually increasing my medication. He suggested that I just deal with the side effects as best I could, and I've been doing this.

    However, I still don't understand the underlying cause of the mood instability, and neither does he. Endorphins are supposed to make you feel better, not worse, but I'm wondering if the endorphins, or something else, are interacting with my current medication to have a different effect.
     
  20. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    you haven't had a huge shock in your life that made you depressed though, have you? I'm reading a book about grieving (my dad passed away) and it says that depression meds don't help people grieving and can make them worse. I experienced this. Before my dad died I was depressed and had anxiety and did well on zoloft...after he died it didn't work anymore and I tried switching and eventually weened off and I feel better w/o.
     
  21. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    also, check your diet, you say you are working out significantly more...so are you eating enough, is your blood sugar steady? Maybe you're crashing and peaking through the day?
     
  22. keeler

    keeler New Member

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    sounds like something to talk to your doc about. when i switched off zoloft i changed to wellbutrin, but i had my anxiety under total control. the wellbutrin has a small amphetamine like effect and can instigate anxiety in people prone to it. definitely talk with your doc/psych about it. GL
     
  23. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    a psychiatrist I visited when I was first diagnosed with depression, and my doctor both are very sure that my depression is caused by post-traumatic stress due to a long period of traumatic events throughout my childhood.

    when I was first put on Celexa, it was like a dream come true. I wasn't unexplainably angry about anything, my thoughts were more clear, my motivation was alot better...For the first time in my life, I was able to manage life like I felt I had always wanted to, but couldn't. Wellbutrin was introduced later and I felt more balanced overall with it.

    So I can defintely say that the medication is not making me worse.
     
  24. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    my blood sugar is fine. My mother-in-law is diabetic and gave me some strips and let me borrow her machine to test my blood sugar whenever I feel a bit off.

    I am eating three meals a day plus two snacks and am including protein in every meal and snack.

    I probably eat way too many carbs: cereal every breakfast, sandwich 5 days/week, rice or potatoes with my dinner almost every day. The rice and potatoes is about one or two handfuls, but I do have these carbs at dinner time every day.
     
  25. 2000GT

    2000GT Active Member

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    I recently went off a Cipralex / Trazadone coctail. Since going off it I have gained a lot of weight back and have had much better workouts.

    I am not sure if I feel better, worse or the same without the meds just yet - I'll let you know when the recession is over and housing prices come back up... (if ever)
     
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