Feeling absolutely wretched, anyone else take anti depressants to help with AF?

I've got myself all in a state over my AF, I thought I was learning to live with it but after blood tests recently, I now have poor kidney function on top of everything else.

I don't mean to feel sorry for myself but everything is getting me down and normal things to help one feel better includes excercise etc which i can't seem to do much of, I'm so blinking tired all the time yet sleeping very little. I just wanted to find if most people with AF have other ailments to cope with and if an anti anxiety/depression medication helps, and if so which one? I have taken Citalapram in the past and seemed relatively ok on it but it's just another med to take, still its worth it to feel better.

Sorry to whine on and on, just one of those days I suppose.

Thanks for any forthcoming replies.

Best regards, hope everyone is well.

30 Replies

  • For what it is worth the kidney function will have nothing to do with the AF in all probability and would have happened anyway so try not to bulk all your problems together. Talk to your GP about some help to deal with your worries but try such things as CBT or hypnosis before going as far as drugs which will have side effects anyway.

    This AF thing is a worry to us all and finding a way to manage that worry is the $64K question.


  • Thanks Bob, great advice as usual. I've just happened on Mindfullness for relaxation techniques which seem really interesting, I'm going to speak with my GP and try some CBT if I can get it, would much rather go down this road instead of taking yet more meds. I didn't think the kidney problem could be related to my AF, just something else I haven't looked after properly I suppose!

    Thanks again Bob.

    Best regards.


  • you are welcome.always happy to help.

  • I did a set of Mindfulness classes seven years ago, found it very good to get me through a tough time but then got busy and let it go.

    I've just picked it up again using an app on my iPhone called Headspace - I highly recommend both the technique and this app.

    I hope it helps you

    All the best


  • Hello friends,I got a bit complacent, having a holiday in Malaysia, and two weeks behind me, with no adverse AF . But yesterday wow, like a kick in the back, a day of pulses going like the clappers, 140. So what to do? I have only been taking Warfarin, so I knew I was covered with low risk of stroke. I went to bed, with the air con on . After a miserable night, hey ho, back to a good regular of 70. What a relief, but it just shows, never take AF for granted. But. Still enjoying the heat, but drinking lots of coconut water, full of Magnesium..........

  • Oh dear you do sound down and not surprising given your current circumstances. It is an arduous condition we are all coping with and at times it feels a real battle. Having other issues like kidney function problems won't help either physically or emotionally.

    Sadly we are all open to other conditions either related or completely random illnesses which does not help when we are struggling with the demon called af, I am currently trying to get to the bottom of other weird symptoms unrelated I assume to arrhythmias. Others on here have substantially worse health issues to contend with too and life seems very unfair in these circumstances.

    I know lots of people take antidepressant and anxiety meds. I am trying working with a psychologist specialising in supporting people wih long term health conditions and anxieties. I thought it preferable to more meds. However will take meds if required.

    Some days are just a step too far arent they and I do hope tomorrow brings a lift in sprit. Hang on in there you will get back on track even though it seems far away right now.

    We are all here understanding and supporting you. Big hugs.


  • Hi Dee

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, it so helps a person on this site to get other people's take on things.

    It's very interesting that you are seeing a psychologist, I hadn't thought of that, and so much better to be able to express your feelings regarding your health worries.

    I hope it helps you.

    I have been looking at Mindfullness and finding that very interesting too.

    Our state of mind has everything to do with coping with illnesses of all kinds, so maybe some relaxation techniques can help me.

    I very much appreciate your kind reply Dee, thanks again.

    Best regards.


  • You don't say what drugs you are taking it might be one of the heart drugs that are causing your problems. Sometimes taking your medication at a different time of day helps. Do drink plenty of water. We are all in this together, please cheer up I'll be thinking of you. Keep thinking of nice things it does help. Terjo

  • Hi Terjo, I hadn't though about my meds maybe being a cause to my kidney problem, I shall look it up.

    I take Diltiazem, Ramipril, warfarin, of course, then a Statin and Lanzoprozole for digestion problems.

    Also a fish oil and Magnesium, goodness knows what I'll need next but apparently my creative levels are all over the place, must look that up too.

    Thanks for your reply Terjo, definite food for thought.

    Hope you've had a good day.

    Best regards.


  • I was just thinking the same question when I saw Terjo's good advice. I was going to ask if you take Diltiazem and how much, because it made me want to throw myself under the nearest large moving vehicle. Luckily because it came in waves I soon realised what it was and I used to try and 'ride it' like a birth contraction. As you see I'm still here but very relieved my dose has been reduced. They describe it as 'low mood', low as in lying under a train I'd say.

    So no idea about the other drugs but you have all my sympathy and can only suggest the lovely thoughts route until you get professional help.

  • Hi Kimmieblue, I am so sorry you are feeling like this. I think that when one experiences very challenging and symptomatic/chronic AF, it is inevitable that it will affect the mood. NICE guidelines recommend CBT for AF in these cases. I am a psychiatric nurse and also have arrythmias and have also experienced the depression and anxiety that accompanies it. Taking anti depressants can really help but don't hesitate to go back to your GP and try various anti depressants if the Citalopram doesn't help lift your mood. Anti-depressant medication is much the same as AF medications...sometimes it is about trial and error to get the right one for you and it is very individual . it can take a few weeks to take effect though. If you can get referred for CBT or Acceptance and Commitment therapy or to see a health psychologist, the meds can be taken until you are feeling brighter and have engaged in therapy. Mindfulness is great too and Mindfulness based CBT. I wish you wellness and peace of mind. We are all in it together. Big warm hug all the way from N.Ireland xxxx

  • Sorry you are feeling so low. I don't have any information to offer you,, but just wanted to say how wonderful it is to have this group to turn to when you are feeling low. Alwys a kind word and helpful suggestions.

    Hope you are feeling a better soon.

  • Cut out the salt and drink plenty of water I have got my EGFR from 44to 51 had a CT scan today so hope kidneys cope with contrast

  • Acupuncture really helped me with anxiety related to my AF, I have had enough of drugs to last me a lifetime. Natural and complementary to boot, think about that, I can't express it well enough but give it some thought.

  • I have borderline kidney failure caused by the meds. 6 monthly blood tests monitor it. On one occasion I almost didn't have a heart op because of the added effect of the GA on the kidneys. So your kidney problem might be the same. It is very upsetting and unsettling so I fully understand why you are depressed. For myself I would be very reluctant to add more meds into the mix though. Good luck.

  • If you want to pursue mindfulness. Headspace has a good website and fb page. Also found a very good book (well it was good for me) Mindfulness. 8 week meditation programme by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. I it comes with cds or I got the kindle version and you can down load the exercises through Audible.

  • I too have found the Mark Williams and Danny Penman cds helpful.

  • Took sertraline for a year, I felt great on it, I weaned myself off very slowly and took last dose about six weeks ago! Still fine, good luck

  • The number of pills and supplements can just build, so I would resist taking depression ones until you have tried everything else.

    Anxiety/depression in the first 6 months of dealing with AF and its unwelcome associates like sleep issues needs very proactive action. I consulted just about everybody including the excellent support here and my cardiologist's recommendation to see a psychologist.

    We are all different but taking second opinions, researching a lot and changing my lifestyle with new interests helped me feel more in control and less anxious.

    Good Luck and tell us your plan.

  • It all seems a bit worrisome sometimes, doesn't it, and when problems pile on problems it can make you feel really down. Like others have said, I would try mood-lifting therapies first, CBT is well recommended - myself I would try a bit of pampering as well, a nice massage or Reiki therapy, just to take your mind off things. Sending hugs.

  • I haven't had any depression with AF, but I did feel picked on and angry about the medication I was persuaded to take and I was snappy and not very easy to live with. I'd like to say that the way you feel now will change and things will not always be as they are because a good way forward (and you've had some excellent suggestions) will come along. I'd make a point of being nice to yourself and having moments in the day you look forward to. Need not be anything outrageous - one of mine's a tiny pot of tea and the only one of the day with caffeine in. It's nice not to have it too early so that I can look forward to it half the morning. What AF does to us!

  • Rellim296

    Always look on the bright side of life.


    Results of my scan week on Friday. Had it done last week still seeing strange things oh well we shall see.


  • You're right Christo. My grandmother had a little motto on the wall: Don't worry, it may never happen.

    Hope you get something positive from your scan. Fingers crossed for Friday.

  • I fought for years against having anti depressants but then when Life was throwing family problems at me a doctor realised that one of the triggers for my AF was stress, it was suggested that anti depressants might help. Have been on Sertraline now for 9 months and it has really helped me. My AF is less frequent and less intense. Only downside is I've put on a stone. Not blaming the Sertraline chemically but I'm calmer, not so tense and not burning calories getting agitated. Keep an open mind.

  • Hi Kimmieblue

    Sorry to hear you're having a bad time with AF. It's really hard some days isn't it ? I don't post a lot but always try and read the help and advice from the good, kind people on this site.

    Just wanted to say about the anti-depressants, I have been on and off sertraline for nearly 3 years (actually for another reason - not AF) but found generally it helped me with AF quite a lot. Have come off it this week, so we'll see how it goes!

    Am also in the process of trying Mindfulness and will give it a go now I'm off the anti-depressants.

    As people have said its good to try and cut down on the medication if at all possible. This was with my GP's recommendation by the way!

    AF is different for everybody and sometimes one can get really down about it but that's normal and it's ok too to feel like this. I find coming on this site also helps and just doing little (nice) things for yourself and thinking positive thoughts.

    I do hope you're having a better day. Don't let AF win!

    Sending best wishes and hugs.

  • Hi France's

    How are you since leaving off the Sertraline? I wondered if you had had any problems since not taking it anymore.

    I have Citalapram and something short term to help me sleep, feeling awful about having to take them but I've had to give in as I couldn't stand the anxiety any longer and stress really brings on the AF of course.

    Hope you're having a good day.


  • Hi Kimmieblue, well since coming off Sertraline have mostly been ok. Going on them was for another reason but they certainly helped me feel less 'down' about my AF. I had come off them for a few months but when my AF came back again early this year I did go back on them. Now, even though I am still in AF thought I'd give it a go without them! (With Dr's advice) Apart from one meltdown so far have been ok - surprisingly! Again, not due to AF. I also took Zoplicone (sleeping tablets) again on and off for 2 1/2 years and am off them as well, although Dr said its ok if I need to take 1 now and again which is what I do - again surprised myself found it relatively easy! For me it's better to not be on them any more, I feel that nearly 3 years on both these tablets is long enough but the medication was very very helpful to me through some rough times. My GP is very good and I've been guided by him really. My next appointment with my EP is 12th October so we'll see if there are any changes then! Do hope things are ok with you. Take care and best wishes. F x

  • Hi Frances

    How was your appointment with your EP on the 12th Oct?

    I hope everything went well and you're AF free at least for the present anyway.

    hope you've kept well since coming off the Sertraline.

    Best wishes


  • I feel that mindfulness helps me. There is a new free Future Learn online course starting in a few weeks futurelearn.com/courses/min...

    I have done other future learn courses, including one about heart health. I can recommend them.

  • Thank you Purple, I'll have a look at that website, I am interested in Mindfulness.

    Kind regards.


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