Antidepressants: I am still suffering from... - AF Association

AF Association

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I am still suffering from severe depression, seem to be getting worse rather than better and feeling pretty desperate, crying all the time. I have great friends and family that do their best to help me but whatever I do by trying to keep myself occupied it doesn’t help. I was prescribed Sertraline at first and had a pretty severe reaction to it after just half a tablet so was then put on Mirtazapine, I have been on this for a couple of months but has not helped so I am in the process of weaning myself off them as they have possible cardiac interactions. No point in risking taking it if it’s not helping. I have checked out a lot of the other antidepressants and they all seem to have to potential for heart rhythm problems and I wondered if anyone on this forum has experience with any other antidepressants or have taken them and have/have not had any problems as far as the AF is concerned.

I’ve even tried borrowing my daughters dog 🐶

51 Replies

So sorry you are going through a Rough time, i was was put on Anti-Depressants last year for severe Anxiety, i got worse so i through them in the bin, ive just tried doing it the natural way which takes forever but worth it in the long run

cbsrbpm in reply to Padayn01

Thanks for your reply, can you let me know what one you were on please?

Padayn01 in reply to cbsrbpm

citalopram & sertraline

Sorry to hear this Brenda. I'm racking my brain to think of something that could help you. Do you think that there are some specific things happening in your life that are making you feel this way?

Taking Digoxin, even though it was for a very brief period of weeks, made me feel that I wanted to sit and cry and my mind felt clouded and confused. In your heart do you think that the way you feel is caused by your pills?

Would having some counselling help? Or have you tried that?

The trouble with talking about this on the forum is that all the questions I want to ask are far too personal for general conversation and who am I to ask them anyway.

Know that I care about you feeling so low and am here for you.

Sending you a big hug, my friend. I hope someone can come up with something to chase your dark clouds away.

Jean xxx

Thank you Jean for your kind words. I can’t understand what is happening to me. I have no real worries except this started after 6 months of really bad ectopics as soon as they stopped this started. I cannot lift myself from this gloom as hard as I try, meeting friends for picnics etc. I can’t stand being in the house. Have to try and come off this drug by Friday as I have to call the doctor then. I worry about what he might try and put me on. These drugs all seem to have cardiac issues. I have had a course of CBT which did nothing and she told me to refer myself to Mind for counselling and I am waiting for that. I feel completely helpless and just cry all day.

Jalia in reply to cbsrbpm

So very sorry to hear how you are suffering Brenda. You need professional help and it is awful that one has to wait sò long for this on the NHS.

I have had close family and friends affected so have some idea what you are going through. Mental health must come first. I think i may have mentioned hypnotherapy as something worth trying. In fact anything is worth trying. Do give this some thought. x

cbsrbpm in reply to Jalia

Thank you Jalia, I was thinking I might give that a try. I really don’t want more drugs as I already take enough.

Buffafly in reply to cbsrbpm

What drugs do you take?

cbsrbpm in reply to Buffafly

I take Diltiazem,Flecainide,losartan,Apixaban, Furosimide, omeprozole and some vitamins. Am coming off Mirtazapine at the moment. Mmm quite a lot 😖

Buffafly in reply to cbsrbpm

I am wondering if your medication combo is causing an imbalance of some sort. I used to take propafenone (similar to flecainide) with diltiazem and I used to get sudden waves of depression so strong I had an urge to kill myself 😨and had to sit tight and tell myself it was the pills until the wave passed. I also tend to get tearful if my blood sugar is low. Depression is a rare side effect of flecainide anyway. I know you are susceptible to anxiety and the medication may be the last straw. Also can you take your own blood pressure?

I don’t know if you have had any blood tests recently but if not I would ask for some physical tests. It would be a waste of time having psychological therapy if the problem is physical!

All this may turn out to be totally unhelpful but in your mood anything is worth considering.

I hope all the love and support here has helped 💗

cbsrbpm in reply to Buffafly

I have had bloods done and all came back normal. I am still awaiting another scan result. I am a little concerned about the amount of Flecainide I am taking 200mg a day but not wanting to upset the Apple cart in present times.

I find this forum amazing with all the help and support and so kind.😍

Terricotta in reply to cbsrbpm

Hi cbsrbpm, so sorry to hear you are so down. I'm with Buffafly on this one, it could very easily be at least one of the meds that's doing this, particularly one that's known to do so. Worth speaking to your doctor about this, as it's not good and it sounds like antidepressants aren't the answer, as they're not working for you, especially with a number of meds already in the equation.

cbsrbpm in reply to Terricotta

Thank you, I think you may well be right. I have to try to cut down on the Flecainide.

I can't bear to think of you so sad. Are there any things in your life that bring you joy? Do you feel your life has no purpose? Trying to think what makes me happy, my home, garden countryside walks (even ones on my own), chatting and meeting up with friends, volunteering as a guide for the National Trust. I love history, especially of my town, so go to talks on that. Do you think that the covid virus has prompted you to feel low?

If I watch anything sad or scary on TV before going to bed. I then have to watch something that makes me laugh and takes my mind off it, like Dad's Army, Fawlty Towers - love the episode when the doctors visit. Does anything like that cheer you up?

Isn't depression caused by lack of a chemical in the brain? So not your fault. Your GP will have had a lot of experience helping other people, so hopefully will have some ideas for you.

Jean xxx

Thank you Jean, you are so kind. I do feel my life has no purpose at the moment but I try to think of all the good things in my life, my family, my grandchildren. The virus situation isn’t helping as the things I would normally do I can’t, as it is with many of us. Have applied to local school to become a governor but not heard from them understandably. Hoping some counselling may help keep me off more drugs.

Brenda xx

Freesport in reply to cbsrbpm

So sorry to hear about your depression. When my dad died my mum got very depressed and pills did no good what so ever. A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with AF and I started to get anxious. Not to bad but still it does not make you feel good. Having seen my mum I do appreciate what you are suffering. It is awful. For me pills will not work. Do you have any community services that you can go to in your area. Do you have any groups of people of your own age where you can meet up and talk. In my area we have groups that meet up and go for walks together. I think that family members are fine but they are all usually much younger. People of your own age I feel understand more because they might have experienced it themselves. My sister-in-law suggests meditation and yoga. The Japanese have the oldest population in the world it might be interesting to see how their elderly population cope. I hope this helps.

cbsrbpm in reply to Freesport

Thank you Freesport, I am keeping very active, I force myself to arrange to see friends or family most days even though it’s difficult. Have been doing meditation that’s on YouTube, sometimes it helps the anxiety but not really the depression. Looking to get some counselling. I am going to fight this as it’s not me. I hope you get sorted with the AF as it is a very debilitating condition. Best wishes


Racerx in reply to cbsrbpm

Dear CBS

You have to battle to get your life back. Think of it as a challenge, but one with stakes. Stay proactive in your search for something that truly helps you beat this. I understand the helpless feeling and the total lack of energy, but you have to press through and eventually you will find something that works for you and you will be able to put this behind you. Stay strong and I pray that you find some relief soon

I can’t improve on Jean’s lovely words, but just want to add that almost every medication seems to have ‘possible cardiac effects’ including the ones we are taking to try to improve things eg flecainide which seems to be a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde drug - fortunately mostly Jekyll! I sometimes wonder if the drugs got the blame when people had a random arrhythmia. You have to ask what is most important - your mental health or possible arrhythmia and if you are severely depressed I would say your mental health is, in the same way that asthma meds are essential despite lots of undesirable side effects.

I hope you find something to help, big hug 💕

cbsrbpm in reply to Buffafly

Thank you so much Buffafly, yes it’s such a toss up. I am also taking 200mg Flecainide a day since my last awful 6 month bout of ectopics but loathe to try to reduce it at the moment as don’t think I could cope if they came back while I have the depression. Hope you are keeping well.

Brenda xx

Hi cbs.

Really sorry to hear about your depression. There's nothing I can say or do to help.

The only suggestion I can give is maybe consider counselling. It might not help at all but it's worth trying. It sounds like you have been already been referred for this with Mind - sometimes just having someone to listen can relieve some tension.

I'll also put a link below which is worth a read maybe

I hope things improve for you soon sweatheart.



cbsrbpm in reply to Paulbounce

Thank you Paul, I hope it does help me although I know how long it takes to wait for these sessions and it’s not as good as face to face, I can but try. Thank you for the link I will have a read of that.

Keep well


Hello Brenda, I feel sad and helpless reading your post. I knew you were having problems but was hoping that you had found ways to overcome them, clearly not the case. It’s difficult to add anything more to what Jean has said but it is so important to identify the issues which are causing your anxiety. Hopefully your grandchildren will help you to get through this but you will probably need professional help too and let’s hope others here can share their experiences on how best this can be achieved. I wonder if there are other forums within HealthUnlocked which focus more on anxiety.

The next Surrey AF Support Group this Wednesday at 5pm on Zoom might be helpful and I will send you a private message with more information.....

cbsrbpm in reply to FlapJack

Thank you John.

Paulbounce in reply to FlapJack

There is a Heathunlocked forum which might help.

Brenda - try


You were so close with borrowing your daughter's dog.

Get a golden retriever. Better still, get two.

I am so sorry you are feeling so low Brenda. I really do know what you mean. I cannot remember ever feeling weepy before. Not one person has set foot in my home since the beginning of March. I would love to see a friend or family member sitting in an armchair facing me.

I too landed up in tears during a doctors phone call but only took two of the recommended tablets and both days went into AF. Stopped them and tried to tell myself ... that was the last thing I wanted.

I have been given a help number as I was having difficulty getting my medication delivered. Been shielding since beginning of March and too weak to walk the 200 yards to the chemist.

A cheer me up joke for you to tell the family Brenda.

How do you weigh a Pie

Sing this .... Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high.

Keep in touch ... we all need to support each other more than ever just now.

cbsrbpm in reply to Enjoy

So sorry your your having problems too. At least I am getting out and about now so no real reason why I should feel like this. My sister was reading an article about older people shielding and their muscle wastage due to lack of exercise. Have your family come to see you in the garden, I do hope you have not been completely alone all this time. Do private message me if you want a chat. Glad you can still crack a joke though.

Poor you I have recently had depression for the first time and it’s horrible, you have my sympathy. Not everyone is the same so what suits one person does not necessarily suit all.

My doctor prescribed Diazepam, they worked a treat, took half a tablet daily and soon felt better, I reduced the tablets gradually until I could do without, however I did this too quickly and all the symptoms came back leaving me terrified to have nothing to rely on.

Since then I realised that keeping my brain busy so it didn’t have time to feel sad alleviated a lot of the depression.

Now I may take half a tablet once a fortnight or month as I gradually came out of it and last week I realised l felt good about myself again and was laughing with others, the dreadful feeling of fear had left my stomach.

What a relief not only for me but my family who were concerned how my personality changed.

Go back to your doctor and explain how you are and I’m sure there something to make you feel better, I hope by telling you about myself that you can see light at the end of the tunnel and don’t give up you will get better.

Ps I was always a happy person before and will be again, good luck

cbsrbpm in reply to Hatten28

Thank you for your support and so sorry you have had to go through this too. It’s very tough isn’t it. My Son and Daughter can’t grasp how bad I feel. This virus situation is not helping as I would normally be getting very involved in the grandchildren babysitting etc. I too need to get back to my happy busy self somehow. Glad to hear you are on the right side now, I’ll take your encouragement around with me.


morning cbsrbpm, just felt i needed to respond to you, i have kept how i was feeling up to yesterday, over the past few weeks my depression elevated after having to stop sertraline because of my heart issues, like yourself ive tried many others but they had to be stopped. I started to write my feelings down and because my health as deteriorated i havent been out since march like many others. I have three sons who had no idea about the severity of the depression until yesterday when i asked my eldest to call round. I decided to show him my thoughts id wrote on paper, within 2 hours all three had got in touch they had no idea how bad things had been cause id kept it to myself, I totally understand how you are feeling i am a strong person ive tried everything , but im totally wiped out since the coronavirus hit me in march . My blood pressure went to over 200/120 been in hospital twice when i stand i fall over. I just want you to know your not alone im so glad my sons are now aware of my situation, i know its not the complete answer but if we can reach out to the ones who love us and they know how were feeling it helps a little. These forums are so good there are many people who offer kind words and support, it truly does help in some way. I have found only one thing that helped alittle was 2mg of diazepam it helped but however they will not prescripe it long term because of becoming addicted to it, however i believe if something helps it should be given. Depression is very debilitating but you did a very brave thing by talking about it. I hope you can find some inspiration from others. People do care but is a every day battle and its not easy. Im going to start making one daily goal to attempt and see if that makes a difference. Thinking of you take care x

cbsrbpm in reply to angel343

So sorry you are in the same situation. I’ve never been one to hide my feelings, I am a bit of an open book so all my friends and family know how I feel although possibly don’t understand. I have some very supportive friends, sister and husband so am lucky in that respect. Just wait for each day to be over but am old enough to not have years to waste feeling like this. I am hoping now that some counselling may help me. Have been reducing the medication gradually so lots of withdrawals from that which is not helping. I hope you can some some relief somehow, it does help to keep busy with something that you can get absorbed into, that’s if you can find the motivation. It’s all very hard 🤗 a hug and best wishes.


Hello, this is a awful time to feel so low isnt it? The only things I can say to help is, have you ever tried the Bach Rescue Remedies?, I use that quite often, have done for years, I have the one "to comfort and reassure" they are flower based and come in pastilles, liquid and lozenges. I take whenever my ectopics get me down or other stressful situations. Also, many years ago, I found acupuncture really helped when I was suffering from depression,I imagine they are open for business again now, and it really was worth the money. You sound as if you are really helping yourself, which is great,I'm certain you will come through this, and probably would have by now but Covid is like a black cloud hanging over us, and magnifies all our worries. Another thing I do is put the radio on and sing and dance around the place,it does help, although I'm not sure my cat would agree. Good luck x

cbsrbpm in reply to Nannypoppy

Thank you for your kind words although I think my husband may have me committed if I started to sing and dance around the place, my singing is not the best. I agree Covid is wrecking many lives, doesn’t feel like we will ever get back to normal, I’m sure it would help me enormously if I were free again to do what I liked and have some family back in my home. Best wishes


I don't know how old you are, but crying all the time, feeling so low for no reason, feeling there's no purpose to life, ectopics, AD's not working to help - if you look outside the immediate box these are all symptoms of loss of oestrogen. i.e. menopause symptoms.

I have a lot to do with menopausal ladies because of my own struggles. You might do well to investigate this side of things. There's a really good UK resource of up to date information on the web site and loads of really supportive women in the private Facebook group called The Menopause Support Network. There will be other groups around. If you can afford it, go and see a private menopause specialist because GP's are notoriously crap at it.

I hope something in what I've said gives you some clues for new avenues. Sometimes joining the dots is hard because when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail.

cbsrbpm in reply to FancyPants54

I am more than a little too old for it to be related to menopause but thank you anyway for your reply and interest, it may possibly help someone else on this forum. Best wishesBrenda

You have my great sympathy and my own feeling is that time will be your only healer. What will help, too, is to avoid isolation at all costs by continuing to meet people either in real life or “virtually” on the Internet. Also, get outside into the sunlight and air, especially into green and open areas and if there are trees and lakes there, all the better.

In my own case, I have much more problem with anxiety than depression, and my depression seems different from yours, too, which sounds more typical with your mention of crying. Other symptoms others seem to have commonly are being unable to get out of bed and waking early – but I don’t have those, either. Mine is more a kind of all-pervasive “cloud” or low mood – a bit like a strange headache, really. I feel it’s linked to my insomnia.

Like you I couldn’t cope with the tablets I’ve been given – which didn’t work at all, anyway. I wasn't given sertraline but these drugs are all from the same family called SSRIs and are, I gather, essentially, identical. They made me feel "hyper", twitchy and jittery, itchy, yawning, burping... and wrecked my sleep, even bringing on near-panic attacks. I was also given dosulepin and mirtazapine both of which had far fewer side effects but still didn't help at all. Dosulepin was the best but I read it could affect the heart. Mirtazapine made me so deeply drowsy and yet I still wasn’t able to sleep well and the daytime drowsiness or thick-headedness was unbelievably bad. The only tablet that has ever had any kind of useful effect on me has been diazepam, but it really wasn't sufficiently useful for me to risk keeping taking it. I also tried "talking therapy" which wasn't remotely helpful – indeed, I do suspect the quality of some therapists who bring their own strange belief systems into their work.

In the end good old Father Time helped me out as he will you, I’m sure. So… just hang on in there, keep active and out and about and try to pretend it’s not there by dodging negative thoughts and thinking of the day when it has gone – as it surely will!


cbsrbpm in reply to Ppiman

Thank you Steve, I feel you may be right, all the drugs are contraindicated with heart problems and CBT hasn’t helped me at all this time. I will try the counselling and maybe hypnotherapy if I can find someone working at the moment. The GP has given me Diazepam to help me come off the Mirtazipine. Did you have withdrawal symptoms when you came off medications.

Ppiman in reply to cbsrbpm

Not from diazepam but I’ve read that about 30% of folk struggle with that one, some seriously. I came off them all rather quickly (but not “cold turkey”) and had no special problems except the SSRI drugs that I found particularly awful from beginning to end. I hate them, to be frank and think they are heavily over-prescribed, but that’s based on my own terrible experience.

Write, write and write about your past life, from childhood to the present. Not an autobiography, but a chronology. Do not choose facts, but put them in a row. Surprisingly small random happenings, that looked so casual when they happened, might link and show a subterraneous inclination of your mind. Wrong decisions made or overlooked chances missed in the past sometimes give suddenly a meaning. I do not know if this will have a therapeutic value for you, but surely it did for me. It is a long process, it took me months.

YEars ago I was dealing with major back pain and somehow that morphed into depression; was at my dr.'s office and when he very sincerely asked me how I was, I burst into tears. He prescribed Cymbalta which treated both the pain and the depression and I've been taking it for at least 15 years. The Afb and subsequent ablation, came much later....doesn's seem to be any connection problem taking that plus metroprolol and amlopidine.

cbsrbpm in reply to WallMatt

Thank you for the info

My daughter suffers with depression for over 20years. She has been on prozac and other antidepressants. Over the years. She started taking magnesium citrate and it seems to have worked for her

Good luck hope you feel better soon

I had awful anxiety, I have been taking Clonazepam for a week now, I feel much better, downside , it seems to make me tired, but that horrible anxiety seems under control. It does not affect my heart rate. Worth a try, all of us react differently to medications. Pray you find something that works for you!

cbsrbpm in reply to Myya

Thank you Myya


So sorry that you feel so horrible. Drugs may only make the situation worse. I am going to once again say that it all goes back to diet and nutrition. Our Gastro said that he gets many patients referred to him by knowledgeable psychologists and psychiatrists to be tested for celiac disease / gluten sensitivity since depression is often a symptom.

Neurological problems are a well known side effect of consuming gluten. Also, it prevents many people from absorbing the nutrients necessary for brain health. I suggest you research depression from this angle. There is a ton of information online.

I know when our son had nutrient testing done he was so low in choline and B 12 that the doctor said it was a miracle he had not committed suicide. Targeted nutrients had him back to being a happy young man quite quickly.

When my father came to live with us, after a suicide attempt, he was on anti depressants. We took him to our nutritionist and our Gastro for evaluation and he was deficient in nearly every vitamin, mineral and amino acid they test for, which was not surprising since when he lived with my mother he never got any fresh produce and lived on frozen Lean Cuisine and cold cereal. Our Gastro ran blood work for Celiac and it came back positive. Due to his chronic diarrhea, GERD, poor nutritional status the gastro ordered a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy. Turns out his GERD and diarrhea were due to Celiac disease. Since our household was gluten free that is the diet he got, whether he liked it or not. He also received targeted supplements.

When he came to us he was on 16 different medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol (which the doctors here said was dangerously low), inhalers and steroids for asthma, pain killers and anti inflammatories for arthritis and several anti depressants. Within 3 months he was off all medications. He had an amazing quality of life for his last 4 years and never had to go back on any medications for those ailments.

Here is an article to start your search, and I wish you the best of luck getting to the root cause of your depression instead of masking they symptoms with meds.

cbsrbpm in reply to Hidden

Thank you for the information Mollybear.

You have been gracious with all the efforts to help and all the advice. I hesitate to add more but ...

I struggled through years of depression and know I have a weakness. My doctor stuck with me, prescribed many meds which are hard in themselves, therapy - which helped in part, and my faith also carried me. Now I can look back on that time as actually a time of learning and growth. Wondering if you have access to clergy or a pastor.

Sending up a prayer,


Thank you marcyh

I'm sorry to read this. I can't ad anything you haven't seen already but know that you're cared about and keep talking to people even if you feel you can't or it might make things worse. Share whatever you can with people.

Thank you for your kindness, I am overwhelmed by the caring of everyone on this forum. Best wishes.


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