Should I have anti-depressants?

Hello All

Before I was diagnosed with fibro about 18 months ago I felt really low as no- one seemed to find a reason for the pain I was in, and my GP put me on anti depressants for a short period of time. They seemed to help my low mood, however it also helped that a diagnosis of fibro was finally made. I am now on amytriptiline which is helping me with the pain side of things but my fatigue is getting worse (almost unbearable on some days) I went back to my GP (who is supportive) and she suggested that the fatigue was probably due to depression coming back and has recommended another course of antidepressants. I don't feel as low as I did last time and am not really sure that I have depression as my only classical depression symptom is fatigue. However I am also desperate to try and find a way of relieving the exhaustion. Has anyone else found that their fatigue has been linked to depression rather than fibro? And do anti depressants help to relieve that side of things? Finally ( sorry for the long post!) I asked the GP whether it could be ME/CFS and she said that they too similar to distinguish between them, any thoughts on this would be greatly received. Thank you for reading x

12 Replies

  • Hi Katt, When I finally got a Dr that listened the first thing she said was that I was verging on depression. Mainly as I had burst into tears in her surgery from being so tired and unable to sleep. She put me on antidepressants saying they would help with the pain and help me relax enough to sleep. Did no good so was moved to Amitriptyline, this has helped me sleep. Maybe they are making you sleepier than they should, The Author has advised people in the past to try Nortriptyline I think it is that doesn't have the sleepy side effects. It might be worth speaking to your GP about it :)

    Good luck and I hope you find a solution :)

  • Well I had really crushing fatigue and very low motivation ,I was getting up and laying on sofa ,no joy no nothing and I was thinking what's the point .Been on antidepressants for two months and I'm feeling great been crafting away and wanting to go out etc So I say probably it's a good idea to take them .Im still in lots of pain but I'm coping and I wasn't .Ps the pain clinic doctor told me ME and CFS is the same thing .Im still not sleeping but they do help with fatigue . Hope that helps .

  • Hi Katt,

    Having read both your message and the good responses you've had, I too would urge you to carry on and take the antidepressants as depression is so very much tied up in fibro. Amitriptyline is a multi purpose drug which also used to be used a lot for depression years ago, which is possibly helping you to feel better as well as helping you with your sleep problem. If I were in your shoes I would take it for say six weeks and then speak again with your GP if you have found it makes any difference or not, and discuss then whether or not it is worth carrying on taking. Medics rarely prescribe something they don't think you need, especially these days when they are under pressure on funding from their PCT's.

    Wishing you continued improvement and sending you lots of positive vibes 😊😊

    Foggy x

  • Hi Katt

    Did your GP say ME and CFS are too similar to each other to distinguish or that they are both too similar to fibro. Just wondered.

    Margaret :)

  • Hi Margaret, she was referring to fibro being very similar to ME. The issue I have is that it seems that if I was diagnosed with ME my employer would take me more seriously but they are not really recognising my fibro as a medical condition that they need to take any notice of x

  • Interesting as a lot of people find it hard enough to get ME recognised, I know I did.

    ME and fibro are similar and it is believed are part of the same family or maybe even different strains of the same umbrella condition. But I'm surprised that your GP doesn't know that the crucial difference is for ME you must have PEM, post exertional malaise. Which means after any kind of exercise or even just activity if you have it bad, you will suffer a mini ME crash (a flare up of your symptoms but particularly fatigue). But that crash can happen straight after your activity if you really over do it, but more usually occurs 24-48 hours afterwards. Also for ME you have to have suffered that and the other symptoms for a minimum of six months. You must also have disturbed sleep patterns and cognitive impairment (often referred to as brain fog). You will get potentially many other symptoms including pain but you must at least have those for 6 months to be officially diagnosed with ME.

    Whereas for fibromyalgia you will get many of the same symptoms but the overriding one is not the fatigue, it is the pain. You may still get fatigue but the pain is the major problem. You will also get what I think is called allodynia which is sensitivity to the slightest pressure on your skin, muscles and joints. It is usual for it to be widespread over most of the body, whereas with ME it can be more localised. In fact there are a number of places on the body that are classic areas to get the pain with fibro and your GP or a rheumatologist will usually apply pressure to these areas and assess how much pressure they have to apply before it hurts. Usually with fibro that will be straightaway.

    Here is a useful link to a description of symptoms of ME. If you don't have the concentration to read through it all I would just look at the descriptions in Box 1 at the middle paragraph headed "International consensus criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis (2011)"

    This one is a useful link for a similar thing for fibro

    Hope some of that helps. But if you do have either I would try and push for diagnosis as soon as possible as the longer you have it without learning to get grips with it the more damage it can do.

    Best of luck

    Margaret :)

  • Is it possible to have ME and Fibromyalgia?

  • Yes, I have. In fact it's much more common than most people realise. Especially if you have had either one for a long time.

  • know this feeling all to well, even family members because you look so well they say is it a fibro day today or not, I'm sure they think I can turn the pain on and off as I please, no-one seems to take fibro very seriously, and because I won't ask for help all the time they presume I'm ok and not in constant pain.

  • Thank you to all your replies, it has certainly given me some things to consider x

  • Cymbalta has helped me. Sometimes yes depression can cause all kinds of problems also stress can manifest itself in many ways.

  • Hi Katt

    I am so genuinely sorry to read that you are struggling like this and I sincerely hope that you can find some resolution to this issue. I just wondered if you were prescribed Amitriptyline as an antidepressant? It contains a sedative component that could be adding to your fatigue. I have pasted below an excerpt from the WebMD website which highlights Amitriptyline use:


    Amitriptyline is used to treat a number of problems.

    It is a member of a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants, sometimes known as TCAs.

    In general, this drug is used to treat depression or night-time bedwetting in children.

    Benefits of being on this drug include the prevention of bedwetting and relief from depression.

    It can be useful for treating people with depression who are agitated and who might benefit from amitriptyline's additional calming effect as this drug can also cause sleepiness.

    *From WebMD Website.

    It may be beneficial to discuss this with your GP to see what they say? I want to gneuinely wish you all the best of luck.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


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