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Meningitis Now
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Has anybody had depression/ been on Anti-depressants after Viral Meningitis. If so, how long after diagnosis did you take antidepressants?

I had viral meningitis over 7 months ago and in the past couple of weeks have had times of bursting into tears for no reason, feeling low etc. and going from this to being really irritable, short tempered. My head just feels so exhausted. I've gone from feeling highly anxious about everything and about getting sick again to teary and tired. I don't feel in control of it. It's very different to any time I've felt low in the past (i.e. before meningitis) where I could get myself out of a rut. I'm considering going on antidepressants (I need to talk to my GP about this) but I'm worried it's too soon after having meningitis. Has anybody else experienced something similar? Has anybody else gone on antidepressants following meningitis? And if so, how long after you had meningitis before you went on anti-dps? I'd really appreciate anybody's advice / experience.

14 Replies

Hi. My wife had VM in June 2013. I am a psychiatric registered nurse so when I saw the pain, lethargy and sadness over her losses we looked at a low dose antidepressant. She has been on it for two years but the dose has stayed the same.

Hopefully your symptoms will improve in less time me.


Thanks for the rely and sorry you and you wife went through it also. Good to know that the anti-dps are helping and hopefully they work for me too if needed.

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Hello, You can find my 28 year old daughter, Rosie S' Story, via the link on the forum stories from the home page.

We found that cranial massage worked wonders for her. Her job is working with horses on pretty much a daily basis and is very physically demanding.

It is rare for a story to be so positive and we have tried to let people know that this amazing complementary therapy worked for her. It helps release the spinal fluid which VM leaves a blockage for. Rosie is pretty much cured after around 10 sessions coupled with actupuncture, although found awesome relief after only one appointment. She is now free of all pain killers and antidepressants and feels right back to her old self.

We can only let you know what worked for her. It's not for all, but has now given amazing relief for many. It seems the success could be to do with the skill of the cranial osteopath you use. So it is important to find out the osteopaths credentials and experience in this specialised field particularly dealing with VM sufferers, if you can. (Not all osteopaths realise that this helps VM sufferers, it is often carried out on young babies with birthing problems). You need an osteopath and not a therapist who mearly has some training in cranial massage.

If you find you are getting the violent headaches and feeling lethargic and depressed after a few weeks, give this complementary therapy a go, it really could be worth it and save you being on prescribed drugs, along with months, years, of unnecessary suffering.

Kind wishes and best of luck


Hi lippistix thanks for your reply. I have heard of this but I've heard also it's made some people worse. I'm nervous to have someone manipulate my head especially if it made me regress. I've made leaps and bounds physically with recovery compared to a few months ago. I still have issues with headaches, dizziness and my left arm in massive pain at times and numb. I'm finding now I'm having low moods and anxiety etc. I'd love a cure and I'm so happy to hear your daughter has done so well with cranial osteopathy. Perhaps you're right it may be dependent on the level of experience of the person carrying out that therapy.


Hello, yes the recovery from cranial massage depends on the osteopath it seems. Many are unaware that this treatment can even treat patients post VM. Finding a good osteopath and not a therapist is the key to making a huge difference. If the treatment works, its the best thing ever. Some, including my daughter have found great relief after just one session, due to the flow of the spinal fluid moving once again, which VM seems to cause a blockage for.

Good luck


Hi Kawt

I see where your coming from

I have been asked since 6months after the meningitis about going on antidepressants and still do to this day and as much as i need a solution/to feel better I don’t feel that this is the answer. Everyone copes in there own way and things are different and work differently for everyone but before thinking about choosing this option maybe try things that you don’t even realise or think could work. As more medicine messes my head up, gets me more confused at times and some of the ways i feel lately if i took a pill that made me feel better i think it would be very hard for me to ever put them down! I feel like i am now accepting and trying to realise/manage what i am going through and trying to think about the breaks i get sometimes where i can feel good and pushing yourself to see what you can and can’t do. Talk to people, see a therapist, talk to professionals, try and put things in perspective and arrange with gps on a level of priorities and referrals and a health management plan and even try to see someone who knows about the effects/saw you last in hospital etc like the doctor of an infectious diseases ward etc. Its not ok to be left with things and just cope, grab all the help you can and figure out how strong you are!

I hope this helps! 🤗


Thanks Stacey for reply. I thought I was doing well with trying meditation and mindfulness etc (you might see I replied to one of your posts) but it's proving difficult everyday to help. And I've had to admit to myself also that I'm not feeling great which is hard. I suppose it's the isolation of being off work coupled with not feeling ready to go back yet. Also lack of understanding from others at times. But equally you're right there are things I need to try to do to help myself. Diet and exercise would be a start. Thanks for taking time to reply and I hope you're doing well. Prayers for us all

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Hi Kawt

i know everything your saying so well!

It is hard!

And unfortunately the second guessing, judging, lack of understanding etc doesn’t get better; its always there!

I’m just starting on some therapy and giving my gp a list of every single ailment/side effect to see what we can check/nip in the bud etc and learn to manage/put things in place.

Like a say everyones different and as easy as it would be to say yes to the antidepressants etc i want to try everything possible before.

I have been trying to not except things and always thought i would get better or at least people to understand but not everyone does so if i can get to a state where i have the confidence and belief to say its ok to not be ok and its ok to talk about it and its a huge thing regardless of others thoughts etc and to talk about it without feeling down and upset and to try and not be so depressed then thats a great help and thats what i am working on now.

Try to focus on one thing at a time!

Go or little walks at a pace push yourself little by little but more rest than you used to!



I have. I have been on them probably since about 6-7 months post meningitis and i am still on them. It’s been about 2 years maybe now that I’ve been taking them. Of course I have stopped taking them a couple times thinking I was doing better and then ended up deciding I should still be taking them and going back. I have very bad anxiety now and go through very low times. I’ve always had anxiety but it is much worse since meningitis. I would definitely talk to your dr about how you’re feeling. In my opinion, no it isn’t too soon and if you’re feeling this way you should try it! Praying for you!


Hi Jwire thanks for your response. It's so helpful to hear others experience. I'm glad the antidps are helping you and sorry also for all you're going through. It's not easy and I too get awful anxiety at times. My GP told me that cbt counseling helps for this. Have you tried anything like that? I've seen an online cbt course that I'm thinking of signing up to. I have yet to talk to my GP about feeling depressed but I'm thinking that the antidps could help me until I get can get myself together. Are you back at work etc?


I am 3 months out from having VM in Nov. 2017. I have experienced anxiety and bouts of depression along with my lightheaded/woozy feeling and difficulty concentrating. It comes in waves where I'll feel mostly fine for a week or so, then have a couple of days with symptoms. Reading other posts around here, I realize I am lucky to have good days at all. I was 31 when the whole thing started and never did get an official diagnoses because at my follow up appt. with the neurologist my symptoms were fading so he didn't see a need to do a lumbar puncture.

One thing that helps me (if you have the physical strength) is to go for a brisk walk or a jog. This releases endorphins and if you do this daily (or every couple of days) your body will start to increase the amount of serotonin it produces while regulating your adrenaline (which is often increased during anxiety). This will not instantly cure you, of course, but it may help with your recovery process.

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Thank you Elden for replying. You are so right about the exercise. I haven't done any really since I got vm. I never had the energy until about a month ago. I really should be trying to get out there. I've been couped up for so long now, I almost feel nervous to go out by myself for walks. Silly, I know. Also I just want you to know things get so much better at the 6 month mark. At three months I was exhausted so easily, I couldn't walk around a shopping centre, I had to stop every 10 mins for a break, I couldn't play with my child or mind her alone. So many other issues too that have resolved now thank God. I am improved so much physically (still have issues but nowhere near as bad). You will feel so much more energy over the next few months so hang in there. I think part of the reason I feel like this now is cos I'm getting a breather from the physical issues and everything is hitting me now. Prayers for you. Also the lumbar puncture is awful and I was rushed back to hospital two weeks after vm with severe excruciating headache due to lumbar puncture and blurred vision. Thankfully it resolved. So don't worry about not having that done. Focus on yourself and getting better.


Hi kawt

in reply to these bits just to add

I couldn’t walk for months and had no balance, no muscle or fat etc i was skin and bones and had no balance...

So i would stay with my mam,

I would go out at night when its dark,

I would chuck anything on and wrap myself up to keep me warm,

I would put my hood up so know one could see me and my mam would link my arm and i would walk down the street as far as i can.... i kept doing that until i could gradually walk further... go around the block, walk to the shop etc

Little at a time and stop when i needed a break or was out of breath or to unbalanced🤗

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I was on anti depresent at the time of my vm attack and taken off during recovery. For a while, I felt ok but a wide general anxiety returned and I asked my doc if I could return to my 60 mg Cymbalta routine. She was fine with it, but I do feel like it's taking a while to get back to where it was working well for me.

Normally, this med helps me feel normal again...still waiting to get to that state, but will stick with this plan.

I think it's well worth it to have some relief. It also helps me tolerate other things that were making me jumpy...


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