Originally Posted by Debbie D
I firmly believe it's caused by both MS and the situational dealings with our daily stressors and sometimes our inability to handle those stressors due to nerve damage.
I think Debbie is right on this one. Although I have not yet been diagnosed, I can say that this latest episode of symptoms were accompanied by sudden and radical change in my mood, that my typical low dose SSRI wasn't able to stabilize. I had to have an increase in dose to stabilize my mood. I was still feeling low, but certainly not to the level of despondency I was feeling before.
Pain, stiffness, loss of function, sleep changes and appetite changes can radically effect mood, as well as nerves that are not able to appropriately transmit signals, and/or interpret them properly in the brain.
I do think that people with neuro disorders should see a neuro/psych, and or psychiatrist, whether they think they need one or not as part of their treatment plan. Many people with progressive illness minimize their symptoms of depression, thinking: "Of course I'm depressed! I have this horrible debilitating disease. How am I supposed to feel?" Just because you have a reason to be depressed doesn't mean you don't need treatment, especially when the cause of your depression is not going to go away, and is probably going to become worse over time.
Medication can be helpful in stabilizing mood, restoring a feeling of emotional well-being, AND decrease pain. A therapist is also helpful in addressing the real life stressors we deal with on a daily basis, and help us to gain some perspective on how well we are coping with our illness.
There are so many things we can do to help ourselves outside of meds and therapy. Laughter and music help to release endorphins that regulate and stabilize our mood. Broadening your support network to include more people you trust helps you to see worsening symptoms of depression, and provide an outlet to vent when we are not feeling well. Participating in activities with our social circle helps us to feel less isolated, and also helps to improve mood. Eating a balanced diet helps our bodies work properly, and if nothing else, promotes a sense of general health. Sleep....so important. The body heals when it sleeps. Even with debilitating disease, sleep allows our brain to release stress through dreams, and allows our neurons to recharge for the next round.
So....try watching a funny movie, go do something with your friends, sing, keep in touch with people you trust, eat some vegetables, and get some sleep! It may not help, but I don't think it will hurt either!