Feeling blue/depression

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Don_D
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Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 2/2/2017 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

I have gone through the disabilty process and am now on long term disability with my insurance as well as SSDI. I am disabled and can no longer work sad

My Doctor kept asking me about depression and I have had some ups and downs especially over the last 9 months but I could not bring myself to say that I felt depressed. But in all honesty I often just feel down. I have lost interest in most of my hobbies. I don't know why but nothing seems fun anymore and I struggle to enjoy much of anything these days.

I just returned from the Doctor again and she brought it up and I admitted that I have had a hard time with just feeling down all the time.

She recommended I see a Psychiatrist due to everything so I thought I would come and ask if any of you have in the past or are currently? Are there any meds that you have taken that have helped with this? I have been on a few anti depressants in the past and each time I felt really numb most of the time. It was worse than being down and occasionally I had spontaneous anger issues while on them as well.

Yet another facet of the things we face with RA.

I hope that you all are well. -Don

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 2/2/2017 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I see a psychologist for depression and anxiety due to my multiple illnesses.
I also take Paxil.

My doctor specializes in chronic pain patients and how to cope with the stresses. It seems to help me a lot.
Joy
Lupus, RA, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Allergies, diabetes, and benign familia tremors

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

celebrate life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2066
   Posted 2/3/2017 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Don,
I am so sorry that you have had to go on disability. I know you were trying to avoid that. So many "new normals" we have to accept. Life can be so unfair that way.
I have been taking venlafaxin for hot flashes, but it it also an antidepressant, and I do believe it keeps me on an even keel. It doesn't have side effects that I can tell and I'm not on the lowest dose either. My husband is also on a low dose without side effects. The issue we face right now is that Humana doesn't want to cover his.
I've always thought that if I have to go on disability I would try to do some volunteer work. Is there something you might be able to do on good days that would give you some satisfaction and something to look forward to. I'm a kid person, but my hubby is not, so I won't suggest what that might be.
I'm glad you have posted about this. You know we all care about you and want you to be well.
Beth

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15010
   Posted 2/3/2017 9:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Don, saw your post & wanted to share my experience with you as I have traveled your path. Like you worked all of my life & was very active life outside of work.

Crohns disease turned my world upside down & pulled the rug out from under me. I too had to go on SSD at the age of 49. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think something like that would happen to me. I was very ill & add depression to the mix I ended up crashing & burning.

I saw my PCP who has taken care of me for years. He immediately put me on Lexapro with the condition I would go see a psychologist. He made the referral & I was not the most receptive one to this but I kept my word & went. The first visit was strained for me because I just had difficulty talking about what was happening to my life & she knew this.

She explained to me all of these thoughts & feelings that was consuming me was grief. I was grieving for my old life, I wanted to turn back the clock so to speak. People associate grief with death only & that is not true. It was a real eye opener to say the least. Any kind of catastrophic event that affects our very being takes a huge toll on us in every way. What I learned with her help, it was like peeling an onion, removing the skin a layer at a time.

Like you I had no interest in anything, nothing. I stopped seeing & talking to friends & was withdrawn in so many ways. Because I was such a routine type person she suggested that I go back to my old routine in the mornings. Simple stuff like once I got my shower in the morning, rather than put on another pair of pajamas go ahead & dress & do my hair. By doing this I could not use the excuse of not being dressed to leave the house & go somewhere even if it was walking around the garden center at Home Depot or Lowes.

We added things over time that I could physically do. It took a lot of talk time with her but she was able to help me see there was so much I could do even with my limitations. I do not like the word disabled, instead I say I am limited, lol. I started with small projects at first that I could handle. It was rewarding to finish something once again.

I ended up going off the Lexapro. I kept getting what I called head zaps if I did not take it at the same time every single day. They were very annoying too. It also did not lift the depression completely. I happen to mention this to my pain mgt dr & she immediately took me off of it. According to her that certain narcotics do not work as well with all antidepressants. She put me on Effexor & it really made a difference. It smoothed out my rough edges for sure.

Rest assured, not all anti-depressants are created equal you need to find what works for you. Anyway, just wanted to say hi.

Take care.

Yes, the medication helped with the depression, the combination of two things were a great help.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Poppie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 1928
   Posted 2/3/2017 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Don, I think if you have the opportunity to sit down and chat with someone then you should do it. I think that there is definitely a great sense of loss that comes with chronic illness, that never ending feeling of who you felt you once were, and who you are now. Also finding the right antidepressant I would have thought is crucial. I hope you are feeling a little better today.
Samantha
Stopped smoking Jan 2013. Diagnosed Left sided UC, 8th Feb 2014.
Gluten, Dairy, Sulfite, Salicylate, and Histamine intolerant.
Had home FMT treatment in July 2016 to ward off reoccurrence of C DIfficile.
Taking Methotrexate 10mg weekly and on 10g of Prednisone at the moment, hoping it will work for me.

Don_D
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 2/3/2017 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the personal experiences with this. I do plan to find a Doctor and go speak with them. My Rheumy advised this because she feels that they are certainly much better versed in dealing with issues and especially medications. I am hoping that maybe I can find someone who specializes in disability or chronic illness but we will see.

It is definitely a big change and honestly I probably should have gone on disability a few years ago but I tried to soldier through and hoped that one of the meds would kick in.

I have been looking for things to give me some sense of purpose but it is pretty hard to find something that will accommodate people like us. I never know know from one day to the next or even hour to the next if I will have the energy to do much of anything. Trying to do simple household chores is hit or miss. My meds help but I deal with pain and inflammation every day. Its just a matter of how bad these days.

I am going to see about doing some volunteer work with my church maybe at our local soldiers home. I enjoy visiting and spending time with with Veterans. The nice thing about that too is that they are very understanding of my illness.

Poppie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 1928
   Posted 2/5/2017 11:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I think volunteering sounds like a good plan, then you can show up whenever you feel well enough, and no doubt you will get to meet some nice folks. I used to do volunteer work when I lived in England for Help the Aged, it involved visiting old folks in their homes and spending some time with them which they seemed to appreciated.

I have multiple chemical sensitivity now and that is stopping me from getting out, although I am an artist and can paint from my studio at home, but it is really not the same as getting out and about and meeting people...

Have you spoken with anyone yet with regard to the voluntary work.
Samantha
Stopped smoking Jan 2013. Diagnosed Left sided UC, 8th Feb 2014.
Gluten, Dairy, Sulfite, Salicylate, and Histamine intolerant.
Had home FMT treatment in July 2016 to ward off reoccurrence of C DIfficile.
Taking Methotrexate 10mg weekly and on 10g of Prednisone at the moment, hoping it will work for me.

Don_D
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 2/12/2017 12:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Poppie, No, I haven't yet. We made a change recently to another church and so I am still trying to figure things out there if that makes sense.

My Rehumy put me back on Trazadone for help sleeping at night and it has really helped. I have more energy now and it has in turn helped me to get going with things I have been wanting to do but just have not had the energy or drive to get going on. I think that it is a mild anti anxiety RX as well but I am on such a low dose I dont know how it would affect me in that regard.

I really like to piddle around in my yard and so I think that once we begin to see a change and the weather starts lightening up I will start gardening. This will give me something to do each day and I have some control over it. I planted some flowers today actually. It made me feel really good.

It is hard to adjust to life these days when the times when I want to meet a friend and just go for lunch but by the time I have driven to where we are to meet I am wiped out. I feel like I have very little control over much of anything. Its also very hard to keep up relationships with others when I can't make plans or have to change them last minute due to being flared up.

I could also volunteer at our local Elementary. I did this a few years ago and it was really rewarding and there was no set schedule so it was perfect for me.

Thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot. -Don

celebrate life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2066
   Posted 2/12/2017 2:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Don,
I'm so glad things are getting better for you. Spring is going to be here eventually. I hope you find yourself back at the Elementary School. Those little guys sure brighten up my day!
Beth

Don_D
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 2/19/2017 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Beth, thanks. Yeah the elementary would be a great thing to do. I definitely enjoyed my time with the kids there as well and the hours are great, they are just thrilled to have anyone come and help out. My kind of schedule! smile

celebrate life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2066
   Posted 2/20/2017 12:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I wish you were here. What I wouldn't give for someone like you in my program. I mean that sincerely. We have a foster grandparent program in its infancy being promoted, and in a small town with a vibrant senior community you would think we'd be able to recruit a few. So far, no. But I'm not giving up. There has to be a Don here somewhere. Lucky kids. yeah

Poppie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 1928
   Posted 3/23/2017 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, I like to pop over here every now and then...Don, I know what you mean about arranging to meet up with people and then feeling tired before you even see them...I get it. Gardening is a great way to get exercise and appreciate the simple things in life, and years ago I helped out at a local school and found it very rewarding, it just involved sitting and listening to children read for an hour..it was good.

I thought I should mention that I have failed Methotrexate! I have had to stop taking it as I had a serious allergic reaction to it when I tried to increase the dose...I have now been given Leflunomide...so I dont know how thats going to work, and I really cant take anything for another week or so until I feel better...
Samantha
Stopped smoking Jan 2013. Diagnosed Left sided UC, 8th Feb 2014.
Gluten, Dairy, Sulfite, Salicylate, and Histamine intolerant.
Had home FMT treatment in July 2016 to ward off reoccurrence of C DIfficile.
Taking Methotrexate 10mg weekly and on 10g of Prednisone at the moment, hoping it will work for me.

Don_D
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 3/24/2017 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Poppie, sorry to hear that you failed MTX but I hope that the lueflenomide works for you. I was on it for a little while but had some bad problems with it and my stomach which I have other problems with that makes it a challenge taking oral meds. I was bummed because it was helping so I hope you can tolerate it and that it gives you some relief.

I was really happy to see that our bulbs are coming up. That lifts my spirits always smile Also, I have been puttering around in the yard a bit as often as I can. I have a tool I use to pull weeds so I spend a little time as often as possible trying to get ahead of the weeds in my yard. I decided to let the moss have its way and have stopped fighting it. Up here in WA if you are in the shade you will have moss and lots of it.

I found a guy who will come out and till our garden as well as clear some brush and blackberries away for a reasonable price too. So I am looking forward to that. Its hard to accept that I can't do that kind of thing anymore but I am sure grateful that God is providing some help smile

As far as the counseling goes I still have yet to meet with anyone. It seems that getting a referral and getting in to see one is like trying to see a rheumatologist. So in the meantime, I have started spending more time in prayer each day. So, if anyone ever needs some prayers said for them just say the word and I will be glad to include you in mine.

Hoping everyone is well, -Don

celebrate life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2066
   Posted 3/25/2017 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the update, Don. Spring always helps me to find renewed joy in living. I do hope you are able to see a therapist at some point as well.
I also believe in the power of prayer, so please add my hubby to your list. He has terminal stage 4 prostate cancer. I am on that forum a lot. I'll add the signature line with his specifics.
Thank you!
Beth
DH 52@dx 2010
PSA:1983 G 4+5=9 extensive mets bones and nodes
Docetaxel, Zytiga 2012 Smarium, Xtandi 2013 xofigo 2014
Cabazitaxel, Zytiga rerun
Ongoing:xgeva + Lupron
RT sacrum X 10
PSA 1/15 100
2/15 liver mets
DRibbles trial 3/15 PSA:259
6/15:Psa 900
docetaxil PSA 7/15:1054 9/15:921;12/15:1008 retry xtandi
1/16:665 3/16:1316 ascites Start mitoxantrone 8/16:792 Oct:590 Dec:532 1/17:412 Feb:688
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