Chronic Disease (not terminal) & Depression

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starrnr
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1782
   Posted 5/1/2006 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all. I normally post over at the Crohn's & UC forum. Thought I'd come here for a bit of help, hope you don't mind. I hope I make sense.

Last week I was diagnosed with Crohn's after 7 months of testing. This is on top of the 2 other auto-immune diseases that I have. I thought I was handling it ok, but I think I've been fooling myself and my husband for quite awhile, but especially this past week.

I get 'blue' every once it awhile - it's crushing sometimes, but this is different. I'm numb. I didn't react when my doctor told me what the results of all those tests I've taken, I didn't make any big deal about it when I told my husband (he's been worried sick these past few months), I've been blowing it off like 'hey, what's one more AI disease" to all that have been concerned. I'm tired of being a guinea pig with medicines and we get to start with new ones for the Crohn's - of course, I joke about this as well.

Here's where I know something isn't right. I'm quite sad, but emotionless - does this make any sense? I really want to rant - you know, "why me" "'why another stupid AI disease" etc etc. I'm having trouble sleeping, staying focused at work, my appetite is severely diminished, but I think that has more to do with food equaling pain right now. I'm just not 'myself' lately.

Is this something I should be worried about, is this normal and will pass? Should I see my doctor? Like I said, I get blue - I guess it would be depression, but I'm not sure. This is a bit different.

I hope you don't mind the questions.

Thanks in advance.
Sherree

My "Trifecta" - CD, AS & RA...


CheerDad
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 5/1/2006 10:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Sherree, I can relate to where you are coming from. I have Crohn's for many years and have suffered from depression for years as a result of it. Not learning to live with this DD contributed to the failure of my marriage, further triggering my depression. It wasn't until I became active with this site and opened up like you have here, started both drug and talk therapy for my depression that I was finally able to put the affects fo the dd in its proper perspective. I am no longer a victim of this disease, but am truly living with it no in spite of it.

Serious depression is often associated with learning the newls of a chronic illness. The feelings of numbness and sadness I have felt directly and spent way to many years on the why me. I found those naswersthrough my faith and if you would like me to share that with you, please drop me an email and I will.

I would definetly talk to your doctor about it. I would ask for recommndations for a counselor to help you find the path through this storm. I can really tell you it has done miracles for me. Good luck and let me know how things are going.
We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness.

 
Randy

Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/

Dx'd with Crohn's at age 12. Symptoms since age 5.

Learning to live with this Disease rather than be its victim after 40 years.


starrnr
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1782
   Posted 5/2/2006 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Randy. Thank you for the response...it does make sense what you have said. I was discussing all of this with a psych nurse friend of mine today, I think I'm actually more angry than anything else (I didn't realize it until today). I'm angry at my body really - it has really betrayed me in the past few years. I too have faith and know it will get me through this, once I let it. I do think I have to deal with this new issue before I can do anything else though.

My real concern is that I will allow this pity party I'm having to become the end all to be all of my life and that frightens me more than anything. I'm extremely blessed to have my husband whom I adore, a great job (and boss) and great friends in my life. They can see that something is wrong emotionally and I'm not allowing any help from them. Not a good thing.

How does one find a good counselor and what kind of counselor am I looking for anyway? I have no clue. I just want to be back to my 'ole self again...regardless of the battles going on inside of me.

I'm sorry that this dd has done so much damage to your life...it does sound like you're on the right path to healing though.

Thanks again...
Sherree

My "Trifecta" - CD, AS & RA...


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 5/3/2006 12:02 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi starrnr,  I just wanted to write and tell you that I know how you feel completely.  I was always a very healthy person physically until august of 2001 when I all of a sudden had symptoms of a stroke on my right side.  After many tests I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I had been married for a year and half at this time even though we had been together for 7 year prior.  He couldn't handle the fact that I was sick and things had changed and was totally not supportive so we divorced in 2004.  This past august while I was getting ready for work I started to feel dizzy and just all of a sudden passed out in the middle of my living room floor.  My mom who came by that morning found me unconscious 30 minutes later and got me to the hospital.  I had extremely low blood pressure and low heart rate called bradycardia.  Ended up with a pacemaker to keep my heart rate up but still have trouble with my BP.  The end result was a diagnosis of Multiple System Atrophy an autonomic disorder that is in the Parkinson's family and is most often times fatal within several years of diagnosis. 

I already had depression to begin with and it took me a few years to come to grips with even the idea of the MS and what it was doing to my body.  Then the divorce and it relating so much to my disease process.  Now something new...I dont think it has even still sunk in as it doesnt seem real to me.  Since last August though I have been seeing a psychiatrist and a regular counselor as a lot of my depression is wrapped around my health issues.  They are very supportive regarding this.  I hope you find what your looking for...take care


CheerDad
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 5/5/2006 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
In looking for a therapis, I would start by asking your Dr. for a referral. I found it important to find one that had experience in chronic illnesses. I would not get discouraged if you don't like the first one you try. I fired for lack of a better term 2 before I found one that has helped me. I know how you feel about being angry and the feelings of betrayal. I compounded this with the "it's not fair" pitty party and all the downward spiral that brings. I can honestly tell you that there is a path out of what you are today. It takes work and determination but it does happen. That doesn't mean there aren't still days when I feel like my plate is overloaded with life's circumstances but I also know that those days are less frequent and don't last as long. Good luck and let me know if I can do anything else for you.
We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness.

 
Randy

Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/

Dx'd with Crohn's at age 12. Symptoms since age 5.

Learning to live with this Disease rather than be its victim after 40 years.


CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 5/5/2006 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Guys,
I haven't posted to this forum before, but it's 2am, and I just kind of felt like it.  I have chronic migraines, 2 or 3 times a week, since elementary school (I'm 41 now.)  I have bad TMJ from stress, and I have been diagnosed with depression, panic and anxiety disorder.  I have two bad knees that need to be replaced, and I have plateaued from a gastric bypass well about my goal weight, due to an anti-migraine medication.  I had to quit my job, I ended up getting divorced five years ago because my husband turned out to be autistic, and was making me crazy.  I had to sell my 4 bedroom house and ended up moving back to my hometown into a two bedroom townhouse.  I lived off my divorce settlement for a while, but didn't last very long, and after trying to go back to work, I had to go on disability because of a very bad back.  Now I am on permanent disability, and I have to find a new place to live in quickly, because both my knees need operating on/replaced.
 
Frankly, I have no quality of life.  I am always so worn out from all the pain, I generally only go out to see a doctor or to buy groceries.  I've been in therapy for years, but I have realized that no other person can understand exactly how you feel...they just don't get it.  To get any use out of therapy, I would need to go several times a week, and since I can only afford going to a public operated clinic, I only get a one hour appointement, once every two weeks.  I see the Psycho-pharmachologist once every three months for 15 minutes, just to check on my medications.  With that kind of help, no wonder I stay depressed.
 
I really don't have much of a support system.  My elderly parents live close by, but they stay basket cases because of all my problems, so I can't really lean on them when I feel bummed out.  My one younger sister is a highly successful carreer woman who lives states away, and I only talk to her maybe once a week.  We don't have much of a conversation, because my parents usually keep her informed so she just cuts me off and says she's heard it all before.  She doesn't ever confide in me about anything going on in her life, so we aren't very close at all.
 
When I moved back to town, I had two old friends from high school who still lived here, but about six months ago, both of them blew me off just weeks apart, not wanting to listen to my health problems, a.k.a. life, anymore.  Boy, that hurt.  They both just dumped me with no warning.  I don't understand how a human being can do that to another, much less ones that you felt to be close friends.
 
So, I guess I can really understand you guys.  I'm always in pain, but nothing that's going to put me out of my misery.  I live precariously through watching soap operas or post messages on boards like this.  I tried a support group once, but it ended up sounding like a Jerry Springer show.  If anyone has any better ideas, I'm listening.
 
Thanks for letting me vent.
Leigh Ann cool

"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 5/6/2006 8:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Cranky,  I like you screen name.   I felt the need to respond.  I dont have an answer for you and probably am not going to be much help but here goes anyway....

My mother who is the most beautiful person in the world is 51 yrs old.  5 year ago she was a little over 200 pounds overweight.  Had really bad knees from Degenerative Joint Disease and also 4 leaky heart valves (mitrovalve prolapse).  She is a nurse at one of our two local hospitals, she was going to work in a wheelchair every night.  I am sure she would of qualified for disability but I dont think it ever entered her mind to do that or go that route...not that there is anything wrong with it.  She had Bilateral knee replacements done at the same time.  Had a excellent surgeon but the recovery was terrible.  It did get her out of the wheelchair and able to walk again.  Two years ago she had Gastric Bypass done and has lost all of her weight except maybe 15 pounds.  She complaints about all the skin though.. eyes .  She goes to the gym and works out for an hour and half on her days off and jogs the rest of the time.  Next month she is going in to have 2 of the 4 valves replaced which is by far the scariest surgery and most risky.  She was chronically depressed due to her health and circumstances but somehow was able to over come it.  For that she is truly amazing in my eyes...I'm not just saying that because she's my mom  tongue .

I do have a lot of health issues myself but I have found that I really dont spend a lot of time worrying about it.  I wake up with the resolve that and how my body feels is not going to determine my state of mind.  I try to be as healthy as possible and let higher powers worry about the rest.

Take care

 


Lynds
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 5/6/2006 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sherree

Didn't think I'd been on here long enough to offer anyone else support yet, I only joined because i worry about my boyfriends depression but I know a bit about IBD too.

He has had Crohns since he was a child but although it can get quite bad, doesn't keep him away from work, hols eating out etc. We jus have to know where the toilets are before we go!!

I was diagonsed with Colitis and Auto Immune Anaemia 7 years ago and now have a permenant ileostomy and no spleen.... so although I'm stuck with that I'm symptom free. I thought I would fall apart, I always took care of myself and my looks and it seemed like the end of the world. I had fantastic support from my family. It definately makes a huge difference as to who is around you when you are diagnosed or when your CD is flaring up. It can make you feel very isolated and can knock your confidence very quickly..and easily bring on bouts of depression.

I had very low points, but now it has made me appreciate life more than before. I get frustrated with people who moan when they have no probs, when there are people battling just to get through a day.

I'd say it's ok to feel down at a time like this, who wouldn't? But as I'm sure you have come to terms with you're other conditions CD can be managed too.

Good luck with geting it under control
Lyndsey x
'We all have a cross to bare, it's how we carry it that counts'


CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 5/7/2006 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Els,
 
I bet a big portion of your mother's problems is hanging skin left over from her bypass.  On the outside, you look great to everyone since your are smaller, but when you are alone and naked, the folds of flabby skin just remind you of your fat self.  They are a constant reminder that you still don't fit in with the majority of society.  No amount of exercise with make that useless skin go away.  The only option is to have plastic surgery and have it cut away, and the new skin contoured via liposuction.  It is expensive, but the psychological advantage of having to carry it around that constant reminder of painful memories is worth the temporary pain to most people.  She might want to look into that, not to mention, she would loose several more pounds from getting rid of all that junk skin. 
 
I did not get to my goal weight after my bypass.  I went on Depakote and gained back eighty pounds in about a year due to the medication.  However, I'm off the Depakote, and the weight is slowly going down, but the hanging skin is just awful, and I get painful rashes where the skin is touching skin.  Plastic surgery would do me a world of good for my psyhche, not to mention my knees and my back.  I don't think a plastic surgeon would consider me a candidate for surgery, since I haven't gotten to my goal weight.  At this rate, I may never get there because of my knees and back, so I guess I'm in a catch 22 situation. 
 
I wish all the best for you and your mother.  Keep me updated.
Leigh Ann cool
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 5/8/2006 6:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Leigh Ann,  Dramatic weight loss can be quite traumatic I imagine.  I have heard her say that she intends to have plastic surgery but she isnt at her goal weight yet.  Also she wants to wait until after her heart surgery and hopefully the fluid build up she gets from the Lasix she has to take will stop.  Thank you for you kind words....Please know that your in my thoughts.  Take care


 

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