Hi there I am newly diagnosed with depression

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Dansky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 6/5/2007 1:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
I was diagnosed yesterday with having depression, funny thing about 2 years ago, I actually told a counsellor I felt depressed but nothing was ever done.
 
I am no stranger to HealingWell as I'm a moderator over on the Ulcerative Colitis (UC) board, but I am new to your forum so please treat me gently because I'm very new to this :-) even though my name has been on the Depression forum previously.
 
For so long I have been of the impression that my decreased participation in the things I love doing, insomnia, bad moods, feeling low, decreased appetite and other symptoms were a result of UC or the meds I take on a daily basis, but yesterday I saw a new GP following a bout of vomiting, this GP was amazing, his first question was " I have just took a quick look through your notes and can see you have been having a bad time, now tell me how you feel".  That was new for me, I'm so used to doctors getting you out as quick as they can :-)  The GP made an appointment with him for next Monday so we can be more thorough and work out a treatment plan.
 
Recently so many things have happened in my life which I feel have got on top of me, things like getting suspended at work, a family member being diagnosed with Bowel cancer (which sent me in a panic), death in my wifes family, learning I have damge to my heart and surrounding muscle and finally the pressure of constantly fighting to remain in my job with a chronic disease.  One of the things I told the GP was that I felt a little stressed and admitted that things did seem to be getting on top of me, when he actually told me he believed I was suffering with depression, in a sense it was a relief because immediately it made so much sense, although very hurtful, I actually told him I thought I was stronger than that, of course he informed me that depression was not a sign of weakness but I guess being a man I immediately instinctively jumped into a defensive mode :-)
 
So that's me, although I do have a question or 2, what will next Monday bring, I have this scarey thought that they will wire my head up and send electric shocks through my brain in order to get my thoughts and motivation etc. back on track :-)  I'm pretty sure that's just in the old films, but seriously how do they fix depression?  The GP mentioned counselling and medication but I already take 9 different types of meds per day, I rattle now if I jump up and down more pills is just not funny, I also have this strange thought that medication for depression would have the same effect that alcohol has, I don't know why I think that, what medication for depression prevent me from driving?
 
My wife is a very strong positive person, who said "you're not depressed why did you let him tell you you are" she then started going on one because she now feels like my employer who has access to my medical records, can use this as ammunition to get rid of me :-(  My wife and I don't actually communicate, we haven't for years, we argue the majority of the time, and she has said some very hurtful things to me in the past, especially since being diagnosed with UC, but hey that's just the way she is, she sees illness as a weakness which I gotta tell you has lead to some very fiery arguments even though I try to avoid arguing, I try to tell her I don't want to argue because of the additional stress it will have on my heart and UC, but you know how it is right?  How do you get someone to realise stress isn't good for anyone? 
 
My very last question is this, I always try to keep a smile on my face, admittedly a lot of the time, it's difficult to achieve this, but I believe positive mental thinking is very important in life, is someone suffering from depression always meant to look unhappy and down?  This slightly confuses me and as such is playing havoc with my mind because I'm trying to convince myself that my GP is wrong. 
 
Ok I apologise for the long thread :-)
 
Take care.
 
Dave
Dansky
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ShynSassy
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 6/5/2007 4:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dave,
Going to the doctor is very easy the first time...it is funny because I think we all stressed about it. But when it was over we felt so much better.
They are just going to ask you a few questions about how you are feeling,what is going on in your life ect ect.
They did ask me if I was suicidal,which upset me,but I think they have to do that.
Then the meds. There are some very strong ones out there that can knock you on your butt. But,since you are on so many other meds they are not going to give those to you.
If I was you,before you went to the doctor I would just do a quick research on the different types of meds that are out there and the side effects. Just so that you are well informed and then will at least recognize the med when they talk to you about it.

Then I think it might be time to enter some counseling. For yourself first. Then,trying to get your wife to go. She does not understand the disease at all. At that is to be expected. But,in order for her to understand and to know how to help you she needs to be informed too.

Good luck,and keep us posted.

Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Currently taking none.
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"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"


Dansky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2844
   Posted 6/5/2007 5:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Shy,

Thank you so much for your reply, my GP also asked if I had any suicidal thoughts, I was pleased to be able to say no, however, when I was first diagnosed with UC it was a different matter. Of course on diagnosis I was referred to the Armies equivalent to a counsellor :-) The most difficult thing is to open up to an Army Officer, subsequently I dare say I didn't benefit too much.

Referring again back to when I initially saw a counseelor, my wife did actually wish to attend with me, but that is not allowed by the Army for whatever reason, and she was made to wait outside.

Thanks again for the feedback it is much needed right now.

Take care.

Dave
Dansky
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ediekristen
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 6/5/2007 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Dave,

I think depression is quite common in people with chronic diseases- especially one as embarrassing as UC. I know for me it has played a large part in my depression/anxiety, because I get in that "why me?" mode sometimes, and when you're forced to miss out on so much of your life because you have to be on or near a toilet at all times, it can definitely get to you!

Being depressed is nothing to be ashamed of, it's sad that there's such a stigma attached to it. I feel kind of hypocritical saying this as I haven't even told anyone that I'm on antidepressants now (except for the people on this great forum) but I do know deep down that I'm not weak... I'm just a realist :P Okay, maybe a bit of a pessimist. Heh.

As for your appointment Monday, they will more than likely just want to talk to you more, and assess which method of treatment would be most beneficial. Probably will take a full history if they haven't already to make sure, for example, if they decide to put you on anti depressants that they prescribe the right one. Nothing to be afraid of, though I understand your feelings- I was terrified for my appointment! It went really well though and I felt kind of silly for being so anxious afterward!

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and I'm sure you'll find the answers to any questions you may have. I've found a lot of support and comfort from posting here and I hope you will as well.
Female, 21, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia from long term prednisone use

Currently taking 5mg of prednisone (down from 40! Almost done...)
10 mg Lexapro
Waiting to start back on Azathioprine...


Dansky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2844
   Posted 6/5/2007 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hardspacecore,

Thank you so much for your words :-) everything you have said makes so much sense, I even remembered whilst reading your reply that after I first saw a counsellor, I did get put on a drug called molipaxin, which was an an antidepressant, hey I forgot I was taking that one :-) But I'm sure before that noone told me I was depressed at that time, is it usual therefore to get depressed, fixed and depressed again?

Well thanks again.

Take care.

Dave
Dansky
 TAKE FLYING LESSONS ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE TODAY!
 
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_Christina
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 6/5/2007 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Dave,

Yes, it is normal to go in and out of depressive eppisodes.  The problem is that with each eppisode it will be harder to treat.  I to have a way to "smile and hide" my true emotions.  Sometimes I don't even know they are there.  They come out in other forms such as diet, thoughts, sleep problems and such.  When they do come out it is like releasing a floodgate.  The problems with the UC and the Depression may be linked and aggrivating each other.

I have found 2 books "Undoing Depression" and "Aganst Depression" that has taught me about medications and how they work.  It also goes over the physical changes inthe body and brain of a person when they have depression.  It is a real Degenerative Brain Disorder.  Research is so new.

Also, things like UC and Depression ruins marraiges.  Don't let it.  Be the bigger person, look for books about married to...(depression, UC) and also regular marraige books.  Work on it, now more than ever.  I had to, when my husband was diagnoseed as BiPolor, and now he is for me.  It's not like the movies- it's more like everyday life.

 

 

 


Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


ediekristen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 6/5/2007 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I think depression, especially if it's clinical/chronic depression, can be very similar to our UC in that it will rear its ugly head from time to time, sometimes for only a week or two, sometimes for so long we can't even remember what it's like to be happy. Occaisionally it goes into hiding and right when we think we're past it, all of a sudden it comes up again seemingly out of nowhere like a hurricane happening in the middle of a beautiful summer day.

That's not to say I don't think anyone can completely get rid of depression, but that if you let it, it can be really easy to slip back into it, just like if we don't take our colitis meds we start to flare. I certainly hope I don't have to take anti depressants for the rest of my life, but I know right now that it's best and maybe in the frame of mind they give me I can learn coping mechanisms that are healthy to use when I'm off of them. I know if I do decide to stop taking them someday that perhaps I will be depressed again eventually, I guess that's just how life is and maybe we're more susceptible than others - I think it just means we're more sensitive and caring than most ;) Hehe.

I'm kind of rambeling right now, so I'll stop, but I'm glad I was able to help!
Female, 21, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia from long term prednisone use

Currently taking 5mg of prednisone (down from 40! Almost done...)
10 mg Lexapro
Waiting to start back on Azathioprine...


Dansky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2844
   Posted 6/5/2007 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Christina,

Thanks so much for the advice, I'll certainly look into the books I haven't read for so long anyway, just like almost everything else I used to love doing pre UC.

Hardspacecore, again you come to my rescue thanks so much, I'm truly grateful.

Take care.

Dave
Dansky
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els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 6/5/2007 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Dave, I wanted to welcome you to the depression forum!  It is quite common for people who have serious medical issues to also have depression.  They often do go hand in hand.  It sounds as if you have been going though a lot of stress lately so, you add all that on top and it can push depressive symptoms to a higher level.

You mentioned in your first post having feelings of "decreased participation in the things I love doing, insomnia, bad moods, feeling low, decreased appetite" and thinking that perhaps your medications or UC was the cause for this.  These things you listed are classic depression symptoms.  Not to mention a stressful marriage.

I am sure that your doctor will slowly start you on an antidepressant, not just jump you up to a high dosage.  As with the driving they often caution you to not drive for the first few days so you know how you react to the med.  Some of them can cause dizziness and drowsiness at first.  Plus they dont really "fix" depression the antidepressants mainly just help lift the depression so that we can deal with our life issues.

Depression is really a medical illness since it is a chemical imbalance in the brain dealing with serotonin levels.  Antidepressants help to regulate and restore the serotonin that we lack.  You also asked about "having depression, getting fixed then getting depression again" well, normally this would be called recurrent depression or major depression which is always there just under the surface (not dx'g here  :-)  ).  Here is a link on it for you to check out if you like. http://www.psychologyinfo.com/depression/major.htm

Please do keep posting Dave and letting us know how your getting along.

 

 


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
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Dansky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2844
   Posted 6/5/2007 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Elisha,

Thanks so much for the link, I'm so grateful. The members here are as awesome as on the UC forum, so I certainly will keep posting here, thank you all so much for making me feel so welcome.

Take care.

Dave
Dansky
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_Christina
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 6/5/2007 2:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Just to warn you, those books are not "easy reads". It's the type you read with a highlighter in hand. I had to also read "light" books on and off with them just to digest the information.
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


Dansky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2844
   Posted 6/5/2007 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Elisha,

I have just read up on the link you attached to your reply, crikey I'm so glad I went to talk with my doc when I did :-) It just goes to show, how things have a bad habit of sneaking up on us and bitinig when we're just not expecting it.

Christina, thanks fof the tips, I'll get myself some highlighters :-)

Take care.

Dave
Dansky
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Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 6/5/2007 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dave -

It sounds like you've already received a ton of great info. I just wanted to briefly touch upon one of your initial questions concerning "positive mental thinking". While I agree cultivating a positive outlook can be extremely beneficial, it's not always appropriate. I mean sometimes it's appropriate to be mad or sad or angry and I think by "putting on a happy face" all the time and ignoring important internal or external signals can be potentially harmful. To me it seems like it's more important to critically analyze what we're thinking and why to make sure (we as depressed individuals) are correctly interpreting that information and acting appropriately. Because, sometimes it is very appropriate to say exactly what we think (even if it's not particularly pleasant) and other times it isn't.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/5/2007 4:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Dave.my friend
alot of ppl with chronic illnesses do end up with anxiety and or depression

I knwo you will do just fine

I get in a bad funk occasionally and I find that I can get out by baby steps

I am not one to have S tendicies either

Good Luck my friend and keep us posted please

'LYN
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 
Co Mod ..Crohns Forum
Moderator .......A/P Forum
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Dx with Crohns ,pyoderma gangrenosum ,Anxiety and panic
 Way to many meds to put down ..........
 
                   ONE step..Leads to MORE 
                       
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   LYN                               
                          
                                  


Dansky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2844
   Posted 6/5/2007 11:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lyn,

You know, just reading the replies and typing things out, is making so much difference as is being home from work :-( I'm sure you know about my constant battle at work, I keep wondering if enough is enough, I have been fighting to stay in the Army for 2.5 years now, the lack of sleep, night/morning pains and sweats just seems to have gotten too much, last night, is the first time I have really thought to myself that I'm so fed up with being in so much pain, hee hee, usually I have the ability to laugh it off, tell myself no pain no gain!

As for being signed off work, well I usually feel so guilty but right now I'm not it's like I'm recognising I really need this time off, for sure my unit are struggling for manpower and I feel bad about that, but I never asked to get ill.

I got an unexpected email just the other day from my ex platoon commander, he's just finished his time and is no longer in the Army, he told me that I should take care of myself more and that I owe the Company nothing, as I'm one of the nicest guy's in my Corps and always putting the job first, hey I can't begin to tell you how touched I was.

Regarding what Sadsong wrote, I think I maybe am overdoing putting on a smile on my face and giving people the impression I'm coping with things better than I am, but that's an Army thing, It's not right to show signs of weakness whatever the circumstances, just to get on with things is drilled into us from day 1 and it's a hard habit to break.

Oh well, I guess I've rambled on far too long :-) thanks for being there.

Take care.

Dave
Dansky
 TAKE FLYING LESSONS ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE TODAY!
 
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Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/6/2007 4:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes you are a great guy and you remind me of that oldies song "
My trheme song '' Tears of a Clown"

"If there's a smile upon my face it's only there trying to
Fool the Public
But when it comes down to fooling you ......am sure you know the rest........ 'LOL.

YOu have done your time and served excellent yes I do know all that you have/ are going thru my friend from your posts but am sure you are not laying all out we never do ......do we

Keeping u in my heart thoughts and prayers my friend

Luvs ya

LYN
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 
Co Mod ..Crohns Forum
Moderator .......A/P Forum
Moderator ....Alzheimers Forum 
 
Dx with Crohns ,pyoderma gangrenosum ,Anxiety and panic
 Way to many meds to put down ..........
 
                   ONE step..Leads to MORE 
                       
 God Bless
   LYN                               
                          
                                  

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