Depression & CP

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Date Joined Mar 2008
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   Posted 1/12/2010 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

We all know that depression and CP go hand in hand. The unrelenting pain leads to depression, which in turn worsens our pain, which in turn worsens our depression. It is a never ending cycle.

Lately I just can't seem to break the cycle. Like many I have CP-induced major depressive disorder. Meds have never helped me much, but I've generally been able to handle the depression, but I just can't right now. My meds are having no effect whatsoever and I just can't seem to get myself under control. I've got so much stuff going on in my life at the moment & I know that that is much of the cause. I'm very glad I'm on break right now, otherwise I don't know how I'd function. The worst part of it is that there are some things that I really want to cry about, need to cry about, but I can't, which makes things all the more frustrating.

I see my psychiatrist again in a week & I'm hesitant to call him before my appointment because I'm only one week into a med increase & I think he'd just tell me to give it time. It is incredibly frustrating to me because I am just as resistant to antidepressant medications as I am to pain medications. So I pose a question to you all, what do you do when nothing helps? How do you keep yourself going? How do you prevent things that you can't control from eating away at your soul?

I thought about posting this in the depression forum, but since this is CP-induced depression & many of you suffer from the same, I thought it would be appropriate to post here. Maybe others can benefit from this thread as well.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 1/12/2010 3:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh I'm sorry you are struggling Skeye, I find water really healing, watching big rollers come crashing into shore is the best. But I love rivers too. Even floating in water is incredibly healing for me, but I guess mid winter over there that may not be an option.

Also when my sister was depressed she was told to look up, don't look down at your feet and walk looking out at the world. She found that small bit of advice really helpful.

I wish I could be with you and take you out for a treat. Have you a friend you could talk too? I also tried a psychologist who helped me with dealing with pain. Visualisation techniques, calming techniques etc. She was really helpful, just talking to her was really helpful. She got me to concentrate on my breathing when the pain became overwhelming.

I'm sending you all my caring hugs, look up at the world and know we all care for you Skeye. You're such a joy to have on this site and I often wonder how you are going when I'm teaching my students. Life will get better, best best wishes, golitho

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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 1/12/2010 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
You ask a really deep, thought-provoking question. What DO we do when nothing helps? I'm not sure there's any one answer to that. For me, I guess sometimes I just need to hang on, like I'm hanging onto some invisible life preserver. Perhaps some call it hope. Blind faith. But mostly I'm not thinking at those times, just clinging and waiting for something to change.

I can relate to the difficulty crying. It seemed when all this was first happening to me, and before I got on an anti-depressant, I was crying all the time. Now I KNOW I fight the tears. I just did it earlier today. And yet I think crying may be one of the things we have to allow ourselves to do. To go into the sadness, not to stay there forever, but to allow it to well up and spill out. Yes, all the things Golitho mentions are important. Sometimes I just go through the list and keep trying stuff. It's been difficult with my computer problems of late not being able to come here at will, but perhaps it's forcing me to focus on other things a bit more.

Anyway, I'm just rambling. But I know you've been under enormous stress trying to finish this last year, and the stimulator issue (not sure what's happened there because I haven't been able to read all the updates on threads). My first thought would be to curl up maybe with one of your animals and have a good cry. I usually feel better once I do, but I think I also need to take my own advice in this instance!



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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 1/12/2010 10:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Skeye, yes indeed depression and CP go together. As I recently shared with you I am also fighting  depression and that is what I have to do is fight. I told my wife last night if I slowed down, a nervous breakdown would probably catch up to me. It is hard to do but I fight to keep looking outward and not inward. With the recent changes at work and the uncertainty there, it has been tough. I know some people who suffer the effects of depression during the winter months go tanning and they claim that helps.Not my thing but if it helps, why not. My mail order phamacy messed up my antidepressant refill and I ended up going 3 days without and I felt the difference even though I question if they were working that well. If I come up with a good cure for depression I will gladly share it. Until then, I just keep going. Hang in there.  

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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 1/13/2010 12:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Golitho, Palady, and Fatherjohn,

Thank you so much for you kind & caring words, as well as the advice. It helps just to know that I have such wonderful friends here who look out for me & that I can rely on. Although I don't know most of you in person, the bonds that we have formed are just as strong as if we had met face to face.

Palady, I think you've hit the nail on the head with your suggestion. My animals, especially my youngest dog have been such tremendous sources of love. Being with them makes everything seem okay, if only for a moment. I don't know what I would have done this past year without my boy. I just wish I could cry with them. I think I'd feel better if I could, but I just can't seem to let the tears come.

My stress is only going to increase right now, as among other things happening in my family, my mother is having major surgery tomorrow to take care of recently discovered cancer. Fortunately the outcome looks really good & if they don't find anything tomorrow, this surgery should effectively cure her. But even so, she'll be out of commission for at least 6 wks, so for the next couple weeks, until I return to school, I'll be taking care of everything -- cooking, cleaning, taking care of the animals, helping out my grandmother, etc, etc, etc. I fear that this added stress may push me even closer to my breaking point. Maybe starting the new semester will be a good thing for me -- it'll get my mind off of other things.

Golitho, thanks so much for sharing that saying with me. It is really nice! I'm going to write it down for sure!
Oh how I wish I could go visit the ocean. I love the ocean. It does have an amazing calming effect. Unfortunately, it is winter here & I live inland. I guess I'll just have to picture one in my mind. A nice white sand beach with crystal clear blue water, palm trees, and soft crashing waves...

Fatherjohn, You're right, I think the winter tends to increase a lot of people's depression. It must be because it is so dark and cold, at least in our part of the world. Like you mentioned, I think that my depression really worsened because I slowed down. When I'm in school I really have to focus very hard to get through each day, but now that I'm on break I have much more free time. I've been going going going all year long. I can't remember the last substantial break that I had. I think everything has just finally caught up with me. I think the whole stimulator business was what really pushed me over the edge & now I just can't seem to dig myself out of this hole. Tanning is an interesting idea, thanks for the suggestion. I've never been tanning before, but I hear that light therapy helps people with seasonal depression, so maybe the tanning has a similar effect. Interesting.

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate your support. I'm not one to give up or give in; I never quit fighting, but boy it is hard at times!


Post Edited (skeye) : 1/12/2010 10:06:31 PM (GMT-7)

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 1/13/2010 1:41 AM (GMT -6)   

I know you have allot on your plate right now, more than anybody your age should ever have to deal with! But with that said I know from your post and everything that you have written that as unsure of your self that you sometimes are you have an inner strength about you that will get you through all this! You really do! With that said your really going to need to draw upon that inner strength, and be positive about it! You said something in this last post that I am going to point out to you. You said: ("I'll be taking care of everything -- cooking, cleaning, taking care of the animals, helping out my grandmother, etc, etc, etc. I fear that this added stress may push me even closer to my breaking point. ") Please try and think of this as a challenge that is testing your "inner strength" and that you have that strength and you will persevere! Because you know what skeye? YOU will Persevere! You will be alright! Your a fighter and You don't give up! You will be OK! and you will always have us here to listen to you and to back you up and support you and encourage you!

Hang in there skeye, we are with you every step of the way!

White Beard

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 1/13/2010 2:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Skeye great subject. I am with WhiteBeard on this one. You do have such an inner strength about you. Not many your age would have gone on as you have in an effort to continue with your plans and your dreams. Never lose sight of either of these things.
I think the situation with the SCS was the final straw. Had this happened while you were busy with school and such you most likely would not feeling as you do right now. Sometimes when we do have a lot of time on our hands it is not always good for many of us, too much time to think about too things.
I just hate to cry, sometimes when it happens to me I end up mad at myself for doing it. I am suppose to be stronger than that is what I tell myself. But, we all have a breaking point. I had one of my cries today, more so out of frustration than anything. I really can't tell if it helped or not because I am so aggravated with things.
I do best if I can stay busy with something. Keep pushing on and I do hope the surgery goes well with your mom. You will manage as you always do taking care of things and helping out. Just remember we are here anytime you need a break. Hugs,

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/13/2010 4:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry to read about your mother's surgery; glad to hear she will likely be ok, but I'm concerned about YOU. Try to see if you can call in some in-home services. Some might even be covered under her insurance, and it would help you a bit. Taking care of the animals is probably not a problem for you, but if you can get others to help with cooking, cleaning, etc. please do so.

You know I think back a few months ago and you were so unsure if you could make it through this last year, and for sure it's been an uphill climb for you. But you can see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as school is concerned, right? I mean finishing the year and graduating will be such a huge accomplishment - and I hope then you can take some time for yourself and maybe find that beach and just lounge for awhile. Maybe you can find a friend who lives near the ocean.

Take at least a little time each day for you to cuddle up with one of your furry friends. That's a start.



Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 1/13/2010 7:39 AM (GMT -6)   

Dearest Skeye,

With all of the overwhelming pain, limitations, frustration and sadness we who have CP deal with on a daily basis.....the best advice I received from a very spiritual friend of mine is to start a grateful list.  List every single thing you have in your life that you are grateful for.....when you do this (it works for me) there is not much to be sad about.

Sounds so easy doesn't it? 

You have so much to deal with right now and just know that we are all praying and rooting for a positive outcome for you!!


P.S. You are so precious to all of us here, I hope knowing this helps pull you through all these challenges!!!  Your email helped me to get through a most difficult time and I want you to know how much your words meant to me!!!  double XXOO

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 1/13/2010 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
So sorry to hear this!! My heart goes out to you!!
I have also been diagnosed severly depressed and of course, take MORE meds....but I dont think they are having much effect either. (I will be talking to Dr about that)
Anyways....I have started doing something I normally DONT do....I dress up everyday, do my hair and even wear make up! I have only ever done this when I go out with my hubby, but actually I have noticed over the past couple of weeks my mood has changed a bit.

My husband questiond me (of course, jealous man!) and I just explained to him that I need this to feel good about myself! And to my COMPLETE suprise, he understood.

So now I am on week 3 of this "get all made up" stuff and feeling a little better. Things just dont "get to me" as much....I will keep it going, talk to the Dr about the RX's and take each day one by one.

Please feel better! Everyone is beautiful!!
Tethered Spinal Cord
1.5x1.2 cm spinal cord cyst at L5/S1
  (Lumbar Laminectemy completed 9/10/09)
Leg Deformity
Foot Deformity 
Knee Pain
Hip Pain
Back Pain
Neck Pain
Severe Depression
"I'm not going to vacuum 'till Sears makes one
you can ride on"
~Roseane Barr~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 1/13/2010 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
i also have severe depression. and you describe it perfectly as the pain worsens so does the depression etc. I hate it!!
one thing i do that helps is make a list of what i want to get done that day.

for example my list today is

fold laundry that is in basket.

sweep floor

clean counters

thats it. if I do more great. somedays my list is more like this:
bathe, get dressed, brush teeth

you can make it as hard or easy as you want.

it feels good to know i got something done today.

also if you have a window and the sun comes through, I sit in the sun as long as possible.

I also take a bunch of meds
Chronic Lyme Disease

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Sleep Apnea


Adrenal Fatigue

Type 2 Diabetes

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 1/13/2010 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
     Oh skeye,
     It sounds like you have got a very hecktic couple of weeks ahead. That surely cant be helping out the depression and fatigue. I wish I had advise to offer... I just know that when I am sad it is usually because pain is making tasks diffacult (and gosh sadness has awfull timing) then the days seem doubly longer and "tasks" twice as hard.
     Though I am oh so glad your mother is going to be okay, I worry about all the strain and stress you must be under. I am sure you will come out the other side of all this as strong as ever. But if there is anyway you can "hire" help or ask a family friend to help? It would help you so much. But, I hope above al else, your find soemtime for yourself. A quiet moment here and there , maybe a chance to relax a little. Please know your in our hearts here.



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood



Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 1/14/2010 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your support, advice, and encouragement. It is helpful in so many ways! You are all so dear to me. I really can't thank each of you enough for just being there!

I'll hopefully be leaving shortly to pick my mother up from the hospital - just waiting for the phone call. The surgery went really well, although it took quite a while (it was done robotically!!). Fantastic news though, the initial pathology was negative, so no cancer! Although unfortunately it still doesn't explain the initial test results. We are wondering if the lab screwed up & she never had any cancer to begin with, but there is no way to know so it is best to be safe. It's not like she needs her ovaries or uterus anymore.
Thanks for all the well wishes.

hugs to all,

Stella Marie
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 1/14/2010 3:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Some very wise members of our forum have given you some of the best advice I have heard in a long time. Always remember, even with chronic pain nothing is static. Conditions, medications, and treatments change all the time. So what may seem like the lowet of lows - it is important to work through them any way you can - even blind faith - because next week things may be very different. I am always meditating, using relaxation tapes, deep breathing, and medication to continue on. I have learn that sometimes a new medication or treatment is literally just around the corner.

I am so sorry you have to experience all of this.

Stella Marie

Moderator for Chronic Pain and Epilepsy

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, myoclonus, central apnea, collagenous colitis, joint and body pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair.



Pete trips again!
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 1/15/2010 7:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry I haven't been around to give you a little support durring these tough times you are having. I've been a bad boy.

Thats great news about your Mom! I'm sure that will take some of the pressure off knowing it wasn't that bad "C-word"!!!! Still you have so much on your plate. Have you heard anymore from the ^()*@#!!&**^ insurance company about the procedure they denied?? I've been thinking about and praying for you even though I haven't around lately.

Well, I've got to get moving, lots to do today! I'll check back later.
Hugs & much love coming your way!!!
Your big Bro, Pete

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 1/15/2010 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Stella, You're absolutely right about all the advice I got! I appreciate it all so much! Everyone here is so wonderful!

Thanks Pete!
Last Friday, the insurance company denied the implant again. We're currently in the process of getting things together for the second-level appeal. I'm just waiting on some letters from my doctors & then we'll be good to go. Once we submit the second appeal, we'll have a face-to-face meeting & they have 15 days to decide.

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