My depression also predates my UC (as you can see in my signature). Having UC certainly doesn't help, though I'm glad that I got back on anti-depressants shortly after being diagnosed. I think it made a BIG difference. The most depressing thing about
having UC for me is seeing myself as a "sick person." Before I was diagnosed, my health was something I took a lot of pride in. Beside the occasional cold, I rarely got sick before. So it's really changed how I see myself. It didn't help that my ex saw me as a sick person too. I mean, he was supportive in a lot of ways, but he had a hard time not seeing me as weak or fragile. I also find that (at the moment) by biggest symptom is just being exhausted all the time. It really saps me of my motivation and makes it harder to do a lot of the things I enjoy (dancing, painting, writing, etc.). And because I'm lucky enough to not be flaring too badly, I feel guilty for being so tired all the time since there's no obvious reason for it.
For anyone who's on the fence about
anti-depressants, I would personally recommend them. I didn't used to be a fan, but I really think they take the edge off when you need it most. I'm trying to build up my own defenses to depression (through yoga, meditation, etc.), but the meds keep me afloat in the meantime. The other thing that I find helpful, silly as it may sound, is doing activities that are low-energy but high results. For example (don't laugh), coloring those fuzzy velvet posters (remember those from your childhood?). It doesn't take much effort, but it's enjoyable and it look really nice when you're done (giving you a much needed feeling of accomplishment).
I'd love to hear other people's coping mechanisms.
Dx w/ left-sided UC June 2007
(Flaring since June 2007)
Meds: Asacol 400 mg x 9; Prednisone (since 01/09/08)
20 mg 15 mg
Supplements: Iron, Multivitamin w/ Calcium and Vit. D, Fish Oil & Probiotic Yogurt
Dx w/ Depression, GAD, and OCD in 2001
(Currently in therapy)
Paxil Lexapro Zoloft 100 mg