Does your energy and mood lower when you get sicker?

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Thoreau
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2127
   Posted 8/28/2009 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I was wondering if people experience less enthusiasm, not quite a depression (well sometimes), but a definite mood change as they slide into a period of feeling sicker. My UC is very temperamental, maybe everyone's is. I have a busy mind, and stress myself out easily. This leads to poorer sleep. With poor sleep and stress my colon starts to act up... as in more frequent stools, and sporadically going from solid to a mucus type diarrhea.

As that happens, I go from energetic and enthused to withdrawn and semi-depressed. Is that normal? I always wonder if I have depression that needs to be treated, but it's only when I'm feeling poorly in regards to my UC that it seems to happen. Plus... I've been to a therapist twice, both times when I was on prednisone which completely changes my mind. She always smiled at me and told me I was not in fact nuts... as in my mental health checks out okay.

I have had the disease for 6 years, and compared to many I am not a severe case. Possibly thanks to the pentasa and 6mp. Yet, the disease really seems to completely change who I am when I experience the symptoms. I can be okay with it I think, if I know how to handle these times when I get sicker. Is accepting the disease and withdrawing to regain energy a good option? How do other people deal with UC's effects on their mental state and social life as they try to heal?

Anyone have any great ways to deal with stress without internalizing it all? I am always thinking about the business I own, or how I'm handling my dating life, or how I could improve my life to bring me more joy. I know all the thinking leads me to poorer health. I can't seem to stop it though.

Zach

NachoLover
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 8/28/2009 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been struggling with ACTIVE UC for the past 5 years and the hardest part of it is NOT the bathroom trips, cramps or any of that stuff...it's the MENTAL strain that comes with the disease.

I stopped counting the number of times I would start to "feel a little better" (hence improve my mood), only to be turned back by yet another drop in positiveness (hence, my improve will worsen). I've DEFINITELY gone through depressions as well, but when I went to see a shrink about it, he couldn't offer any specific solutions ("You have a debilitating disease...it's hard to 'pretend' like it's not there").

I think keeping up with an ACTIVE routine is the way to go, which includes RELAXATION techniques, stress-relieving activities and physical exercise, but even those things are HARD for me to keep up, when I get a STRONGER FLARE than usual and I get "down" again for a few days...

Sorry I couldn't be of greater help, but just to let you know, you're definitely NOT alone.

I think the mental end of this disease is the toughest.

Christine1946
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 8/28/2009 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
     I agree with both of you totally.   My poor husband has been so understanding.  It can't be easy for him when I get in my "moods".    Not only is the disease bad enough to cope with but the prednisone, Cort enemas, 6MP, Colazal and Canasa...all those meds! 
     It has got to be hard on you young people.  I didn't get ulcerative proctitis until I was 52 yrs old, now I am 63.  Up until I was 52 I never took more than a vitamin. 
     I used to enjoy spending time with my grandkids.....now they get on my nerves!
     Guess it is best to TRY to stay positive...but it isn't easy.
 
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008 for ten days.
Remission Nov 08 thru May of 09.
Slowly coming out of flare.  Meds: Colazal (6 per day), prednisone 10 mgm and tapering weekly, Cort enema nightly, Canasa in morning, Benicar 20 mg for BP, flaxseed oil 3 x a day, fishoil 2 x a day, probiotic 3 x a day, calcium with D 1x a day and multivitamin.
Doctor had me on 100 mgm of 6MP which drastically lowered my white count.  Now off the 6MP pending results of repeat white count. UGH.


kops2da
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 8/28/2009 6:13 PM (GMT -6)   

I think regular exercise and maybe meditation will help some of you.  I am 69 and could not cope with grandchildren and often my husband until I went on Xanax.  I do not recommend any anti-anxiety drugs or medications but do find something to help you relax, time to yourself and learn some coping skills.  Perhaps yoga or massage!  It is hard to face the ups and downs of UC without something to help with the emotional side of it.

ElaineNY


 
Senior - diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008   
No prescriptions as of yesterday!  Hoping for best and possibly adding other supplements.
 
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD, Gas-X, vitamins, Calcium/D
Tylenol for knees and arthritis.
 
 
 


CaptPoopyPants
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 8/28/2009 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been recently diagnosed with UC and found myself somewhat depressed at times. Not major depression, but just a little down compared to my pre-diagnosis state of mind. I decided to try Saint Johns Wort which is a herbal supplement and can be purchased almost anywhere. It seems to do the trick. St Johns Wort is sometimes recommended for UC sufferers anyhow due to it's anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal effects.

Thoreau
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2127
   Posted 8/28/2009 10:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the few replies I've had. I entirely agree that the worst part of the disease is mental. I can deal with pain, with bathroom trips in the middle of dates, and other such fun things. But, when I realize that the me that is present when I am well has been compromised without me even realizing it, that is tough. All the sudden I am not handling everyday things as well. Then it's easy to fall further into despair.

The one thing that has helped me, is keeping a journal. I've probably filled out 10-15 notebooks of writing since I was diagnosed 6 years ago. I sit down and write out my thoughts, my discouragements, and try to objectively look at what I might be able to do, if anything. This time around, I've looked into what causes my stress. If I can limit the stress, then I will sleep better. Having better sleep and less stress will definitely ease things all the way around.

I think one of the most important things for me to really realize is that when I'm down, I need rest more than anything. Sometimes I try to fix the situation by doing things, which exhausts me worse yet.

Anyways, I appreciate any responses. It's unfortunate that anyone has to deal with things like this, but still nice to know that I am not alone. Thanks!

Zach

sirenshooter
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2012
   Posted 8/28/2009 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
When I was at my worst I didn't feel much of anything. I just kept pushing through with life and going to school and cooking food and feeding myself... I would get in the bathtub, sit back, then suddenly "come to" an hour later sitting in cold water, feeling like my eyes had never shut. I think I just pushed myself to exhaustion and didn't care or think about any of it.

Now I'm not half so bad but when little things happen they affect my mood a lot more. I turn to my boyfriend if I can; if he's not around I turn to my cat. They're both very understanding. I think it's because now that I have someone to open up to it all gets to me a lot easier.
19yr old female diagnosed with UC (pancolitis) in 2005 at age 15
125mg Azathioprine 1xday / 1 Mesalamine enema every night /
2000mg Fish Oil 1xday / 500mg Turmeric 3xday /
450mg Boswellia 2xday / 400IU Vitamin E 1xday
Arthritis in both knees
Also: asthma, acid reflux, and Reynaud's Syndrome


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 8/29/2009 12:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I think that it's pretty common for your moods and even your energy to be affected depending on how bad you're flaring, some people do handle it better than others (being sick in geneeral) I know this one lady who's got so many issues with her health (bad breast implant leakage story) and her bowels along with EVERYTHING else regarding her health are bad yet she's always happy and smiling and positive, pretty amazing actually.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Christine1946
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 8/29/2009 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
     Yep, it is best to TRY to keep a positive attitude, although not always easy.  At my age, there is ALWAYS someone a LOT worse off.  We have belonged to a camping club for the past 23 yrs.  A couple who we have been friends with for all those years have really bad health issues and they really aren't that old.  She is 63 battling diabetes and breast cancer and he is 66 with advanced Parkinson's Disease.  So whenever I start to feel down about my long bouts with ulcerative proctitis, I think to myself..."shame on you, at least you will eventually reach remission.  Things could always be worse."
     HoldingHope.....I find that Tylenol PM can help you sleep better.  I have insomnia and was taking Ambien CR, but find it makes me feel more like a zombie.  First time I slept for nine hours in months last night.  Drank a cup of chamomile tea and took a Tylenol PM....slept like a baby and feel sooooo much better.
 
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008 for ten days.
Remission Nov 08 thru May of 09.
Slowly coming out of flare.  Meds: Colazal (6 per day), prednisone 10 mgm and tapering weekly, Cort enema nightly, Canasa in morning, Benicar 20 mg for BP, flaxseed oil 3 x a day, fishoil 2 x a day, probiotic 3 x a day, calcium with D 1x a day and multivitamin.
Doctor had me on 100 mgm of 6MP which drastically lowered my white count.  Now off the 6MP pending results of repeat white count. UGH.


Mitzo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 8/29/2009 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Definitely I find my mood and outlook affected by the UC - a string of good days will have me all cheery and energetic and making plans, a bad day or two will send me to the sofa and shutting the world out.
23 years of UC which started after quitting smoking. In and out of flares which are usually triggered by antibiotics. Latest issue is endless diarrhea without blood or mucous.

 


Dr-A
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 8/29/2009 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, it doesn't take much to change my mood if having a rough morning.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Golimumab study (100mg every 4 weeks)
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA


qwerty1
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 8/29/2009 11:20 AM (GMT -6)   

Yep I agree with everyone here, I'm currently on a downer...struggling with everything and especially the fatigue. This stupid disease messes with more than just your physical wellbeing...!


23 year old female from the UK. Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis Jan '08 (plus mild inflammation in sigmoid) Hospitalised Jan '09 for 3 days; Hospitalised Feb '09 for 7 days.
  
Currently taking daily: 
(Recently finished course of Prednisolone), 100mg Azathioprine, Asacol suppository x 2, 1g Pentasa granules x2
Motilium (anti sickness), 10mg Citalopram (anti-anxiety), Probiotic Multivitamins, Fybogel.
                             
                             


songlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3697
   Posted 8/29/2009 11:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I've found that when I'm in remission - or even if my gut is just "fairly quiet" I can live without thinking about UC very much and my state of mind is good. But then when it flares, and when I'm having a hard time finding the right meds/foods/whatever to help me feel better, it takes over my life and I'm pretty blue. I think when dealing with it, two things (at least!) are going on:our self-image is altered and we are reminded that we have to live with this illness - and that is tough for anyone with any condition. Also, because of what's going on inside, we focus inward and lose our general perspective. One nasty poop and I'm thinking ahead to "what if I go 10 times like this, what if I go like this 10 times a day for the whole week, the whole month...." !!
So - I think some swings of mood are normal, and understandable. Now that my son also has UC, I keep in mind that I need to set a good example in my attitude, and that has helped to keep me from focusing inward too much.
Diagnosed UP 1983, Azulphidine
Diagnosed UC 1986 Prednisone almost 2 years
Asacol - 16 pills a day
Metamucil - 2 doses a day
Cortenemas or Rowasa from time to time
VSL#3, Ultimate Flora Critical Care
Canasa as needed


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 8/29/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
What we forget sometimes is that it takes a tremendous amount of energy for the body to constantly raise defenses to illness. Our bodies are constantly on the defense against perceived invaders, and that burns energy. When you add to that the fact that most of us decrease our food intake when we're flaring, we're asking the body to work harder with less fuel.

And the link between chronic illness and depression is well established.

Caution: if you're taking oral contraceptives, be aware that St. John's Wort can render them ineffective. Unplanned pregnancies tend not to help depression!
Judy
 Ulcerative colitis forum co-moderator
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001. Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006. Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is  my "forever" gift from steroids.
Chronic joint/connective tissue/muscle pain; TKR 05/09 
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 


festeris101
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 8/29/2009 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I know exactly how you feel as my depressed feelings come and go with my flares.
 
Case in point. I went to bed last night after a week of no issues or flares and my mind starts to think, maybe I can go back to work, maybe I can start hitting the gym etc. I awoke this morning to a bad flare and out with the D. goes my hopes, dreams and self-esteem...
 
Hope is killing me! sad
300 mg. - Imuran daily
     5 mg. - Pred daily
   20 mg. - Prilosec daily
   35 mg. - Fosamx weekly


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 8/29/2009 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Be sure to get enough rest. It's hard to get enough sleep when you have a lot on your mind and your gut wakes you up, besides. Don't feel guilty for taking a nap now and then!
I also think exercise helps a lot. When I was really sick, I would take short walks round and round (to not get too far away from my bathroom). Now I cherish my leisurely rounds of golf.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985. 
Asacol maintenance for 20+ years; 
Prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
Food sensitivity test by Naturopath showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances, helped some. 
Remicade started April 2009 (Humira denied) and doing great~ learning what normal is~ wow


Mitzo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 8/29/2009 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Having to be fixated on our excrement makes us glum. It is demoralizing and humiliating. Having sh!t keep you trapped is bound to bring depression.
23 years of UC which started after quitting smoking. In and out of flares which are usually triggered by antibiotics. Latest issue is endless diarrhea without blood or mucous.

 

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