Could Someone Clarify Depression, Please

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by abcanada, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. abcanada

    abcanada New Member

    I'd like it if someone could give me an indication as to what it is like to be depressed. Those who have experienced it only please. Thank you sooo much, Laura
  2. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Standard measures of depression don't work very well for us, since a lot of the CFS stuff overlaps.

    I think that major depression is probably best defined as feeling like life is intolerably bad and that there is nothing to be done about it.

    I personally think that even with chemical depression this comes from pain. The brain is incapable of feeling pain as we normally think of it. But that doesn't mean that it's not capable of feeling _bad_, when it is in bad shape (e.g. harmed in the way that other parts of the body are when we feel pain).

    FMS and CFS certainly can cause deep depression if they get too bad, and people can't find ways to feel like there is some enjoyment or purpose in life regardless of how they're feeling, and they have no hope that they will get better.

    Unfortunately, considering how hard it can be to get better from these diseases (and, even more so, how hard it can be to get help), I think it's fairly easy to get depressed as a result of them.

    There have been so many people over the years who have dismissed our problems as depression that it is easy to want to avoid psychiatric help at all. But if psychotherapy or even drugs can help us to come to terms with our illness, and/or find ways to find meaning or fun despite it, and/or feel more determined to get better, I think they can be useful. (You've got to avoid psychotherapists who don't believe you're physicall sick, though. We get enough of that already, just going through life.)

    Despite my cyclothymia (moderate highs and lows of manic depression) and CFS difficulties, I've only felt really deeply depressed a few times.

    I think the differentiating line is when I move from "I hate being sick but am going to make the most of my life regardless" to "Life is pointless."

    Fortunately, my little combination of mood stuff (Lamictal, St. Johns Wort, DLPA, l-theanine, a bunch of vitamins) plus a lot of self-reflection (and a bit of therapy) has helped me to not move into that "Life is pointless" mentality very much these days.

    I actually think that I'm in it an awfully less often than most people who had to meet the challenges of CFS (or FMS), but it does still crop up once in a while. Probably there's no avoiding it no matter how well you're doing.

    Christopher Reeve said that depression didn't run in his family and that he was determined to make the most of his life despite his quadraplegia. I can't believe that he _never_ got into that "Life is pointless" mode. You'd have to be superhuman not to when really sick for a long time, I think.

    Does this make sense?
  3. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I'm not now but I have been. All your thoughts are negative or have a certain "doomed" kind of quality to them. Music doesn't sound so good, even your favorite songs; tv favorites aren't that fun to watch . . . basically nothing is very damn much fun. And if you take a mental glance at your facial muscles, you'll notice that around your forehead and eyes the muscles tend to be "pinched".

    It will make you hate stuff you wouldn't normally hate, including people, places and just anything. You look at the future and it's hard to see anything good at all. You can't relax because something's bothering you and you don't know what it is. You may not even realize you're depressed, you may just think this is your normal life and that's where people get really unhappy. It's the chemicals in your brain that are responsible for good feelings that are all messed up.

    Improper diet, food intolerance (eating dairy and wheat make me depressed since I've been ill, not before) and malnutrition will all cause depression, among other things.

    When I wasn't depressed I had psychiatrists trying to convince me I was because they figured I must be since I had cfs. As I've improved, it has gone away.

    You didn't say you wanted any ideas about how to deal with it but here's what I did:

    rad diet change, look at mine and other's posts on diet

    precursors to neurotransmitters (feel good chemicals in your brain) - this is the natural way of trying to boost neurotransmitters by giving your body the building materials for them rather than using an antidepressant to make your body stop breaking them down: TMG (trimethylglycine), phosphatidyl serine, phosphatidyl choline and, of course, everyone's favorite: 5htp. I also use DMAE for its effects on the brain, but (not trying to be funny), I can't remember what they are. But I'm better than I was!!

    hope this helps

  4. netnut

    netnut New Member

    I have bipolar (manic depression) so I am intimately familiar with depression. There is a vicious cycle between the pain breeding depression and the depression breeding more pain.

    For me, we can tell I am heading into a depression (or are in one) because I dont want to do anything, cant find enjoyment in anything, dont want to leave the house, dont want to talk, dont want to get out of bed and dont want to take care of hygiene. There are times when I dont change out of my pajamas or take a shower for a week or more. Sometimes it takes my family forcing me to at least change clothes. When things get really bad I contemplate ending it all.

    Fortunately I am on meds that do seem to help somewhat but I still cycle rather rapidly and any stress at all sends me out of control. I also go to therapy to try and work on these things.

    None of it is easy to live with but when you have a chemical imbalance it is lifelong so you have to learn.
  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Oh, yes, corn will make me depressed big time now. Even the smell of it at movie theaters had an effect on me. This never used to be the case before I got sick.
  6. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I read somewhere that with depression you feel better when excercising, but if you have CFS or FM for example it can make you worse. A doc I had wanted to blame my health issues on depression, but I kept at it that then excercise should affect me positively which it did not.
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Oh, that's absolutely true that exercising is supposed to help depression but not CFS.

    That's true of "going out and doing things" as well. People with depression may not feel better when they do such things, but (unless the things they do reinforce their depression.....e.g. going to a party and not feeling comfortable talking to anyone) they don't feel worse.

    With CFS, forcing yourself to go out and do stuff when you don't want to _definitely_ makes you feel worse.

    You can have depression and CFS though. So while feeling worse after exercise or activity may suggest CFS, it doesn't necessarily mean that depression isn't present too.
  8. abcanada

    abcanada New Member

    Of coarse all docs are thinking I'm depressed, but I'm not. I can see how easily it can happen though when in pain all the time. Lately I've been having alot of emotional moments, but I feel it is out of frustration. Thanks alot, Laura

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