Depression or fibro symptom?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ilovepink4, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. ilovepink4

    ilovepink4 Member

    In the late summer, I go into a flare that lasts until May....i live in a northern climate and the cool weather/severe winters put me to bed for months....

    Right away, I feel a lack of energy and motivation. Is this part of the flare? The absolute listlessness and fatigue? I don't feel severely depressed. I do get bummed out when I feel lousy again, each fall but I don't feel like I am entering the "Black Hole of Depression" that I have experienced before.

    Is this something that I can treat with a light box? Do other people feel this lack of energy while flaring? it really upsets me that I have to talk myself into bathing or tossing in a load of laundry....i just want to curl up and protect my body from stirring up the bone pain....

    What do ya'll do to treat this? Do you just ride it out? Should I try to up my seratonin levels?

    All i want to do is to stay in my bed....but, i keep busy while in bed. I read, mess around on the computer, write letters, cross stitch, fold laundry, help my sons with homework, play games with them and read to them......just avoid getting up!

    Fibro or depression?

  2. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    Never blame everything on Fibro it could be a big mistake.

    When I came to this board Fibro was the worst thing going on in my life, but now it's secondary to the other diseases that I've managed to add to it.

    Are you hypothyroid? Sometimes people need to adjust their dosage when the cold weather comes.

    Have you had your iron checked? This is another huge problem for me as my iron stores are almost non-existent.

    Try having some blood work done just in case it's not only Fibro...


  3. JLH

    JLH New Member

    To me, it sounds like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

    Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that occurs in relation to the seasons, most commonly beginning in winter.

    Symptoms will inculde:
    •Afternoon slumps with decreased energy and concentration
    •Carbohydrate cravings
    •Decreased interest in work or other activities
    •Depression that starts in fall or winter (or at beginning of cooler weather)
    •Increased appetite with weight gain
    •Increased sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness
    •Lack of energy
    •Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
    •Social withdrawal

    As with other types of depression, antidepressant medications and talk therapy can be effective. Light therapy using a special lamp to mimic light from the sun may also be helpful.

    Symptoms commonly get better on their own with the change of seasons.

    You need to discuss this with your primary care physician on your next visit. If you are currently on an antidepressant, maybe another one may be more effective than your current one. Or, if you are not on any at all, you may want to consider taking one during the months for which you are affected.

    Take care,
  4. ilovepink4

    ilovepink4 Member

    Wow! That list of symptoms sounds like me. I just didn't think it could kick in that fast! I start to notice a change late in August but once the kids are in school, I crash and lose all drive to get anything done. I have no energy and put that together with a little pain and all i want to do is rest in a big quilt.

  5. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    One. If your problem is SAD, you may be able to get significant relief by using a "treatment light" for 30 min. each morning.

    We've used an SAD treatment light in our family for the past 10 yrs, to cope with the "gray, rainy season" in the PNW. Family members actually fight over using it. When I first started using it, I couldn't believe how well it zapped zombie brain.

    Our box cost about $200, but I suspect they may have come down in price.

    Two. It might be a good idea to consider getting your vitamin D level checked. Low vitamin D stores reduce your energizing hormones, increase pain & depression.

    Three. Double ditto on thyroid reminders. When cooler weather hits, the body's demand for thyroid hormone increases. Where thyroid hormone levels are borderline, it's not uncommon to see fall/winter onset of the sorts of symptoms you describe.

    The important tests of thyroid function are: FREE T3, FREE T4 & Thyroid antibodies. If your doc balks, you may want to research self-ordering a thyroid panel. Most MDs believe TSH tells all as a screen for thyroid dysfunction. But TSH (a pituitary hormone) is a very indirect measure of thyroid function at best. Measures of actual unbound thyroid hormone levels (the frees) and measures of any autoimmune attacks on thyroid (very common) are much more informative.

    Be sure to get hard copies of all lab tests you get run. These are yours by law, just ask the office staff for a copy. If either of your frees are below the normal range, or even in the bottom quartile of the ref ranges, you may benefit from a trial of thyroid replacement hormone. Thyroid ref ranges have changed a number of times in the last 30 yrs ...

    And if you do end up relying on TSH alone for whatever reason -- many experts consider a TSH of 1 to be optimal. The AACE (Am. Acad. Clinical Endocrinologists) officially considers normal up to 3 -- but many older endos, as well as the majority of PCPs consider TSH up to 4.5 "normal," while others go by even more ancient standards of normal TSH up to 10. It doesn't help that most of the labs in the country still use outdated ref ranges, and most docs rely on lab flags for abnormal results.

    It's possible for a fibromite to hit the lemon jackpot & have all 3 of the above issues contributing to the symptoms you describe. However, each these possible contributors usually has a resonable, easily treated solution with few negative side effects.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/23/2009]
  6. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Just a note of info .... taking more thyroid hormone (Synthroid) than you need will cause heart palpitations (fast heart beat). My endo doc increased my Synthroid hoping that I would have more energy and all it did was cause my heart to go crazy and I ended up in the ER. When they got the lab work back and saw what my thyroid level was, they just flipped out and said that was why my heart was beating sooooo fast.
  7. ilovepink4

    ilovepink4 Member

    thanks for all the info....i appresh all the time you spent on some of the replies! I do have a thyroid printout from my last doc and i go round and round over this....i brought in the list of tests recommended here and he was very willing to test me....but , of course, i tested in the normal i want to go back and look again....i keep begging him to let me just try a dose of Armour since I was in the lower to normal range...

    and i had my vit d checked the last time i was in the clinic....the low end of normal....he recommended i take a vit D supplement....

    I am very interested in the light therapy and was thinking of getting a prescription from the doc so maybe i could get our insurance to cover the cost...they are still in the 200 - 300 range for the best ones...with the best customer reviews....

    i am curious if others feel this malaise with fibro? ok...i am getting sick of typing...and i am hurting all over the place...i hate to type when my hands hurt