Distinguishing ME/CFS from Depression

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by slowdreamer, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. slowdreamer

    slowdreamer New Member

    I currently suffer from both of these charming conditions but I am wondering if we could have a discussion on the subject.
    I think that promoting positive activity and good thoughts are treatment suggestions for depression..Is this correct?..

    My constant grief is dealing with soooo... many people especially professionals who promote these things as a treatment for CFS.

    The current hullabaloo over the PACE study seems to be showing a diagnostic confusion..
    If this was clarified wouldn't we all be better off.

    The damage done when people are encouraged to push through and be active in order to bypass their "Erroneous illness beliefs"???? is heartbreaking.

    What can we do???
    Ignore this post if you are having a bad day..It won't help.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/24/2011]
  2. teller7

    teller7 New Member

    It infuriates me when I read or hear them say that we need to exercise. Don't they realize that it causes crashes that can last for days and longer? I loved what you said (erroneous illness beliefs). You hit the nail on the head there. I think after 9 years of living a half a life just accepting that we're stuck is half the battle. It's a hard thing, I know, to not get depressed about it. I went through years of depression in the beginning. In fact I tried to take my own life because I just couldn't imagine going on like I am now. My therapist helped me get through that way of thinking. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'm about a 4 on a good day. I have to work hard to stay out of the depression pit but I've finally learned to stay away from that. How long have you been suffering with this? I know a gal who is almost bedbound and has been battling this for 30 years. She was 35 when this hit her. Wow I'm glad I was alot older when I got it. I feel so sorry for young people with this.
  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    depression can be a symptom of any illness, sick of being sick thing. The big thing to help u know u have cfs is post exertional malaise, where u do something, exercise, walk or something abit strenuous and it hits u 24hrs later and floors u for a few days. Thats a good key symptom. But i would try and find a good doc who is up on cfs, dont expect much from so called specialists like immunologist etc find a good gp who will run some good tests on your immune system and your hormones and abnormalities will be found. The best cfs docs are usually intergrative practioners, these guys use medications but also natural treatments etc.
    Tell everyone here what city u live in and someone might help u out with a good cfs doc in your area.

  4. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    The Canadian Consensus Criteria for ME/CFS has a chart comparing physiological responses of the body to exercise when one has depression as opposed to ME/CFS.....it makes it quite clear that many of the responses are exactly the opposite and that there are measurable, objective physical differences....sorry I don't have the link in front of me rt now and am too wiped out to search for it, but it should come up with google.....not sure what page the chart is on, though.
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    And having a positive outlook helped what ails us, I would never have gotten sick in the first place. Oh, Lord, save us from medical "professionals" who do not understand and are ignorant of our illnesses.

    Being as active as our bodies allow is always good advice. Problem is that for many of us, our bodies don't allow much activity without paying a horribly painful and exhausting price. Being positive is always good advice for anyone but it won't cure us.

    Depression doesn't cause our illnesses but often, PWC and PWFM are depressed. Our physical abnormalities may lead to depression and/or the effect our illnesses have on our lives may lead to depression. If one is depressed, it needs to be addressed but treating it should not be expected to be a cureall.

    My best advice is to stay away from medical people who do not help us yet who think they know what is best for us. Run like Forest Gump away from them.

    Love, Mikie
  6. jole

    jole Member

    here is all the docs believe in FM, but not in CFS...and the ones that do, say they're the same thing. They all push exercise and refuse to listen. I was diagnosed as bipolar for the simple fact that on 'good' days I am not depressed! Duh!!! With bipolar you do not have 1 or 2 manic days a month (not even in a row) and the rest depressive, but try telling the professionals that. It is totally in relation to my pain/fatigue and only one person believes me, and she is a nurse practitioner!

    With depression, you may want to do things but can't. With CFS you can but suffer the consequences, which in turn brings about the depression.

    When a person's life as they knew it comes to an end and no one believes or supports them, it's a tad bit hard to stay cheerful, isn't it? Thank God for this board.......

    [This Message was Edited on 02/26/2011]
  7. slowdreamer

    slowdreamer New Member

    Thankyou everyone for your responses so far.
    Here is an example I wonder if anyone can relate to.

    Some well meaning friends have been asking me to come to their singing group. Had my doubts but after 2 yrs i turned up.

    sang the first song and started to crash on the second . It involved 3 part harmony in Italian...The sound was euphoric and the few notes i got out where i was part of the harmony was heavenly and euphoric. I did not know the song so concentration was high.
    Next my voicebox melted and I longed to be horizontal on my couch..
    I don't believed I looked a bit "Sick" at this point..
    I went home .
    A few days later I was lying on my bed and I heard i song i know and love{We shall overcome) for old hippies out there.I sang along. I had a voice again so it seems it is learning a new song which is the problem not the voicebox. Or perhaps it is that the limited "battery " of energy we have, is more quickly used up if the brain has to learn a new task as well as produce sound.

    I think harmony singing is one of the things I most love to do ever.
    Side note to this story....one of the well meaning " friends" was a doctor..so I will keep telling this story hoping she might learn something.!!!

    The strength of people on this board is an inspiration.. I think many of us spend our days in a place where many people are afraid to go...We can stare into the abyss. We can get strength from that..
  8. tansy

    tansy New Member

    cause me to have the classic ME pay back, it's not just physical activities so I'm personally not surprised you experienced a crash. That these relapses and PEM occur following activities we enjoy, as much as they do activities we don't, should have silenced the psychobabblers long ago but of course they just ignore anything contrary to their own beliefs.

    Take care, Tansy
  9. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi AuntTammie. I have just found a simple chart showing these differences, thanks for reminding us that they've been well documented for some years now.

  10. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    glad you found that : )
  11. slowdreamer

    slowdreamer New Member

    Mikie , Thanks for image of
    "Running away like Forest Gump" it has stayed with me...This erroneous thinking does weaken the system and bring you down.. my natural tendency is to fight on behalf of me and my colleagues but sometimes nearly always ,as I get older it is best to flee!!!!

    Tansy and Aunt Tammie..I couldn't find the list although I brought up the page of Google refs.

    I am thinking a conversation with People suffering clearly diagnosed depression would be good.....I think our observations of ourselves are important when so many "Experts" really don't know what is going on in brain chemistry..I believe they are only approximating the truth. and only the less aware are dogmatic.

    Tansy I was able to get through to the Health editor of the Main paper and I had a good hearing so fingers crossed they will reveal all. Just kidding.
    ME/CFS Victoria, Oz has a Press Release on the PACE thing which should be out soon in The WEekend Australian.
  12. nancyl63

    nancyl63 New Member

    I have had fibro along with many other illnesses, fator v a blood clotting diorder, endometrosis, dVT's, lyme disease, Bladder cancer, bulging disc in back, depression & fibro.I have been thru pT therapy, phyiciatrist, pain clinics alot of them. they all tell you to exercise. I tried but it just makes the pain worse. I have been on Vicodin, muscle relaxers, pain patches, morphine, tramadol & many other to help with the pain. We need something that can cure the pain not mask it. I am depressed because it is so hard to go from being able to do anything & then go to hardly being able to do anything. people who do not have it just does not know how painful & depressing it is. If anyone know a good Dr. in PA. please let me know because I have tried many but got no results. Thank you all!!
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Those who do not have it just don't "get it." There is no way anyone could fathom an illness which makes one drop-dead tired--too tired to exercise. As if that weren't enough, if we do exercise, we can end up in agonizing pain.

    I got my conditions under control enough to be able to work out a little and work part time. Then, out of the blue, I'm having Sjogren's-like symptoms and the fatigue is so bad, I had to quit my job. My job now is couch potato. I'm getting a new doc, a specialist in our illnesses and he is doing new treatments, so I have hope. Still, even when we think we are managing our illnesses well, we can relapse or get another condition. I work hard at trying to stay positive and not let this get me down. Still, a lot of depression is physiological in nature and no amount of positive thinking can get one out of it.

    We simply have to treat each symptom or condition in order to get any relief. When we treat one, it may help others, but if we don't have comprehensive care, and good docs who understand, it makes it almost impossible to improve or even just manage our health.

    Wish it weren't that way but it's critical that we understand that we have to take responsiblity to do our own research, work with our docs or get new ones, and never give up. Even with all this, we aren't out of the woods but we're a lot better off than expecting our docs to take the reins. No matter what others say, we must never think we are responsible for what happened to us. We are only responsible for doing the best we can under the most difficult of conditions.

    Love, Mikie