Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by rockgor, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I have been depressed most of my life. Have had CFS 26 years. Here are some things that helped me. I am not cured, but I am a lot better.

    Therapy: I have had therapy off and on for about 26 years. All the therapy was from psychologists, social workers and other couselors.

    Kaiser had wonderful classes for small groups on depression, anger management, etc. They taught Cognitive therapy which is aimed at giving the patient new ways of thinking.

    Medications: The psychiatrists prescribed the meds. I have been on several antidepressants. They all worked for me.

    Books: Feeling Good by David Burns is a best-selling book on cognitive therapy to fight depression. He has other books including workbooks. One needs to do the exercises, not just read about them.

    If you come from an alcoholic home, It Will Never Happen to Me by Claudia Black is helpful.

    I feel Guilty When I say No is helpful to learn assertive behavior. Read it years ago. I Think the author's name is Manuel Smith.

    Sleep: Tapes or CDs on sleep/relaxation help me fall asleep and stay asleep a little longer than otherwise.

    Groups: Support groups and the 12 step group Emotions Anonymous have helped me.

    TV: see my profile for this unusual treatment Prickles first posted about. Again, it helps, doesn't cure.

    Hope you can find something to try here. Good luck.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/29/2006]
  2. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    It is such a long painful process to find the right things for each individual that actually helps .. many times you think what is the use ? .. but if you keep just a little corner of hope going for yourself, to try something new, it can keep you going ..

    People forget some simple things can be a comfort .. like this TV therapy .. I haven't tried it but I can safely say the TV in my bedroom is a huge comfort .. I learned that trick when my husband was away so much while in the army .. it actually helped put me to sleep on very low volume .. white noise ?
    A fan in my room is a must as well .. for all the women that are in peri or full menopause it saves my sanity with the hot flashes !

    Some days I am so low I'm not sure what is going to happen .. but I grit my teeth .. try relax in my room .. think of plans for my garden .. reach for positive thoughts as much as I am capable .. it is hard but that little corner of hope maintains me ? ... for now ..

    I'm fortunate to have a doctor (GP) that is also willing to try new things for me .. I am VERY lucky .. after run ins with such BAD doctors .. you have to think it is a miracle to find a good one after those experiences.

    I just wanted to say .. hang in there ... there are pleasures in life to enjoy still .. compared to other people a pleasure for us is a day with less pain or a little more energy .. such basic and simple relief can lighten the load.
    I too had alcholic parents .. but never really addressed the issues .. but I can understand it would help a great deal for some people embedded with that problem.

    Well .. enough of my ramble ! haha .. I just wanted to say this is a good thread ! Thank you !
    Joy : )
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I started this thread for newcomers. We can save a lot of typing by suggesting they look here to see if there is something they want to try.
  4. 1sweetie

    1sweetie New Member

    Thank you for sharing. I have had a few rounds with depression in my life but nothing like what has happened to me since I crashed with CFS/FM and lost the life that I knew.

    I felt that I lost me....that I had died and my body was still here...just no funeral. For ever so long, I did not want to be here any longer. Never before I had I felt like a burden or had I ever felt such hopelessness. I was a very self confident person with no self esteem issues. Everything changed and I did not know what to do. The tears began.

    The only support I have is this board. I live in a rural area and it is difficult to get transportation or even feel well enough to get to a support group.

    For me the antidepressants made me worse. They made me suicidal. I was going to be a statistic to death because of AD's. I even wrote the DEA and reported the effect Cymbalta and the other drugs had on me.

    Finally I have been able to get to a therapist on occasion and have finally found a medication call Abilify that I can take if I take a very LOW dose. I tried Lamitical and within 11 days, I developed the rash that can be deadly. Those medications were designed for BiPolar but they are using it for me to help with the depression and the sensory overload. It works on the frontal lobe and per cognitive test that is where my issue begins. I have finally found something that helps. It has increased my energy and decreased the crying but it has cause anxiety.

    I also introduced music back into my life. I have purchased many relaxation CD's and I can not express how much they have helped me with pain, sensory overload, depression, & sleep.

    Another thing that is helping is that I am trying to learn and accept that I have a chronic illness and that I am not able to push it out of my life. I must change my life to accept it...learning to pace. It is not easy as you know. What a different life this is from the one I knew and loved.

    I really appreciate the info you provided Rocky. I absorb so much from this board. Thanks. I hope you continue to improve.

  5. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Prickles. It was your post that gave me the idea to start this one. And I was going to say so too, but you know how that goes. I can hold onto a hot potato longer than I can hold onto an idea.

    Sweetie, I know what you mean about a whole new self image. It is devestating to study and work and accomplish something and then lose it all to these DDs.

    One of my therapists used to laugh and say, "Just what we don't want. Another opportunity for growth."

  6. NaNa56

    NaNa56 New Member

    I live in Fresno, California and I have had trouble with depression and chronic faitgue and fribromagia for a few years now and the doctors keep telling me it is all in my head. I am so frustrated with doctors that I have been trying to take care of it myself,with no avail. I at times lose all interest in my hobbies, cleaning house or anything that has to do with any kind of activity. I have to push myself to even get myself motivated. Does anyone out there no of any doctors that I can talk to in the Fresno County area or any where close. I have liver failure and PSC which is liver failure I am in remission now and doing good I feel like a time bomb ready to explode. PLEASE HELP NANA56
  7. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I too have FM/CFS/depression. I have had about 6 months where the depr has been better for me, until a month or so ago. I am so afraid of getting severely depressed again, I didn't think I'd survive for a couple of yrs it was so bad.

    Going to my therapist today and have increased my prozac the last few days. I hate always having these stupid dark clouds take over my life. Why wake up in the morning when I'm feeling like this.

    I have a couple of the books you mentioned, I guess I better pull them out again. Never really finished reading and following the directions. Thanks for listening, I'm so sad right now.

    xxxooo Hermit
  8. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    Rockgor I am glad you mentioned The Feeling Good book by Dr. David Burns, as I really felt it helps me.

    Family members tell you to "just get over it", and Dr. Burns explained what is going on in our heads and why we can't just decide to get better.

    I was fortunate to find a therapist who believed in cognitive behavioural therapy and gave me his book to read. Then we worked through the exercises together.

    When I start to feel the depression creeping over me I get out my book and read it again and work at changing my negative thought processes. Its not easy but it is worth it!

    Right now I am trying to use the same principals to change my problems with an eating disorder.

    hugs Redwillow
  9. dononagin

    dononagin New Member

    YES!! I live in Avenal.. only an hour from you. My rhumie is Dr. Murio Leyva. He is located by the Fresno Community Hospital.. Just happens to be one of the first doctors I've met who treated me like I wasn't crazy! I think you will like him!
    Hugs Dona

    Rockgar.. you are so cool..
  10. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member


    man I wish I had seen this the other day..just ordered some books to help with my depression and anxiety...wish I had seen the one on this list before I ordered. Maybe I will get that one too since it sounds good. I missed the list but hopefully bumping will help someone else see it.
  11. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Thanks for sharing what helps you! So sweet. I stopped the TV static after 2 months....no change. I'm still amazed that it has helped you.....that's great (AND CHEAP :)

    Carla -- love your list too! I find that however sick I get, I need to have a plan and focus on aiming toward progress.....however small it is.......very important for me (helps w/ depression too).....and I mean SMALL BABY STEPS!

  12. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I think that's great that you tried something for 2 months. You really gave it a chance.

    It still helps me, but I keep forgetting to do it. Did it yesterday, forgot today. I'll have to go do it right now.

    You're right about baby steps. A lot of emphasis on that in 12 step programs.

    They said the same thing in a class I took at Kaiser.
    For example, first day: buy some papers. Second day: study the want ads: Third day: revise your resume, etc.

    Sometimes, when I start to do just one thing, like the dishes, I just keep on and also mop the floor.

    Of course, if your floor is so clean you can eat off it, you don't need the dishes. Haha.
  13. 1sweetie

    1sweetie New Member

    Bumping for Richard
  14. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    It's so easy to let ourselves become discouraged. Threads like this give us hope as well as support. Thank you. I read this like a newbie this morning and got some pointers even after 12 years of CFS.

    I want to share this with you too. I've been dealing with some depression since my son left after his good visit. I find this true especially first thing in the morning before "my guard is up". Today, as I felt it begin, this thought came to me: "Marta, do not let yourself wander the hallways of sadness in your mind!". Aha!

    Anyone who gets depressed knows how we can go mentally from sad thing to sad thing, regret to regret if we allow our minds to do so. Soon we are lost in that sadness and distress as well as the bodily stressors that accompany those feelings.

    But I also know from experience that if we pay attention we are able to grab hold of those thoughts, as if they were a two-year old child wandering near a busy street, and yank them back to somewhere more comforting. We may have to do this many times a day or even many times a minute before we have them on a sunnier path but we can do it. After working with our minds this way, they will eventually learn to stay clear of those dark places unless we become inattentive, but even then we can retrain them as many times as we need to.

    I was glad I reminded me so now I can remind you.

  15. wish_to_be_healthy

    wish_to_be_healthy New Member

    I use the serenity prayer to try to bring me to balance...I too came from an alcholic family...

    Having a positive attitude is easier when not flaring...having a harder time, now that I bit off more than I can chew,(the costume project) and kicked in a flare.

    I have read about the Feeling Good Book by Burns...I am thinking about trying DBT...similar to Cognitive Behavioral therapy.

    I think the thing for me is REMEMBERING to PACE...sometimes hard with two kids.

    When things slow up after the costume is done, it will be back to tracking this stuff here again.

  16. Callum

    Callum New Member

    I can't say enough about what cognitive behavioral therapy has done for me. Not only has it helped cope much more effectively with this dang disease, but my relationship with my mother, who has suffered from clinical depression all her life, has flourished is the last two years. She even sought the help she needed, at the age of 69, and is a new woman. She went from acting like an 85 year old to being a 40 year old sometimes trapped in a 69 year old body.

    This illness can depress anybody - but so much of the depression can be caused by the "old tapes" that we play over and over. So often, someone, somewhere, told me that when bad things happened to me, I deserved it, and I was powerless over it, and I believed it.

    Rock, I'm so glad you are on this board!

  17. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Rocky, I'm so glad that Redwillow bumped this thread as I missed it the first time around. You are such a good guy...so kind to share the things that helped you for the benefit of (and old-timers, like me).

    As I read through the posts, one thing you said hit a cord in me. It was something like when you'd wash the dishes, you'd then decide to clean the floor, etc. I can't tell you how often I have sabotaged my energy bank by going from one thing to the other, pushing myself without a thought as to how it was affecting me. One of the things that has helped me the most is accepting my illness...embracing it actually...and putting myself first. That is a biggie for me as my "lists" always involved doing for others and doing busy work and not doing things that would nurture me.

    Now, if I have a little energy and feel up to cleaning the floor, I don't clean every floor in every room because I know from experience that doing that will set me back. I clean one room, maybe two and go back to bed or to the sofa. And, I give myself permission to stay in bed all day, if necessary. I am sick and it's chronic. I can no longer ignore the reality of what has happened to me.

    Acceptance is key!!! Without acceptance, I bounce around or stay depressed and sad. With acceptance, I can find a way to live the best way I can and be grateful. This is what works for me.

    You're a great guy, Rocky.

  18. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I started taking Sam-E for joint pain and it helped with my mood so much, I take it for that too. If I stop taking it, I can feel the difference within a few days. I need to take more in the winter than when it's sunny.

    I recommend anyone who has a chronic low mood to try it for a couple of weeks. In fact, maybe start with 2 (one in am, one in pm) and work up to 4 and see if you feel a difference. I take 6 in the winter and get down to 2 in the summer.

    It's expensive, but I can't afford not to take it, it makes such a difference in my life.

    Newsweek had an article on it awhile back, and said in trials it helped depression as much as prescription ADs and had no side effects. The down side is: no insurance coverage.
  19. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    pacing myself, heat and cold pads, prayer, linaments, massage by husband (can't afford the real stuff but my daughter's best friend's sister once gave me one and wow it was sooo great), warm water with epsom salt and Hydrogen Peroxide baths, watching favorite tv shows on HGTV and usually CNN and CSpan, my gourd garden and later painting and wood burning the gourds into birdhouses and bowls, painting (self taught, identifiable but NOT good! LOL!), a GOOD book, cartoon movies, flannel pj's (my uniform)+ slippers, cooking when I am able, doing laundry..range of motion it takes and mind blanking activity, meditating or more self hypnosis, a rain CD, listening to music, rare company (I'd LOVE more but all friends have died or moved), hugs (don't get enough), that thing two concenting adults do but due to health issues (not mine) I haven't done in about 10 years--woe is me!, long distance phone calls from best friends, long rides in the car (Locally), drawing, pain meds keep sanity (if this is sanity?! LOL!), favorite foods (not always healthy ones), foot soaks, good lotion, when hair is clean and curled, this board
    and going outside and night and looking up to wonder at the stars (the few you can see in a city!). Bambi
  20. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    Chihuahuas..each one special and different and love to be loved. I thought of something else but..brain fog moment. UGH! Bambi

    Came back because I remembered. They have a spa that you can pick up and move from room to room, take on trips or anywhere..light weight made of some kind of rubber maybe. Anyway I am getting one. If you are allowed to say the name of the website, it's one that has been around forever, gives easy credit and decent payments and you get the products up front. Starts with Finger..LOL! It's in their Christmas
    catalog at a good price!
    [This Message was Edited on 10/29/2006]