Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by greatgran, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I was just thinking about all the people with chronic illness, even those with cancer and dying that aren't depressed..

    My son-in-law was paralyzed after a car accident and I never saw him depressed or anxious..like I get..I am sure there were times he was but even with his limitations
    and a wife and three children to take care of I never saw a down side that kept him from doing..He was always so positive until the day he died..

    Then I look at me and see how the anxiety/depression is as bad as this dd or whatever I have..It just seems to be a part of this dd and I just wonder why..Does it effect out brains to cause this? It must because I have always or thught I was a positive person..

    Just venting and having a bad day,
    [This Message was Edited on 01/25/2006]
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Dr. Cheney believes the anxiety can be caused by a slight state of seizure which seems common in us. It is this same state of seizure which can cause sensory overload, insomnia, muscle spasms, RLS, racing brain, and tinnitus.

    Klonopin has helped me greatly with many of these symptoms. It increases GABA in the brain to help stop the overfiring and misfiring of the neurons.

    Our entire systems are messed up and it is not too far fetched to believe our brains' chemicals could be messed up enough to cause depression. That is why many of the newer AD's slow down the reuptake of some of these chemicals. Unfortunately, according to Cheney, these AD's and stimulants can exacerbate the seizure state.

    Hmmmm...between rock and hard place comes to mind.

    Love, Mikie
  3. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I have to believe that this dd has something to do with our brain chemistry..
    I have had anxiety/depression before the dd but it was so different..then I would get busy, exercise or talk my way thru it but with this none of the above work..

    I deal more with anxiety than depression, well I think the anxiety causes the depression..As you know I do take xanax for the anxiety and one of the docs I was seeing even suggested that I sould increase my dosage..but my regular doc is so against benzos of any kind..Bet if he felt this way and they helped he would change his mind...

    I see a lot of people on the board with cfs are on antidepressants and they seem to help..but for me I haven't had any sucess with them..but today I feel like trying anything..

    This is my venting day
    Thanks for your reply
  4. elsa

    elsa New Member

    It isn't a guaranteed part of the illness .... and not all patients have depression and anxiety as symptoms.

    I do think that depression can be a reasonable outcome as a reaction to a chronic illness .... Dealing with the day in's and day out's of something that is not going to go away.

    ... And it (CFS/FMS) can be dealt with .... it can be put into remission ... but it is not going to go away. This is a life changing event and can understandably cause depression in many who suffer from it.

    Anxiety, in my opinion, can also be a result of the illness. I imagine it can be strongest during the "early" days .... When one's symptoms are most active. They are newly diagnosed and perhaps have not found a way to balance life's responsibilities with CFS/FMS.

    Maybe they are still trying to be "superman" in the same fashion as they were prior to CFS/FMS. I feel we can still be "superman" .... we just have to adjust our approach in getting there.

    I also think that denial .... struggle to accept this life altering event can bring on anxiety and/or depression.

    One may say .."O.K., fine, .... I have CFS/FMS. So what, I'm not changing a thing ... I can handle this. And, besides, I'm not sure it really exists. My doctors don't think so .... My family says I just need to rest. Take a vacation .... I'll be fine. Everyone get's fatigued from time to time ... "

    This is all too common. One of the first things EMT's, First Responders and Emergency care individuals learn is to ask questions, question, questions ... Why? Because the patient is apt to DENY anything is seriously wrong. How many heart attack patients keep walking around for days, ignoring the signs/symptoms? Too easy to attribute it to indigestion ... and it's alot less scary.

    I never did go through this .... honestly. I had already experienced an acute, potentially life threatening illness. I came through with shining colors.

    I was happy to get a quick and respectful diagnosis ... I went to my doctor and told him I think I have CFS/FMS.

    It was confirmed a short time later .... I felt good! Reason being .... I had answers. I knew what it was. It was not going to kill me!

    Next step .... let's get own with dealing with it.

    These are my thoughts on why depression and anxiety seem to be a part of CFS/FMS. I don't believe they are a cornerstone of the illnesses like infection and depleted immune system, sleep disorder, mitochondrial dysfuntion, nutritional deficiencies and hormone (HPA axis) dysfunction are.

    If they were, these illnesses would be fairly easy to manage. Anti-depressents, anti-anxiety, exercise, behavior adjustment, amino acid therapy, CBT, etc..

    So many patients have gone this route. Either because they are indeed trying to treat the ancillary manifestations of depression and anxiety as a result of CFS/FMS,... or

    Because their misguided, uneducated healthcare providers believe CFS/FMS are of mental (not physical) orgin and can be "cured" with these type therapies.

    My heart goes out to my fellow CFS/FMS sufferers who also have the added burden of coping with depression and/or anxiety. These are not "easy" conditions .... I would wish that none of us would have to deal with these on top of dealing with CFS/FMS.

  5. zerped

    zerped New Member

    I was diagnosed as having ADD and depression in Aug. of 1998. My treatment was counseling and Welbutrin. Both helped greatly. I am also in recovery, with 16.5 years of sobriety and learning about myself under my belt. When the CFIDS symptoms really kicked in was just after my therapist "graduated" me, saying we have covered everything that needed to be dealt with. That was Aug. 2001. Had this disease ever since.

    I think maybe I got the "full meal deal" when it comes to brain stuff. I know that part of the reason for my physical addictions is that a hereditary defect in part of the brain (the part that processes serotonin?) makes my body crave alcohol, drugs, nicotine, etc. Since I already have this serotonin problem, I end up being a ripe candidate for depression.

    My last job was in helping treat drug addicts and alcoholics, and according to the medical materials at our disposal there:
    **The majority of people who are addicts/alcoholics also have undiagnosed depression as well.
    **The majority of these people also have Seasonal Affective Disorder.
    **There seems to be a connection with the above so that it is not unusual to find someone (like me) who has all of the above who also has CFIDS or fibro or Gulf War Syndrome.

    Once the brain's ability to manufacture and utilize serotonin gets messed with, the body's ability to "feel normal" is seriously compromised. The types of things that people do to self-medicate (lots of sugar, caffeine, nicotine, whatever) end up being part of the problem, and need to be dealt with. Not a rosy picture, but one that gives you more to work with in making things better. Hope this helped.

  6. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    Greatgran, not sure if this info will help you, but I also suffer from depression.

    There are a lot of factors that go into it. I know that the pressure changes affect it quite a bit, and this was explained to me by my most brilliant naturopathic/massage therapist that as the pressure changes, for some of us, the toxins do not flow out of our body as well, our lymph system shuts down with the pressure changes and this accounts for some of the depression, at least for me.

    Also, was reading this great article in our local paper that came out this week in the Health and Wellness bulletin. I was reminded again about the dairy and wheat gluten.

    Of course I knew that for some of us the gluten, not only from wheat, but barley, oats and rye can cause major problems with out digestion and intestinal tract.

    Evidently it also plays havoc with our brain as well.

    According to this article, "toxic remnants called exorphin peptides enter the body and interrupt the endorphins, those good brain chemicals naturally present in the healthy state. The endorphins maintain not only brain health; they also support the health of the immune system and the GI tract."

    Evidently, according to this article, it's not only the gluten, but also the casein from dairy products, milk, butter, cheese, etc.

    Further in the article, "So what happens to people with a leaky gut who eat gluten or casein? Three body systems are the main targets. In the brain, disorders of mood and cognition occur........ When the immune sysstem is compromised, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, any auto immune disorder, allergies, and frequent infection can happen. The GI symptoms from gluten and casein include any combination of abdomen pain, constipation, diarrhea and poor absorption of food, to name a few. Rashes, fevers, and a general lack of energy are also common."

    I know this is the case with me. When I avoid dairy and gluten, I am definitely less depressed and when I'm eating those foods, the depression sets in.

    HOpe this helps,

  7. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    For your help and info..sure is a lot to absorb but sounds like the dd does play a role in our brains..

    Do any of you find antidepressants helpful? Especially those of you with cfs..

    Thanks so much,
  8. elsa

    elsa New Member

    And lots to digest. Neurotransmitter levels can be tested which is helpful in determining what category needs to be balanced.

    I am one who has CFS/FMS but one who does not have low serotonin levels. We have to remember that when researchers say something is common in CFS or FMS , that does not mean that every CFS/FMS patient will have that something as a sign/symptom.

    Some ,of course, are pretty prevelent, ie sleep disorders, but not every last indicator will be present in every patient.

    That may be one of the reasons researchers are having such a hard time finding a cause and a cure. It seems a certain set of qualifications occur .... and when mixed with each individual's unique body chemistry .... the result is each individual gets their unique set of CFS/FMS symptoms.

    I tried a very brief stint on AD's ... about two months ... at the start of my treatment. I wanted to be able to say "I tried it".

    They did not touch my pain or my sleep ... in fact made my sleep disorder worse ... ( I have Alpha Intrusion like most, but I also have Zero REM sleep ) .... AD's, especially SSRI's and Tricyclics suppress REM sleep. It was a sentence to heck taking AD's. When one doesn't sleep, their pain, fatigue, brain fog, etc will obviously become worse as was the case with me.

    Also, it is recorded that people who suffer depression do indeed often have low levels of serotonin. It is also recorded that only a subset of fibro patients have low levels of serotonin .... this subset they classify as fibro patients who also have depression.

    These studies were used to refute the incorrect theory that fibromyalgia is a phychosomatic disorder ... all in our heads ... and proved, amoung other research findings, that fibro is indeed a physical illness.

    So, to answer your question, some people will be helped by taking AD's, but it is not a given for the majority of the group.

    You will find that more and more "cutting edge" researchers, healthcare professionals and wellknown CFS/FMS MD's (integrated and traditional) are using AD's less and less as front line treatment of CFS/FMS.

    Many top notch CFS/FMS MDs ... Dr.Chaney for instance ... actually feel that AD's are quite risky for CFS/FMS patients. It stems from his belief that we have hightened electrical activity going on in our brains ... AD's add to this activity ... causing problems.

    Very vague description I know, but you can put Dr Chaney's name in the search box above and read more about it. Mikie has also posted on this topic of Chaney's.

    As for what occurs in us as a result of our Alpha Intrusion sleep disorder ... We miss out on producing Growth Hormone. Once we reach adulthood the two times we release GH is during deep wave sleep and right after exercise.

    Dr. Bennett's recent study proved we do not release GH after exercise/physical activity and it has long been known that a large majority of us suffer from Alpha Intrusion.

    Alpha Intrusion means the more active brain waves "intrude" into the time we either are in Deep Wave / Delta Wave sleep or should be in Deep/Delta Wave sleep, inhibiting the release of Growth Hormone that normal people release as a matter of course.

    No Growth Hormone means we do not repair the daily micro tears in our soft tissue ... ie muscles, tendons and ligaments. We also get shorted on the immunity front as growth hormone plays a part in our immune systems. A whole host of symptoms are directly attributed to low GH in CFS/FMS patients.

    Yes serotonin can be and is low in a subset of CFS/FMS patients but not all CFS/FMS patients. It is the Growth Hormone most effected due to the majority of CFS/FMS patient's sleep disorder and treatment of CFS/FMS with anti-depressents is not effective in all CFS/FMS patients and can actually worsen some patient's symptoms.

    I guess it is all going to come down to what it is that you want. What are your goals in treatment? How do you want to feel? What side effects from supplements/rx meds/compounded meds/ etc are worth it to you when held up against the benefits.

    I wish you well on your treatment path. It can be confusing, but not impossible. Keep your chin up and keep working towards remission.

  9. Sheila1366

    Sheila1366 New Member

    Anybody that hurts all the time,can't get up and do comman things is going to get depressed.My RA says that FM is a depressing disease.I think it is a shame that the medical community tried to make out that FM was only a mental disorder.Statements like child abuse or a traumatic things must have happened to cause FM/CFS have made some want to distance themselves from any talk of depression.I am in no position to be giving any kind of instruction on AD's but I can tell from my own personal exsperience that they have saved my life.I know we are allowed to share our opionins on this board so take my comments as my own personal opionion from personal exsperience.And I am very offened by the talk and criticizing of AD's.What if I was to post that smoking or drinking could be causing FM/CFS.I bet that would stir up some people.I guess you can tell I am a bit angry about this thread being posted once again from this 1 university.And right now at this point I really don't care what anyone has to say about how I feel.If you don't know what you are talking about then maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself especially when you are talking about someones life and well being.
    Bipolar/Severely Depressed since the age of 12...a whole 31 years before taking my prozac.Explain that?
  10. elsa

    elsa New Member

    As best I can tell I am the only one posting on this thread that is not 100% behind depression and anxiety going hand in hand with CFS and FMS. That being the case I am assuming your post was directed to me.

    You need to back up and re-read my thoughts. I am not now nor ever have been against the drug class called anti-depressents.

    I am quoting research that has proven not all CFS/FMS patients also have depression and anxiety.

    If you re-read my first post you will see clearly near the top that I said quite plainly that people with chronic illnesses can easily also develop depression.

    I am sorry you are upset. I am very happy that you have found relief with the help of AD's.

    I will however stand by my statements that AD's are not the end all beat all first line treatment against CFS/FMS.

    I was not then, nor am I now saying anti-depressents are bad drugs ... nor have I ever said ... anywhere ... that they cannot help people with mental illnesses. Depression can suck the life out of an individual ... I have witnessed it. I have also witnessed amazing turn arounds through therapy and AD's.

    I believe you took the ball and ran it in the opposite direction from where I was heading. My thoughts center around chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, serotonin levels, antidepressents for the treatment of pain and sleep disorders .... and studies that show that depression is not the root of these illnesses.

    I also very clearly showed how treatment with AD's did and would have continued to worsen my condition. It is very clear science that AD's suppress REM sleep ... I had zero REM sleep to begin with. No one will endorse treatment with AD's under those conditions.

    Nor will they if the have concerns of hyper-electrical activity (ie seizure activity) in their brains ... again science has shown that AD's are not the best route to take in these scenarios.

    You may not have had the chance to get to know me ... but I listen pretty well ... am open to whatever treatment makes someone's life with these illnesses better. I don't much care what it is ... the outcome is what is important.

    I also do a huge amount of research. When adding to a discussion .... there is ususally quite alot of research behind it. Plus opinions ... which we are all blessed with.

    I don't, however, do well with someone going off halfcocked .... at me .... so .... back up - maybe re-think things. I hope you will see more clearly the direction of my posts .... which had absolutely nothing to do with the anger you have launched.


  11. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    "Relating to or concerned with the influence of the mind on the body, and the body on the mind, especially with respect to disease."

    when someone uses the word psychosomatic, please don't be offended. this doesn't necessarily mean they are trying to convince you the disease is "all in your head." many enlightened practitioners use this word to describe the idea that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind. it's a two way street.

    lots of interesting and heated discussions on depression and anxiety right now. must be on the collective mind.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/26/2006]
  12. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Thanks for all your input and info regarding my post..I value each and everyone's thoughts on the topic..

    I for one find the depression and anxiety
    has been my worse symptom of this dd..I feel if I can just get this under control then I will be able to cope and function much better..Every doctor I have been to always wanted me to try an antidepressant, which I would for a day or two and the crazy feeling I had in my head was just more than I could take..So my psych suggested I take just a small piece of a pill and see what happens and gradually work my way up..This was a couple years ago he suggested this..I did not follow his nor any other docs advice on taking the AD and now I suffer with agoraphobia and can't get back to the doctors that were treating me because they are all out of town..I live in a small town and we do not have any docs here that will touch cfs or fibro..Anyway back to my point I have taken xanax and they do help, I do not want to increase them so am thinking of trying an AD this weekend..

    I too have been against them but then if they will help and I have seem so many helped by them, I owe this to myself and family..Then if I can't take them I can say I tried..

    I met a girl that lives in my town and has a sever case of CFS she sees Dr. Charles Lapp in Charlotte, NC and he prescribed lexapro for her and it really helped with her depression..

    We are all different and must try different things. I truly respect each of you and your opinions and input..

    Thanks so much,

    p.s. I will certainly let you know how I do on a small dose of zoloft..I have the 25mg. and I will start out with one fourth of that and work my way up if I can tolerate them..If not I have nothing to lose...
  13. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    For what it is worth: my FM/CFS doctor gives me Elavil 50mg. for pain and sleep, along with helping depression.
  14. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    starting slooooow is a good idea. the 10 mg lexapros are scored in the middle so you can easily cut them in half, but i would take it a step further and cut your first couple pills in quarters (2.5 mg). make sure to take them with food, this will help greatly with avoiding any adverse effects. you can do it, one day at a time, and you will feel better.

    be well,
  15. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    I find your posts very helpful - thoughtful & well-researched.

    I think it's so smart to be cautious and pay attention to all the positive & the negative aspects of everything we use to feel better.

    I really appreciate all the ideas and experiences I read here. You guys rock.

  16. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Boy that makes so much sense to me. My DH is always saying that the funny head feeling, brain fog, feeling a bit disconnected from the head/brain sounds like seizure activity. I had a dog that used to get mild focal seizures. DH is head/brain injured and his scan shows frontal lobe epilepsy. although he does not get seizures from that part of his brain but another.

    Great gran I also think that people with those other things get more understanding and support and that may make a difference. My dear friend, who had schizophrenia, was treated badly with that DD yet when she had cancer, well all sorts of people started being nice to her. She told me that the cancer was not so bad(it was terminal)compared to the mental illness due to people's attitudes.

  17. Jgavi

    Jgavi New Member

    Yeah- being an up beat positive person and than you turn into a different person is a bummer!

    So many reasons why but the big one is we have lost our LIFE, it has been turned upside down, people run from us, no cure, bad treatments, no belief from the health system, we feel useless, we cant do anything in life!


    Some of us allready suffered from depression prior to getting FMS/CFS so it all depends on your situation...seems you didnt have any depression problems before you got sick....But the people I talk to seem to feel there life is gone....its an old saying but it is true...


    Now that might be a negative statement but it is true..it took me three days to get to the food store today...why? I couldnt get a window of "feeling good" to rush out and get it done....so i dragged myself out and it was a massive project..thats depressing to me!

    I remember just making the bed was a "thoughtless" and "easy" thing to do...now I rarely make the bed because it is a painful, tiring and not important.

  18. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I haven't tried the zoloft yet..I went to the doctor and he wants for me to see another rhuemy to rule out lupus because of some abnormal labs..

    So have been waiting all this time for and appointment..My husband has to have surg. Thurs. so will wait till I make it thru that and if I haven't heard about an appointment in a week I am going to go ahead and try the zoloft..I am still taking the xanax and trying to make it..

    God Bless each of you and thanks for all your replies..


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