Depression and MS

We’re always saddened when a favorite celebrity dies. But somehow the death by suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams has felt like a sucker-punch to the gut. How could someone so seemingly full of life, someone who lit up so many other lives, have arrived at such a dark place that he’d take his own life?

Depression.

In the aftermath of Williams’ death we’ve been reminded that he long struggled with depression. We’ve been bombarded with messages urging us to be more aware of mental illness in general and depression in particular, and social media have been replete with videos of people telling us how we might help those in our lives who suffer from this insidious disease.

As anyone reading this blog is likely aware, the incidence of depression among people with multiple sclerosis appears to be higher than it is among the general population. As the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s excellent overview of MS and depression explains, depression in people with MS may be triggered by any number of circumstances, from physical and chemical changes to the brain and immune system to the challenges of coping with this unpredictable disease.

The thing is, when you’re in the depths of depression, you can’t make yourself understand or believe that there is any way out. You know people want to help you, but you have no confidence that they can.

But in truth depression is treatable, and people can in fact help. So, if you are feeling depressed – even a little, because a little depression can morph into a lot of depression – call someone, tell someone, reach out to someone, and when they reach back, clasp their outstretched hand and hold on for dear life.

And if you know someone who is carrying a heavy heart, make yourself the one who reaches out.

The link above offers clinical guidance as to how to seek help for depression. My non-clinical hope is that all of us, famous or not, rich or poor, depressed or not, physically healthy or otherwise, remember that we are all in this together. Please keep your eyes and heart wide open for opportunities to help and be helped.
 

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Jennifer

Jennifer LaRue Huget, Blogger

Jennifer LaRue Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001. A freelance writer and children's book author, she lives in Connecticut with her husband, two teenage kids, and two brown dogs. Her website is www.jenniferlaruehuget.com.

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    30 Comments

  • Candace Garrett   Aug 15, 2014 11:36 AM
    I am so grateful to you, Jennifer, for the insight you bring. I too suffer with MS, and perhaps with a depression I am in denial about, and have reacted the same way to Robin William's horrible death. The word "tribe" comes to mind when I think of all of the ones who help me through each day- they are my tribe, and I'm happy to include you in their numbers. Sometimes just the understanding of a plight reduces it to manageable proportion. Thank you.
  • Stacy Mullan   Aug 15, 2014 12:33 PM
    As someone who's been struggling with both MS & depression for at least the last 14 years I can relate. Thank you for this blog. My fatigue has really been kicking my butt this week which never helps. Come to find out Robin Williams was also battling the early on set of Parkinson's. May he rest in peace. My heart goes out to his family.
  • MARK TALLMAN   Aug 15, 2014 12:46 PM
    Since the passing of Mr Williams, I have made a conscious effort to work on my depression. Have called for consults to two hypnotherapists. Have MSsince1980, arthirits of the spine, chronic 24/7 pain, etc, etc..
  • Zübeyde Oder   Aug 15, 2014 1:54 PM
    my MS and depression, they also going with together for 3 years. I fear that, they won't seperate from eachother.According to you,are both of them inseperable? Also according to medical science? Please give me an answer, thanks.
  • Patti sty   Aug 15, 2014 10:18 PM
    Thank you for posting so appreciate it,diagnosed in 1991 it has been a constant battle to take 1 day @ a time. I was upset about Robin Williams
    Like the world he brought so much happiness & laughter,prayers to his family.Thank you to the people who have supported me & understand.I will continue to get the tools I need for depression from people who share this disease.
  • Patti sty   Aug 15, 2014 10:18 PM
    Thank you for posting so appreciate it,diagnosed in 1991 it has been a constant battle to take 1 day @ a time. I was upset about Robin Williams
    Like the world he brought so much happiness & laughter,prayers to his family.Thank you to the people who have supported me & understand.I will continue to get the tools I need for depression from people who share this disease.
  • Patti sty   Aug 15, 2014 10:18 PM
    Thank you for posting so appreciate it,diagnosed in 1991 it has been a constant battle to take 1 day @ a time. I was upset about Robin Williams
    Like the world he brought so much happiness & laughter,prayers to his family.Thank you to the people who have supported me & understand.I will continue to get the tools I need for depression from people who share this disease.
  • Carson   Aug 16, 2014 6:55 AM
    Thanks for your thoughts. 2005 I was diagnosed and a new level that has come home to stay in seems. Bad stuff! Thank God for what is left. Family and friends there to care. This MS has explained to me what is of value.
  • Carson   Aug 16, 2014 6:55 AM
    Thanks for your thoughts. 2005 I was diagnosed and a new level that has come home to stay in seems. Bad stuff! Thank God for what is left. Family and friends there to care. This MS has explained to me what is of value.
  • Carson   Aug 16, 2014 6:56 AM
    Thanks for your thoughts. 2005 I was diagnosed and a new level that has come home to stay in seems. Bad stuff! Thank God for what is left. Family and friends there to care. This MS has explained to me what is of value.
  • ROSEMARY HANANIA   Aug 16, 2014 12:06 PM
    First I have to please excuse my writing, as my thoughts don't catch up with what I am trying to say. I have been diagnosed with MS since 4/14/09. It was a strange feeling to hear. As i am sure many of you didn't actually know the severity of this DISEASE. I TO KNOW THE FEELING OF DEPRESSION AND TOTALLY UNDERSTAND GIVING UP, I MEAN WHATS THE ACTUAL POINT, OF LIVING? I have my famiy taken great care of me (felling like a burden) although they love me unconditionally. My question is, was ROBIN WILLIAMS A COWARD OR A LOVING MAN WHO DIDN'T WHAT TO BURDEN ANYONE ANYMORE? ????? GOD BLESS EVERYONE WHO IS SUFFERING WITH DEPRESSION
  • ROSEMARY HANANIA   Aug 16, 2014 12:06 PM
    First I have to please excuse my writing, as my thoughts don't catch up with what I am trying to say. I have been diagnosed with MS since 4/14/09. It was a strange feeling to hear. As i am sure many of you didn't actually know the severity of this DISEASE. I TO KNOW THE FEELING OF DEPRESSION AND TOTALLY UNDERSTAND GIVING UP, I MEAN WHATS THE ACTUAL POINT, OF LIVING? I have my famiy taken great care of me (felling like a burden) although they love me unconditionally. My question is, was ROBIN WILLIAMS A COWARD OR A LOVING MAN WHO DIDN'T WHAT TO BURDEN ANYONE ANYMORE? ????? GOD BLESS EVERYONE WHO IS SUFFERING WITH DEPRESSION
  • ROSEMARY HANANIA   Aug 16, 2014 12:06 PM
    First I have to please excuse my writing, as my thoughts don't catch up with what I am trying to say. I have been diagnosed with MS since 4/14/09. It was a strange feeling to hear. As i am sure many of you didn't actually know the severity of this DISEASE. I TO KNOW THE FEELING OF DEPRESSION AND TOTALLY UNDERSTAND GIVING UP, I MEAN WHATS THE ACTUAL POINT, OF LIVING? I have my famiy taken great care of me (felling like a burden) although they love me unconditionally. My question is, was ROBIN WILLIAMS A COWARD OR A LOVING MAN WHO DIDN'T WHAT TO BURDEN ANYONE ANYMORE? ????? GOD BLESS EVERYONE WHO IS SUFFERING WITH DEPRESSION
  • Lois   Aug 16, 2014 7:58 PM
    I was diagnosed in 2000. Have been fighting depression and fatigue. See a psychiatrist every 3 months. What a relief to get the right help. I am feeling much better . So please get theight help. I have been in the hole.
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:50 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:50 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:50 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Carol  Aug 18, 2014 2:52 PM
    Yes, MS is a life-altering disease and we all have thoughts of giving up, no more pain and no more MS. Do therapists actually do more good for MS sufferers than prayer and family and friends?
  • Avatar
    wanttobehappy  Aug 19, 2014 8:16 PM
    Hi I am new to this site. I have been in therapy since diagnosis 7 years. I feel that seeing a therapist every week holds you accountable to someone and lets you say things that maybe you cant say to loved ones. I am also battling the giving up,no more pain, Robin Williams death also hit me hard. I struggle everyday to wake up and make the right choice to be there for my kids.
  • alpapatel  Aug 22, 2014 2:02 AM
    Depression is something that everybody has felt somewhere in their lifetime. And there are many factors responsible for it. Life today has changed drastically, and it was not this few decades back. Expectations from life and people around us have increased. And when these are not met, it raises the sense of frustration and defeat. Slowly slowly depression comes into picture. http://www.healthkumbh.com/blogdetail/56&Depression-symptoms
    But depression is not irreversible. A person can be brought out of this dark zone. Tender love, support and counseling can help.
  • SUE   May 19, 2016 10:54 AM
    LOOK AGAIN, ROBIN HAD LOUIE BODY DEMENTIA. HE SAW STUFF THAT WAS NOT THERE. NOT JUST DEPRESSION
    LOOK AT THE 10,000 LUX LIGHT. CANCER PATIENTS USE IT FOR FATIQUE AND DEPRESSION. BETTER THAN MORE DRUGS.