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  • MSconnection
    Depression is not a sign of personal weakness. It is a significant, potentially life-threatening, symptom of MS that interferes with function and quality of life and makes other MS symptoms feel worse. Have you experienced depression related to your MS? Share your experiences and tips on how you manage depression.
  • lightweaving
    I am dealing with it poorly at the moment.
  • jnorde
    As hard as it is, please know you are not alone.  People care more than you know.  
  • maria1
    I dont know the difference between ms depression or any other kind of depression, but I do know what depression looks like.  

    ​Someone once said that depression is anger turned inward. My training was always to not hurt anyone so I guess when I was angry I would always hurt myself. Suffering was my training, it was holy and healthy for living, it was necessary. Pshaw! 

    ​A psycholigst told me once, to make it okay to free myself from suffering. Gee, what a novel thought. How many religions would say that. Nah, that cant be, I was born to suffer, my religion told me so, it was holy, suffer the little children etc.

    ​But now, someone had given me permission to be happy. Ever since then I have worked actively all the time to be happy. And it has worked. I can see how much misery I have brought upon my self by letting it go, and although i have moved on to secondary progressive I dont feel as nearly awful as i did when i had rrms.

    ​I therefore give you permission to free yourself from suffering, and how you try it out, it is a much better way to live. with love and hugs and kisses, maria
  • jnorde
    I just heard that "depression is anger turned inward" again on Monday.  I was in a group for something entirely different, so I didn't blurt out, "Not necessarily! It's also a brain disease, an imbalance of hormones and enzymes and can literally change the way the mind processes information"  If one has a family history of depression, it doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is angry- Sometimes things "just are." Just like thyroid disease, or blonde hair, or brown skin.  Still needs to be addressed, but don't blame yourself for being depressed!
  • jennifer_m
    Depression...where do I start?  The past year now I've seemed to have a chronic case of the blues.  Been there, done that with 3 different ani-depressants: they made me angry, irritable, and wrecked my sleep.  I did find out that my mom's side of the family does not react well to that class of medicines, so other means are needed instead to control it.
    As a former boss told me, "Stress and MS don't mix."  It's just plain hard to find what works to keep the blues at bay.  It'll be different for everybody.  One thing that has worked is venting sessions: I vent out all that's worrying me, with the proviso that I'm not looking for answers, I just need to explode then replace the bad with good.  I also love playing video games: focusing on a simple objective and executing same; I'm also a fierce Nintendo fan.  Writing has helped.  I can't tell you the amount of poems I've written, from happy days to need-a-do-over days.  MS has awakened the muse in me, so I keep a notebook in my purse all the time now.
    Also, coming on to this website helps.  I haven't posted anything since before summer, but I'm on Ocrevus now, my body appreciates the change in meds, and I'm in a better frame of mind to walk in the world of Planet MS again.
  • bubbadog66
    Have had nagging through the roof anxiousdepression as i call it daily since before my diagnosis last December and for easily 6 months or so prior to that!!! Yup, they were right - this is ALL in my head (and spine)...ugh.

    I try positive thinking, "it could be worse", gratitude lists (A-Z) if time allows and i can slow down enough to exert that much effort into it, and The Serenity Prayer - especially the part to have the wisdom to know the difference between things i can and cannot change to achieve the serenity to enhance quality of life in my hurry up and wait world i find myself "trapped" in more moments than not.
    Most important is throwing myself under the bus with my team of health care providers 
    so i can get the help i need! 
    The greatest suggestion i get from MS peers is HUMOR....if i focus on that in all affairs i will laugh way more than wanting to or actually crying. Depression, anger and rage are NO match for good old fashion humor!!
  • capitolcarol
    Sometimes it is easier to managing depression.  I try to find good and happy things to take my mind off my problems, but other times I really get despaired.  Then, I have to go for long walks or pray.  I haven't found a permanent fix on how to get rid or how to get along with it.
  • christina521
    I have had depression/anxiety since adolescence... so I'm not sure if my current depression is MS related or not...but it doesn't matter.  It still hurts.  I've been on meds forever... but meds aren't miracles.  Right now I just can't seem to climb up out of the funk I'm in and it sucks.  It effects my husband, daughter and everyone else around me.  I have no motivation. I wish I could give a bunch of tips of how to manage it.  Is anyone in therapy? Does that help? I haven't tried therapy much, when I did, I always bailed after a couple sessions.  Maybe I just need to find something that is soothing to me... like finding something creative that I like.  I just don't feel like I have the time/energy/motivation, etc.  Thanks for being here, somewhere where I can vent. 
  • maria1
    A good therapist is a great tool. I did see a couple of crazy people but those visits were short lived. Somehow I was able to discern that their info was unhelpful to me. A good therapist will listed and steer the thinking into helpful patterns. Under Treating MS there is the post: Take Charge of My MS, it is full of some of the tools that will aid in changing thinking habits into useful directions that support wellbeing. There are also books that work. Rollo May and Erich Fromm are two psychologists that have helped my thoughts. If you can afford therapy by all means indulge yourself, it is like a private tutor. But also know that you must want to feel better for it to work, giving up unhelpful thoughts, for me, is a better way to live. Having fun and smiling is a pleasure we all should encourage.
  • Tara-O
    Hello Christina,

    When reading your post I felt like I was reading exactly what I have been experiencing.  I have dealth with anxiety and depression since my childhood and it has came and gone through my twenties.  I have been on an anti depressant for years and now that I have been diagnosed with MS in the last few months it makes me wonder if they were related.  But your right it still hurts and I am struggling to manage it.  I try so hard to pick my self up everyday and be thankful for everything that I have in my life and I am still on this emotional roller coaster of emotions. 
  • Marimand
    A year before my diagnosis I suffered a major depressive episode. I've dealt with depression most of my life, and it's awful, but this particular episode was terrifying. It developed to a point where I wasn't functioning at all- the effort of eating seemed like too much for me and I couldn't form proper sentences. My first MRI looked really bad, and my MD believes this depressive episode was a manifestation of my MS. 
    I felt like I was at the bottom of a dark well, and that I'd never get out. I managed to pull through by deciding to put up a fight. I got mad at my depression and swore to myself I wasn't going to let it win. "Defeat is not an option" became my mantra. 
    Now that I pulled myself out of the well, I remain vigilant when I feel myself falling back in. I'm on antidepressants for life, I eat a clean whole food diet, excercise regularly, and try to stick to some regular routine, despite the drop foot I have now developed. 
    Getting angry at my depression instead of myself is what seems to have initiated my healing.
  • glbran
    I have yet to live a day without some degree of depression. I’ve taken several different medications both by them selves and in different combinations. I’m suicidal and have been for many years. When I was diagnosed with MS is 1999 I really gave it little thought. But I was only a matter of time before I realized how my life was changing. My depression since that time has never gotten any better. Depression has made me a person I myself would not want to live with. It struck me, just the othe day, that the feelings I can feel are only ones that inflict pain and make me feel sad. I can not remember what happiness feels like. I can’t remember a time when I was happy. I have so much and have yet to learn how to appreciate any of it. 
  • daphne1
    I am really struggling with it, I have tried different medications and nothing seems to help!
  • maria1
    daphne1, can you put into words what you are feeling? To be able, exactly, to verbalize what is going on in your thoughts is a big aid to feeling better. Please share with us how ms is making you feel. Think about all the unhelpful thoughts that are running through your head. Saying them out loud also helps to get them to disappear. Or write it down for yourself. Most of the time our imagination lets us think the worst but it also helps us forget the good stuff. Even getting out of bed in the morning is a 'good stuff' to be happy about. Can you sahre with us some good stuff too? maria
  • maria1
    I just saw an ad for a drug called trintellex, they say it will improve your depression. Does that mean that you will have the very best case of depression you have ever had?
  • anywhereoutofthisworld
    I recently made an appointment with a mental health lady therapist local to me.
  • maria1
    If she is a listener you are in great hands. We, from an early age, learn math, spelling etc but we never learn how to think and use our brains as tools, what a waste. When you are ready I would love for you to share your experience of being in therapy, ty, maria.

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