Setting aside reasonable grief and sadness over one's loss of mobility and other functions, is a more or less debilitating level of depression a common challenge as well? I certainly find it so, and it is very strongly linked to fatigue for me. If I rest enough, the depression gets very much less - goes back to being the beast in the corner instead of the black fog and ton weight. Also, I find I have been getting anxiety attacks that I never did before the onset of the PPS symptoms, but they are aggravated by heat, and I don't read much about heat being a problem for most with PPS. I'd appreciate hearing about others' experiences here.
I had a bout with major depression about 15 years ago, well before I came down with discernible PPS, but likely about the time the fatigue was just starting to set in. But I beat it with CBT and haven't really had any serious problems since, even when I lost my job almost 2 years ago and went unemployed for almost a year. (Yes, there was sadness and "grief", but nothing like what I experienced before.)
It did get me down quite a bit when I was having almost daily kidney stones, but that's behind me (I hope) and I'm feeling pretty good right about now (other than dreading another approaching snow storm).
Back when I had the major depression I probably did have significant anxiety, but no "attacks".
Heat doesn't bother me too much, but I've heard it does bother some other PPSers, based on what I've heard over the years. And it's a major problem for folks with MS and similar disorders since they can't sweat very well.
But for treating depression I strongly recommend CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), as taught by a trained and knowledgeable psychologist.
That's interesting - now that you mention it, I started to have a level of depression I couldn't cope with right about the time the fatigue started, but as there were so many other things happening at the same time, I didn't make that connection. I was put on Zoloft, and continued with it for about 3 or 4 years, with the dose being regularly increased. It reached a point where I felt the dose was way too high with little discernable effect, and so gradually took myself off it. I decided to try to deal with the depression by understanding it, did a lot of research, and it seems to be manageable now. It sounds as though CBT gave you some good tools, if you were able to deal with such a long unemployment episode - I'm impressed. I shall look into it further.
Kidney stones sounds like not fun too. I was dealing with viral inflammation in both eyes that was turning me gradually blind. Eventually dealt with, once the infection went down, with corneal transplants. But it was very painful and either triggered the PPS-symtoms, or masked their emergence.
I suspect the anxiety feeds on the continual uncertainty one lives in with galloping memory loss. What havent I done - what was I supposed to have done - etc etc.
Anyway, thanks for replying, Dan! I appreciate hearing about other people's experience.
Yeah, I hadn't thought about it until I was writing my reply, but the the depression did seem to foreshadow the PPS to a significant extent. In retrospect it seems very likely that they were connected.
Hi Veronica: I have had years of depression. Even as a young child I was depressed. Have been diagnosed as Chronic Depression. Lots of traumatic events in my life time. I have had meds and counseling for over 30 years. Now some will think this extravagant. I needed to do what I did in order to have a better quality of life. That said I am in a really good place right now. But Heat, humidity really get me down. Breathing is difficult. Even the cold snow can create a a feeling of depression. It was always difficult, and is so today, to walk in the snow and play with the other children. It seems when I get a little down my fatigue clicks in. I than am really unsettled and sometimes even angry. I have over the years been able to have different projects of knitting and weaving to combat my depression and sad feelings. For me it is an awareness when depression starts. I am ever watchful but also productive and able to gather my thoughts around all the good I have in my life. I often go back to my therapist for checkups. Especially when the "crazy thoughts" of not good enough, damaged and other thoughts invade my head; I am accepting that I need certain meds that help me. good luck. Just keep on and maybe at some point talk with a professional.
Hi Barbara - yes, I can really identify with this. Even watching the black clouds roll in doesn't mean you can beat them off. Feel like Kind Canute sometimes, ordering the tide to turn back... Have you seen/read "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression"? It's a huge book and at times a heavy read, but I found it fascinating and very helpful to understanding the weird nature of the beast.
I'm interested to know that you have problems with heat too - it makes it hard for me to breathe too, and certainly adds to the fatigue.
The "not good enough" theme is probably endemic among those with this sort of problem - we never felt like we were like other people, couldn't quite figure out why. I never could figure out, when I was a child, what "fun" was - seemed to me that what other people called fun was just an awful lot of work, and in the end I still wasn't "good enough". Takes a lot of growing up to see that for what it is, doesn't it?
But in the end, we do get to see and appreciate where the real values are, the things that really do make life worth living. And the things that don't come easily, stay with you longest, I find.
Thanks for replying Barbara - not being alone in all this is a real relief, isn't it?
Hi again: I was ruminating the other day about being alone with all these health issues. It is nice to know that we are not alone. I sometimes hesitate writing here because I know there are others who have worse problems. But reading you comments makes me feel more accepted and accepting. Thanks for your contirbution. Thanks for the book suggestion.