Color Me Blue

Looks like no one is alone in the depression department. We asked our community members to share their experiences with depression:

“I am now trying my third medication to get some control of the RA. I know it could be worse but this last weekend was the most painful and it seems this medicine isn’t doing much. I try to be upbeat and keep moving but with the lack of sleep over the last month and the almost constant pain it makes it hard to keep feeling positive. Then when I think that I am only two years into this disease and I have the rest of my life to cope with it I get to feeling hopeless.”

“I have been treated for depression off and on since 1992. My father passed away in February 1992 and this completely devastated myself, my mother and my siblings. I was on prozac for several months and had to get off of it because of the side effects. The worst problem was very vivid dreams. And a couple of other times I have been put back on the prozac, the last time being this past spring. I don’t know if it was the mixture of all of the other med’s that I am on was the problem, but it made me feel completely crazy…paranoid, extremely nervous and just plain awful. Since this last time of being on the prozac I have not tried any other med’s due to the fact that I am unsure of the way anything else would react on me. So now I take nothing for depression.”

“I am currently being treated for depression, but medications aren’t doing much.”

“I am a single-Mother of 3 sons. I cannot allow myself to be depressed more than a day because I don’t want my illness to put me in a bad light with the people I love. When I am depressed I feel angry and sorry for myself and I don’t want my children to think of me in that way.”

“Several years ago, I got overwhelmed by alot of things going on in my life and pretty soon I ceased to care about much of anything, didn’t want to do anything. I took prozac for 6 months. My Dr added elavil to my med pile a year ago. It was prescribed not because of depression but due to my having problems sleeping. I look at the anti-depressant side of it as a good precaution. I tend toward low level depression anyway and the elavil seems to have helped with that also.”

“Yes, but it was before I was diganoised with RA. I was dealing with the end of my marriage and another health problem at the time. I had a very good doctor to help me at that time. I was on anti-depressants at that time. I stopped them after 1 year.”

“Depression has been a part of my life for some time. It originally creeped up on me in my mother’s illness and subsequent death. I fell apart. Medication was started which I still take today. It makes my life more “normal” whatever that is and has made me able to deal with RA in a better frame of mind. Depression affected my thinking. The whole “can’t see the forest for the trees” outlook had taken over my life. I slip into down times even now, but nothing like the deep pit of depression I was in.”

“I was having trouble with my son. I put him in counciling for awhile and then I started. I was to the point of doing us in. after I started the counciling sessions the therapist got in touch with my doctor and with both of them and the right medication they got me back on my feet. ”

“I take 3 maintenance meds to control anxiety and depression. It only helps – doesn’t eliminate bad feelings due to pain, med side effects, loss of function, etc. due to RA.”

“I was treated with Effexor and was told that with RA the seretonin levels were depleted and that Effexor would add to the seretonin levels in the brain.”

“My depression when my dad died 4 years ago, just a week after my 21st birthday. When I was diagnosed with RA this year and the pain set in my depression returned although having been so dependant on anti-depressants before I do not want to start them again. ”

“The first time was after a bad accident followed by back surgery. It took me longer than the doctor said it would to heal. But the pain never went away. I got hooked on pain meds and then went through withdrawal from them. Then into a black hole, feeling hopeless and helpless. I was started on Paxil. It took awhile, but started feeling better except for the pain! I went to a pain management program that lasted 6 weeks and it helped tremendously. I went back to work but had to stay on Paxil. The pain never completely went away. Three years later, I was diagnosed with SLE, Sjogrens, FMS, and polyarthritis. I went back in the black hole emotionally and they doubled the Paxil. I am now on SSA disability and retired from my job on disability. I still struggle with depression. I take a lot of meds and the pain is still there all the time. Going from active, working, happy grandmother of 10 to unemployed, can’t hardly move couch potato is not my idea of living.”

“My depression predates my arthritis – I first sought counseling when I was in college, a couple of years before my diagnosis – but I think I have struggled with it more since having RA. I have been in therapy or counseling off and on since around 1990. Right now I’m not seeing anyone in particular, but I do take an antidepressant, Paxil. It helps me keep things on an even keel.”

“No I haven’t been treated, but I think that I should be. I think that after four years I should be able to cope with this disease better. It I had been yes I would tell you about it. The reason for not trying to be treated is lack of support from my family. But my fiance’ is wonderful and we have recently been talking about it.”

“sometimes I feel discouraged with the lack of mobility in my joints and that gets me down.” -Susan

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