I have not written about my rheumatoid arthritis in a while because it has not improved. But I can say what it has made worse. My depression. As my physical health goes down hill my mental health follows. I’ve been called all kinds of names but in reality those same people couldn’t handle a week of my life physically, never mind the mental anguish that accompanies it. Being depressed is a lonely road. If people have not experienced it it’s very hard to understand the darkness. My old coping mechanism for depression was going outside. For a walk, fishing, birdwatching even to the store, just to distract myself a bit. It usually worked and kept the worst of it at bay. I’ve lost that remedy for the blues.
I have also learned these last seven years how important it is to have a purpose. I don’t mean a career by that. By a certain point the pain and disability makes a career difficult. A purpose is something different in my view. It’s more of a ‘I’m needed’ feeling.
When you lose your physical abilities you really start to ponder your ‘purpose’. What do I do now? Where do I go from here? I’m at that place right now and it’s not easy. No part of RA, depression or any illness is easy, but no one mentions side effects like your mental health taking a dive.
My youngest moved out on her own this spring so I have that empty nester thing going on too.
If you are diagnosed with an illness do consider care for your mental health as well. It can be a tough road and just having someone to unload onto who is unbiased can help immensely.
I’ll be adding more views on depression in the future.
I can’t believe it’s been five years since I first signed onto WordPress!
With the holidays coming up I wanted to offer support for anyone who deals with a chronic disease. December is brutal, too often when we are told to enjoy what we have. More often than not we’re reminded of what we don’t have. Our health is a biggie here, missing family and friends who are no longer living is another. Some families just don’t get along too. Add all of that on top of media/society pressure to have the perfect Christmas, to spend money you don’t have and there’s a recipe for a crushing disappointment.
I’m at a point in life where the people make the holiday for me. My kids especially. I refuse to be pressured and I let folks know if they’re headed that way. I use to bake tons and went all out with cheesy Christmas decorating. Now it’s a much simpler approach, the easier the better. For so many years I made the holiday, now I want to just enjoy the moment.
If you are chronically ill, sick and in pain, cut yourself some slack. It’s stressful for people who aren’t sick. Rest often, if help is offered take it. I cannot shop alone anymore, bags get heavy fast.
I have been dealing with a really bad bout of depression lately. Unfortunately I still see ignorant and thoughtless reactions to it.
Just throwing my opinion out there but why can you no longer express emotions that are not sunshine and rainbows? I find most are extremely uncomfortable with pain. Emotional and physical. Why? Pain and hurt are normal emotions we all experience. It is quite absurd to me that human beings are so fearful of it. I don’t understand the fear of reaching out to someone who is hurting at all.
I know of many who experience depression and many of them keep silent. I understand why. People will go out of their way to avoid you and your ‘misery’. Also you’re stigmatized to high hell. Because that’s what people do to others with illness. I’ve been asked what I consider ridiculous questions. Talk to someone? Get help? Blah blah blah. I have had medication resistant depression for 35 years now. In that time frame I’ve talked to psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and Doctors. Tried every medication that is safe for me. Crisis lines, friends and family. Nothing has ever gotten rid of it permanently.
If you have depression you have my sympathy and understanding. It’s like having a rabid angry monkey on your back all the time. And sometimes modern medicine and therapy does not help.