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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Depression


 ravenous_wolf - Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:16 am

After I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), I slowly started to do some research. One common sympton that a lot of people experienced with this disease is falling into depression (somehow, I think that would happen to anyone being diagnosed with a serious disease).

But that didn't happen to me.

Everyone from my wife, my in-laws, and my side of the family stepped up to the plate and went above and beyond to help me out. My father-in-law watched the kids (three kids ages four and under) which allowed my wife to visit me in the two hospitals I was in. My mother-in-law accompanied me and my wife on my first visit to the neurologist. My parents, sister, and brother paid me countless visits in the hospital, etc.

Overall, I have been so grateful and thankful about the enormous help I have received.

My question is what are the signs that I should watch out for since a lot of people with MS experienced depression and had to take medication for it?

Of course I have had the blues, especially during the ordeal I had to go through in the hospital when everything was being tested for. However, being able to be with my wife and kids, go back to work, and so much other stuff has been so great for me.

But since I don't know anything about depression, I want to be on the look out for anything that I should immediately take up with my doctor. So what are those things?
 Tim W Latsko - Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:47 pm

Welcome to the forum, it souunds like you have adjusted well and have a wonderful support system. That said I am hopeful that the abscence of depresssion remains throughout. Some of the signs you might experience, may include a change in apetite, change in sleep patterns, being unable to initiate and or maintain a healthy sleep pattern; increased isolation, a decrease in once pleasurable activities; loss of energy/fatigue, inability to concentrate, feeelings of dread, hopelessness, or worthlessness, and possibly fleeting thoughs of suicide; should any of these present themselves seek care as soon as possible.

Should thoughts of self harm manifest call 911 or tell someone immediately and request help. I wish you the best.........I hope this helps.


Tim,
LMFT, LPC
 ravenous_wolf - Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:22 pm

The response to my question gave me a good opportunity to examine my mental well-being since my diagnosis of MS. And according to that criteria I haven't shown any of the signs of depression. Overall, I have enjoyed an excellent support system and I am so grateful for that. So here are my observations from the criteria that was listed:

change in apetite
No

change in sleep patterns
being unable to initiate and or maintain a healthy sleep pattern
loss of energy/fatigue
I have experienced those signs but that is more related to my MS. Here is my post and responses in the neurology forum:
viewtopic.php?f=77&t=30449
My neurologist wanted me to give my prescription of Betaseron more of a chance (I began the full dosage of it at the end of February). The other neurologist in the same practice told me that in neurology a month is considered fast so I will be patient.

increased isolation
No. Throughout the years 90 percent of my friends have moved out of town or out of state. I am a very socialable person so I think that this situation represents a good opportunity to make new friends. And I do have three screaming kids ages four and under so I never have felt any isolation because I always have so much to do with them.

a decrease in once pleasurable activities
No. Even though I now have very little free time with three screaming kids there are still plenty of interests that I have and I would still like to enjoy them. And I don't regret having so little time for them because my kids are great.

inability to concentrate
No. I had that a while ago but I think that was more of me trying to cope with my symptons.

feeelings of dread, hopelessness, or worthlessness
No. That never really happened to me. During the worst of my ordeal (when I was in two hospitals, etc) I was always surrounded by family members and right now I feel so grateful and thankful by how terrific everyone has been; wife, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc.

possibly fleeting thoughs of suicide
No. That also has never crossed my mind.

thoughts of self harm
No. That has never crossed my mind either.

So overall, I think I have done fairly well. And I am so thankful that my support system has been so good to me.

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