Last reply 3 years ago
Why am I anxious/depressed?

Hi everyone, hoping for a bit of experience and info on what can cause a sudden spout of anxiety and depression? I’ve been managing to stay quite upbeat over the past year during another upheaval – I now permanently work from home (and am trying to deal with the isolation that brings), and have also had to lower my hours yet again. On top of this the fatigue is still not good so that nowadays if I manage 1 activity a day that is a good day. The idea of travelling to see friends, which was still do-able last year, is now out of the question. I’ve had my sad days, but in general have managed to stay happy with the support I have and living with my wonderful partner, which I am thankful for every day.
Over the past 3 weeks though I have been plunging into very depressive thoughts, and feel constantly on edge and anxious, even though nothing has really changed externally. I’m scaring my boyfriend and he feels helpless, I’m worried about how this affects him, but when I’m feeling this low I can’t hide it and just end up crying all the time. I feel better after a chat, but I can’t keep doing this to him – every few days I do this so we need to find out how to deal with it. I came off antidepressants about 3 months ago now, and don’t want to have to go back on them, but I’m wondering now whether I will have to as the cycle of stress and anxiety about everything that I have at the moment just makes it very hard to stay positive. I have had a potential diagnosis of polycystic ovaries in the past few weeks and also had to make a decision about staying on or coming off Tysabri recently, so maybe it’s just the fall out from that.
The other thing that popped into my mind is PML – I’m on Tysabri and in the high risk group. I know the symptoms include a sudden change in mood, and I was freaking out a bit yesterday evening because I just felt like I was having an out-of-body experience (as I do now actually), like I wasn’t really in the room. Not sure whether this could be PML, or a relapse, or a symptom of fatigue….
Any advice or experience would be much appreciated, thank you!

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tabbycat
3 years ago

gosh, I think you need to talk to someone more than your partner, as it sounds like a few things need checking out. I know when things get bad, we can become indecisive and reluctant to seek help, so tell your partner that you need to speak to a medic of some description and tell them to keep badgering you until you do. It is the best thing they can do for you. Good luck and big hugs.


stumbler
3 years ago

Living with MS can become pretty huge, from time to time. And, we all need help to get things back into perspective. Anti-depressants aren’t a sign of weakness. If our walking becomes impaired, we use a stick or crutch. Consider anti-depressants as a walking aid for your mood.

Tine to talk to your GP.

As for the Tysabri and PML, you should be being closely monitored for the smallest sign that PML may be becoming a bigger risk. Have a word with your MS Nurse to resolve this nagging issue.

We all adapt our lives to accommodate our MS, and it can still become the focus of our attention! So, just accept that the onset of Autumn/winter can make us all feel low. It’s Seasonal Affective Disorder, which makes SAD.

So, a little temporary help from your GP and it’ll soon be Xmas! 😕


judy-gy
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing. You are wonderful and have a lot on, it doesn’t mean things will stay like this / hang around / repeat. It is how it was when you wrote this, I how it is feeling just a little better now. However, this is hard stuff you are going through. Jx


rhymenocerous
3 years ago

Hi guys,
Just wanted to say thank you for your support, it’s so helpful hearing your experiences and suggestions.

@tabbycat, thank you for the push 🙂 my partner came hope from work yesterday having read around and he had come to the same conclusion – for him to hasstle me to arrange to speak to someone. I’m going to try to find a therapist, and also to book to see my GP. When you’re in a cycle of negative thoughts, it can feel like it is pointless to talk to a professional, as it doesn’t change the situation, you can’t necessarily move house/job/career, you can’t make a decision to change things, you can’t necessarily make yourself socialise in order to deal with the depression, anxiety and stress. But I know when I think back to when I was seeing a therapist that it helped me to deal with the situation, to give myself some self-care, to remove the expectations I put on myself, and to improve relationships and challenge negative thoughts. It also gives me motivation to regularly meditate again. It is a big effort sometimes to keep positive constantly, when you feel like every plan you make in order to look forward to something to cheer yourself up from the previous plan that got cancelled then gets cancelled too! – I think I just loose ‘stamina’ of keeping positive periodically. But then so do many people for all sorts of reasons. It’s life! 😉

@ Judy-gy, thank you for your kind words, you are right, things come and go. With fatigue especially, it is hard to think that it will wax and wane through the days and weeks, and the fear that it will just go downhill forever is overwhelming sometimes. But it does happen, I do have good days. I know a trigger for getting depressed is often when I have to say no to my friends all the time, or when they come and visit but I have to rest/sleep a lot. A day out is now out of the question, everything has to be planned around a very inconvenient 12-3pm nap time slot! Things have changed for me, whilst they are all socialising as we used to, so I always feel that I am missing out. But I just have to focus on the quality time we do have together, and get better at asking for people to come visit. I do worry a lot about the detrimental effect pushing yourself can have if you have fatigue, but perhaps I have to ignore it sometimes since socialising is so important for emotional health, and depression + stress is definitely detrimental too!

@stumbler, thank you for your encouragement, it’s such a good community here, knowing that anti-depressants don’t have the stigma they used to. Your comment about Christmas made me chuckle! and yep, that autumn-winter change has always been a bummer for me. Time to put many layers on and just get out of the house into the rain and embrace! 😉

Thanks again all xxx


cameron
3 years ago

You can identify triggers for low mood – can you do the opposite? What makes you smile/relax/switch off? If you find that hard, think pre-MS. Your sense of humour is probably unchanged. How are you indulging it? Can you do more of whatever makes you smile? Worry and anxiety is a spiral. I wasn’t able to stop the spiral without anti-depressants and I won’t be coming off them – probably ever! But it doesn’t matter. Actually, a lot of things don’t matter! When your head is in a better place, the MS will be put firmly in its box. xxx


tabbycat
3 years ago

I also recommend getting a daylight lamp, for the dark months. After years of suffering from misery in the winter, it has made me so much more positive and able to cope with all the problems life throw at us. I just turned mine on this week, they are cheap and you can get them from that big on line retailer ( who should treat their employees better!). Tell us how you get on . Big hugs


rhymenocerous
3 years ago

@cameron Many thanks for your post, I’ve followed your guidance and dug out my diary to start writing in again. It helps a lot to look back at the ‘work’ I’d already put into this stuff, I’d just forgotten it was there and that it was of use!

@tabbycat Ah yes I’ve been looking at those over the past couple of weeks. It’s on my xmas list, but since you say it has made such a difference, I shall bump it up the priority list of items to invest in 😀

I took a bold step yesterday, which I’ve been meaning to do for months, of emailing my friends with the spoon theory, with the idea that it would help me to feel less guilty about cancelling on them, or just saying no to invitations if it’s too far away for me to travel. I’m hoping it will also help me to ask for help, as I’m terrible at that and I have never really given them the chance to help. Their replies just proved what an amazing set of friends I have, and that they are there for me, whatever support I need. I am feeling very very lucky today.

Thanks again all,

Mel


cameron
3 years ago

You’re not ‘lucky;. You’re taking control. As you always did before MS. xx


tabbycat
3 years ago

Sounds like you are doing all the right things!


rose54
3 years ago

I get waves of depression and anxiety spells, when I do, I want to talk to my partner, but she doesn’t always want to go there. I understand, but somehow I need to be able to get this stuff out of my head. So, I tried curcumin extract, 500mg a day and it really helps with my moods, has no side effects for me, and it also helps with cognitive abilities and energy. It worked so well, I asked my partner to try it, she does not have MS but we both figured she needed some relief also, so as not to drive both of us crazy! I also had the out of body feeling, and then would start crying or laughing, really bizarre. Now since the curcumin I have not had that experience and my partner and I are getting along better. The great thing about the curcumin is that it works pretty much instantly. Within 24 hours, you notice a difference.


northernlass
3 years ago

Hi I’ve been feeling low for several months now and feeling full of self pity but feel I had no one to talk to about it (Friends or Family) so on a visit to my MS nurse where it all just spilled over she suggested that I could self refer to MIND and that they would help me with some talking therapy. I have just had a meeting with a councillor at a local location so from self referring online to seeing someone it has been very quick. Might be something you might consider looking into through the MIND website..?. I’m hoping I might learn a few skills to help me not drag myself down with my difficult thoughts. Best wishes that you find something to help you too Rhymenoceros


rhymenocerous
3 years ago

Hi @rose54, I’ve heard some interesting stuff about turmeric, I’ll definitely look into that. How do you take it? – do you get capsules? – I don’t think every single one of our meals will go with turmeric – some, but not all!

@northernlass, really sorry to hear that you’re low and don’t feel that you have anyone to talk to. I hope you don’t mind me asking, and please ignore if you don’t want to say, but is that because you feel uncomfortable talking to family or friends, or because they are not very approachable? I’m matching you – the lady on the MS Society helpline suggested finding a therapist and I’ve gone ahead with it. I’ve just gotten back from my 2nd session, and I can see already that it’s going to be really really helpful- I’ve had an epiphany today that it’s not just the MS, but your personality, previous fears and anxieties etc. that combine to form your mood, and so there ARE things that we can take control of – if not the situation, how we define, drive, accept and care for ourselves mentally. I really hope you can find some comfort and learn some skills too, I am sure that you will. xx

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