MS, Depression & Me

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.

Postby carolsue » Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:13 pm


My MS has been mild to date, but I am aware that I have changed emotionally as a result of my diagnosis and I am very scared of the day when I am faced with the difficulties you are experiencing. Thank you for sharing what you're going through. It helps me to hear.

Your post demonstrates a courage to speak honestly about things that are very difficult to face. I'd guess it reflects an inner strength that you'll be able to draw from. I know that for me, it's very uncomfortable to think of myself as relying on others for emotional, financial, or physical support. I hope I have the strength and grace to accept that help when I need it.

This can be a rough season to get through and we should all cut ourselves some slack. May the new year bring us all some peace of mind.

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Postby Wonderfulworld » Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:19 am

Hi Grumpster
Happy Christmas by the way
I read your post and I felt I could have written it, albeit in the female gender, a few years ago. :wink:

I was dx'ed with MS 8 years ago, at the time a very physically fit, high-achieving, career orientated, non-stop party animal. It shattered my whole image and identity. I could see nothing but declining, loss, what might have been, pain, making do, poverty, failed personal hung over me constantly. I drank too much to ease the physical as well as psychic pain and occasionally when I had drunk too much I told my friends how low I was really feeling. To be honest, I regularly thought of suicide. I know this is a "heavy" post, but that's honestly how low I felt.

I can't say to you what changed really.....just I did over time. I realised that yes, I wouldn't have the same life-course I'd imagined, would have to give in to the MS a lot, bargain with it, allow it space. That I had to adapt and admit defeat, or at the very least an altrnative sometimes. And that if I was angry with myself and fate about that alternative, it would only poison me in the long run.

When I was in hospital with the dx originally and this woman from the MS society came to visit me to provide support. The MS society told my Father she was living proof there was life after MS, but all I could think of when I saw her was that she used an umbrella as a walking cane and I just didn't even want to deal with that. I wanted proof that you wouldn't have to change ANYTHING.

Once I allowed myself make concessions and not let those concessions poison the present, then things got a little easier. I realised I saw this HUGE MS cloud over me, but others did not see it, hardly at all. I realised I saw my symtoms as getting worse, or very serious, yet to be honest, most were quite mild. Finally, doing limited (I would have scoffed at the intensity years ago) regular exercise really lifted my mood, made me feel better about myself gradually.

It's a very bleak space to be in Grumpster, but I hope and believe you will find your own way out soon. Talk to your wife and friends.
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Postby Muu » Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:03 am

You mention so many things I identified with in your post. Thanks.
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The emptiness inside

Postby notasperfectasyou » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:42 am

G -

I'm coming at this from somewhat the same place and perspective as Lyon, my wife has MS. There's no magic fix. I do praise you for posting here. It's a small, but not unnoticed step. You asked us for help. Keep talking, keep expressing yourself, don't stop.

It's so easy right now for someone hundreds of miles away typing anonomously on a key board to lecture you. I know you don't want to be lectured and I really like this community here because there's a keen awareness of the need for understanding.

Prayer, God, Church, Friends, Family, Support Gourps and Counselling are all nice things, but it's not like you probably didn't think of them yourself already. No, right now it's just about expressing yourself and letting us know how it feels. This is what you need to keep doing. Please keep coming here and telling us about it.

There is no easy magic answer, but I can promise you that if you keep typing, talking and listening to your feelings within ...... you can overcome this feeling and discover something better inside that's not so empty feeling. What I'm proposing is something of a blind promise since I can't show you a proof that says you'll feel better. Nor can I tell you when.

I just know that if you keep expressing your feelings with others and alone folllowed by with others, then you are in fact starting to build something solid that can displace the emptiness. It's a start. Keep positing. napay
It would be really nice to be able to put links in here

If I have included a bad link, google the word "Scholar", click link for "Google Scholar". Search for the name of the paper and author in Google Scholar.
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:48 pm

Hey Muu I forgot to say I very much liked your "stalking black dog" analogy, in turn!! I shall give it a good kick too ocassionally, however being a dreadful softie I can't personally imagine a dog, but I do imagine little space invaders and I visualise blowing em all to smithereens!
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Postby Grumpster » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:50 am

I was just reading this old post of mine. Wow not much has changed since then. I think I have come to terms a little bit since the night I originally posted this, but most of it rings so true today.

I see others with so much more difficulty and adversity than I and I wonder how they do it. My neighbors have a child with CP and I know it must be unbelievably aweful for all of them. They seem to be able to cope. I wonder if they are able to find some sense of peace or if they feel the same sense of doom gloow and despair that i often feel as an MS-r.

I have plenty of days when I am not really depressed. A majority of days actually. I stoped taking anti-depressants a year ago. They did not do much for me. However, I have the story line from my original post run through my head over and over and over again.

Oh well I am doing better than I was after the major head injury a couple of years ago so I ghuess that is a positive thought to leave on.

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Postby Wendigo » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:39 am

JFH wrote:Hi G

Just keep going! and try not to let MS define you!

There is a well-accepted, typical, vicious symptom cycle - I'll try to draw here:

<-> <-> <-> chronic disease <-> tense muscles <->
<-> pain <-> stress / anxiety <-> difficult emotions <->
<-> depression <-> difficult emotions <->
<-> chronic disease <-> <-> <->

Any one sympton might trigger the next in the cycle, forwards or backwards. So dealing with any one symptom might help with any of the others; we need to break out of the cycle. Maybe the depression is too hard at the moment, perhaps you might be better able to manage one of the others?

I found writing a journal of great help. Just writing the negative thoughts and thinking about how they might be turned into rational, helpful thoughts - this aint easy and needs some patience.

Keep posting - good luck with whatever you do.

That vicious circle above I have come to see as a greater threat than the MS itself. So many things we have no control over and must learn to cope with. In the last six months my dad died from cancer, my oldest son, an alcoholic, almost died playing Russian roulette with alcohol and is in prison for 8 months, I kicked another adult child out who won't grow up any other way, and there's the overwhelming task of going through 40 years of stuff at my dad's house.

The MS alone could feed the circle leading to further disability from depression. The other back to back crises would have been a lot to bear for anyone. Antidepressants were of limited help and each had side effects requiring other drugs. It sounds crazy but when my mind starts the circle of thinking of hopelessness, anxiety over so much uncertainty around me, worry about my future, etc., I tell myself "I am happy, healthy and strong." It may sound like I'm lying or fooling myself but it doesn't feel that way at all. Those words break "the circle" which is a greater threat to my health than the MS because it prevents me from being able to see and cope not just with the disease but all the other crud that is just a part of life for everyone.
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