Friday, July 8, 2011

Depression and Anger

There’s this dark side of chronic illnesses that not very many people like to talk about. Depression and anger are both significant emotions for those who not only have multiple sclerosis but PCOs as well. It’s as if getting diagnosed with both, you’re more than likely to, at some point, feel the debilitating side effects of depression.

For me, it always starts the same. I’ll be buzzing along, feeling fine when suddenly I’m hit with this overwhelming feeling of anger and dissatisfaction with my life. There’s never an exact cause to these feelings and there’s never one event or person that is to blame. It just happens.

For example, yesterday I was trotting along and feeling pretty decent when this dark cloud moved over me. It started with anger, this overwhelming anger that gets directed outwardly towards whoever is around me. Unfortunately, at that time, I was speaking to Steven. I told him that I had to let him go before I said something I would not only regret later but also something I did not mean. I knew it was going to happen, I could feel it welling up inside me like word vomit.

Thankfully, I was able to push these feelings aside while speaking to my roommates, as it would not have been fair to take this wave of emotional unbalance out on them. It continued, though, once I was alone in my room and alone with my thoughts. This overwhelming urgency to cry came over me, as well as this deep feeling of dread and sadness. I called and spoke to Steven and cried verbally on his shoulder. He was sweet- he listened and was filled with understanding. It’s moments like these that really make me notice the difference between someone who cares and someone who is just “there.” It also makes me thankful that I have the people in my life that I do. With him, it’s easy as he never passes judgment, never criticizes me or tells me that I need to seek therapy, he just listens. It’s exactly what I needed at that exact moment. It made a world of difference. My overwhelming emotional state eventually led to me passing out from sheer exhaustion. The one thing that really upsets me about these waves of depression is it leaves me feeling rather groggy and feeling like I’ve been “drugged.”

Living with these waves of depression is just a fact of life for people with MS and PCOs. I could consider getting it treated with drugs, which I would, if it happened more often than it does, but we’re already fed so many other drugs as it is. Ask someone you know, who has both MS and PCOs, to show you their drug cabinet and you’ll see a rather large assortment of drugs. What’s one more?

A brochure on depression from the National MS society states that “people with MS experience depression more than the general population or people with other chronic illnesses.” In fact, some research shows that people with MS may actually be more likely to be depressed because of the physiology of multiple sclerosis. For women with PCOs, depression is considered one of the symptoms of the syndrome. And since women are more likely to have multiple sclerosis than men and PCOs only effect s women, it makes sense that, as a woman, depression is not something to take lightly. For me, it’s like I’m the cream feeling in this oreo of depression. Eventually, it’s something I will have to consider seeking treatment for.

With that being said, if you happen to be going through the symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor. You have enough things to worry about- depression shouldn’t be one of them. And if you happen to be feeling suicidal, please, get help!

With all my love and encouragement-

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