Chronic Illness and Depression

Thursday, 7 June 2018


Unfortunately chronic illnesses and depression usually go hand in hand. Chances are if you are poorly 24/7 you are going to start feeling depressed. I find it hard to speak openly about depression but its something I think isn't talked about enough when it comes to chronic illness so I wanted to speak out about it. And a bunch of you on twitter wanted to see this post so here we go. *deep breath*


Its probably best to do a little bit of background on me so you can see where Im coming from with this post. I was diagnosed with M.E (chronic fatigue) and Fibromyalgia (chronic pain) when I was 18 and one of the symptoms is depression but Ive dealt with depression for years before that. I started getting depressed around age 14 when my health started getting bad and I had issues in school which ultimately left me being homeschooled by the county but thats another story for a different day (and many glasses of rosé). Im going to be completely honest here, this is hard for me to write and even think about posting so please bear with me here.

Ive never openly spoken about my struggle with depression with anyone other than my Mum and my Doctor but I do feel like its something I need to get off my chest and maybe it will help someone else going through the same things. So having a chronic illness(s) is bad enough as it is and usually depression is a side effect. Its pretty unavoidable. Just think about it, if you are in severe pain on the daily or cant get out of bed because your fatigue is so bad you are bound to become depressed at some point. For me its the extreme fatigue that causes my depression. Some days I cant even get up to brush my teeth so I have to cancel plans and lay in bed all day and that instantly triggers my depression.

Antidepressants
This may be a touchy subject for some but Im going to talk about it anyways. So I started taking Fluoxetine which is a type of antidepressant just before my 18th birthday after years and years of battling with doctors who "didn't believe children got depressed" and wouldnt prescribe me with anything. Honestly, it was a tough time and once I started the dose it didnt get any better. It turns out Im very sensitive to new medications and vitamins and I was poorly for weeks and weeks. Now bear in mind this was before my chronic illness got really bad. But I could barely function. I couldnt eat, I was constantly feeling shaky and nauseous. It was horrendous to the point that I had to go back to my doctor who advised me to start taking them one every other day to ease my body onto them. I took them for months and I barely noticed a difference so my dose doubled and it changed my life. Before anyone thinks anything about therapy or counselling- Ive tried it all and it just doesn't work for me. I think counselling is something that doesn't work for everyone but I do think everyone should try it at least once.

Support system
I think its so important to find a good support system if thats your family, your friends or your partner. You need to be able to talk to someone and not have them judge you or put you down. Im very lucky to have an amazing support system at home with my family and my friends are really thoughtful and supportive. Like with everything having a support system just makes the world of difference.

Help
I find that talking to other chronic illness sufferers helps. I dont feel as alone and its nice to talk to someone who knows what you are going through. Theres some great forums out there to meet other spoonies and chat but also websites like the ME Association have some great suggestions and of course any depression forum or group is super helpful. Even talking to other sufferers on social media is very helpful. Ive learnt so much just from talking to other bloggers with chronic illnesses.


If theres anything else you would like me to talk about that Ive missed out on in this post, please let me know. This was hard to write so Im sorry if its a bit all over the place.

Love, Becca


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*image from https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1427909

6 comments:

  1. Honest posts like this are vital in spreading understanding and awareness xx

    Beautylymin| LauraGellerPaletteGiveaway

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. It was really hard to open up and write this post but hopefully I got my point across. X

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  2. Thank you for sharing this post, it is so important to share posts like this!

    Danielle xx
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  3. This was such an important post for you to share! A good support system is essential :) xxx

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