Chronic pain and depression!

SaitenMar
SaitenMar Member Posts: 24
edited 16. Feb 2011, 15:14 in Young people's community
Hello,

Not the most cheerful of topics I know, but it's an issue that as affected me greatly these past two years. The mental issues that go along with this condition were never even mentioned when I was first diagnosed at 11, which to be fair to the doctors made some sense. For I was diagnosed after a year of going from one hospital to another with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition that I was told can go away with age. So it made sense that the doctors didn't bring up these issues, after all I was just grateful to them for finally being diagnosed.

Unfortunately it never did disappear and I suffer with it badly now that I'm 22. But the mental issues have almost never been bought up in the years I've seen a Rheumy, and I'm lucky in having a very good Rheumy who will listen to whatever I have to say and treat me with understanding. But these past two years have been rather bad, I've never been to comfortable with calling it depression (I usually call them 'dark spells') but whatever they technically are, they are truly soul destroying. Having this condition at any age is bad, but it's not until these past three or four years that I've realised how bad it can be for those of a younger age.

For me it's the chronic pain, I've never been good at handling RA at the best of times but late last year after a tough few days of constant pain, I had what I could best describe as a breakdown. It was the sort of spell that you go to bed and pray that you don't wake up this the morning. I finally decided to go to my Rheumy about this issue, who was understanding but clearly had no idea how to tackle the subject and found out that my local hospital as a special department in handling mental and coping issues for those with chronic conditions such as RA and Lupus. I've had an appointment with a psychologist, and just talking to her about matters was great. Though it's going to take a while before I can truly tackle these issues.

As you will no doubt already know, RA can be a lonely condition to live with. This is one of the reasons why I'm asking about issues other RA sufferers might have experienced, and maybe how they tackled them. I'm very much interested in what others experiences have been like.

Thank you for reading, I know it was long. :smile:

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello SaitenMar, welcome to the forum and what courage you have shown in writing such a brave post. It is an issue that is often overlooked, and I am sure that you are not alone in having such troubles. I think there is a danger that we get treated for the arthritis only, and the possible 'knock-on' effects (ghastly term, but I am struggling today) can be ignored by the rheumatologists. That isn't their area, so they metaphorically close their eyes to it. Long-term chronic pain is demoralising, depressing and very, very hard to manage, and it takes some guts to address the issue. I hope that you do feel, somehow, better in yourself for seeing someone who should be able to understand these issues, and that that gives you more courage and strength. I wish you well. DD
  • 03darhum
    03darhum Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi my names darren and welcome! i read this an instently thought you are right, i dont like to show it but some times the ra makes me fell a bit of an "outcast" and a lot of the time sad becouse i am tired always and in pain and cant do what i used to the point that you talk about is right the when i first started having my problem 3 years ago before i was digonosed at first it never botherd me emountionally but now it effects just about everything i do and how i feel when i was finally dignosed i was never told about any thing remotely connected to depression...the only thing i ask is what can we do about it?
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi SaitenMar

    I am very sorry to read your story. It must be a relief for you that at least you have found this forum and we are all here to help and support you the best we can.

    I would suggest you call the helplines team today (Tel:0808 800 4050). Many forum members and others have been helped greatly by this team of dedicated, very knowledgeable people.
    I feel you would benefit greatly from talking to someone on the team. A problem shared, is a problem halved.

    Look after yourself,
    Elna x
  • seamonkey
    seamonkey Member Posts: 323
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello,
    I also have the dark spells although im sure they differ to each person. I was having one the other day when i finally plucked up the courage to write on the forum. People were great and just having they reply made me brighter! I hope it can be the same for you. My kids keep me going throught the dark spells but perhaps at 22 your not yet a family. Sometimes just watching a movie can make me forget for a short time and then im able to carry on agian.
    Its great you now have some one who you can talk to this is very important. I had several mental health issues when i was younger before arthritis kicked in and i found it impossible to speak to anyone about it so I went to art therapy. Even now i laugh at the idea but for some reason this worked for me and untill recently ive been great.
    Dark moods are creeping back due to Arthritis and i panic that ill fall apart agian mentally.
    Any way ive gone on enough, Hope today is a good day for you
    :smile:
    Seamonkey
  • SaitenMar
    SaitenMar Member Posts: 24
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your advice and kind words. Just contributing to these forums is helping, I wish I'd done it much sooner.

    Unfortunately this past week as been rough as I've had two such spells that were troubling to me. The first was on Monday night, and the second last night. They are odd, and hard to explain. My mind goes foggy and I can't think straight or clearly, my chest hurts and I feel as sick as a parrot. I tried to relieve my sickness without much success. I was shaking and got somewhat emotional, I also get very angry. They feel almost like panic attacks but the mental symptoms are most troubling at these times, I lose it.

    I know I should tell people about these but don't have the courage, I spent almost a full year being sent from hospital to hospital when I was 11 and I suffered an attack of sorts then, it's always stuck with me and these are very similar. I tear at my hair and more.

    It's stupid, I can tell this all to you on these forums and I can even openly talk about it to a psychologist who is still a stranger to me, but I can't talk to my family about it. The psychologist did state this is a common trend with such issues though.

    Seamonkey - Art Therapy sounds like a great idea, if you'd have said that self-hypnosis would have helped me handle things a few years ago I'd have laughed. But I find self-hypnosis of great help now. It's silly, but I was stunned when I found it actually worked. :grin:

    Again, thanks for your kind words. They are of great help.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, you should tell people about these things but it is not that simple. There is courage involved, fear and pride, it isn't easy telling a stranger all the odd things that one does or thinks in moments of fear and panic, far from it. (On the other hand, it is sometimes easier talking to a stranger than to someone you know, hence the resource of the Samaritans.) One thing I have learned in all my time of dealing with ill health is that people have heard it all before. I am not doing/thinking/reacting in any ways that are unheard of or unusual for them, they are familiar with the humanity of all of this and can deal with it, and can tell me ways to deal with it too. I get in the way of me, sometimes, does that make sense? No-one will bat an eyelid when I confess my deepest, darkest fears: I just think they will. You can talk to us, SaitenMar, and we will listen, but we can do no more than that. You could also ring the Helpline here, they are a wonderful support - they know our enemy very, very well. DD
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello SaitenMar, I hope all is as well with you as it can be, I have been thinking about you. DD
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning SaitenMar, ditto the last message. DD
  • rgentry1989
    rgentry1989 Member Posts: 52
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    helo my name is rachel
    i was diganosed at the age off 5 and now am 21 and still suffering badly,
    i also am being treated for depression, it can be a lonely thing to suffer with and no one can reli understand unless they suffer them selfs this site can help u ive just joined and it help me tones alredi,
    here if u want to chat rachel x

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