dealing with depression because of arthritis

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krustyzidane
krustyzidane Member Posts: 17
edited 7. Jul 2014, 14:13 in Living with Arthritis archive
HI, I am 35 yrs ols and have been suffering with rheumatoid arthritis in all my major joints for 10yrs now and have tried all types of medication, nothing has worked. I have tried 3 different biological treatments and am on abacept at the moment. It is also not working. I have held out some hope over the years that I would find something that would help suppress it. I have now given up fighting and have been diagnosed with depression. I am struggling at the moment to get my head around things and was wondering if anyone had any advice of how they cope with things. None of my family or friends seem to understand how hard it is. I don't want to worry my wife or family with how bad I really am. I am self employed and have to work to everyday to provide for my family. I am taking huge amounts of painkillers just to function. I don't sleep very well at night and I wake up in pain, I have pain all day and I go to bed in Pain. It has finally starting to wear me down. I don't like the fact I cant do things that I used to be able to do. I don't like being told I cant do certain things anymore. It is S***. any advice would be gratefully received.

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  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello again, krustyzidane, I am so sorry to read about the difficulties you are facing, they are not unknown on here and I hope we can help with information and support.

    Any form of arthritis is degenerative and progressive, no matter what meds us auto-immuners take they only slow the process, not halt it. Your body is obviously under some stress, not only due to the disease but to the efforts you are making to provide for your family. You are to be lauded for doing so but I suspect your body is now telling you that it's time for a change, but of what kind I don't really know :oops: . I am not a bloke, don't have a family to support and retired a couple of years ago having flogged on for fifteen years or so. I reckon it's time for you to consider what you need, yes?

    I can understand your not wanting to burden your wife but it may be time for her to gain full access to the reality of your life. Arthritis not only affects us, it also has a good crack at those around us because they may feel helpless; I know my husband finds my situation distressing (he's not alone in that :wink: ) but over the years we have worked out how I can let him know that things are rough so he increases the practical support. We do it via talking. That is essential.

    When I was diagnosed with OA (in addition to my PsA) back in 2011 my GP prescribed anti-depressants; my intention was to take them for three months or so then stop but my rheumatologist disagreed, her reasoning being that if I was being re-enforced mentally I would cope better physically with the pain. She was right.

    People without arthritis don't understand how it affects us, how tiring, draining, painful and frustrating the condition can be. I suggest the following: contact your rheumatologist to ask for an appointment to discuss your current situation, contact your GP for the same reason, contact AC via their Helpline (freefone number on this page) so they can send you their publications that may help your family and friends to begin the process of understanding what is happening with you, and stay in touch with us. I know that feeling of being so low you can't be pro-active but I think you've made a start in posting. We're here, OK? I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello krusty and welcome
    Its is the hardest thing to moan to your family, but I think men find it even harder...I am sure if your wife could read this she would be shocked that you don't confide in her, you say you are working and self employed , my husband is the same and has OA in his knees , so I understand the worry you have about providing for your family, but you do need to talk about things, first of all to us lot..and the helpline at the top of the forum.
    I had antidepressants when 2 years into my arthritis I just couldn't cope with not doing the things I used to , and they were a life saver if you get the right ones .
    I bet you feel a little better now you have got all this out...don't forget we are always here... :)
    Love
    Barbara
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 3. Jul 2014, 15:03
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    Hi Krusty
    No one understand {no matter how supportive they are} if they don't have arthritis and certainly no one understands depression if they don't have it.....they think "snap out of it"
    I'm sure your wife would be hurt that you don't confide in her.
    Talk to her....but the real rants just come on here and rant to us :wink: We all have some form of arthritis so understand.
    Your body sounds as if its telling you to slow down but its hard when you are a man, supporting your family and self employed....I'm sorry I don't know the answers.
    I have OA in hips, ankle, neck and back....also kyphoscoliosis and osteoporosis......I don't have the immune type.
    Love
    Hileena
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Krusty
    I'm so sorry you are struggling. It's very hard for people without arthritis to understand just what arthritis is - when you are fatigued, in constant pain, going through insomnia due to pain and trying to carry on doing all the things you should do it's a very lonely place. You don't necessarily look ill so people struggle to keep remembering you are. You live with it for so long you forget what normal is and you try to keep up with the rat race. Somewhere there is a balance to be struck between acceptance and finding a way forward that is satisfying for you. Fighting gets you nowhere other than rock bottom. You've got to learn to live with it (no matter how much you hate it). For me, that involved being honest about it, first with myself and then my husband (something I have just spectacularly failed to do resulting in a flare up that Mr LV picked up on before I was ready to accept it). You also have to have a balance sheet and rather than just keep throwing all yourself and energy in being 'normal' you have to start balancing your energy in terms of what you want to do, what is achievable and what you need help doing. It's hard, you sometimes feel lazy and like you should keep trying harder but if you learn to pace yourself and make the necessary adjustments and be honest about how much energy you have and what you can do with it you will get a lot further than just brushing arthritis under the rug and trying to pretend it isn't happening. I've written 'you' a lot here, I mean me just as much as you and the rest of the arthritic club. You can do so much if you stop trying to do everything. I know I sleep better for accepting arthritis, I know I get more out of life from living with it and not fighting it. That doesn't mean seeing a doomed future, it means adjusting the now. I occasionally try to surf, I couldn't even get my wetsuit on now because I'm flaring but I will do again one day. You kind of have to love each day and roll with the punches and savour every tiny little victory. I hope this helps. I'm (ahem) NEARLY 35 and I've been playing this game since I was 20, I have a young family and I understand your frustration and feelings. PM me if you want to chat more. I hope this doesn't sound too la la. I struggled your struggle and still do if I'm not careful about listening to myself and communicating honestly with me and my other half. Good luck, as other people have said - we are all here and we do understand. Coming on here helped me so much. LV :)
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • krustyzidane
    krustyzidane Member Posts: 17
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks everyone for your advice. I know I need to change what I do but I find the thought of that very scary. I worry about what the future will hold. I am normally a very positive person but this last set back has hit me very hard. My doctor has given me anti depressants but I haven't started taking them yet as I am scared I will need them all the time. Has anyone any experience of them and what they are like.
    It was good to get some of what I am feeling of my chest. Sorry to everyone who had to read my rant. Thanks again for your responses.
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Stop apologising! We all understand, we've all been that scared and still are. I've never taken anti-depressants so I can't help with that but I know if I needed to then I would do. Arthritis doesn't just affect the joints, it does affect your feelings and your mental health too. Constant pain and fear bring the best of us to a low point. Don't be afraid of change, I can honestly tell you that it makes things better. I fought change but once I stopped and started using my energy positively to accept and change then it made life so much easier and gave me courage. If you are a positive person to start with then harness that positivity and you have given yourself a good start. In your post you said you'd given in to arthritis, don't give in to it, just learn to live with it and find a way to co-exist. Small changes can make big differences.
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    LV is so right.....don't give in to arthritis.....learn to live with it.
    What about a self management course? That teaches you to cope either with arthritis or with chronic pain in general.
    Go on to the main site and search for publications and you might find one that would help you....you can download them or you can ring our helpline {Freephone} and ask them all the questions. They are very good. They can advise on books to send you out as well. They will also give you advise on how to cope.
    Love
    Hileena
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Stop apologising! We all understand, we've all been that scared and still are. I've never taken anti-depressants so I can't help with that but I know if I needed to then I would do. Arthritis doesn't just affect the joints, it does affect your feelings and your mental health too. Constant pain and fear bring the best of us to a low point. Don't be afraid of change, I can honestly tell you that it makes things better. I fought change but once I stopped and started using my energy positively to accept and change then it made life so much easier and gave me courage. If you are a positive person to start with then harness that positivity and you have given yourself a good start. In your post you said you'd given in to arthritis, don't give in to it, just learn to live with it and find a way to co-exist. Small changes can make big differences.

    I can't think of anything to say that would be more true and essential than what LV has just posted. All I would add is to talk to your wife. Don't shut her out. You may feel that you're protecting her but you're not. She, too, is suffering from your arthritis and, if you keep her uninformed, she will be hurting bigtime. Arthritis can get into the cracks of relationships and force them bigger. Don't let that happen. Face it together. You don't have to become someone who moans all the time about pain but you do have to let her in on it and not exclude her from what is a big part of your life.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    LV has said it all,much better than I could , and please don't apologize I don't mind reading your moan it take my mind off me.. if you get what I mean :? Yes I was on antidepressant tried two and the second one was much better, but it depends on the person, I came off them just before the 12 months and it was so scary ..but I was fine they bring you down slowly and by this time I had learned a few things about dealing with pain..and got my head round things..you have another chat with your GP that is what they are there for..and I do wish you well... :)
    Love
    Barbara
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi krustyzidane

    I am so sorry to hear your story. You must talk to your wife about this. I think you may be surprised to find that she is more aware of what you are going through than you think or at least she will be aware that something is going wrong. She may well feel relieved that you are ready to talk about it now. The first step is going to be very difficult, naturally. I do not remember you mentioning that you have children (although you do use the word family) but even if you do not, living with someone else, you feel responsible for them and want to do things to help out and to provide. A problem shared is a problem halved. You have joined this forum which was a good step. You can call the helplines on the number at the top of the page as you do need to talk instead of trying to go it alone. It is not too late. Start today.

    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi krustyzidane

    alot of us are in the same position , myself had to give up work within a few months of getting RA nearly 20 years ago , some form of depression goes with RA and most long term illnesses so you are not alone & your doctors will understand .

    most of us have the same problems with the biologics as well , on my third for last four months tocilizumab but still my CRP up & down & totaly dependant on steriods , talk to your GP or rheumy nurse , alot of us take mild anti-depressants , just be careful taking something over the counter as some dont go well with drugs like methotrexate
  • celebrationb
    celebrationb Member Posts: 134
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi I was told I had oa in knee last year also have a trapped fermol nerve in same leg. I was put on to anti depressions for the nerve to relax me at night but not for depression, I have been on amtripyline for years and years since I was told about trapped nerve . just to let you know am .48 years old, have had by he trapped nerve for approx 4 years.
    The oa in my knee and with the nerve too it has been hard, I have been trying to stay positive but it s hard. Specially when the knee gives way/buckles, but changes have been made to help.
    I am self employed too so we have been able to work around it,. You do need to talk to your wife and try to explain or you will feel alone coping with it. I have spoke to my hubby/family but feel that they don't understand but they all love me and care, help when needed.
    This forum is greatl and advice help is great,
    Don't let it get you down it makes if feel worse. Your not alone
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    How are your feeling now, krustyzidane?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • krustyzidane
    krustyzidane Member Posts: 17
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Feeling a bit better. I have an appointment with my doctor at the hospital in a couple of weeks. I will have to discuss things with him. Thanks forever ones advice.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    We all go up and down in mood, in my case it's related to life-stresses and pain levels. The former are easing but the latter is unrelenting. :roll: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I do hope you have a good, helpful appointment. Could your wife come with you? It might help both of you.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright