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Depression,anxiety,chronic pain and fear of medication no family suppor...
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Depression,anxiety,chronic pain and fear of medication no family support

Dear Dr.
I am 28 years old. Last week I saw a psychiatrist at the insistance of my family becuase they insist I am severely depressed. I do suffer from occasional panic attacks and have since my late teens. My problem with depression is due to severe chronic pain. I was in a terrible car accident several years ago.My entire face ate my sterring wheel and dashboard. This resulted in me losing alot of my upper teeth from the eyetooth back and dislocated both of my TMJ'S. Also broke my nose and had a whiplash injury. I was in alot of pain and I still am. It is severe chronic daily pain. My family does not see it as a pain issue but a depression issue because I never smile. Well if they did not have a full set of teeth they would not smile either. If they lived in such horrible pain they would get down in the dumps too. However I saw the psychiatrist who saw my point of view and agrees my problem is mainly the pain issue and lack of self esteem. I agreed to go on Prozac but I am scared of medication of any kind now. I took so many NSAIDS and hydrocodone for pain both tear my stomach to shreds and I am scared to try meds now. My family continues to insist I have a chemical imbalance and that I am not normal. Doctor, I am 28 years old. I have a wonderful husband and beautiful baby. I don't drink,don't do drugs,don't smoke. I exercise and watch my diet. I work part time and love my job. I don't have any chemical imbalances or extreme higs or lows. My problem is the pain and totally unsupportive family who refuse to believe pain can do this to a person. In fact my mother has gone so far as to tell all of her co-workers I need psychiactric help and I am on Prozac. She told my Grandma and her 2 sisters the same. She told them I am a miserable person and I should be hospitalized. This is coming from the same person who has an eating disorder. She said my entire family hates me that I am not a fun person at all. All these horrible and hurtful things. I love my mother but hate this and what she has done. How do or can I make them understand that pain can do this to a person? I can not really explain what I am trying to say! I hope you can sort through this! My mother is a very headstrong and controlling person. She has always been this way. I love her but this is killing me. I am hurt by this. Please help if you can. Thank you so very much.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Megan,

It is very unfortunate that your family feels this way. Oftentimes, when an individual is suffering from symptoms stemming from our mental hygiene, society views them as "different". This is the reason there are initiatives in Capitol Hill to help our present society to view depression and anxiety among other mental illness as a real disorder as a heart condition or diabetes.

As in your case, it is very difficult to 'convince' your family to feel otherwise. If they are willing to go with you and discuss your condition with your psychiatrist that may be helpful but like what I said, they need to be willing to listen first.

You may also gather information to be given to your family. You may call NAMI (National Alliance of the Mentally Ill) to request for the information.

Good Luck,

HFHS MD - RG
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm feeling your pain...

I am schizophrenic and I was just diagnosed with this recently ( a month ago). However, since this is a chronic illness and since I was probably suffering from it long before I was diagnosed, my mother always used to call me crazy and psychopathic. You see, a year and a half ago I started to have major psychotic symptoms (I'm saying major because unlike other things occuring earlier in my life, which retrospectively turn out to be psychotic as well - the things that happened a year and a half ago really interfierd with my normal functioning ) and I took some medications to relieve them. Since then, upon every argument we had - when my mother didn't have anything else (reasonable) to say she would say - "go and take your medications, you freak".

Me and my mother never got along too well since when I was little my mother's mom was living with us and abusing me. My mother knew about it and didn't do anything. It is something I will never be able to forgive her. One day while I was at work I had a major break down because I reminded of something that was related to the abuse. I got home that evening and my mother started to argue with me again, about something stupid, and then I just screamed at her saying that she is responsible at least for me being abused if not for my present state (it was during my first psychotic episode ). So she called me crazy again, and stupid for "remembering these **** that occured so long time ago" (i.e. - me being abused ). That minute, I realized she is no mother to me. Two weeks later I left the house and I am now living on my own. After I had another set of psychotic symptoms and realized that wasn't something as brief as I thought - I saw several psychiatrists and was diagnosed with schizophrenia - AND SHE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW!!!

What I'm saying is that even if someone is your mother there are things she shouldn't do if she wants to have a daughter. I'm not saying you should do what I did, I'm only telling a personal story to show you that there is such an option (although it's an extreme one). I hate to see that your family puts you through more and more pain instead of support you and make your life easier. One could have a clinic depression FOR REAL, living with that sort of stress.

I am 18 years old and I am single. I also didn't and don't have any friends that could have helped me through all the tough things that occur when you start living on your own. If I could help myself through cutting loose from the negative influence which my mother tried to put me through - I'm sure you can!

It seems to me that you are really GREAT at explaining what you are going through. If your family doesn't understand - it's their stupidity - not your fault by NO MEANS. Sometimes, after trying to explain multiple times, one must know when to let go. I think (and this is my personal opinion only) that if your family is what it is - you better off without it!

Yours

Love, Naomi.

P.S. - If I were you I would ignore that "HFHS MD - RG" post. I don't think he read your question thoroughly enough. I hope he would never be the one to reply to any of my posts since he obviously doin't take his job seriously!


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Avatar_n_tn
There is a link between chronic pain and depression.  Chronic physical pain can actual bring on depressive episodes.  My experience with taking anti-depressants has been good.  I'm really glad I gave them a try and I got good results from them.  Regardless of your family's insensitivity to your situation -- both physical and emotional -- give the Prozac a try.  You may find that it is helpful and if it's not then you know that depression is not an issue for you.  Rememebr that it takes 4 -6 weeks for anti-depressants to fully take effect and sometimes adjustments in the dosage are required.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Megan,Naomi:

I feel for you. I suffer from chronic illness and pain.
I became depressed because if it so I went to see a psyciatrist
for medication (Celexa) and I speak to a counselor. I get along
with her very well and trust has been established so Im comfortable speaking to her.I would concentrate on you first!
Get yourself feeling better and your family may not be able to
have such a negative impact on you. I know it hurts when they
say insensitive things, they obviously lack adequate info. on
how pain effects your emotional health.Im sure if you felt
"just dandy"(no pain) everyday ,you would feel alot better!
My couselor once asked me:"can you deal with it today?" (pain/illness)and I thought...yes I guess I can,Im doing it.
So every day I just think..OK..."I can do today".

Naomi, I also am a "survivor" of abuse and it's a tough road
to healing yourself. I hope Im not out of line here but
maby your mom feels guilty? Guilt usually makes people angry.
Possibly she has had the same experience with your G-ma that
you did? Your bringing up what happened may open up old
wounds for your mom.It sounds like you did a positive thing
by getting out on your own. The enviroment you live in effects you alot.You are a very strong person to have come this far,
give yourself a pat on the back!I hope you find a good counselor
to help you with your steps twords healing.

Actually..... we all deserve a pat on the back!We are climbing
a mountain with an extra load....... and were doing it!
And we're only human so we may find it hard at times.

Megan,I agree with Naomi,the Doc didn't seem to "READ" your post.
Maby try to find some literature/books on managing chronic pain
and the effects of chronic pain on your emotional health.

I have been given the suggestion to write in a journal about
my feelings/thoughts & also to write a letter to the people
who have hurt my feelings/me or who are still hurting me.
You don't have to send the letter if you don't want too but
it may help to just get it out!People need to be made aware
of how they have made you feel,it is healing for you and it
also gives them the opportunity to appolagize.

I wish you both the best! Hang in there!
Jeannine ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
the above message is to both of you. j
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