I've had anxiety issues in the past, so I am quite familiar with "mental illness", and wha it can do to you. There have been times when my anxiety gets so bad I feel like I can't function, and I avoid doing everything, and even avoid people on purpose. During these times, I may not feel "good", not sick but sluggish and blah, yet exercise, yoga really seem to help, as well as CBT, and i've had my anxiety under control for a long time now.
I'm a happy, optomistic, funny person. I love life, I love keeping busy, seeing my friends and family as often as possible, doing activities, I enjoy my job (I work in philanthropy, no stress, very nice coworkers), I have no reason to unhappy. Except for my health.
Last year I was diagnosed with endometriosis and told I needed to have surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, Obvisouly this was devestating news, not to mention my anxiety issues have often been about "control", so being knocked out for a surgery with an unpredictable outcome (will I lose my ovary or not? would I end up with huge scars or not?) was pretty much the scariest thing in the world. But then, I suddenly came dowm with a viral gastritis. I spent three days in the hospital, but it never went away. I never had so much as a stomach ache in my life, now I felt pain and bloating verytime I ate, I had acid reflux, I couldn't have alcohol, and it started to tire me out, as if the virus wasn't going away. After months of tests it was concluded I had mild chronic gastritis and frutose intolerance as a result of post-infectious IBS.
Before my surgery (in July) I started getting tired more easily. I had little energy and difficulty staying awake all day. A blood test showed my iron and ferrtin levels were low. I had the surgery and was told I'd be back at work atfer two weeks. After the durgery, I felt so relieved and proud of myself for having gotten over my greatest fear, and was so excited to heal and get back to my life. But as time past, I just kept getting more and more tired. I couldn't return to work, I was in bed fr like 20 hours a day. I'd run out of breath just going up a flight of stairs. I would fall from weaness sometimes. I started taking iron pills which were suppose to give me back my energy. It's been two months with no improvements.
So what's my doctor's diagnosis? Depression.
I just can't agree with that. I admit, if someone who had a history of anxiety and suddenly complained of being "tired all the time" without any medcal reason, I too would assume depression. But I just don't believe that;s what's going on here. To me, people are depressed andare tired because they lost interest in things. this is not my case, I have been surprisingly positive and optimitic about "tomorrow I'll have more energy", but it never happens. I am dying to get back to work, be productive agan, excerise, go outdoors, walk my dogs, etc. but I physically cannot keep up. If I have a good day when my stomach doesn't hurt too badly and I have some energy to do something, I spend the next couple of days in bed recovering. It makes no sense!!!
I've been doing relaxation yoga, acupunture, osteopathy, massage therapy, aromatherapy, meditation, everything that I think of to "heal", but there has been improvmnt. When I am feeling anxious, these things aways make me feel better. I don't feel anxious.
The feeling to me is really similar to when you have a bad cold and as much as you want to do something, your body just gives up and tells you to go to bed and rest. This does not feel at ALL like depression.
Can my doctor be right? Can I be happy but depressed and not know it? Or are they missing something medically?
You've had several medical issues going on lately on top of anxiety. There is a possibility that you are depressed. Many times depression and anxiety go hand in hand. Not always though.
What tests has your Dr done besides checking your iron levels? Have you been back to see if your levels have come up? I would recommend getting a good multivitamin. Not what you get from the grocery or drug store. Check some places out online. I would also ask your Dr to check your thyroid to see if it's functioning normally.
I've had so many tests, gastroscopy, colonoscopy, blood tests (including thyroid), allergy tests, parasite tests (I had been to south america so I had to rule out tropical disease)...
As of October 22 my ferretin is now up to 11, though above 20 is considered normal, however my hemoglobin is normal, which means I'm not technically anemic. Earlier in October, my hematologist suggested I double the dose of iron but that made my stomach pain SO much worst, and now I get pain at night, which I didn't before, and so I'm also not sleeping as well. I'm back to the original lower dose to avoid worsening the stomach pain, but I think the damage is done.
I find vitamin B irritates my stomach as well. I have been taking meal replacements as snacks to in an effort to make sure I'm not missing any vitamins since I've had to eat less fruit and veggies due to my fructose intolerance. Peppermint tea and peppermint oil provide some relief. I also take proton-pump inhibitors and sometimes pepto-bismal but seems to get less andless effective with time, and I have to be careful since it inhibits aborpstion on iron.
Like I said, I know anxiety and depression tend to be co-morbid, and I had an episode of anxiety when I was in college where I had a panic attack (hadn't had one in years) during class, andit made me avoid going back to class and being in public because I was afraid of having another attack, so that was more "depression: because I didn't "feel" like leaving my house as much, I didn't "feel" like doing stuff.
But this is not at all how I feel now. I WANT to go back to work, I WANT to go out with my friends, I WANT to take dance classes and excersice and go hiking, but my body PHYSICALLY can't handle it. I'm having fun but my body won't keep up. I NEED to take a nap every few hours, my eyes will just start closing on their own as if I had been awake for 2 days straight. If I was depressed I wouldn't want to do anything, I wouldn't enjoy things, I wouldn't be laughing ad happy, I wouldn't have motivation (even though I'm not working am I still taking two night courses, and I am getting great marks because I can study at home at my own pace, I can't do that with work!) A year ago before the infection I had no problem with working full time, partying, dating, and taking night courses, with plenty of energy left over.
Obviously, I am very frustrated, and I have some anxiety because I don't know what's going on and nothing I am doing is helping, including things that if I was depressed would be making me feel better. I have no major illness, my surgery went well, it just feels like my body isn't recouperating. It's like my body is stuck on "get some rest now and feel energized tomorrow".
The only odd thing on my last blood test was my random glucose was higher than the normal range. I have been eating more sugar that usual to be honest, because a) my stomach stops hurting while I eat and sugary snacks are eay and convinient, b) the very temporary sugar rush.
The only other possibility I can think of, but I think it's a long shot, is that after I got the endometriosis diagnosis I started taking continuous birth control. I wasn't on any birth control before, but I don't think this kind of fatigue could be a side effect.
I'm glad to hear you cut back on the iron. That and B vitamins can be very hard on the stomach, like you said.
I had endometriosis too when I was very young. It drained the life out of me.
You may have hit on some things here. Your blood sugar was higher than normal. If I were you I would get another test while fasting. Eating sugary foods is causing your sugar to spike then plummet.
Another thing is the birth control pills. I wonder if you switched if that would help?
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