First off kudos to you, the first step is admitting that something is wrong, I have delt with depression, not to the point that I have ever taken meds but it has gotten bad. I deal with mine by writing my feelings down on paper lol. I know that sounds weird but it helps me to just write.
You should contact your doctor and see what he or she reccommends for you. She/He may start out with some therapy first and go from there. But I don't know cause I am no doctor. Keep your head up and keep on fighting.
Good that you are reaching out with this issue. Too often, people suffer in silence! You don't have to!
From what I read depression is very common in a chronic illness such as MS. I tried lexapro shortly after I was dx to help with the overwhelming feelings I was experiencing. But I only stayed on a few months as I didn't like the side effects. Then I tried switching to Welbutrin, and only stayed on a few weeks as it made me VERY anxious and manic. Everyone responds differently though, and I am not one to like meds anyway.(for any reason!) I was also surprised at how my body reacted when I went off the anti - ds - It took a few weeks to feel like myself again - some very restless nights and feelings all over the place. For me, I don't think the meds are what I needed. I do better with exercise and writing and some counseling to manage my feelings re what is going on with me.
Depression is serious as it can affect your overall health, and should be discussed with your docs. Make sure you look at side effects of meds if you and your doc think you should go on something to help with how you are feeling. AND make sure you follow docs directions re taking the meds. If you want to change meds, go off etc, you can't just do it cold turkey. Even if you decide not to treat with meds, a discussion with your doc can help you sort out other options to help you deal with your feelings. Perhaps your doc could recommend a counselor. I don't think that people should be put on anti-ds without also having counseling. The combination is what is needed for someone who is clinically depressed.
Like everyone though, I think it's normal to have good and bad days. I think it depends on how much your depression is affecting your daily living as to whether or not you want to try some meds. Very important to have this discussion with your doctor and then with good information, you can make a decision as to what is best for you.
Take care and feel well.
I do not take an antidepressant because they do not work for me. I do go to counseling and have a Psychiatrist. I take things for sleep because my lack of sleep was causing me to be depressed. I could not have pulled myself out of mine on my own and recognized it.
Now I am happier than I have ever been in my life even with the diagnosis.
I don't think our paths have crossed yet so I just wanted to say Hi and jump straight in.
I have no medical background, but as a BACP accredited counsellor I have a little insight into depression, I have also suffered from it myself about 12 years ago and I think that the advice you have been given so far is spot on. (See GP, think about counselling and try writing your feelings down).
My personal experience of anti-depressants is as follows. I was put on them over ten years ago following a tragic family bereavement, the dx of my son with Aspergers Syndrome and a breast cancer scare. All came within 6 months and it was a tough time and I needed the help. Asking for it was the hardest step so you have already acknowledged this.
However once on the drugs, it was harder to get off them than I thought and I ended up being on and off them for over two years as I did not like being on them...but I needed the prop. I vowed I would never take them again....but earlier this year my Neurologist put me on a low dose of 10mg of Amitriptyline to help me sleep better. I reluctantly agreed and the benefit of that better quality sleep has helped me a great deal. I am not depressed and am happy being on this at the moment as I know it is for nerve pain/sleep rather than depression.
So I am wondering how you are sleeping as this is often one of the first indicators that someone is depressed and if you can get this under control, it helps you cope better with the every day challenges. When I was depressed I did not want to socialise or see too many people, but just wanted to be on my own. I had little energy for normal day tasks and I was exhausted all the time. Clinical depression often needs treating with anti-depressants...but and I give a big BUT here I would not advocate them before trying talking to someone, preferably a counsellor. There is a fine difference between feeling low and having bad days, to being depressed and your doctor is the one to help diagnose this.
Also I strongly beleive that if you can get outside in the fresh air, have a little winter sunshine this can also help raise your spirits a little...but it will not cure clinical depression.
Are you aware of what is making you feel so low? You mention that you are having trouble coping and I am wondering if there is anything in particular that you can identify?
If you would prefer not to go "public" I would be very happy to see if I can help you if you want to send me a PM.
Guess I'll chime in as a pro-anti-depressant voice. I had a serious episode of major depression about 10 years ago (coincidentally, around the same time that an optometrist asked me about my left eyelid drooping). It was frightening and I stopped functioning very well at all. I tried a few different kinds of anti-depressants, some of which were great and some of which were terrible. My advice is to see a psychiatrist who wants to see you frequently in the beginning. The first good shrink I saw wanted to see me once a week at first, then every other week, and decreasing on down. They really need that frequent face time to see how you are responding to meds. The bad psychiatrists that I have gone to write a prescription and then want to see you in a month, which is too long if you have a negative reaction to a med. (I had an extremely negative reaction to one med.)
I recently started taking them again, because I could feel it sneaking up on me again. Once you recognize the signs you can be a little more aggressive against depression. I was blindsided the first time, but that won't happen again.
It can absolutely be helpful to journal, exercise, be careful of your diet, etc. But if you are experience a severe episode, you may not be able to do any of those things. You may need the anti-depressants just to get to a place where you can do those things.
That's my experience/advice. Depression is real, but just as with MS you will get people who tell you to just cheer up or go for a walk or whatever and it will all be fine. Those are people who have never experienced major depression. Get the help you need with it, and stick with it. You can get over it, but it may take several meds and finding the correct cocktail/dose for you.
Hi. I have had depression off and on thruout my teen yrs and fell into a deep depression after my diagnosis with MS.
I couldn't stop crying for weeks, wouldn't answer the phone, leave the house and pretty much stopped eating or caring about life.
I had to call my neurologist to ask him for something. He was surprised that I hadn't called earlier. Even if it wasn't enough that we have been dx with a chronic disease, MS CAUSES depression.
I felt kinda embarrassed to admit to what was going on, but was put on Welbutrin and it seemed to help. I still have moments where I feel panicked and sad, but they don't last long. I hope you get some help with these feelings. Its aweful to go day to day feeling hopeless.