Have you ever driven somewhere and it seems to always take longer to get somewhere than it does it get back? I feel like the opposite is true for me especially in terms of my chronic illness and healing journey. What’s even more astonishing to me is that I didnt even realize how far I had travelled away from my origin. It wasn’t until I started on my journey back that I began to notice that I was deep in the rabbit hole of depression.
I don’t think I’ll need to provide much evidence to convince you that many people with chronic illnesses develop depression. Most of these illnesses have large impacts on lifestyle and quality of life ripping away many if not all of your favorite things. Sadness and despair are surely understandably present. According to NIH people with chronic medical conditions have a higher risk of depression. In fact it’s estimated that ⅓ of folks with a chronic illness have symptoms of depression.
I mentioned that I had been stagnant in posting content because I felt off. In reality I was dealing with some slight depression. If I’m being honest with myself I go through a similar depression every year from Nov through Feb, long before my diagnosis. Having MG seems to have magnified it or given me the excuse to sink further into it.
Boom my birthday passed in Nov and I’m officially 30 and I feel like my life has not progressed beyond the 27 year old I was when I was diagnosed. In fact I feel as though in many areas I have regressed. The new year is coming around the corner and I see it as more of a marker of time slipping away from me and me not accomplishing the things I feel as though I should be accomplishing. During the holidays, what many deem to most wonderful time of the year I feel my most vulnerable and my most depressed.
But what does it all mean?
To be completely honest I have NO idea if there’s any way to prevent depression. Having an autoimmune disease opens you up to some many other diseases and syndromes. It takes a physical as well as a mental toll that many people tend to overlook.
I do recommend going to see a licensed therapist. Mental health is a real thing and I for one am not here to play around with it. You turn on the new everyday and see more and more people who have taken their own lives because of depression. So this is a serious epidemic.
In terms of treatment, I do have reservations when it comes to doctors who will quickly prescribe medications to help with depression. I mean I’m already taking a boat load of meds for my MG and adding to the mix is NOT in my plan. Not to mention those side effects and– I digress that’s another blog post all together. For now I want us all to do what’s right for us. If you aren’t ready to talk to a professional maybe hit up a friend and vent. I can’t tell you how much better I feel being able to release my thoughts from time to time.
Mostly I’m just happy that February is around the corner and my winter funk may soon be over. But I really want to figure out a way to beat this depression once and for all.