What is Depression?
Depression is a term commonly applied to a wide variety of emotional states ranging from feeling down for a few hours on a given day to severe clinical depression that may last for several months.
Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder can lead to depression. After becoming sick and not knowing what is wrong with us, we can feel a weight being lifted off of our shoulders when we get the correct diagnosis. After we get the diagnosis of MS or another autoimmune disorder, we can get depressed because of what we do and do not know about the disease and how it will affect our future. Depression can affect our daily activities and our relationships.
Studies have suggested that clinical depression—the most severe form—is more frequent among people with MS than it is in the general population or in many other chronic illnesses.
Depression is equally common in other immune-mediated, neuroinflammatory diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease) suggesting that inflammation is a contributing factor to depression in these conditions.
Read more about what you are to do when you are feeling depressed, by clicking here.
A discussion on depression for people living with MS with Tracy and Tom Kimball
How to Cope with Depression
There are a few things you can do when you have the blues and you need to get out of a funk. Looking at your overall health and how you can improve different areas may help.
- Exercise – Finding the right exercise for you can make all the difference. Discuss which type of exercise you should be doing with your doctor.
- Reduce your stress. I don’t care who you are, everyone has stress. There are many different ways to reduce your stress you need to decide how and when you are going to do it. Here are a few ideas:
- Take a bubble bath.
- Read a good book in a quite setting.
- Listen to soothing music.
- Stay in touch with your family and friends. You may need a Self-Care Saturday to reconnect.
- Stay connected with your doctors. Don’t miss your appointments and make sure to write down all of your questions before going to your appointment so you don’t forget anything.
- Recognize your feelings. Get a journal and keep track of how you are feeling. Track what triggers them and what helps relieve them.
20 Tips & Tricks to Tackle Depression in MS by
Dr. Aaron Boster
To learn more about depression and MS, the National MS Society has created this helpful brochure.