Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Feeling poorly with depressive illness.

Depression, bipolar, , PMDD or indeed any emotional conditional will always give rise to various illness which can often be debilitating and severe enough for the sufferer to need extra support from their medical services. So many sufferers come to me and say that they have various aches and pains, and all manner of physical afflictions which go hand in hand with their depressive condition,  whether its hormonal or otherwise.

Sometimes, when I was suffering myself, I seemed to spend so much time in the GPs office, I started to wonder if she thought I was neurotic or even delusional, even though I quite often had tonsillitis or worse, the dreaded shingles. I also suffered from excruciating lower back pain and my legs felt so heavy that I often wished I could chop them off and pop them in the corner of the room to give me a break from the pains in them!!!

It seems to be that a general cycle of ill health is part of the depression and even a symptom of it, and even though there are too many to mention in one blog, I have noticed a few that surface themselves more than others. They would include migraines, flu-like symptoms, swollen joints and burning tongue syndrome. It can also bring about food sensitivities and allergies along with a mind numbing lethargy which was one of my most disturbing symptoms. The subsequent lowered immunity can unfortunately last for some years, and quite often longer than the illness itself, as the body remains in fight-mode and desperately tries to recover.

In all honesty, I don't know why we have to be so poorly with emotional illnesses, its almost too much to bare being so physically unwell when you have so much to put up with. As if things couldn't be any worse! I remember a really nice doctor who explained that  because your body is spilling out cortisol (which is a stress hormone) it is that chemical reaction in particular that can make one feel extremely unwell. It is imperative then that when you are having an episode, to find a way to relax, stay calm and practise deep breathing.

My relaxation of choice is the sauna and steam bath which has the added bonus of regulating your hormones, boosting the immune system and detoxifying the system. Some people like yoga, whilst some people use meditation, and really it is up to you decide on your own strategy for counteracting the effects of stress hormones and what they can do to your body. Once you have found your individual way of relaxation, you need to practise it regularly to assist your body in recovery even though modern life has many time restraints.

Another thing, when I was poorly I found that some GPs were more helpful than others. Some unfortunately were very dismissive of my situation and even questioned my diagnoses which did little to help. As well as your relaxation techniques which will help your body into recovery, you will need the assistance of a kind, caring and understanding doctor who you can see on a regular basis to help you cope with this physical element to your illness. If you find your doctor is unsympathetic,or patronising even,don't try to argue the point. Do the simplest and kindest thing you can do for yourself and that is, FIND ANOTHER ONE there are many out there that can help and have possibly even suffered themselves.

Stay well. Peace and love

Suzi x

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing this Suzi. I have PMDD which is now managed with Prostrap. I'm really interested about the length of time that the heaviness in the legs can continue. Mine had now been in my arms and legs for about 3 years. I can barely climb the stairs some days. I notice a direct worsening of symptoms in the days my adopted 7 year old is very challenging so I know stress and anger plays a part. I've been talking to the GP about a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue brought on by adrenal exhaustion. With PMDD and a suspected diagnosis of coeliac disease I never know what to attribute my symptoms to. I'm at a loss to work out how to recover from this. I'm hoping to have a hysterectomy as I can't stay on Prostrap forever but I'm concerned about the impact of the surgery and anaesthetic with these symptoms. I feel like I'm chasing my tail. I've had anaemia and a vitamin D deficiency which seemed to be the trigger but trying to get a GP to actually be interested in working out what's wrong is nigh on impossible. Xx