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Depression as a result of physical illness.

J

James Buchanan

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Jul 25, 2008
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52
Hello everyone!

Am new here, looking for a bit of advice and I promise to keep my story short!

Five years ago I suffered from a bad case of glandular fever, which left me completely depressed and exhausted for around a year before any considerable recovery was made. I also suffered from a debilitating anxiety at the start of my physical recovery, this, and the associated depression was relieved quite successfully with counselling, escitalopram and eventually exercise. The depression was, at first, excruciating. That's the best way I can describe it.

Around six months ago I started to experience tremendous discomfort in my stomach, acid reflux and a sharp pain in my upper abdomen. This has been put down to stress (I've had an upper endoscopy to rule out any other causes). Unfortunately it seems this stress has led to a relapse in glandular fever. Im tired, I ache and I'm weak, and now the almost inevitable has happened....I'm depressed! Have been on Citalopram (10mg) for only two days but to be honest am finding coping with the physical and mental state I'm in almsot overwhelming.

Will the tablets work? What If they don't? What if it's not GF what if it's something worse? Will I EVER recover? A whirwind of thoughts cascading in my head and I can't seem to break the cycle, yet deep down I'm completely aware of their irrationality.

Basically I'm just after some help, would be great if anyone can offer some guidance in regards to coping with physical problems and resulting depression but any help in general very greatly appreciated!

Thankyou!
 
j_lol

j_lol

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I cant offer you any advice I'm afraid but I was very interested to read your post. I suffered depressive episodes in my teens but was largely recovered from this and pretty stable. about a year and a half ago I had glandular fever and have not been the same since. My depression went deeper and deeper until I became very distressed.

I often wondered if there was a connection so I was interested to see that you experienced something similar.

welcome to the forum James :)
 
J

James Buchanan

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Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
52
Thanks for the welcome!

According to my doctor, and many other people I know who've suffered with GF there does seem to be a link with depression. Not for everyone of course but the link is there. In the 5 years since the first time I had it I definitely haven't felt the same. More likely to become stressed, withdrawn and often an aversion to social situations being the most noticable. It's an interesting illness, unfortunately, as with M.E, there doesn't seem to be much research into it and it's effects compared with other, admittedly, more serious illnesses.

Now I've gone and got it again! Aghh!
 
J

James Buchanan

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Jul 25, 2008
Messages
52
Thats me! :unsure:
I've always been relatively shy and timid, but after GF mine was much worse, especially in regards to too many people, clubs etc. I'm not sure if it was because mine was a bad case or what. Obviously I have no idea what causes yours and am not in anyway an expert on GF!

For the last 5 years on and off I've experienced most of the below list, it's from a GF help/advice type site. I can't stand noise or people now I've had it!

Chronic and on-going glandular fever symptoms / problems:


fatigue not satisfied by sleep.
recurrent tonsillitis
chronic sore throat and swollen lymp glands in the neck.
aches and pains in the limbs.
brain fag - not being able to find the right words.
lack of concentration
depression (feeling very low)
deep lethargy
not being able to stand lots of noise, people or strong smells (perfume, cleaning materials etc.) .
pins and needles
not feeling all there
 
j_lol

j_lol

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108
As well as depression lethergy etc I can certainly identify with the not being able to cope with loud noises, strong smells etc. Loud noises are physically painful to me now. Stick me in a nightclub and I would not know what to do, all that noise and lots of people. I have to keep away from large groups now because I find crowds of people very stressful.

I wonder if depression following illnesses like GF is the same as the depression we may have experienced in the past? I too am taking Citalopram now after keeping away from meds for as long as I could. I feel controlled by them in the sense that it takes a lot to make me panic now but doesnt stop it completely, but they are not making me feel any less depressed. I am recieving CBT and although I am learning a lot and making a lot of changes to my outlook, again, the black dog is always watching me.

I will be interested to find out how you get on with the citalopram. To be honest I wish now that I hadn't given in and accepted them. I hope it is a different story for you though. :hug:
 
Fedup

Fedup

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Dec 18, 2007
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1,937
I've always been relatively shy and timid, but after GF mine was much worse, especially in regards to too many people, clubs etc. I'm not sure if it was because mine was a bad case or what. Obviously I have no idea what causes yours and am not in anyway an expert on GF!

For the last 5 years on and off I've experienced most of the below list, it's from a GF help/advice type site. I can't stand noise or people now I've had it!

Chronic and on-going glandular fever symptoms / problems:


fatigue not satisfied by sleep.
recurrent tonsillitis
chronic sore throat and swollen lymp glands in the neck.
aches and pains in the limbs.
brain fag - not being able to find the right words.
lack of concentration
depression (feeling very low)
deep lethargy
not being able to stand lots of noise, people or strong smells (perfume, cleaning materials etc.) .
pins and needles
not feeling all there
MMMMMMMMM intresting....... the only thing i cannot relate to in the above is ......... recurrent tonsillitis, sore throat & swollen lymp glands & the strong smells.

 
J

James Buchanan

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Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
52
Hmmm, interesting stuff. I think it is a different depression, for all the people I've spoken to in the past it seems to have the same characteristics as I mentioned before.

Thanks will keep you updated with the Citalopram! Fingers crossed I suppose!

Does the fact that you panic less not help in your depression? I found once my anxiety had gone completely (the first time around) I initially was more aware of my depression as I wasn't focusing on the anxiety. For a while it seemed alot worse.
 
j_lol

j_lol

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108
Hmmm, interesting stuff. I think it is a different depression, for all the people I've spoken to in the past it seems to have the same characteristics as I mentioned before.

Thanks will keep you updated with the Citalopram! Fingers crossed I suppose!

Does the fact that you panic less not help in your depression? I found once my anxiety had gone completely (the first time around) I initially was more aware of my depression as I wasn't focusing on the anxiety. For a while it seemed alot worse.
I just feel that I have no outlet now. It takes a lot to induce an 'episode' now and they are far rarer than they were, almost daily at one point. But I just feel that I have a lot of pent up emotion that I am not releasing. I guess I need to learn to release it in a more healthy way but so far I havn't found one. Any suggestions welcome!
 
J

James Buchanan

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Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
52
I just feel that I have no outlet now. It takes a lot to induce an 'episode' now and they are far rarer than they were, almost daily at one point. But I just feel that I have a lot of pent up emotion that I am not releasing. I guess I need to learn to release it in a more healthy way but so far I havn't found one. Any suggestions welcome!
I either wait to everyone's out and scream at the top of my voice, or go for a drive and do it in the car. Doesn't really bother me if people happen to see and think it's weird, it helps!
 
D

Dollit

Guest
I've never had glandular fever but identify with all your symptoms at one time or another and often all together. I had my tonsils out 10 years ago as I had permanent tonsillitis and rarely get swollen glands as a result. But I do have the other things on your list especially when under stress. I'm told the smell thing is a neurotic response. Fine I can live with that but it gets unbearable sometimes.

I get very sensitive to noise under stress, especially when depressed, which I find really hard as I play music all day every day when I'm well and I really miss it.

Stress does lower the efficacy of the immune system so it's not surprising that one follows the other.

As for the pills - 2 days isn't that long. Keep trying them and some people hit the right medication straight away.

Keep posting.
 
J

James Buchanan

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Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
52
Thanks for the reply, yeah I know 2 days isn't long enough, I guess I just need help waiting for them to "kick in" as it were!

I'd always associated the noise/smells/too many people thing with simply being depressed/stressed, but was recently told it may be a direct result of GF.

Not being able to listen to music is annoying isn't it? I love music and usually when I'm down it's one of the things that would be great to cheer me up/focus my mind on but it ends up stressing me out!!
 
D

Dollit

Guest
I think as a lot of the symptoms cross from GF to depression to stress the best thing is to concentrate on alleviating the symptoms as opposed to trying to find out where they come from. Tackles the problem from the other end. Once I started doing this I stopped fighting the diagnosis and was able to tackle the illness. It's good to question but, personally, sometimes I question too much.
 
J

James Buchanan

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Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
52
Good advice, thanks. I think and question way way too much!
 
j_lol

j_lol

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May 31, 2008
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108
me too....maybe thats a symptom!!:p
 
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