Depression...how do y'all handle it?

First, hello everyone. Thank’s for the warm welcome. A little info about me…I’ve had P and PsA for about 12 years now. Started with Enbrel, next was remicade, then humira and now back to remicade. Major joint damage to 7 fingers and starting in both thumbs plus damage to 4 toes all while on 4 week intervals of remicade. Disabled since 2007. During all this though I’ve been able to stay pretty upbeat and positive for the most part. But I’m experiencing some depression and don’t know what to do? I’ve lost interest in reading because I can’t focus. I want to sleep ALL the time because it’s the only time I’m ever truly comfortable. I’ve withdrawn from my family and friends. I’ve only been out of the house twice in a year, other than to go to the doctor. I find myself needing their help and being angry because of it. I find myself in tears all the time. I told my doctor and she prescribed an anti depressant but I can’t take it because of the way it makes me feel. It was the lowest dose and very mild. She said if I couldn’t tolerate that one there was no sense in prescribing another as my body was to sensitive and not tolerate of the meds. I don’t know what to do. I journal a lot but somedays there’s not enough positive self talk to help me. So I sleep and eat, then sleep some more. Then try to find the strength and energy to get out of bed. Somedays brushing my teeth feels like such a monumental task and way out of my skill range, lol. Its my nature to deal with my problems by using humor but I’m losing the ability to laugh. Thank y’all for listening and any suggestions you might have.

I have depression. Medication and counseling are the only things I know that work. I had to try a number of medications to find one that worked. I am also sensitive and had to start at 1/4 dose for 2 weeks then 1/2 dose for 2 weeks.....most people are able to start at 1/2 dose for 1 week then increase to full dose but not me. The whole time I was titrating up on medication I was getting weekly counseling with a therapist I liked which took a few tries to find. In the mean time I had a set of challanges to accomplish that also titrated up. I had to be out of bed 1/2 day and outside for fresh air and sunshine for 1/2 hour a day and titrated up. I alos listed challenges for myself with healthy food and exercise. I had a new baby when it happened to me and I had challenges for myself around that also. I wish I could say I had the support of my husband but I did not and he is now my ex-husband and my family was not supportive either but my son is now in college and I have remarried. But when I think of all the life you will miss if you don't start on your recovery it makes me sad. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And sometimes that is a big challenge to those of us with PsA. I am sending you warm hugs and prayers.

Hi Angie. I wholeheartly agree with Michael…small changes small steps…depression is so hard to climb out of and can only be done a little at a time. Can your rheumatologist help with depression meds? I was on one called citalopram and I found it greatly helped along with counselling. There a lot of useful anti depression meds out there and I think stopping at one isn’t helpful for you.
Counselling gave me the tools to help with my situation at the time. Simple things that made sense to me and were tailored for me.
I generally cope quite well mentally with PsA and believe it was the counselling tools taught to me then that provided me with a way to cope now.

I totally agree! Depression needs the combination of medication and therapy. Here are some other tips for you that might help.

Write a least of 20 or more things down that make you feel good. It could be a bubble bath, a favourite piece of music or coffee with a friend. Do not include anything that relates to a spending spree, illegal drugs or alcohol. Refer to this list and do at least three every day. Try one each morning, noon and night.

It is also important to also include some physical activity. Start with a short walk and build up gradually. Sex is a good physical activity if your up to that and have a partner. Laughter is one of the best medicines so watch comedies, tell jokes play games even board games.

Phyical activity and laughter get the bodies endorphins working which is what helps us feel good. Fresh air and sunshine are also important and so is eating properly.

Another tip is to get some stickers something you like, it could be dophins or fairies or even red dots it doesn't matter and stick them around the house on the fridge, a mirror your PC anyplace that you look at and every time you see the sticker tell yourself something good about yourself and sometimes that can be hard to even think of something so start with basics lie "I have nice hair or I am a caring person then a positive like "I can do this or this is one step up and out of my hole" Even if you don't believe it right now - fake it until you make it.

I do hope this helps, there is no charge for this consultation. Just strings attached that if this works for you to pass this on to someone elso one day who might need a few tips to help them overcome their depression..

Bella, those are really good tips, I love the one about doing things you enjoy…my therapist once asked me ‘what was your hearts desire at the age of 9?’ The idea was to help that little girl who had suffered. ‘A horse’ I replied ‘all I wanted was a horse’. So I started visiting horses…there was a trainers stables fairly near with a public footpath which led through one of their fields. They were cheeky and nosey and would snuffle my pockets…it gave me the first feelings of comfort and well being I had had in a long time.
I still visit my horsey friends sometimes and love to be amoungst them.
I still do at least one thing a day that brings me joy and that is just for me, even if its just driving with my music on loud and me singing at the top of my voice…it gives me joy :slight_smile: