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Sorry if this is old news to many, but could use some tips.

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  • Sorry if this is old news to many, but could use some tips.

    Hi Misfits!
    Again, I’m new to all of this, and I’m so happy to be better enough to start exercising again on a daily basis!! I’m on Copaxone, which is helping me physically, but getting pretty weird depression. Doc says it’s the MS, but I never felt like this before, and I’ve probably had MS for decades, just always misdiagnosed. Anyone else have this experience? Other than trying to distract myself by any means from going down that pit, does anyone have feedback or tips on how to overcome the beast of depression? It doesn’t suit me well lol! Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Hi, I have never taken copaxone but I do understand the depression, I read somewhere that ms has one of the highest suicide rates of all chronic illnesses. It is really easy to get down about our situation. All I can say is "you're not alone". I was always amazed to find how common ms is. Find something that makes you happy- and do just that. Forget trying to please everyone else. For me taking my dog for a walk (or limp ) through the woods is a huge destressor. Exercise is great for stress relief. Find someone to talk to that will listen. A good support network goes a long way... come here if you to us... we get it too. Self care is especially important for us. Turns out I had lots to say. But I feel it too, when those feelings are coming in... I do my best to push them out... think about all I have to be grateful for. Stay strong- you've got this


    • #3
      Ohhh... and you don't have anything to be sorry about


      • #4
        Thank you so much for the reply Drillerdou! You got me crying again lol! That’s why I came to the board. I needed to reach out. Thank you again. It’s sad to hear that MS has a high suicide rate. I know the meds are affecting me emotionally, but they are helping me physically so much, I need to push through it and keep distracted. Praying it all evens out over time.


        • #5
          You are not alone RBW! Drillerdou put it all very well. I too find walks in woods with my dog centering. For me personally, anxiety overcomes me and manifests in chronic worrying/ ruminating. Not a healthy coping mechanism! There are so called “cognitive behavioral” techniques one can use to help. This doesn’t discount or minimize living with MS, but it helps with having a better perception of situation. “Being able to let go of unhealthy thoughts frees us up to consider other healthier and more factual alternatives, which lead to an improved experience and less intense uncomfortable emotions”. It isn’t easy to find a therapist that has experience living with MS or another chronic illness, but some psychologists practice CBT (instead of “talk therapy”) and I personally found CBT therapy the most helpful to allievate my anxiety. Psychologists using CBT will list it as offered service. Also, for me personally, I found I needed to take an antidepressant that specifically helps anxiety/ ruminating.
          Anxiety can be a challenge, but you have steps to work through it. CBT can change your negative thought patterns to have a positive impact.


          • #6
            Also, I think Dr. Kristen Neff’s techniques on self compassion are very helpful to any pwms. Sending Lots of good vibes your way


            • #7
              Thank you Suebee. I appreciate the tips and link!

              It’s all so weird, because I’ve been through so much for years and years, and this particular feeling I know is from the medication. It wasn’t there, started generic, was very weepy for 2 months, doc took me off the generic, waterworks stopped cold, but MS symptoms came intensely, started name brand, less weepy, but depressed, and MS physical symptoms much improved. I’m noticing, if I keep myself engaged and distracted, I do better. I’m praying it just evens out over time too.

              Some people are having a hard time dealing with changes in my personality and my brain fog/word slips. I’ve already lost a friend. That was fast! It’s nice to have people to talk to that understand.

              Going for a walk in the woods is a challenge, but I am working on that. Tried it with my new Veloped, but the rollator is too heavy and difficult to really get over all the rocks on a skinny path. I’m going to try it again on a fire road trail


              • #8
                I was on copaxone for almost 5 years, did not experience depression, but before that I was on Avonex briefly, and in hindsight this drug caused a depression.

                I have also experienced depression/low mood - crying spells. Saw a counselor. She recommeneded 2 books that helped me immensely.

                "MS and Your Feelings" by Allison Shadday


                "Full Catashrophe Living" by Jon-Kabat Zinn - midnfulness and acceptance

                Staying active has also been a great mood stabilizer for me. Walking the dogs, then got back into horseback riding, cycling, and kayaking.

                Callenge life before life challenges you - from inside collar of my "Bike Off More Than You Chew" bike jersey


                • #9
                  It is amazing to me that you are able to do all of that cI3me. I’ve had 3 neck surgeries because the MS dx was missed for so long. That didn’t stop me from hiking though. I’d just use the neck brace and my legs were fine until this recent, intense relapse. I push through, got the Veloped and went hiking once so far. It was so nice to be back in the woods. I fell once, but didn’t break anything this time lol!! Just got covered in ants .

                  I was just discussing “mindfulness” with my friend the other night. Thank you for the resources. The depression is much better this week. I guess some of it is an adjustment to the meds and the living with realization. Wish the docs could have figured this out 20 years ago. Better late than never I guess.


                  • #10
                    Hey all above. Just wanted to let you know that the terrible depression I had disappeared after about 10 days. It’s completely gone now. So strange. Working on getting symptom management for gut spasms and building up strength again in my legs. Saw the neuro optometrist last week. Getting special glasses that actually help with balance and vertigo. I’ll let you all know how well they work after I get them.