Multiple sclerosis, is a degenerative disorder and it is long-lasting. The disease destroys the protective coating around nerves that helps the brain send signals.
This destruction affects the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in the eyes. It thus cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions. Early MS symptoms include weakness, tingling, numbness, and blurred vision. Other later signs are muscle stiffness, thinking problems, and urinary problems.
The effects are often different for everyone who has the disease. Some people have mild symptoms and don’t need treatment. Others will have trouble getting around and doing daily tasks.
The Link Between Multiple Sclerosis and Depression
Depression In Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis itself might cause depression. Apart from the fact that the disease may destroy the protective coating around nerves that helps the brain send signals that affect mood, the condition itself can be depressing. Mood instability, problems with vision and muscle control can have negative effects on mentality, self worth among others.
When you’re managing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), it’s natural that you might find there are times you feel down. If you notice you’re getting depressed, let your doctor know. He’ll help you get the support and treatment you need to get back on track.
Anyone dealing with too much stress or a tough situation might have depression. So it’s easy to understand how the long-term physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis can bring on changes in your mood.
Effects of Medications Used To Treat Multiple Sclerosis
Some of the drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis can also cause symptoms of depression as a side effect. Examples of such medications include steroids and interferon.
Multiple Sclerosis And Depression– Symptoms
People coping with multiple sclerosis might experience symptoms of depression too. They may get sad or irritable, lose energy, and stop enjoying things that you used to love. They might also feel hopeless or worthless.
Some other symptoms they may have are:
- Trouble concentrating
- Uncontrollable crying
- Hard time making decisions
- Urge to sleep a lot
- Trouble falling or staying asleep at night
- Aches and pains you can’t explain
- Upset stomach and digestive problems
- Low sex drive or other sexual problems
- Change in appetite that causes weight loss or gain
Some people who are depressed may have thoughts of death or suicide, or even attempt suicide.
When to Get Help
Ask your doctor for help if your sadness is making your life worse, like causing trouble with relationships, work issues, or family disputes — and there isn’t a clear solution to these problems.
If you have thoughts about suicide, get medical help right away.
Where Can You Get Help for Depression?
Once you decide it’s time to get treatment, start with your primary care doctor. He can talk with you about how you feel and make sure that medicines you take or another health problem aren’t causing your symptoms.
Your doctor may prescribe treatment or refer you to a mental health care professional, who can look at your symptoms and recommend ways to treat them.
The first step in getting the right treatment is to recognize that you’re depressed. The next is to seek help. These things may be the hardest part of the entire process. But once you connect with a doctor, there are many ways to help you get better.
Antidepressant drugs may be an option, but you’ll need to use them only as your doctor prescribes. They usually work best when you take them along with psychotherapy, or talk therapy. In this kind of treatment, you talk to a mental health care professional, who can help you work through the things that may trigger your depression.
Warning Signs of Suicide
If you or someone you know has any of these signs, contact a mental health professional or go to the emergency room right away:
- Talk about killing yourself
- Always talk or think about death
- Make comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- Say things like, “It would be better if I weren’t here” or “I want out”
- Depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse
- Sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or acting happy
- Take risks that could be deadly, like driving through red lights
- Lose interest in things you used to care about
- Put affairs in order or change a will
You can also have feelings of depression if you have multiple sclerosis. Whatever the symptoms you are feeling, it is better you consult your doctor for advice and recommendations . If you experience warning signs of suicide, get help immediately.