Depression and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have a complicated but often deep relationship and most of the time it is hard to determine which causes which. If a patient has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, it is quite likely that they will be affected by depression at one point or another. This depression can be mild, something treated by a change in lifestyle with some therapy or it can be severe requiring medical intervention.
Sometimes, patients with MS can be afflicted by depression for months at an end and this can be seriously dangerous for their disease because it can aggravate the symptoms of MS and it can increase the chances and frequencies of getting an MS relapse. Multiple Sclerosis is best dealt with when you are able to get a control over your life and depression does not allow you to do that which is why it is very important to go to all lengths possible to treat your depression.
Depression is not just caused because the person is upset that they have a disease that has no known cure but actually nerves get damaged so does their ability to affect the mood of the person. In fact, many times it is not the diagnosis of MS that produces depression in people, rather the side effects of some medications to treat MS symptoms may cause depression as well. This is why it is also important to be able to identify the cause of depression so you can deal with it accordingly.
At times it will become hard for the patient to identify whether or not they have depression. Following are some of the symptoms that indicate depression:
• Feeling hopeless, worthless or sad with any reason
• Loss of energy
• Inability to concentrate
• Strong desire to cry
• Digestive problems including stomach-ache
• Significant increase or decrease of appetite
• Suicidal thoughts
• Decrease in sex drive and sexual problems
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Inability to make decisions
• Headache and other unexplainable aches
• Loss of enjoyment
The first person you should go to if you feel you might have depression is your primary doctor as he or she will be able to help identify the level of depression and its cause. You may also be referred to a psychologist or a therapist for further help. Do not hesitate to seek this help because treating depression also means you will be treating many of the symptoms associated with MS.
For many people, accepting that they have depression is very difficult as they just don’t want to face up to their problems. But the truth is that true acceptance is the first stage of the treatment process. The second difficult step is to actually start your treatment process with a heath care expert or a psychologist with full cooperation. In fact, the more cooperative and understanding you are, the faster you will recover from depression. Do not take any anti-depressants or medication without your doctor or health-care expert’s prescription. Lastly but most importantly, make sure you seek this treatment before your depression aggravates and makes Multiple Sclerosis an uncontrollable problem.