Ask an expert

30 Jul 2005

Depressed due to illness
I have had ME and fibromyalgia for almost 2 years now and I just can't seem to deal with it anymore. I try to be positive and have tried countless treatments but nothing has helped so far. I had to resign from my job and it seems like my life has no meaning anymore. I must be such a burden to my parents. I have started practising self mutilation and feel that I am ready to die but don't have the guts to kill myself. Please help, I am so afraid and don't know what to do, I would be so grateful for your advice.
Answer 359 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi karen,
Actually, the relationship between depression and physical illnesses is complex but highly significant. ( And, by the way, if you haven't acted on suicidal thoughts, that's due to good sense, not lack of guts ). Chronic pain, like other chronic symptoms, especially those that are hard to understand, obscure, and maybe hard to convince other people of how seriosuly they bother you, often are related to Depression. The pain and symptoms can cause depression, and vice versa, and the combination can put one into a spiral of feeling worse and worse. Depression is a highly effective amplifier of all one's symptoms.
Then the depression component of the illness complex, can make one feel hopeless ( even when there are good reasons to be hopeful ), and self-destructive. And one gets a sort of tunnel vision, focussing more and more on the most negative aspects of the situation, and less and less on anything else.
What you need to do is to break this negative spiral of symptoms and misery that have been oppressing you, and see a good local psychiatrist ( so he can understand the physical as well as the mental (depressive ) aspects of the problem, and let him assess your situation and advise on treatment. Be frank and tell him everything that is troubling you. And if he suggests trying antidepressants, do so, as quite apart from their capacity to lessen the depression that seems to be gripping you, they have, quite separately, a beneficial effect on chronic pain and related symptoms.
And keep in contact with the good people on this forum ( most are away for the weekend, but will return on Monday ) and keep us posted on your progress.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
34% - 9250 votes
66% - 17781 votes