For the last 3-4 weeks I have really been struggling with deep depression, crying, not eating, & excessive sleeping. I was diagnosed with RA about 2 years ago & presently taking methotrexate & prednisone. My question is, should I discuss my problems with my RA specialist or go to my family doctor. I just cannot deal with this depression much longer. My husband & others tell me to shake it off, but it's not that easy. Any recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
@A myRAteam Member I was referred to another dr who was a psychologist or psychiatrist; can't remember which, but I tried about 5 different meds for 3 weeks each until I got to effexor xr. Started with small dose then larger. I had originally thought this period in my life was the mid life crisis all women go through. But I was also battling personal problems that were genuinely difficult. I had had ra since I was 14 yrs old. However I began to have extreme fatigue and body pain in my late 30s. I just could not overcome this. I too had been on methatrexate and prednisone plus Humira and Celebrex as a treatment for my ra. Then the non stop crying during my personal problems. You could look at me and I would cry uncontrollably. After being on the effexor about 6 wks this stopped. My life is calm now and I am 65 so we cut my dosage back with no problem. I am still on the same ra drugs. A family dr is not educated enough to deal with this. A rheumatologist will recognize this and refer you. It isn't your fault dear. And it isn't something you can shake off. When I was told I had fibromyalgia I got everything I could find on it at the time, which was very little. Some believed it was a dietary problem. I did not. It has only been accepted as a legitimate condition in the last 10 years. I take Lyrica for the fibromyalgia. The depression is a separate condition. Could be from chronic illness or from a malfunction in the brain. I do not know. What I do know is that it isn't your fault. It can not be shaken off. We do not choose this. I wish you the best. Be patient with your diagnostic process to get the right medicine. I also saw a counselor for many years just to help me deal with others. You often see a quote on line asking not to be judged by things on the outside because the real pain is inside. When it becomes more than you can bear reach out to your group. We understand it all too well. Sending you soft gentle hugs! xxx
I too went through the anguish and depression that you refer to and for about a year I would cry in private (mostly in the shower) every single night. The fact that I didn't know what was going on with my body and why I hurt so bad but all of my blood work came back negative for RA only added to my frustration at the depression and helplessness I felt! Luckily for me my PCP decided to refer me to a Rheumatologist inspite of the results of the tests. The Rheumatologist diagnosed me with the disease and started me on meds that helped right now and I'm still taking the one that has been a 'lifesaver' as far as my depression goes, & that one is CYMBALTA ! I'm taking the generic drug which is much cheaper and it is called DULOXITINE. I don't have any side effects other than pain relief for a lot of my joints. As it turns out, that was the original intent of the drug. Talk to both of your MD's and don't give up until you have been given the opportunity to at least try the above drug or something else like it that will bring you back to being the best you that you can be. I'm proof that being determined to get back to being me works....don't ever let anyone tell you that it's all in your head and to just get over it.......they have no idea what you're going through. Good luck with your quest for help!! 🤗
Hi! I'm having the same depression issues. My rheumatologist and general practioner are away and I also have a psychologist and a psychiatrist to help. I know families mean well, but I find professionals and sites like these the best for validation and discussion. I hope this helps. :)
It's tough having RA. I would suggest asking both your RA specialist and your family doctor. If you're not satisfied with their answers, continue looking. You can't just shake it off. I wish it was that easy. I look for answers on the Internet, library, etc. I made a playlist of songs that make me happy. Sometimes listening to or watching comedy helps. Prayer helps if you are religious. Take it easy on yourself. Hang in there. Please remember that you're not alone! I'll pray for you!
I suggest you find a therapist who is connected to a psychiatrist, or talk your family doctor and ask for a good therapist they might suggest that they can work with. in my opinion depression is best tackled with both talk and drug therapy. Your family doctor can do the drug portion but talk therapy is is done with a therapist.
I have done a combination of both for many years. It is not uncommon with chronic issues to find depression as part of equation and RA is no different. Lets face it life with RA is way beyond fair. This is not a character fault or failure. It shows we are human. We are human most of all.
best and please take care. You are worth it
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