Depression manifests in many insideous ways and I have been in the midst of an episode and not recognized it as such till some time later. For example,I I blamed RA pain and fatigue on a 6 month episode of staying up half the night and sleeping most of the day. I justified it with thinking I was doing something I enjoyed. I love to crazy quilt and learn new stitches to embellish seams. However, I rarely left my sewing room, became very sedentary and didn't have the energy to do some of the other things I enjoy outside. I was even considering divorcing my husband. I love to photograph the beautiful area where I live and hang with my friends at church. I love horseback riding too but no longer have the free access to horses that I had for several years. I've no doubt that the drastic change of lifestyle when the horses were gone had everything to do with the depression that enveloped me. My life gets messy with other issues like too. I struggle with pain and fatigue, finances, family issues and the regular old day to day stuff. I don't always recognize depression creeping up on me, but am getting better at seeing it for what it is and employing measures to keep it at bay. I take an antidepressant, methotrexate, prednisone, thyroid med and my supplements. Gabapentin helps me sleep at night and I take an opioid if I'm going to be extra "active". I wear a knee brace on my poor overused right knee, I use a walker, a cane and whatever it takes to get a move on. I don't ignore the fact that I have RA, post polio, severe scoliosis, deformed hands, etc. But they do not define me or keep me from getting outside of myself. And as important as all the meds and assistive devices are my friends. I have amazing friends! Not a lot of friends, but a few who understand and are willing to go the extra 10 miles it takes to have me along for the ride. I have a loving family as well. And 2 cats and a dog. I'm telling ya, this messy, pain fllled life of mine is GOOD but I have to fight emotionally and physically, for every last bit of mobility and independence I have. I will now carefully and slowly get down off my soap box!
depression---big time........adjusting to limits in life as they present themselves......example---i noticed that my shoulders no longer were happy when i reached for drinking glasses in a certain cabinet----so, i moved them to a more comfortable place. things like that gives me a sense of control over stuff and also helps with the discomfort of the disease. also music- - and a light therapy lamp (helps with long cloudy days of winter) and i take Lexapro faithfully.....
I find it helps to move if at all possible. Yesterday was a cool day in North Carolina and all I wanted to do was curl up in my recliner and read my book. Mornings are the worst for me in the way of stiffness. My husband is my biggest supporter and cheer leader. He encouraged me to get up and go for a ride in the country. We just road on beautiful country roads and visited a primitive antique Christmas open house and ate a late lunch at a nice restaurant. Sure enough, by the time we got home I was feeling much better and the pain and stiffness was at a tolerable level. I went to church this morning and enjoyed a nice service among friends. I am so thankful for a husband that does everything he can to make life easier for me and does it without any complaints. There are days it would be easy to get down and say, "why me" but I don't have to look forward to see others worse off than me. I am a practicing Christian and my Faith in God sees me through the rough days - His Peace passes all understanding.
Yes, however, I don't take any meds for it. I used to take meds for it but it just costs too much. I can't afford it over and above the expense of all the other meds. We pay thousands of rands monthly out of our own pocket as the medical aid doesn't cover all the costs for my RA treatments. I just try keeping myself busy with things I enjoy doing like pottery, painting pictures, writing stories about my childhood and funny family stories. These are things I can pass on to my children one day. My RA hands dont always co-operate, however, I then do something else like reading.
Love pottery in particular and it helps keep my fingers from seizing up and I loose myself in it which takes my mind off of the pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
Big gentle hugs.