Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Depression is the most common psychiatric disturbance to affect people with multiple sclerosis. Depression in people with multiple sclerosis is very high with approx. 50% of people developing the condition at some stage during the course of the illness.
Depression is not a weakness. It is an illness. It does not represent feeble-mindedness and obtaining treatment for depression should be the same as obtaining treatment for any other illness.
Many people who have multiple sclerosis have undergone the 'trial by fire' of attending the doctor whilst under the impression that the doctor thinks their illness is 'all in the head'.
Unfortunately, this can discourage people with multiple sclerosis, or people who think they may have multiple sclerosis and are undergoing investigations, from seeking treatment.
Depression is a symptom and is relatively easy to treat with antidepressants.
Depression in multiple sclerosis can be the result of several things.
It can be what's known as reactive depression, where it is a reaction to stressful and difficult life events, for example, developing a chronic illness.
It can also be the result of the disease process itself where demyelination of key areas of the central nervous system cause what is known as organic depression.
Depression may also develop as a side effect to certain drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis, therefore it is especially important to seek treatment if you are taking one of the multiple sclerosis drugs and develop the symptoms of depression.
- deep, crushing sadness
- loss of interest in daily activities such as personal grooming
- feelings of worthlessness
- feeling hopeless
- feelings of guilt
- feelings of despair
- outbursts of rage and anger
- sleep disturbances - insomnia or excessive sleeping not related to activity
- persistent nightmares
- thoughts of suicide or death
You do not have to have all of the above symptoms to be suffering from depression. It is possible to have only one or two. Remember, depression is easily treated.
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