Depression the hidden side of MS

Depression the hidden side of MS

MS missing the simple things

I have received a great deal of comments about depression, which has got me thinking… There is a definite stigma attached to depression and I believe that we do not talk about the subject as much as we should and hopefully the more we discuss the topic, the more understanding people in general will have.

Depression affects people in so many different ways, and in varying levels; however when you are dealing with a debilitating condition (such as MS) and are unfortunate enough to be hit with a bout of depression as well… dealing with everyday issues becomes that much more difficult.

I know everyone can have bad days from time to time and these bad days can be triggered by a number of things: A bad nights sleep, arguments, the weather, and so it goes on, but depression when you have MS as well it can be a completely different thing, I can only talk about how I am effected by Depression with MS (Every one feels the effects in different ways) but I would like to tell you all about a few of the simple things that affect my days.  The hidden side effects of MS / depression are things that the average person sometimes take for granted and maybe don’t fully understand how having MS and depression is quite a different “kettle of fish”.

Some very well-meaning people say to me – ” you could help do something surely” !  But no i can’t ,not like I use to anyway.  I can’t use my left hand, let along get close enough to the work tops or cooker, that certainly depresses the hell out of me.

My depression hits hardest when I think of what I have lost and when I think about things that I can no longer do.

As I said it can be the simplest little things like the following…

  • Lighting a candle: If I want to light the scented candle which is on the coffee table, I can’t get over there or hold my hand steady enough to light it.
  • Dropping something: It could be dropping a tissue on the floor but my grab stick doesn’t reach,
  • Cooking or preparing meals: not being able to cook or prepare food any longer (I use to cook and experiment a lot) I have over 300 cookery books and God knows how many herbs and different spices, pulses, grains, and pastas
  • Dusting and general cleaning: I never expected I would miss cleaning and washing but I do, I hate the fact that I see things at the level I do in my wheelchair I want to get at and clean, behind and under things, things I don’t want to mention to my husband that he’s missed.
  • Laundry and hanging the sheets out in the lovely fresh air. Being in a wheel chair makes simple tasks like doing the laundry and then pegging it out on the line pretty difficult if not impossible.
  • Dressing myself without help & having a shower without help watching my husband do everything for me. I know when you get married you say in sickness and in health, but I never expected the man I love would have to become my carer… that depresses me.
  • Holidays without a disability: We watched the TV the other night and there were places my husband and I have been on holiday, but I couldn’t go there and enjoy it the way we did before, that depresses me greatly.
  • Family distance and travel issues: Missing my family in Australia and remembering how I was not able to go to my father’s funeral, that depresses me.
  • Seeing houseplants die because I can’t water them, or care for them , or just potter around my conservatory as I use too, that depresses me too .

So depression when you have MS is a different depression than those that don’t have the disease. I have Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, so using my legs to walk has gone and my left hand can’t grasp or hold anything, even my food has to be cut up for me, that’s depressing and at 56 years of age I didn’t expect this. 

Sorry to be negative but sometime we just have to accept reality… not all days are good days and sometimes I feel a little down but I am sure tomorrow will be another day with lots of positives. One of the ways I deal with my depression is to try to get the negative stuff out of my head… writing this post has helped me do that, so thanks for reading Depression the hidden side of MS  all the best AL

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