Oh most definitely, you have to be, no doubt that’s what the medical template says so that’s how it is! OOOOh my goodness and you nap, you sleep every day? Well there you have it. You’re depressed!
. (full stop)
Actually, no, not everyone who deals with chronic pain has depression and I know that because I don’t have depression. Well that’s what I think and believe me, I’ve been checked out thoroughly!! But I understand how people who are unlikely to get depressed, get depressed with a chronic illness (and I believe the chances are even higher if you have a WorkCover claim). After hearing the insistence from almost every practitioner, reading that it is partner to chronic illness over an over, having pounding pain, being unable to do much at all, having endless frustration from limiting WorkCover system, and financial stress, added to all the offers of pain relief (mostly in the form of antidepressants), of course the pile adds up to depression.
In my experience, the term ‘depression’ is used waaay too loosely these days and the medication for it is given/taken too hastily. I realised I had a long-term issue but believed I wasn’t depressed so I needed to find the source of my problem and stop hoping, by taking the antidepressants/nerve inhibitors prescribed to me, that the issue was going to clear itself up which is what Western medicine seems to pride itself on (take a few of these, she’ll be right mate!).
Why can’t I be ‘upset’ or ‘tired’ or ‘fatigued’ or ‘dealing with something’? I felt depression was too extreme for me? I didn’t like it, I believe in thinking positively (and could see I had the ability to still do that through all the frustration), so I accepted that some days were going to be more difficult, I’d feel down, fatigued, tired… medication wasn’t the option on those days for me, I thought I’d just end up in a bigger mess.
I took antidepressants/nerve inhibitors (yes together!!) for about 9 months to try to sort my issue out and at least ease my pain (yes, Western medicine style), but I could have been on them for the rest of my life if I hadn’t realised (with the 1% brain capacity I had left) that there were other things to try. And again, I refer to my help and great support, my husband, who is just as focused on my issue as I am, so I was able to try other options, use the time on the meds to dull the pain and learn what not to do to keep pain levels low, and then… get the hell off them!
I remember friends, family, practitioners asking me how I was… how am I?, I didn’t know who I was let alone how I was!!!!!!!! I couldn’t cross the street, had to turn spell check on my computer, couldn’t speak from the piercing ringing and sound of my own voice bouncing in my own ears, couldn’t go out, couldn’t coordinate myself, I thought everyone who drove was going to kill themselves I was so disoriented, and I couldn’t choose between three apples if you asked me to! If you told me I was cured or that my husband died I would have reacted the same way, I slept like a dead person, had no energy, I took a huge dive into the deepest of caves. Actually to sum it up folks, I was depressed… yes, on the antidepressant. That was enough for me to see I didn’t need that sort of medication. There had to be another way.
I know, what I’m about to say will seem like clutching at straws, but bundled together Soula’s top tips were my great preventative against taking those ‘depressing’ antidepressants. I have to point out, this is what works for me, it’s not a recommendation.
The basic rule is eliminating the pain as much as possible so the flare ups, fatigue and tiredness eases. I also see it as ‘beggars can’t be choosers’, and I’m a beggar for non zombie relief! I took the tougher road now for longer term benefits. I say NO to antidepressants for pain relief and am my more non depressed Soula self.