Chronic Illness And Depression

Chronic depression journey. I was diagnosed with Postural tachycardia syndrome or PoTS. This chronic condition shows cardiovascular disease-like symptoms as it affects blood flow due to an exaggerated heart rate increase in response to standing. But that’s not all I experienced with such chronic medical illnesses like this.

Facts
It also impacts health issues such as depression. This chronic illness form usually shows lightheadedness, palpitation, an uncomfortable physical state, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, increased risk of depression, heart disease, tremors, and a rapid heartbeat. Not a lot of people know about this chronic illness, but this health issue is directly related to cardiovascular response.

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The initial diagnosis of my chronic illness was the devastating and depressing part of it. Since some of the symptoms of autoimmune illnesses can be associated with other chronic clinical conditions such as pregnancy, fatigue syndrome, dehydration, decreased energy, hyperthyroidism, anxiety disorders, and more. Aside from that, there are no large randomized controlled trials for this type of chronic illness, making this medical illness merely impossible to get one specific treatment.

Chronic medical conditions, characterized by long-term medical illness or disabling impairments, can take a toll on an individual’s physical and mental health condition. Certain medications to treat the illness may also trigger depression. In some cases, chronic illness and depression may even trigger other medical illnesses. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately one in five adults with a serious medical condition develop depression. A personal or family history of depression raises the risk even more. Common symptoms of chronic illness depression in this population may include feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, loss of interest in favorite activities and social withdrawal.

Depression affects your ability to carry on with daily life and to enjoy family, friends, work, and leisure. How common is depression in those with physical illness? Some medications that are useful for treating physical illnesses can also affect a person’s mood. Some common examples include corticosteroids, beta-blockers, and stimulants.

Early diagnosis of such conditions is key to successful treatment plans and better quality of life in the long-term. Common complications associated with long-term illnesses include pain, fatigue, and depression caused by the sudden onset of symptoms. For many, depression can be a difficult and challenging experience. In addition to the physical symptoms of the illness, living with depression can intensify pain and fatigue; creating a vicious cycle of symptoms that often lead to further weight gain or, worse, heart attack.

Research has shown that treating depression and chronic illnesses together can help people better manage both their depression and their chronic disease. This can also improve your overall health.

Effects
Things in my life changed along with these chronic illnesses and depression. Since my illness wouldn’t support such intense activity, my doctor said I should forget about it. And honestly, that one is the most depressive thing that I felt ill doing. Unfortunately, this illness put me on antidepressant medication. But to get back on track with my life despite enduring some of the worse illness symptoms, I understand the need for professional help – that’s where counseling came in.

With serious illness often comes a major disruption to an individual’s quality of life. Those suffering from such illnesses may have difficulty adhering to medication regimes or making lifestyle changes. It could even trigger symptoms of depression.

The counseling process occurs when a client and counselor set aside time to explore difficulties which may include the stressful or emotional feelings of the depressed and chronically ill client. This can enable clients to focus on feelings, experiences, or behavior, with the goal of facilitating positive change despite the illness.

Distressing Chronic Feelings

I told my counselor that the moment the physician told me that I should quit sports due to my depression and chronic illness, it felt like the whole world fell upon me. The news created a strong feeling of emotional dilemma that I began to endure almost every day. It was an exhausting battle, and I couldn’t find reasons to continue with my life. But my counselor managed to help me get rid of some unwanted heartbreaking feelings by teaching me how to become more appreciative of life despite my depression and chronic illness.

Handling
Of course, I can’t manage to deal with my emotional and depressive state all the time, especially with my chronic illness at bay. That explains why I often encountered severe mental stress, putting me in a chronically ill situation. The ill part of dealing with a chronic illness is the depression that comes with the recovery process. Thankfully, counseling made me realize that I shouldn’t try and force myself to deal with depression and my chronic illness.

Using talk therapy, medical professionals are able to help patients who experience symptoms of depression identify their thoughts and feelings. It is an effective treatment that has helped many across the world.

 

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I admit that when I found out about my illness, I wanted to blame someone for this chronic illness. I became despondent and confused as to why this unfortunate chronic illness happened to me. Fortunately, counseling helped me realize that what I was doing was the worst thing ever. Counseling taught me to appreciate those willing to stick with me through this battle instead of making them feel chronically sick.

Chronic Losses/Gains From My Illness and Depressive Symptoms

Honestly, the one thing that made this whole PoTS battle so depressively and emotionally exhausting is the loss I will have to accept forever. Sports were my life, and it was the one thing that makes me completely happy and satisfied. With this, I will have to accept that everything about it should remain in the past. The process of accepting chronic illnesses is so overwhelming. But counseling ensures me that even if I lose something, I will gain another. Thankfully, I managed to see the beauty of life despite having this severe illness and depression.

 

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Symptoms
The chronic diseases, depression, and anxiety that I held on to for too long are now becoming a part of the past. Yes, I may still feel bad about my physical health. But as long as I open my eyes to new opportunities and paths, chronic illness and chronic pain won’t be in the way.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is one of the most common complications associated with chronic illness – affecting 60 percent or more of people living with chronic conditions. Depression can have physiological and physical effects. Feeling depressed? Call the National Alliance of Mental Health Advocates.

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