Today was time for my regularly scheduled visit to the Neuro. It came on a good day as the appointment wasn't until nearly ten I got a bit of a lie in, which was much needed after being stuck in the office really later yesterday.
Of course I arrived at the hospital to find the waiting room heaving and the Neuro running over an hour behind schedule. I finally got to my appointment an hour and fifteen minutes late - and we went over the usual list of questions - how's bladder, bowels, vision, etc. etc. We discussed my walking and the stick and I pointed out that I could physically walk without it, just not balance. This lead to the conversation about how severe relapses could lead to permanent damage, etc. etc. Same old conversation ending up at the same old dead end conversation about Tysabri - which I still don't want to take.
We then moved on to mood. I told the Neuro that my mood wasn't too good; which led to further questioning about life situation (reduced hours at work my job sucks), was I worried about the future (yes but who isn't?), did I sometimes feel tearful or hopeless (is my life writing the Neuro's script?)... have not had such a frank conversation with him for some time. Diagnosis... depression; the funny thing is I've been so busy worrying about the Better Half and his teeth problems, and worrying about money and being stressed about my job I hadn't really given much thought to why I was feeling the way that I was feeling. As soon as he asked "Is it possible you are depressed?" I thought, yes of course, that is what it is. So, I get anti-depressants and a repeat visit order for every two months (so that they can keep an eye on me).
Depression is one of those things that people never talk about... there is some sort of shame or stigma attached, I suppose. I suffered from it when I was in my early twenties for a couple of years - and it was easily one of the worst and bleakest periods of my life.
It is hard to describe; the horrible desolate feeling of the pointless futility of just about everything (which manifests for me as an uncomfortable propensity to cry in public and innapropriate places)... the lack of motivation to do pretty much anything at all (reading books, watching TV)... the feeling of being trapped in treacle - it is so hard to describe. Then you look around and you think, things could be worse - what reason do I have to feel this way, and you feel even worse; a failure for not being able to cope with what life sends your way.
The biggest question of all... is depression a result of living with the results of MS or is depression itself caused by MS?