Multiple sclerosis, sometimes called MS, is a disease that causes damage to the nerves of the brain and spinal cord. The damage is caused by the body’s immune system. Multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease, can cause a loss of balance, vision, muscle control, and a numbing feeling in the extremeties. It affects the central nervous system, the spinal cord and the brain. Autoimmune diseases cause self-inflicted damage to the body because the body’s fighting cells believe the body is an invader, and attacks. Women are more likely to have multiple sclerosis than men and rarely before the teen years. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis are numerous and can vary from person to person.
Suffering depression with multiple sclerosis is common. A person with multiple sclerosis is under increased stress and encounters many physical challenges. The worry alone concerning health can cause an increased risk for depression. The disease process can also bring about depression due to destruction of the insulation around the nerve cells. This insulation is called the myelin and destruction can affect your mood when the nerves are unable to carry out its job of transmitting signals. Some medications used to treat multiple sclerosis patients can also cause depression.
Depression is a feeling of hopelessness and sadness. Depending on the severity, it can be overwhelming and interfere with your daily routine. Mild depression is common, but when it overtakes your ability to complete daily tasks and lasts for long periods of time, help should be sought. Depression is a mental illness that can grow larger have a devastating outcome.
It is important to seek help if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Unusual fatigue with a loss of energy
Crying for long periods of time with no relief
Losing interest in things that you normally have enjoyed
Sleeping more than usual
A lack of self-esteem and feeling like you are not important
Feeling that you or your situation is hopeless
Being unsure of your decisions, wavering back and forth with your thoughts and choices
Lack of interest in sex and sexual difficulties in general
Persistent or recurring headaches
A general achiness and pains throughout the body
Expressing wishes of death or suicidal ideations
Changes in weight, either a loss or gain, brought on by appetite changes
Help for depression is readily obtainable and should be sought out before it becomes severe. Your physician can refer you to a mental health professional who can help you in treating your depression. Treatment for depression is done through counseling, support groups, and medication. Do not wait to get help for symptoms of depression. Nobody has to suffer with depression and deserves an enriched quality of life. Seek help at the first sign of troublesome depressive symptoms and look forward to a brighter tomorrow.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: About MS
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Depression
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry: Depression in Mutiple Sclerosis: A review
Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development: Depression and Multiple Sclerosis
Neurology: Major Depression in Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis Society: Depression
Pyschotherapy and Psychosomatics: Depression in Multiple Sclerosis
University of Calfornia: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/
Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews: Pharmacologic Treatment of Depression in Multiple Sclerosis
Journal of International Psychological Society: Depression in Multiple Sclerosis