Why do I have depression?

I feel like a lost cause. My RA doctor put me on hydroxychloroquin. It made me itch so bad that I actually had scabs from scratching. So I had to DC it. So now we’ll try something else. I was supposed to set up a follow-up appt before leaving the office, but I just wanted to get out of there. I sat in my car and cried for 5 or so minutes. I used to take long walks in the desert and take pictures. Now I can’t tolerate the heat and my knees hurt too much. Now I hurt all the time, I’m fat, I feel as if I talk too much about my symptoms people will think I’m a hypochondriac. I do take Zoloft. What else can I do?


Community Answers
  • kingkatekong
    1 year ago

    you’re not alone. i’m becoming profoundly depressed. i tried an anti-depressant for a second, but i had unbearable side effects. i try to stay positive, but when you can’t get out of bed and you are in constant pain, it’s hard to see the positive…i volunteer when i feel better with folks in a lot worse shape than i am, and i get so much satisfaction from it. i stop thinking about myself and my problems when i am serving others–it works when i can get there! feel better! stay strong! sending hugs!

  • ldonaldson
    1 year ago

    I will say, Joy, that I have found that to be a problem as well. First, my doctors blew me off when I mentioned the pains, citing that I was a mother to 3 young children and a teacher, surely I was just getting “older…” Once I found a quality rheumatologist that not only listened, but ran the appropriate tests. Now I go to her, even with my concerns over anxiety and depression. She understands and deals with it with many of her patients so I trust her opinions. That may be an avenue to explore as well, if you like your rheumy.
    It is great that you are drawing again, that can help both heart and body. 🙂
    I know I can’t fix any of what you are going through, I can offer suggestions, but even those aren’t always what is needed. Sometimes, I know I just feel better getting to “vent” a little. It is important to have that outlet when you live with a chronic illness. My hubby always tries to “fix” me or “make it better” when sometimes all I really need is someone who listens. So I guess that is the best I can offer…I am here to listen. Yes, we could probably all hike up our big girl panties (as they say) and move on, but we shouldn’t necessarily have to. Sending gentle hugs 🙂 -Leanne, Community Moderator

  • JoyThomas author
    1 year ago

    I’m trying to push this depression aside, or at the very least, put it on the back burner. I need to be emotionally available for my daughter and grandchildren.
    Life has too many curve balls.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Joy. Sorry to hear that you are struggling. Unfortunately, the mental and emotional aspects of conditions like RA often take a backseat to the physical, but they are very real. This article from one of our contributors looks at the necessity of not ignoring mental health: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/dont-neglect-mental-health/.

    Also, there is plenty of evidence that RA can impact mental functioning. This article from one of our other contributors looks at how RA can effect cognitive function: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/just-head-impact-ra-mental-functioning/. If any of this sounds like you make sure to bring this to the attention of your doctor.

    On the topic of doctors, I thought you might be interested in this article with tips on how to find excellent doctors: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/finding-excellent-doctors/.

    Please know that you are always welcome here for information and support. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • JoyThomas author
    1 year ago

    Thank you Richard. I did read all the links you shared with me. I really appreciate you folks for taking time out from your busy days to respond to my post.
    Thank you for creating this support system.
    Joy

  • JoyThomas author
    1 year ago

    Thank you Leanne for responding to my post. I have started drawing again, and I do find it relaxing.
    My goal is to find a decent PCP who will actually listen to me and not blow me off. At my age, that seems to be a challenge.
    I read the link you suggested, it’s very informative and helpful. I know I’ll pull out of this funk I’m in. My mother used to say, “Just pull up your boot straps and move on!”
    So I’m trying to do that.
    Joy

  • ldonaldson
    1 year ago

    I will say, Joy, that I have found that to be a problem as well. First, my doctors blew me off when I mentioned the pains, citing that I was a mother to 3 young children and a teacher, surely I was just getting “older…” Once I found a quality rheumatologist that not only listened, but ran the appropriate tests. Now I go to her, even with my concerns over anxiety and depression. She understands and deals with it with many of her patients so I trust her opinions. That may be an avenue to explore as well, if you like your rheumy.
    I know I can’t fix any of what you are going through, I can offer suggestions, but even those aren’t always what is needed. Sometimes, I know I just feel better getting to “vent” a little. It is important to have that outlet when you live with a chronic illness. My hubby always tries to “fix” me or “make it better” when sometimes all I really need is someone who listens. So I guess that is the best I can offer…I am here to listen. Yes, we could probably all hike up our big girl panties (as they say) and move on, but we shouldn’t necessarily have to. Sending gently hugs 🙂 -Leanne, Community Moderator

  • ldonaldson
    1 year ago

    Hello JoyThomas,
    I am so sorry that you are battling these feelings on top of your RA. Please know that you are not alone, anxiety and depression are unfortunately all too common when you have RA. I too have these issues and understand. It is a daily struggle to stay positive when you never know what new ache or pain will come with each day. Not being able to do the things that I used to love, especially those things that were always an outlet for stress certainly compounds the problem.
    In my opinion, it sounds to me like you could really benefit from speaking with a counselor or psychotherapist that can help you develop some strategies for dealing with these feelings. They will be able to help you sort through all of the emotions that come with living with a chronic illness and help you to cope with the disappointment if/when medications don’t work.
    I am now on my 4th medication and waiting to see if this one will do any good, so I feel like I know where you are coming from, the sadness and disappointment that comes when the doctor tells you that you have to try something different is unlike any other disappointment I’ve ever experienced.
    Please know that beyond anything, you are not alone. You have a great community of warriors here to listen and help the best we can. And NO ONE here would ever think you were a hypochondriac as well live with this every single day.
    I did find an article you might find helpful with some great suggestions for dealing with the many emotions that come with living with RA. https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living-with-ra/managing-emotional-problems-and-stress/ Maybe try and find an outlet for your stress and depression that isn’t so physically demanding that will hold you over until you can find a medication that will allow you to get back out there and take more beautiful pictures. And please, don’t forget to discuss these feelings with your doctor, they may be able to find a medication that can work better with counseling, to get you back on the path to feeling better on the inside as well.
    Please be sure to come back anytime you have a question or need support. I would love to know how you are getting on.
    -Leanne, Community Moderator

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