When depression collides with a medical illness

I wrote yesterday that I’ve been having some intestinal problems.

Would you believe my doctor’s assistant actually called me shortly after I wrote yesterday’s post? I rarely answer the house phone but I’m so glad I did. (Yes, we still have a house phone just because it’s no cheaper on my cable bill to get rid of it.) He has ordered a number of tests.

What does this have to do with depression?

That’s easy.

It’s hard to battle depression when you have accompanying medical conditions. So for those of you who have chronic illness, my heart goes out to you. Pain can humble the best of us. Illness can drop any one of us to our knees.

And if you’re prone to depression, it’s a double whammy.

Alex Trebec, the host of Jeopardy, has said that one of the symptoms of his treatment for pancreatic cancer was the sudden and overwhelming sense of sadness, so much so that he breaks down in tears.

And yet, overall he is very positive about his prognosis and upbeat.

When those moments of extreme sadness overwhelm us, it does no good to fight it. Just give in a for a little while. Cry if you need to. Maybe not every time but for those times when you just can’t fight it anymore.

With depression, it’s all about the timing. Sometimes rest and giving in to your feelings is the right thing to so. There is no shame in that as long as it’s not your “go to” approach. For the most part, it’s good to attack your depression but there are times we just can’t.

I’m starting to get a little tired of the ongoing pain. And today, because of the tests ordered, I’m having to eat in such a way that will deliberately cause pain again. That’s not fun.

At the same time I feel blessed that I have, for the most part, enjoyed excellent health. This is just a “blip”. Should I experience depression again, I hope I can consider it just a “blip”.

But can I be totally honest? I find depression harder to consider a “blip”.

Anyway, these last two posts have been very extemporaneous. I think it’s important that I share in real time some of my own struggles so you know I’m a real person.

God bless and I hope your weekend is quiet and peaceful.


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