[RA & Depression] Is it Sadness, The Blues or Depression?

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women with rheumatoid arthritis depressionIs it Sadness, The Blues or Depression?

by New Dawn Rising

A many of you know that read my posts, I have really been struggling with Major Depressive Disorder with vague suicidal ideation. I just came out of an 11 day inpatient psych hospital for the treatment of my depression. At a later date I will write about that experience, but at this time I am just not ready to bring all those thoughts from mind to paper.

However, through my blogs and some supports groups I am a member of, I have found that people who are dealing with a chronic illness, for me it is RA and Lupus, are also dealing with depression. Unfortunately, our specialty docs do not want to deal with those issues and honestly aren’t trained to treat brain disorders such as depression, panic attacks, and anxiety.

I thought I would give you some general information between recognizing what you may be experiencing is “sadness”, “the blues”, or “depression”.

SADNESS: This is actually a positive state. Sadness will pull people towards you in contrast to depression that often pushes people away. Feeling sad is part of a healthy adjustment to a loss or disappointment. Part of the healing process, allowing for increased awareness and processing the loss, grief, change, or disappointment.

Everyone will have sadness from time to time. The concern is when sadness becomes depression and depression becomes dysfunctional. And for me, I was at that point. I was dysfunctional in everyday situations. Unable to make any decisions, my brain was really not even working. My psychiatrist said on a scale of 1-100 my depression was at 98. Clearly my brain was very sick.

THE BLUES: this is short lived. With the blues we can still find enjoyment. Many people experience the “Holiday Blues”. This is short lived lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Emotions usually subside after the holiday season is over and we return to our normal routines.

DEPRESSION: Listed in 3 categories: Duration, Pattern, and Impairment. 1) Duration symptoms present nearly every day and persist for most of the day for at least 2 weeks. 2) Pattern symptoms occur together during the same time frame 3) Impairment symptoms cause a level of distress or impairment that interferes with important parts of daily living: work*self-care*social activities.

You should consider seeking professional help if you answer “yes” to any of the questions below:

*Is your mood interfering with your personal relationships or your job performance?
*Have these feelings lasted for longer than 2 weeks?
*Is your stress from a single, identified stress (example a serious illness of a child) that does not have a clear end in sight?
*Are you beginning to feel worthless or guilty about the situation?
*Is the stress not allowing you to find happiness in other parts of your life?

Please really think seriously through these questions and you may want to ask others close to you if they have noticed any of these changes (but only if you are willing to hear the truth).

For me, I did not realize how deep into the depression I had fallen. I was so close to walking over the edge and that scared the hell out of me, but I had a doctor that asked the tough questions and I was willing to be brutally honest. I laid it all out on the table and I am so grateful that I did. To be completely honest with you, I don’t think I would be here today if I hadn’t been willing to be honest and that was only by the Grace of God that I was willing to get rid of the pride and lay my true self out there in the raw!!!

Please reach out if you need help….u can message me on FB or my personal email address: if I can help you in any way.
Love, happiness and joy to all of you…..


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