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Lessons from ME/CFS: Finding Meaning in the Suffering
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Do you get hit with depression when recovering from crash or prolonged relapse?

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by November Girl, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. November Girl

    November Girl Senior Member

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    Years ago I had an online friend with ME/CFS who was still working full time. After a year of barely making it, she started feeling better physically. To her surprise, she got very depressed at that point - not when she was too sick to do anything but work or sleep. An RN friend explained to her that it takes energy to feel emotion, and that depression requires the least energy of any emotion. Therefore, when our energy levels begin to increase, all we are able to feel is depression.

    I still have mini-crashes (i.e. that last days or weeks, not several months or more) When I'm coming out of these I often get slammed with depression. It's a bit easier to take because I definitely know that it will pass, usually in a few days.

    I'm curious if anyone else experiences this or has another hypotheses for the phenomenon.
  2. PokerPlayer

    PokerPlayer Guest

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    Yeah definitely. I had slow onset. In fact, I think that depression caused by brain infection caused me to be attracted to stress. When I would stop all stressors and just relax, my brain would not get the cortisol it craved to fight brain inflammation and I would be depressed for a while.

    Now, sometimes I need to always be on some supplement or medication with anti inflammatory effects or I will get bad depression.

    An example is if I use nothing but meditation to calm down, I actually get very bad depression. Instead, I use amitriptyline 20mg as well as fish oil and folic acid and the depression stays away.

    In my opinion, it is important to either take something with anti inflammatory action to replace the effect that cortisol induced by stress would have on the brain. Things that fight the infection at its core also help with depression obviously.

    Depression=brain inflammation localized to certain areas of the brain. Folic acid gives me brain inflammation, but it seems to be localized to mostly the frontal lobe and it actually makes me less depressed strangely.
  3. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    I found high loads of Vit D3 eliminated my long-term every day depression - up to 10,000 iu/day.

    I am convinced that I get 3 types of depression (try telling that to the psykers ;))
    • Short-term: matter of hours, follows small crash - goes as soon as energy builds up next day; just need to tell yourself it will get better when you have more energy
    • Mid-term: matter of weeks; can be most acute and follows a severe psychological setback like having to quit work or breaking off a relationship; suicidal thoughts
    • Long-term: Every day depression which has no identifiable cause.

    Regarding first post. I also think that I have lost some brain function which may also be why I don't get too much depression these days. So it could be possible that improvements in brain function could lead to depression. Try the Vit D.
  4. November Girl

    November Girl Senior Member

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    Rusty, I take 10,000 iu/day of Vit D3 also. It's almost a wonder drug for me - it didn't end any of my symptoms, but it moderated most if not all of them. At this dosage rate I stay inside the high edge of normal.
  5. PokerPlayer

    PokerPlayer Guest

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    I took 10,000 iu's vitamin d3 in the winter, but now it is sunny all the time I stopped. Do you all take vitamin d3 in the summer?
  6. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    I take it every day. I don't think a lot of me/cfs patients convert very much so sunlight may not be more than a tiny bump up in levels. I used to sit out in the sun without a shirt for half an hour a day, but scared too many neighbors (probably too muscular:D), and was scared of skin cancer, so gave it away. OI made it hard too.
  7. November Girl

    November Girl Senior Member

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    I live in a very hot summer climate, so I stay indoors, and take the same dose year-round. I would probably take some in the summer even if I were out a lot. I suspect that PWME need more of this just like with so many other nutrients.
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Depression is also caused by neurotransmitters being outside the normal range. A lot of people with M.E. have abnormal neurotransmitters levels, and it makes sense that these would fluctuate when recovering.
  9. Deatheye

    Deatheye Senior Member

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    Aside from the Depression about a year ago I notice the last few years that I get a bit a bader mood during winter time. Propably would fit light depression sympthoms.
    I started to go to a solarium. But since doctors started to wonder if I got a UV light allergies I stopped it.
  10. November Girl

    November Girl Senior Member

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    Valentijn, this makes a lot of sense. I know that there is often inflammation in our brains, and think it corresponds with our symptom severity, particularly cognitive difficulties. I would think it likely that as our brains recover/heal, the neurotransmitters would come back at different levels.

    Btw, a neurologist once told me that any time there is significant body trauma, our bodies flood the brain with chemicals to keep us alive. These same chemicals also can cause a lot of cognitive difficulties until the levels go back to normal.

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