August 8th, 2016: Understanding and Remembrance Day for Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
Jody Smith joins with other ME voices in honor of Understanding and Remembrance Day for Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
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CFS/ME & Mental Health

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by PandaDarling, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. PandaDarling

    PandaDarling

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    Anyone else have CFS/ME co-morbid with mental health illnesses? I also have Borderline Personality Disorder. So for many years my fatigue and pain was blamed on 'depression'. However since my bad flare up in December 2014 I got the diagnoses of CFS/ME

    Anyway. Since I got physically sick it's taken a negative effect on my mental health. I find it pretty hard at the moment to cope. Anyone else out there want to talk about MH with CFS/ME?

    Panda X
     
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  2. Mary

    Mary Forum Support Assistant

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    @PandaDarling - CFS/ME can exacerbate any other condition, of course including mental health issues. It (CFS/ME) is an extremely difficult illness to cope with - it robs us of so much - jobs, friends, physical activity, a social life - there are lots of times I wonder what's the point. One thing that keeps me going is the belief that there is an answer. I do believe our bodies have the ability to heal so when I feel well enough, I read a lot and do research and try new things. And I have made some progress, primarily over the last 10 years. So I keep thinking, there's got to be an answer. I don't rely on doctors. Some of them can help a little, but most progress I have made is due to either reading about something here or on similar sites, or my own research.

    Anyways, when I'm able to detach from the emotional side of CFS/ME, my brain, which loves puzzles, looks at it as a puzzle to be solved. I'm also extremely fortunate that I don't have the cognitive issues many have with this illness.

    But I also find it very difficult to cope much of the time, and just have to wait it out when I feel like that. I read a lot of mystery novels.

    It does help coming to this board and reading about others' experience - to know I'm not alone with this hellish disease. And meditation, when I feel well enough to do it, is enormously helpful. It calms down my brain and I start to feel like I am more than just a body with an illness.

    Best wishes -
     
  3. PandaDarling

    PandaDarling

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    Thanks for your reply.
    Luckily I just finished a year of dialectical behavioural therapy which helps me to cope with the MH symptoms. It was heavily based on mindfulness too. So I try and do mindfulness and meditation when I can :)
     
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  4. Marco

    Marco Grrrrrrr!

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    Having ME/CFS doesn't protect you from or predispose you to having any other co-morbid illness but if ME/CFS is primarily neurological then I'd be surprised if there wasn't an elevated risk of 'mental' illness.

    PS - I have a longstanding (pre-ME) variant of OCD.
     
  5. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    Hi Panda. really great your therapy has helped and given you a framework. If you haven't found it already, there's a community section of the forum, including emotional support. Good luck in the new year.:hug:
     
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  6. PandaDarling

    PandaDarling

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    @ahmo thanks! I'll post there from now on then :)
     
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  7. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    PandaDarling, If you look around the threads you will find people talking about issues that do relate to mental health: Anxiety, for example. But the causes may be very different.

    I started having issues with anxiety in 2010/2011. Massive issues. Panic attacks. Issues that completely changed the way I was living my life. Issues which I assumed were psychological, and my healthcare professionals and family assumed were psychological.

    I spent years trying to deal with them on thet psychological level with counselling and meditation etc. I spent a vast amount of time and effort in the vain hope it would change anything.

    It turned out that they were just a result of POTS. A common result of POTS which is a condition lots of people with CFS have.

    There is a rather long thread on this forum about an anxiety solution that came about from dealing with inflammation.

    The problem is that we are so far outside the world of our doctors' knowledge that they often see or seek psychological explanations when they need to look at physiology.

    I took over a decade to find this forum, I'm glad you found it so early and that hope that it saves you from wasting too much time and effort on things that don't work.

    Or rather that if you do find things here that don't work for you, that you at least find them in a context where that possibility is acknowledged.

    My problem with doctors, psychologists and counsellors was that the existence of other possibilities were not acknowledged.

    Good luck.
     
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  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I developed mental health symptoms eg premenstrual dysphoric disorder only after I had ME/CFS long term. I also developed severe mood swings after eating (turned out to be due to hyperinsulinemia) and bouts of feeling suicidal due to having severe ME and the situation I'm in which got wrongly diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

    They missed while doing that that I had Aspergers (so hence I had the black and white thinking BPD people also have) and woudlnt believe that severe ME can cause one to feel like suiciding to very bad situations around i. The missed Aspergers diagnoses came a few years later after the BPD one in my early 40s and it took seeing 2 autism specialists in agreeance to get that diagnosed (after up to 7 psychs who didn't specialise in it missed it which commonly does happen in females)

    I personally from my own experience do think many drs diagnose borderline personality disorder just when doctors cant figure out what is wrong if someone is getting mood swings which in truth can have so many different causes. Both my severe mood swings and PMDD are in control as long as I control my diet.
     
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  9. PandaDarling

    PandaDarling

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    That's a very interesting point. Personally my diagnosis was correct as there is a lot more than just the mood swings for me from childhood and I have responded well to DBT therapy.
    It must have been terrible to be miss diagnosed! I can't even begin to imagine what that must have been like. Good for you for pushing through with it and getting the correct diagnosis.
     
  10. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    Seems statistically likely that there will be a few who have both a mental illness and ME, regardless of lack of shared pathology.

    My only struggle with mental illness has been recent depression (after many years with ME/CFS).
     
  11. skipskip30

    skipskip30 Senior Member

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    I developed quite severe anxiety about 3 years ago, being physically ill with ME/CFS makes it so much harder to fight because I have no choice but to rest for many hours of the day. Things are improving a little but it just makes everything so much harder.
     
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  12. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    There are in fact quite a few ME/CFS patients here with mental health conditions. Depression seems very prevalent; a poll found over a third of ME/CFS reported being depressed.

    Anxiety is not uncommon either. I myself developed severe generalized anxiety disorder (bordering on mild psychosis on bad days) soon after catching a viral infection; the same virus then went on to trigger my ME/CFS as well.

    If you are suffering from anxiety yourself, by the way, the supplements detailed on the following thread have proved pretty effective at treating anxiety in myself and many others who tried them:

    Completely eliminated my severe anxiety symptoms with three supplements!



    The other mental symptoms I developed (also triggered by the virus) were: anhedonia (loss of the ability to enjoy things in life), and blunted affect (where your emotional responses become weak). These are quite horrible symptoms, especially when they get severe (when severe anhedonia often triggers suicidal ideation); fortunately in recent years they have improved, but they still affect the way you relate to life, and relate to other people.

    Anhedonia can be a sub-symptom of depression and also schizophrenia. Most of the time I don't have much depression, but the anhedonia is always there. A quick check on Google reveals that anhedonia might be present in borderline personality disorder (BPD).

    One of the symptoms present in BPD, emotional lability (pseudobulbar affect), is also found in ME/CFS. So that is one commonality between ME/CFS and BPD.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
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  13. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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    I have depression and anxiety, compulsive tic disorder and a history of alcoholism. For many years I suffered chronic fatigue and brain fog without experiencing PEM, however, in the last year I started to experience PEM even after walking short distances. I haven't been diagnosed with CFS and my symptoms are a little different. I don't have muscle fatigue, but I rather feel the fatigue with my heart. It's more like a very bad hangover. Besides I have groin and esophageal pain which are not typical for CFS. So either I have CFS , or PEM exists in other fatigue disorders as well.
     
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  14. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    To return to your first question.

    Yes, I have always suffered from anxiety. I didn't really know that it was anxiety as I didn't have a label for it when I was growing up (I am now 63), but it did impinge on my life quite a bit, especially my working life at times. I recognise now that I was pretty depressed as a teenager, but I had no one to talk to about it then, and luckily after that though the depression continued, I managed it better and it became milder.

    Since I became ill with ME/CFS my anxiety has worsened and part of that I think is understandable, as I cannot rely on my body to perform well at the right times, and so it feels out of my control. I particularly find travelling difficult but luckily I am now retired so don't have to worry about the employment issues any more.

    Both my parents had mental illness that hospitalised them when I was a child, and my middle son has Tourette Syndrome and paranoid schizophrenia. Sometimes I wonder if he has ME/CFS on top as his energy levels are very poor, but I think the medications he takes are very sedating, so it would be hard to know for sure.
     
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  15. Kina

    Kina

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    This thread is being closed for Moderation purposes as it has become off-topic and contentious.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  16. Kina

    Kina

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    The thread is now open.

    This is what this thread is supposed to be about:



    Please stick to the topic of the thread and avoid using the thread as a soap box for beliefs about mental illness, questioning a member's diagnosis, making snarky comments about the purpose of Phoenix Rising and so on.

    We have removed any rule breaches and split the thread so members can still discuss the general 'mental' health aspects of ME/CFS without taking this thread off-topic.

    Thank you.
     
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  17. PandaDarling

    PandaDarling

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    skipskip30 and Kina like this.

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