How do we know the difference???????

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How do we know the difference???????

Postby Ruremi » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:05 pm

I am having major problems with my depression and anxiety just now and tend to every winter last January I had many panic attacks and ended up having a minor breakdown in bed for 6 weeks but out of circulation for 3months. Now I am struggling for yet another winter it made me look into Seasonal Affected Disorder......below is a list of symptoms from the NHS website, but could most of us not say yes to most of these with our FM only......

feeling tired and lacking in energy,
sleep problems, such as disturbed sleep at night, sleeping for longer and feeling sleepy during the day,
loss of sex drive,
stress and anxiety,
social withdrawal,
feelings of guilt and worthlessness,
weepiness,
changes in appetite, such as a craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods,
mood swings,
weight gain,
difficulty concentrating, and
loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy.

I suffer from all of the above except the weight gain mine is opposite weight loss I am less than 60kg for the first time in 15 years.

So, how do we know if this is "just " FM or another condition the above symptoms could be SAD, deppression, anxiety, FM, side effects of meds to metion but a few. Please help before my GP appointment next week. They have put up my anti-depressant and I am due a review next week, I want to ask about SAD as I would rather get help from a light than drugs.

Please give me your point of view.

Moira
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Re: How do we know the difference???????

Postby LinzWorld » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:09 pm

Any depression scoring test could help distinguish if you have depression. Depression does not have to be a part of Fibro and should be treated appropriately as depression, not just lumped in with the Fibro.

As well as asking about trying a light box (you would probably have to buy one yourself), I would also ask about whether you can get your vitamin D blood levels checked (this is a test many GPs don't realise can be done!). You get your vitamin D from sunlight and the symptoms of a deficiency woyuld seem to worsen your Fibro.
I run FibroAction, a small national charity raising awareness of Fibromyalgia Syndrome. I am not a qualified healthcare professional. If you would like medical references for any facts quoted, just PM me.
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Re: How do we know the difference???????

Postby velvet » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:29 am

i was diagnosed with SAD several years before fibro - and it undoubtedly makes all the symptoms worse. i recently started using the patientslikeme site to record symtoms and functionality and i know that after a couple of years it is going to show a distinct seasonal wave pattern - january february march i stay in pjamas unless i have to go out july august september i think it is improving to the extent i think about returning to work - by the end of november the idea is complete nonsense. in winter i sleep more, find waking up a problem, suffer more pain,and really cannot concentrate in summer it returns to a "mere" background napping pain (you all know the one, you have adapted so much and got so used to pacing you almost think you are "normal" until your normal mate decides to go on a 10 mile picnic hike for fun and you realise that nope you are still planning every minute of your day to get the most out of it)

in the past i have taken prozac (that was the year clocks change coincided with severe weather so the whole day was dark - after a couple of weeks my body was trying to spend 20 hours a day sleeping) artificial light exposure (stayed reasonably awake and felt better in self) but by far the best was pre fibro when i was working outdoors - i would be out before the sun came up (8 am) and stay out till after dark (5pm) and then i had barely any symptoms of the SAD - however i have yet to discover the trick to being outside all day in cold temperatures with fibro - i am back to trouble waking and dozing off during day whilst doing absolutely nothing more than i have to.

i know i havent told you how to tell the difference but hopefully have showed that SAD can make a huge difference - i accept my winter limitations cause i know why they are there and i would recommend working through with a doctor - knowing there is a reason for reduced performance does at least help stop the self blame
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Re: How do we know the difference???????

Postby gillshutt » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:50 am

I can't say yes to most of these and don't suffer from depression. It would be difficult to distinguish between depression and SAD but not FM. It can be common to suffer depression with FM but, as Linz says, it's not a certainty that you get both. You would need to see how you are in th esummer months.... if you still feel that way they it will probably be depression rather than SAD although SAD can make your depression worse.

Just as a matter of interest Amazon is selling SAD lights half price at the moment.
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Re: How do we know the difference???????

Postby velvet » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:42 pm

i dont think SAD is always the same as depression - in my case definately not. i have been depressed before - the feelings of whats the point etc etc and i just dont get that with SAD - yes i have no energy and dont want to do anything and it probably looks very similar from the outside but inside i dont have the feelings of negativity. instead of whats the point its wait till i have the energy, instead of feeling worthless i just feel sort of suspended, in limbo, waiting.

not sure if that is making any sense its very difficult to explain but i myself know the difference - even if i get depressed in winter i know its not the SAD, and these days it is rare i get depressed any when outside of major negative life upheavals - i learned to deal with the depression when younger before fibro took over and tend to actively watch out for it
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Re: How do we know the difference???????

Postby princess » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:01 pm

Clinical Depression means that you cannot function in real life situations and withdraw into yourself, you cannot work, you cannot do anything, you either just sit and stare or you bed, you have no enjoyment from life, you have black thoughts etc.,

There is depression that is linked to our illness and i wont go on about that - i have had depression before my talbets were suited to me, but i never had the inadequence with it. thankfully a few months on Lustral and i was fine.

I would think your Dr should be able to help you with whether this is Clinical depression or part of the Fibro.

I hope you can get some help and soon - dont be afraid to speak to you GP about your inner feelings.

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Re: How do we know the difference???????

Postby Ruremi » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:27 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys.

I should have said I am on anti-depressants for depression following a minor breakdown last January, I also suffer anxiety.
I have had anti-depressants put up about 10days ago because I am finding difficult to control the symptoms myself.

The reason I bagan to question the possiblity of SAD was the fact that by this time of year for quite a few years now life is very different.
I sleep all night and still sleep during the day but with no relief from the tiredness, find going out more of a struggle, I do feel a slightly better in myself if I walk the dogs in the morning in bright daylight.....though not much of that with the rain of the last two days. Sorry about that for those of you who have snow.

I will discuss it with the GP next week thanks guys I know it is a bit taxing having to put these things into word and making sense at the same time, I'm not very good at it but I think I know what you are all trying to say. I don't know what I'd do without you all.

Thanks again
Moira :grouphug: :grouphug:
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Re: How do we know the difference???????

Postby LinzWorld » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:32 pm

Hi Moira, it's entirely possible that more light or more vitamin D could help you if you always get worse in the winter.
I run FibroAction, a small national charity raising awareness of Fibromyalgia Syndrome. I am not a qualified healthcare professional. If you would like medical references for any facts quoted, just PM me.
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Re: How do we know the difference???????

Postby gillshutt » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:59 am

It is possible to have both SAD and depression or that the lack of sunlight and possible lack of Vit D is making your depression worse. Def mention it to your GP. Having done some research I've found it would be a lot cheaper to get SAD bulbs for ordinary lights.. only about 7 quid for energy saving ones and only a couple of quid for the old fashioned incandescent ones (a lot cheaper than a sad light box). So it might be worth giving one of them a go and see if it helps. :hugs:
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