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trying to stay positive

Distinguished member
Sep 17, 2007
Chicago area
Hi everyone. I was wondering if any/how many of you CALS have been diagnosed with depression. My DH was DX 8/07. I went through the usual state of shock and feeling overwhelmed, even denial to a degree. For the last few months or so I have been SO tired all the time. Not normal for me at all. I am usually like the energizer bunny. Then a few weeks ago I started getting really bad neck pain which has spread to my shoulders and chest muscles. My thighs also, but that has been present since before hubby's DX. Went to the doc today & he says either depression or polymyalgia rheumatica (I'll take the depression, thank you) So now I have Lexapro to try for 2 weeks & then go back to the doc. He has me on one half of the lowest dosage there is. (what is with that?)

So my question is whether it is fairly common for CALS to end up with depression? I am not normally prone to it but I gues given the situation it would not be a shocker. It is HARD watching my DH decline. He fell on our stairs a few weeks ago and it scared the you know what out of me. Thanks everyone for letting me vent.

Hi Linda, read your post, my heart goes out to you, because I know exactly what you are going through right now. When my son (38 yrs) was diagnosed on 3-29-06, gosh I will never forget how I felt when I heard the bad news. At first I felt numb, I felt really bad for my son, but I was NUMB! I could not believe what I was hearing. After I realized what I heard was so, and not a nightmare, I lost it. I would not like to go into details, but it was bad. I refused to go to a doc. Even when my son passed, I dealt with it on my own. I guess I am weird, but I begged them to let me cry it out. I wanted to be alone for most of the time. Thank God, I am okay now. I still miss my son, seven months today since he passed, sorry that was yeasterday, the 3rd. I had a terrible bout of depression. It was so hard for me to watch my son fade away. I was not used to seeing him so frail, so helpless. It breaks your heart to watch your loved ones die from a terrible disease! May God bless you and your husband.

Hi Linda- makes you wonder what comes first: being worn out from all your caretaking duties can make you feel depressed, and watching a loved on decline can bring on depression. Maybe it is both! Either way the Doc has good reason to try the antidepressants. I hope you bounce back to your old self real quick! :) Hugs, Cindy
Hi Linda -

I finally replied to your PM.

About the depression - as a CALS I experienced it the worst in the beginning. As time went on I adjusted to the disease - I learned to quit catastrophizing about the future - my worst habit. Prozac helped a lot, also.

The physical exhaustion, alone, can cause you to feel depression - for some reason I do get enough rest - I am lucky in that.

Does anyone help you? You don't say if you have kids at home, also work outside the house, etc.

The caretaking is exhausing, the worry is draining, and the potential for isolation is really bad. I actually felt better as time went on - it is three years, now. A support group helped me a lot - lots of tips were shared on letting go, asking for help, and step-saving routines.

I really felt for you as you described you husband falling. That was a terrible period in our lives - now we have no falls because Pat is in a wheelchair and we use lifts to move her. It is actually a relief.

The losses you feel as each ability leaves your husband are wrenching. I have reexperienced that each time Pat lost something. But we would quickly regroup and focus on what is still possible. Fortunately she is interested in so much that she occupies her mind very well and is somehow adjusting to her physical losses. Truly amazing when you consider she used to be a ranked tennis player in her youth and could always count on her body.

Sorry for the ramble - just wanted you to feel less alone, and to know that there can still be periods of happiness, even with such a bleak disease.

Hoping you find peace and comfort - Beth
Hi Linda!I can only speak for myself here husband was diagnosed with als 4+years ago.I went into such a deep depression that i could not even function.Since being put on the antidepressants i have been coping a little better.I dont know how anyone in the same situation could not be depressed !Even with the meds i still feel tired a lot of the time.Care taking is such a time consuming job and watching your husband decline is agonizing and on top of that your whole world is turned upside down.What sleep we do get is usually interupted!I hope the meds help !This is a horrible disease and whatever you can do to take care of yourself do it!..........prayers for you both .......Gina

My name is Lorie. All the Pioneers on here know me. I just want to say, although I am very involved with my brothers care and with ALS. I am on Paxil and Buspar, Do I need say anyting else?

Lorie:-D I am here for anybody that needs a positive push!
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