CFS is not depression. If it resembles anything, I suspect it might be Alzheimer's. Let's tackle the depression angle first.
Depression is a terrible thing. I have dealt with it myself in times past and it sucks the life right out of you. It makes you want to hide away even from things that used to bring you pleasure. There IS no pleasure. The world is a dangerous, frightening place.
There is no shame in admitting to depression. If that was my deal I would say so.
The reason I argue against it and get infuriated by the very suggestion that I am depressed is simply because it's a bald-faced lie.
People with CFS get depressed, no question. This is a hard-sluggin' life to try to live. But a lot of us got here, in part, because we DIDN'T want to retreat from our lives, even when we needed to.
Where the depressed individual wants only to curl up and hide away, the person with CFS is being dragged away, kicking and screaming, from all the things they loved, STILL love and STILL want to do.
They don't want to go to bed. They don't want to take time off. They don't want to quit.
And long after their body and brain has tried to get the message of "Stop!" through to them, they are still in the ring, swinging. In spite of the fog and confusion, in spite of the fractured vision, in spite of the hopped-up nervous system.
Some days I could hardly see, hardly stand up, hardly think, but I was still taking on more tasks, more responsibilities, writing more lists and running more races.
Does that sound like depression to you?
I spent 15 years losing the battle against CFS. Two years ago, I found treatment that worked for me, and now I am making a comeback.
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Good to hear from you again Helene. :-)
Don't worry about not having been able to get back to me sooner. I do understand how that is for someone with CFS. Time is different for us.
Nope, girl, you are not alone. We may not have the life we'd like in the real world but here in the virtual world of the net, there are alot of resources, and people and organizations who actively care about us.
Email when you can. Take your time. I'll understand.July 13, 2009 - 10:01pm
Amen!... I just wrote a nice long response to your wonderful article, and because i hadn't logged in, i lost it.
I basically said a great big YES to all you mentioned.
I drag myself and drag myself and drag myself hoping to get a peek and a feel and a connection with the outside world everyday. my depression comes when i can NOT get out into the world.
Most of us with cfs LOVE/LOVED life, and are only suffering emotionally because we so often cannot be a PART of that big, wonderful world that we always were a part of.
Comparing CFS to depression, then, couldn't be further from the truth!
I use every fiber in my being to rise above the situation. We do develop reactive depression, and WHO WOULDN'T?!...
I have also been thinking about you since my last comment, hoping to get back to you by email, but have been too wiped out.
Again, so helpful to be reminded that I am not as alone as it always feels in experiencing this tough stuff!
I'll email you!
Hugs!July 13, 2009 - 9:35pm