Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interstitial Cystitis Patients: Take Action to Defeat Depression!

friends swimming
(Note, if you are currently in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK. You and your life ARE worth it!)

All of us have our ups and downs, and people with a chronic illness like interstitial cystitis can have more than their share. However, if you have been feeling down more than upbeat lately, you may consider being evaluated for depression. If you learn that you have depression, you will want to follow through with your doctor’s treatment recommendations, which may include medication and therapy. Not surprisingly, you will play a major role in how fast you feel better. There are many things you can do to take care of yourself, whether you are receiving treatment or you have early signs of depression and want to prevent it.
  • Foster friendships and a social support network. Positive friends and family members can be a source of joy and support in anyone’s life but especially if you are struggling with self-doubt.
  • Join a self-help group. In person or online, groups such as these where people are facing similar problems can provide a safe place for sharing. Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise like walking or biking is particularly helpful for improving mood. Yoga and tai chi can help reduce stress.
  • Reactivate your life. What enjoyable activity have you dropped because you didn’t feel up to it? Don’t wait. Pick it up again now!
  • Write it down. Some people find that writing in a journal is a good outlet for negative emotions like anger, fear, and frustration.
Symptoms of Depression
Consult your physician if you have any of these symptoms lasting two or more weeks:
  • Feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Loss of interest in most activities
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Feelings of mental/physical slowness or agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or guilt
  • Feeling tired and/or difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances (sleeping less or more than usual)
  • Thoughts of death or suicide (Note, if you are currently in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK. You and your life ARE worth it!

Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate

Diet, Exercise, Stress Management, and More!

For step by step guidance for creating your own personal interstitial cystitis meal plan, see: Confident Choices®: Customizing the Interstitial Cystitis Diet.

For some basic, family-style, IC bladder-friendly recipes, see: Confident Choices®: A Cookbook for Interstitial Cystitis and Overactive Bladder

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  1. I'm depressed because I have IC. Not much of a cure, there. I can't go to therapy because they get really mad when you cancel your appoint the day you're supposed to go in and will eventually drop you. If I'm in a flare that's what would happen.

  2. Nekura, I think you make a very valid point. I have talked to groups of doctors and nurses about this very same phenomenon. If a patient is cancelling their appointment, that is when they need you the most! Be sure to talk to your therapist about this and ask them if there are alternate counseling options (phone, Skype) for those times when you are too sick to attend sessions in person!

  3. Carolyn. Nekura, Make sure that your therapist knows about IC. Print things off the internet if necessary. People don't know about this condition unless they suffer it themselves. You need to try to educate them...after all no one would expect a cancer patient on chemo to attend therapy session. Phone or Skype is a good idea. Don't give up..counselling for stress reduction is essential. There is no more stressful condition than chronic pain.