(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
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
For health care workers: Interstitial Cystitis: A Guide for Nutrition Educators
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