I read in the beginning that depression is very common in MS and those taking the interferon drugs. I wondered in the beginning was this because of the drug/MS or because of them being upset with their diagnosis. A little ways into this I think it may be some from both camps. For me I blame the MS/Rebif because I am no longer sad or worried (like I was at first because of worrying about the future and taking care of my family) about the disease and my wife does and will do a wonderful job of taking care of me. On top of that the Lord has certainly always taken care of me I know he will continue to do so.
It took me a while to come to the conclusion that I had depression because I did not exhibit extreme long lasting sadness which is what I thought depression was and all I had ever seen. While that is true there are other symptoms that I had certainly heard of before but had never really thought about until I read a pamphlet from the National MS Society that my new pharmacy provided to me. What immediately caught my eye was extreme sensitivity. Over the past couple of months I had been getting extremely sensitive and taking things very personally which is not at all normal. I was getting more sensitive by the day and was getting upset about things that never used to bother me. Before the MS I had only cried at most a couple of times in my adult life but now it was becoming an almost daily thing that I had been slighted. My deepest apologies go out to my wife who really bore the brunt of this during this time – Sorry! The other minor thing was that I had lost interest in everyday activities and began watching a ton of TV something I normally watch almost none of. My sex drive had also gone to about 0 – no surprise if my feeling are hurt. I also felt a ton of guilt for the way I was treating my wife – which also really upset me – but I seemed powerless to change.
Well I figured out on a Saturday that I was depressed and did not call the Dr. until Monday. I had told my wife I am quitting Rebif until this is resolved and I missed Monday’s injection (the only injection I have skipped to date). I made it very clear that I would rather be disabled than treat her the way and I was – I still feel this way and consider Zoloft the most important medication that I take. I was not pleased when the doctor didn’t get call back on Monday but I suspect that it was because the nurse did not give him my message until the next day – I say this because when he did call he was frantic and it was obvious that he thought this was something that shouldn’t have waited. He immediately prescribed 50mg of Zoloft (basically helps the body retain its seratonin) which I take at night because I have no side effects from it (like keeping me awake – though I’ve also heard it can make people drowsy). The next day I started feeling better and within a week I was back to my normal self and things no longer upset me. (I guess I should say to sadness people anger me all the time – which should have been another sign since I was less angry. I guess you can’t do tech support without getting angry at the users 🙂
Life now is back to normal and I am my normal happy go lucky self. Sadly this period had taken a toll on our marriage (my wife would say we went down to a marriage most people and their related problems have but not our normal spectacular marriage) but we are all back to our blissful state (thanks in large part to my wonderful wife bearing with me).