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Deet

Viral Relapses?

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Hi everyone -- I tried to search this as a topic, but couldn't find anything.

My MDD seems well under control with my med combo. But over the last couple years, when I catch a stomache bug, my depressive symptoms come back. Malaise, anxiety, fear, etc. in addition to the viral symptoms.

When this happens (as it did this week) I'm terrified that my meds have pooped out and I'm starting a true depressive relapse. Only when I hear that a coworker or family member is also ill do I start to take comfort. Sounds awful, but misery really does love company!

Does this happen to any of you? Am I just that close to 'the ragged edge' that a minor illness puts me into a short-lived relapse? Or maybe I associate the symptoms with depression, so it's "all in my head" (pardon the expression). I'm not expecting to feel GOOD when I'm sick, but I sure take viruses hard since I became a depressive.

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I don't suffer from depression -- but I still feel down when I get sick -- maybe a little bit before I actually know I'm sick with a cold or something.

Then, I'll be all surprised at how good I feel mentally when the physical symptoms go away.

I think what you're feeling is normal -- you're just scared of the depression coming back and you very vigilant for any warning signs.

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hi Deet,

did some of your symptoms or how you felt when very depressed was very similar to symptoms of the stomach bug?

i wouldn't be surprised if such a similarity could cause the feeling like depression is coming back.

i know it can work in such a way for me with panic attacks. some of my symptoms with panic attacks are: being short of breath or the feeling i can't get enough air, can't breathe well. and my heart racing. and sweating. and it seems that sometimes my body takes such symptoms as a cue that now it's time to have a full-blown panic attack. with the whole of the panicky feelings. even if the 'original symptoms' just came from doing exercise or climbing a long flight of stairs too fast and i did not feel anxiety when doing that.

just my two cents.

take care

mynah

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Gees, I'm sorry for the double post. I'm new here and haven't quite figured all the buttons out.

Anyways. To answer your question.

YES! This happens to me. I've battled depression for decades but was officially diagnosed 8 years ago.

One day, last spring, out of the blue, it was like all the light was just sucked right out of my head. Things just went totally dark inside. I had nothing inside any more, no hope, no emotions, nothing. It was like my normal depression (ha! normal depression), but magnified a million times. I went to bed because there was nothing else I could do. I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst stomach bug I've ever had in my life. I was then sick with a fever for 24 hours but mostly just slept. When I woke up the next day, it was gone. I was physically well and the lights had come back on inside my head. So to speak.

I've never had it happen with quite that intensity since the first time, but I can usually tell the difference between an illness induced mood-change and my "normal depression". The illness ones tend to come on very hard and very fast, very, very suddenly (I'll be violently physically ill within 24 hours) where as non-viral induced (maybe thats a better description for it) depressions are more of a long,slow dive that I'm usually not aware of unless DH points it out to me or things get really,really bad inside my head.

My .02, hope it might help.

Edited by Bede

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It does help, Bede!!! Welcome to the DF, by the way. And thanks to Mynah and slw, too.

Yeah, my depression symptoms include intestinal woes and BIG-TIME malaise, and my first depressive episode hit during a bout of the flu. I definitely associate those feelings with depression, plus the despair that everyone gets when they're sick.

Also, my two relapses came on like, POW, overnight. It's not gradual; I'll feel like a champ on Monday and then Tuesday I'll wake up at 4 am and wanna die. And it's so terrible (we all know that) that a relapse is my only real fear in life.

Good news is I'm feeling better each day. :hearts:

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Being physically ill and depression is not uncommon. We all hate to be ill with something. I recently broke my arm in two places and shattered my elbow with a 3-5 month recovery time. I'm feeling depressed because of this and the limited activities I can do on the farm. It does feel like a relapse, but the meds are working well enough to prevent utter despair.

Glad to hear you are feeling better. Is the depression lifting also?

Sheepwoman :hearts:

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I think depression lowers our threshold to catching illnesses and I usually get something this time of the year with the holidays. I imagine that the stress is running my immunity down. I have had pneumonia over Christmas, twice in the last 5 years and now I have bronchitis that started out as a cold and developed into this darned illness.

I think that some of us depressed people are more likely to catch colds and whatever due to lower immunity due to probably poor diets and lifestyles. I know people with depression in rl that get sick at the drop of a hat, like me. I know that living in a cold climate this time of the years when people are coughing and sneezing all over the place is a real set up. Going shopping is like subjecting yourself to whatever germs are in the air. Yuck! I got this illness from work. Customer service with people coughing all over the place. No wonder, lol! Don't think I'd be able to work in an enclosed area with sick people like a hospital. Ever. I'd catch whatever they had.

Jackie

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