Staying Positive is Not Always Easy
There have been many things written about the subject of dealing with depression and hepatitis c. Some things I have read are very serious, and who can argue that depression is fun, not to mention living with a serious illness like HCV that causes any number of medical issues that can impact quality of life. Some of us have had a terrible time with things like anxiety and depression, and I have certainly not been immune to these things either.
Staying positive and avoiding negative thoughts is great if you can manage to do it, but in my own experience it is not always possible because of any number of reasons that may be out of our control. Is there a connection between hepatitis c and depression? I have no absolute answer to this question, but I suspect there was a connection in my own experience, and from what others have told me I am not alone in this thinking.
When I treated with interferon and ribavirin it became very difficult to stay positive about anything. I had been warned about the depression many had faced in the Peg/Riba treatment, but having never experienced depression before it was not something I really knew about.
With new treatment I am not hearing a lot about depression during the course of therapy. I am hearing from people who are dealing with anxiety and depression after treatment. As I am not a psychologist and I am not sure if they could accurately say what is causing this in people after treating HCV.
What some have said is that they felt fine while treating but now months later they are feeling depressed.
No slogan or cheer will sustain or fix depression in my experience. A good attitude is not always effective at dealing with the despair that clinical depression can cause.
I am encouraged to see that most people are not having these problems but a significant enough number of people are and it warrants exploration in my opinion.
A good attitude means something different to us all. Is it just that we always look on the bright side or see good in everything?
Even in the face of great challenges some of us are able to stand up well while others find even the otherwise nominal challenges to be huge obstacles that cause immense anxiety/fear and worry. There are chemical imbalances in some cases and it is important to consult with your physician if you have prolonged feelings of sadness or low moods. Sleep issues often accompany depression, and some may feel like they want to sleep more than normal for them or stay up at night and sleep during the day.
Many things are not directly caused by your HCV or treatment, and may be caused by some other physiological imbalance that can cause fatigue. This needs to be investigated by your physician. Low thyroid, adrenal issues, blood sugar levels, and plain old stress can contribute to fatigue and mood changes, not to mention trauma caused by physical or emotional events.
Staying positive is a good thing, but staying in any state of mind all of the time is not something that is normal for any of us. It is about keeping a balance, and sometimes the scale tips too heavily in one direction. This is when we should seek out help.
Please don’t ever let stigma prevent you from seeking help because despite what people may think we all need help now and again.
Most people can manage these mood changes on their own but some cannot, but there is help if you only ask. You are not alone in this.
Don’t isolate yourself from others. Isolation only makes the situation worse.