ANA Discussion Forum
Post-Treatment => Cognitive/Emotional Issues => Topic started by: ernie h on July 06, 2009, 07:57:24 am
hi all just wondering how many of (us) have been told/diagnosed with depression as the cause of the wonky head.long after we were told we should be fine.i'm not saying there aren't people that have done well in a short time after an sugery/radiation.i'm also not saying that depression doesn't play a part in this long journey.i've been treated with several different anti-depressants in the last year and a half.none have helped my symptoms most have made them worse and or gave me more symptoms.just wondering how common this is. thank you ernie h.
i think its pretty common.If yuo read back you can see a bit of a pattern. ::)
My working theory would be that the two, wonky head and depression, can be so intertwined as to make sorting them out next to impossible. It would be very easy to slip into a depressive state when you have a long term of "not quite feeling like I used to" with life limiting aspects. Drugs to treat depression have side effects. Those side affects can be multiplied by the wonky head which can increase the not quite right feelings which in turn could increase the depression.
Another aspect of this is the difficulty of describing a new sensation or feeling. To describe it you often have to refer to some other, more common feeling or sensation...it feels like.... This creates a problem in that whatever you use as a reference could have many different meanings to other people. When this description is to a doctor in an effort to diagnose what is wrong a mismatch in understanding the reference can lead to a faulty diagnosis.
Lastly, one of the really intriguing things about this journey is the variability of how each of us progress. Any time line of "you should be fine in blank amount of time" appears to be wild conjecture if it tries to pinpoint progress beyond very broad outlines. I think difficulties in sorting out the causes of our symptoms can be very common. One of my favorite TV shows is "House".. one aspect I really like is that it shows how much of a "guess" diagnosing the causes of a symptom can be..hopefully a well educated guess but it still comes down to the doctor guessing based on statistical occurrences of a given cause for a given symptom. This is not meant to impugn the good work doctors do...just a notice of the complexity of the human body and breadth of things than can go wrong with it.
I hope your situation gets sorted out...
..take care... tim b
I think you are spot on correct!
Any time line of "you should be fine in blank amount of time" appears to be wild conjecture if it tries to pinpoint progress beyond very broad outlines. I think difficulties in sorting out the causes of our symptoms can be very common. One of my favorite TV shows is "House".. one aspect I really like is that it shows how much of a "guess" diagnosing the causes of a symptom can be..hopefully a well educated guess but it still comes down to the doctor guessing based on statistical occurrences of a given cause for a given symptom. This is not meant to impugn the good work doctors do...just a notice of the complexity of the human body and breadth of things than can go wrong with it.
Always wondered why they called it "practicing medicine" ::) ...... until I had doctors finally admit they didn't know why "such and such" was happening. We are all human beings and although the vast majority of physicians are well-qualified in their specialty, it takes a very conscientious doctor to be compassionate, good in his/her field, and willing to admit when they just do not know the answers.
No matter how we look at it the truth is our treatments for the AN tumor were a real blow to the head (craniotomy or radiation). Head injured patients often complain of depression after injury. I do not see us as being that different.
I have certainly had some down-and-out moments but I have done everything possible to avoid the anti-depressant drugsâ€¦ and have succeeded. When I am having a down time- I simply go for a good power walk. Some days I do not have the energy to do this so I do, in a sense, take a mild stimulantâ€¦ I simply have a cup a coffee. (Yes caffeine- in moderation) Once that kicks in I seem to muster up some initiative to get outside and exerciseâ€¦ walk the dog etc. Usually after the exercising I feel much better.
Sadly when some people get down and out they pop open the refrigerator or pantry door (a noted American lifestyle issue) and eat some sort of â€œcomfort foodâ€. Then they start to get big and out of shape â€“ and the downward cycle kicks in. For me personally (I do not speak for others) exercise is the best ticket to get the adrenalin going to push out the â€œblahs and bluesâ€. The days I do not get my exercise in- that is when I am grumpy and sad. It takes discipline and assertion, on my part, to make sure that I get the quiet time to exercise (I prefer to do this alone and not with kids in tow- aerobic to loud music are no longer for me now that I am SSD and have hyperacusis)
Some days when I look in the mirror and I see the facial nerve damage from the surgery I get down. Sometimes I miss listening to â€œstereoâ€ music now that I am SSD â€¦ but I have tried to focus on doing and trying new things for entertainment. I put less emphasis on things about me that involve physical appearance (IE working on my "character"). I take an ear filter to social environments and just try to learn new ways to adapt to my new situation. I refuse to become socially reclusiveâ€¦ but know when I have had enough noise in a social environment I bail out before I get too exhausted.
If I were to tell you I was always feeling positive I would not only be fooling you- but myself. For me the one thing that always pulls me out of this is getting out and about- and getting exercise (a minimum of 20 minutes fast pace increased heart rate stuff)
Here are some supporting articles to read
This NJ AN support group discusses the â€œdepression issueâ€
under Depression & Memory
Here is a study done on this very topic of AN tumors and depression
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3258720 (Sorry wrong link)
The British Acoustic Neuroma association actually has a pamphlet on depression
(Perhaps the ANA needs to address this too and produce a booklet for our members)
Know you are not alone on what you are feeling. Try as many ways as you can to combat it with out anti-depressant drugsâ€¦ but know that sometimes when a patient is in a "deep" depression- this can be the only way to get them out of it.
Everyone is going to preach his or her own coping method. Mine is â€œfresh air and plenty of exerciseâ€
correction to the hyper-link on that study I gave above
Here it is in English