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 readhttp://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Depression_and_exercisehttp://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression-and-exercise/MH00043
This NJ AN support group discusses the â€œdepression issueâ€http://www.ananj.org/PostOp_Acoustic_Neuroma.shtm
under Depression & Memory
Here is a study done on this very topic of AN tumors and depression
(Sorry wrong link)CORRECTIONhttp://jnnp.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/61/4/403
The British Acoustic Neuroma association actually has a pamphlet on depressionhttp://www.bana-uk.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6&Itemid=6(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€