Hello all!

Hi there, I'm a newbie here. I'm 32 and from Birmingham (originally from Oxford) and I've recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, although I've been showing symptoms for the past 9 years.

I just wanted to ask how everyone deals with the depression that goes with the chronic pain. I've been on antidepressantsfor around 8 years now and my partner has told me that I should come off them and try to find a didifferent way to deal with it all. My psychiatrist recently put my medication up slightly as I was having a bit of a wobble and I was completely ok with it all. Then I decided to talk things through with my partner and that's when this issue came up.

I'm all for finding another way of dealing with feeling low because of pain but I'm not sure whats out there other than talking to my psychiatrist and doctor.

To be honest, I'm getting fed up with trying to talk things through with my partner as it always seems to end in an argument about how I'm doing things wrong, so any advice would be most appreciated!

19 Replies

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  • Hi Napz82

    Welcome to the forum and it is wonderful to make your acquaintance. I sincerely hope that you find the forum useful, informative and loads of fun! I have pasted you a link below to our mother site, FibroAction which hosts loads of useful Fibro information:

    FibroAction Website:

    fibroaction.org

    I have read many posts from members who talk about their depression and how difficult it can make life feel. However, it is not one of the symptoms of Fibro that I have ever had to contend with, so far? I would always advocate discussing issues with a GP or other Medical Specialist prior to coming off a medication and / or trying new non-prescribed treatments. As there can be effects to coming off a medication and interactions with going on to new ones.

    I was wondering if you have ever been sent for counselling? As sometimes this can help with depression by putting things into context and alleviating a lot of the pent up frustration and emotions that we need to relieve ourselves of. Many members have undergone CBT (Cognitive behavioural Therapy) which they say has helped them a great deal.

    I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck and I sincerely hope that you find the answers that you so desperately desire and deserve.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken

  • Hi sorry to hear you have this. Have you heard of duloxetine? It is an anti depressant but in the states has a license for fm. It is good for pain too. May be worth asking your gp. It would be instead of any Ssri family of meds you are on. Hope that helps x

  • Hi Nap82

    I'm sure you will find this forum very helpful. I'm not sure whether the main issue is your partner or your fibro. Depression goes hand in hand with the illness unfortunately. Make sure you get plenty of rest and a good pain killer...I'm not going to recommend you one as your Dr may want to try you on a few or you may already have a decent painkiller. Arguments make Fibro ten times worse I think, I'm similar with my partner or ex to be..he says he understands my illness but he doesn't plus he drinks heavy that used to cause rows, now I'm just used to it....but try and work out what needs to be worked on most...your relationship, your fibro or depression? Another tip when in bed exercise your body and stretch as much as you can, it does help with the pain. Lastly good luck and hugs xxx

  • Anti depressants can treat not only the emotional side but also help control the chemicals which deal with pain in the brain so while other methods might help its unlikely they would be as effective. I find a combination works best (I did take a while to find the right pills which had fewest side effects while helping - it's all about balance). I find getting pain under control can help your emotional side - I use hot water therapy as well as pills, yoga, reflexology and mindfulness meditation. Any cbt you can do I would recommend, as well as meeting and talking to other sufferers can help too, having a support network in addition to you partner can allow him to feel he is still your lover not your carer. My hubby also had difficulties dealing with depression and cognitive issues that all go along side the pain, we talk lots but also make efforts to do "normal" couple stuff like watching film's, playing board games and date nights - I make huge efforts to not talk about the pain or fm during these times but focus on enjoying the time together. However we do still talk about fm just not at our planned couple time.

    Hope it helps to know your not alone and that there are other things out there to help, just try stuff till you find what works for you.

  • It really makes me angry when people who are not medically trained in mental health tell us we don't need to take antidepressants. You would not of been put on them in the first place or had to see a psychiatrist if you didn't need to be on them. You know your mind and body better than anyone else so don't be pushed around by your partner. The thought of being alone can be very scary but I wonder if your partner is part of your problem as he doesn't sound very supportive and could be making you feel worse. Good luck, chest out and chin up you are a beautiful person. Just remember that x

  • Welcome to the forum.

    I am not you so please remember that and this is my personal experience. I agree that depression is a horrible symptom. Anti-depressants affected me so much OH threaten to leave me if I continued to take them. I went on a spending orgy nearly a thousand in an afternoon which we definitely did not have. Since then I have accepted the feelings but have found that going outside, changing the lights indoors and watching / reading comedy helpful.

    Don't forget that your partner is human too and has his own problems as well as being worried about you.

  • Hi Betty, aren't you jumping to conclusions? Assuming that the partner is "he"? Regarding (your partner?) threatening to leave you if you continued to take medication, that doesn't seem very understanding.

    You say the anti-depressants affected you a great deal. Reading between the lines I'm assuming you're saying the effects the anti-depressants had on you weren't very good but don't mention what they were or whether you just stopped taking them without medical consultation. Any medical professional would say it was extremely inadvisable to just stop taking anti-depressant medication so I'm wondering what happened in your case?

  • Yes am so sorry about jumping to the gender assumption, and obviously something I need to work on. i was thinking about trying to excuse myself but that would be pointless.

    I had only been on the anti-depressants for a couple of days and sorry do not remember what they were. I did discuss the effect they had on me with GP in next consultation I had and yes at the time of the shopping frenzy OH and I were going through a tough patch. 15 years later and are still together and our relationship is back to a partnership rather than him being the a carer.

  • That's interesting Betty67, my GP mentioned addictions when trying to discourage me from starting on an SSRI, sorry, cannot remember which specific one) when I asked what sort of addition did she mean she specifically said retail spending, I could not quite believe that, as of course I know nothing about them so it is very useful to hear of your experience. x

  • Hi Napz82,

    I totally sympathise with you, I've been through the arguments & partners advice, but unless they actually know how you feel they can't advise you on how to deal with it, no matter how well intentioned, but what I'm going to say I hope you find helpful, I am a 55 year old female, diagnosed in 2000 aged 43, but I know I have suffered since I was about 36/37, I had to stop work in 2002, I was taking Voltarol also kmown as diclofenac 50mg 3 x a day for about 8 years, I decided to wean myself off them as it was only changing the type of pain but not the level of pain, I have been off all pain medication for 6 years now, the reason behind it is, I am taking in all the toxins of meds which I thought, could be causing other unknown damage to my body & mind, until I had a really bad flare up about 6/8 months ago I asked GP for diclofenac only to be told it is now known to cause strokes & heart attacks!!! How glad I was that I weaned myself off them, what I find helps me is getting to the swimming pool as the water helps support the muscles & joints a "pain free" 2 hours plus the swimming was gentle exercise I also do aqua aerobics 3 x a week, went home & slept 3 hours best restful restorative sleep I've had in years! Now the sleep I have is cut to a half hour my pain level feels more manageable, with regards to depression medication, I feel you should not be on it as long as you have been, so can only suggest you are not on the right one for you, the fact your depressed while taking them I think is a negative, I suggest a rethink, I suffer bouts if depression & know how you feel, my problem is because I'm keen to be off anti depressants I have come off them too soon, I am currently taking "Escitalipram" the one I gind works for me, I started on 10mg in July last year because I never took them from the previous October when depression originally hit me, I doubled to 20mg in November to help me through the dark mornings & nights of winter months, I will reduce to 10mg again when the mornings get lighter, my GP knows I'm not keen to medicate & agrees with my views so its a last resort to be on them, but this time she has asked me to remain on them for a 2 year course as it is more likely to have a lasting effect, I've previously been to keen to come off them that the depression just returns, so I am trying that, with monthly visits to GP to monitor how I am doing, so fat so good. The only pain relief I take now, is paracetamol on my worst days & I don't take them the 2 x 4 a day as recommend but 2 x 2 a day for two days, as I say this works for me it might not work for you but I would consider review changing or stopping medications, Sorry I've gone on a great deal, I hope you find my info helpful, I wish you a happier & healthier future, take care with love & gentle healing hugs Honor xx

  • I think it's really important to spend time doing any activity that raises your mood and to be with people who are upbeat and really lift you, any people who constantly drag you down should be avoided! (easier said than done, sometimes)x

  • Sorry Napz82, I notice I've made a few spell errors, but hope you know the words I mean lol x

  • Hi welcome to this fab site, I have been suffering real bad for a few years with chronic pain flare ups due to fibro, and because I continue working I have to take all the meds I can to get me through the day. my partner is very supportive, constantly putting up with my moans and groans, however they should have a few days in our bodies to understand what it feels like. I have almost come to the end of a course of C B T and found it very helpful in my way of thinking and coping with the pain, im sure you will find the right answer for you, because the people on this forum are great in helping you cope with this horrible condition .take care kim x

  • I've had fibro since birth but only been diagnosed for five or six years. Initially my pain specialist helped with Amitriptyllin (muscle relaxant and antidepressant) combined with Dehydrocodeine and paracetamol. The combination of drugs along size and extra top up of 10mg of Amitriptyllin if the pain gets worse. I also have many other health issues due to pernicious Anemea. I'm lucky in a way due to always having pain Im used to it, it's part of my life now. My daughter also has PA and I think she has fibro and she is a staff nurse. She gets tired and the pain really gets her in the same places as me and as she gets older it gets worse. She has now started with the migraine and sickness. Which is hard for her with working 48 hour weeks but she sticks in there and Ashe is only 27 years old she has a long way to go.

    I worked many years with my illness, which was important for me because keeping busy stops my mind succumbing to depression. It is difficult and now I have a lot of issues work is out of the question for me at the moment.

    I don't know about you but I wake up in the morning with a feeling of dread, like you are awaiting bad news. It's also difficult coping with change or holidays because you get you don't want to go out of the house.

    To be honest talking things out all the time with your partner, whilst intentions are good, can get you both down and can make us self absorbed. Let's face its it if someone kept talking to you every day about how they feel, even the most patient person eventually will snap. I'd be like OMG not again!

    I take time out, go up to bed early, watch a movie, read or do some hand knitting, or just cuddle my two little dogs ( who listen to my whinging no end!!) they never complain and seem to know when the pain is really bad and don't mind how often I say that I'm in agony.

    I also take them for a little walk, just for fifteen minutes or so as I'm on crutches now, I don't care how much it hurts I face it head on and feel good that I've done that.

    I see it all as a war, me against it all be it Tumours, PA, asthma, arthritis, fibro, migraine, polymyalagia. I have the lot but I do it, the only thing that messes me up is going into hospital, being confined not being able to take my meds when Im used to taking them, not being in control.

    I'm sorry for going on, its the only chance I get haha!

    Don't let it beat you and think how you would feel if you were in your partners shoes? Good luck

  • Wow, lots of material there.

    Morning and welcome to this lovely fluffy site.

    One word answer to your basic question. Differently.

    There's a lot to unpick here and you've plenty to be getting on with. A couple of points not covered, or I missed,

    Your partner's reaction is by no means unusual so try not to let it get in the way of your relationship. I cant advise how you talk it through together. it's already said we all have strong medical opinion even though we have no training.

    Another is anti depressants can help treat fibro symptoms. I wont declare they treat the condition.

    Interesting comment from Ken. I'm also unsure depression is a result of fibro directly. Check out his link and surf the mother site. Illness often links to depression as we are no longer able to function the way we did or would like to, or are in constant pain, or a combination of these. Fibro is basically neurological - but that is very simplistic, and ADs really can help. As to long term. there's a general belief you should be on them for periods around 6 months. But I for one know several people on them life long (like 45 years). There's no easy or quick fix. If there was, we'd have it and someone would be extremely rich. If you have a good doctor they're the best for talking through plain medical matters but there's a wealth of experience on this forum and nearly always someone who can tell you from experience. Just bear in mind we're not medics, we don't know you in detail. So we can only tell you what works for us or what doesn't work, not what WILL work for you. some of it is "suck it and see" and may take some time and experimentation. Please do come back as often as you need to.

    Gentle exercise is always good. Remember you're not training for a marathon. I do tai chi, progressive muscle relaxation and walk as much as my legs will allow. (not much just now as I managed to break one)

    Loads of gentle hugs and good luck in your quest.

  • I`m afraid the medication is important in my opinion I have had depression for the last 30 odd years and I am good (well good for me) when I am on my normal dose but each time I think I am handling life ok and cut back by half a tablet it doesn't take long for me to feel anxious and worry about every thing under the sun then for talking to your partner and trying to get over to them why you cannot handle problems like the majority of people is really going to be hard work because it is not talked about enough and until you suffer it yourself you will never know how it restricts your life even I don`t understand it even now anyway enough about depression as for fibro I find it easier to take one day at a time, hope this helps but it is only the way things are for me xx

  • Hi napz82

    depression is part of life with fibro. A great place start is see if you can find a local fibro group my group we meet once a month and myself and a few other meet up for coffee and a chat at my home or one of others home or out in town and you can talk to someone that know what you are going throw. I find this helps both with the fibro and depression but still need the anti-depression tablets and painkillers Do you have a good doctor that believes in fibro if not again find the local group and someone there will know of a good doctor as soon as you have a good doctor start manning your condition together and do not let them say it just the fibro get each new problem checked out.

    This is key to helping yourself

    see if you have a fibro or long term pain course It mite seem funny but it does help

    And the subject of partners well this is a hard one people say they understand but must find it hard understand and in some case believe we have the problems we do. I do hope it make since and is of help may I wish you all the best

    Kind regards x

  • hi, I just wanted to say welcome to this wonderful site. the lovely people on here have helped me so much since being diagnosed in feb last year. I have learnt a lot and you can ask anything, there is always somebody to offer advice and to listen but what means he most is that they KNOW what we are feeling.

    I too have depression alongside fibro and lupus and I too have negative comments and conversations that end up in arguments with my husband. I remind myself that he doesn't know what its like to be me and try to calm down as stress only makes us more poorly. please listen to your body and do what you feel is right for you. listen to doctors advice etc and make your own choices huny. I wish you all the best.

    hugs x

  • Hi, I dont post on here often, I am more of a reader . I am the same as you been ill for a long time and finally diagnosed with Fibro. I too was on anti dep. for many years. I eventually cane of them as i finally realised they were not helping and after years on the were never going to. I am obviously not telling you to do this . I decided to educate myself more and found out about adrenal exhaustion and cortisol testing. It was amazing reading this and I finally understood this was one of my issues and not depression. Its a long long road , but knowing and understanding has helped me immensely. I i hope this may help. Take care.

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