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I think that anyone who has been dealing with chronic pain for a number of years can get depressed from time to time.
I also believe our younger folks who just started to deal with spinal problems and pain can get depressed.

Some times you hear the word depression and you think the worst. That the person must seek help, there is something wrong with them.

I disagree. (to an extent) We can all get depressed over something. A lost job, having no money to pay the bills, lovers quarrels, problem with children
or family, etc. This can go on and on.

I think the major difference is how we deal with this depression. If we let it get the best of us, sit down sulk, frown upon everything, stay away from friends, etc
that is bad. That can easily lead to a downward spiral for more depression which can be so hard to climb out of.

But when we know something is depressing, we have to figure out a way to deal with it. Somethings are out of control, so, we make the most of that. When its things
within our control, we need to find ways to work on that or fix it.

I get depressed just reading some of the threads/posts from different members. I feel for their pain. I've been through a lot, but when I hear how much they
are suffering or missing out on, it hurts, it saddens me. At times I try to let those folks know that things can get better.

Life is good. It can take some wicked turns, it can turn us upside down, but living is GREAT
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I used to use the word 'depression' very freely. I still do on occasion but try to change my vocabulary. I've had the 'blues' over the years. Things have got me down & made me sad but a good action plan or finding something else to obsess on has always done the trick.
    Towards the end of my last pregnancy I was pretty blue. A doctor had done an 'adjustment' on me & crippled me. Erasing the years of hard work I'd put into my body in preparation. Other things got me down.
    After we were home from the hospital I had my daughter in a cosleeper next to my bed. I reached around it to get a drink of water & spilt it over myself. I just lay there, wet, cold but too exhausted to move. When I woke my long hair looked like a yeti! A week later it looked a lot worse! I felt like I was existing in a bubble with my baby. It was colder & darker, like a moody movie. I couldn't identify how much time had passed. I felt like I was hobbling through my life in tears, moving around other people (my parents were staying at the time) put they were in a different plain of existence. My husband would suggest I'd take a shower so I did. It's like his voice woke me for a moment then it vanished & I was alone again.

    I'm just trying to describe something that's pretty impossible to describe...Depression. Not being moved, or sad, or stressed, or blue. For me it was complete & utter depression. I've never known anything like it before or since but it was terrifying on many levels. I never thought I would suffer with it & have to confess I never had a lot of patience with others who said they were. Why not just snap out of it? Get some help? Think positive!
    I was completely 'gone' & my loved ones didn't know what to do. My parents changed their flight & returned to England early, thinking I needed to get on with things on my own. My husband was suffering his own sleep deprivation & had no patience with me. Both were the worst possible things for me & sent me into an even darker place.
    The one saving grace in my head was my kids were in 'the bubble' with me. I now have a deeper understanding of women who do terrible things in that situation. I always believed people would recognize post natal depression (made worse by chronic pain) I'm close to my family but they were dealing with their own 'stuff' & were blind to how desperate the situation was. How can no-one see?
    If you know that it's more than 'the blues', if anything I say sounds familiar, please talk to your doctor, any doctor. My brother took his own life (he didn't have anyone in his bubble to keep going for) even though he had family & kids. I know how easy it would be to loose the last grain of control. I guess I'm just saying there's a huge difference between the word 'depression' we use so easily & DEPRESSION.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 554
    I have personal experiences with depression also. About 11 years ago, one of my husbands relatives did something very horrific to my young daughter. This was very traumatic for my family. After my initial reaction of rage, I went into a state of depression. I would stay in bed for days. I took a leave of absence from work. My husband finally convinced me into doing family therapy. We were all put on medication. I think the therapy worked more than the meds, though. After a few months, the meds were no longer needed. None of us liked the fog it put us in. I decided that I wasn't able to help my daughter through this if I couldn't deal with it myself. I was really in a dark place. I think from going through that experience, it has helped me cope with my health issues I have today. I realize that I have no control at what's been dealt to me & I never want to go back to that dark world I lived in for many months. It would be so easy to sit here everyday & get depressed & feel sorry for myself but I won't allow myself to do it. Everyday is a new day! Some are better, some not so good. But I always try to find something good in my day. Even if it's just face timing on the phone with my 3 year old grandson.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,807
    EG, I agree with you I never thought I would know depression, my father committed suicide also as you know and their is definitly a difference in clinical depression, situational depression and blues. Trying to treat some only on own could be recipe for disaster in some cases. When I was going to school and suffering thoracic issues I thought I had depression, but i realized after going through limbo and things with no treatment or cure I really did not know depression during school. I was diagnosed with situational depression with my first injury and clinical depression with second stuff, I can tell you I did things I never could have even believed I could have done previously, as if I was not in control of my mind, i would often wake up from being awake if that makes any sense. Clinical depression is when you cannot see hope or a way out no matter how hard you try and its a very scary , lonely place to be, but I did get a new understanding in terms of my father's depression and a glimpse of what it must have felt like. Someone believing they will be in the worst pain they have ever felt the rest of their life with no relief does just horrible things to the mind.
    People definitly used depression to much IMHO also.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,807
    I am definitely depressed reading posts where no diagnosis can be found and the person is facing severe pain, possibly spreading, possibly progressing, having feelings of no one believing them or being doubted, has heard its in their head, depression takes over,feeling that the diagnosis given just doesn't seem to match or have evidence to support, slowly missing more and more social things and staying away due to pain, then ultimately feeling crazy themselves bouncing back and forth between doctors . That is a time that breeds such fear and confusion it's all so overwhelming as you want to get better and fight , but you don't even know what you are fighting . it definitive doesn't get easier when the right diagnosis comes , but proper treatment comes with proper diagnosis. For those not so lucky to get immediate diagnosis who are waiting , looking , suffering its out there , but sometimes takes a lot of looking. It's another part of this spine/chronic pain journey that gets left out sometimes . How important a correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment is to the mindset Ie. Depression
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • Owie_999OOwie_999 Posts: 176
    edited 01/22/2015 - 1:17 AM
    I wouldn't say I've suffered depression but certainly have had the 'blues' feeling several times. Getting a life long diagnosis & major surgery for my daughter when she was 12 months old (she's now 14) & the rest of the stuff that goes with it prepared me for my own health issues. My GP made me laugh when he said to me about 8-9months ago 'You're clearly not depressed, just xxxxx off!'
    Life can be extremely difficult at times. The key for me is to ask for help, cry over a glass of wine, then try & find a positive to move on.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,807
    Veronica, I was very mad also!!! Couple years ago I was diagnosed with situational depression, which basically meant iwithout my health issues i am a happy person lol. Crazy to think something could have this far reaching impact in ones life. I still miss who I was to this day and it's been 10 yrs since health went south
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 01/22/2015 - 5:37 AM
    My brother got 'very mad' at his health, doctors etc. but he put all of his efforts into his family. He moved, supporting the family buisiness, which isolated him from friends. Loosing his family was the last straw. I guess we all have a limit as to how much we can take. Chronic pain can make our lives shrink quite a bit. For some I know it's a hard earned carrier, or a loving family that keeps them going. It's those that build a strong foundation & endure despite everything. Those that can reach deep inside & find the strength to carry on with nothing but themselves to lean on that amaze me.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,807
    EG, the statement about lives shrinking is such a huge thing for me. I used to look at life like it was wide open, anything is possible, I can go or become anything with hard work. Life seems so small these days as thought is more about dealing with daily pain and health issues vs dreaming and future. I miss that feeling that anything is possible, and nothing holding me back. Probably been one of the tougher things for me.
    I also agree that everyone has their limit and it's different person to person.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • For me it's loss of control. I thought the world was my oyster to. Now so much of my existence is out of my control & it makes me feel powerless. I know I can think about what I can do, make the proverbial lemonade but knowing there's only a handful of things I could do to earn money...I couldn't work full time in an office for example....Will never have the kind of fantastic career I used to have. My doc's prescriptions & treatments allow me to function as I do & a simple change in policy could change my existence. There will always be times that I have no choice but to lean on others for the simplest things etc. robs me of any real independence.

    I've always been a glass half full (of something delicious) kind of girl but this thread is titled "Depression" & snow is in the forecast tonight. I used to love snow days. I do adore my kids glowing red noses & cheeks, the warm fire & my hot chocolate drinks but I dread the pain, the "No Mummy's got to go in now", the disappointment..... My body makes decisions for me, others have control over my standard of living. It could get a girl down if she let it. See I do have control over something (if my brain lets me!!!)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I've been robbed for 14 yrs herniated , bulge disc N periformis syndrome ,I've done all procedures except surgery Orthopedic says nothing can be done. So I sit, walk , sleep in pain. Today both legs hurt so I take my meds and use tense unit. I did take a part time- live in job, it gets me out the house and helping someone in need is therapy for me.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    edited 02/03/2015 - 6:29 AM
    without something really being done.

    There are only a very small, very small very small percentage of the total population that surgery can not help.

    There may be many doctors who say surgery wont help, based on their opinion or surgical skills. So dont continue to
    sit in pain without taking the next step. Second or third opinions are always in order when things come to a standstill.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hello, I'm Kim Marie and this is a first for me. I'm 50 years old and last May I hurt my back moving boxes and furniture at home. Ten years ago I did have surgery on my neck. S/P Cervical discectomy C3-4 & C6-7. Never had any pain or problems before surgery. It was after surgery that the problems began in my neck and shoulder. I had a deck job working on computers and after a few years could no longer work full time. I was fortunate in that I was able to find a part time job doing the same thing. After hurting my back I had an MRI done and it demonstrates C6-C7 spondylitic spurring to the left side, T5-T6 small midline disc herniation, T7-T8 small left paracentral disc herniation, T9-T10 level right paracentral disc herniation indenting the thecal sac touching the spinal cord. L1-2 level demonstrates degenerative disc, 2-3 level demonstrates minor annular bulging, L4-5 level demonstrates a broad based central disc herniation. An EMG further show a pinched nerve on L4-L5.
    I am in constant pain in my lower back and neck/shoulder. Walking, sitting and most activities cause me pain. Heat is the only relief that helps. If I try to do anything the pain gets so bad and my left leg gets kind of numb and very heavy making walking difficult . Two neurosurgeon have said no surgery is needed and will not help my symptoms. They use words like degenerative disc disease, scoliotic spinal deformity and even fibromyalgia. I am on 600mg of Gabapentin 3 times a day, 15mg Morphine 2 times a day and Hydrocodon 3 times a day as needed. This does help the pain but I am a zombie and can't really function. I certainly can not work with all this medicine. The neurosurgeon recommended the Morphine pain pump but I can not find a doctor who will maintain it and accept my insurance.
    I truly can not work and am disputing my long term disability.
    I don't understand how surgery can not help. If a disc is herniated and causing a pinched nerve. I don't want surgery. Now the doctor is recommending a Spinal Simulator.
    I am so scared thinking this is my life, I can do nothing. The most painful aspect of this ordeal is not being able to sit and play with my grandchildren.
    The loss of income, the second year of no raise increase for my husband, 150.00 less a month due to benefits increasing. We are struggling with the co pays for appointments.
    I am just so depressed and can't find away out. I have OCD and have truly been struggling. I need to organize and do things but I honestly can't. Walking, sitting, lifting,. If I vacuum or dust I am in so much pain that takes a few days of absolutely doing nothing to some what recover.
    Then the guilt and feeling selfish that there are so many other people out their that have it so much worse then me and are living their lives and doing great things.
    You hear things like Buck up, shake it off, quit your pity party, be thankful for what you have. It's true on so many levels but difficult to do.
    I feel lost and helpless and unable to at this point to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    I'm nervous and scared about the Spinal Simulator, both financial and results.
    Well that's all for now. Thanks for listening.
    edited 02/08/2015 - 3:22 PM
    I agree with the comments related to chronic pain/depression. Four months after my spinal fusion surgery, while at my desk working, I had the subconscious thought "I'm going to get up now and leave this pain, because I've had enough!" to then have reality hit...wait, I can't leave. I have to continue to learn to cope. It is tough. Especially while going through marital issues and other family drama. Thank God I have found peace from my relationship with Him. Otherwise, I don't know where I'd be...really. Thank you for posting about this topic.
    Sheri Keen
  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 159
    Been now a long 3-1/2 months from a 7 level fusion on my thorascic spine. A 11" scar on the back to go with it. Was very active and strong before this. At 50 I never said no. Now I cant is my new word. To taking a 2 hr car ride to a friends camp, cant sit that long in a car. To rolling out of bed to the ground on all fours, because I cant just cant do no other way. Cant walk long at the mall with wife, have to sit down then she will say why did you come? Cooking is not easy, standing with a slight bend cutting up stuff, cant. People saying let me do that for you, you cant do that. I can bearly turn to wipe my a** or put my shoes on. People really dont belive you that the pain can be this bad or you have to take it easy. Family members even say it still hurts you? when you going back to work? Work..? Im a carpenter, Trust me you need a strong back. I was a man that could do anything, And now everything stops. Sit in a chair because my back says you cant do that, Doc said 3-6 and you will good as new. Ha, Good as new? I work hard 48 hours a week. Im not paid to take it easy, or take a break and sit for awile. This is one operation that will make you stop your life. I do know there are many people in wheelchairs, Paralyzed. I was lucky from my fall at work. I was out going, fun, energetic. Have a boat and jet ski I look at and wounder if I will be able to do the stuff with it that i did. Now when I get the chance to go out, its like go without me. Because I cant. Have to think what type of seat will i sit on. How long will I be on my feet. Just a hassle. Yes, im starting to get depressed, scared of the unknown? If i can return to my old job. Be the person I was before. This is not me. i know my body. I had shoulder surgery, broke a few bones, had many stitches. And some stuff never had a doctor look at. This is not the same. I sit now in my chair, Its all quiet here, and look at the walls, and think?? what will become of me? Im loseing money every month, You dont get rich on WC. My job, my life. Used to be glad to see March come, Work in the yard, Plant flowers, boating season starting. Wont be the same. I dont think I will be ever. Another weekend is coming, No dancing or bowling again.
    Greg fisher
  • I just wanted to change this post...

    I was frustrated with the depression posting in that I cant do anything because of my depression... I got on here Friday and when I started reading some of this these stories they seemed positive and nothing like what I'm going through at all. However after a few days I realized how paralyzing my condition has become. I have to do something about this and although working with Dr's on all levels perhaps sometime a pill is not the answer. I had a positive Saturday and a positive Sunday followed up by an action Monday. I'm not a gym person anymore but I've decided that getting up early and working out during off peak hours would be best for me. Because of my back pain I only walk and lift light weights or rather machines and watching everyone else it looks like I just do not belong there foolish perhaps but that's how I feel. Still I wanted to correct my post from Friday, talking about the problem without a solution is just a problem.

    I got up early Saturday morning and I did not linger around the house . I got in the shower ASAP, took my med's, had a protein drink, a coffee and got out of the house as soon as possible and did this on both days. Both days I had very little back pain and very little depression. Today was more of the same and although I'm disabled and can not resume normal full time work I've decided to look for part time work. With that I'm looking into a two year college and I'm thinking and feeling this may be best. Considering the level of depression and anxiety this will probably be a challenge but I do not see any other choice. I once loved to metal detect and years ago would have loved to do this full time, although the bending may prove challenging here is my chance to do this full time.

    Anyone suffering from depression and anxiety because of pain, if your going through what I'm going through God Bless us all. This is horrible but to do nothing is to do just that suffer.. Sorry for the post I'm glad I got the chance to correct it....
  • I am so glad that I found this forum. I have just made my first post in another area (not sure exactly where as I'm very new to "forums"). I am 55, and up until the back pain "mess" felt "young". This has made me feel frail and old. Depressed. Yes. Very.
    I'm only 4 weeks post-op and begin PT tomorrow. I think that this forum is going to be a life saver for me.
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