Monday, December 30, 2013

Friendship/Support for Chronic Illness and Depression

People with chronic illnesses often feel isolated, both mentally and physically. If your friend is happy to talk about their condition  it may be worthwhile to find out what restrictions their condition might put on them. Some chronic illnesses can be quite limiting in a physical sense…so  talk to your friend and find out what works for them…they know their body best.

When they are experiencing "acute epsodes" That people with depression and chronic illness, experience periodically, they may want to isolate themselves. Always remember that they are still your friend. They still need to know that you are there for them. It can be hard on your friendship not to understand exactly what they are going through and missing your old friend. Not completly understanding why they wont go to lunch or that tupperware party. It is a good idea to educate yourself on their condition and find out ways to help them and you through these difficult times.
They may not always be straightforward with you because they dont want you to think that they are "complaining". If they seem to disappear socially, for a while, it may just be that they’re not feeling well at the time and not that they don’t want to catch up or go out.... It’s also important to remember that everyone’s case is different.

A few things to understand about chronic illness. Your friend can be experiencing a lot of pain, be it emotional or physical. This will limit their abilities and the need arises to make adjustments to many aspects of their lives. This in itself can be very frustrating.
Illness can often affect a person’s mobility or independence and that this is often a huge adjustment for a young person to make.  Bad days really suck and the frustration can sometimes be overwhelming and people aren’t as patient or relaxed as they may be normally.
 Illnesses don’t always make sense. One day your friend may be fine, and by the next they could be in tears with pain. “Flare ups” can start in a matter of minutes ...or may come on over days. Plans may need to be adjusted or postponed. Flare ups are often difficult to predict.
Illness and depression does not affect people in the same way. This is especially true with MS.

Remember, while it’s great to be there for your friend, it could put a strain on you. If the situation gets you down reach out and talk to someone.

Your friendship and understanding is important for those suffereing with depression and complications associated with it and with chronic health issues. Sometimes just sitting there and listening can make all the difference in the world. Silence can be a good thing, when it is meant with love and compassion.

Our illnesses can make us mean and miserable sometimes, but we need to be good friends too. Apologize for the angry outbursts, because you were run down by fatigue or hurting more significantly that day. A true friend will understand.

Again, education is key in understanding your friend and sometimes even yourself. Be good to you and cherish those folks that are there for you. They certainly do not come around everyday.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Due to my recent loss of my daughter, I have experienced debilitating depression & it's effects So I wrote this to help others!

(Cindi Rill, Columnist, MS News Channel)

Grief and MS

Grief of a loved one is terrible enough to bear without worrying about it's effects on patients with Multiple Sclerosis. I have read several articles and wanted to pass this info to you. Due to my recent loss of my daughter, I have experienced debilitating depression and it's effects. Fortunately, it has not caused any
neurological problems, or should I say, new, neurological problems.
The death of a loved one can create many issues that we don't think of before the death occurs. Such as, having to move, changes in income, etc. Which in turn can create a tremendous amount of stress, in addition to the grief that we are experiencing. We all know that stress is our enemy. It cause relapses, exacerbations, showing of new symptoms and or worsening of existing symptoms.

You must allow yourself time to grieve. If you push it to the side it will come back, fast and furious. You definitely should find some kind of support, whether it be friends, family, local support groups, who and whatever helps you. Sometimes trying to bring some order to your life will help. Cleaning, preparing to move, even the unfortunate task of going through the belongings of the one you loved, will help to relieve some of the emotional burden. Be thankful for who you have to help and support you. Unfortunately, it seems at times like these, people scatter and there isnt always someone there for you. Take a deep breath and focus on the good things. I know it is hard to do this. Very, very, hard. It does help to push thoughts to the back of your mind, even if it is just for a moment. Over analyzing and thinking too much can set you up for depression and a relapse, so dont do it!!! If only I could take my own advice!! "When you internalize the stress rather than finding ways to work through it, and finding ways to go on living life again, this increases the adverse effects on your body by causing your nervous system to short circuit even more than the Multiple Sclerosis can cause by itself."

Talk about your loved one. Live for them. Honor their memory. It will help you with your grrief journey, and will lessen the effects that this terrible disease causes for those of us with MS.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


(if you want to give Cindi your love & support: click here)

I am devastated....

I wrote Tara a letter this morning. I want to share it with everyone because I think it is important to know what we go through as parents when our loved ones commit suicide. 

There are so many unanswered questions and guilt. Please support Suicide Awareness. Even if it is by just sharing my Tara's story! Here's the Letter:

Dear Tara,

I miss you. I hope you have found happiness and peace within your soul. I love you and i hope that there was never a doubt in your mind that i loved you. i know we had our struggles, but in the end there was still love. i wish that you would have waited for me that day. we could have talked and everything would have been okay for a little bit longer. i am so sorry that you were so sad and so alone. if I had known, i would have never left you that day. i am sorry for whatever he said to you to make you want to go. he still loves you. we all love you. i know things were said in anger and frustration, but you know we all do that. it is not right, but it is done. 

i am having a hard time down here without you. i am sad because of everything that you will not get to do and to see. i cry because i cant touch you or hear your voice. i am sorry for being so hard on you. You are so beautiful and smart. I just wanted you to be happy and successful, not like me, living paycheck to paycheck. busting my ass for everything that i want. i knew you could do it. i knew you could. i knew that you could do better than "him". you didnt value yourself enough. i am so sorry that you felt so bad about yourself. you are so beautiful and you could have had and done anything that you wanted. you just needed some confidence and a little push. thats all i was doing was pushing you to be the best that you could be. god, i hate this.

i am sorry for not telling the nurse that you were sad that time that you cut yourself so bad. i am sorry i kept my promise, that time. maybe you would have gotten the help that you needed and you would still be here. 

I am listening to one of your favorite albums while i write this to you in heaven. pink floyd, wish you were here and i much, wish that you were here. i love you, angel. i miss you with every inch of my being and i wish that you could come back. 

Everyone tells me to be happy because you would not want me to be sad. if you didnt want me to be sad, you would still be here. i want to be angry with you for doing this to yourself. for doing this to me. i want to scream and curse the dark things in your head that told you you had to go. you didnt have to go. you just needed some help. we all need help, tara. we cant do this on our own. not all the time. i never imagined that you would do this. never in a million years. i am so sorry for leaving you alone that day. why didnt you tell me how sad you were. why did you try to do this alone???????

why??.......why did you go away????? you had to know that i would miss you. your sister and your neices and nephew miss you. every person that you touched, everyone whose life you touched, misses you.

i love you.