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physical health and depression - Carers UK Forum

physical health and depression

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Can anyone advice, my friend has physical health problems which are leading to mental health problems, she is fed up and depressed because she can't do the things she used to do.
The doc has put her on antidepressants, her response I am not taking those ***** things.
She wants to go out and about but too cold no money, no one to push her wheelchair.

Surely Social services should be helping with this, taking her out on trips, helping her out the house as well as in.

What can be done, about the depression caused by long term illness?
Your friend needs to contact Social Services for a needs assessment. Also find out more about disability benefits, so she can either get her own car through Motability, or perhaps a mobility scooter. Has an occupational therapist looked at her home to see if any adaptations would help?
Very often there are organisations dealing with specific health complaints. Has she had a look to see whether there is one for her condition?
Why won't she take the anti-depressants? Is it because she thinks they are just a 'sop' - ie, that she is being given them so she 'shuts up and stops moving'??!!!

Or does she fear getting addicted?

That can be a real 'risk' but it is one that can be carefully managed, and it is not inevitable at all - it is more a sign of the 'abuse' or 'misuse' of anti-depressants, rather than careful 'use'.

However, I'm wondering whether she thinks there is something 'weak' or 'wrong' about taking anti-depressants?

Many people think that when they have 'mental illness' it is quite 'different' from ordinary, ie, physical illness.

But when you think about it, it isn't in many respects! So, my argument would be that just as we are perfectly prepared to take medicines for physical ailments, so the same should apply to mental ailments..

Taking anti-depressants is just as 'normal' as taking painkillers, or any other pills for a physical ailment.

Sadly, one of the key characteristics of depression is being very, very negative about anything. People suffering from depression can think (as a result of their depression) 'Oh, nothing can help me - nothing at all! It's all hopeless!'.....so they refuse all help, including anti-depressants.......they refuse the very thing that could help them.

My niece has chronic depression (though there isn't a great deal wrong with her life - which is another aspect of depression, and though this might sound weird, in a way, your friend does actually have 'something to be depressed about' ....ie, her poor state of health.

The reason I mention my niece is that I know from her parents that now that she is in treatment for her depression, the first thing the GP did was put her on ADs....she has to be on them for a few weeks BEFORE she is sent to counselling/psychotherapy. The counsellor/psychotherapist needs to talk to her when she is NOT at 'rock bottom'. She has to have just a little lift that the pills give her, so that she can start to talk things through with the counsellor.

However, with your friend, it could be maybe that she feels that she is depressed simply because of her physical limitations, and that, sadly, is very understandable. In that case, really, any 'cure' for her depression has to come from herself (with help from ADs, and maybe counselling as well), because she either has to 'come to terms' with what her limitations are (which will not, sadly, be as much as some others have to face, and that is true of most of us) or else she has to do all she can to overcome those limitations......

I appreciate that yes, SS should be doing more, but as so many here know, money is in punishingly short supply, and not nearly enough is done that should be.....
Sorry - that should have been 'shut up and stop MOANING'.....