Multiple Sclerosis and Depression Effects on Each other
According to Mental Health America, if you are suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, whether you have depression or not can be judged by asking yourself following two questions:
- During the past two weeks, have you often felt down, depressed or hopeless?
- During the past two weeks, have you had little interest or pleasure in doing things?
If you have answered “yes” to either or both of above questions, you might be having depression which is one of the common symptoms of MS.
If you answered “no” to above these, but constantly have low mood, you may be experiencing normal grieving or other changes. Grief is generally time-limited and resolves on its own..
Many people with MS focus only on their physical health and neglect their emotional health — which is an essential component of overall health and wellness.
The Link between MS and Depression
Anyone having too much stress or a tough situation may suffer from depression. Hence it is easy to postulate the effects of MS can cause mood changes and hence depression.
- MS itself might also cause depression. The disease may destroy the protective coating around nerves that helps the brain send signals that affect mood.
- Depression is also a side-effect of some the drugs that treat multiple sclerosis, such as steroids and interferon.
Depression and other MS symptoms
There are many similarities when it comes about the symptoms of depression and MS. At times, when these conditions coexist what is causing what symptom is often misjudged. For example, fatigue can be related to depression, or may be a direct result of MS, or a combination.
There is no link established on the running length of one symptom being present due to depression and its severity direct impact of another. For example, someone who is recently diagnosed can be as depressed as someone who has had MS for many years.
Nerve damage and depression in MS
Research has been done to see if depression can be directly linked to MS-related damage in particular areas of the brain. Some studies have suggested that there is a link, though they also suggest that MS-related nerve damage is only part of the equation.