Demoralization or Depresssion ?

Posted by Lacy @lacy2, Feb 16, 2021

Hi. Last week I stumbled across an article about Demoralization while doing a search re Depression-which I have been told I have along with generalized anxiety; and what caught my eye was the author explaining Demoralization was affecting some people and it was not necessarily “Depression”

To confuse the issue for me, another quick word search of the word Demoralization showed how it was used in warfare, law enforcement, to erode morale among the enemy etc. Another page I read listed symptoms such as:

  • Chronic of acute medical illness
  • Depressed mood
  • Past psychiatric history
  • Diminished functional ability
  • Younger age (not in my case)
  • Poor family cohesion
  • Poor quality of relationships
  • Avoidant or confrontational coping styles
  • Trait anxiety

In a case study on a USA site ncbi.nim.nih.gov… an article written 14 yrs ago told the history of an older man with terminal caner, persistent pain, insomnia, anorexia…frustration over a delay in dr being away and bowel issues who no longer enjoyed hobbies, family, friends. He felt like harming himself. His medical team considered diagnosis of agitated depression – but a psychotherapist felt it was “demoralization” … that he was in despair because of his situation!

Also described demoralization as a state separate from depression: (another site said opposite) …… that depressed patients found no happiness in anything; whereas demoralized patients had periods of “happiness” when they had a visitor, their pain was dealt with, etc. I have had this; like being on a carousel, up and down, up and down but not bi-polar.

So… asking myself … have I been depressed or demoralized or yet another medical condition?
Extreme sadness, pain, loneliness, insomnia, distrust of prescription meds, fear, diagnosis of incurable illness and grief over and over again?

I do not have any medical training and my vocabulary/comprehension is not the best, and I am not an avid reader of medical case histories… it just popped up after a search: but I had kept telling my husband and adult children over and over how very sad I felt with brother dying, illness, etc. extreme stress and anxiety: could it possibly be or have been something other than “depression” – (although depression can form part of demoralization, apparently, according to what I read (wish I was smarter and could sort this out).

Or (perish the thought) could I, and others, have combinations of many things but easier to just combine it all and call it depression? For the average person like me, does it matter?

Regardless, why can some people overcome almost the exact same illness/circumstances and some can’t. Why can some “keep going” like the energizer bunny? Maybe I would not feel so bad if I had a medical condition (demoralization) rather than a mental one (depression) or am I not understanding this … am confusing even myself!

Any thoughts on this – or, as some people say … “It’s the same difference”?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

Oh feel like I am slipping back; every time I get out of the D pit: depression, demoralization, darn well fed up; I get a progression of one of my illnesses or something a little "new" just to make it interesting . At least have hope the our of town Neurologist contacting me via computer screen mid March and ENT phone call end of March – but in meantime I will confess I am finding it hard …. got a bit over-confident when had a few days with a few hours almost normality, not quite, and now ding dong bell, back in the well. I have no family dr. and just cannot wait five hours at emerge clinic this time as know they cant do anything until discussion with specialists; I dont want to start staying on my bed all day but did today but its when I move around the internal tremors, which is relatively new/worse, and waiting to get emergency dental appointment for another molar to be removed…I know its self pity but I tried so hard after husband came home after major surgery, but seems as he is getting slightly better I am getting a bit worse and mor vocal…. got those "how can I end this" blues again which isnt helping him or me. Am still suspicious of side effects contributing to it all but what can we do? Have to take the meds. Hope everyone is having a happier day , if not a worse one than yesterday 💕

REPLY
@lacy2

Oh feel like I am slipping back; every time I get out of the D pit: depression, demoralization, darn well fed up; I get a progression of one of my illnesses or something a little "new" just to make it interesting . At least have hope the our of town Neurologist contacting me via computer screen mid March and ENT phone call end of March – but in meantime I will confess I am finding it hard …. got a bit over-confident when had a few days with a few hours almost normality, not quite, and now ding dong bell, back in the well. I have no family dr. and just cannot wait five hours at emerge clinic this time as know they cant do anything until discussion with specialists; I dont want to start staying on my bed all day but did today but its when I move around the internal tremors, which is relatively new/worse, and waiting to get emergency dental appointment for another molar to be removed…I know its self pity but I tried so hard after husband came home after major surgery, but seems as he is getting slightly better I am getting a bit worse and mor vocal…. got those "how can I end this" blues again which isnt helping him or me. Am still suspicious of side effects contributing to it all but what can we do? Have to take the meds. Hope everyone is having a happier day , if not a worse one than yesterday 💕

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@lacy2 Take a breath, then take another. Keep posting here. Write down your feelings as they come up. We are here for you.
Ginger

REPLY
@lacy2

Oh feel like I am slipping back; every time I get out of the D pit: depression, demoralization, darn well fed up; I get a progression of one of my illnesses or something a little "new" just to make it interesting . At least have hope the our of town Neurologist contacting me via computer screen mid March and ENT phone call end of March – but in meantime I will confess I am finding it hard …. got a bit over-confident when had a few days with a few hours almost normality, not quite, and now ding dong bell, back in the well. I have no family dr. and just cannot wait five hours at emerge clinic this time as know they cant do anything until discussion with specialists; I dont want to start staying on my bed all day but did today but its when I move around the internal tremors, which is relatively new/worse, and waiting to get emergency dental appointment for another molar to be removed…I know its self pity but I tried so hard after husband came home after major surgery, but seems as he is getting slightly better I am getting a bit worse and mor vocal…. got those "how can I end this" blues again which isnt helping him or me. Am still suspicious of side effects contributing to it all but what can we do? Have to take the meds. Hope everyone is having a happier day , if not a worse one than yesterday 💕

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@lacy2 I'm so sorry your down in the pits again I get those but not often yet but if we don't get out and socialize with other people .I read something about food certain kinds maybe a culpert also Do you keep a good journal .To see if you start to feel bad after certain foods? I know sugar is a killer for everyone.But how do you stop it ? Anyway just wanted to pass this on Hope you feel better and we all get more sunshine and fresh air

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Thank you Ginger. Had to cancel a monthly zoom meeting with therapist and a few older adults held today, just felt to ill with various pain/pressure and the dreaded sadness overcoming me again, to sit at computer for 2 hours: I was starting to make some progress I think, and being overly chatty on here, but this latest pain, pressure and internal tremors got a bit too much and going to be tough when get this old tooth out which is aching…. next week appt., I haven't been this "teary" for a while.
I do "rationalize" it all but it's overpowering and I have such a low pain tolerance Also don't want to start spending all day in bedroom again..although am more pain free when I am not moving about… . although we are in lockdown, but actually going downstairs for most of the day had been a big achievement for me after a few years. Thank you and everyone for being here… so many young people don't even have a chance to grow old do they?

REPLY
@lioness

@lacy2 I'm so sorry your down in the pits again I get those but not often yet but if we don't get out and socialize with other people .I read something about food certain kinds maybe a culpert also Do you keep a good journal .To see if you start to feel bad after certain foods? I know sugar is a killer for everyone.But how do you stop it ? Anyway just wanted to pass this on Hope you feel better and we all get more sunshine and fresh air

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.@lioness and @ginger …thank you … I am so "mouthy" when I am feeling better and then the pains/prssur, and stress of upcoming doctor appointments (via phone or internet) just overwhelm me…. and the emotional side wins. My physical certainly now rules my mental health. Even tho video/phone appointments coming up for the ear pain had for months, and what I feel are internal tremors on top of all the other illnesses I have, there really isnt a lot they can do and I have had so many meds over the years and tests, at 77 really don't want to pursue. Ginger I typed a separate thank you to you before this but when pressed enter, it disappeared. So nice of you all to help me… it is appreciated but I get even too down to accept a covid friendly visit from my adult daughters/not only having a self pity party, I am not inviting any guests. Bothers my spouse too to see me/hear my words, as he is recuperating from heart surgery…. I don't have a tremendous lot….but would give it all up to live in one room with straw on the floor in exchange to feel well even for a short time.. … J.

REPLY
@lacy2

.@lioness and @ginger …thank you … I am so "mouthy" when I am feeling better and then the pains/prssur, and stress of upcoming doctor appointments (via phone or internet) just overwhelm me…. and the emotional side wins. My physical certainly now rules my mental health. Even tho video/phone appointments coming up for the ear pain had for months, and what I feel are internal tremors on top of all the other illnesses I have, there really isnt a lot they can do and I have had so many meds over the years and tests, at 77 really don't want to pursue. Ginger I typed a separate thank you to you before this but when pressed enter, it disappeared. So nice of you all to help me… it is appreciated but I get even too down to accept a covid friendly visit from my adult daughters/not only having a self pity party, I am not inviting any guests. Bothers my spouse too to see me/hear my words, as he is recuperating from heart surgery…. I don't have a tremendous lot….but would give it all up to live in one room with straw on the floor in exchange to feel well even for a short time.. … J.

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@lacy2 Hoping this morning is a brighter day for you, and the weather allows you to get out for some fresh air and a bit of a walk
Ginger.

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….so 1 step forward, 3 back. "Therapist" agreed to a phone appointment later today, she is in another area… just not up to a zoom yet. Not sure if I mentioned but in bed so went thru some papers and I "think" although had neuropathy, the "internal tremors" started around time started a lot of dental work (my last dentist was off work a year and passed away so only cleaning done). So then I clued in that perhaps its all the freezing – 5 visits – as I found drug reaction between lanocaine? and clonazepam … so who knows . Shaking is not visible from outside but its all inside and it has been slowly progressing over the months but I put it aside to deal with other problems mental and physical. Am trying to find out from dentist what was used but also had freezing last Sept. when fell and needed stitch in hand… sorry if I am repeating. Yesterday when woke at 5am I suddenly remembred the doc at emerge when putting in freezing for stitch in my hand: : its the same stuff the dentist uses….now a long process to try and find out what that was as woke up the next morning shaking from head to toe for half hour but it went away, and i actually FORGOT about it til yesterday. IF it is something to do with the freezing there is no turning back/fix but not sure I can cope with this added illness. So crybaby me but if depression kicks in as it did few years ago after c.diff etc. etc., I dont thnk I can fight it this time around. Thanks.

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