I need help with Depression and Anxiety!

Posted by jordchud62 @jordchud62, Wed, Apr 17 10:35am

I suffer from neuropathy in my feet and lower legs, and am extremely frustrated as this makes my depression and anxiety worse. Any help is appreciated. Thank You.

Hi, @jordchud62, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I don't suffer from neuropathy personally, but I do have anxiety and depression that are triggered by certain circumstances at times. I can imagine how having neuropathy in my feet and lower legs could increase anxiety and depression.

I have given your post a relationship with both our Depression & Anxiety and also our Neuropathy groups, so members in both groups can join in.

I'd like you to meet @johnbishop @artscaping @grandmar @lauraj155 @lorirenee1, who may have some perspective on neuropathy making depression and anxiety worse and also managing all of these.

What type of neuropathy were you diagnosed with, @jordchud62? What are your neuropathy symptoms currently: Do you have pain, numbness?

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Hi, @jordchud62, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @lisalucier. I have idiopathic small fiber periphal neuropathy and have had it 20+ years. It can be depressing and cause some anxiety if you spend a lot of time pondering and wondering the what ifs. I only have the numbness with my neuropathy so I don't have to take any medications. You can read my story earlier on Connect here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anyone-here-dealing-with-peripheral-neuropathy/?pg=42#comment-65985

One of the things I like to do if I get to feeling a little down is to focus on something positive. There is a great website with some short videos that help you do that here: https://www.resilientoption.com/

Are you on any medications for your neuropathy?

Liked by Lyn

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@lisalucier

Hi, @jordchud62, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I don't suffer from neuropathy personally, but I do have anxiety and depression that are triggered by certain circumstances at times. I can imagine how having neuropathy in my feet and lower legs could increase anxiety and depression.

I have given your post a relationship with both our Depression & Anxiety and also our Neuropathy groups, so members in both groups can join in.

I'd like you to meet @johnbishop @artscaping @grandmar @lauraj155 @lorirenee1, who may have some perspective on neuropathy making depression and anxiety worse and also managing all of these.

What type of neuropathy were you diagnosed with, @jordchud62? What are your neuropathy symptoms currently: Do you have pain, numbness?

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@jordchud62

Welcome!

I am @grandmar, also known as Ronnie.
I have been diagnosed with neuropathy (I don't know what kind) and I have been suffering from generalized anxiety since I was a VERY YOUNG child.

I was just diagnosed with neuropathy a couple of months ago. Since I had 2 spinal surgeries within 7 months of each other, I really didn't notice that thinks were happening. I fell a several times, but hit the ground only twice. I assumed it was related to the recovery of my surgeries and the pain and pain meds I was taking.

I noticed back in June that when I sat with my feet flat on the ground, my right foot would not sway left to right/right to left. I also noticed that I had difficulty lifting my toes from that position. Long story short, my right big toe does not move at all and my foot drags, especially at the end of the day. I am walking with a cane and I will be getting a brace for my right leg in a few weeks. I am fortunate that I have not developed any pain like many others have.

As for my left foot, I have some neuropathy there, too, but not to extent of the right foot. I've had an EMG and I have significant nerve damage at S1 and L4. This can be impacting the neuropathy. So, for now, I go on. I am going to see a vascular doctor to get some other ideas. In the meanwhile, I've bee to a theraputic masseuse twice, who has been working on me. I got my toes moving a little bit.

Now for the anxiety…….
I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety more than 10 years ago. But as I said before, I've had it since I was VERY YOUNG. I used to get up from a sound sleep, with my body quivering non-stop. I wasn't cold! I'd call for my mom who would come to me an 'talk me down.' Then, in my thirties, it got worse. I'd get dizzy, my chest would hurt and my body would quiver. I'd go next door to my colleage and good friend clutching my chest, insisting I was having a heart attack. She'd ask me how long I was having symptoms. When I told her several hours, she would tell me that I would be dead if I was having a heart attack. That was good enough to calm me down.

Another story short, I went on Effexor about 15 years ago. It worked great! My PCP told me it was time to come off about a year later. The weaning was far too quick and I had a horrible reaction. I had such an anxiety attack, I couldn't go to work or even go out of the house. Throughout the years, my Effexor has been upped to meet the needs at the time. As of November 2018, I was up to two-75mg in the morning and evening. In November I started to wean down from that high dosage. I am currently down to two-75 mg in the morning and one-75 mg in the evening. It took me since November to reduce 25%. I have no intention of coming off, just going down to what I consider a reasonable amount. I will remain where I am for a couple of months to make sure my body is OK with the reduction. Then, I will begin the same process with my morning dose. My ultimate goal is 75 mg in the morning in evening. My ultimate, ultimate goal will be 37.5mg in the morning and evening, but I don't see that happening for a long, long time.

Well, that's my story and I am sticking to it! lol

Have a good rest of the day!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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What is a vascular doctor?? Do they treat neuropathy? I'm glad you're getting a brace.. I have read where a lot of people say there life is so much better with one. Good luck

Liked by grandmaR

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@peggyn

What is a vascular doctor?? Do they treat neuropathy? I'm glad you're getting a brace.. I have read where a lot of people say there life is so much better with one. Good luck

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@peggyn

There are many kinds of doctors who can treat neuropathy based on their specialty.

A vascular doctor will look within the body's veins. It can be done with a special kind of ultra sound. He will look for blockages that might be leading to my legs and feet. In addition, they can make sure, if there are blockages there, they can also check the heart and other organs to see if the veins are blocked there, too. As far as WHAT they can do if they find something, I do not know. This doctor would probably ask for a consult with a vascular surgeon to see if surgery is the answer.

A neurologist looks at the nerves leading to those same areas using an uncomfortable test. This test can pinpoint where there might be nerve damage. As far as WHAT they can do, I don't know that, either. My guess is that they might ask for a consult with a neurosurgeon to see if surgery is the answer, just like with a vascular surgeon.

A pediatrist can look at the pysiology of the foot and ankle and prescribe accordingly. For me, right now, it's going to a technician to get a brace. It is this tech who is told WHAT the pediatrist wants to accomplish, and it is the techs job to figure out which equipment would be best.

The massage therapist works on my legs, ankles, feet and toes. He massages and stretches to try to improve the flexibility and blood flow in those areas.

I would guess there MIGHT be other specialists who might be able to help. For example, possiblly a pain management doctor?

Best of luck!!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar

@peggyn

There are many kinds of doctors who can treat neuropathy based on their specialty.

A vascular doctor will look within the body's veins. It can be done with a special kind of ultra sound. He will look for blockages that might be leading to my legs and feet. In addition, they can make sure, if there are blockages there, they can also check the heart and other organs to see if the veins are blocked there, too. As far as WHAT they can do if they find something, I do not know. This doctor would probably ask for a consult with a vascular surgeon to see if surgery is the answer.

A neurologist looks at the nerves leading to those same areas using an uncomfortable test. This test can pinpoint where there might be nerve damage. As far as WHAT they can do, I don't know that, either. My guess is that they might ask for a consult with a neurosurgeon to see if surgery is the answer, just like with a vascular surgeon.

A pediatrist can look at the pysiology of the foot and ankle and prescribe accordingly. For me, right now, it's going to a technician to get a brace. It is this tech who is told WHAT the pediatrist wants to accomplish, and it is the techs job to figure out which equipment would be best.

The massage therapist works on my legs, ankles, feet and toes. He massages and stretches to try to improve the flexibility and blood flow in those areas.

I would guess there MIGHT be other specialists who might be able to help. For example, possiblly a pain management doctor?

Best of luck!!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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I was at the podiatrist last week because of planter fasiticis . She never says or does anything about my neuropathy.
She did say I had PAD and there is no cure.I wish she would send me to a vascular dr. because the veins in my feet are very prevalent .

Liked by grandmaR

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@peggyn

I was at the podiatrist last week because of planter fasiticis . She never says or does anything about my neuropathy.
She did say I had PAD and there is no cure.I wish she would send me to a vascular dr. because the veins in my feet are very prevalent .

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Have you asked your podiatrist to send you to a vascular doctor?
Have you told your PCP about your neuropathy? If so, you could ask him/her, too.

You need to advocate for what you need. If you don't mention it, good chance they won't either.

Ronnie

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Hello @jordchud62, Welcome to our very caring and compassionate community of Connect members. I have been asked by @lisalucier to share some of my journey with you. I think that it might be best if I relayed my experience with anxiety and depression and how those conditions arise out of the devastating diagnosis of neuropathy, and in my case, idiopathic small fiber neuropathy (SFN). Depression, including suicidal tendencies, was the first mental condition to somewhat overwhelm me. Recognized by my neurologist after a few months, it was treated with medication and immersion into what I call the 3M group, mindfulness, meditation, and massage. The type of massage I found to be most beneficial is Myofascial Release (MFR). I just went for a session this afternoon. I religiously practice yoga, mindfulness, and meditation every day.

Here is the MFR website for your review https://www.myofascialrelease.com/

About a year ago, I noticed that my cognitive abilities appeared to be declining, especially when called upon to use my recent memory. That facility just didn't exist for me. Nor could I follow a sequence of verbal instructions. Finally, what I could only call cognitive impairment, kept me from falling asleep at night or even enjoying an evening with friends. I resigned from my volunteer job as the marketing director for a community center project in the mountain village where I lived because I was making mistakes and not performing well. I started making lists and then forgot where I put the lists. My table mates at Mahjong had to constantly tell me where we were in the game which was the only way I could play. And then…..I realized that when I was not "on my game" mentally, my pain level ramped up. That, of course, led to more anxiety which led to more pain, and the beat went on and on. Recently my primary care practitioner (PCP) requested a neurobehavioral study. I just got the results and reviewed them with her. I do not have dementia or any disease. I have a condition….in which my cognitive issues are directly related to my level of anxiety which is directly related to my level of neuropathic pain.

Just having this information/diagnosis has helped. My father was an identical twin. Not only did the twin brothers have Alzheimer's, but 6 of the 9 children in the family were also afflicted. So, at 77….part of my anxiety was related to concern about Alzheimer's. Cross that one off. For now, I am beginning a medication regimen to combat the anxiety and have begun exploring more activities that reinforce the need to have and use an active and retentive brain. In addition, I have added another dosage of medical marijuana (MM) for a total of three droppers every day. I have also activated my vape cartridge (MM) because I can get immediate relief before the pain and/or anxiety overwhelms me.

We are all faced with choices and react differently to treatment modalities. We can best help by sharing information and demonstrating compassion for every individual's journey along an unwelcome path. Feel free to ask any questions that might arise and also know that I wish for you to be free of suffering. My best…..Chris.

REPLY
@artscaping

Hello @jordchud62, Welcome to our very caring and compassionate community of Connect members. I have been asked by @lisalucier to share some of my journey with you. I think that it might be best if I relayed my experience with anxiety and depression and how those conditions arise out of the devastating diagnosis of neuropathy, and in my case, idiopathic small fiber neuropathy (SFN). Depression, including suicidal tendencies, was the first mental condition to somewhat overwhelm me. Recognized by my neurologist after a few months, it was treated with medication and immersion into what I call the 3M group, mindfulness, meditation, and massage. The type of massage I found to be most beneficial is Myofascial Release (MFR). I just went for a session this afternoon. I religiously practice yoga, mindfulness, and meditation every day.

Here is the MFR website for your review https://www.myofascialrelease.com/

About a year ago, I noticed that my cognitive abilities appeared to be declining, especially when called upon to use my recent memory. That facility just didn't exist for me. Nor could I follow a sequence of verbal instructions. Finally, what I could only call cognitive impairment, kept me from falling asleep at night or even enjoying an evening with friends. I resigned from my volunteer job as the marketing director for a community center project in the mountain village where I lived because I was making mistakes and not performing well. I started making lists and then forgot where I put the lists. My table mates at Mahjong had to constantly tell me where we were in the game which was the only way I could play. And then…..I realized that when I was not "on my game" mentally, my pain level ramped up. That, of course, led to more anxiety which led to more pain, and the beat went on and on. Recently my primary care practitioner (PCP) requested a neurobehavioral study. I just got the results and reviewed them with her. I do not have dementia or any disease. I have a condition….in which my cognitive issues are directly related to my level of anxiety which is directly related to my level of neuropathic pain.

Just having this information/diagnosis has helped. My father was an identical twin. Not only did the twin brothers have Alzheimer's, but 6 of the 9 children in the family were also afflicted. So, at 77….part of my anxiety was related to concern about Alzheimer's. Cross that one off. For now, I am beginning a medication regimen to combat the anxiety and have begun exploring more activities that reinforce the need to have and use an active and retentive brain. In addition, I have added another dosage of medical marijuana (MM) for a total of three droppers every day. I have also activated my vape cartridge (MM) because I can get immediate relief before the pain and/or anxiety overwhelms me.

We are all faced with choices and react differently to treatment modalities. We can best help by sharing information and demonstrating compassion for every individual's journey along an unwelcome path. Feel free to ask any questions that might arise and also know that I wish for you to be free of suffering. My best…..Chris.

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Thank You so very much for the help. Sincerely, DJ

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Dear jordchud62, Wellbutrin and weekly therapy/counseling help me a great deal.

ElaineD

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