In this comprehensive leaflet, we explain depression and examine likely causes. We review treatment options, in particular antidepressants, and how difficult it can be finding the right drug. We also consider how these drugs can help with sleep and pain management. And, we review other treatment options including practical coping strategies, self-help, good CBT, and counselling, and provide some useful contacts.
Am I depressed or just fed up?
In common with many other chronic disabling conditions, some people with ME/CFS will experience a degree of clinical depression at some stage in their illness and this is completely understandable. Feeling fed up and frustrated are extremely common reactions and emotional lability/instability can sometimes form part of ME/CFS, but this is not the same as having true clinical depression and it is important to recognise the differences – and to consult your GP.
The two key symptoms of clinical depression are:
- Persistent sadness or low mood
- Marked loss of interest or pleasure in things that were previously enjoyed (= anhedonia)
The ME Association telephone helpline – ME Connect – is available every day of the year, during the hours of 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. Please phone: 0344 576 5326 if you have any questions or would simply like to talk to someone who is there to listen.
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