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Mood stabilizers and Juvenile Rhuematoid Arthritis

Posted by resa on January 20, 2005, at 20:16:50

In reply to Re: Light box - Vitamin D?, posted by katia on December 30, 2004, at 20:15:14

Hello, This is my first time, so... it's scary? (in a good way)
Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone out there has other chronic illnesses that make significant contributions to their moods - like rhuematoid arthritis?

I was diagnosed with JRA at 11, and have been suffering with chronic pain and fatigue for 20 years. The past year has been tremenedously difficult and I have sought out psychological help and been prescribed anti-depressents like wellbutrin and lexapro (with no great results). Because of chronic arthritic pain, fibromyalgia, bone degeneration in the TM joint, slippage at C1-C2, and severe arthritis in C4-5, I have also been on many other drugs like neurontin, zyprexa, vicodin, mobic, skelaxin, diazepam, AMITRIPTYLINE, GABAPENTIN, CYCLOBENZAPRINE, LEVAQUIN, and SULFAMETH to ease the suffering (again, with no great benefit). In December there was an overload (or more accurately, a meltdown) and I was in the ICU from an overdose of Elavil (amitriptyline). It's now become painfully clear that the highs/lows are bipolar manic/depressive episodes and dangerous to myself and my relationships. I always just thought I was naturally enthusiastic.

My question I guess is this: with a chronic illness that is so heavily integrated with your moods, how do you know which to treat first and how? I know I feel better when my body doesn't hurt (treat the physical side!), but I also know that my body doesn't hurt as much when I am in a good mood (treat the mind!). I feel like all of my doctors are on different pages and they are all just guessing! How can you get full mind and body care?

I've always felt like I need the highs to make up for the lows, but finally I am in a relationship that I want to stick around and my constant mood swings, irritablitly and unpredictability are wearing thin on both of us.

Any thoughts or advice would be cherished.





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