I have to be honest, I’ve been asked this more than once by family members, doctors and friends. For probably 15 of the 19 years I have MS, I was on Prozac. I think in my 20s I was miserable for many reasons, especially when I got my diagnosis. However, the main reason for Prozac was because Betaseron, my MS therapy drug, had the side effect of depression. It’s like you take a drug, but then you need something to offset the drug. It was a very topsy-turvy situation. However Prozac kept me levelheaded. It was an easy pill, I had no side effects and I didn’t mind it. I must admit it probably kept my mood swings at bay.
I’m not 100% sure when I stopped taking the Prozac. I know I definitely wasnt taking it when I stopped working, I think my family started to talk and they decided, I’m depressed. Am I depressed? I definitely have my moments. Sometimes they could last for an hour, a day and occasionally a few days. Am I depressed? Well let’s think about this. Everyday 24/7 I have MS which includes being numb in both hands and feet, not being able to walk without great difficulty and extreme fatigue. This is just a three things I deal with 24/7 but nothing even remotely close to my life and daily difficulties having multiple sclerosis. Does my family understand this? Yes, they do, for the most part BUT, they don’t walk in my shoes. They hear about it all the time, they hear the stories, the tears, and the frustration but they are not the one actually living it. Yes, they hurt for their daughter, sister, niece, but they go about their life, they live and get a chance to forget about it. I DON’T. I never get a chance to forget about it. The bad episode or event might pass but the numbness never goes away, the walking never gets easier my daily life never gets less exhausting. Are there things we can do to make things easier, absolutely, that’s not the issue I’m discussing. Life gets overwhelming when you have a chronic disease of any kind. It can get anybody down. I have my moments, and I’m entitled to. I’m not depressed, miserable or suicidal. Normally I’m happy and content. What makes me happy may not be what makes you happy but that doesn’t mean something is wrong with me. Some of my favorite days are watching real housewives of Beverly Hills flanked by my dogs on my couch. I’m a simple girl and I like a simple life. This isn’t depression. I go out and people who see me, see me with a genuine smile on my face most of the time. I try to be positive as much as I can. My error is that with my family I don’t always show the positive side, I verbalize the frustration more because I feel safe to so. I think they feel that this is how I feel most of the time instead of the other way around. If they knew, that by me verbalizing this to them gets it off my chest to feel more positive everywhere else, they’d realize I wasn’t depressed. I’m just happy in different, simpler things.