Depression Got Me Once

Depression fits well with most ataxia diagnosis, mainly due to the grim prognosis, I’m not sure if there maybe another link associated with ataxias. Many times depression goes unnoticed until it becomes severe or something drastic happens. As near as I can figure, and from my own personal experience, we hide depression because we don’t want to trouble anyone. It often goes unnoticed by the patient.
I have suffered from Depression since diagnosis, in recent years it became much worse along with severity of symptoms. On two occasions I tried to take my own life and ended up hospitalized both times. The reason I recall was because I felt I was of no use to anyone. I couldn’t participate in the active lifestyle I once lived. I have small children who would depend on me but I couldn’t provide. Ataxia affected my job (which I eventually became unable to work). I’m not one to accept doting on. I worked hard all my life, and earned a admirable income to show it.
As it turns out, I had it all wrong. (now don’t be misconstrued, I think this is a horrible condition) I could learn to try new things I am capable of. I learned fine art in college, which I started painting again. I recognize situations that I require help on. I still miss working, and those of you that complain about having to work, just imagine you can’t anymore! I still try to do too much around the house, and believe me I often get an earful from my GF! Usually my body reminds me the next day when I over do it. The kids love me the way I am. The’ve accepted my condition and adore just my presence.
I was assessed and put on an anti-depressent. I feel very lucky to be here. Oh this condition takes it’s toll on my mental health, but i am learning to cope.
I suppose something to learn from my experience is: that no matter how tough things seem, no matter how this condition gets you down. Don’t leave it too long to ask for professional help. lean on your friends and family, that’s what they’re there for in tough times. Most of all, dont’ feel you’re alone, most of us on this site are just a “click” away. We’re all in this together. Many of us share the same experiences.


Be well, Hutchy, and keep posting. I hear you. Coping is so hard but I admire you.


Thanks lin-da! Everyone deserves a friend.


Been there, done that. I was on Zoloft & weaned off it last yr as it made my BP drop too low. Hubby & church family & close friends are very supportive. I talk to God all the faith has gotten stronger thru this. Prayers all around for everyone.


i have a 9 yr old so. tyler who has AT. depression hits me hard to see him being robbed of a childhood and to see him sturrgle trying to do simple thing that he could do two years ago makes him so upset. he was diagnosed in dec of 2015. we started seeing him go down hill quickly and still is progressing quickly. i myself have Adult on set Stills disease. which makes it hard to move some days. so i got hit double i wish i can take it away from him. he can’t walk by himself anymore looking into a GOGO scooter. just hang in there your not alone get in touch with me i’ve felt with depression for a long time now.

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Depression has been my consist companion since 2000. My dear mom died that year and I had my colon removed the same year (crohns disease). 5years ago I was diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia. There is no winning…Just try to find some JOY each day…difficult, but doable…
By the way, I live alone…would be good to make some friends…
lonely in Pa.


Keep writing, Michael521, whenever you feel lonely, okay? We’re here.


Thanks for sharing Hutchy. I’m glad you seem to be figuring things out for yourself and I wish you well. I too suffer from ataxia, anxiety and depression. Mine is apparently pharma resistant - tried them all… had the DNA testing done even to see what might work best. When I get in an extreme funk, the meds seem to keep me from suicidal thoughts, but make me feel otherwise even more funky. I’m currently experimenting with meditation and trying to pay more attention to symptoms and their triggers.


I’ve struggled with depression, it’s sat on my shoulder for many years, even prior to ataxia. For me, it’s really affected my quality of life, and family life.

The real trigger to the spiral was probably Post Natel Depression, and at the same time my baby had Colic. This was 1980, I had a very unsympathetic doctor, my husband was consumed with his work and other young mothers were bonding beautifully with their babies.

It can be a very lonely existence once you’re caught up in depression. Generally, others cannot understand how anyone could have such inner turmoil, surely it’s a case of pulling yourself together.

The biggest problem is, once you are caught up in depression, other problems are magnified. By the late 1980s I was heading for a deep pit, then ataxia symptoms kicked in.

Despite seeing a Neurologist, I was misdiagnosed and medicated with pills that made me feel worse. I was almost a constant visitor to my family doctor, who told me ’ I’ve tested for everything, and can’t find anything wrong’.
My husband was losing patience, rapor with my children was suffering and I felt as though there was no end to this hell…

Chronic eye problems led to an MRI, in 2000. A different Neurologist said he could see twisted blood vessels putting pressure on my Cerebellum, there was nothing that could be done and I would just have to learn to live with my symptoms. BUT, he didn’t mention Cerebellar Ataxia. My Mother had recently died after a long battle with cancer.

Consequently, I continued to feel extremely unwell with challenging symptoms and wore a path to my family doctor. At no time did any medical professional advise me that my symptoms related to ataxia.

Depression deepened. By 2011 I started having falls. This led to another MRI and yet another Neurologist. And finally, a diagnosis of Cerebellar Ataxia. I was advised to try an anti depressant, something no-one else had suggested.
Somehow I found the courage to join a Women’s Support Group and talked to others…It was an enormous help.

Personally, I feel depression should be classed alongside addictions. It’s something you can overcome but it’s always looking over your shoulder.:thinking:xB


Depression is listed in the DSM-5 (as well as in previous versions) and can be a very serious illness. Addictions are also listed there. Depression can have major life impact and is common with brain problems. Anyone who experiences symptoms should discuss it with their doctor. Treatment (both medication and/or talk therapy) exists and helps. I know it helped me, and I am thankful. I am a former mental health professional and I have seen it affect many.


i too live in PA. Glenn Mills. i also lost my mom to cancer in october she was my rock threw all this. keep in touch with me please maybe we can help one other.

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I am now just reading your message of depression. I know from experience that depression is hard to deal through. Like you, I once tried taking my life. Like you, I had little children depending on me for their everything. I had the opportunity to be in a mental hospital right after I tried to commit suicide. I allowed it to help me. I became a good and big influence on others that were going through suicide like me. All I remember is someone told me which changed my attitude towards everything was “Change your environment.” For me, that statement was attitude changing for me. Anytime I get depressed, I think of changing something in my environment which means my furniture, diet, or people that are not minors and who stay thinking negative around me.
I also could work after 37 but that is life as well in some cases.