Still here but...

…not having the time of my life.

i think it’s the change in the weather and the darker nights; I’ve never felt the onset of winter as badly as this over the past 6 years since I fell ill.

i’m seriously thinking about giving in and asking for antidepressants. My carefully regulated bowel management has fallen apart, I feel permanently bloated and uncomfortable. My MS progression is almost chartable on a daily basis. It’s heading north, scaring me with its rapidity. I now get what I assume to be the hug around my diaphragm, though it’s only discomfort, not pain. I used to be able to say that all my physical symptoms were below the diaphragm. No more. My hands don’t belong to me. There is no such thing as an inanimate object, anything can suddenly take on a life of its own if I try to pick it up.

BUT (whisper it) I haven’t had a Uti for nearly six weeks. Ruth has starred putting gently stewed cranberries in my porridge. I know the research is inconclusive about cranberries, but my urologist suggested trying them, so hey-Ho, why not?

sorry for this whiny post, but I know you lovely people understand.



Hello Kev,

The dark nights get to me too and it so cold and wet…I just feel constantly tired.



Hiya Kev, you’re not whining, it’s necessary to vent it out. I can’t really say anything except I know how you’re feeling & I’m sorry you’re having a crap time of it just now. It will pass, and you’re experienced with this ms guff long enough to know that yourself. Doesn’t make it easier at the time though. Antidepressants are almost essential with having ms I think anyway. Just as important as the painkillers we all need to take. You’re not giving in by starting to take them, Ms is such a piss take of an illness it’s not surprising we need a bit of help to lift our mood at times. I’ve had a couple of bouts taking antidepressants over the years but for the last 7/8 years I’ve been taking amytriptaline at night. It’s a combination drug of antidepressants & sleeper (I think? Anyone??) They help me to fall asleep, help me from waking up with painful cramps & they help my mood too. It’s a bargain of a drug - 3 for 1

I hope you feel better soon man, you’re not alone in this though! Take care x


The long dark days of winter affect lots of people Kev, make a GP appointment and see what is suggested. I took Citalopram a while back for what my GP described as "low mood’.

Libertine I take Amitriptyline for the creepy crawly feeling I get in my arms, as a side effect I no longer get up during the night to use the toilet, they give it to children who wet the bed so win win for me Although if you were prone to UTIs it might not be such a good thing. I have noticed if I take mine at the usual time of 7.30 pm then have a night out consequently drink later, I find it difficult to empty my bladder after 10.30 pm. My usual bed time is around 9.30.

Jan x

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Kev you are not whining at all. Just saying how it is!

Deciding to take antidepressants isn’t giving in. If you have a headache and take a couple of aspirin you are not giving in are you?

Antidepressants are good drugs that are there to help when you need a bit of help. That’s all they are. Simple! Go and see your GP and get some.

Thinking of you and hope you have a good day today,

Pat xx


Hello Kev.

I started on anti-depressants last summer. I did feel some degree of disappointment for “giving in” but this was far outweighed by the benefits. I’m actually sleeping now. I still have the odd sleepless night, but the general trend is towards regular sleep. My GP agreed to it straight away, hinting that most of us with a chronic illness may need them just to get through the day. They are not a magic cure but I see them more as a helping hand.

As for the dark nights, well, they are the devil’s work. But winters do end and I always make sure I have things to look forward to. And feel free to whine-we all need to.

Best wishes, Steve.


Kev ask the dr for some anti ds they will help you, they really will,i have been on them for years and couldnt do without em, i am feeling really bad too, i had tonsillitis 5 weeks ago after my oral biopsy and only just got over that to be now hit with this flu bug everyones got, i am that weak i can hardly stand even to get to bathroom,i am more than fed up.i think a lot of us are just now.i am dreading xmas this year too for all sorts of reasons,but it will come and go,like everything else.

J x


Hi KeV

Sorry to hear things are difficult at the moment, hang in there, it will pass, and definitely the grey days and long winter nights don’t help…roll onn spring.

About 6 months ago whilst seeing the MS nurse, I had a huge meltdown, and was immediately talked into taking AD’s and CBT therapy, both of which I am still doing and can see and feel a change for the better. My advice KeV is to have a chat with your GP, its not giving in to MS, its just another tool to use to help against the monster.

You are not whining KeV, best to let it out, and on here we all really do understand.

Pam x


Hi Kev,

Sorry you’re struggling so at the moment. It’s a rotten disease for us to live with and starting anti depressants is not giving in! Besides the fact that progressive MS is likely to bring down the chirpiest of folk it can effect our brains and cause depression. I’ve taken anti d’s for years…they don’t make me overly jolly they just help me to cope! I hope you’ll consider having a chat with your GP.

Take care of yourself, thinking of you,

Nina X

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Thank you so much everyone. I’m no better today, probably worse, but so much better for reading your replies.

my first step tomorrow will be to call my MS nurse and get some advice about my bowels and my mood, then talk to my GP.

I’m sure the bowel issues are partly responsible for dragging my mood down. I’m not constipated or incontinent, but I always feel as though I need to go, and when I do go I never feel as though I’ve finished. The bloated feeling may be the steroid I’m on for my endocrinological problems.

i’m actually keen to give antidepressants a try, especially after what you’ve all said. I don’t have any problems sleeping, thank god, but I’m not in a good place when I’m awake, crying all the time. ‘Giving in’ isn’t really the right phrase. I’ve resisted ADs mainly because I’m taking so much medication already. But I suppose another chemical in my system isn’t going to make much difference, is it?

Meanwhile, more painkillers…

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Hey Kev sorry you are not doing so good, I will try and ring you. That will depress you and then maybe you will get some antidepressants!!!

I love my two citolopram each morning, they keep the smile on my face.

Here’s one to make you smile or at the very least weep.

Standing in the paint aisle at the DIY centre always brings a tear to my eye I can’t help but get emulsional.




Thanks for that joke Don, but I’ll gloss over it TISH-BOOM!

just spoke to my MS nurse (who is brilliant) and she suggested citalopram. Now waiting for a call from my GP.

the really good thing is that the MS service at Northampton General now has an MS bowel specialist nurse, so I’m booked in to see her in Dec.

I feel better already.


stop press: my doc has prescribed citalopram. Result!


Great news Kev!

Isn’t it amazing how just asking for help can actually help itself! We are not helpless providing we can ask for help.

Must remember that myself as I also don’t ask for help when I should!!!

Pat xx

very true, needing help / wanting help / asking for help are very different. Despite not liking asking for help I find that when I do, people are usually brilliant.


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Hello, Kev.

I can most definitely recommend Citalopram.

Good luck with the specialist.


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Hi Kev, agree with all the advice re anti-depressants etc,. The hug I am all to familiar with I suffer terribly with it. I have been seeing a physical therapist for the last couple of months to try and help with spasms that are getting out of control, she gave me a breathing exercise to help relieve it and I have found it really helps.

inhale deeply for the count of 5, hold your breath for the count of 5, and exhale slowly for the count of 5 and repeat a couple of times. You can do this as often as needed and hopefully you will find the same benefit as I have. Heat also helps me as does a Valium.


ann x

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That’s good, I love mine. Hope your soon feeling the benefits takes a while to kick in.


Ann I do something similar to induce sleep, that and a special place only to be thought about when I want sleep. I got these ideas from a nurse doing a manage your own illness course. The funding wasn’t replaced, shame because I got several tips whilst on it.

Hi Don, that’s interesting I do something similar to help with my sleep. When I was told about it first I was skeptical but figured I had nothing to lose. Now I have opened my mind up a bit, it’s nice to have something that helps however small that does not involve taking more meds.


ann xx

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Breathing exercises definitely a good thing, Ann. Good for anxiety, for sure.

When I had cancer and was doing my chemo I was told to ‘stop, flop, breath’ when I felt the fatigue.

Kev x

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