Monday, August 24, 2009
Personally, I believe that everyone with Kennedy's Disease has had one or more bouts of depression. Some are able to work their way through it more easily than others, but it continues to be a major issue for the man as well as the caregiver. I do not believe drugs (medications) are the answer even though for some it might be a necessary step when prescribed by a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist.
I have often said that the mental and emotional aspects of Kennedy's Disease are as difficult, or perhaps even more difficult, to handle as the physical ones. Frustration over not being able to perform a simple task is something that I still have to live with. I believe strongly that most everyone with KD has to go through some sort of "Nine Stages" (see my earlier post on this subject). Acceptance of the health issue does not mean surrendering to it. Feeling overwhelmed is something most of us have experienced. I know most caregivers feel that way at times ... men with KD are not always the easiest to live with (did I say that?).
My daily exercise program is pretty important to me. It helps to have those endorphins rushing through the body for an hour or so each day. It is my drug of choice. My four half-hour walks a day around the lake with my beagle (he walks and I ride in my golf cart) are also important to me. These trips help clear the head. I also feel that the Kennedy’s Disease Association (KDA) chat room is especially helpful when feeling a little down. Knowing that I am not alone in this world is often all I need. Children (especially grandchildren) can also work wonders when you are feeling a little down. They have a way of making you laugh until you cry.
What is important is that you find an outlet ... a way to clear the mind of those negative thoughts. What works for you?