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Depression And Anxiety...is This A Dsy. Thing Maybe?

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I have noticed a bit of anxiety and depression creeping in on me. I have had depression before, at times very badly. Being sick for so long, since 2010. It could be just from that. It has been a very tough year for me and my family. So many things that could be adding to the sadness. But I wonder how many find that anxiety and depression increase when your dsy. gets worse?

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I have anxiety and depression issues Shiela. I wrote a long post about it only a week or so ago and it was terribly rambling and almost incoherent because of brain fog and also some confusion and self-doubt. But I got some great replies and a personal response from someone that helped me remember that anxiety can be very much a part of POTS. Our ANS (specifically the sympathetic nervous system, I think) causes the flight and fight response that we might need to save our lives in a dangerous situation but being dysfunctional it can just fire off whenever causing all those anxiety feelings.

Plus I have depression. I have dysthymia -- chronic low grade depression. And this is punctuated by periods of more severe depression. It makes sense that having a chronic illness would be depressing for many people as it can be such a struggle. Plus tough times can cause depression in people that are prone to it.

I see a psychiatrist for my depression and anxiety. A gp might be a good person to talk to. A psychologist also, or if you are religious perhaps a church member (reverend, priest, monk etc) to talk through this stuff.

Both anxiety and depression can be serious problems but they are common mood disorders. Latest statistics in Australia (on the beyondblue.com site Australia) states that 1 person in 4 will experience significant anxiety in their lifetime. I'd assume that the U.S. stats would probably show the same as we are similar societies.

Plus, just in the past week I have found a number of sites on chronic illness and depression on the net by googling. Sorry, but I did not keep links. Some were very helpful.


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Absolutely depression is part of dysautonomia. My very first symptom of this illness was a severe depression. The brain is an organ made up of nerves and chemical reactions. When the nervous system is assaulted, the brain reacts in unusual ways: depression, hyperactivity, "fog", sleeplessness, etc.... I suspect that many of the "mental illnesses" from which people suffer are in fact symptoms of an underlying disease process. I truly hope one day that there will be testing that can uncover these hidden diseases - perhaps genetic testing and therapies will be revealing in time.....In the meantime, hang in there - certain medications are helpful as well as a great support system - I think those of us with dysautonomia are just destined to have episodes of feeling depressed and sad due to the nature of our disease - it's just important to deal with it as soon as it starts-up.......

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Sheila 1366,

Yes, I think anxiety/depression is all part of Dysautonomia. That is not to say that there are those of us that don't already have anxiety/depression disorders. There is alot of information on here and discussions about the topic. I too suffer from anxiety and am on meds. for it. My anxiety came when I got POTS. Here are a few articles that I hope will help and shed some light:


Hope you find it helpful, specifically:

According to Svetlana Blitshteyn, Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, “As a symptom, anxiety can occur in a number of common medical conditions. Furthermore, anxiety can be directly caused by various physiologic factors, such as hypoglycemia, hypoxia, hypercapnia, hypovolemia and hypoperfusion. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that patients with POTS, a disorder that is characterized by hypovolemia, orthostatic cerebral hypoperfusion and excessive rise in standing plasma norepinephrine, may experience anxiety among many other symptoms.” (1) Postural tachycardia syndrome and anxiety disorders. Editors Note by Svetlana Blitshteyn, Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

According to Raj, et al, “Peripheral plasma norepinephrine (NE) is frequently raised in patients with POTS, particularly when upright, and many clinical features of POTS such as tachycardia, palpitations, shortness of breath, chest discomfort and tremor mimic the hyperadrenergic features of a panic attack.” (2) Psychiatric profile and attention deficits in postural tachycardia syndrome. Raj V, Haman KL, Raj SR, Byrne D, Blakely RD, Bioggioni I, Robertson D, Shelton RC., Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2009; 80: 339-44.

There is also a book that was tremendously helpful to me: http://www.amazon.com/Anxiety-Phobia-Workbook-Edmund-Bourne/dp/1572248912/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370178006&sr=1-1&keywords=the+anxiety+and+phobia+workbook

I agree as well that this is something that should be discussed with a dr. Quite possibly medications could help.

Hope you get some answers and relief.

Be well,


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Thanks for posting these articles. I'm glad to see this research is being done. Back in 2011, many doctors were saying it's all in your son's head. No POTS patient or caregivers deserve to hear this comment. At the time of our son's diagnosis, however, he was assessed by a very well now doctor that had a great deal of experience in this area. Before our son checked out of this inpatient rehab center, he told us our son did not have any psychological /anxiety problems that would have brought this illness on. He wished us the best and said he would study up on POTS.

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I found this regarding short term memory problems in a journal article, Ganglionic Acetylcholine Receptor Autoantibody: Oncological, Neurological, and Serological Accompaniments

This applies to people who have AAG.

This was in a subsection regarding people who had moderate amounts
of the ganglionic nAChR antibody:

Eleven patients had acute or subacute onset of cognitive and psychiatric symptoms and signs such as depression, psychosis, executive dysfunction, personality change, and amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

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Hang in there Shelia. Just seeing my son go through all this is hard. You never know how what to expect or how you will feel from day to day. You have to be flexible and your family will have to adjust to your needs. Doing that everyday and then having added stress from other sources does not help. When you don't see improvement with symptoms, it's hard. Having a good support system at home helps. What helps me the most with my situation, is getting outside and taking a walk in sunshine. It really does lift your mood, if you have mobility to get outside. Having someone to talk to help also helps.

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