Sunday, October 16, 2016

ICYMI, AFAA: Depression and Grieving in Adrenal Insufficiency

In case you missed it, Action for Adrenal Awareness released October's video on YouTube. The topic this month was on Grieving and Depression with Adrenal Insufficiency. Kim and Debby shared their insight, along with some very helpful information.


Debby starts out the video by sharing some of the more common symptoms of depression.

Debby shares with us some of the symptoms of depression.
She also makes note that another stage of depression is grief. This grief can cause the loss of friends, and a lack of energy as the new reality of our medication sets in. There is a loss of our former self as we go through this period in which we attempt to learn who our new self is going to be. She reminds us, however, that our new self is still pretty good.

Debby also highlights the four stages of grief: Reeling, Feeling, Dealing, and Healing. Although they sound similar in name, the represent distinctly different phases. Reeling is the stunned and shocked stage. Feeling is where the anger, deep sadness, and loneliness set it. Dealing is where you start to adapt to this new reality and plan for the future. And finally, healing is considered a recovery from the profoundly painful feelings. Healing is not about getting over your loss, but rather about learning to live with it. 

I found the classification of the stages very helpful.
She experienced feelings of sadness, the guilt associated with being unable to fully care for others, and extreme loneliness. But this is where the support groups come in. It is incredibly helpful to meet and talk with others that CAN relate, and the connection is instantaneous.

It is so important to remember that you are never alone. And you are never the only one.

For many of us, it is incredibly hard to distinguish the symptoms of depression from Adrenal Insufficiency. We highly encourage you to speak to your doctor.

Debby hands the video over to Kim, who reminds us again that this is both complicated and hard, but there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. Kim reminds us that low cortisol can cause a depressive factor but if this keeps happening it may no longer be just cortisol. Both serotonin and norepinephrine get depleted when chronically stressed. Cortisol does not touch either of those, which can get us into a dangerous loop.

Cortisol can fix the low cortisol. But it cannot touch the low serotonin and/or norepinephrine.
Kim encourages us to be mindful of this loop. Just like we need to replace the cortisol that our bodies are not making, we should replace the chemicals depleted in our brain. Kim follows this up with showing us a visual of the difference between a healthy synapse and a synapse of a depressed person.

The right side has much less neurotransmitters than the left side.
Kim wraps up the video with encouragement. Depression and grieving are both serious and very hard. Please do not feel ashamed. Do not feel like you are weak. Do not be afraid to seek additional help. We understand. We've been through this. We are sharing the things that we have learned and we want to help you.

Do not be afraid to use these references.

Did we forget anything? Please comment below! 
Have a suggestion for a future topic? Suggest it here!

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3 comments:

  1. Hi Amber. I just watched the video. I thought Kim said that she was available for conversation via one of the phone numbers. But, the phone numbers go to other agencies, not directly to her. I really would like to talk with someone directly who has Addison's and can understand the terrible frustration and sadness that it creates. I'm really struggling. I was asked to start a support group for Los Angeles, but feel totally unqualified because I am not coping well with the disease. Do you know of anyone I can talk with via telephone?

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    1. Hi Debbie,

      If you can send me an e-mail to clearly.alive@gmail.com , I can most definitely put you in contact with Kim! :)

      ~ Amber

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    2. Fantastic!! I went to my doctor today and feel very discouraged. Thank you so much. I'll send you an email to the above address.

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