738075 tn?1330575844

Cog? Depression? What's Wrong?!?

I'm sitting here listening to about 5 artists who's work I really admire, trying to get some inspiration. I haven't written anything in two years. I haven't played my guitar in two weeks. Nothing is coming to my mind.

Truth is, for about the last year, or so I've felt blunted, like any creative tendency I may have has died. It goes beyond that, though. I stand in the operating theatre two or three days a week, describing to the surgeons what I see on the screen, an image that my hands have carefully captured in a 3-heartbeat cine clip. Trouble is, when I go to describe these, I know exactly what I'm seeing, but I can't make the words come out of my mouth my speech has become slower, and, and, and... It's only anatomy and physics, and I've been at it for 33 years. Oh, and a human being is on the table.

My meds -
Baclofen 20 mg, 3x/day
Gabapentin 300 mg 3x/day
Trileptal 300 mg 1-2x/day
Claritin 10 mg
Tysabri 300 mg 1x/month

Can these be numbing my noggin? Or is my noggin just turning to mush? Or am I depressed? I don't necessarily feel blue, just numb. WTF?
11 Responses
751951 tn?1406632863
Gg, I can surely empathize, considering my own continually-changing limitations.  I am so sorry to hear you're sensing these losses, and I will pray that they are quite temporary.
645800 tn?1466860955
I would think that any medication that says it may cause drowsiness could dampen your creative side. I think a couple of those do carry that warning on them. But it could also be a slight case of depression because you haven't been writing anything. After a while you do tend to question if you have lost the ability to write.

I know that has happened to me. I haven't written anything for about 5 years now and it has gotten to the point where I am afraid to even try to write something for fear it will prove that I have lost that part of me. But deep down I think it is my medicines as most of them have that warning on them and I started taking a lot of them about 5 years ago. I also think my depression has gotten worse over that time and maybe it is because I haven't been writing anything since that is my only outlet for my emotions.

Personally I have been planing on buying some new software for composing on my computer so that maybe while trying to learn the software it will kick my writing ability back into gear. So maybe if you tried something different in the way of music it could have that effect with you as well?

667078 tn?1316000935
The medications for sure that is a lot of numbing stuff. Also could be partly the MS. I am an artist but I just do not want to paint. I have been this way for awhile. I do not know if it is MS, Cancer, Depression, Medications, or all of the above. Whatever it is you have to be kind to yourself. My writing instructor had me write a Consoling letter to myself. He saw how hard I am on myself but I could not see it until I wrote the letter. I actually started crying. I expect more of myself than I would any one else with MS and Stage 4 Cancer. I am comparing myself to myself of ten years ago not myself today. Be kind to yourself.

739070 tn?1338603402
I'm sorry to hear of your new symptoms and blunted feeling. Quix wrote inone of the Health Pages that depression or an increase in depression is a sign of a relapse in MS. Perhaps it is depression.

I, too, have issues with word finding but it comes and goes. Which explains some of my absences on here. I just cannot put things in my mind into words and with you having the pressure of having a patient on the table and a surgeon waiting on answers, I'm sure it does not help the situation regardless of how long you have been doing it.

As Alex said, be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break from the music and just enjoy listening to your favorite artists and know that one day your gift will come back to you. Just give it some time.

Big hugs!!!
338416 tn?1420045702
I get depressed, but it manifests as just being angry at everything...  and yes, I don't feel like being creative when I'm depressed. Fortunately I don't lose my urge to play video games!

But I think the creative drive can be blunted by the disease process. I had about five years of very little creativity - just basically recreating masks that I'd made before, but not innovating anything. As I got better mentally, the creativity got better.

Now I'm making cigar box guitars! Apparently making leather masks isn't enough for me, so I've been experimenting with cigar box guitar making. This all started when I wanted a bass that I could play on the couch...
738075 tn?1330575844
Thanks, everybody.  I see my new neuro on Monday the 18th.  Jen, I love the cigar box guitar idea!  Very cool.

I spent today fairly still, except the hour I pulled weeds and brought in some lemons from my little lemon tree.  I made a coconut flour based lemon pound cake, and I'm sitting here while it bakes.

I know I'm really fatigued, and I don't manage it well, at all. I keep pushing and pushing, and it's only when my spasms join the party that I finally am forced to to stop everything. *sigh*
987762 tn?1331027953
Hey GG,

I'm sorry your feeling.....that your sparkle is dimmer! Do you think it's possible that you could be talking about fatigue? It's just i really believe there has to be an emotional element, for it to be depression. Mental health typically has fatigue as a part of it too, but the main part is the emotional aspect of feeling down, blue, sad, lost, helpless, overwhelmed etc and not finding enjoyment in things or unable to find the point in engaging in loved activities etc  

Fatigue can make you feel washed out, slow your thinking down and make speech scanning more problematic, or effect the mechanics of movement. I think of fatigue in relation to MS as being Cognitive fatigue, muscle fatigue, and energy deleting fatigue which can be a side effect from medications, sleep quality, activity levels, heat, chronic pain, infections etc. they can happen in isolation or intertwined and go from manageable to lassitude.

I can't work out if you mean, you know what something is and can't mentally locate the word, so you have pauses in your sentence whilst your hunting down the right word 'and or' the mechanics of speech is effected, so your speech is showing articulation is off, garbled or some/all words in a sentence coming out noticeably slower than your usual speech.

Both are recognised speech dysfunctions found in MS, the first is commonly referred as 'scanning speech' and the second is more often to with the mechanics of speech. The medical term for speech disorders is called Dysarthrias, there are various areas of the brain that controls speech, off the top of my head i believe brain stem and cerebellar lesions are common culprits.

Personally, the first time i experienced 'obvious' communication issues, was during my big bang of 09, I swear every noun was wiped, i could look at anything, know exactly what it did, function, related information but naming it was like hunting down the holy grail, it took many months before it started to  improve. I'd had hints of this prior but nothing so startlingly obvious, that my brain was fried.

This was also the first time i'd ever slurred my words, lol i'm a talk-a-holic, most of my working life has required speaking for hours and hours. So here i was getting stuck on a sound and struggle to get my mouth to move into the next sound but this was definitely mechanical, because i found it difficult to chew, and get the food to move so i could swallow it. It wasn't like a stutter which typically is at the beginning and is more a repetition of the first sound eg s s s s sound. The slurring can happen anywhere in a word, the mechanics of creating the shape within your mouth are the problem, the verbal sound is elongated eg ssssssound

Getting a speech therapist to assess your communication is always a good idea, so if you are finding your speech is altered i'd consider getting that looked into.


738075 tn?1330575844
Wow, thanks, JJ!  I do have a lesion on my brainstem, and it's responsible for my TN.  
" I think of fatigue in relation to MS as being Cognitive fatigue, muscle fatigue, and energy deleting fatigue which can be a side effect from medications, sleep quality, activity levels, heat, chronic pain, infections etc. they can happen in isolation or intertwined and go from manageable to lassitude."

This is so brilliant!  I've dealt with all three types, sometimes on a daily basis.   It's true that PwMS have to work at everything twice as hard as FMPs (fully myelinated people) .
987762 tn?1331027953
ROFL GG, I love FMPs (fully myelinated people) I usually use NT (neuro typical) but its not MS specific lol mind if i adopt your acronym?

751951 tn?1406632863
Let's not forget that MS causes depression in two ways: direct action on the brain, as well as secondarily due to the emotional toll.  Also , that toll is ongoing, as symptoms persist, develop, and worsen over time.  Our minds and bodies -- our spirits, especially -- can tire from the duration as much as the magnitude of the challenges pwMS (and/or those of us STUCK IN LIMBO) have to deal with every day.

I will be praying.
645800 tn?1466860955
I thought you might like to know this. This afternoon I finally picked up the software I mentioned in my earlier post. In just the couple of hours I have been playing with it I can feel my creative juices flowing again.

I actually loaded the last song I had been writing into it and managed to fix the few problems I just never seemed to be able to fix before. There are still a few off notes I have to fix, but I'm so excited that I can do this again after so many years and wanted to let you know.

Now if I only knew how to share this work with the Forum I would be thrilled, as sharing my music is one of my greatest passions.

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