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Old 11-26-2009, 12:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Denver, Colorado
Depression after illness/fever?

I came down with a nasty case of bronchitis in early October. It was bad enough that I thought it may have been the flu, possibly h1n1. I was bedridden for a week, throwing up, high fever (averaging about 102, peaked at 104), aches everywhere. I seemed to fight it off come the middle of the week, but the same night I was right back to where I was. I had to be taken to urgent care where I was diagnosed with pneumonia (either I fought off my bronchitis and pneumonia set in, or my bronchitis turned into pneumonia. The doctors didn't really tell me either way. Surprisingly no flu). They gave me antibiotics and various other meds and I was up and walking around by the weekend.

Here's the thing: since then, I've been depressed. No two ways about it. I know that illness and fever can cause various mental disorders, but I'm not sure if depression is one of them. I wasn't able to find anything on the internet, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they could be a cause of my depression.

Anyone know or have any insight?
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't have any specific facts, but it never fails that when i become seriously ill with flu, bronchitis, whatever - i end up depressed. I can't quite figure out which comes first, the depression which leads to illness or the illness that leads to depression. I just know they are definitely linked in my world. Usually, once the illness passes though, I feel better both physically and mentally. Hope that helps, at least a little.

Hope you get to feeling better, soon!
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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For me, the lack of exercise and related endorphins are definitely a trigger for depression. If you've been bed ridden for the better part of a week, that could definitely be a starting factor.

Have you gotten back to your previous levels of activity from before getting sick in October?
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Depression following an illness? Yup. It happened to me. I can't give you any advice on how to get rid of it. It took time.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've been sick since the second week of September. Despite my generalized misanthropy, I'm generally a cheerful person. I've certainly been more easily agitated and upset since I got sick. The endorphine rush of exercise helps, but I won't be particularly happy until I'm healthy and have my sense of smell back.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The body reacts to stress in all sorts of ways. I'm sure you are depressed after going through all that. I'd say if you don't improve over the next couple weeks, give your doctor a call.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Have you considered having your TSH level checked? Your thyroid regulates metabolism and hormones based on information it receives from the hypothalamus and pituitary. In cases of sever fever, throat infections, after pregnancy and in some other situations it can be damaged and stop working, leading to hypothyroidism. Often it's a temporary issue, but in some cases can be severe and prolonged. I struggled with what seemed to be clinical depression for part of my teenage and most of my adult life; it wasn't until I was completely accidentally diagnosed with an enlarged and damaged thyroid, probably the result of several high fevers and a few bouts of strep in late elementary school. Once treated, my depression entirely resolved.
There are a fair amount of issues that can keep you feeling "down" after a severe illness; sometimes it's simply a matter of all your systems getting back to 100%, replacing deficient vitamins, or getting hydrated.
However, if you're still not quite "there" (I see you posted at the beginning of December), I'd suggest making an appointment to get your thyroid hormone levels tested. It's a very simple test that can be done by a nurse practitioner, so if you have such a clinic in your area, certainly take advantage.
Best of luck!!
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