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Depression, ARTHRITIS like symptoms with high SEDIMENTATION RATE, PLATELET.

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Hello! I am Christina Powers, age 25, living in Indiana. I just had a few questions related to the key words: depression, inflammation, virus, high sedimentation rate, high platelet count, arthritis like symptoms. I am adopted and do not know specifics about family history. I have always been healthy. Only problem I've had is depression since age 6. For a year and a half now I have had episodes of depression, joint paint, burning sensation in my joints and muscle aches... Over the year and a half my pain has spread from my hands to my back. So, it is progressive. My episodes run like clock work. I can tell a week ahead of time when I will have a flare up and depression episode. My hands will start to hurt and be stiff. And, a week later I will have a full blown episode. I will cry off and on through the week and will have no control of my emotions. I do not harm myself or others. I used to harm myself. And, have a medical history of mental break downs. Not recently though. And, with my depression episodes I will be in a lot of pain with my joints and muscles. Burning sensation. I kept track of all of this for a year and a half and because it's continuing to progress I started seeing a doctor. My blood work showed a high sed rate and high platelet count and they said I probably have a virus. My question is... How can I have a virus for a year and a half that acts systematically, runs like clock work? That doesn't make sense to me. Maybe a disease of some sort would. Maybe a disease that's progressing would. Which brings me to my next question... What kind of disease or virus acts like this? Runs systematically, like clock work, predictable-- lasts a week alongside a depression episode and occurs 2-3 times a year? I am not on any medication. I take junel fe birth control.

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
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Thanks for using Doctor Spring for posting your query.
I totally agree with you that no virus can present with such cyclical symptoms. Mostly it is a recurrent depressive disorder which is occurring due to imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin, nor-epinephrine etc. Many times depressive illness are accompanied with somatic symptoms as well and the symptoms that you have mentioned could be related to the depression as well. These need to be corrected with the help of antidepressants like venlafaxine or sertraline or escitalopram. If you are averse to the drug therapies then there is also an option of cognitive behavioural therapy. This therapy is taken by either a psychologist or a psychiatrist in which the therapist identifies impaired cognitions (Thoughts) and try to correct them. They are 15-20 min weekly session and there should be around 8-10 sessions to help you with your illness.
The next step, ones the depression is corrected these episodes will require a prophylaxis with mood stabilizers like divalproex sodium or lithium etc. These medications will prevent further mood swings and mostly need to be taken for a long period of time.
Hope this helps you. In case if you have any further queries, do let me know.
Kind regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD

Patient replied :

Thank you for your response! I really appreciate it. I don't like not knowing things. Especially when I wait for results, get a quick call saying I have an infection and to come in in 3 weeks- basically blowing me off.Talking to you is very much appreciated! My doctor also suggested mood stabilizers like the ones you suggested. When I went to do a check up last week he suggested an antiepileptic medication to stabilize my mood and prevent further physical symptoms. However, my issue with this is.. wonder if I had an inflammatory disease all along that I am now showing symptoms of or on the flip side I have developed an inflammatory disease because of maybe a genetic predisposition to some sort of disease like this, or maybe stress/trauma brought on this change (activated some disease cycle), etc.... With all that being in mind then wouldn't taking a mood stabilizer be like putting on a band aid when I have a more serious issue at hand? I'm sure when I go back in to do more blood work they would eventally be able to see if I had an actual inflammatory disease correct? I really don't think they are just going to find some viral infection.. not when I've had all of this going on for a year and a half now and all the depression episodes over the years old patientleading up to this. My main question to you today is, would you be able to list me or point me in the direction of some inflammatory diseases that would correlate with severe depression episodes- Most importantly am I even looking in the right direction in regards to inflammatory diseases? It baffles me to think that depression alone could cause such physical problem.That is why I am adamantly leaning towards there is a disease at play. Sincerely, Christina Powers

Thanks for getting back. I understand your concern. I had noted your symptoms in previous question. Being very non specific they don't point towards any single disease process. I am more inclined towards mental process that is manifesting in the form of physical symptoms. I can assure you that the measures I have told you in the previous answer will certainly help you with your problems and if at all if there is any inflammatory process it won't be supressed by these measures. So, please relax and go ahead with the therapy I have adviced you.

Patient replied :

Thank you for getting back with me! You have been a lot of help and I will take your advice!!

All the best!!

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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