Thanks Lorraine Glover for the beautiful artwork!
Topical Steroid Withdrawal is a process that will not only transform your body for the better as you physically heal from the toxins of the steroid use, but it will also test you mentally and emotionally. Many warriors have gone through the trials of depression while healing and have found ways to cope, stay strong and to keep pressing on. I felt that it would be a great idea to reach out to those on the facebook groups, itsan.org forum, and to those who have already healed from eczema and get their accounts on how they got through the dark time in their lives.
In what positive ways have you pulled yourself out of the depths of depression whilst battling Topical Steroid Withdrawal or going through any dark time in your life?
**add your name (anonymous if preferred), TS use, and current month of TSW your in (or date you stopped TS), blog site if you have one**
If anyone is interested in participating in this with their accounts, I would love to add it to this post 🙂 ! This post will be something that I will add to a main page on this blog so my readers can check it out and get inspiration from it when they are needing a boost of encouragement! Please email your account to eczema.holistic.healing@gmail. com . THANKS!!!
- Look to the future, stay hopeful and have never ending faith. Tell yourself that what you are going through is temporary and will benefit you immensely in the end.
- Stay inspired and look to a higher power to get you through the dark times. You were not made to suffer, and the divine doesn’t want you to, just know that there is a purpose in everything.
- It’s ok to have feelings of sadness and times when you want to be alone, but don’t let it consume you, and don’t stay reclusive. Confide in those whom you trust and who will encourage and lift you up in your darkest moments. If they really love you, they will be there for you no matter what, and you will never be burdening them with your woes. As many times as my friends would tell me I’m not a burden to them, I’d still have to remind myself that it’s ok to reach out.
- Be of service to others. Just helping another person out will give you a sense of purpose, and will make you feel better that you could uplift them in their time of need.
-used TS from 10 months up until 26 years old
-stopped TS March 2012
- Affirmations, prayer, and visualization – although the journey gets discouraging and frustrating, you have to keep having hope to carry you on. They say that when you visualize things, it helps brings things to pass – so use visualization techniques and affirmations to imagine your skin healed. Write post it notes around your house with affirmations such as “Your skin will heal” or “You have beautiful skin!” to keep you feeling positive. Prayer also gave me strength to know that someone was out there looking out for me, watching out for me.
- Surround yourself with a great support group – I never did a good job with this and I never found other sufferers to talk with. I should have though. It’s important to remove anyone who is negative and who brings negativity in your life. I encourage you to go on forums, talk to other eczema sufferers, or join Facebook groups with other eczema sufferers. http://www.EczemaVoice.com is a good platform that will allow you to encourage each other and find others who can encourage you.
- Be thankful – despite everything, count your blessings for what you do have in life and be grateful. It will help bring your focus to the good things in your life, so that you can stop focusing on what you don’t have. It’s scientifically proven that people who do this are happier as well! 🙂
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My Name: Syed Abbas (though I go with “Bahu” which is my spiritual name). I have used topical steroids (different ones for my head, face and legs) as well as steroid injections and pills for MD for over 10 years, starting in 2001 and stopping in 2012.
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Sometimes, I just blocked it out. I wouldn’t look in the mirror, I dressed in really loose/baggy/shlumpy clothing to keep myself covered. I hid in my office, withdrew from social settings – ignored my friends – all so I wouldn’t have to face TSW-reality.
I also reached a point over the summer where I adopted a “oh f*** it” attitude. I wore shorts/tank tops and didn’t care if people stared.
When I would get upset, I’d cry to my husband and he would comfort me. He would tell me that I was still beautiful and that he would always love me. He didn’t quite understand what I was going through, but he supported whatever I wanted to try as a “cure.”
Now that I’m healing (nearly 90% there!) I see a light at the end of the tunnel.
I used TS off/on for 20 years, most frequently in the past 4 years. Oral steroids frequently in the past 3 years. I’ve been in TSW since Jan 2014.
To balance the chemicals in the brain, one must address the health of the gut and the liver first. As a result, when the gut and the liver work better, they take the burden off the endocrine glands and you’d be amazed how the mental function goes back to normal!
If drugs are used to help with brain related dysfunctions, they end up stimulating the production of neurotrasmitters and the end result is complete exhaustion of glands in the body and soon the drug won’t work any more but can cause major problems to the liver and kidneys that have to process these drugs. Foods on the other hand, nourish the body and thus produce the kinds of neurotrasmitters that the brain need to work with and function normal again.
It’s amazing that 50% of people with depression or any mental challenges such as anxiety also have constipation, allergies, candidiasis, bloating, hormonal imbalance, can’t sleep at night (liver related), ringing in the ears, fungus on toe nails….etc. These are all classic symptoms of gut and liver dysfunction. Taking a medical drug is addressing only the symptom while creating more problems to the liver and kidney. The best solution is to go to the cause which is a change in diet and the use of supplements to enhance the function of the gut and the liver such as probiotics, enzymes, Q10 and blue green algae.
Check out this great article: If You Can’t Beat Depression, You’re Gut Bacteria Could be the Reason
Going through topical steroid withdrawal has been the most challenging thing I have ever experienced in my life. There are no five stages of grief that you can follow your progression by and there’s no twelve-step program to break ourselves of this addiction. And yet, we have all found ways of coping with the pain, discomfort, and depression of it all.
The best way I can describe this season was that I jumped in a car, put it on cruise control, and drove straight through hell. It was a miserable ride. BUT even though my surroundings and circumstances were awful and repulsive, there I was safely nestled in a car, my soul untouched by demons and satan himself, and God drove me through it. Yeah, my car totally got beat up, but I was safe inside. God didn’t put me on this journey. He hated that I was going through it just as much as I did, but He was so gentle to guide me through it. Even though my body was physically tortured, my soul was at peace and I was filled with a supernatural joy and hope only God could give. So first and foremost, my relationship with Jesus Himself has helped me overcome with joy in this trial.
And it was those around me, especially my husband, who held my hand through this journey. So many people were praying for my health, and the more prayers that were sent up, the more blessings, healing, and answers came down. One of those answered prayers came in the form of http://www.ITSAN.org where I literally asked God what was happening to my body and immediately He led me to that website. No kidding. There I found a community of fellow fighters in the same battle: those who went before me led the way with experience and strategy, testimonies that I was excited to walk into myself; those who were beside me in the same steps and struggles learning how to cope day by day and cheering each other on; and those who came behind me asking the same questions I first asked and I got to encourage
them that they can keep going, which reminded me of how far I have come.
So when I step back and take a look at that beautiful community, I see a cross: those warriors before me, beside me, and behind me. Which then brings me back to a divine plan of a Savior who understood our pain, overcame, and promised us hope and victory in His name. Because of Him, through Him, and by Him have I been able to endure through the most challenging season of my life and still be filled with joy.
Used topical steroids intermittently through life since birth, became addicted May 2013, and am currently in the 6th month of withdrawal.
TS used: hydrocortisone, betamethasone, mometasone
TSW month: month 44 (as of dec 2014)
I then started seeing a psychiatrist once every 2 weeks, then a hypnotherapist once a week, meditating every day and started taking antidepressants from my doctor at 6months TSW, let’s just say I’m finally so sick of feeling down that I’m attacking this from all angles!! I got disability allowance from the government, and I’m seeing my friends more and am finally feeling like I could come off the benefits and get a full time job (I’d never managed to hold down a full time job before because of my eczema and depression) and I plan to move out from my parents house to live with my best friend.
I’m still taking my medication, and I probably will until the spring time, but as my eczema improves I keep feeling better and have more energy. It’s not been easy, but I have an amazingly supportive family and my friends are fantastic, I know I wouldn’t be here today without having them to lean and depend on.
San, Stopped TS May 2012, check out blog for more info: sanwichsays.tumblr.com
I’ve had eczema my whole life. It was never a major problem until June 2014. I guess it was the combination of coming off of a steroid injection, coming off protopic, a terrible diet, and smoking too much that caused my skin to go haywire. Within one month my arms were engulfed in this red, spreading rash that itched like crazy. My face and neck were bright red for two months. I didn’t know I was going through steroid withdrawal until around the third month. This is when my depression set in because this terrible disease can take up to two or three years to cure. I left my friends and apartment in the city and moved back in with my parents because it was easier for me to cope with what was happening to me. I was able to focus more on myself and was less stressed out. My skin has been improving since but I still get times were I feel depressed. I hate sitting around the house all day but it’s all I want to do. I try to stay as busy as possible with school and work so I don’t get depressed. The one thing people suffering from this disease is the ability to be normal again. Not to be ashamed to look at yourself in the mirror, to be able to actually shower again and not get all red from the water, to be able to wash your hands correctly, not to worry if a certain food or material is going to make your skin flare up.
There are days where I don’t want to leave my bed and don’t want to talk to anybody. I hate how antisocial this has made me.
Once I fully heal from this, I am going to appreciate the simple things in life way much more. It may be hell now, but this is only a fraction of our lives and once this heals I will be the happiest person in the world.
The major thing that has helped make this process easier is changing my diet. Since starting topical steroid withdrawal I’ve been eating a lot healthier. It wasn’t until December that I took full control of my healing. Starting December 1st I cut out all animal products and went on a strict supplement program. The only food I consume are fruits and vegetables and over 75% of this food is organically grown. The most important element to me.
During this whole journey, this has been the website I came across in the first month: eczema-natural-healing.com. The information this woman has provided changed my whole view on and I’ve been following her diet plan to reverse my eczema. I read the whole thing multiple times. It was my bible. After one month I saw pretty great results such as softer, less itchy skin. I am going to continue to eat this way until my eczema is gone. Even after its gone, I will still avoid fast food places and soda, candy etc because my taste buds have changed and I no longer crave any sugary, processed foods. Seeing little improvements by changing the way I eat has helped me a lot with the depression of this journey.
Having just turned 21, this is one of the worst times someone could be going through this. All my friends want to do is party and while I used to love it, I just don’t want to be bothered now. Feeling excluded just adds to the depression but I just have to remind myself that this is tempory. The red, flakey, itchy skin will soon hopefully be a forgotten memory and I will get to live a normal life again. To anyone reading this that suffers from this, just know that it will get better, it may take up to two or three years but we will all heal with time. Also I would like to give a shout out to Jen for giving me that extra push with my diet and being a great source of information and a great friend 🙂
Happy Healing Everyone!
6 thoughts on “Tackling depression in TSW & the Dark Times in Life”
hey jen, just wanna say i love this entry 😀 thanks for putting this up!
Thanks Juliana! And thank you for your entry, you da best! hehehe