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Cerebral Palsy and suffering from Anxiety and Depression

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Old 02-19-2017, 03:49 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: North Bellmore, NY
Posts: 2
jgc3707 HB User
Cerebral Palsy and suffering from Anxiety and Depression

I have a 23 yr old son that is suffering from chronic anxiety and depression. He is currently in college and struggles every day. He has been seeing a therapist and that's helped. Now the ideal of taking some antidepressant medication is being discussed. Currently he's on no medication. I say this because during his second year in college he had what appears to be a nervous breakdown and was misdiagnosed as being schizophrenic and bipolar. For the next year the doctors turned him into zombie with all kinds of schi drugs. He became totally dysfunctional. We managed to help him wen off these drugs and he no longer takes medication. He sees a therapist and that's help tremendously.
Yesterday we saw a psychiatrist and she recommended we start him on a low dosage of Lexepro.
Please weigh in if you have similar experience or you feel you could offer some advise. I ask as a father who is desperate to see his child get better.

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Old 02-19-2017, 09:52 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 19
liayn85 HB User
Re: Cerebral Palsy and suffering from Anxiety and Depression

Hello! First of all, let me say that I am so sorry for what your son and your family are going through, and I hope he gets better.

I am someone with CP who has been suffering from anxiety and depression since about 2013 due to personal and family issues and tragedies. But I am getting through it.

Please keep in mind this is my personal experience, and also it sounds like your son might have to still adjust to life without a new medication. I apologize in advance if I write you a novel, and I hope it is helpful.

1. Misdiagnosis and CP, as well as doctor misunderstanding and failure to assist CP adults is not surprising. Doctors only care about CP children and therapists only assist children because their specialty is "pediatric". It is a shame, and very horrifying considering those kids will grow up. My childhood physical therapist refused to help me for that reason, and that alone can lead to anxiety and depression. You really do feel abandoned, by those you knew, those who were supposed to help you. A Canadian neuroscientist has called adults with CP "therapeutic orphans" and that is the truth.

2. Figure out when this started to get a picture of how it was triggered. It had to start from somewhere. Bullying, a physical injury, a break-up... If he feels alone because of his CP he needs to not feel that way and needs support. It needs to be worked through!!

3. In my opinion your son is suffering from what is referred to by neuroscientists as a noisy brain. This typically happens to unaffected people in their lives if they experience emotional trauma and their brains go into "fight or flight mode". It is a very primal and evolutionary response, and since the brain adapts and is competitive, this helps in the short-run but not the long-run.
A good indicator that this is your son is if he has become very self-interested and has trouble learning as of late, since the brain virtually shuts down any new stimuli that will not help with survival.

People with CP have already experienced brain trauma, so they are very susceptible to a noisy brain. Noisy brain is the mental clutter and confusion caused by neurons that aren't working right. This is particularly dangerous because it can "spread", eventually causing normal neurons to be affected and become noisy. It is seriously overwhelming and all-encompassing, if you have ever experienced emotional and overwhelming news, imagine eperiencing that in your brain 24/7 every day. I suggest you look up "noisy brain".

People with CP may not be able to identify this or really be pro-active in dealing with it, because we have been in discomfort and pain all our lives. We are used to it, so we might not recognize it as something new or harmful, or may not think we can repair it. Your son is in constant physical pain all his life unfortunately, but he probably doesn't know it's pain because it's been there since day 1. He might also be applying this attitude to his anxiety and depression as well.

4. The numerous associated conditions and symptoms of CP put someone at risk of depression in and of themselves, nevertheless by the dozen(s) as they affect a person with CP. Those symptoms should be better maintained with diet, physical therapy, yoga, positive thinking, and stretching.

4. Meditation. I don't care if this sounds cheesy. He needs to set his phone timer for 5 minutes, close his eyes, and think of nothing for those 300 seconds; if he has trouble he can think about his breathing. In out in out.This has helped me immensely!

5. He needs to be sorrounded by an abundance of positivity, but not at all in a smothering way. He may be watching a lot of depressing shows, listening to depressing music, or he might have some other emotion-heavy outlet and not realize it. I'm not saying to take everything away, but definitely make him watch shows that he likes that are funny or positive. Think what works for your son.
Ask him every day, morning and night, to list 5 blessings he has in his life, and two things that made today a good day.

6. Get him involved in a new activity, or an old one he loved but abandoned for whatever reason. Get him out there with people. Traditional depression anecdotes, such as lots of sunshine, can be helpful. Have him read books by people with CP, there are loads!

I can go on and on. I hope this helps! Best of luck to your son, I understand and I'm sorry for his situation.

Last edited by Administrator; 05-09-2017 at 07:16 AM.

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Old 02-20-2017, 06:02 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: North Bellmore, NY
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jgc3707 HB User
Re: Cerebral Palsy and suffering from Anxiety and Depression

liaj this was extremely helpful. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this feedback. I now have more research to do and more growth in understanding to achieve. Thanks again and good luck to you as well.

Last edited by Administrator; 07-13-2017 at 04:01 PM.

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Old 07-13-2017, 12:56 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
lnaj447 HB User
Re: Cerebral Palsy and suffering from Anxiety and Depression

Hi, I'm kind of late to this!! I am 25 and have mild left hemiplegia cerebral palsy. I also suffer from Depression and Anxiety. (Mine was because of genetics, I believe.) While medication can be scary, it can definitely help! I would talk to his doctor to see if the gene sight test is covered by his insurance. What this test does, is matches the best possible medications that will work based on your son's DNA. Currently, I am on Sertraline. Let me tell you, it helps me tremendously. But being on the wrong kinds can make you feel just awful. I spent years on several different ones because I was trying to find one that works. The gene sight test narrowed these medications down to maybe 5 or 6--it wasn't long at all before I found the one that works for me.

Yes, sometimes it's easy to assume medication is the worst, especially when it makes things worse. But the right one won't cause him to act like a zombie, or feel bad. It's just a matter of finding what works. I wish you and your son the best of luck!

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anxiety, cerebral palsy, depression

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