I Take Methotrexate But It Makes Me Feel Anxious And Depressed And I Really Wwant To Kill Myself

Question

Asked by jennyjenny95

I Take Methotrexate But It Makes Me Feel Anxious And Depressed And I Really Wwant To Kill Myself

hi i am 15 years o9ld i was diagnosed with JIA when i was twelve and have been taking methotrexate (15mg/week)since.

i feel tired all the time and I am always getting coughs, colds and headaches, i miss a fair bit of school and i have trouble meeting my coursework and homework deadlines becasue of it. This also makes me feel anxious because i feel like i am failibng at school and I get off by teachers for not having my homework done but I don't want to tell them

I also feel depressed a lot of the time and have considered suicide a few time. I don't want to get better I just wnat to die. I don't want to talk to my parents or doctors about it.

How much of this could be linked to the medicine?

I really really don't know what to do please help as quickly as possible because i think my family would be devastated if i killed myself. Jenny

Answer

Hi Jenny,

I'm so sorry that you're feeling so depressed and overwhelmed. I'm glad that you spoke to your dad about this - you shouldn't have to fight this alone. I want you to know that being depressed when you're tired and in pain is normal and the first step to getting better is to get a handle on your RA, which will help increase your energy. Ask your parents to help you get an emergency appointment with your rheumatologist and be honest about how you're feeling. It may be that methotrexate is no longer the right medication for and that another drug would work better for you.- you may want to look into Biologics like Enbrel or Humira. They still suppress your immune system and the fact that you go to school means that you're surrounded by germs, so you will need to take more precautions about protecting yourself from infection. Again, your doctor should be able to help you with suggestions. I would also recommend that you ask your doctor about a referral to a counselor - being a teenager is hard and being a teenager with a chronic illness presents a lot of challenges and it can be very helpful to bounce things off a therapist. I've had counseling several times in my life and the one that was most helpful was someone who specialized in cognitive therapy - it gave me some excellent coping mechanisms that I still use and helped me to think differently about life with my disease.

I got RA when I was four and the teenage years were hard. I recognize where you are at, the pain, the exhaustion and difficulty in keeping up at school. Talk to your parents about maybe doing less than a full course load - if you reduce the amount of courses you take, you will be able to keep up and probably do very well. I didn't do that until I went to university for my masters degree and in retrospect, wished I had taken longer to do my high school and bachelors degrees. My marks would have been better and I would have felt less crappy. It sucks to take longer than your friends to finish school, but on the other hand when you do graduate you'll have an actual education instead of a whole lot of gaps that can trip you up when you go to college (I still have only a black hole where physics and chemistry ought to be).

Having a chronic illness means that you need to treat your body well so it will support you in what you do and sometimes, that means not trying to do what other "normal" people your age do, because you simply don't have the physical resources. It takes a bit of time getting used to, but when you start being successful because you have enough energy to do the coursework, you'll start feeling better about yourself.

I want you to know that even though things are scary and dark right now, they don't have to stay that way. It is very possible to live a good life with this disease, to grow up, to go to school, get a good career, find love and to live your dreams (I wrote a post about pursuing your dreams - check it out, it may give you some hope). We here at MyRACentral are in the process of developing an area for teens, but it will probably be several months before that's up and running. In the meantime, keep coming back and you can send me a message any time if you want to talk about growing up with RA. You can also read the post I wrote about parenting teens with RA - it has a number of links to resources that can be helpful for you and your parents, including a link to a forum for young adults with RA where you can talk to other people your age who have RA. There's also a forum for parents of kids with RA that your parents may find useful in figuring out how to best help you.