I believe depression and panic attacks are different illnesses but But both easily found in those who who suffer chronic illnesses. I was diagnosed with Fibrosis in the early eighties and was treated with prednisone, which only made my condition worse. My doctor kept me on this medicine for two years and iIt nearly destroyed mr. But at the time I had no idea what is was or that my aggressiveness , weight gain an anxiety were from the medicine. Then in the late eighties I found a clinic in Charlotte, NC that was diagnosing Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia and they knew immediately my immune system was not functioning properly and began treatment that helped. But then my home was robbed by someone I knew and trusted and she stoke over $10,000 worth of my good jewerly. And a few months later, I was mugged and robbed. I did not get help since I thought I was was handling it well. It was a year before I began experiencing sever panic, anxiety and flash backs. Then I became so ill, with weakness and debilitating fatigue, mild depression, chronic head aches, mental fatigue, and my Fibromyalgia muscle aches and pain were also exacerbated. I continued to get so bad, I could no longer drive, had chronic IBS, lost 60 pounds, and afraid to leave my home. Then last August, I had an accident and severely broke my wrist. My bones were so crushed the surgeon was not sure it could be repairs. He put rods and pins on both sides of my wrist but, I eventually had to have one removed. It also caused major nerve damage. I am in chronic pain from this everyday but, I am thankful that although I have limited use of my arm and hands. However, this accident has caused major flash backs, exacerbated the other chronic illness and caused mr to become severely depressed.
And a major problem with illnesses others cannot see, don't understand and will say You don't look sick which means there is no way they can understand how severe these blind illnesses are. It use to hurt me that some refused to believe I was so ill. But in fairness to everyone, it is difficult to understand something that cannot be seen or that you have never experienced. My major heartache is every Christian self help book I read blames it on the one who cannot think positive and have enough Faith to overcome your illness. I am a Christian who loves The Lord and believe in the power of prayer . But I understand nature and illnesses and though faith helps overcome many health issues, it does not heal all of our problems. And get so frustrated when I am told to have faith and let go. If it were as simple as changing your thinking, I would be well or never have gotten these health problems. What we need is for others to be more compassionate, learn more about mental issues and encourage others, not blame us for our health problems. If I had cancer, they would have compassion. In fact, when I broke my arm an it was in a cast everyone seemed so caring and concerned. I pray one day society will understand mental Health issues are real illness like my broken arm. And for the care takers, my hearts goes out to you. I feel I am dragging my dear husband down and feel so guilty for the total responsibility he has had to take over during this severe depression. I try hard to make sure he keeps an active enjoyable life while having to care for me. I do all I can not to put too much on him. I need him healthy and happy. He is truly a blessing and I appreciate more than ever. But, I know it is even more difficult for him at times than it is for me. Being a caretaker is so difficult and those of us who has someone who loves and understands our illnesses, are truly blessed beyond measure and I know God will bless each of you through your own personal pain and suffering. The sacrifices of being a caretaker requires unconditional love and special strength and endurance and my heart goes out to each of you. There are no easy answers for the sick or their caretakers.