Old 06-13-2017, 07:24 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Dr say brain fog is just depression

The Dr. I've been seeing for the last year keeps insisting that my brain fog is just depression. She also says there is no reason for me not to be working.
A little background I am a 46 yo female who has worked physical jobs most my life. I was working in construction when I was first told fibromyalgia in '07. I have been on a slow decline since then both physically, mentally and financially. The recession and a series of unfortunate events took place not long after that has ultimately led me to have no job and now no home of my own. When I first went to this new Dr. I was depressed but but I've been to a therapist and now I'm just to the point of being a little blue about my situation. I can no longer do the physical jobs and I have dyslexia, I can't type fast and the brain fog keeps me form doing an office job. So after many years and many failed jobs I thought I'd apply for disability. But this Dr. thinks I should be able to work so I guess first I will try one more time to find a job I can manage and if that doesn't work I will find another Dr. who believs me.
I've had several Dr.s in the past who were more understanding but I moved too far to go see them. I also have a thyroid condition, the one that makes you fat. Lol you know what I'm saying.
I guess I just wanted to know if this was common for a Dr. to dismiss the fog as just depression. She literally said "if I could just deal with the depression I would not have brain fog" . I know that depression and brain fog go together but I've always thought you could have one without the other.
I told her it was too bad she thought that because she doesn't know I AM one bad @__ woman who isn't lazy and got a college degree even though I have dyslexia and was a single mom of 2 toddlers. I guess she thinks I am just trying to fake it a scam the gov for disability but she doesn't know is I've been putting off filing for 7 years and it hurt(my feelers) to make that first call to a disability lawyer. I've tried everything not to do that including my own business and loosing all my money to get it going. Gesh! It's just frustrating ya know. I'm also curious if anyone out there has been able to get disability with just fibromyalgia and a thyroid condition.
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Old 06-14-2017, 01:14 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

Early on when I was going to many specialists to help diagnose what was wrong with me, a neurologist thought my brain fog was due to depression. Fortunately, my regular Dr. was up on fibromyalgia/CFS and knew me better.

Most everyone applying for SS disability (either SSI or SSDI) is going to have an uphill battle on their hands. Documentation of your illness and inability to work is paramount. If your current Drs. are not supportive of your claim, it will be near impossible to prove to SS that you are disabled.

You say you are currently running your own business. Are you making what the SSA considers significant gainful activity (SGA). In 2017 it's $1170/mo. If you are working and earning this amount or more, SS does not consider you disabled.

If you aren't familiar with the SS disability process, you might want to take a look at this Social Security Administration publication, "Disability Benefits":

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10029.pdf

Please also look over SSA's SSR 12-2p, "Evaluation of Fibromylagia":

https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/rulings/...-02-di-01.html

Also, most lawyers will not take on a SS disability case until after you apply and get your 1st denial.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-14-2017, 01:35 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

Terbaer posted some good advice on applying for SS disability in this forum in an earlier thread:

Approved for SSD - Tips and info if you are looking to apply in the U.S.
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:12 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

About " disability " in my experience "disability comp" seems to often be conditional on factors that have little to do with whether or not a person deserves or is even entitled to it. Also, there is a huge business out there for attorney's who's area of expertise is ONLY DISABILITY CLAIMS. More often than not they only take your case if they think they can win. They take a significant piece of the settlement upfront. For many it's worth it especially if the settlement lasts your whole life.
Totally my experience only; for what it's worth....<S>
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:16 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

About " disability " in my experience "disability comp" seems to often be conditional on factors that have little to do with whether or not a person deserves or is even entitled to it. Also, there is a huge business out there for attorney's who's area of expertise is ONLY DISABILITY CLAIMS. More often than not they only take your case if they think they can win. They take a significant piece of the settlement upfront. For many it's worth it especially if the settlement lasts your whole life.
Totally my experience only; for what it's worth....<S>
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:30 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

I don't know anything about disability regulations anywhere else in the world. Where I live, fibromyalgia or any mental illness does not qualify one for disability. It is really really sad and unfair. People with mental illness or an invisible illness such as fibro/cfs simply stay at home, live with their parents their whole life and have no independence or support whatsoever. I sadly am one of those people. I am thankful for the years I was able to work and save some. From that money, I buy my mom and sister, who support me, a gift every month. I am so thankful I have them.

But back to the depression vs fibro fog. As anyone who has had depression and fibro fog will tell you, they are different things. On many points, they do intersect, but I have been depressed and have not had fibro fog, and I have had fibro fog, but no depression. And I have had them both at the same time as well. Depression for me is darkness, loss of interest, emptiness, numbness, I don't want to do anything. Fibro fog, on the other hand, I am very willing to do things, but am not able to do it mentally. I can't concentrate, have these dull headaches (more like a heavy head), not being able to come up with words, get easily frustrated/irritated etc.

So any doctor who says fibro fog is depression is a doctor who does not know what fibro fog is. Or even what depression is. If you can, please find another doctor. A more educated doctor, one who understands fibro real well.

Hope you shake this negative experience off real quick. Negative people are not worth the little energy and positivity we have inside.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:57 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

Hi Firechicken,



Yes you can have Fibro fog as they call it, without Depression.Some doctors that are not educated on Fibromyalgia might try to blend them together,but they are two separate entities.

They are correct that u need a supportive doctor in order to go thru the disability process.And having two diseases helps.It can be difficult to get an approval with just Fibromyalgia.
It can be a long process but it's doable.

I would say go with the lawyer if you don't get approved the first time.Its some much stress and work to organize everything,that a lawyer helps immensely.I would call a lawyer now and get advice from him, so he can explain everything to u.

Wish u luck


Sagey

If
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:02 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

I would suggest writing everything down in your own health journal.
It sounds like your Doc. believes for some reason you can do this . (Work).
You know yourself better then any Doc. out there.
You have depression. It's not something you can try to deal with on your own . Add fibromyalgia to that and life's impossible.
Research and advocate for yourself. Call a local support group with others who struggle in your area, and ask about compassionate docs. they may be seeing.
Talk to your therapist, see if they could be helpful .
I struggled all day today with fog and it truly sucks.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:09 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

P.S Brain fog and depression are completely separate. Just like comparing a panic attack to anxiety. They both run close to each other , but are separate.
Sad that your Doc can't figure that out ?
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:37 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

I cant agree that all symptoms of fibro is from depression. Its been said "your in pain because your depressed,,,,,,well not, Im depressed because........Im in pain. HELLLLO!
Im not a drug dealer, I dont want opiots to sell, crush, snort orchew up. Im not the cause of the drug epedemic in this country. Why do I need to suffer through, while ahhhh never mind, getting so so old.
Note to anyone on cymbalta or Lyrica, read the side effects.
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Old 07-01-2017, 02:24 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

Moe.....I so understand what you are saying here.
To be told that the pain is causing the depression must be terribly frustrating and it is understandable if it makes you very angry.

You know, sometimes I think that things were a lot better medically about 50 to a hundred years ago.
They didn't have all the fancy things they have now that keep people alive, but also the doctors were not owned by the insurance companies!!

And if you were in pain, your friendly neighborhood doctor would make a house call and give you pain killers. done.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:47 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

......Yes, bring back the good old days!

Firechicken, are you still with us?
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:00 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

I'm right there with You Moe. I actually walked out on a Doctor months ago. He was trying to give me the same line I have heard many years in one form or another that this illness is caused from Depression. Never really validating the physical pain I was in .
I Stopped going . Only to have a years refill called in for Cymbalta.
I understand Clearly your frustration. I'm about to try an advocate for myself in another State. I'm NOT looking forward to this at all.
There are side effects To Cymbalta. Not great ones . But I have taken numerous antidepressants since 1981. I was diagnosed at 18 with depression, only after my younger Brother died at 16 in a car accident. I developed panic, stress , anxiety, and extreme guilt for living. After that my life was not the same and it's a battle.
So when a Doctor looks at my past they immediately say "oh right" you have depression.
"No I have depression with Fibromyalgia. Both are horrible
As far as the Cymbalta I would really not be getting out of bed without it.
I'm grateful I found a Drug that makes life tolerable. I hope you get some relief.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:53 AM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

I did not have any memory problems until I got fibromyalgia.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:25 AM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr say brain fog is just depression

Find a new doctor that is familiar with fibromyalgia, preferably a rhuematologist and call a lawyer for advice. Also like Maria22 said, keep a health journal and take it to your first appointment with the new doc. This will help you to explain what you've been going through, with the fog it can be hard to give a timeline to the doc and the journal will help. Usually the first time applying for Social Security you're almost always denied and the appeal process can take up to 2 years, so call that lawyer sooner rather than later. Having dealt with both depression and fibro fog I can tell you they are not the same.

Best of luck!!
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