Depression is ruining my life.

Looks like you're doing the right thing, Taoist. You can only do so much, and the rest is up to her. If she's the type who thrives on being busy, has she looked into volunteering?

When communicating with a spouse who suffers depression listening and not offering advice is a good start. It's also good to talk about things you're struggling with and ask for help too. It's easy to fall into a caregiver mode and shelve your own needs. Sometimes you gotta do that but it's a good idea to keep that flow going both ways. It's good for everyone.

What Certis and Dee said.

I messed up a bit, I forgot to preface my disclosure to her with "I don't need any advice, just thought I'd share this".

Communication is key. Sounds like you've got that covered Wandering.

I think my wife is still coming to terms with me, post therapy. I've changed a lot in three years, but seeing how resistant she is to accepting that, the 22 years we were together prior to me undergoing this change must have been rough.

Thanks for all the opinions, folks. It is good to know we're on the right track, at certain times it is difficult to distinguish that.

sometimesdee wrote:

Looks like you're doing the right thing, Taoist. You can only do so much, and the rest is up to her. If she's the type who thrives on being busy, has she looked into volunteering?

She's a very active type of person and took up running quite seriously in the past year. She has a coach and a training regimen which helps a lot to keep her fine and I totally support her in it. It's just that when she goes down the depression road she finds it very hard to motivate herself to go running, which in turn hurts her performance, which in turn makes her feel even more depressed. You can see the spiral. Luckily, once the deepest part wears off, she's very quick to stick back to her old routine.

I'm really getting dealt a sh*t hand right now.

I didn't have to work last night, thanks to a National Holiday, so I went to bed earlier than usual, and more rested, as there was no 5 hour shift preceding my sleep. Move over 4-5 hour sleep pattern, I'm aiming for 7-8 tonight!

Should have worked a treat, right?

I wake this morning, after only 6.5 hours sleep, feeling like I have a steel tension bar wound up between my shoulder blades, and an uncomfortableness in my right collarbone... I have the murmurs of a migraine sniffing around the base of my spine too.

EFFING MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT!

So, seems my lot in life is a choice between being over tired, or in physical pain. The kids are in school next week, I can experiment with a 'top up' 2-3 hour nap during the day. I don't like this though. I used to really benefit from an 8-10 hour deep sleep, but I guess that hasn't happened since the accident/kids arrived (accident happened whilst my wife was carrying our first born, almost 7 years ago).

Really feeling like "I can't win" right now, but desperately trying to find a way to reframe that. No pause button either (must resist making Darksouls joke/reference).

PA last night. Greatest-hits weasel nightmares all night up to and including the "why don't you just top yourself" variety where I thought I was actually dead and wasn't going to wake up. Was convinced I wasn't even going to make it out of bed today.

BUT...

Made it into work and have been kicking 8 kinds of arse, digging myself out from under a pile of admin work that's been burying me for 2 years. Feeling good about that.

They call it "reality vs. social anxiety," but it's really more like "normals' reality vs. social anxiety reality."

IMAGE(http://2.media.collegehumor.cvcdn.com/67/62/63d3db547f69123be4e711434d165fbb.jpg)

Yup, that's about right. It's been amazing for the last couple of months, to be somewhat removed from this perception of reality, thanks to a fortunate and unexpected effect of adderall.

It only took a decade (and I don't mean that sarcastically, I mean that seriously since understanding mental health differences is hard) for my wife to understand why I didn't love going to big get togethers with people I didn't know (company holiday parties, etc.).

About the time I opened this thread and saw dee's post, "Creep" came on Pandora, how apropos. Sums it all up for me. I don't always feel that way in social situations, but more often than not, I do. When I don't, it's because I've checked myself and dredged up some fortitude, which takes a lot out of me ... or I've had a few drinks.

Uff, yeah. I don't listen to that album anymore.

DSGamer wrote:

It only took a decade (and I don't mean that sarcastically, I mean that seriously since understanding mental health differences is hard) for my wife to understand why I didn't love going to big get togethers with people I didn't know (company holiday parties, etc.).

My wife still doesn't understand it.

The weirdest thing for me is that I don't know where it's social anxiety or introversion for me. As long as I can remember I've been awkward. Including in grade school. And I've also liked to keep to myself or a small group of friends. Are those codependent mental states? Does my being an introvert mean I'm more likely to be anxious or is it because I've learned I don't do well interacting with people?

Introversion is just the thing where being with other people is a net drain on your energy. It doesn't automatically equal shy or socially anxious, though there's often overlap.

For me, I'm a definite introvert and both shy and socially anxious. I've (quite accidentally) developed some pretty awesome coping strategies, and many people that aren't real close to me would be surprised to hear that. Some even think I'm really confident and sometimes an aggressive bitch. Whatev, I am, in fact, neither of those things!

For some reason, as a painfully shy child, I got involved in theater and excelled there. I'm a very good entertainer, sing and play guitar in public without anything more than normal butterflies before a performance. I've emceed many shows and people think I have a gift for that sort of thing. In social situations, I will either blend into the background or move to take control or entertain. The middle ground is most uncomfortable for me, probably because that's where the face-to-face stuff happens. Any real interaction with other humans requires considerable alone quiet time for me to get back to normal.

For me, this is the most comfortable kind of anxiety to deal with, I've gotten pretty good at it. "Creep" is a song I like to play and sing, I can get my grungy dissatisfaction out. But, depression and the sort of dizzy-chest-pain-flying-off-the-planet kind of anxiety is what worries me the most.

I'm really not sure why I said all these things here, but I guess I wanted to reach out and talk to you folks, so I'll leave it.

Edit: I should probably post this in the anxiety thread too.

clover wrote:

Introversion is just the thing where being with other people is a net drain on your energy. It doesn't automatically equal shy or socially anxious, though there's often overlap.

But if you know you have anxiety what came first? I guess that's my question. Something I often wonder. I wouldn't have self-identified as an introvert, honestly, until people started fessing up and saying they felt like they were introverts. Once I heard them explain what they felt like I realized that was me as well. I sometimes feel like as a kid I was an introvert at heart and not knowing what to do with that as a personality trait meant that I internalized a lot of my discomfort around people until I pathologized it. But then I've also had literal panic attacks for most of my adult life so there's that.

clover wrote:

Uff, yeah. I don't listen to that album anymore.

Nor should you. Pick, like, any other Radiohead album. They're all head and shoulders above it.

sometimesdee wrote:

*image*[/img]

This is me and hairdressers. The last one was really bad and just laughed at everything I said. I fail the test every time because I don't do anything with my hair. She asked "Do you ever wear it natural?" and I paused for a long time trying to work out what the question meant. I gave a non-sequitur answer and found out she meant do I ever not straighten it. I don't have a hair straightener!

Ugh yeah. Making small talk when getting a haircut is pretty painful.

I have funny yet pitiful anecdote. At one point in my life, at the height of my social anxiety, I actually tried to cut my own hair in the shower with an electric razor. I created a makeshift haircutting gown by poking head and arm holes into an upside down garbage bag. All to avoid the awkwardness of getting my hair cut.

Luckily it didn't work too well or I might still be doing it. No choice but to face my fear.

Mermaidpirate wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:

*image*[/img]

This is me and hairdressers. The last one was really bad and just laughed at everything I said. I fail the test every time because I don't do anything with my hair. She asked "Do you ever wear it natural?" and I paused for a long time trying to work out what the question meant. I gave a non-sequitur answer and found out she meant do I ever not straighten it. I don't have a hair straightener!

Seems more like this one:

IMAGE(http://0.media.collegehumor.cvcdn.com/28/31/3b9adb2b31564f12ecfd4c390e42c0d7.jpg)

DSGamer wrote:
clover wrote:

Introversion is just the thing where being with other people is a net drain on your energy. It doesn't automatically equal shy or socially anxious, though there's often overlap.

But if you know you have anxiety what came first? I guess that's my question. Something I often wonder. I wouldn't have self-identified as an introvert, honestly, until people started fessing up and saying they felt like they were introverts. Once I heard them explain what they felt like I realized that was me as well. I sometimes feel like as a kid I was an introvert at heart and not knowing what to do with that as a personality trait meant that I internalized a lot of my discomfort around people until I pathologized it. But then I've also had literal panic attacks for most of my adult life so there's that.

This is me. Right around college I started to treat every social interaction like a stand-up gig and made actual scripts and routines for it. Of course, I can't ever stop, but it gets easier to improvise as the decades roll. Most people today won't believe me when I say that I was a shy kid. Still am - I just hide it better now. Every party being Broadway means that I need a few hours everyday to recharge or I start getting sick - physically ill.

I'm definitely an introvert with flashes of social anxiety. Your typical party where a bunch of people are standing around drinking and chatting just drains me and I never know the right way to interact. Now one on one or with a bunch of people I'm really close to, I'm fine. Much like Sillyrabbit, I can fake it when I need to and have done that for a long time. In college I was singled out as their best student for their speech/public speaking class. Oh the irony. And all through college I had commission sales jobs where I was almost always the top sales person. Now I'm on the phone negotiating with attorneys all day. So I CAN be sociable and interact with others perfectly naturally but it's always requires a conscious effort on my part. My natural inclination is to just go off by myself and only interact occasionally with people I already like. I guess I'm a gregarious hermit.

Yeah, I wanted to link the people at a party=tribunal pic, but it wouldn't let me. I felt my entire life was standing in judgement. Just because you have social anxiety doesn't mean its causes were baseless.

Kehama, I'm a lot like you. I have won awards for public speaking, and I get great teaching evaluations. Parties mean I can talk to a lot of different people and find out about them, something I always like. They're like teaching in a way, because there are certain expectations and boundaries that come with them. More casual environments are where I become more anxious, because the rules and structures aren't so clear. I do require recharging time after social events and teaching.

Jonman wrote:
clover wrote:

Uff, yeah. I don't listen to that album anymore.

Nor should you. Pick, like, any other Radiohead album. They're all head and shoulders above it.

It's like I can't even like Radiohead right.

edit: I'm really only kidding, I wasn't listening to an album. This was on Pandora. But, I still like it, so there's that.

Maq wrote:

Made it into work and have been kicking 8 kinds of arse, digging myself out from under a pile of admin work that's been burying me for 2 years. Feeling good about that.

I would like to specifically cheer this. Yeah! Maq attack!

Dont know how to say this but this is the first morning in a long time that I just wish I was dead. Work has been insane lately, last week I learned my stepmom is dying of stomach cancer, and I got in a major fight with my wife after the Super Bowl. Like not sure we can stay married fight. I'd like to say I'm just down about the big Seahawks loss but the truth is it was a dam holding back a lot of sh*t and it all broke.

{{hugs}}

Damn, dude. I wish I had more to offer.

Thanks Chumpy - it's easier to recognize this afternoon that a lot is hitting me at once which is super hard to deal with. I'm glad there's a safe place here and will give updates as things progress.