Depression is ruining my life.

So I ditched my psychologist on Friday. I felt that there were no real goals and that I was directing things more than him. If I knew how to get to where I need to be, well I would already be there. I went four times to give him a fair shot, but in the end I just feel like I am out of a lot of money only to learn that he is not a psychologist to use.

But, I am going to a different one tomorrow. I made sure to schedule a new one as soon as I could so that I wouldn't just ditch the idea completely.

Zedian wrote:

So I ditched my psychologist on Friday. I felt that there were no real goals and that I was directing things more than him. If I knew how to get to where I need to be, well I would already be there. I went four times to give him a fair shot, but in the end I just feel like I am out of a lot of money only to learn that he is not a psychologist to use.

But, I am going to a different one tomorrow. I made sure to schedule a new one as soon as I could so that I wouldn't just ditch the idea completely.

Good move!

I floundered a bit with mine at first, but I always had the impression that it was going some place - so I think it's great if you can see early on that he isn't the psychologist for you. Keep us all posted on how the new one works out!

Zedian wrote:

So I ditched my psychologist on Friday. I felt that there were no real goals and that I was directing things more than him. If I knew how to get to where I need to be, well I would already be there. I went four times to give him a fair shot, but in the end I just feel like I am out of a lot of money only to learn that he is not a psychologist to use.

But, I am going to a different one tomorrow. I made sure to schedule a new one as soon as I could so that I wouldn't just ditch the idea completely.

Keep at it man, when you find the right match for you, then you'll know it...

I was really lucky with mine, and it 'felt right' from the get go. We're doing some really 'deep probing' at the moment (her words, not mine) and if I didn't have that level of trust/comfort I just wouldn't be opening up as much as I am (and seeing the benefits from it too).

Fingers crossed that you find a good match, and kudos for sticking with it.

It's a tough gig depression, we all know the effort it took for you to keep the momentum going with this, so you have my heartfelt support, and recognition.

Just checking in, Zedian. I sent you a pm. How are things going?

I've always heard it said that the best psychologists/therapists are the ones with the most problems themselves. I knew a guy that has been in the field and he had a ton of personal problems, but worked great with his clients.

Asz wrote:

I've always heard it said that the best psychologists/therapists are the ones with the most problems themselves. I knew a guy that has been in the field and he had a ton of personal problems, but worked great with his clients.

I can easily believe this. Group therapy is based on the idea of people with similar problems helping each other, too (not that I'm suggesting group for Zed).

Asz wrote:

I've always heard it said that the best psychologists/therapists are the ones with the most problems themselves. I knew a guy that has been in the field and he had a ton of personal problems, but worked great with his clients.

Well, I dunno about that, but I do know that generally speaking, a lot of people get into the field to figure out their own problems. Hell, I used to want to be a psychologists, but I figured out my problems (for the most part anyway, enough to feel happy with myself) before having to spend a decade in college and tens of thousands of dollars. ^_^

The main thing that helped me was a book my sister brought home when she was working at a local bookstore. It's called Beyond Negative Thinking by Joseph T Martorano, M.D. and John. P. Kildahl, Ph.D. The basic premise is to help the reader break common and often unrecognized habits of negative, self-defeating thought patterns that lead to anxiety and depression. It might not be for everyone, but it worked for me to at least start the process of coming out of my shell and not hating myself and feeling guilty for what someone else did to me.

Good call on the decision to keep looking. Therapy is an intensely personal thing and you need to find someone you click with.

And I totally agree on the "messed up people become psychologists" thing. I'm currently planning to do my Masters in psych and quit IT altogether.

dhelor wrote:

The main thing that helped me was a book my sister brought home when she was working at a local bookstore. It's called Beyond Negative Thinking by Joseph T Martorano, M.D. and John. P. Kildahl, Ph.D. The basic premise is to help the reader break common and often unrecognized habits of negative, self-defeating thought patterns that lead to anxiety and depression. It might not be for everyone, but it worked for me to at least start the process of coming out of my shell and not hating myself and feeling guilty for what someone else did to me.

That sounds a lot like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which has become quite popular. I would also recommend The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns, which I think many CBT therapists recommend.

CBT is definately the flavour of the month...

It's a big component of how my sessions work out. The trouble is, sometimes the root cause of those negative behavours are terrifying, and I'd rather have a therapist there to help talk me off the ledge, than hope there's something in the next chapter to help me out (or worse, be left frozen in that moment).

Hats off to Dhelor though for finding a good way of easing into the process of dealing with this. Wish I'd have received some advice like that earlier on in my experience with this... Might not have been so messed up now.

Top tip for people having a rough time of it at this time of year.

Next time the insufferably chirpy idiot in your office (you know the one) suggests you cheer up, or adopt - God help me - a Positive Mental Attitude, I strongly recommend setting them on fire and then suggesting they cool down. This has a couple of advantages.

1: It demonstrates through metaphor the distinction between clinical depression and a low mood.
2: It keeps you warm without recourse to fossil fuels.

FWIW, even though I'm really feeling the symptoms at this time of year, it's not laying me out like it used to. All the work I've done in therapy etc has got me to a point where I feel like I manage it now, and it doesnt' manage me.

Hey, Zedian, checking in again to see how things are going with the new guy. Better I hope!

Maq wrote:

Top tip for people having a rough time of it at this time of year.

Next time the insufferably chirpy idiot in your office (you know the one) suggests you cheer up, or adopt - God help me - a Positive Mental Attitude, I strongly recommend setting them on fire and then suggesting they cool down. This has a couple of advantages.

1: It demonstrates through metaphor the distinction between clinical depression and a low mood.
2: It keeps you warm without recourse to fossil fuels.

You owe me a new keyboard.

I know this is Zedian's thread, but I've got to say, today REALLY sucks.

Don't know why, not sure when it will leave, or even how it began, but I've got a slump on me that feels pre-medicated, and it's just not fun at all.

Just sharing, figured you might want to read that even though this thread is littered with good ideas/recommendations, there are still days where it doesn't mean squat and the world is not a nice place to be.

Hang in there if you're having one (or several) of those.

Think I'll fire up the iPod and look through my happy album of the kids and wifey. That might lift the mood a little for me...

Where to now? The things I love thread, or recommend a scotch thread?

m0nk3yboy wrote:

Where to now? The things I love thread, or recommend a scotch thread?

Well, if you are going to drink champagne and tequila are the only alcoholic drinks that are uppers. That sounds like a party...

So the new doctor thinks I have ADD. He did a computer test that was basically a really bad game and also had me fill out a questionnaire with 100 or so questions. He said the last thing to "officially" diagnose me would be to interview me and ask me about my childhood and other questions. I told him I don't remember my childhood, so he may interview my mom too.

I don't know what I think about that or what happens if I really do have ADD.

Zedian wrote:

So the new doctor thinks I have ADD. He did a computer test that was basically a really bad game and also had me fill out a questionnaire with 100 or so questions. He said the last thing to "officially" diagnose me would be to interview me and ask me about my childhood and other questions. I told him I don't remember my childhood, so he may interview my mom too.

I don't know what I think about that or what happens if I really do have ADD.

I'd get a second opinion on the ADD diagnosis. I'm not saying he's wrong, maybe you do have ADD, but after watching the hell my cousin went through after being wrongly diagnosed with it - the pills, the doctors, the disciplinary crap at school when his meds were making him worse and only to find out nearly 4 years later that they were wrong...well, I'd hate to see you wrongly diagnosed as well.

I also have an inherent distrust of ADD/ADHD diagnoses since it seems like far too many doctors say patients have it when they don't - and people taking unnecessary meds causes its own issues. So, take everything I said with a grain of salt - lots my own personal opinion/issues there.

A guy I used to work with is so severely ADHD that he takes methamphetamine-based meds to calm him down so he can focus - so, if you do have ADD, I guess the severity of it will determine what happens after that. I do know it takes time to find the right mix of meds to help (assuming they do medicate you) and that sometimes it'll feel worse until the medication is balanced right for you.

Whatever the outcome of the test, I hope the news is something relatively simple to deal with and fix if it needs fixing!

Meditation works, bitches.

I'm also having a bizarre slump this week. Completely unrelated to anything I can fathom so I'm chalking it up to random brain weirdness. I KNOW it's irrational that because people don't throw me a party every time I walk in the door they must hate me, but I just can't seem to get past it this week.

Coldstream wrote:

Meditation works, bitches.

The doctor is in! Audio Dharma is fantastic. Check "introduction to meditation."

Maq wrote:

2: It keeps you warm without recourse to fossil fuels.

I read a study that the average amount of fossil fuels required to generate the average chirpy person far exceeds that necessary to produce the average bottle of gin.

On average.

Definitely get a second opinion on ADD. Depression often by its very nature causes a person to doubt them self and thus to procrastinate and thus to feel guilty and bad about themselves and caused them to be depressed. I've lived with this cycle for years. There are some medications (with pretty rough side effects) that work. PM me if you're curious. In the end, though, I think you really just have to break those cycles and negative feedback loops. Meditation can help, but nothing helps like budgeting counseling / psychology into your budget, finding someone good and just talking about it. I've found, as someone who has dealt with mental health issues for over a decade, that nothing is as effective as being able to openly and honestly discuss who you are. I think a good group would be the best setting, but I have yet to find a depression support group.

Anyway, I find it helps to take it seriously, talk about it openly and without shame and try to put it in the light and de stigmatize it.

Just checking in Zedian

How are things going?

Okay, so, what do you call it when you hate your life and how it's gone, but you're not necessarily depressed? I mean, I have every reason to be thoroughly and utterly depressed - unemployed for three years, no car/driver's license, never had a girlfriend or anything close to such, constantly reminded of all this by friends posting pictures of their lives and families on facebook - yet I'm not what I'd call depressed, per se.

I guess apathetic is what you could call it. I've gotten to a point here where it just seems like there's no point to doing anything. I haven't put in a job application in weeks (doesn't help of course that it's the holiday season, who the f*ck's gonna be hiring right now anyway?). My list of recent Facebook statuses include "Feh," "Meh," and "Bleh." I can't even get up the will to post more the a four letter status.

I can't even get into writing. I've tried half a dozen times to continue on one project or another lately but every time I pick up a pen and try to write something I end up sitting there for ten minutes staring at a blank page. The only significant amount of writing I did recently was at my sister's birthday party, and that's only because most of the people there were from her husband's side of the family and they had some sh*tastic sports on the tv, so I did what I usually do around groups of people I don't know and dissociated. And even then I got barely one paragraph and some minor editing done.

Depressed is what I would call it.

I wish I knew the answer.
I have a lot of ideas that would help me, but may not help you. I get in more trouble for offering those things that would help me than saying nothing. They all end up sounding like the "just snap out of it" solutions.

Hang in there you guys. I understand that the holiday season is the worst for this. I'm told that you feel like you should be happy and joyous, and when you don't actually feel that way, the depression makes you blame yourself.

Just remember you didn't sign a contract to be happy and enjoy the holidays. They're a lot better if you can; it's what I wish for you; but don't let the fact (itself) that you're down make it worse. It just is the way it is, and all you can do is all you can do. Just be honest with yourself about whether or not you're doing all you can do. This life thing isn't easy for anyone. Don't believe the TV nor the fashion magazines.

<3 you guys. Just realize that some strangers halfway across the world actually give a damn about you and hope you are feeling better today. And that that is a good thing, not a creepy one:)

kaostheory wrote:

Depressed is what I would call it.

I'm with kaostheory on this one dhelor.

Apathy played a BIG part in me recognising my depression.

I have two great kids at home, and a loving wife, and I didn't want to do 'anything' with them. All the time I spent at work I didn't want to do anything but go home. I didn't really add to the workplace, dodging work, and anything that I could. Then when I got home, I wanted out of there as well, and counted the hours and minutes until everyone was asleep in bed...

"Stop the world I want to get off" was a regular recurring theme in my head. Not to mention an overall feeling of numbness that just seemed to seep into everthing.

It really hit me that I deserved to be more engaged with my own life than I was. I still feel trapped, but not as much, and I can wriggle around now. The shackles are starting to loosen, which is good, because some days, you just feel like it would be easier to sit still and drown a little.

That probably hasn't helped cheer you up any, sorry

m0nk3yboy wrote:

That probably hasn't helped cheer you up any, sorry :(

That's just the thing, I'm not uncheerful. Having been depressed for a long time years ago, I know I'm not depressed right now. But then by the same token I'm not what one would call happy either.

Those of you reading this thread who have sought therapy before, what is your understanding of Depression: Is it feeling bad, or is it feeling nothing at all, i.e. numb? Probably can be both, but dhelor raises a question I've been wondering about myself. Is it only technically Depression if you stop feeling entirely? Or are there gradations?

dhelor wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

That probably hasn't helped cheer you up any, sorry :(

That's just the thing, I'm not uncheerful. Having been depressed for a long time years ago, I know I'm not depressed right now. But then by the same token I'm not what one would call happy either.

From my limited understanding I think you can get different manifestations of depression. It sounds like you may be getting one that's different to what you've had before.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
dhelor wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

That probably hasn't helped cheer you up any, sorry :(

That's just the thing, I'm not uncheerful. Having been depressed for a long time years ago, I know I'm not depressed right now. But then by the same token I'm not what one would call happy either.

From my limited understanding I think you can get different manifestations of depression. It sounds like you may be getting one that's different to what you've had before.

EXACTLY this. Depending on the root cause of the Depression, depends on how it manifests. Mine is from high anxiety, and trust issues from having zero guiding adults as a child. They come out in anger, and also in the 'numbness' or 'empty' feelings I get sometimes.

dhelor wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

That probably hasn't helped cheer you up any, sorry :(

That's just the thing, I'm not uncheerful. Having been depressed for a long time years ago, I know I'm not depressed right now. But then by the same token I'm not what one would call happy either.

An absence of happiness for no reason might be the start of 'walking with the black dog' again. I never understood that term for depression until I started my therapy. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, levels of agression, passivity, and I think it's the same for depression. An umbrella diagnosis for a broad spectrum of symptoms. I think it might be a case of same diagnosis, different symptoms. The cheerfulness may just be the coping mechanism you're using right now to avoid slipping back into it.

Ask anyone I know, they'll tell you I'm cheerful, outgoing, and funny. That's just what I want need them to see to get by day to day.

Montalban wrote:

Those of you reading this thread who have sought therapy before, what is your understanding of Depression: Is it feeling bad, or is it feeling nothing at all, i.e. numb? Probably can be both, but dhelor raises a question I've been wondering about myself. Is it only technically Depression if you stop feeling entirely? Or are there gradations?

First off, there are always gradations. You can have different levels of anxiety, depression and any other psychiatric issue or behavioral problem. Part of what makes it so difficult is that it's not black and white. There are many ways in which Depression manifests itself. Physical symptoms, psychological symptoms. I think the best definition of mental illness is that you behave in a way counter to your own best interests and don't have the ability or wherewithal to change.

I think it's perfectly sane to be bummed about the world or the state of your life. However, I generally think it's natural for humans to find some way to cope. Whether that be punching the clock at a job regularly and using the money to entertain yourself or retreating into hobbies and friends. People think medicine will make it all better. Medication helps. There is a place for it for many people. But most of us have to eventually learn how to cope. You have to learn to recognize that you're doing something that's self destructive and that you aren't happy and that at some level living life is about finding a way to be happy or content. Surviving can be on the edge of Depression, in my opinion. If you're just surviving then you're probably not in a good space.

So in your case, Dhelor, I wouldn't begin to tell you what to do. I was only unemployed for a year and I hit some dark pits during that time. I constantly struggled, however, to pull myself out of those ruts and to spend time polishing my skills, looking for work, spending time with friends and enjoying my hobbies. I was textbook clinically depressed, however I was also expending a lot of energy trying to get out of the rut. I think it gets dicey when you give up. I can't speak to your specific situation, but if I were in your shoes and had no roots, no attachments, no love interests and no job I'd be really inclined to find ways to move to another country and just bum around for a while. Visit Central America and find out where expats are working for room and board and just go see the world, meet people, get out of your current routine. In my case I started work on a startup and began teaching myself new technology (I'm a programmer). One of those skills lead directly to a job.

Of course, I could get laid off tomorrow. It's a bad economy. But my attitude is that I'd go right back to learning, working on starting my own business and at worst I'd flee the country for a month, take a break and see things I wouldn't normally get to see if I were tied down to a mortgage. I know you don't want to hear it, but many opportunities are born from having nothing to lose. And I knew I was doing okay when I kept that top of mind. When I didn't just survive (although I've done a lot of "just survive" since getting hit by the car in 2008 and losing my job) is when I knew I was doing better. I knew I was making an effort to pull out of the rut and enjoy life. Whatever that meant at the time.

That's in no way clinical. I'd love to go deeper on that and I have 10 years of therapy to draw on so I'm happy to PM with people. But just at a high level that's my philosophy. If I'm trying to make my life better, if I'm trying to be happy and find things that I love and enjoy then I'm doing okay. It doesn't mean I won't get depressed or fall into some dark places. It means that I've developed the tools to recognize when I'm there and do what I need to do to pull out of the tailspin. Heck, I started fake baking in there. Yes, I started tanning. I live in Oregon. The sun never comes out. It feels good to tan. It may be superficial and only last that day, but I know it's doing some good. And if, in the long run, I get some actual benefit from increased Vitamin D, then that's great. If not then at least I tried and enjoyed the days where I tried. Where I got in the gym, laid on the tanning bed, jumped on my bike, whatever. Just my 2 cents.

I hope all of you feel better and I'm happy to talk more in depth offline anytime.