Depression is ruining my life.

On top of dealing with a really bad family situation I don't feel comfortable going into, the following has happened:

A college friend committed suicide, and I don't have the space to grapple with that because of all of the other stuff.

After learning about that, I got attacked by someone on the street (while having a tough conversation on the phone)

And I Just got hit for dental bills I didn't expect and can't afford.

And making matters weirdly worse, an opportunity to get a job in a field I want has opened up but will require intense work over the next three days and my brain is at its worst.

Wow, Harpo. That's a lot to process all at once. Sending you all the good vibes I have - you'll make it through. Deal with what you can in the moment, push past the rest for later. You've got this!

Hey everyone - I haven't been in here in a while, but my PMs are always open. I don't know you all personally but if you just need a place to get things out, let me know. I can make time for you.

Hope you all are squeezing by today and getting into a healthier mental state for the weekend. Do something nice for yourself.

TheHarpoMarxist, I hope you're getting by. Step-by-step, day-by-day. I spent today alternately sleeping and watching TV with some heavy issues looming and a backlog of stuff to get done, and kind of hyper-focused on getting a little food and a little coffee in me to get going. I haven't done much more but I accept that that's enough for today.

Sorry to hear, Harpo. I hope that you'll be able to get the career in the field you want.

Today is my first day back at work from an on the job injury. I do physical labor for a major corporation. It's a hostile work place. The way management treats us is atrocious. The heavy work load and long hours have led to two major injuries for me in the last few years.

I've got my name on a transfer list for a better position with less hours, but those spots don't open up very often.

Please send me good vibes.

{{{{hugs 'n' vibes}}}}

That's got to be rough but take all the time you can easing back in without causing big issues with your management.

Thinking of you, RawkGWJ. Sending good vibes.

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I had a question about anti-depressants and was wondering if someone here could help.

I posted about this in the anxiety thread. It didn't feel right to post it here since I'm not dealing with depression, but I imagine there are some people here who might have some experience, so I'm cross-posting, kind of.

Had a consult with a Sleep Dr, he said all my symptoms - memory loss, lack of concentration, can lead to anxiety/depression and it sounds like I have sleep apnea. I have to do a sleep study on 10/6 to determine if I need a cpap.

Rainsmercy wrote:

Had a consult with a Sleep Dr, he said all my symptoms - memory loss, lack of concentration, can lead to anxiety/depression and it sounds like I have sleep apnea. I have to do a sleep study on 10/6 to determine if I need a cpap.

Getting my diagnosis for obstructive sleep apnea (result of a motorcycle accident buckling my spine and shaving 3cm off my height) made a huge difference to my depression.

I did a similar sleep study, overnight, covered in leads, and they found I was stopping breathing 23-27 times an hour on my sides, but a whopping 53-57 times when I slept on my back. Any of those times, I could have been without air for up to a minute.

I was given a trial unit for a week, and was told to then "try a night without it". Seriously night and day difference. The day I didn't use it felt like I'd been hit by a bus, that then reversed back over me.

I get's me down some days, knowing I can never "breathe normally" in my sleep, and that I need this machine for assisted breathing, BUT, never underestimate just how much of a difference oxygen can make to your wellbeing

Best of luck with the sleep study!

m0nk3yboy wrote:
Rainsmercy wrote:

Had a consult with a Sleep Dr, he said all my symptoms - memory loss, lack of concentration, can lead to anxiety/depression and it sounds like I have sleep apnea. I have to do a sleep study on 10/6 to determine if I need a cpap.

Getting my diagnosis for obstructive sleep apnea (result of a motorcycle accident buckling my spine and shaving 3cm off my height) made a huge difference to my depression.

I did a similar sleep study, overnight, covered in leads, and they found I was stopping breathing 23-27 times an hour on my sides, but a whopping 53-57 times when I slept on my back. Any of those times, I could have been without air for up to a minute.

I was given a trial unit for a week, and was told to then "try a night without it". Seriously night and day difference. The day I didn't use it felt like I'd been hit by a bus, that then reversed back over me.

I get's me down some days, knowing I can never "breathe normally" in my sleep, and that I need this machine for assisted breathing, BUT, never underestimate just how much of a difference oxygen can make to your wellbeing

Best of luck with the sleep study!

Thanks! I had a sleep study back in 2005 and my apnea was too minor to need one. What they had found was that my alpha waves never shut off during sleep.(Brain won't shut off or chronic pain causes it, I had no pain at the time)

For anyone going through a sleep study, I highly recommend taking your own pillow and a sleep mask at minimum. If you are sensitive to how the sheets feel, take your own. I'd also suggest taking an extra blanket and possibly ear plugs.

I've had 2 done. The rooms were cold as f*ck. There was a never ending cacophony of beeping. The room wasn't dark, I had a ceiling that reflected light that appeared to be shining through a fish tank.

(Make sure you use the sleep mask and ear plugs at home to they don't feel foreign during the study.)

Thanks for the good vibes all. I was able to pull through and meet my first writing deadline as an official internet writer. They also commissioned me for additional pieces, so I did okay despite having to fight through a lot.

EDITED ON THURSDAY SEPT. 7 2017 IT WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN WHENEVER

I have no one to talk to. I cannot talk to my wife because it results in her going into a spiral of seemingly endless questions and where she blames herself for non-existent social misfires.

I can't write at home. I sit in front of the keyboard and nothing comes out. I have to jot this down, in a parking lot, while I wait for her to buy groceries at the downtown farmer's market. If I tried to punch this out at home I would stop, flip on a video game and just lose myself.

Writing at home has too many bad associations with my journalism career. I hated that job. It was the most stressful thing I've ever done and so, of course, I stuck with it for 15 years. I would spend hours fretting over a story or wracking my brain to write an editorial on a blank page. When I wasn't working, all I would do is think about is, "Why wasn't I working?" I've broken down and quit journalism jobs over this stress but all that accomplished was a new search for a reporter position somewhere else.

Sigh.

Ever time I tried to sit down to write this I couldn't do it. It would take more effort than it was worth. I've been wanting to pen this thought-bomb for a while now, but it was too... ugh? It's ugh-ful writing this now but it's do-able. I'm sitting in my car, using my iPad and Perixx folding keyboard.***

(My partner has returned. We're now heading to another grocery stop and another parking lot.)

Yeah. I used to write all the time. Back when I was stressed over my journalism job I would write for relief. I would create insane missives that would amuse me and maybe someone else. I would do nutso photo essays. Horror advent calendars. Just bonker stuff.

Now? I don't do any of that. I've stepped back from that creativity. It's not that I don't want to do it. It's just no longer has any value for me? Is that right?

And I used to associate with a lot more online people. But now? I barely muster enough energy to say hello. When I come home from work I just tune out, which is something I consider a problem. I don't want to tune out. When I sit down to write nothing happened. I get all avoidy and sh*t. Instead, I'll read some tweets, check my newsblur feed and then watch yesterday's Stephen Colbert.

By saying all of this, I guess I'm asking whether I should find a way to be Mr. Insane Creative (again), accept the fact I've moved on or find some middle ground. So far, moving on has meant being closed down, withdrawn and generally not as expressive I was once was. And I don't like it.

I can identify with a lot of that, Strangeblades, though I've never written professionally. I think we can attach our sense of self to particular epochs of our development and ignore when that changes. This is, as I understand it, the basis of Rogers' model of "self-esteem", where we feel stress when our idea of ourselves is at odds with our actual selves.

In that and acknowledging that IANAD or anything approaching wise, I might recommend accepting who you are as you are. If that means you no longer need writing like you used to, then carry that history with you but as a totem, not as shackles.

Might say more later. I'm at a Wendy's with my boys.

muraii wrote:

I can identify with a lot of that, Strangeblades, though I've never written professionally. I think we can attach our sense of self to particular epochs of our development and ignore when that changes. This is, as I understand it, the basis of Rogers' model of "self-esteem", where we feel stress when our idea of ourselves is at odds with our actual selves.

In that and acknowledging that IANAD or anything approaching wise, I might recommend accepting who you are as you are. If that means you no longer need writing like you used to, then carry that history with you but as a totem, not as shackles.

Might say more later. I'm at a Wendy's with my boys. :)

Thanks for the words. I've been holding off posting this for about a year now. It's hard letting go (is that the right term?)

Strangeblades wrote:
muraii wrote:

I can identify with a lot of that, Strangeblades, though I've never written professionally. I think we can attach our sense of self to particular epochs of our development and ignore when that changes. This is, as I understand it, the basis of Rogers' model of "self-esteem", where we feel stress when our idea of ourselves is at odds with our actual selves.

In that and acknowledging that IANAD or anything approaching wise, I might recommend accepting who you are as you are. If that means you no longer need writing like you used to, then carry that history with you but as a totem, not as shackles.

Might say more later. I'm at a Wendy's with my boys. :)

Thanks for the words. I've been holding off posting this for about a year now. It's hard letting go (is that the right term?)

Yep. I'm so with you. I think a lot of us can identify.

Strangeblades - count me as understanding and relating to a lot. For me, it's the stage I am in my life - it feels like a light that used to burn brightly with me has gone out. At times, because family life with toddlers as smothered it out; other times, I choose not to make it a priority.

I get really down about not playing music, writing songs, acting, doing the side-podcast projects I want to do, writing posts about whatever....

Anyway; I feel you.

StrangeBlades, I was a Graphic Designer for 25 years. For the last 5 years, I've been stacking shelves at night at my local Grocery Store. Great workout (I restock the drinks aisle), great group of people, and a "fun" environment with no real stress or anxiety associated with it (other than the night shift component).

It's not sustainable, I'm getting older, I'm not bouncing back from injury as quickly as I did.

I no longer have "relevant design industry application skills", so I'm toast in that department.

I need to update my home computer, but I haven't, because I have a Mac, and I used one for over 25 years, and I don't want to let go of my old life, because, Apps and stuff...

I tried "filling the void" with volunteer work, PTA, School Board, School related charities. I latched onto that one and gave too much of myself, burning myself out, and falling hard when the charity went from "non-denominational" to "religiously affiliated". I had set up a schools' network across the state, and we were effectively supplying the "feed the homeless" charity 50% of it's food needs through donation. I had to go back into the schools and explain the shift in ideology, and most (being non-religiously affiliated state schools) had to dissolve their association (we have over 20 faiths represented at my own childrens' school, so state schools can't be seen to be favouring/denouncing one belief over another).

That hit hard. I've since retreated and withdrawn form all of those things.

So, I can see very strong parallels between your own path, and mine. I'm not sure yet what the answer is.

I can't go back to what I did, as it wasn't very kind to me, and I no longer have relevance.

I can't maintain my current path, as I'm not sure I can physically maintain the pace their either.

I have "ideas" of what I want to do, but getting to that point, it feels like a lot of things are in my way right now, and that the goal posts are constantly moving.

At the moment, I'm trying to get the house caught up to where we want it. I've neglected stuff for the last 5 years (due to overextending my volunteer work), but I only get a small window to "do stuff" during the day (school runs for the kids, being one person, getting no help, generally being "tired" because of the night shift) so progress is slower than I wanted, and not as fast as my wife expects.

I figured "get this year out of the way, then take a breathe next year". I don't have the head space to think at a granular level right now, I'm not "hurting myself" with what I'm doing this year, so I can indulgently talk in broad strokes, to keep the pressure off of myself.

No idea if any of that helps, but there it is.

Be kind to yourself, my friend, whatever you do.

muraii, Zoso1701 and m0nk3yboy - thanks for the words peeps. It helps to hear I'm not alone.

You're not. I've managed to hang on to my career, but I've been working strategically in a subset of my field where I can still function with my anxiety and other medical issues. There's days where I feel defeated and depressed about the idea that I'm not able to do what I was once able to. Eventually I remind myself that it's not my fault. Things happened beyond my control. I'm doing the best I can.

Thankfully depression isn't nearly as heavy a component of my mental makeup as anxiety. At least not overtly. And, of course, I'm very thankful that I'm able to make a good salary, help my wife out with the bills, etc.

I've started to think about my career like this. In 2 to 3 years I'd like to sock away as much money has possible and pay off our house. Just min/max everything and take a lot of the pressure off of my wife. Then hopefully I could retool into a manual labor job. I'm fairly burned out.

Have been doing 20mg Celexa for 18 or more months now, maybe two years? I don't know? Finally took a look at dosage, increasing to 40mg. It has taken the edge off but I still can easily have a whole weekend or week during which I can barely tread water even when I haven't missed a dose.

Will start up some talk therapy again with my dude, as soon as I am comfortable with our money situation. Lot of plates spinning. When I do talk to him, I'm moving on to tactical. I've plumbed the philosophy enough for now.

muraii wrote:

Will start up some talk therapy again with my dude, as soon as I am comfortable with our money situation. Lot of plates spinning. When I do talk to him, I'm moving on to tactical. I've plumbed the philosophy enough for now.

I have to say from personal experience that I feel like this could really work for you. For anyone, but if you're interested in moving into "tactical" therapy I have experience with that.

I just got a new therapist this year. She and I, mostly, spent the first couple months just talking through how I was going to process losing my mom, dealing with my family, etc. As we moved along it became really clear that her philosophy could be best described like this. She doesn't believe there's much to gain from plumbing the depths of your childhood. If it helps you, then by all means do it. But the bottom line is you have to be able to function in the world. You have to be able to move forward.

You might call it CBT or something like CBT. She talks a lot about DBT, although I haven't done that strictly. It's like mindfulness meets strategizing functioning. It's helped me a lot to focus on just trying to function better and not worrying as much about the why I am the way I am.

My therapy was definitely of the tactical variety. We did "go back into root causes", but that was more mental recon to get the lay of the land and check for spaces where the weasels could be hiding, or set up a future ambush.

Sounds like you've found a good match for the outcomes you're after muraii.

DSGamer wrote:
muraii wrote:

Will start up some talk therapy again with my dude, as soon as I am comfortable with our money situation. Lot of plates spinning. When I do talk to him, I'm moving on to tactical. I've plumbed the philosophy enough for now.

I have to say from personal experience that I feel like this could really work for you. For anyone, but if you're interested in moving into "tactical" therapy I have experience with that.

I just got a new therapist this year. She and I, mostly, spent the first couple months just talking through how I was going to process losing my mom, dealing with my family, etc. As we moved along it became really clear that her philosophy could be best described like this. She doesn't believe there's much to gain from plumbing the depths of your childhood. If it helps you, then by all means do it. But the bottom line is you have to be able to function in the world. You have to be able to move forward.

You might call it CBT or something like CBT. She talks a lot about DBT, although I haven't done that strictly. It's like mindfulness meets strategizing functioning. It's helped me a lot to focus on just trying to function better and not worrying as much about the why I am the way I am.

Well I'd been looking for someone who was amenable to talking about the really basic stuff, the existential stuff, and what to do with the choice to continue living. I spent a few months, maybe a year even, teasing at the edges of those layers, peeling them back. In the end, for now, I have to separate that from the act of existing. Start with the premise that I will live, and then figure out how to do that. I'm ready for tactical.

m0nk3yboy wrote:

My therapy was definitely of the tactical variety. We did "go back into root causes", but that was more mental recon to get the lay of the land and check for spaces where the weasels could be hiding, or set up a future ambush.

Sounds like you've found a good match for the outcomes you're after muraii.

My struggle is partially that I can't take the weasels analogy. Maybe that's the weasels talking, but I can't logically dismiss all those thoughts on any grounds other than they make it hard to exist and I've chosen to exist. That doesn't speak at all to their being illogical or unreasonable, just that they're inconvenient. But I tried for so long to reconcile these things and it doesn't work.

Time to make a choice and for now that's to chart out the future a little. Find some infrastructure. Keep on going.

I don't check in on this thread too often. Because I'm a coward.

I can totally relate with the current conversation. I used to write songs all the time. Some of them were even good. I just stopped caring about it though. Like someone said earlier, that fire just went out.

I'm feeling a bit irrelevant. I'm trying a few new things to combat that. I switched from guitar to bass for the first time in 30 years. And I've started singing in a choir.

Here's hoping...

(I wrote some of this yesterday morn, but ran out of time)...

I'm sure there are many with similar experiences...

Same as Monkey another long term graphic designer here. Am part time freelance now, but a few years ago was a full time designer, part time gig promoter, part time gig photographer. Throw in the bipolar and I burned put a lot, depressed, bounced back, burned out, depressed and bounced back, rinse and repeat for years. When family happened I knew this cycle couldn't continue so I gradually cut down on the creative stuff. Until, through nobody's fault but my own, I found myself 18 months ago to be a numb, withdrawn anxiety ridden hermit, just doing an adequate amount of design work, alone in my home office, to add to the household income in order to get by.

Since getting professional help with the weasels I'm slowly pulling it together. I'm realising that I'm never going to be the person I was but, with management that could be a good thing. For myself, ideally I'm looking for that middle ground that Strangeblades mentioned, socially as well as creatively.

I'm getting the slowly. Therapy is helping with the anxiety side of things. An example... Weekend just gone I went to a full weekend festival, in a neighbouring city, involving lots of venues as a photography volunteer. Seeing as I haven't set foot in an enclosed venue for at least 12 months this was a big test. I had a wobble when first arrived at the first venue, left and and wandered the streets for a good 30 minutes, on the verge of a full on panic, welling up and wanting to drive back home... however I stuck with it, did some of the exercises from therapy and made it through the majority of the weekend. Also caught up with at least 20 people from the scene who've not seen me in a very long time. This was all a pretty big deal for me, socially and on the missed creative side of things outside of the day job too.

The plan my therapist and I have come up with is one a evening a week of getting out and doing things I enjoy in a social environment. A gig here, a game night there, hosting a get together with friends, a proper date with my other half, cinema and a pint with a mate... etc etc.

Anxiety and lack of RL social interaction feeds the depressive side of my weasel family, and as for a while hyper time actually means being more anxious and agitated rather than crazy creative as it used to be. This has been a major problem this past couple years, one that now am very much determined to beat.

So yeah, basically middle ground would be amazing!

Hugs to all. x

Don't have the energy to write a lot (I'm home sick today with a minor stomach bug), but I've also felt this way. I used to fancy myself a writer, and I've picked up a thousand creative hobbies along the way, and unpacking in the new apartment is just underlining how much stuff I have for these things. I don't want to say I've abandoned them... but I haven't had the energy lately that it takes to start into a sewing or knitting project. Or writing. Trying to get myself together to run a D&D game has been an uphill fight against the weasels. I don't know where that spark went or how to get it to come back.

:the_horns:

So I wanted to unpack some stuff coming out of another thread over in Discussions and Debates. The thread basically is a discussion about the morality of violently resisting hardcore Nazis and racists, which got me thinking that there are several former bullies and abusive family members who fall into that camp. Today I've been having a constant voice telling me that I'm a coward for not taking these people out, and just how good it will feel to know I was making a difference while stopping my pain.

I don't know if some of my anger is justified and normal, or if I need help right now.