Depression is ruining my life.

Prozac wrote:

Well said Clock. My depression is a side effect of low testosterone which I get a needle to correct every 3 months, so Month 1 and 2 are sunshine and lollypops and by month 3 I'm sliding back down into the morass and things that would bounce off me the other two months drag me down.

If you don't mind my asking, is your testosterone below "normal" range, or just toward the low end of but within normal range? I ask because my numbers are toward the low end, but are still within what I imagine is some medical standard confidence interval for "normal". But I suffer depression and some attitudinal things that the internet tells me might be testosterone deficiency. Or a brain tumor.

It's pretty low going off old tests. On'y way to get a new accurate test would be to go cold turkey for 6 months and go back to an endocrine specialist, and there is NO way I'm doing that.

If you can convince your GP to give you a script I'd say it is well worth a try. It is complete night and day for me.

Prozac wrote:

It's pretty low going off old tests. On'y way to get a new accurate test would be to go cold turkey for 6 months and go back to an endocrine specialist, and there is NO way I'm doing that.

If you can convince your GP to give you a script I'd say it is well worth a try. It is complete night and day for me.

Hmm, thanks. The folks I've talked to have warned me off given the increased risk of some types of cancer with elevated testosterone. But trying it once or twice shouldn't do anything larger than statistical noise.

muraii wrote:
Prozac wrote:

It's pretty low going off old tests. On'y way to get a new accurate test would be to go cold turkey for 6 months and go back to an endocrine specialist, and there is NO way I'm doing that.

If you can convince your GP to give you a script I'd say it is well worth a try. It is complete night and day for me.

Hmm, thanks. The folks I've talked to have warned me off given the increased risk of some types of cancer with elevated testosterone. But trying it once or twice shouldn't do anything larger than statistical noise.

Yeah, Not sure of the risk factors of my situation. For me elevated testosterone means getting it up to 50th percentile instead of bottom 10.

Has anyone here had any success with using light bars to treat seasonal affective disorder?

imbiginjapan wrote:

Has anyone here had any success with using light bars to treat seasonal affective disorder?

I have a full-spectrum light on my desk at work, which is a windowless factory. In winter, I can go days without seeing the sun, as it's dark when I get into work and dark when I leave. And grey tupperware skies on the weekend to boot.

I have no idea if it actually helps, but I use it in case it does.

Jonman wrote:

I have no idea if it actually helps, but I use it in case it does.

That's a solid enough endorsement for me!

My depression-related issues are indirect:

I'm caught in the middle of my 18-year old daughter and my wife (her step-mom). Both have depression - my wife's started 7-years ago with post-partem after our firstborn and was further aggravated by the PTSD that was triggered by her time in Law Enforcement, all the negativity that entailed, plus having one of her deputies shot (in the butt, not killed). She has since developed full-blown agoraphobia that she extends to our young children. She's never been away from either of them for more than a day and a half and that was only one time several years ago (they're 6 and 7 now). Obviously, that's not very healthy for them either, but at least now that they're in school, they get some time out of the house, away from parents, "alone" time friends, etc.

My 18-year old was physically and emotionally abused by her step-father. My ex-wife and I were both in the Air Force (as was her step-dad) and divorced when she was two. Our duties and war separated us completely between the time she was 6 and 12 and she has abandonment issues. After we reestablished contact, she decided to stay with us the third summer she came for visitation upon revealing the history of abuse which her mother actively chooses to not believe and/or ignore. That in itself has caused a rift between my daughter and her mother and produced even more abandonment issues...

My wife and daughter are identical in all the ways that cause conflict and polar opposites in all the ways... that cause conflict. I'm left trying to play referee and frontline blocker, while supporting/defending them both, and trying to find the balance without burning bridges with either of them. It's messy, painful, and a daily source of stress.

I've a few things weighing on me that it may help to unpack, just to get out from under.

My grandma was laid to rest on Monday. It was a tough few years and a worse few months in lead up. She was such a strong independent person. Married for 63 years. A business owner. She raised four children during difficult times. War. And the troubles (of Northern Ireland). She was a constant in the lives of us grandkids. She was the head of the family. The glue. Alzheimer's and Dementia took a terrible toll on her. It had adverse effects on everyone. Most were lost to bouts of sorrow or anger for far too long.

My grandad is obviously devastated. I'd never seen him openly weep and tremble as he did that day. Putting an arm around him and passing tissues felt so inadequate for what he was going through. Mum was taking on much of the necessary organisation required, and thus projecting as strongly as she could, even though she was shattered inside.

Mum was off to hospital a few days thereafter for surgery. Timing! In a nutshell the surgery, a hysterectomy to attempt to head off returning cancer, couldn't go ahead. An unexpected large tumor was found when they opened her up. If they hadn't been so rushed and so confident that they didn't require further scans after years of delays and errors.

Mum is somewhat closed off and defeated. I know the suicide of my father weighs on her every single day, and now the loss of her mum, my grandma, at a most trying time. I know she worries for me with my mental and emotional wellbeing tracking similar to my father's. One sister with three kids to an unreliable partner (in so much as is he in, or is he out). Another sister with a delicate physical condition that is flaring up.

The helplessness can be overbearing. I've been between feeling next to nothing, to welling up with tears at the slightest instance. I've had bouts of paranoia return, and periods of low mood. Allowing minor unpleasant interactions to weigh on me. Pondering unhelpful thoughts on how our family portrait has been and may again be altered in what feels a blink of an eye.

It's not all doom and gloom at every turn. We do find hope and resolve in fleeting moments. What's coming is coming and we'll deal with it once it gets here. Mum has her own grandkids now and that gives her renewed reason to push on. They've a great wee bond. This keeps her focused.

I'm coping relatively well compared to a year ago. I can contribute rather than merely take or sit on the sidelines. I'm thankful for that.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

Good vibes and love going out to everyone struggling at the moment. Be kind to yourselves!

It's a new day! Keep on keepin' on.

RnRClown wrote:

I've a few things weighing on me that it may help to unpack, just to get out from under....

I'm sorry you are under so much stress & heartache right now. My heart breaks for your mother. You two are in my thoughts and please know, we're all here reading & absorbing and wishing we could help you shoulder it too.

Dedicated this to my wife who went through psychosis and then depression. Maybe it's helpful if art is helpful:

That's a good song! Montalban, is that your group? Art is helpful for me, and I have taken it for granted for many years now.

Mum is in recovery after surgery. Early signs are somewhat encouraging. It's still too soon to get excited, though. It's a long recovery let alone the unknown period to know if success has been achieved. This is the second day. I'll be able to pop up for a visit later this evening. Looking forward to that. It's just good to be together. I've been making do with taking her mind off things over messenger when sleep eludes her.

Mentally. Emotionally. For me? Not bad. I've been busy with work. I've been leaning on escapism. Avoidance in my own headspace. It's similar to, or perhaps it is that void of unfeeling we can find ourselves in. At present it's a beneficial (to all) coping mechanism. I'll take it.

What does it mean that I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression almost my entire adult life (and before then)?

I recently turned 44 and I look back and try to assess my life in this context and the failures leap out in a way that makes me question if this will ever get “normal”. If this is normal what the hell does that mean?

I've been thinking about that a lot lately, too. I turn 35 next month, and I realized that I've been struggling with depression since I was 9 or 10. It's been even more difficult because my son turns 10 in April, and so I'm able to get some more context for how old I was and what I was doing in my last "good" year. It's brought into stark relief just how long depression has been one of, if not the, defining features of my life.

I think it just means that some of us have different brain chemistry.
My husband deals with asthma.
My son deals with life threatening food allergies.

I get depression and anxiety and the fun irrational thoughts that pop in along with that. This past weeend I knew I couldn't kill myself (it's one of the promises I made my husband before marriage, so it's just off the table entirely), but I though that maybe smashing my hand with the meat tenderizer would be okay....but realistically, that was probably just a bit maybe it'd be okay to just do my little toe.

47 and medicated here. Suicidal since 13.
But there are good days and good moments.

This was a really rough week for me....but I've made it! Doing much better today. I'm very concerned about what menopause hormones will also add to the chemical brain mix. I've been starting to have hot flashes.

I continue to work at accepting the depression and anxiety as a chronic condition that I live with.
(Hugs) to all that need them. It sucks. The people who don't deal with it can't understand, but some of them can be wonderfully supportive....and we can still have good lives. (Just some days may be a bit tougher.)

It was around my mid-teens where I began to experience suicidal thoughts. I've thought about the how, the where, the when, most days since. Lack of self worth. Visualising only a negative future. Or, being devoid of emotion and feeling, existing because I continue to wake up and then find small reasons worth getting up. Visualising nothing at all. Also, not wanting to put my mum, or my wife, through what follows. Especially not my mum, not after my dad took his own life, and how. That was also a line in the sand for my father. Not whilst his mother was alive.

Whilst on medication I was more positive and upbeat. Since coming off it's been good days and bad. Better than prior years. I'm not sure I care to return to daily medications. The side effects were rather unpleasant.

I'm 34 and I have accepted that this is it. This is me. Sometimes it's in the foreground. Sometimes it's in the background. Sometimes I'm bursting with positivity. It's just seeing how long I continue for. It's not a coincidence that I don't have any children. I've always had the thought tomorrow could be it. So I don't go making long term commitments where possible. I've made it to 34, though, so who can say. I remember thinking I wouldn't see 20, 23, 25, 27, 30.

I've never been suicidal, but RnRClown's post made me wonder about something concerning my experiences, particularly with anxiety, but also sometimes in cases of situational depression. I often feel a lack of roots. I remember posting a while back my lack of feeling any identity with a "tribe"...that I had none, and although I do have groups that accept me to some degree, the roots don't really feel very deep...I have this very strong sense of impermanence...that if I do develop any sort of deep root that it's only going to get yanked out from under me soon after it might happen.

So I don't put in much effort in keeping up my house or decorating it much past what is necessary because I'd just have a medical emergency (even with insurance) and lose it. I'm wary about keeping a lot of stuff because if I have to move, I'd just have to move it, and probably by myself (like what happened with me right after my separation from my husband and my only help came from a random guy at the apartment I was moving into who saw me struggling to get boxes up the stairs.) Never really wanted children, but even if I did, I'd be wary about having any. No pets of course because I've never been stable enough to know I could take care of them if they ever had any large medical bills or a job required me to stay away from them for many hours on end.

I could go on.

I don't know if it's just me and the way I tend to think, or if most other people just don't think that way and just assume that what they have now is what they'll always have in life, and for many of them, it really does happen that way. I've visited a number of other people in their homes recently and they live in homes and I am a perpetual student living in a house that resembles a giant dorm room.

I think maybe I've had the rug yanked out from under me too many times and experienced abandonment too many times to ever feel that secure about any physical thing or situation involving other human beings.

Feeling rootless is tough, bekki. I get it from different sources - never really identified with the place I grew up, and now a series of college degrees and a temporary post-doc job have made it so I've never properly put down roots as an adult. I'm terrified about making a decision (assuming I get multiple offers) about where to live because I don't know how to put down those roots, find people to be friends with and things to do.

My mother once told me that I'm too passionate and intense, that I scare people off. That's stuck with me, and it hurts. It's true that a lot of people don't quite know what to do with me - I'm interested in a wide variety of topics and am interested in the deeper ramifications of things. I'm always convinced that people only ever tolerate me.

I think my depression and anxiety mostly stem from being overly self-aware. It's fundamental to who I am, to how I see the world, but it also eats away at me. I don't know if there's a way to get the good without the bad but it sure would be nice.

So I don't know if this is the right place for this, but I could use some advice. For the last few months, I've had a serious problem with motivation. I have things I want to do, but every time I sit down to work on them, I'm just hit with this crushing wave of hopelessness, with the brain weasels asking me what's the point. Writing, art, work, projects at home, all of them feel completely overwhelming, and I'm drowning in this idea that I'm not as good at any of this stuff as I thought I was. It's crippling, and I don't know how to get past it. I keep thinking that I just need to push through it, but I have no idea how.

I know part of it is the fact that we just had to move unexpectedly, and our finances, which we were finally getting a grip on, took a bit of a beating. I know part of it is stress from work. I know part of it is stress from my family. But knowing what is causing it isn't helping me fight through it.

That absolutely sounds like depression, and naming it is a useful step in dealing with it, but only the first step. The next step, if it's possible, is to talk with someone - either a PCP, or, ideally, a therapist or psychiatrist who's trained in dealing with depression to get a better analysis than you'd get from your internet pals who think they know it all (i.e. me). It's possible to push through, but you're asking finite resources (willpower) to cope with an incredible difficult problem (brain weasels) while still trying to manage all your other day to day sh*t.

Yep. See if your work has some type of employee assistance. Usually that's a free counseling session, or a few, to talk about things and possibly refer you to another professional for further treatment, if needed.

If not that, ask your doctor for a referral.

You don't have to do it alone

Yeah, unfortunately, I don't know that I can afford that right now. Things are tight, and I dropped my insurance to the lowest cost one to pad out our budget. I'm sure I'll be able to in a bit, but it's just difficult for the next few months.

One of my techniques for handling the hopelessness is the awareness that in the grand scheme of things, nothing will matter. Therefore, do what I want now and enjoy what I can now! (Although I don't get to do what I want if it involves hurting matter how much I'd enjoy burning down the neighbor's house....)

The analogy that works for me is that we (humanity) are on the Titanic. It's gonna sink. How do I want to be spending my last days? Do I want to be cowering in my room (as one woman did who'd had a premonition according to her daughter) or do I want to be enjoying what I can?

With the depression, there are days when I can't get out of the room, but thinking "we're all doomed" is a helpful approach to me. It'd send my husband into a gibbering wreck, so only use what works for you!

I also take medications and that helps some. It also really did help to be doing therapy for a while, then starting the drugs. If you think of the brain weasels as like having a broken arm or leg, that can also help you prioritize the self care that you may NEED. You don't tell someone to "just push through" a compound get help. Then you may have to push through the pain and healing....but you don't ignore it and think it'll get better on its own.

(Hugs). Journaling and venting here can also help! You're not alone in dealing with this and it WILL get better.
I told my husband about my toe smashing with the meat tenderizer thoughts (posted above) last night. He agrees that that's crazy thinking...and I don't feel the need to crush any body parts at the moment, so PROGRESS!!! It'll come back because that's the nature of my illness...and I'll fight it off again and cope with my techniques and cry and vent and then I'll get better again.

Can you swing a visit to your primary care provider? They can, and typically will, prescribe anti-depressants. I don't know what your insurance is like, but mental health coverage on mine is garbage. It's significantly more expensive to see a therapist than to see my regular doctor. Anti-depressants might not necessarily be a long-term solution for you, but they can potentially help stabilize you during a rough patch and get you up to a level where you can start to deal with some of the underlying issues.

Wondering if anyone here with depression and anxiety has found an anti-depressant that helps with the anxiety. Namely one that allows them to get some sleep, not ruminate, etc.

Zoloft has helped with my anxiety but done f*ck-all for my depression.

Had some success in my household with Klonopin/Clonazepam, but that was taken alongside other medications at bedtime that had a sedative effect, so lying awake and ruminating wasn't an issue. Although sleepiness is itself a side effect of Clonazepam anyway....