Depression is ruining my life.

It's weird seeing my handle in people's posts sometimes

+1 on giving meds a chance. My wife (A Therapist) used meds for depression and anxiety previously with poor results but has recently tried again and has got the right type/dosage for her this time and the difference it has made to the energy in our household and everyone's moods is pretty amazing.

I'm a month out from having my quarterly testosterone injection and this is usually when the brain weasels bite hard and don't let go for a few weeks.

I've been incredibly mindful of my health and have been working super hard to put everything in place I can to support my chemically imbalanced brain and I'm holding up good so far.

Instead of ruminating I'm focussing on being grateful. Instead of being angry and closed off If I need to I'm being teary and open. I'm just hoping I'm not putting the cart before the horse and I can maintain the positives until my next injection.

ccoates wrote:
RnRClown wrote:

I'd rather not see a professional. I'd rather not return to medication. At least not at this time. I cannot answer as to the reasoning, other than wishing to control the pace and the partitioning of my journey.

If you've had a bad experience in the past with medication, the current stuff is a lot better than when stuff like Prozac was the go-to med.

Prozac is one of the reasons I held off medicating for so long. Even after I was having suicidal thoughts, and even when I started therapy, I avoided meds.

I was having a conversation with a friend who was baffled at my stance. "Why wouldn't you take something that would make your life better?" and that's what finally convinced me to try it again. And since we were at a bar, I didn't have a great defense that I wasn't essentially self-medicating anyway. With fairly, uh, inconsistent results.

And wow. I had no idea how much energy I put into baseline life. Like you said, work to bed to work and feeling exhausted. For me it was like any bad thing, any mistake, were all links in a chain I was carrying around that ran infinitely far behind me (and in front, expectation-wise). No defeat or failure occurred in a vacuum. Therapy and meds helped me view things within their own context and put some of that weight down.

It's still not magic, and finding the right dosage/balance of side effects is real, but overall drastically improved my quality of life.

I totally get having more nebulous feelings/reasons for avoiding therapy & meds, so if it's not the right fit or the right time, I understand. But wow, sometimes having weight lifted off, by any means, frees up the energy for other tasks.

If encouragement will help at all, I think you can enter therapy, and even try meds, and still be in control of your pace and partitioning. You decide when. You decide how long. You can even decide to start with lower dosages. You may not be pulling all the levers and knobs inside your head and body, but you're still in charge. Maybe think of it like delegating so you can focus on other things.

So I came to this thread to post something along these lines....

I have actually been depressed myself for as long as I can remember. At the age of 7 I remember having suicidal thoughts and I also remember that they have stuck with me for my entire life. About 5 months ago I actually made an attempt (the third time in my life) but was prevented by the police which my sister had called from the farewell call I had given her a few moments before. I was bitter for a long time afterwards that this opportunity (or at least what I would have called it) was taken from me by force but am now starting to be thankful...

The main reason I’m making a post here is because I really want you all to know that depression is not something that you have to live with anymore. The technology available now is vastly different than what it was even 5 years ago. Shortly after I was escorted out of my apartment, I was put in contact with a psychiatrist that was savvy with everything that modern psychiatry has to offer. I think that this was actually the third psychiatrist I had visited in my life (And about the 7 psychologist for that matter) so I was understandably very skeptical of what his office could ever possibly offer.

It’s been a 5 month journey thus far and I have felt better in ways that I didn’t even know were accessible to the human psyche. For me, the biggest difference that was made was when I started my ketamine treatments. Ketamine (for those that don’t know) is a party drug that has been found to have powerful anti-depressant properties. I would have visions of flying around the universe (which was fun) but, more Importantly; I would have strong metaphorical representations as to what my mission in this life was and how my previous suffering has prepared me for that mission. I know, it sounds like something your college roommate on LSD might babble on about, but I can rate some of these experiences as more influential than almost anything in my life thus far.

I know that I have come in here without really conversing with you previously; so I hope that what my message is here still can be read as genuine and caring. I Also know that everyone’s mental health is a deeply personal and unique journey, but if I can get anyone to even understand a fraction of how different I am now as opposed anytime time before, I hope that I will have given someone hope.

Through this process my very understanding of reality has changed. Thoughts that I was sure everyone else had (such as only being able to think about suicide while working) I now know are pieces of a illness that was inhabiting my mind. The moments of interaction I had with friends or family, was more of just pretending that everything was normal and assuming no one wanted to hear my negativity. I was so confident in the nihilistic philosophy I had come to adopt over the years, that I only saw the effort people putting into their lives as foolish offerings spurred on by hope in an impossible and childish future. The difference of having the right resources, however, can change every interpretation of the world around you.

FiveIron, thanks so much for posting that. I'm very glad that something is finally working for you! It's a great feeling when you discover what "normal" is like from the inside, even if it's not 100%. You should have even more respect for your own strength in carrying on in spite of everything in your head for the previous decades. My experience, and that of others I've spoken to, is that that strength, those coping mechanisms that carried you through before will still exist and be available to you moving forward. Successful treatment means you get an automatic boost from it, but you also have all the strength you have developed over your lifetime. This is an advantage in the long run.

Since my own life has been very positively changed by an SSRI, I've always wondered what the effects of the various meds were like for other people. You've described that very well and while it's completely different in effect from the meds I take, the outcome is entirely recognizable. I'm very happy for you and I hope this process continues on a positive arc.

And everyone, remember, if some wonder drug does nothing for you, there are others to try, and that drug may be someone else's ambrosia. My doc started with the older drugs, simply because the effects and side effects are so well known, and while fluoxetine was not helpful, another one hit the spot, to the degree that I can take 3/4 of the minimal dose and see clinically significant effects with minimal side effects. Keeping trying, don't give up, and don't assume what's bad for someone else is not worth trying for your condition.

I have work angst that I'm going to spoiler because who cares. I'm putting it here because file it under I'm a defective person.

Spoiler:

I got chewed out by someone on the same level as me because I didn't sit down forever with someone to step them through a task. I did sit with them for iteration A-1 of this task to show them how it's done, and told them to repeat this for the next three updates, and then do task B (there are written instructions for B) and then move on to C. Task C is difficult and something I wouldn't expect the agent to be able to do by themselves. Task A1-4 is basic and something I feel it's reasonable to expect agents to tackle on their own. The agent I was helping is not new. I left the agent letting them know to request more assistance if they got stuck and/or got to C.
I went on tea break (10mins) and came back and the guy that now has a problem with me is helping the agent because apparently they got stuck pretty much straight away. I didn't butt in as that's not the process, it's fine to receive help from different staff members on the one issue.

It's true that the supervisor of myself and the other guy has said that they'd like us to move away from sitting down with agents and essentially doing their job for them.

It's also true that I am often sitting down for a long time with agents stepping them through processes. I don't often answer with "you just do this" and walk off.

I guess I could have done a better job at hanging around the agent to make sure they didn't get stuck, however I did really need that tea break. I don't really want to accept the criticism from the guy, even though I know I should in a partial way.

He was also somewhat out of line with it as he is not someone who can tell me how to do my job. I wouldn't change leaving the agent with task A2-4. They weren't especially fast and I could have answered another agent's call for assistance in that time.

His criticism of me is hard to stop thinking about and affected me for the rest of the day. I'm still virtually holding my breath with anxiety.

I’ve often felt very depressed from receiving reprimands or people being absurdly rude to me. This is how I’ve learned to deal with it now, hope it helps!

it’s important to remember that whenever someone gives criticism in a harsh and condescending way, that it is practically never because of the person they are criticizing; but instead, a reflection of their own maturity. When it comes to other people, they will often treat everyone with that abysmal level of respect whether or not they deserve it. It takes a well adjusted person to give criticism in a sensitive manner, and when they don’t, they are just showing how much sh*t they haven’t dealt with their own life yet.

It’s can take a long time to readjust your understanding of why people treat you poorly. For me, I was probably convinced I deserved it because of my dysfunctional child hood. Looking back now though, I can see that the sh*t I took from my parents was almost definitely because of things they were carrying over from something else.

Hope this helps!

Okay, feel free to ignore me, but I'm finding it helpful to type out some pieces of my journey.

Spoiler:

Thing the first: they found out I have a Thyroid problem. Apparently this has a profound impact on your body and mind and likely is one of the causes of my issues. I'm now on meds for that.

Thing the second: I have not had a drink of alcohol in 63 hours. The urge to drink is strong. Thus, they have put me on medication for that. Two meds in fact, one for the physical/emotional craving and one to handle withdrawal symptoms.

Thing the third: There is no thing the third. At least I still have some sense of humor.

Thing the fourth: The meds I'm now on are definitely affecting me. I was not able to drive in to work today due to feeling dizzy and drowsy. The doctors did warn me that this could happen, and would likely fade as my body got used to the medication. But man, this first day is rough. I literally fell down when I walking down the hallway of my house. I made it to the couch with my laptop, and I'm working from home today as I don't know how mobile I can be. The drugs have also affected my cognitive function as I'm having a hard time concentrating. It has taken me a very, very long time to get through this post, and I am not being nearly as productive as normal on work.

Thing the fifth: What started this whole process for me was recognizing that I need help and reached out for it. But when I reached out for help what I was really looking for was a therapist. I know that I need to talk to someone about all the sh*t rattling around in my brain. For me, that was the focus of reaching out and what I wanted to deal with. Going through the first two things to get to the therapy is tough. I had my first meeting with my assigned therapist yesterday, and it was a short 30 minutes that just left me wanting more. I was barely able to scratch at the surface of what I'm going through in that time. My wife and I seriously talked about just going outside of our insurance system to find a therapist on our own. But, I feel like I started this path, and I actually do like my assigned therapist so far. I feel committed to giving this process a fair shake of at least a few weeks so that I can see where this goes. But, I leave my options open and I know I can change my mind later.

I know that's a lot, but TLDR: Trying to get help for depression is tough, and doesn't always lead you the way you expect. But, the most important part is that you try, and you commit to that try long enough to see results. So despite all of my crazy brain misgivings and my body's reaction to meds, I'm in this for the long haul because I know I need to change.

Thank you FiveIron I appreciate this.

RnRClown wrote:

I struggle with my consent and/or my experience being discarded, or overridden. I have friction with those in positions of power whom are often inconsiderate, and/or arrogant. I need to restock my tolerance, and my patience, and my humility, to better navigate such. The world turns as it does and I've realized I do not have as brass a neck, nor as loud a voice, any longer. I never had the acquiescence lemming gene. I can think too deeply. I can feel too much. I often forget others can make an honest mistake or succumb to bias with a judgement call. I can be stubborn and untrusting.

Mermaidpirate wrote:

I got chewed out by someone on the same level as me because I didn't sit down forever with someone to step them through a task. I did sit with them for iteration A-1 of this task to show them how it's done, and told them to repeat this for the next three updates, and then do task B (there are written instructions for B) and then move on to C...

I left the agent letting them know to request more assistance if they got stuck and/or got to C. I went on tea break (10mins) and came back and the guy that now has a problem with me is helping the agent because apparently they got stuck pretty much straight away. I didn't butt in as that's not the process, it's fine to receive help from different staff members on the one issue.

His criticism of me is hard to stop thinking about and affected me for the rest of the day. I'm still virtually holding my breath with anxiety.

I feel like these two statements are somewhat related to each other. I personally am going through similar struggles at work. TBH, it’s a major recurring theme in my life. I have been grooming myself over the past 15 years or so to be a person who can confidently navigate these types of situations. When I’d finally discovered critical thinking techniques, I was able to apply them to myself and I made quite a bit of progress.

Last week I read Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown. It really resonated with me and it’s incredibly relevant to the direction I’ve been pushing myself towards. Dr Brown promotes this concept of “strong back, soft front, wild heart”. Obviously I’m not going to be able to sum up the book in this post, I just thought I would mention it.

I actually came here just to post about that book. I didn’t intend to directly respond to others posts, but it seemed relevant. Anyway, I highly recommend that book. The book is mostly about the difficulties of “fitting in” or rather not fitting in, and how lonely it can feel when you refuse to compromise your values.

I just finished watching Gary Gulman’s HBO comedy special. He talks mostly about his extremely debilitating depression. It’s really funny but also just gave me a feeling of belonging. His depression is much worse than mine, but I totally related to practically everything he said. I feel like most folks in this thread would enjoy and appreciate it.

It’s called The Great Depresh.

Just like before, I'm going to go ahead and spoiler this for anyone who doesn't want to read my long rambling posts.

Spoiler:

As of this post, I have not had a drink in 13 days 17 hours 47 minutes. I wrote a simple script to do the math for me. I've been on the Thyroid meds basically the same amount of time. My body has adjusted to the meds and I'm no longer fuzzy or experiencing vertigo in the mornings. The evening meds still knock me out at night, but given that I take them just before bed, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Although I have made this commitment with alcohol, I went back to smoking cigarettes and I'm still partaking of some marijuana every night. The docs have asked that I cut both of those out, too, but it's hard to quit everything all at once. In fact, I'm smoking more cigarettes now than I did before. Back up to a pack a day instead of the pack every two days that I had managed before. My weed usage is basically exactly the same.

The real question here is, "Have the meds and sobriety had an impact so far"? At the two week mark, it's probably too early to tell. But, I certainly have more of an appetite than I ever did before, and my general stress level seems lower. I was on "Dad Duty" for Friday night and all day on Saturday with my kids. They had a great time, but I still just couldn't seem to find joy in it. The little things like watching my kids work together as we played a game should have been seen as a major win, and yet I kind of just felt empty. My relationship with my wife honestly feels worse, and not better. I have no idea what's going on there as she's doing everything she can to support my journey and be there for me, but I feel myself pulling away more rather than getting closer.

Again, I'm committed to seeing the current process with my provider through, at least for a full 30 days. Being sober for almost 14 days is a great first step. I just hope that I can see further progress in that time so that I'm reassured this is working.

ThatGuy, it's not uncommon for depression and drying out to go hand in hand, for the simple reason that drinking was a coping strategy for the depression. Take that away and you're liable to feel the depression more.

Jonman, I really appreciate that. I definitely was using my drinking as a form of self-medication to deal with my depression, so it makes sense that I'd start to feel it more since I'm not using that as a crutch.

Today is very, very hard on me. In the past two weeks of not drinking I have not been feeling that urge nearly as much as I am today. I'm sure part of that is how bad a workday I've had and how bad work has been lately. But now I wonder if that feeling is really just an extension of that sobriety. Has work objectively been bad, or has it just felt bad because I'm not self-medicating by drinking the bad workdays away?

Definitely food for thought for me to reflect on.

¿Por que no los dos, mi amigo?

21 days without alcohol now. I had my first really good therapy session last Thursday and I finally felt heard. It's amazing how much of a difference that really makes for me. My wife literally said it looked like I had a load off my shoulders.

Unfortunately the plan/system I'm in only allows me to see the therapist once a month. The rest of the sessions are all group sessions, and I'm just not getting out of those what I need. Due to major scheduling conflicts, I'm sending a note to the therapist and skipping this weeks' group sessions. But, this isn't stopping my progress! I've been doing a lot of self reflection lately and really trying to identify what changes I can make that will help me. Now that I feel like I've finally got a good handle on my drinking and alcohol abuse, my next step is to see if I can finally quit smoking. During this last 3 weeks my nicotine intake has easily doubled as I leaned more on smoking as a crutch to get me through things. Instead of grabbing a beer or a scotch, I would step outside and have a cigarette. While the brain chemistry changes with nicotine are not as severe as alcohol, it still has impact. If I'm really going to unravel all the stuff going around in my head, I'm going to need to get that out of the way, too.

Anyway, just wanted to post that I feel like things are finally starting to turn around. I'm seeing and feeling things more clearly now and I feel like I finally have a light at the end of the tunnel. This isn't over, and it's a long road, but this is the first time that I've felt like I'm on the right path.

I really enjoyed group sessions for my grief counseling when my mother passed 3 years ago.
You can have your private grief but sharing the grieving in the least has the benefit of knowing you aren't alone.
I can see that doing the same thing with depression. Isolation and like you mentioned, not being heard are huge contributors to depression. It also forces you to not obsess over yourself by trying to understand other's circumstances and how you can relate to them. So if you can muster it, take as many days of group therapy as you can stand. Hopefully it is well moderated.

Awesome, ThatGuy. It's a hard road, learning to live with your head being weird, but it's great when you feel that wind behind you, that you didn't know was there, pick you up and help you move forward. Like discovering new things about the world that you hadn't seen before.

I'm checking in because a relative that I really loved just, apparently, took his own life. This might not be the right thread, because it came very much out of the blue, and he never seemed anything other than perfectly emotionally healthy, calm, and happy. It was a complete shock to everyone I've spoken to. There is some evidence that there might have been some kind of psychotic or otherwise unprecedented mental/physical incident that caused this.

Anyway, it's an an absolute tragedy. Take care of yourselves, friends.

Fed, I’m so sorry. For what it’s worth, you have my condolences.

Really sorry to hear that Fed. You're in my thoughts and wish you all strength to get through this as best as is possible.

Virtual *hugs* for Fed.

That’s awful, Fed. I’m so sorry.

Sorry to hear it, Fedaykin.

That sucks Fed, I hope everyone is holding up okay.

Gunna spoiler this because if you are on the inside of depression looking out it might not help you to read this.

Spoiler:

Both my daughters have mental health issues. The older (nearly 21) has bi polar and depression, the younger(19) has crippling anxiety. The older lives with me and the younger with her mother. How to handle the younger was one of the pressures that contributed to ending our marriage.

This weekend saw yet another episode of: Is it her depression, or is she just a complete asshole?

Next weekend is my eldest's 21st birthday. Last night she was attended an event where a lot of her friends would be so she could hang out with them as a kind of mini birthday acknowledgement. Her mother and sister were in attendance.

In what is becoming a pattern, at a time time when the spotlight is on her sister, the younger finds a way to suck all the oxygen out of the room.

This time it was over the fact that the bruschetta she was served was a little soggy. She has a large public meltdown, shuts herself in the car and threatens to harm herself. Literally taking herself hostage to draw her mother's attention away from her sister. And it worked. Again. Because my ex wife has always negotiated with terrorists.

"But she has been doing so well lately" says the ex.

Except of course, the last time she did this was at the after party for a show her sister was in. My ex refuses to see a pattern.

Or am I being unfair? I want to be empathetic. I know she has hard times. But I am increasingly of the opinion that she is a sh*t person and the indulgance of her worst behaviour means this is unlikely to change.

I don't know what to do, or how to feel and I am utterly sick of how she treats her sister.

It's possible, Bruce. Have a similar situation with extended family. The youngest sister of 3 has always been a spoiled brat. She was allowed to get away with anything and everything, and parents always excused her. Skipping school cause she didn't feel well with no specific symptoms, just whatever. Always getting into stuff, even to the point of being escorted home by police in high school, drunk, after sneaking out with some guy. But no discipline or punishment ever applied.

Then in college she had a breakdown, possible suicide attempt. And she's been on medicine for nearly a decade now and seems to be doing well for the most part. Finished school, decent job, got a house and dog. But there are times when she still creates drama with her sisters, and the parents excuse it every time, just with a different reasoning now. On the one hand, yes, she has some issues and we want to be sympathetic. On the other, some behavior is still inexcusable. It's a fine line to walk and with family it's always tough.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

I'm checking in because a relative that I really loved just, apparently, took his own life. This might not be the right thread, because it came very much out of the blue, and he never seemed anything other than perfectly emotionally healthy, calm, and happy. It was a complete shock to everyone I've spoken to. There is some evidence that there might have been some kind of psychotic or otherwise unprecedented mental/physical incident that caused this.

Anyway, it's an an absolute tragedy. Take care of yourselves, friends.

Just to update, apparently he was having hallucinations for about three days prior, involving some paranoid thoughts. No history of anything like that whatsoever, nor any mental health issues, and it's thought to have perhaps been as a result of some supposedly non-psychological medicine he was taking. Which is absolutely terrifying, if you think about it. Anyway, a huge tragedy.

Bruce, people with mental health issues can also just be assholes. No doubt about it. In my practice, I've seen awesome people who happening to be struggling with a mental health issue. I've also seen people with a mental health issue who will use it mercilessly to control others, isolate family members, and excuse nearly any terrible behaviour.

Threatening self-harm is classic controlling behaviour. I see it in cases of just plain immaturity ("If you break up with me, I'll kill myself") and in cases of horrible manipulation ("If you break up with me, I'll kill myself.")

It's the circumstances that make the difference. If she acted like this without outside provocations, I'd be more inclined to think it's internally directed. What you describe is a blatant grab for attention and sabotage of her sister. If she only does it with her sister, there are likely some relationship dynamics that could use professional attention and she's probably not just an asshole. If she does it with everyone? Yeah.