Depression is ruining my life.

Paleocon wrote:

Ugh. After some discussion, it appears that he is suffering from the misapprehension that he can wait out any treatment plan we have with malicious compliance and simply return to a status quo ante that offers him a free place to stay and a stipend for drugs that allows him to avoid adult responsibilities.

It is important that we emphasize that there exists no scenario in which this is a possible outcome.

The options we are proposing include a guided, soft landing and a hard, unguided one.

Denial is a bitch. Until he sees he has a problem, it's nothing but denial.

If he can't see what's going on, then yall are just enabling him. He needs to hit rock bottom.

Edit: This came off harsher than intended. There comes a point where helping someone becomes enabling them. I think you guys have reached the point where it's enabling, and I'm fairly certain Paleo is there too.

Best of luck, addiction, especially when it's not full blown obvious (ie. sticking needles in your arm daily), is hard.

The only thing I can send is good energy and thoughts.

I had a long conversation with my cousin today, who is like a sister to me. We often compare notes on our sh*tty childhoods. Over the years I had gathered that she had been severely emotionally abused by her step father. Today she let me in on some of the specific abuses. It was rough to hold that space with her and definitely was triggering for me.

Our parents are in full blown denial about the abuse and neglect we received. Her whole family has completely rewritten the history of her childhood.

I have a new respect for my cousin for being so brave and honest.

Leaving this here because it was cathartic to type. After typing, it just didn’t feel right to just delete it, so it’s hidden behind a spoiler.

Spoiler:

In May 2019, I dropped off the face of gaming earth. I achieved something I had been working toward for a while in the gaming sphere, and burnout set in fast. I didn't touch a game for several months, and then again for even more months after a day or two trying to get back into it. Stopped listening to the podcast, stopped being in contact with the people I conversed with basically every night. My life crashed hard, because gaming was the only social thing I really had outside of work and home life.

There were other things happening: got a new role at work, one that I love, but I was the newly appointed leader of a section, so a lot of time was needed to make fighting weight there. My son was coming to visit for the summer, and that situation always makes a mess of me mentally. My wife was forced onto disability due to a long-standing medical condition.

I had, I later learned, my first panic attack in late 2019. Also my first experience of what I have since started calling my "periods of intense awareness of mortality." Not suicidal thoughts; quite the opposite. Fully understanding that I was going to die, and an involuntary contemplation so deep that I start feeling cold spread through my chest and into my head. Scares the crap out of me, and basically causes me to shut down. Which isn't great in general, but when it hits in the middle of an hour-each-way work commute, a certain perspective is gained (didn't have an accident, but I did have to explain to a State Trooper, mid-episode, why I was basically parked on the side of the NJ Turnpike. He gave me a breathalyzer.)

Then COVID, and the associated pause on life that was necessitated to keep everyone safe. Didn't get to see my son in the summer of 2020 or Winter Holiday 2020. Had to figure out how to lead my 6 person team from home when our role is almost exclusively paperwork-driven (5am drive the hour to the office to spend 3 hours scanning in all of the paperwork they would need to do their daily jobs starting at 9am, then did the hour drive home, and then got to start my job for the day).

Like many people, I wasn't having a great time. Also like many people, I started reaching out for professional help. But the rush was so great for therapy that I couldn’t find an appointment that I could afford for months (my insurance benefits are actually pretty decent, but like most Insurance Companies in the US, mine doesn’t consider mental health to be something that should be covered under healthcare. Who cares if the software’s working as long as the hardware can still lift things up and put them down).

Panic attacks got worse, more frequent, in those months. I knew I needed some sort of stress relief. Gaming used to be my stress relief. But whenever I thought about playing anything, the panic started. Even the thought of talking to the people that I had spent basically every night with from 2015 to 2019 caused panic. I felt alienated, alone, removed...forgotten (depressed brain). And scared of trying to reforge friendships that I "knew" were lost due to my absence (introvert brain). Even typing this passage is causing the panic to start (disco brain).

So, why am I typing this? Well, my son just transitioned back to his mother’s house after summer visitation 2021. He turned 12 this year, and has managed to get into gaming since I saw him last. He got me to pick up the controller again during his visit; we played through Breath of the Wild. I took a week off of work after he went back to get my head on straight, and in that time I played some Chrono Trigger, some Borderlands 3, and some console demos. And I only had 3 panic attacks this past week (that’s actually an improvement, I was having like 3 a day).

Maybe it’s time to pick up my chosen pastime again. I periodically get poked by GWJ peeps about returning to the land of the living. I’m considering the way that I’ve felt this past week as an indicator that it might be good for me to do so. I still have to deal with the gremlins of depression and introversion needling my brain, but I overcame them when I joined in 2015, so that path is blazed already. Maybe it’s time to remember how to have fun.

Heya Disco! That's some tough stuff, but you're still here and that's wonderful. I'm very happy to see you! You're doing what you need--good for you. I get where you're at, but I can say that our friendship wasn't lost in your absence. It can certainly feel difficult after a while away, but I'm just thrilled to know you're still around, and happy to welcome you back, even if it's only briefly while you feel it all out.

You've been missed. Glad you're finding your way back.

Hey, Disco! Thanks for checking in, it's so good to see from you. No pressure, no harm, no foul - many of us come and go like the tides based on our needs. You are welcome to sit by the gwj campfire any time.

about 3 years since a mate of mine killed himself. a few of us that were his friends were talking about him and mental health in general last night.

Then this morning my wife and I watched What If ep 4, so to lighten the mood I put on Adventure Time Distant Lands 3, no spoilers for either, but they didn't lighten the mood and I ended up triggering myself and hid under the blankets for a while.

To top it off it's Father's day in Australia so my wife and kids got to deal with me in a funk which was unfair of me to do to them but the good news is they're all awesome and dragged my out of myself and the day finished off well.

I obviously still have a lot of buried stuff I should deal with but at least I'm better than I used to be. one toe in front of the other each day I guess.

Good vibes to the rest of you having a hard time.

Oh my gawd, y’all! I gotta tell you about some sh*t that went down today.

I was singing a solo piece at my atheist friendly church this morning and at the end, on one of the high notes my voice crackled something fierce!! I continued on and finished the last high note with grace. But… do you think the shame weasels would let that slide? You know damn well that they won’t pass on that opportunity to burrow into my mind.

So I’ve been fighting those f*ckers all day. I want to punch through every wall around me. I want to run and hide. I want to bash my head against the side of a building. I want to sleep for weeks and weeks. I want to play video games until my brain turns to oatmeal.

In a few weeks I’m singing solo again. I will redeem myself then.

I realize that no one gives a sh*t that I f*cked up that one note. This is all on me. I’m the only one who’s thinking about it now; six hours after it happened. Other than that one note, my performance was excellent.

Back, you f*cking weasels!! Back!! Get the f*ck out of here!

Everyone is so wrapped up in their own stuff that no one pauses to recognize that I went from helper and taking charge in the crisis to completely withdrawn and shut down immediately afterward, and even my attempt to reach out to my best friend was met with “sucks, but let me tell you about my stuff.” And my weasels are working overtime to convince me that it’s because my experience doesn’t matter to anyone but me. And they’re not wrong—because the people I’ve surrounded myself with since I was a kid are the kind who don’t care. And so I’m basically and truly alone in my breakdown. Today was -supposed- to be a day for my mental health and to privately celebrate and important anniversary to me. But instead, it was all about my mothers broken foot and my daughters Covid exposure and testing—all worthy things, all important to take care of. But somewhere along the way, I lose myself and feel like I’ve vanished from even myself. And the weasels really love that.

I’m sending you internet hugs, my friend. I wish I could do something that might actually help you. I think I can guess what the anniversary was of…

I'm in Day Treatment again and on another medical leave of absence for depression and suicidal ideation. I'm feeling useless and so very, very tired. My wife finds out in two weeks if she has Huntington's (and by extension if our kids are at risk). I've got a ton of little tasks I need to do this week and can't summon the energy to do them. I'm irritable with the kids (the last thing I want to be) and feel distant from my wife. Just feels like I'm under a pile of rocks and am so anxious about everything going wrong I'm just paralyzed.

Sorry for the downer post after being away so long - just needed to vent.

RawkGWJ wrote:

I’m sending you internet hugs, my friend. I wish I could do something that might actually help you. I think I can guess what the anniversary was of…

Actually, it's not that or anything else I've talked about anywhere--just a day I keep for myself. After posting, I did get to acceptance on what was lost and what the rest of the day could be and made the best of it. It wasn't what I wanted or needed, but it was the best I could do. And sometimes, that can be enough, too (after some ranting and wallowing and frustration, of course).

I'm worn down today, but I'm not as far down as I thought I would be.

UMOarsman--No apology needed. I don't have much to offer myself, but I did read and sit with it a bit. That's so, so hard.

UMOarsman wrote:

I'm in Day Treatment again and on another medical leave of absence for depression and suicidal ideation. I'm feeling useless and so very, very tired. My wife finds out in two weeks if she has Huntington's (and by extension if our kids are at risk). I've got a ton of little tasks I need to do this week and can't summon the energy to do them. I'm irritable with the kids (the last thing I want to be) and feel distant from my wife. Just feels like I'm under a pile of rocks and am so anxious about everything going wrong I'm just paralyzed.

Sorry for the downer post after being away so long - just needed to vent.

So so sorry to hear this. It's wild the juxtaposition of "I'm useless" and family (who I'm sure need you very much.) I think we've all been there in our different ways, even glancingly (I'm an unemployed opera director...talk about a useless skill set for the last year and a half!)

There's another gaming thread where we were commiserating about feeling alienated from friends and spouses and the whole long, trip this last year has been down the rabbit hole. We are all coping with this unbelievable situation as best we can and sometimes we will be under water. Kudos to you and Antichulius for venting. Please keep doing so!

I'm going through a really terrible time right now. My youngest brother passed away on Saturday (age 40). It all came very quickly. He went into the hospital with a cough and didn't come out. It's not Covid or anything like that. It was organ failure due to not being in good health in general.

Anyway, this has my anxiety through the roof. In addition to losing my brother, he also happened to be the caretaker of my disabled, blind father. So now we have to find new arrangements for him, without having another one of us suffer what my brother did.

My dad is abusive. When I hear his voice I swear I get immediately panicky. I'm reminded of his yelling and cussing at us as kids. I'm reminded of how he always had to be right. How he'd never consider your thoughts and feelings as valid. And how in the 5 years since my mom passed he would never consider letting us get him some help, so my brother could live his own life. And now my brother is gone and when I hear my father's voice it makes me feel like the world is closing in on me almost immediately.

When we were dealing with my dad this week as my brother got progressively worse, I would literally wear noise cancelling headphones so I didn't have to hear my father.

Soooooo... Things are bad and I'm open to medication again for the first time in a while. Even if it could knock this anxiety and depression down 20% I'd take it. I'd take it as a win, because it would allow me to function better through this terrible time. So I'm open to advice from people who have had success with medication and what that medication was.

The profile of things I think it needs to cover are this. I have anxiety. I have looping thoughts, ruminating. I struggle with getting overly activated and angry at times. Something that could help with all that would be welcome. Even if it made me a little flat emotionally. Any help is welcome.

Wow. So much pain for so many GWJers, I hope you all get relief or at least know that you are heard and there are other GWJers that care about you and what you are going through.

DS, for what it is worth, I don't think your dad has a choice or that you should give him one at this point. It seems his abuse and situation already took one family member's life, it certainly doesn't merit taking another. Especially when there are professionals who will take better care of him, the alternative is your life gets drained and your father gets worse care.

You probably already know this but I hope to give some support so that you listen to yourself.
Just to further, if the person who comes to care for him gives no better care than you could, they don't have the history of abuse and they won't have medical issues (that I believe you have mentioned before) to accelerate and deteriorate.

I’m sorry to hear that, DS, it’s a terrible thing to come upon you suddenly. I agree with Fang. Don’t get yourself tied up into this directly. Maybe offer whatever you can financially but let your family know you have enough on your plate, someone else will need to deal with this for ftf situations.

For the stuff you describe, maybe SSRIs? Please talk to a professional, preferably one you have worked with before, even if they are far away. The sooner you get the panic and memories knocked back the better.

DSG,

I spoilered the following rant because I’m ashamed of how callous it is. My harsh tone is a trigger response to how the description of your fathers abusive behavior affected me when I read it. I am a victim of similar abuse from childhood.

Spoiler:

DSG,

I would encourage you to do whatever it takes to get your abusive father out of your life. He doesn’t deserve your care. Pay someone to deal with him. Get him out of your house and away from your family.

And spend as little as possible on his care. Secure for him the most basic human needs and nothing more.

I want to be clear that I’m not advocating for cruelty. Even though your father is an abuser, he deserves to have his basic human needs met. But your father does not deserve any luxuries or perks and you are not beholden to provide him with that.

Your father needs food, water, and shelter. Whoever gets paid to assist him with his disabilities can be his human companionship.

DS, I am so so sorry for your loss but I can't say anything more productive than the three above me have already said.

Rawk, don't be ashamed. It's not callous at all. You're thinking of DS and he's the priority.

Robear wrote:

For the stuff you describe, maybe SSRIs? Please talk to a professional, preferably one you have worked with before, even if they are far away. The sooner you get the panic and memories knocked back the better.

I will definitely work with a doctor. I have a great doctor engaged with this. I was just curious if anyone had positive experiences with specific medication.

RawkGWJ wrote:

DSG,

I spoilered the following rant because I’m ashamed of how callous it is. My harsh tone is a trigger response to how the description of your fathers abusive behavior affected me when I read it. I am a victim of similar abuse from childhood.

Spoiler:

DSG,

I would encourage you to do whatever it takes to get your abusive father out of your life. He doesn’t deserve your care. Pay someone to deal with him. Get him out of your house and away from your family.

And spend as little as possible on his care. Secure for him the most basic human needs and nothing more.

I want to be clear that I’m not advocating for cruelty. Even though your father is an abuser, he deserves to have his basic human needs met. But your father does not deserve any luxuries or perks and you are not beholden to provide him with that.

Your father needs food, water, and shelter. Whoever gets paid to assist him with his disabilities can be his human companionship.

I should clarify that he doesn’t live with us, nor ever would. He lives in a house he rented with my brother and is moving into assisted living next week.

I’m doing pretty good at setting boundaries so far, but we obviously had to deal with him through this transition due to the fact that he can’t move himself.

I would like to, once he’s moved, go radio silent for some time.

DS, I've had good results for similar symptoms from SSRIs for 17 years, yes.

Radio silence after the move is entirely justified and I'd recommend it. I'd also have no problems with it morally, where I in your shoes.

It's still shocking and terrible about your brother, please accept my condolences.

First off, my condolences and many hugs to you. Seconded on SSRIs. I had luck with Venlafaxine (brand name Effexor) for anxiety and depression. Really I asked my doctor what to do and he suggested I might do well on that and I got lucky first try. Best of luck getting that dialed in!

My condolences and many hugs to you.

I too got to the point that opted for medication, I have been on different ones. Since I personally had an odd reaction to a common drug I wouldn't recommend anything specific, I'm sure the doctor will have some specific suggestions at low doses. Listen to side effects! We caught my liver issues by luck, so be careful to notice any negative physical changes. Kind of tough if you are also dealing with... what you're dealing with.

Context: for about the past 4-6 years I've had 2-3 serious (what I will potentially incorrectly term) depressive episodes a year. Now for many that would signal Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I don't think that's the queue as they're generally not timed with seasonality. Instead they're tied typically to the slow creep of overwhelming stress, fatigue, and overwhelm. I'm a chronic self-critic. For pretty much as long as I can remember I've been the kind of person who spends a lot of their "reflection" time belittling any number of the small or large decisions and choices I've made and thinking "I could have done that better", "I'm so stupid, why did I do XYZ", "I hate myself. I'm worthless". Even when times are good those thoughts percolate. That brings me to this week.

Thursday just as the work day was winding down I had a wave of absolute malaise. To the point where the only thing I had effort for was to lay in bed an listen to a podcast. Where even the act of thinking about cooking supper was too much and made me recoil into my inner sanctuary of safety. This has happened before, so I recognized it and took the time to sit with my discomfort and let it pass. After about 4 hours I was able to calm myself down and recognize it was just the brain weasels talking and get back to my day. Friday went fine.

TW: Suicidal Ideation

Spoiler:

Saturday. Well..... it's been one of my worst days in my entire life. I didn't want to wake up. Didn't want to get out of bed. Finally got up late in the morning, chatted with my partner, but still felt like a miserable piece of trash. So I went back to bed and slept till 2pm. In and out of my light sleep I was beginning to have some very disturbing thoughts. Now I've struggled with what to call them exactly, was it suicidal ideation, was it suicidal intent? (it definitely was and I have a lot of shame that I've had these thoughts before) But never the less, I was having conversation with myself as to whether I could/should take my life and how I would do it. These are thoughts I've had before, but only 3-4 times in my life, most of my depressive episodes are much less severe in nature, more self loathing as opposed to true discussions of ending my life. Today was one of those days where I was debating the merits of using some clothes as a noose in the closet versus the nylon rope in the garage off the weight rack to tie a noose. My brain went so far as considering whether I truly knew how to tie a noose correctly or not (I do not I determined).

I've had similar thoughts in the past. But as I've grown older I've come to realize how selfish suicide is. How much it's a choice that hurts others so so so much more than it would ever "benefit" myself. I thought of how upset my family would be, how heartbroken and destroyed my fiancé and soon to be wife would be, how upset my puppy would be if he didn't get to see me again. And ultimately I was never close to following through. All this is musing and thoughts I've had bouncing around in my brain to ask "Do I need professional help?" (which I think if I have to ask the question I know the answer to) but also just as a brain dumb of one of the loneliest and absolute worst days of my life. I'm gridding up with will and determination to tell my partner about "all" of this tomorrow, as so far I've only shared that I recognized I was in a severe depressive episode.

Writing this out has made me incredibly sad and ashamed that I would ever have these thoughts, but also a little bit hopeful. I know I need help. I know I need to talk to someone outside of my family and friend circle. I don't think I need medication, but I know these past two years have been incredibly rough on someone like me who spends a lot of time loving and caring for others.

It's time to love and care for myself too.

Staygold,

I’m really glad that you were able to share your experiences here.

In short, you probably would benefit from medication. Some kind of talk therapy would likely be helpful as well. Try to take steps towards this ASAP. There’s no need for you suffer this way.

In the meantime, you should explain to your partner what you’re going through. They probably are worried about you already, and would be grateful to gain some clarity into how you’ve been feeling.

You don’t need to feel ashamed about the suicidal ideation. It’s not your fault. It’s something that’s happening to you, rather than something you’ve chosen to happen. Getting started on a medication will most likely give you the relief that you’re searching for.

As I write this I’m dealing with insomnia. I hope I’ve made myself easy to understand.

Please take care.

Edit. Deleted double post.

staygold wrote:

Context: for about the past 4-6 years I've had 2-3 serious (what I will potentially incorrectly term) depressive episodes a year. Now for many that would signal Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I don't think that's the queue as they're generally not timed with seasonality. Instead they're tied typically to the slow creep of overwhelming stress, fatigue, and overwhelm. I'm a chronic self-critic. For pretty much as long as I can remember I've been the kind of person who spends a lot of their "reflection" time belittling any number of the small or large decisions and choices I've made and thinking "I could have done that better", "I'm so stupid, why did I do XYZ", "I hate myself. I'm worthless". Even when times are good those thoughts percolate. That brings me to this week.

Thursday just as the work day was winding down I had a wave of absolute malaise. To the point where the only thing I had effort for was to lay in bed an listen to a podcast. Where even the act of thinking about cooking supper was too much and made me recoil into my inner sanctuary of safety. This has happened before, so I recognized it and took the time to sit with my discomfort and let it pass. After about 4 hours I was able to calm myself down and recognize it was just the brain weasels talking and get back to my day. Friday went fine.

TW: Suicidal Ideation

Spoiler:

Saturday. Well..... it's been one of my worst days in my entire life. I didn't want to wake up. Didn't want to get out of bed. Finally got up late in the morning, chatted with my partner, but still felt like a miserable piece of trash. So I went back to bed and slept till 2pm. In and out of my light sleep I was beginning to have some very disturbing thoughts. Now I've struggled with what to call them exactly, was it suicidal ideation, was it suicidal intent? (it definitely was and I have a lot of shame that I've had these thoughts before) But never the less, I was having conversation with myself as to whether I could/should take my life and how I would do it. These are thoughts I've had before, but only 3-4 times in my life, most of my depressive episodes are much less severe in nature, more self loathing as opposed to true discussions of ending my life. Today was one of those days where I was debating the merits of using some clothes as a noose in the closet versus the nylon rope in the garage off the weight rack to tie a noose. My brain went so far as considering whether I truly knew how to tie a noose correctly or not (I do not I determined).

I've had similar thoughts in the past. But as I've grown older I've come to realize how selfish suicide is. How much it's a choice that hurts others so so so much more than it would ever "benefit" myself. I thought of how upset my family would be, how heartbroken and destroyed my fiancé and soon to be wife would be, how upset my puppy would be if he didn't get to see me again. And ultimately I was never close to following through. All this is musing and thoughts I've had bouncing around in my brain to ask "Do I need professional help?" (which I think if I have to ask the question I know the answer to) but also just as a brain dumb of one of the loneliest and absolute worst days of my life. I'm gridding up with will and determination to tell my partner about "all" of this tomorrow, as so far I've only shared that I recognized I was in a severe depressive episode.

Writing this out has made me incredibly sad and ashamed that I would ever have these thoughts, but also a little bit hopeful. I know I need help. I know I need to talk to someone outside of my family and friend circle. I don't think I need medication, but I know these past two years have been incredibly rough on someone like me who spends a lot of time loving and caring for others.

It's time to love and care for myself too.

Grats on posting about it. That's often one of the hardest parts. Being honest with yourself, and others. Depression especially tends to make one put off that first step and you've done it! I'm not being flippant here, the first step is awfully tough.

I finally saw a psychiatrist a couple weeks ago after anxiety started becoming pervasive for the first time in a decade. I felt SO much better after finally going. It's amazing what a relief it is to hear "wow, that sounds tough" from someone.

Nothing wrong with medication for helping you through a rough time. You take Tylenol or Ibuprofen when you have a bad headache, right? Same thing.

Yep. Medication tamped all that stuff down for me, the disturbing thoughts that come with OCD are easily ignored now. Jump on that with both feet if it's the indicated treatment. But definitely see a psychiatrist to find out.

(As an aside, I went to the psychiatrist first because my friend recommended her as a psychiatrist who listens and responds, not just writes prescriptions. Psychologist appointments followed the psychiatrist though. That first appointment contained so much relief it was demonstrably helpful to my overall mood.)