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auralpoison
One of the few things I still hold onto (And I'm sure as fuck not proud of it. It disgusts me, but I can't help it. I'd like to stop, but simply CAN'T.) is dermatillomania. A compulsive need to pick at myself. It shames me. Most people don't notice, but if I wear short sleeves . . . it's obvious. My arms are spotted like a leopard's. I tear at specific parts of my body. My scalp, my arms & legs, & back. I can't recall the last time I wore shorts or a dress without HEAVY tights.

As much as we've fucked, HB has been kind enough to never mention it. I know it worries him, but I came to him as is, no refunds, no exchanges. He fingers the wounds at my hips, but says nothing. He SEES the scars. He fingers them. He knows their texture. He doesn't understand it, but thank cod he doesn't judge me.

It's funny. When I was in hospital over the summer, the doctors & nurses wouldn't ask me about it outright. If they asked about the various open wounds on my legs, I just told them I was awkward & clumbsy. One of them finally called me on it when she changed my blood-stained sheets. I finally explained it to her & her advice was to just stop. GEE, THANKS. Cos, y'know, I can just stop breathing & continue living, too.

When a friend of MANY years finally noticed, he said, "Well, doesn't it hurt?" That's kind of part of the point as I see it. I have things so easy, a little pain is nothing.

Fuck. I can't believe I just actually owned that to ya'll. I've just completely undermined my "AP is a fucking hardcase" rep. AP is just as weak as a kitten even if she bites & hangs on until she gets her fill.

I'm working four diff spots right now. One on each forearm, one on my left elbow & one on my lower back.

I *HATE* this part of myself. HATE it. I've tasted cordite & the thick, richness of gunoil, but still can't seem to stop. Not even the strange, cold, black, square fit of a nineMM can make me stop.
mornington
((((olivarria))) woo! the secretary job sounds really good

((((geekchick)))) ta for the book recommendation - I've been recommended CBT and I like to do a little reading around the subject

((((AP))))

(((((<3drums))))) hope the counsellor comes through and you find something that works for you. (and as a total aside, I remember not wanting to go to therapy at school 'cos the choice was between the chaplain and the lady married to my biology teacher - yay for you for at least trying to find something, you're much braver than me!)


Saw a psychiatrist today (I was referred by my therapist) - was ok. weird. He recommended CBT in conjuction with my medication, as well as looking at my meds. I've got to keep a mood diary and go back next month. Not convinced about the CBT, my first therapist tried that and I *hated* it - perhaps I needed to give it more time, perhaps I'm in a better place now... anyway, going to give it a go.
geekchickknits
((((AP))))

((((mornigton, olivarria, <3drums)))) As much as I am creative, I also have a very logical mind, which may be why CBT worked so well for me. When I was reading Mind Over Mood and I came to a list of possible Automatic Thoughts, almost every thought on the list could have been pulled verbatim from my brain. I then had a "click" moment when I said "Those thoughts - those thoughts I have AREN'T REAL!" What I meant was those thoughts aren't coming FROM ME, the come from my depression ie. I don't actually think I am a loser, my depression does. Another reason CBT worked for me was that it gave me a sense that I was actually doing something, instead of rehashing my issues over and over (talk therapy would often leave me feeling more depressed than when I went in.)

Aside: I feel semantics are important, another reason CBT worked for me. "I am depressed" vs. "I have clinical depression, and I feel depressed" The former defines the depression as me, while the latter defines the depression as separate from me, and something that can be changed.

I understand that different things work for different people, but I am very passionate about this form of therapy because it gave me my life back. It also gave me the tools to identify when I am sliding back, and how to get myself out of it. I am no longer living with that sense of futility because I KNOW the things I do and changes I make will have an impact. Until I was out of it, I didn't realize that I had become a different person. My family and friends will still sometimes remark how they can hear how happy I am in my voice over the phone, and how happy that makes them. On more than one occasion (including right now) I have cried because I am no longer under the thumb of my depression. It still walks alongside me like a shadow - I know it will never completely go away - but when the sun is shining right overhead, it all but disappears.

I hope that people don't feel I'm pulling a funk0039 here, as I am tooting the horn of CBT pretty loudly, but when something changes my life so much for the better, and I think it could help others, I want to do everything I can to encourage people in similar situation to me to give it a whirl.

((((BUSTIES))))
stargazer
QUOTE(geekchickknits @ Oct 11 2008, 10:11 AM) *
Aside: I feel semantics are important, another reason CBT worked for me. "I am depressed" vs. "I have clinical depression, and I feel depressed" The former defines the depression as me, while the latter defines the depression as separate from me, and something that can be changed.


geekchickknits, that is so great to hear that you found a model of therapy that worked for you. the point is that you felt you made improvements to help you live the life you wanted. awesome. and i really like your point in this post, which is why i've highlighted it. i don't like to talk about what i do for living much on here...but, i used this same example when working with a client with depression. i discussed the difference of "i am depression" vs. "i am a person with depression." i used a humanistic/experiential approach to understanding this position. that depression is just part of you and that you are still a person.

my mom helped to reiterate this point with my current bout of depression. it helped me to feel more empowered in my situation. i just had to "feel" empowered to do something.

(((AP))) i hope you felt better owning up to that. you know, i noticed when i'm stressed and i find myself picking at myself...like my skin. i think that has been another form for me since i was a kid. and seeing your post helped to confirm it. i know part of it is adolescence, but it's continued as an adult. i seriously think i have some mild form of body dysmorphic disorder. cause, i think i look really hideous. seriously. i should probably put this in the anxiety thread. but, i know i am doing better mentally when i am not actually picking at myself.

morn, yay for getting a doctor! just to forewarn you...most docs suggest CBT therapy because it is addressed to specific illnesses like depression and anxiety with time limited therapy. really it is more about money and insurance. insurance companies want your depression resolved in 8 sessions. if CBT doesn't work for you then it doesn't work for you. i could not see myself doing CBT therapy because the dynamic would be horrible for me. i would feel like i'm being told what to do by an authority figure. which i know is not happening, but that is how it would feel for me. then i would rebel and probably stop going or not get anything from the experience. i need help with integrating and allowing myself to feel my feelings which is why i appreciate and love psychodynamic therapy. i need to learn that being sad, disappointed, rejected, and angry--and love--is not a horrible thing. it might be helpful to know what you want out of a therapist?

just on a side note, after reading the posts in here and thinking about myself...it really helped me to know why i work from the approach i work from in therapy. i hope those of you who are active in here and/or lurking know that you can ask your potential and/or current therapist about their approach to therapy and how they see their approach being helpful to you. you are the consumer in this situation. remember that.

(((busties)))
kittenb
QUOTE
I hope that people don't feel I'm pulling a funk0039 here, as I am tooting the horn of CBT pretty loudly,


Nobody would think that about you. But your post is more proof that he needed to go.
mornington
on what geekchick said... I know when I'm in a rough spot, it's marking that difference that I find difficult. That said, I'm just... not sure about CBT. I don't have to deal with med insurance (thank cod) but I do find that drs here are keener on medication than long-term therapy - and uni therapists are pushed towards short-term treatments then moving us on somewhere else. I'm going to give CBT a go; I do need to adjust my behaviour but I think therapy is highlighting that I also need to take my feelings out and look at them and ride them out - I'm not sure if I can change the behaviour without knowing *why* first.

I go through phases with my therapist. Sometimes I like her, sometimes I hate her. She's pretty good about not just sitting there in silence watching me (my first therapist did that, it made me horribly anxious and scared and I stopped going because I didn't want to go through that) but also putting ideas out for me to play with. She seems to be pro-CBT (partly 'cos she's a uni therapist) but also happy to let me just explore without any overt aim.

also: ((((geekchick)))) - nobody thinks that. We all give advice on what suits us more than anything, but no. And what kitten said.
olivarria
I like the basic premise of CBT and also positive psychology - that you can control your emotions (to some extent) by reframing your thoughts. Though sometimes when I think negative thoughts, I worry: are they really negative, or just realistic? Is "reframing" them in a positive way just a another form of lying to myself? I don't want to just say the words, I want to believe them. But my therapist says if I keep repeating it I will eventually adapt and internalize a more positive attitude. I really like therapists that have an existentialist approach, because I sometimes (especially when depressed) have difficulty finding meaning in my life. This can make it pretty hard to get out of bed, when i feel my life and everything in the world have no meaning! I probably ponder these things little too deeply, but i think it's a relevant issue to discuss.

Mornington, I know what you mean about the therapist watching you silently. Is that something they teach in "shrink" school? That's a great way of making me nervous and squirmy, if that's what they're trying to accomplish. I had a therapist who did that FOREVER, and it was so awkward. It's like, am I supposed to say something, and is this a staring contest? If so i could never win. This was a therapist I had a total crush on, and it made me so nervous whenever he did that!

Edit: (((Stargazer))) what you said about possibly having mild body dysmorphic disorder: I think I can really relate. I've had really serious body issues my entire life, and for the last year I have felt even less atractive than before, because I gained over 20 lbs. There have been times I was afraid to go out because of how I look. I know this sounds really stupid, but I feel like I will be alone forever because I'm not pretty enough to attract anyone. I am losing weight, and my skin has cleared up in the last few months, and I'm really trying to make myself look better with new clothes and everything, but I feel like I will never be "hot." I had a breast reduction and now my tits are all scarred, and I have PCOS which has been making me grow hair at a much faster rate. These things are managable for now, but I feel hideous. Other than doing obvious things, like lose weight and take care of myself, how can I build my confidence? Does anybody have advice?
kittenb
QUOTE
Mornington, I know what you mean about the therapist watching you silently. Is that something they teach in "shrink" school? That's a great way of making me nervous and squirmy, if that's what they're trying to accomplish. I had a therapist who did that FOREVER, and it was so awkward. It's like, am I supposed to say something, and is this a staring contest? If so i could never win. This was a therapist I had a total crush on, and it made me so nervous whenever he did that!


Well, speaking as someone who is in "shrink school" (totally going to call it that from now on) the answer is sort of yes. Star can probably explain it better than I but the idea os for us, the therapists, to shut up, thereby opening up the chance for you, the client, to talk. Sometimes it works better than other times.

If it makes it any easier, comfort with silence is one of the hardest things for students to learn. It really can feel like a staring contest.
hellotampon
I get pretty bad seasonal depression, but I think I've been depressed in general for a while, so it's worse this year. Normally I want to hibernate right through the winter, but this time I just wish I was dead. Last night I went to a party. There was a band playing and everyone was dancing and having fun. I'm a really bad dancer and I have to be really drunk to do it, so I was kinda standing around watching and wishing I wasn't so socially inept, and I got really sad. I made my boyfriend drop me off at home and go back to the party and I spent the rest of the night crying. I need to get one of those special lights for SAD(I never have the money), and I need to see a counselor. I don't even know how to find a counselor. I don't know where this depression came from or how to fix it. I also have bad body image and self-esteem issues, I can't handle stress, and I'm bored with my life. I'm a mess...
pollystyrene
Sorry you had a crappy night, tampon. I've found therapists through an online search before...I don't think the website I used exists anymore, but I found another one at PsychologyToday.com.

I get SAD, too. I think you can buy full-spectrum lights pretty cheaply- I don't think they're as good as the therapeutic lights they sell, but it might help.

Last winter I discovered something that made me feel better, at least for a little while. Not only is it gloomy and miserable here in Chicago in the winter, but it's also really dry, which just makes you feel physically worse. I happened to be at the local gardening store in February or so, and decided to check out the greenhouse where they keep the tropical plants. I went in there and within minutes, the full spectrum lighting and the moisture and the smell of plants just totally lifted my mood. I was in there for about 20 minutes, soaking it up and it really made me feel better for the rest of the day.

Obviously, it's not a long term solution, but it's just a quick, free pick-me-up.

((tampon))
stargazer
(((hellotampon))) sorry to hear you are having a tough time. you know, some tanning salons offer photolight therapy. i know it means spending money, but it could be an alternative. as for counseling recommendations...are you a student or do you have insurance where you can get referrals?


having lived on the east coast for a winter season, i know how horrible it can be. it is totally different than a chicago winter. seriously. just watch the shining. it's no joke. dude, there's a reason my depression got really bad while i was out there. besides the other factors. dry.gif
starpiste
I have a theraputic light and it was expensive. That said, I ended up getting it partially covered by insurance, but it took letters from doctors to prove it was actually medically necessary. Initially we got one on loan from a university mood disorders clinic. I got to use it for 2 weeks to make sure it worked before we bought one. (ps. I was in high school still and was at that time a psychiatric outpatient at a hospital.)

Anyways, they measure the lamps in LUX, so if a lamp doesn't list the number of lux, you can't properly gauge how good it will be. I know 10,000 is standard for therapy, but a 5000 lux one would definitely be good. I know one of the big things my doctors emphasize is to use it in the morning. It get's you going for the day and using it in the evening can throw off your sleeping patterns.

I found my current counselor by typing "sliding scale therapy in Vancouver" I got a lot of results, both of professional organizations with listings and private websites. The website usually talked about what they specialized in and a bit about their methods.

and I too hate those parties that just make you feel more like you're the only one who just can have fun. You're not the least bit alone in that.
olivarria
KittenB, I want to be a clinical social worker, so I guess I'll have to learn to do that too - and to say "And how did that make you feel?" everytime the client says something significant. I want to have a private practice one day so I need to master these skills! But more seriously, I want to study CBT, positive psychology, and existential therapy. These methods have been helpful for me in the past.

Hellotampon, I sympathize with you. I feel the same way at parties, so I never go to them. Concerts either (except SXSW last year - it was worth it). Even family gatherings scare me, and I know those people!
persimmon_grrrl
hi all busties.

i feel totally unmoored, unmotivated, listless and really hesitant to leave the house.

does anybody know of a cheap, realistic place to hibernate for a week and just sleep and rest, especially if the place where i'm living now is not safe? not hotels. perhaps i'm just fantasizing about such a place, a resting place, not an institution.

also, any words on red flags for therapists, in terms of them working / not working for you?
stargazer
(((persimmon))) what is going on that your place is not safe? sad.gif
thirtiesgirl
My two cents on CTB: I use a modified version of CBT when I counsel some kids at school. We don't have the time to do in depth counseling sessions; not to mention, the kid is supposed to be in class, so the counseling session often has to be fairly speedy. CBT works in the short term, I've found, in helping the kid reframe negative thoughts about what's happening in the moment (friends dissing them, not getting along with a teacher). If they need help with a more serious issue (family problems, someone constantly bullying them), I prefer a more Rogerian approach to therapy (lots of reflective listening). I can only do so much of that with the students, though, and then it's time to refer them to outside counseling services. My personal therapist is completely Rogerian, which works the best for me. I find CBT to be too directive for me.
littlespttedleopard
Hello, I'm new to the lounge and this is my first posting. I've always led a sheltered naive life and thanks to one of my bestest friend's of 12 years, lent me some magazines and I've always loved all kinds of magazine for the soul purpose of using them for collages. Well Bust magazine happened to be one of the ones she had given me. And I truly enjoy reading through each issue over and over. Excuse me if I don't make sense.

I'm 25 years old and have battled depression/passive aggressive behavior my whole life I would say. I've pushed positive people away in my life and a few have stuck by me. And till this day I am thankful for that, but still feel like I don't deserve it at all. I have done many cruel things to these people to spurting out tantrums, stealing, lieing. I know everyone has issues, but this is my story. And I feel alone and I know there's this demon inside me that has taken over. I feel I want to do great, and suceed. But Im not as wealthy as others and my family is somewhat disconnected. I have seen a therapist at least 3 times & still felt like it was a waste of time. Sure it helped me for those 3 visits.. but I still feel alone. Like Im the only one with this disease, this plague. Im at my wits end, I want help but can't afford it, nor have insurance, and due to the economy no job. Almost no home. I want to start over, but I don't know how to or where to start. I'm scatterbrained and lost. I dont want to be a lost soul sad.gif
stargazer
welcome to the lounge! we usually ask newbies to introduce themselves here.

sorry to hear you are having a tough time. it sounds like you have alot of insight into your behavior in your relationships. therapy would be great to explore your behavior and get an understanding about these relationships. 3 times will not help you get there that quickly. have you tried and/or considered medication for your depression? knowing very little about you, do you have insurance or are you a student? again, sorry to hear you are hurting. if you look back on the thread in here, you will see that you are not alone.
littlespttedleopard

Oh thanks for the response (truly) I know I'm not alone, right now I'm focused on looking for a job, then seeking therapy. But I think I would be more fond of group therapy. I feel like with a therapist, it's just fake and their picking money out of my pocket. When in these times I'm the one that needs some dough. I would like everyone's two cents on what they think of group therapy. I tend to be overly paranoid, and I just got out of a two month relationship with the most toxic person I ever met in my life. It just added more fuel to my sadasm. I now have the lowest confidence, especially since like I mentioned, losing a job do to the economy, currently no insurance. But really I know I'm not alone. Sometimes I feel like I am the only crazy one going through tramas and nonsense obstacles.







QUOTE(stargazer @ Oct 17 2008, 07:46 AM) *
welcome to the lounge! we usually ask newbies to introduce themselves here.

sorry to hear you are having a tough time. it sounds like you have alot of insight into your behavior in your relationships. therapy would be great to explore your behavior and get an understanding about these relationships. 3 times will not help you get there that quickly. have you tried and/or considered medication for your depression? knowing very little about you, do you have insurance or are you a student? again, sorry to hear you are hurting. if you look back on the thread in here, you will see that you are not alone.

stargazer
glad you came back leopard! well, i tend to lean towards group therapy because it is one of my specialities. most importantly, i think group therapy can be quite healing to learn about yourself in relation to others (both the good, bad, and the ugly). plus, you can get support from the group. most clinicians will conduct an interview to discuss your interest in group therapy and determine your fit. are you looking for support or a different view of experiencing yourself? support groups and group therapy are 2 different things. i think individual therapy is great to get personal attention to work on dynamics and issues not previously addressed and warrant closer attention that might get missed with group therapy. it sounds like you are working on getting the most effective and helpful module of therapy for you. congrats.


btw, most clinicians should be willing to meet with you for consultation about therapy, albeit individual and group therapy. hopefully, you can discuss your concerns and the therapist can discuss how working with them can be helpful. If not, then there are other clinicians to work with. You are the consumer.
i_am_jan
Leopard: I recently started feeling less bad about my own life after reading a book called "the Glass Castle." It's about poor people who don't have food to eat and live so very hard, without even the luxury of being able to complain the way we all do. It made me count my blessings and feel like I do have a few things going for me that I can use to pull myself up, if slowly. Volunteering/helping people who have less than I also helps me so much. I am like you ~ few resources (working poor) and I mainly rely on myself and free services offered by community. You say "stealing." I happen to know a little about the behavioral addiction of kleptomania. You can read up on this at the library if you need help learning about behavioral addictions, the two that helped me most are here, the two books at the very top of this page:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=s...amp;x=0&y=0

But chances are, your local library has these books for free.

You are not alone. Good luck.
persimmon_grrrl
hi stargazer,

because this forum is online, i don't feel like i can share what is unsafe here without losing anonymity.

i'm working on moving.
vixen_within
QUOTE(persimmon_grrrl @ Oct 15 2008, 07:45 PM) *
hi all busties.

i feel totally unmoored, unmotivated, listless and really hesitant to leave the house.

does anybody know of a cheap, realistic place to hibernate for a week and just sleep and rest, especially if the place where i'm living now is not safe? not hotels. perhaps i'm just fantasizing about such a place, a resting place, not an institution.


i can only think, a sympathetic family member (any aunts or uncles or cousins. your parents if you're not already living there) or a willing friend, or a week or two sublet somewhere else or in a nearby town (craigslist?) which is cheaper than a hotel too.

QUOTE(persimmon_grrrl @ Oct 15 2008, 07:45 PM) *
also, any words on red flags for therapists, in terms of them working / not working for you?


i once caught a therapist rolling her eyes when i tried to describe my sexual assault to her. ROLLING HER EYES. lol. So, that was the last session we had together. someone else i tried kept insisting that the only way to get through a troubling obsession i was having was to continue to talk it out. i knew it didn't meet my needs, because my problems were so immediate, and i didn't have (what i thought of as) the luxury of chatting out and analyzing this habit that was getting in the way of my life and times. i realized afterwards that i should have been looking for a totally different type of therapy (cognitive/behavioral therapy). In that case it wasn't the therapist, it was just the method. the red flag was my growing frustration and my mounting, unresolved problems.
stargazer
(((persimmon))) feel free to PM me. keep posting in here to let us know how you are feeling.


(((vixen))) oh gosh. that is terrible. rolling her eyes? so bad. it sounds like you knew after some bad ones what you needed in a therapist.
roquelaure
QUOTE(persimmon_grrrl @ Oct 15 2008, 07:45 PM) *
hi all busties.

i feel totally unmoored, unmotivated, listless and really hesitant to leave the house.

does anybody know of a cheap, realistic place to hibernate for a week and just sleep and rest, especially if the place where i'm living now is not safe? not hotels. perhaps i'm just fantasizing about such a place, a resting place, not an institution.

also, any words on red flags for therapists, in terms of them working / not working for you?


i recently felt the same way- there wasn't anything particularly WRONG with where i was, i just needed to get OUT- away from the same four walls, same roads, same everything. I ended up finding an oceanfront condominium for ridiculously cheap in southern North Carolina and spent a week there just defragmenting my brain, sleeping, reading, and generally giving myself a well deserved break from everyday life. it was probably the healthiest thing i've done in the past ten years.

so, i'm not sure where you are located, but if you are within driving distance of a beach and have a way to get there, this is the time of year to go- especially to ones that are in the northern half of the coasts. nobody wants to go to the beach when it is chilly (i like it more that way, personally!), so property owners will take ANYTHING to make a little money, and often don't require you to stay the usual one week limit. and best of all, there are no tourists or screaming kids, tacky souvenir shops and over priced restaurants are closed for the season, etc- it's so quiet and tranquil.

best of luck to you!

(btw- hi all, lifetime depressive/anxiety disorder, hardcore OCDer here!)
persimmon_grrrl
vixen_within - i appreciate the feedback. i'm definitely not living at the place where i grew up, and wouldn't feel safe doing so. although, i wish i had a place called home from childhood that felt like a place i could be okay. it would certainly be grounding.

plans.
i_am_jan
(((Persimmon))): If you feel like being alone and not talking to anyone and just burrowing under the covers or whatever, is there a friend close enough where you could say "look, I'm not good company right now, I feel like I need aloneness and quiet, would you mind if I borrowed your upstairs spare bedroom for a week and just stayed in my room most of the time?" Then, you can do your business downstairs while they are at work during the day or whatever.

Also, if you're anywhere near me, feel free to PM me and you can do this at my place. I'm gone during the day and I'd be happy to talk or NOT TALK as much as you need. I have a computer and a cat, a fully stocked fridge, happy to share. Seriously.
crazyoldcatlady
p_g, consider craigslist for cheap temoraries, or a house/apt swap website, or cabins that state parks or resorts may rent out by the week. hope you feel better (((p _g)))
sassygrrl
P_G, I was going to consider house swap, or cheap temporary apartments, cabins?. Check craiglist. I have been feeling the same way lately myself. I just wish I could get to the mountains or the beach, away from everyone for a week or two.

Star's, that's why I'm not moving to Boston. Hell, no.

I_am_jan, The Glass Castle is one of my favorite new books. I also agree with you on volunteering.

Leopard, I don't know much about group therapy.

Vixen, that's horrible. I've had a lot of bad therapists. One dominated the session, and talked about herself.

Morn, I go thru such weird stages with my therapis t. I also have to always wonder what he's actually writing in his legal pad, and sometimes the silence really annoys me.

I'm feeling really unmotivated to do much of anything lately. I'm trying to focus on getting a new job, but with the economy/world going to hell that just depresses me more. Fighting with Mcgeek doesn't help either(mainly about $). There are just some days were I can barely get out of bed. My self esteem is hurting too.

((everyone))







Gypsymoth
I've been mildly depressed for a while but now it's gotten so bad that I've been having fits of crying where I can't stop. My therapist took me off Abilify because it was making me too anxious but now I'm back where I started, with just Wellbutrin and Fluoxetine. It's so frustrating.
roquelaure
QUOTE(Gypsymoth @ Oct 26 2008, 11:17 PM) *
I've been mildly depressed for a while but now it's gotten so bad that I've been having fits of crying where I can't stop. My therapist took me off Abilify because it was making me too anxious but now I'm back where I started, with just Wellbutrin and Fluoxetine. It's so frustrating.


i sympathesize. every time i think i'm making progress, *boom* i hit a low. i've been having these very short bizarre manic depressive days. i know md is when there are stretches of mania and then stretches of depression, and i'm not trying to trivialize it or make it sound cute or anything, i just don't know any other way to describe it. one minute i'll be perfectly fine, or even chipper, and then literally a minute later out of nowhere i will shut down. like today: i have been craving chocolate pudding like mad for the past few weeks. so this afternoon i finally decided i'm making pudding dammit- not exactly the most demanding chore in the world. open the box, mix with milk, t-da. anyway, there i was mixing away at my pudding, and *kapow*: suddenly the last thing on the planet i wanted to be doing was standing there in the kitchen making pudding, so i put it in the sink and laid in bed for a couple hours. wtf?

for about six years i was on 150mg effexor and 37.5mg wellbutrin. in august i thought it was time to see a new doctor since i was feeling low, and he doubled the wellbutrin. it seemed to calm me down a little, so he upped it to 100mg. made me a little loopy but i started actually getting stuff done- i actually READ A BOOK cover to cover for the first time in i don't know how long. i had been reading one or two chapters, losing interest, and picking up something else. so at my next appointment, he upped it to 200mg.

oh my sweet gentle jesus. that was absolutely, positively the worst few days of my life as far as medication reactions go. i lphysically couldn't stand up- i had no coordination, i couldn't for sentences, zoned out for hours and didn't realize it, and i was shaking so hard i couldn't hold a fork. needless to say, i stopped and started taking the 100's again. much better, but i'm still a little... i don't know, not cloudy, more like there's TOO much going on in my head and things are fighting it out to become clear. all the other symptons subsided, but i still shake and have noticed random muscle and nerve twitches. on the other hand, people have been commenting on how uncharactistically out-going i've been, and i've noticed i've been standing my ground on things i would never have.

so i don't know what to think. i kind of feel like "going cold turkey" and completely detoxing and start over with a clean slate. i'm a huge supporter of medications to treat depression and anxiety in conjunction with other therapies- they literally saved my life. but now that i'm in the situation where doctors are "playing with" things to find what works right, i understand why some people don't like them. i actually FEEL drugged now, but with benefits.
snow white
it's that time of the year again when the upstate new york weather keeps me in bed all day. i decided to browse e-bay for a sun light box and they're on average about $150. i was wonder if anyone else suffers during the colder and darker months w/ depression and what they do to ease it. do tanning beds help?

p.s. i love the glass castle. it's been 2 years since i read it and i still think about it. deffinatly one of my favs
anna k
olivarria, so cool that you mentioned The Highly Sensitive Person. As a kid, I hated loud noises, being touched, was scared of movie trailers in the theater (I was scared of what would come next in a quick flash onscreen and didn't like the loud sound), I didn't like big posters of animals or people (like my sister having posters of a wildcat or Kurt Cobain with his dates listed underneath). I had a couple of good friends, but spent a lot of time alone in my room playing with stuffed animals and dolls, making up stories, or playing make-believe games with my brother. I would also get scared by things I saw on TV during the day that would keep me up at night, be it a drug PSA with dead celebrities shown slideshow-style or Ronald McDonald. I was just really sensitive, ticklish, and felt like a little freak.

I still feel weird today because I don't have a lot of close friends, I get uncomfortable in parties/clubs if I don't know anyone and can't start up a conversation with someone without feeling antisocial and weird (I just went to a dive bar/club alone last night and felt like I couldn't talk to anyone), I've had different jobs and lived in different places and feel like a drifter. I transferred from one college to another, losing my friends and the dorm experience, and sometimes feel like I missed out on normal things. I was a late bloomer sexually and took a few years in my early twenties to get comfortable with kissing, dating, touching, and had opportunities when I was with guys who I liked, but didn't feel comfortable with sex yet, and it makes me feel bad, like I missed out on some good times due to being a shy nerd.

I've just been feeling crummy today. I felt bad about being a shy nerd, and felt like I was more dewy and pretty a few years ago, when I wasn't too aware of it, being used to being the awkward nerd, and now I feel old at 25, like my window of "prettiness" has closed. I felt bad at the club last night because I was alone, didn't have any friends with me, and felt completetly out of the youth loop, like I was uncool and unhip. I felt much better last weekend at a Harlem jazz club with my brother because I could talk to him, I talked to the bassist in the live band, and felt so much more happier and comfortable.

The positives in my life have been my writing successes, becoming more comfortable with men, getting better at the weekly jazz/hip-hop dance class I take, becoming stronger physically, and taking my solo trip to Montreal. Plus, I may go to a rock club next week with a guy who I'm acquantinces with, his friend's band is playing, and I'd like to enjoy myself there.
starship
wow, back here again...

ive been feeling completely crappy lately and just cant snap out of it. im sick of everything. mostly im sick of people never turning out to be what you thought. why am i so repulsive. why do people run away as soon as i start to like them. things were going so good and i thought i was getting over this phase of my life.

i love reading all your posts. it gives me hope knowing theres at least some people out there who understand.
sassygrrl
Anna k, I know how you feel sometimes. I'm trying to be a little more social at parties, but it's hard.

Bad day today. It sucks, because I have so much stuff to do dealing with grad school. There was a job that I really wanted that I didn't get, so I'm just totally upset about it. I'm going to try to work out a little. I'm hoping that it will help.

((all depressed kvetchies))
sassygrrl
I sprained my toe yesterday, and no one seems to give a shit. Granted I know this is very similar to what happened in the summer, a "we're sorry" would be a little nice. Ugh. Part of me just wants to go hit a wall. All people ask about right now is when I will get a job or when I will lose weight. It's really annoying.




geekchickknits
Does anyone have any advice regarding light therapy? Such as brands of lamps to buy?
starpiste
Brands aren't that important, but the strength of the light is. The ideal number of lux is 10,000, if there's no lux reading don't buy it. It should be large enough that the light fills your whole field of vision when sitting with it. Also check to see where to get replacement lamps - This can really affect the long term cost.

sassy, I wish more people were able to just ask an open ended "how's it going?" instead of forcing their views of how it "should" be going on you. When I get into irritable moods I just give everyone honesty and then no one asks anything. Sometimes I like that better.
sassygrrl
Starpiste, thanks for the advice on light therapy. I've been looking into that as well.

I'm really getting sick of people telling me how to feel. My family is the worst about this. My parents live in a very ritzy area, and they're always talking about how "his daughter did this or that..." I have to always wonder what they tell the neighbors about me.

I'm very bummed about not going to Coldplay. I know they'll come back around, but I bought those tickets months ago, and was looking forward so much to the show. My damn body.

((everyone))

lananans
sassy - i know what you mean about what your parents may say about you. After going on vacation with my granny and hearing her badmouth nearly every member of my family in a very backhanded manner, aka "Oh yes, he is married (her son) and has a beautiful baby, but YOU KNOW his wife .. isn't Catholic.." uggggh... what I learned from that is just don't worry about it, you can't stop it... especially if they're old, too late to change their ways.

I'm feeling kind of down today. And I'm not entirely sure why. I think because work stressed me out quite a bit yesterday, but at least I have today off. I may try to go for a walk... will need to get out of the house at some point I suppose.

geekchickknits
(cross post with becoming healthy thread)

sweet jebus.

I went to a hot yoga class yesterday. first one I've gone to (I've done yoga before, but not hot yoga) and I definitely want to go back. It was very gentle, but INTENSE. However, I wouldn't recommend it to people who haven't done yoga before.

I've been eating a lot better over this past week, trying to create balanced meals, and concerning myself with good food rather than calorie count. Even though I recently reached my "scary" weight (the number at which I go, OK! No higher than that!) it's the fact that my depression has resurfaced that has brought about my diet change. I can't think that a steady diet of fast food and take-out while skipping lunch is good for my mental health!

Anyway, do people have suggestions for foods (aside from chocolate) and supplements that help with depression and serotonin levels?

Also, I did end up purchasing a light therapy lamp (I bought this one) and I feel that it has been helping. However, if I have it on late in the day on the lower setting as a desk lamp, I have trouble falling asleep, so for me, it has to be a morning thing.
sassygrrl
Geek, maybe Omega3 vitamins?? How's the light?

I hate that my mother was acting like Annette Bening's character in American Beauty today. She was being so critical of me. I called to tell her about a new book, and before I knew it she had attacked my weight (although it was under her breathe. I told her that I got a bra fitting from this store in Atlanta and she was amazed at the size I was, and called me fat. She told me that yoga was a waste of time), thought my puppy was "slow," and when I said I was planning to go to a study group for the GRE she hung up the phone on me!!! I'm so grateful that I'm not spending Thanksgiving with her! My father was acting very cool (they were both on speaker phone), but my mother was just acting very hurtful. I really hate my family sometimes.

(((everyone)))



dolor
GeekchickN,

The standard usage for full spectrum lamps is in the morning, to counter early morning winter depression... not being able to get out of bed. But I'm a morning person, that's when I have energy and happiness. So I do sometimes throw on the lamp in the late afternoon, the evening, when I do run out of energy and can get terribly down. It doesn't get in the way of my sleeping, unlike yourself?

Right now is the worst time for me, into the November-December tunnel, when all the light and the leaves and color are disappearing... Once it's really into winter and esp. with snow and brilliant light on the snow... then I'm much better.

Best solution (for me)... to go to Mexico.
Tomorrow!
(I wish.)
geekchickknits
I'm enjoying the light. I have it in the room with my skylights, so I get a double dose of artificial and natural. I think it's helping - I didn't do it for a couple of days because I didn't have time in the morning and I definitely felt the difference.
Lily_Anne
When I moved far, far North the lack of sunlight affected me, too. I have a SunBox, which is great. Especially useful for when it gets dark outside at 4pm and my body would otherwise tell me to go to sleep. My doctor wrote a letter to my insurance company about SAD, and my insurance covered it. Yay!

Surround yourself with colors! Even if it's daffodil nail polish or a field trip to the neighborhood produce section.
Lily_Anne
QUOTE(geekchickknits @ Nov 21 2008, 01:20 PM) *
Anyway, do people have suggestions for foods (aside from chocolate) and supplements that help with depression and serotonin levels?


Eat small meals more often. It helps keep my energy consistent.

Also, make sure you aren't cutting too much fat out of your diet. A certain amount is necessary to keep you healthy, Omega 3 or not. I've read about good effects from fish oil, by the way.

Once I hadn't eaten meat for some time, and when I had a little bit of chicken my body thanked me for it. Odd how even those little things help.
zoya
I feel the dark clouds coming on - I find myself not being able to make decisions, getting it in my head that everything has changed with my friends and R, and they're not really into me anymore; finding myself being really chatty, but not engaging (which is classic zoya way of keeping distance from people) ugh.

After a week of not seeing R, this guy I've been kinda hanging out with, we got together last night for a drink, but something was just off - he's been busy as all hell and I'm in that weird head space, but didn't recognize that until today. Last night I just felt weird and like I was floating above myself and trying too hard to make convo, but didn't articulate that to him. We didn't even kiss each other. Went back to his where naked stroking of each other under the covers ensued, and then I fell asleep. oops. He had to get up early and out the door this morning, and I know I won't see or hear from him for probably a week (he's absolutely slammed this week and into next) None of it was bad, but it just wasn't - there. I dunno. I hope everything's alright, when I get in this headspace, I don't always know what's real and what's not.

I'm on a low dose of Wellbutrin, which works well for me - I still get these episodes sometimes, but I don't get so far in the trenches I can't recognize it or it's incapacitating - I intellectually know it will pass, but I just feel kinda scared about things and just don't know what's what, and I feel really fatalistic about things, that my whole world is going to fall apart, and that all the good stuff that's in my life is just going to come to an end. I just wanna be in a little ball on my bed. The thing the meds at least do is make it so that I am better able to drag my ass out.

I think that maybe I need to get one of those full spectrum lamps - it's pitch black here by 4 pm right now, and even though I have big windows that get lots of sun, I don't think the short days are helping any.

ETA - re-reading this, I realize that I know that I like my friends no matter what. That if one of them is being weird or something, it doesn't change my opinion of them.. but I just go to this place in my head where I start thinking they're just done with me. Intellectually I know it's probably not true, but UGH... UGH... I hate the black cloud spirally feeling. ugh ugh ugh.
dolor
Another bit about light, for fellow S.A.D. sufferers:

There's More light outside than you think! When it's a gloomy day (as it is, right now) there's often a tendency to just curl up inside, and go into that dark tunnel... because what's outside looks so uninviting.

But when you are outside (as opposed to the outside that you see through a window) there is more light than you anticipate. Even on an overcast day. So this constitutes major encouragement to get outside anyways, and get some exercise... To force yourself outside... and see if it helps. It usually does, for me.

Of course, this is a daytime remedy. Once it's black out there... then you have to make do with interior lighting. (BTW, even normal lighting can help, on top of full spectrum.)

(Zoya, I know this well, when you get so down that you can't think sensibly and make decisions... My first suggestion is to do little things that you can accomplish. Movement is always better than stasis, being stuck....)

stargazer
QUOTE(dolor @ Dec 2 2008, 08:32 AM) *
Movement is always better than stasis, being stuck....


great point dolor. even if i don't feel like going out, i know that if i do some yoga, meditation, or get on the treadmill, i tell myself i did something positive to shift my attention and focus for a minute.

(((busties)))
anna k
I was just feeling down tonight, and lonely. I tell myself that I'll be busy with work this weekend, then will see my family for a week. I tell myself those things to get through feeling depressed, feeling like it's all in my head.

I go to the gym three nights a week, to feel fitter and stronger, as well as being in group classes and getting out of my loneliness. Sometimes it feels weird to me, but it makes me feel better. I also make myself happy by watching good movies, writing in my journal, listening to NPR, or dancing to music, it lifts me and takes me out of my funk. I have a scrapbook full of nice things that friends have told me or written me, it makes me feel like a vital person and looking at my good qualities. I just hate it when depression hits and makes me feel shitty about myself.

I was complimented again at the gym by some women who told me I lost a ton of weight, and I know I was heavier when I first came in, but it makes me feel weird, like I was so big and ugly and am now pretty and smaller. I've worked hard at it, but it can feel strange sometimes to receive those comments and feel like my body shrank.
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