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anoushh
There's nothing inherently wrong about going to your GP re: anxiety and depression first. In fact, usually that's the best move. Some GPs know more than others about these problems and the meds, but that's true of any condition you'd start with the GP for.

A good GP will refer you to a psychiatrist if you need it. If you don't have a good GP, well, you need a different one for other reasons besides treating depression. Not all psychiatrists are that great, just like any profession. Some are, of course but I'm just saying... In part it depends on their interest. I know more about antidepressants and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs) than some GPs I've known--I'm a social worker. So be careful about generalizing on that.

I've had great care and poor care from both.

Also, I don't agree with the "of course a psych would give you xanax." The benzodiazepines, of which xanax is one, are extremely addictive and need to be used with caution, and are really only meant for short term treatment. It also has a significant street value, so a doctor needs to be cautious with prescribing. That's just good practice.

That's not to say there isn't an appropriate use of them in treatment. And I know personally how frustrating and scary it is for a doctor to tell you "no" when you feel you desperately need--or at least want--some relief from the anxiety and you want it NOW! But I also know that as a professional this isn't always the wrong decision for a doctor to make.




Mando, klonopin is in the same family (benzos) as xanax. It is sometimes preferred because it is longer acting and takes longer to take effect than xanax, which means you don't get the big sleepy hit after 45 minutes. It's supposed ot be more gradual, and therefore less reinforcing to abuse.

Everyone's different, of course. It might make you less sleepy, but it might just make the sleepiness more spread out. I'd guess the former, though, as a general rule.
mandolyn
anoushh, thanks much for clearing some stuff up for me. i appreciate your perspective.

hope everyone else is doing well.
misconduckt
Hey
I am glad the holidays are over...they were the worst ever....my daughter took off to Pennsylvania while I was at work...I am so sad I cry a lot....She came back to live with me last year and I was a little apprehensive about that she had been gone for four years...since she came back we were having so much fun...then she up and leaves shit I feel abandoned and I shouldnt but I miss the hell out of her...I wish I could get over it ...sigh... life sucks right now..
annelise
hugs to all. here's hoping for a better new year.
erinjane
Things have been going pretty good for me lately, except this week because I've been sick and it just makes my mood crappy. I played a soccer game on Friday and was so weak from being sick. After some lady said we should register in the under 20 tourny, and pointed at me. I said I was 21 and she laughed and said, "Yeah, right!" And it really ate at me and i started bawling in the car on my way home.

I had my first session with my psychologist last week. I really like her, we clicked well. But I realize that I have a serious problem saying no. I'm at the point where I can say it, but I get extremely anxious afterwords. Last week a neighbour asked if I could come over to meet his dogs for when I babysit their kid, and I was sick and said I'd do it the next night, and I honestly could not sleep. Bizarre.

Anyways, Here's hoping to a good start to 2007 for all!
mandolyn
misconduckt, do you have anyone to talk to? do try to stick around and vent here as needed. it just might help.

erinjane, i don't have the same exact problem, but i do get THE DREAD after i've committed to something. even something fun, that i'm looking foward to. i get anxious and just wish i could stay HOME. and i know this may come out condescending - and i don't mean it to be - but someday you're gonna love it when someone thinks you're younger than you really are, i promise you. wink.gif

i wish my psychotherapist swore. and did drugs. not that she's judging me. i don't know, i can't explain. i just wish she seemed cooler somehow. i'm fessing up to certain things, but i've already lied about doing coke. (only once in 9 months, but still.) and if this is going to work, i need to be 100% honest, right?

i nixed the psychopharmacologist plan and gave her permission to discuss my progress with my regular MD. so fingers crossed they click, and the doc doesn't think i also need a psychiatrist. (so can't afford it, fucky insurance.) heading into week #2 of wellbutrin 150mg/ativan as needed, and feeling a teency bit better. and even a teency bit braver. i think. or maybe it's just the relief of the holidays being over, and finally getting my period after 50 days. (the joys of perimenopause. *heavy sarcasm*)

she's damn good at getting at the root of things. i've been avoiding The Major Issue for 4 sessions now, but she honed in today. *heavy sigh*
stargazer
keep coming in here to vent if you need to missconduckt!

Mando~like any other relationship, it takes time to build a relationship in the very beginning of therapy. i wouldn't expect my client to be 100% honest in the beginning. i know eventually you will let her know what she needs to know. plus, the whole not revealing everything will be discussed because i'm sure the underlying issue is permeate in other areas of your life. be easy on yourself.

i just visited my psychiatrist this week and he noticed i'm doing better. he said i'm getting the sparkle back in my eyes, which means alot. i've known my doc professionally for several years so i feel he knows how i am when i am well. i am feeling pretty well. the meds are really working for me. my mind isn't racing like before. the anxiety is starting to subside. i think the combo of meds and making dietary changes have helped my mood overall. it is still scary to know i have to continue with these changes...i so want to return to my old ways....stop meds, yada yada yada...but, then i remember how i was feeling before....not good...

i hope everyone else is doing well.
erinjane
QUOTE(mandolyn @ Jan 4 2007, 05:57 PM) *

[color=#3333FF]
erinjane, i don't have the same exact problem, but i do get THE DREAD after i've committed to something. even something fun, that i'm looking foward to. i get anxious and just wish i could stay HOME. and i know this may come out condescending - and i don't mean it to be - but someday you're gonna love it when someone thinks you're younger than you really are, i promise you. wink.gif


I hate that feeling. It happens even when I haven't committed to anything. My mom's given me one of her lorazapam before to calm me down.

I actually have no problem with people thinking i'm younger than I am because I'm so used to it, but I do have a problem with people who reply in such a rude way and downright don't believe me. I've never had that happen before and it's a little thing, but even now it makes me really angry because she was so damned rude about it.
WasabiNinja
So glad I found this thread! I've been in therapy for about two months. Did lexapro for a short while because it made me this drooling booger eating zombie. Stopped seeing that doc. The one I see now has me on prozac and I am definitely having less panic attacks but I still have a very hard time leaving my house. I'm still dodging phone calls and sleeping all the time. Depression fucking sucks because I scare people that I love and I can't simply pretend that everything is okay. So rather than alienate everyone by letting myself be vulnerable I hide out in my cocoon of five blankets and a pillowfort. It feels like living in perpetual darkness and as much as I want to get out for air, the idea makes me panic. Like I'm going to see someone I know and they will ask me how I'm doing. Then I'll freak out and scare the hair off them.

I know I'm not the only one. I'm sorry that all of you are suffering too.
annelise
my depressed boyfriend called tonight and sometimes i just don't know how to deal. i want to help, but he's too stubborn to let me. i don't always feel so fabulously positive about my life (understatement), but his depression is in a whole other league. i love him so much, and he's so important in my life--it's so hard when he's in one of these vicious cycles of depression and illogical thinking. i know that he's worth it--he's amazing--but the lows are so bad. i worry about him, and i get insecure that there's somehow something better that i could be doing to help him, and that whole gamut.

i feel like this should be a separate thread, and that i shouldn't be bothering the depression thread about it. i just have no idea how to deal with this sometimes, emotionally. he needs help, and i keep trying to subtly encourage without nagging, but it's ultimately on him--he has to do what he's ready for. it's so difficult to see him having such a hard time with things, just flailing against his life. i feel so helpless.

i feel like i do enough of that flailing myself, dammit. blah.
stargazer
is your boyfriend seeing a therapist or on medication?

sometimes, all you can do is be there for someone. i know it has been hard for my family and friends, but i have to get through this. but, let me tell you...their support has helped me tremendously. just giving me the emotional space to work through my problems. depression affects everyone it comes into contact...family, friends, partners...
_octinoxate
Bump for whitelightning.
erinjane
Oh god, my parents left for florida for two weeks two days ago and today my brother kicked his wife out of the house because she won't stop drinking even while she's (again) in treatment. He calls me because we don't want to disturb my parents after my moms breakdown, we want them to have a vacation. But he doesn't realize how much pressure it puts on me and how stressed it makes me.

My mom was nice enough to leave me a bottle of her lorazapam though because she knows I've been freaking out lately. I miss my mom.
whitelightning
that sucks, erinjane, i'm sorry to hear that. is that an anti-anxiety med she left you??

i've been posting in the "mooooving on" breakup thread and octinoxate suggested i come in here...basically, my boyfriend and i just broke up (i think); we've been in a relationship for about 3 years now. we're still on good terms, we're just trying to figure out how we're gonna do this since a) we still love one another and like being around each other and cool.gif we live together.

basically, my depression has crippled me to the point of exhausting us both. although we love each other very much, he simply can't be in a relationship with me at this point. he wants to continue to support me and help me but he's wondering when i'm going to "get better". my problem is i'm in terrible financial straits and have no health insurance. i have been to therapy before and i feel like it definitely helped, but i know i need more one-on-one. i feel isolated and out of control.

it's been suggested to me that i should look into churches or community clinics. i tried talking to a counselor at my community college and that experience totally backfired...i had to sign a waiver that said the counselor was obligated to report any statements involving harm to *myself* or others. okaaayyyy.....that was that.

so here's my plan (and i cannot think beyond this): find a part-time job that offers health benefits (like starbucks - barf! - or trader joe's or something) so that i can see a therapist. jobs are extremely hard to come by in portland, but it's the only option i can see right now.

p.s. i don't know why that weird sunglasses emoticon showed up in my previous post. i totally didn't put it there...!

...i really can't help but laugh at that ridiculous emoticon with shades. i didn't put it there - it placed itself (creepily, i might add) in my post.
maddy29
wow, whitelightning, that really stinks. are you on meds? i'm assuming not since you don't have health insurance. are you in the US? is there a possibility that you could get free care? in my state you can apply for it and get a lot of therapy visits...

also, some mental health clinics have a sliding scale that goes down very low, for people without insurance.

what was this waiver you had to sign? who would the counselor report to? the school? i mean yeah, if you say you are going to kill someone, they have to report that to the police and whoever else. and if you say you're going to kill yourself, they can't just say ok, and let you walk out of the session. just curious about this waiver, and why that was a deal-breaker for you?
annelise
there was a program through a local church that i used for a while--they offered counseling with psychology doctoral students for a sliding scale rate. the counselor changed every year, which sucked, but i got a guy i liked much better the second year. it did help, and because of my income, they only charged me $10 per visit. those kind of programs probably vary a lot, though.


is your boyfriend seeing a therapist or on medication?


he's not, though since his recent depressive bout i'm hoping that he'll at least see a doctor to help anxiety/disordered sleep. there is so much that needs to be treated, but it's (understandably) overwhelming for him. he really really needs professional help.

i'm trying to be there for him without allowing it to be a drain on me, but he really worries me sometimes.

-----

for those that also have loved ones facing serious depression, a friend recommended me a book called "how to survive when they're depressed: living and coping with depression fallout". (i just looked it up on amazon, but i don't know how to link).

stargazer
(((erinjane))) i would refer your brother to al-anon. he could get support there from people dealing with loved ones who are alcoholics. maybe ease the pressure off of you to be everything to him. just listen and support him. i know it is easier said than done.

((whitelightning)) by law, all health care professionals are obligated to report when someone is having suicidal/homicidal thoughts and feelings. if you are not feeling suicidal, then you have nothing to worry about. if your safety is a question, well, then it is up to the therapist to determine if you meet criteria for in patient hospitalization. most therapists/community mental health centers will conduct a sliding scale fee for clients. i hope you are able to find a job where you can get benefits.

((annelise)) i would encourage him to get help. maybe accompany him to the doctor or therapist. or, else, things will just stay the same. i would check in the caregiving thread also for more advice and support.
erinjane
Actually, he's been going for a year. He's feels a lot more comfortable talking to family about it than strangers. I'm feeling better about the whole thing today. He seems really sure that this time it's over, and it's very bittersweet. But on my end I'm doing alright. So go me!
mandolyn
(((annelise))) it sounds like you're doing the right thing, putting yourself first. you can't help your boyfriend if you're not well yourself. all you can do is gently encourage. the only other alternative is tough love. which is so not what depressives need.

(((whitelightning))) i'm sorry you're having such a rough time. i second the suggestion to go to the state/county for help. check out local gov't websites. call mental health hotlines, even suicide prevention ones, and ask if there are any free clinics in your area. going to a church and speaking to a priest/pastor isn't a bad idea either, even just for referrals. i know all of this sounds like it's all too time-intensive and overwhelming, so just pick one route, and try to go for it. i'm just worried that you're not up to working at a crap job, on top of all your other stress.

(((erinjane))) your poor brother. it's good that he's affiliated with al-anon.

question: anyone know of any websites that list anti-depressants, like, all on one page, and what they're for specifically? i'm looking for unbiased info, and everything i find is either trying to push the drugs or referring to them as the devil's spawn. i'm familiar with all the rx sites too, but they list medications seperately (and in way too much detail for my addled brain) and by the time i keep switching back and forth, i forget what each drug does.

so yeah. the wellbrutrin is not working. and may be making my anxiety worse. yay. and in a nutshell, due to finances and crap insurance, i basically would have to choose between my therapist and a psychiatrist (for meds). hoping my doc and the therapist hooked up yesterday and have some answers for me at tomorrow's session. but i'm back to feeling not hopeless, but not hopeful, either. i may take a break from therapy and go see my GP, see what she thinks of my switching to paxil.
whitelightning
thanks, everyone for your kind words. i'm feeling a little better these days...but a lot of times that just means i've "shut off" so who knows...but classes have started up again and i'm taking tai chi at school! hopefully that will help in the meantime while i seek out insurance for a therapist. my boyfriend and i are talking and working it out...he still maintains that although he loves and supports me and will help me out however i need, he can't take it in a relationship. we just don't know how we're going to do this if we still live together. i cannot afford to move out at this time. i think my only option right now is to focus on finding a church therapist.

mandolyn, i know http://www.erowid.org has a drop down menu on their home page for "pharmaceuticals" that seems to list *everything*. it appears to be listed by their main ingredient, though, not their "Pfizer-folkname".
lucizoe
Ugh. I hate this. I keep popping in and out of this thread, flitting around with denial and hope and I'm just so tired of it.

Anyone else been like this since childhood?

Depression and social anxiety and just plain anxiety and then big helpings of guilt on top of that for my poor family and husband having to put up with me. Mr.luci's job is currently kicking his ass and then he has to come home to me, who hasn't done anything all day but worry about completely nonsensical things, and try to make me feel better. I'm so scared that I'm going to fuck up our relationship due to my inability to do anything lately but sit around and panic and cry and make him feel helpless and worried.

And sometimes I just want him to leave me alone instead of asking me eighty times a day how I am. I'm such an asshole.

And then I start beating up on myself for wasting all the opportunities, good colleges, time, friends, and brains I used to have.

I know I need to start therapy, but frankly, my previous nine therapists did a really fantastic job of putting me off the idea entirely and I'm finding it difficult to take that step. I'm not really feeling up to being berated, made to feel guilty, or be projected all over just because I'm the same age as my last shrink's daughter. Ugh. He was the worst. I have a phone number of a woman recommended to me (apparently feminist and fabulous), but you know, phone phobia. Plus, I think I need CBT and I don't know if she does that. Any excuse, really.

I'm supposed to just do a quick drop-in someplace tonight to do some really really short paperwork for a completely voluntary position (which I sought out) and I'm panicking at the thought of leaving the house. I fucking hate this.

I'm starting to wonder if I haven't been misdiagnosed this whole time, which makes me more depressed, with the thought that I've spent almost my entire life miserable because I'm not smart enough or strong enough to figure it out myself.

And I wouldn't apply any of the awful things I think about myself to anyone else with depression, because I feel the rest of the world is entirely legitimate in their suffering. Whereas I'm just being a lazy spoiled baby, as usual.

Gah.

I'm sorry that was all so down. I feel like I sound crazy lately and have been sort of avoiding posting as much as I used to anywhere on the board...

(((busties)))

ps - mando, thanks for the e-card...I'm sorry I didn't write right back right away. Holidays were hectic and I'm just really apathetic lately.
stargazer
QUOTE(lucizoe @ Jan 10 2007, 04:58 PM) *

And I wouldn't apply any of the awful things I think about myself to anyone else with depression, because I feel the rest of the world is entirely legitimate in their suffering. Whereas I'm just being a lazy spoiled baby, as usual.


((((((luci)))))) so sorry to hear you are having a rough time. i have felt the same way with my depression too. i feel i am just being really making a big thing out of nothing, BUT, the truth is....when you are depressed it is hard to do things. i don't think people understand it. it takes alot to get going. and i've been this way for a couple of years now. it is still a struggle for me too. it is such a shame you've had bad experiences with therapists. if you feel CBT will work better for you, than go with it. what makes you feel this approach is better for you? i'm just curious. i'm not a big fan of CBT. i need someone more interpersonal of a dynamic. work well with me. i need someone to jump in with me and give me space when needed. i hope you contact that feminist therapist.

((erinjane)) well, i'm glad your brother is involved with al-anon.

((whitligtning)) i'm glad you're feeling better.

(((mando))) man, that stinks about the meds not working for you. if you get a good psychiatrist, then you might get put on a med fit for you. i hope you hear some good news soon.

today was a bad day for me. for the past 2 weeks, i've been really sloppy around the house. no motivation to want to complete things. but, i need to 'cuz i leave next week to go out of town. i think i'm really struggling with my upcoming interviews. today i was blue 'cuz i just felt lonely. i wanted to be held. i started crying and fell asleep. fatigued. now, i have to clean the mess i've made through out my place.
whitelightning
luci, i have those feelings too - about being a "lazy, spoiled baby". i think i'm pretty compassionate toward other friends of mine who are depressed and i give them all these pep talks that i deliver with earnest. then i think to myself "you loser. who are you to talk?" i feel like such a sham sometimes because internally, i feel so feeble and sick.

my good feelings are gone again. maybe they never went away, i don't know...but i think i found some sliding scale therapists. now i just have to call them.

*barf*
virginia
I wonder if anyone has experience from having blood tests on your serotonine and/or norephedrine levels done? I recently tried to explain to a (Swedish) MD that these tests do exist, but I didn't succeed. I have taken various kinds of antidepressants for 11 years now, and would like to get som kind of objective proof of that I really have a physical deficiency, meaning that I would have to keep eating this medication. (I am sorry if my English isn't the best.)
lucizoe
Virginia, your English is great smile.gif I may have been tested for those things, may have not. There were several incidences during my childhood of having many many many vials of blood drawn, but I was never told what for. It has been deteremined fairly recently that I have some major vitamin deficiencies, but since I moved away from my doctor I haven't been getting the injections I'm supposed to, so I'm taking many pills instead Good luck, though!

stargazer, I mainly want to try CBT because several sources have recommended it for social anxiety disorder, which is one of the root causes of my depression. I'm too terrified to actually do any of the things I love because my brain is too busy telling me how pathetic I am, how everyone else in the world is better and will laugh at me. I really fear other peoples' eyes and opinions. Basically, I need to change my thought patterns so I stop getting paralysed by all the hypotheticals. Plain talk therapy is tough for me, because I'm talking to someone else who could potentially be judging me negatively, so I have a hard time being honest. At least, I have in the past. Always on the defensive.

I did go to my pseudo-interview yesterday and the theatre group I'm going to start assisting is very enthusiastic about having me about. Apparently they don't get too many experienced costumers interested in them. And there's no pressure, as I'm not the actual designer for this show. It's getting easier and easier to deal with my feelings of inferiority in my field, especially when people seem glad to have me around. I wish I didn't base so much of my self-esteem on other peoples' opinions, or at least that I trusted the opinions of people who care about me. I'm always suspicious of Mr.Luci's enthusiasm, 'cause you know, he's only trying to make me feel better. How dare he! rolleyes.gif
ChingusKhan
((Virginia))

To my knowledge, a blood test for serotonin levels does not exist. One of the ironies / problems with depression and its pharmacuitical treatment is that is that the absence of serotonin does not show but the presence of the anti-depressant does.

This conundrom leads a great number of researchers to believe that that anti-depressants are no more than placebos. This purported placebo effect, however, has been de-bunked in double-blind studies. For some 75% - 80% of the population prescribed anti-depressants, they really do work.

I do remember reading a bunch of research that showed brain scans of people afflicted with depression were different than people who were not depressed. I also believe there is research indicating that anti-depressants help "re-wire" the brain so that the depressed persons brain-scans begin to look more like the rest of the population.

A thought for everyone: Remmember, medication in and of itself is not the "silver bullet". Medication, when treating depression is just one of a number of tools. Therapy and just generally taking care of yourself are equally important. Get a good therapist, engage in some self-treatment - do some reading on the subject - and take care of your health. No less than seven hours - but no more than 9 hours - of sleep a day, eat right and exercise. I hate to sound pedantic but it really worked for me.

Peace to all and hang on.
maddy29
just wanted to say to whitelightening-good job getting those numbers!!! try to just make one call, it'll probably just be a voice mail anyways. it's so worth it when you find someone who you can talk to.

and lucizoe, yeah, since childhood. i feel the saaaame way about it. i mean, i AM lazy. i like laying around and stuff. BUT, i'm also depressed a lot of the time. i think also when you have it from a young age, your personality develops around it, or with it. i feel like i have depression, but i also have a depressed personality, gah i can't explain it right. maybe like my whole worldview developed from this dark dark place.

i feel so dumb this week, cause i have this new volunteer thing that i haven't gone to yet. i'ts just playing with kids, and i babysit all the time, so no big deal, right? well, just because it's new i'm like allfreaky about it and sooo anxious and just like i'm going to suck and i can't do it and all this stuff. it's so dumb, but i just get all freaked out about stuff that's so not a big thing.

about vitamins and stuff-i keep saying i'm getting the b12 that chacha and everyone says is so crucial-but of course i haven't done it yet! but i keep hearing from people that it really makes a difference, so i have to give this stuff a chance.

oh yeah, luci-try calling the feminist therapist. she may or may not do cbt, but my most amazing therapist was this feminist breath worker/counselor, and she was just awesome. she was totally different from the clinical feeling therapists. but who knows i guess...that's the thing, you just have to keep trying and that's the hardest thing to do whenyou feel like crap!

whitelightning
i'm a pre-nursing student, so my knowledge isn't totally solid just yet, but my guess is that neurotransmitters like serotonin could be detected in cerebrospinal fluid, which is normally obtained via a spinal tap. which is a risky and expensive procedure, so i'm thinking most psychotherapists suggest meds based purely on repeated symptoms.

ecstasy is one drug that inhibits the reuptake of serotonin, so it swims around your brain for a bit, enabling one to feel so connected and OK.
whitelightning
maddy, that's so funny - i too am starting a similar volunteer position this week and the thought of it makes me want to curl up into a ball and cry. i'm afraid that no one will like me and my efforts will be too obvious and contrived. or that i'll just suck. or that i'll violate or transgress some kind of policy that ostracizes me forever.

i still haven't called any therapists on my list yet...one thing at a time...

chingus, i know meds are not a silver bullet; in fact, i've been so resistant to the idea of them for years. but i think they can be that helpful tool in getting me to a place where i *can* handle daily living and dealing with my emotions. and you're so right about eating, sleeping and exercise.
ChingusKhan
((whitelighting))

"chingus, i know meds are not a silver bullet; in fact, i've been so resistant to the idea of them for years. but i think they can be that helpful tool in getting me to a place where i *can* handle daily living and dealing with my emotions."

Exactly what they are intended to do. The meds get you strong enough so that you can do the work you need to do to get healthy. That being said, they are people that need ongoing medication to stay right. No shame it that at all. If a diabetic has to take insulin, what's the big deal about some people having to take anti-depressants?

There is still all this stigma about depression and medications and I think it's ridiculous! It happens to so many people and everybody treats it like some sort of weird personality defect. Bullsh*t!! Some people get arthritis, some people get diabetes and some people get clinical depression. Somebody with depression is no more flawed than someone with a heart condition. It is a medical condition; no more, no less.

Try not to let the stigma of depression become part of the whole depression loop. Everybody has their own bag of hammers they have to carry. Ours is depression. It is a part of us and something we have to be aware of. We are no more f**ked-up or imperfect than anybody else.

One of the wierdest, yet most important, pieces of advice I got from my therapy was to quit fighting the depression. Accept it and let it move past and through you. Depression is not you, it is this thing that comes and it does go. Perversely, when I stopped fighting it and relaxed, I found my depressive bouts to be shorter and less traumatic.
stargazer
that's a good point. i've been fighting my depression and anxiety for so long that i've avoided accepting it and letting it go through me. my ND encouraged me to just cry when it hit me. funny thing, for the past month i didn't "feel" sad. i wonder if i was overthinking it though. yesterday, i was just sitting on the couch, feeling lonely, and i started to cry. it wasn't a bad cry. i did get tired and took a nap, but it was less traumatic for me as in the past.
mandolyn
"One of the weirdest, yet most important, pieces of advice I got from my therapy was to quit fighting the depression. Accept it and let it move past and through you. Depression is not you, it is this thing that comes and it does go. Perversely, when I stopped fighting it and relaxed, I found my depressive bouts to be shorter and less traumatic."

whoa! a good friend keeps telling me to "make friends" with my anxiety. and i hadn't a clue what he meant until i just read what you wrote, chingus. still not quite sure how i can relax about this thing that has me in its nasty grip right now. but definitely something to think deeply on.

a good therapy session. lots of positives, the main thing being, i'm not going to feel this fearful forever. this is just temporary. but i'm taking a two-week break. gave my therapist my permission to make a few calls, regarding referring me to professionals for new meds. i also just emailed my GP, asking for suggestions. but i'm realizing she's young & inexperienced (she told my therapist that i'm too young for perimenopause - wtF?) and most probably not be the best professional to prescribe for me.

i'm also going to wean myself off the wellbutrin. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The tablets cannot be split, since they're coated. I only have 7 - 150 mgs left, I've only been taking them for 3.5 weeks, so I figure I can take one every other day, and then every second day, ending with the one .75 mg I have left from the first prescription. Of course I have an email into my GP, too.

ecstasy made me uber paranoid and feel like i had to pee constantly. definitely not my drug of choice.

(((luci))) i think this assistant's position is a very good babystep. it'll definitely give your self-esteem a lift.

(((whitelightening))) i wish i could hold your hand while you made those calls.

you are all such lovely, warm, generous, caring people. you make me teary. in a good way.
annelise
that quote from chingus? YES. that applies to all sorts of situations that aren't entirely under your control--struggling against them is counterproductive.

but then some people see accepting reality is the same as resigning to it, giving up. i think they're full of it, or at least not really understanding the concept.

accepting something for what it is doesn't mean embracing it or giving up on change or any of that--it's just recognizing that sometimes, if you relax your thoughts about something, you're that much better at coping with it because you're not wasting energy with fruitless psychological struggling.

it's really really difficult to do, though.

glad you had a good therapy session, mandolyn!
whitelightning
wow...the concept of accepting my depression is something new to me. but i'll certainly try it. i seem to have acknowleged it, but never really accepted it.

thanks for that advice.
annelise
you have a finite amount of emotional energy--it's better to dedicate it to things that are worthwhile than to struggle against something that's not going to change. you want to change what you can for the better, but the basic fact of depression and its inherent suckiness--it's not worth fighting against. depression's still going to suck, however much you might rail against it. and if you're experiencing it, the basic fact of its existence isn't going to change. it can be treated, and considering that is a much better use of emotional energy.

i have a physical condition which means i have to give a lot of consideration of how i spend my everyday physical energy--it's like being on a very tight budget with everyday life activities. so i try to find ways to spend energy wisely and appreciate what i can get. as i've gotten sicker and depression has become an issue (as well as frustration with the physcial illness), it seems clear that it's the same thing with emotional energy. there's definitely a budget that needs consideration!

hope i'm not overexplaining what chingus already put so well, but it's an important concept, and so difficult to put in practice....
whitelightning
((annelise)) i'm sorry to hear about your illness - things like that certainly sap your energy and i think it's awesome that you're taking care of yourself emotionally during this time. and i think what you said is very important - we may not be able to control our depression but we can choose to accept treatment or choose to put energy elsewhere.
whitelightning
i called one of the therapists today - $50 a session (and that's the discounted fee). i also checked out a local university that does $15 sessions, but your sessions are recorded on video and there's a one-way mirror so supervisors can check out the burgeoning counselors' skills. although i'm reaching the end of my rope here, i'd rather not have people watching me choke and sob as i spill my guts...

i'll try the church thing next (once i get my motivation up again).
maddy29
holy crap- a mirror? recorded on video? puhleeeze!!!! how awful!

good job for calling, sorry it didn't work out though.

stargazer
yeah, we had a mirror when i was training to get my master's as a counselor. if you are uncomfortable, then don't go there. it is really more for the counselor to get training. but,yeah, don't go there if you don't like the setup.
whitelightning
i could see how it benefits the counselors and i know they are all professional about it, there's just something really unsavory to me about the being recorded behind a one-way mirror. like an interrogation. i'd rather have multiple people in the room, listening. i feel like i'm in a bizarre police-style lineup. ....or maybe my troubles will be broadcasted over the loudspeaker in the college quad.

...so maybe it's not for me.

yesterday i had a relatively short sobbing episode in the parking lot of a grocery store. while i'm pushing my cart.
mandolyn
crying can be good, whitelightning. not all the time, of course. but as a release .... well, i had a few crying jags last week, and it definitely helped. i know i keep too many tears inside.

i do hope you can get some help soon. i don't mean to make it sound dire. it's just such an alone feeling. i don't know if my current course is the best one, but at least i feel positive about doing something.

saw my GP last night, and i feel really confident in her prescribing meds for me now. she suggested effexor, and i know many of you have horror stories, but i'm trying to keep an open mind. (i'm actually going to stop researching now. it's all so conflicting and overwhelming.) so i go to pick up my prescription, and it's $50! and that's with my insurance paying $49.20! so i call the insurance company, and a very nice woman informs me effexor is not part of the "approved class" of AD's for our plan, and she helpfully gives me generic equivelents. only i looked them up after, and they're not generics for effexor, they're generics for entirely different drugs (zoloft, paxil, prozac and celexa). i have a call into my doc, because we were debating between zoloft and effexor anyway, so if she doesn't feel strongly, i'd rather go with zoloft.

but christ in a camry, $100 for 30 fucking pills?! this is a rude awakening for me.

and then there's my husband, who says, "hey, whatever it takes to help you. $50 a month isn't gonna break us."

i am so mad. mad.gif and confused. sad.gif
whitelightning
mandolyn, were you able to get that prescription without getting a referral from a therapist? i only ask because i'm looking to explore medication but can't afford a friggin' can of soda. maybe i can see a nurse practitioner or something.

if you can afford the $50, i'd say just do it. it doesn't have to be forever and there's no sense in prolonging your aggravation. it's exorbitant, yes, but i'm sure it's worth it. and you may be able to figure something else out later on down the line.
mandolyn
WL, my doctor knows i'm seeing a therapist (who is not an MD and can't prescribe), they conferred last week. but when i first went to see doc in november, she gave me a prescription for wellbutrin because i told her i've been seriously considering trying antidepressants again (neither one of us know the extent of my newfound anxiety at the time). we spoke for nearly 45 minutes that day, she read back extensively thru my records and asked alot of questions, so it wasn't just a here-ya-go-now-ba-bye thing on her part. i did tell her i would start seeing a therapist and i'd keep in touch with her, which i've done.

there are two schools of thoughts about getting meds from a GP instead of a psychiatrist, and there's been very helpful & insightful discussion in here about it, if you have the time to read back thru the archives. for me, though, i trust my doctor (which my insurance pays for), i like my therapist, and don't see the need to go to a psychiatrist (and pay out-of-pocket) just for meds. not at this point, anyway.

and of course you're right about going with the effexor - thanks for your input. a good friend just told me the same thing. he also filled me in on the scaryass russian roulette world of generics, so i'm thinking i might as well go with the "good stuff" this time.

yeah. that's me. top shelf mandi. heh.

days like today, though (including yet another voicemail from therapist, with a referral for a psychiatrist for meds; i know she's trying to be helpful, i did tell her to scout someone out for me, just in case; but she called me at work earlier this week and now it's borderline annoying) ... make me just want to chuck the whole therapy & meds rollercoaster. and i've only barely begun the ride. le sigh.
erinjane
Having my parents away has not been good. I feel like I have to take the place of my mom and be there for my brother while the cops are repeatedly called (3 times last week), his wife is coming home drunk, and they're fighting about the house and custody. Things have actually settled down now. My SIL is moving out this weekend and I think she knows it's not safe for her to have my niece very often.

I compulsively clean. I feel like I've been cleaning non-stop since my left, but I can't not do it. My older brother slept over a couple of times in my parents bed and both times I HAD to make the bed. I couldn't go to sleep till it was done, or I have to do the dishes, and tidy the toys my niece has left out after my brother takes her home without lifting a finger.

Last night I came home and the garbage wasn't taken out and there was a mess on the counter so I threw a bottle of pills then went upstairs and screamed into a pillow. Then I got really frusturated and started to cry and kicked my wall and made a dent then a bunch of plaster fell off. Then I turned around and my cat was licking my cheese and crackers so I screamed as loud as I could in my room, which was brutal to my throat, and couldn't stop crying for 15 minutes.

Then today I'm exhausted from last night and just sitting here listening to music when out of nowhere I burst into tears just now. And I don't know why. I feel unbelievable anxious and stressed. I haven't felt like this for at least a month so it's really knocked me on my ass.
lucizoe
((erinjane))

What a shitty, shitty day. It sounds incredibly stressful and you've held up so well, and you're totally justified in being angry.

I'm sort of boggled at someone who won't teach his kid to clean her toys up. I mean, if she's old enough to play with them she's at least old enough to participate in the clean-up, right? You are not required to be his mom. He is far old enough to be cleaning up after himself and being a grown-up, even through intense, major upheavals.

Argh. I'm just super-pissed for you.
laurenann
mandolyn, i take effexor extended release, and i've had a good experience with it. the only bad side effect i have is constipation - it was REALLY bad for the first few months, like nothing i did helped, but now i just make sure to drink a ton of water and take a fiber supplement and i am fine.

some of the horror stories on here have had to do with when you go off of it, and i agree that the withdrawl is pretty awful. one time i didn't take it for four days (i really need to order refills sooner) and i felt horrible. if i forget to take it one day i get a really bad headache. but, for me those are the only downsides, and i like it because it helps with my anxiety and depression (it works on mutiple brain chemicals) and i didn't gain any weight like i did with paxil or lexapro.

about insurance covering effexor, for some reason my insurance has effexor extended release (XR) in a different category than regular effexor. i first started with regular effexor and had the same crap - the insuance wanted me to take generic drugs that were not the same, it was in the highest price tier. but i showed my doctor the prescription book from my insurance and we agreed to switch to effexor XR. i get it through the mail - a 3 month supply for one $40 copay! which is way better than the $90 per month they wanted for regular effexor.

summary of above lengthy post: i like effexor, and look into your insurance for your options.
mandolyn
(((erinjane))) what luci said. i hope things take a better turn for you & your family soon.

laurenann, thanks for the vote of effexor confidence. it means alot to me, since i just popped my first pill. i'm over the price tag thing. i mean, really, if i tallied up how much i spend on stupid shit ... vanity crap, like hair care products alone ... it's time i realize that my short term happy fixes - while they may be temporarily good for heart & soul - aren't cutting it anymore. spending money on tending to my mind (and probably body, if i truly have a chemical deficiency) is more important.
mandolyn
me on effexor = speedy.
i know it's only day 2 and i should give it more time, but me no likey. sad.gif
annelise
can you talk to your doc about starting on a lower dose and increasing slowly? side effects can be so discouraging, and sometimes your body adapts/overcomes side effects and you can end up really benefitting from a drug that you initially hate (that's my experience, anyway).
maddy29
oh erinjane, that sounds awful. i'm actually jealous that you allowed yourself to actually kick a wall, that's so awesome. and the cat licking your food, it's just like one thing after another until you just can't take it anymore. i had a day like that last week too, i was crying on the bus all the way home and just was having a reallly hard time not snapping and starting to yell at random people on the bus who were annoying.

mandolyn- starting meds is stinky. it's scary too. when i started on celexa, i told my friends to keep their eyes on me, in case i got weird. it was a scary feeling for me to put this substance in my body, when i had no idea how my body would react to it. sadly, there's not too much you can do except wait and see how it goes...good luck, maybe it'll really help-i wish i'd gone on meds years before i did-i was just SO stubborn!
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