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whitelightning
i've also been feeling numb since 2000, especially 2001. i used to be very politically active and now i feel so out of it. so defeated...i have been on a self-imposed media embargo ever since because i was convinced that anything i heard from any news source (independent or otherwise) was going to be wrong/confused. so i took a much needed glance at myself since, and have yet to awake from that slumber...

but no, never feel guilty...
stargazer
maddy, i'm sorry you are having such a rough day.

i think it is important that we do not take on the weight of the world. not to sound trite. i can create a number of reasons why i shouldn't go on living or not take risks in my life. the sun is not bright enough. i'm out of clean underwear. there will always be reasons to be depressed. remember that you have control over yourself. and i understand how frustrating it is to know some things in the world will not be fixed overnight. it is easy to blame things outside ourselves for our current state, i.e. the economy, the President--all very relevant things in biopsychosocial sense of depression. after a certain point, we need to take responsibility for our own lives.

has anyone seen the movie, "what the bleep do we know?" i recommend it to everyone who reads this thread. it provides a great way to understand our negative self concepts and how we determine our own reality. really amazing stuff. hopefully, i don't sound too preachy.

i hope you feel better, maddy. if you are noticing mood changes, maybe quitting the xanax might not be the best thing right now. don't play doc with your meds. talk with your physician about cutting back so this way the doc can monitor your progress.

i hope everyone is doing well today.
crazyoldcatlady
derail...

we were talking at work today about how everyone's been on edge lately, and how it's about that time of year when everyone becomes depressed. one coworker said that back in college, they'd have a depression party, where everyone got together on a weekend with bright lights ("phototherapy") and alcohol and bitched in one big comisseration.

is it just me, or does that sound like a glorious idea?
candycane_girl
hehe, that actually sounds like a great idea. I had an idea like that in high school when it was spring break and I was like, the only person who couldn't afford to go to Mexico like all the popular kids. Since it was still freezing cold outside I wanted to create my own little indoor Hawaiian themed party with sun lamps and surfer music and tropical drinks.

Also, I know it's now February but I was reading an article a few weeks ago where the author wrote that the real reason January is so depressing is because that is when most companies do their evaluations of each employee. The author mentioned how half the time the performance review is probably biased thanks to stupid managers that don't really know what they're doing.
stargazer
that's not a bad derail crazyoldcatlady.

but, the light and alcohol mix could 'cause a manic depressive episode. we would cheer up with the light, only to be brought down with the liquor. smile.gif

but, a hawaiian themed party does sound nice. with grass skirts and coconut shelled tops. oh and a drink with an umbrella is a must!!
maddy29
yeah, i've been thinking about the beach a lot lately. dang it's cold. and dark...bleh. I realized that i usually do a LOT worse in the winter, but this winter doesn't actually seem quite as bad.

thanks for the support yesterday, boy did i need it. i went home and did a lot of thinking and talking to myself and journaling and i definitely figured some good stuff out.

it's' weird-i have this HUGE sense of guilt about not doing enough to help people/save the world, etc. As if I could save the world if I just worked hard enough, if I was just GOOD enough. As I was writing and thinking last night, I got to this place of "ok, well what do I owe the world? How much do I have to do to not be a bad person?" kinda weird. I don't know where this whole "owing" thing comes from.

i also got to thinking about my "bad side." shadow self, whatever you want to call it. i spent so much time and energy in my life trying to be good, perfect. and i really neglected the other side of me. I disowned it, really, and I'm still doing it. I look at the bad parts of me, the greed, the self-centeredness, the laziness, the judgementalness, all of it, and I feel like I'm a bad person. I think its' black/white thinking? LIke you are either all good or you are just bad. Has anyone done any work about accepting your dark side? (hee that sounds like star wars)

i want to know, what do i have to do to be a good person? how much of my energy am i supposed to devote to helping others? how greedy can I be?

When I was a therapist, and before in social work school, i had this whole martyr shit going on. my mom used to call me a monk, and say i'd be a good religious leader smile.gif ha ha! but i really had this way of like, punishing myself because others have harder lives. I mean, how DARE I ask the universe for more than i have now? how DARE i complain when I have a job with a salary and health insurance? how DARE i complain when there are starving tortured people all over the world?!

i don't know where i'm going with all this smile.gif just trying to sort it out. when i left the social work field for an easy job where i make more money, it was this HUGE statement for me. it was me choosing myself over other people. But i was sick then, and I'm not so sick now, so maybe it's just all coming back? i dunno.

i don't know how i got through the day yesterday. but i'm so proud of myself for getting to work, eating healthy and even working out at home. i woke up today feeling a lot better. when i'm in that dark hole, i always think "this is the way i've always felt, it'll never change, i'll always feel like this. " and i really believe it, too. People can remind me that two days ago i was happy and laughing and i'm like no-that was just faking@!!!!! but it wasn't. my moods change and shift, and i gotta try to remember that next time!

people always used to say "This too shall pass" but for me, it never did, so i always got enraged when they'd say that. I'd be like really? It's been 15 years and it hasn't "passed." but with my mood now, i gotta remember that it DOES change, and that spending a few days depressed sucks, but it's not the state i normallly live in.

and weed always helps smile.gif although i'm beating myself up for using that so much. ahhhh, what a lovely cycle of self-hatred.

whew. dang that was long.
ratgrl
((((Maddy)))) I'm sorry you've been going through all this! The weight of the world...well, for me, if I spent too much time thinking about all the shit that's going on globally, I'd feel even worse than I already do! I cried after the 2004 Presidential election--in 20 years of voting, that was the first election that triggered such a strong reaction in me.

I know it's important to be in the know about current events, but I have my limits, because the news is generally so bad! Just this morning, I heard bits and pieces on NPR (which Ratboy always has on the radio in the morning) of an interview about what could, hypothetically, happen if terrorists got hold of a nuclear (as opposed to nukulur, as Dubya would have us believe it's pronounced!) bomb and detonated it in/on a major U.S city like New York. Just thinking too much about stuff like that drives me nuts, so while I'm not totally sticking my head in the sand about it, I try and remember that there's only so much that I, personally, can do to control things. So I mostly just try to focus on my own life and take in the news out there in limited doses!

When you're depressed, it's easy to be down on yourself. For example, when I'm in an especially bad place, mood-wise, I'll cry and say things like, "I'm nothing, I'm bullshit, I shouldn't even be alive!" From what you've written, I get the impression that you often feel that you're a bad person. I think that depression brings those kind of feelings out in a lot of people. But I hope you're feeling better about yourself now. You sound like a really kind, caring individual!

I hope you're doing OK right now.

Hugs to all,
Ratgrl
yemaya
QUOTE(ratgrl @ Feb 3 2007, 12:56 AM) *

*Delurks* ((((All depressed Busties))))

Another "lifer" here; I've been depressed since childhood, although I wasn't officially diagnosed or medicated for it until age 30. Since then, I've been on one med or another; the latest is Wellbutrin, which I've been taking for 5 years now. I've also been diagnosed as having OCD and anxiety disorder.

It's been mentioned in here about the social stigma that depression has. I agree that it still exists, but I think it's less than it used to be; after all, so many people are being treated for it now! But, as of 3 days ago, I'm on a 2-week leave of absence from work because of--ta-da--my depression. Some stuff happened at work last Thursday that left me absolutely undone.Then when I got home that night, my dog--who's currently undergoing chemotherpy for lymphoma--became very ill and had to be hospitalized. He got better, but the stress of that, combined with stuff that's going on at work, just finally got the best of me. I went to work Monday and barely made it through the day without breaking down. On Tuesday, I saw my shrink, who agreed that I needed some time off (some of his other patients work at my place of employment and he has a very low opinion of the organization!). He wrote a note to give to my supervisor and completed FMLA papers so that this sick time can't be used against me. So then I went to my supervisor and gave her the paperwork, and that was that. She was very nice to me about it all (maybe she feared I'd have a nervous breakdown right there in her office?!), but it still feels weird that now, after having worked there almost 15 years, my superiors and coworkers will all know that I, officially, have a mental illness.

It sucks, but I really do need time away from that place; frankly, I don't know if 2 weeks will be enough. And the weather certainly isn't helping; over here, it's ridiculously cold, snowy and icy. And the sun hardly ever comes out this time of year. sad.gif

About "degrees" of depression: I would agree that they exist, having experienced varying degrees myself. But as has already been said, it's such an individual thing that what one person can experience and still be functional, someone else might experience the exact same "degree" and need to be hospitalized. Bottom line: Depression is depression, and it sucks!

Oh, and I really hate it when people who are lucky enough not to have suffered from this say things like, "Stop being so depressed!" or "Snap out of it!" If only it were that easy. My God.

Anyway, I hope everyone's doing OK right now.

Peace,
Ratgrl


Hi ratgirl. I wanted to come back to your post and address a couple of your points.

The social stigma of depression may not be as prevelant as it used to be granted but in my community, there is a high level of resistance. The Strong Black Women is seen as the bulwark for fighting social and personal defeats and obstructions, such as racism in conjunction with gender biases, however much this image is seen as pure fantasy. Due to my highly sensitive nature, I have tried to reach out to other Black women, but have been viewed with loathing and disgust as not being strong and not able to fight it. Denial you might say, however ironically, from my observations, depression is not only prevalent, but also, its major manifestations are often anger and self-destructive behaviors.

I recall a few years ago reading the book Willow Weep For Me” a Black Woman’s memoir of how she had to deal with this social stigma of being and living with depression and what was also surprising to her was that so many White women also carried this notion that Black women, whatever we lack in physical charms, are almost genetically pre-disposed to be strong and that we don’t suffer to the extent of White women. Remember how everyone came to the aid of Brooke Shields who suffered post-partum depression, after Tom Cruise totally inappropriate condemnation. I think the fact that so many people rallied around her speaks not only to the general lifting of the stigma, but also the fact that she is a White Woman. Thus, I do think that it is probably more socially acceptable if a White Woman admits she suffers then a Black woman. In my community- we don’t like to really discuss mental illness, because it is seen as a weakness and there is enough marks against us as it is, and the plethora of other disorders such as schizophrenia, manic-depression, unipolar depression, (except for those whoa re housed in the prison system) etc that go untreated is truly staggering.

I think for me, I believe many of us who admit that we are depressed, I get a sense that those who do not suffer from it, think that we use it as a crutch for not try hard enough, especially those who cannot conceive of the feelings of worthlessness, mental and physical exhaustion, and ongoing awfulness that is depression. Even those that were able “to beat it” show a level of contempt, as if anyone in their right mind would actively choose to indulge in these kinds of feelings, as if having this poor me attitude is somehow inadvertently empowering, which is why I really can’t stand Oprah and others like her that think reading a Dr. Phil book and saying I am loved, I’m OK, You’re Ok, is going to make everything Ok.





yemaya
QUOTE(stargazer @ Feb 5 2007, 08:28 PM) *

yemaya, i'm glad you came back to this thread. it is good that you are talking with us about your feelings and thoughts. you have been so open with us.

i had to use the visualization and definition of "happiness" for myself to see how unrealistic i was about my own acceptance of my feelings. i didn't use it as a way to be optimistic actually. i didn't see it that way. you make an excellent point. i've always had this mentality that i would get through things, that things would get better somehow. it was more about accepting the full range of feelings i possess. when i suggest our reality of happiness, i'm not only talking cognitive thoughts, but also, what would be different about you? how would your social life be different? how would you be behaving differently? what in your environment would change?

that helped me to realize that i couldn't run away from my problems. they would always be there. i would have an adolescent reaction growing up that if i moved then things would be different for me. but, baggage follows you everywhere. unless, you are willing to make changes, then nothing will ever change. at least for myself. i have no control over others, but i have control over myself.



Thank you stargazer. I have a personal blog that I keep private in which I try to articulate my thoughts. I also think I may have to start carrying around a journal around and post my thoughts as well, hoping that will help keep things in perspective.

I’m always trying to run away. Even though I am in school, I think if I move to another state, maybe things may go better for me. I know, “wherever you go there you are…..”

I am always trying to define contentment vs. happiness. Happiness is the ultimate state of being right up there with the seraphim. I know it can be an unrealistic goal so contentment is manageable based on personal, financial, material ease that you can negotiate even when things become choppy. I suppose that is why I have a problem with the mantra “the pursuit of happiness” precisely because there is a level of hedonism of unbridled materialism that neglects the spirit, the whole being.
.
LoveMyPugs
I’m reading a short erotica right now (I know how can that be depressing right). The story is about this artist sculptor who is staying in this little cottage on this secluded beach. She came there to hopefully get some inspiration for a more primal sculpture. She is lying on the beach topless (something she wouldn’t normally do) and sees this gorgeous guy walk down the beach and down to the water. He strips naked, masturbates in the waves and then dives in for a swim. She finds herself so turned on by this scene and the fact that he is unaware that she is watching. She actually masturbates in time with him while lying in the dunes out of his sight. The part that depresses me is that (1) she’s an artist. This means she gets to illustrate so much of herself to the world through her art. That must make a person feel so good inside. Makes me wish I did more to creatively express myself. (2) He is actually and environmentalist working to protect the beach and the author does a great job of expressing the character’s love for the sea. Makes me think I should do more for the environment. (3) The descriptions of the cove are just beautiful, especially for an erotica, which I personally find to never have good descriptions of the character’s surroundings. This makes me sad that I haven’t been on a vacation in three years because we’ve been trying to save money.

Valentines Day is next week and I have no money to buy Mr. Pug anything. I’m not working cause I went back to school full-time and this is the first time I don’t have my own money to go spoil him. He is so good to me and I just feel bad that I can’t show him. I mean I know I can show him and tell him but it sucks not being able to give him something. Maybe I’ll write him a poem and kill two birds with one stone (being a little creative and giving him something special).

((((((((((blue busties))))))))))
stargazer
yemaya, you've made some excellent points. i love that you've included other contextual factors, which can hamper an individual's ability to cope with illness. it sounds like you've had to struggle with your own internal feelings and the community you come from. i've felt the same way being Mexican. there is actually something called "acculturated stress," which is connected to individuals who are minorities experiencing stress as a result of straddling 2 cultures at a time. especially cultures whose values are so vastly different. as women of color, we are expected to just take maltreatment and not complain. i envy white women because they are able to speak up about their vulnerability and pain easier. not that i think those busties in this thread who are white feel that way...but, in my experience, personally and professionally, white women speak up when they need help. i don't know if i'm explaining myself well here. i encourage you to visit the bustie of color thread, yemaya.

when i read your contentment vs happiness part, i think what makes the difference is passion. i can live a life of comfort and stability, but then, i'm not really taking risks to live life to the fullest potential. it is easy to say i fear being rejection by people (which is true). but, what i really fear is the power i have within myself. if that makes sense. using my fullest potential and knowing i'm worthy of all of the success life has to offer me. whatever my definition of success is.

which i find connected to what pugs had to post. envy of an artist who lives his/her life through their passions. we are all creative individuals. do whatever you need to in your definition to feel creative. if it is a little homemade gift for V-Day, then go with it. i love homemade gifts because they are more from the heart. it can't be reproduced. it is one of a kind. made with love.
ratgrl
QUOTE(yemaya @ Feb 8 2007, 03:35 PM) *

Hi ratgirl. I wanted to come back to your post and address a couple of your points.

The social stigma of depression may not be as prevelant as it used to be granted but in my community, there is a high level of resistance. The Strong Black Women is seen as the bulwark for fighting social and personal defeats and obstructions, such as racism in conjunction with gender biases, however much this image is seen as pure fantasy. Due to my highly sensitive nature, I have tried to reach out to other Black women, but have been viewed with loathing and disgust as not being strong and not able to fight it. Denial you might say, however ironically, from my observations, depression is not only prevalent, but also, its major manifestations are often anger and self-destructive behaviors.

I recall a few years ago reading the book Willow Weep For Me” a Black Woman’s memoir of how she had to deal with this social stigma of being and living with depression and what was also surprising to her was that so many White women also carried this notion that Black women, whatever we lack in physical charms, are almost genetically pre-disposed to be strong and that we don’t suffer to the extent of White women. Remember how everyone came to the aid of Brooke Shields who suffered post-partum depression, after Tom Cruise totally inappropriate condemnation. I think the fact that so many people rallied around her speaks not only to the general lifting of the stigma, but also the fact that she is a White Woman. Thus, I do think that it is probably more socially acceptable if a White Woman admits she suffers then a Black woman. In my community- we don’t like to really discuss mental illness, because it is seen as a weakness and there is enough marks against us as it is, and the plethora of other disorders such as schizophrenia, manic-depression, unipolar depression, (except for those whoa re housed in the prison system) etc that go untreated is truly staggering.

I think for me, I believe many of us who admit that we are depressed, I get a sense that those who do not suffer from it, think that we use it as a crutch for not try hard enough, especially those who cannot conceive of the feelings of worthlessness, mental and physical exhaustion, and ongoing awfulness that is depression. Even those that were able “to beat it” show a level of contempt, as if anyone in their right mind would actively choose to indulge in these kinds of feelings, as if having this poor me attitude is somehow inadvertently empowering, which is why I really can’t stand Oprah and others like her that think reading a Dr. Phil book and saying I am loved, I’m OK, You’re Ok, is going to make everything Ok.


Hi, Yemaya. I had actually heard about this issue before: depression as an illness not being accepted in the Black community because, as you said, Black women are always expected to be strong. Do you read Bitch magazine? It's a very good quarterly mag that focuses on "feminist response to pop culture." Anyhow, in one issue sometime in the last year or so, there was an article that addressed just what you are talking about. In fact, one line that I remember reading was, "In the show Girlfriends, you will never, ever, find a bottle of Klonopin falling out of Joan's purse, or that of any of the other women on the show." In other words, for as long as that show has been on the air, the issue of depression or any mood disorder would just never come up, as it might in a TV show that features predominantly white characters. Until I read that article, I (as someone who's mostly white) had no idea that depression is far more stigmatized in the Black community than it is among whites. So I can see, now, how your situation would make dealing with your depression that much more difficult and challenging.

As far as I know, depression is an equal-opportunity offender. So I hope that the stigma the currently exists in your community lessens over time, so as to make it easier for anyone to seek help and treatment without
being seen as weak or treated with contempt. In the meantime, I hope that you're just looking out for you, and doing what you need to do right now to help yourself, regardless of what others may think. While the people in my life are mostly supportive of my situation, there are a few family members (those who've never had depression themselves) who think I can "just get over it if I really want to." To them, I have to just silently say "Screw you!" and keep up my treatment.

If you like reading novels, there's a good one by the late, great Bebe Moore Campbell called "72-Hour Hold" about a Black woman and her daughter, who is bipolar. While the book is can be found in the fiction section, I know that it's autobiographical in many ways, because the author and her daughter did go through this in real life.

Take care!

Ratgrl
lucizoe
Meh. Self-indulgent rant-

I have had a persistent vaginal infection for well over a year now. Currently searching for my fourth doctor, as the previous three are not at all interested in listening to me about the cause of said infection (a different infection, which correlates exactly to the appearance of current infection) and keep prescribing the same shit, which does not work, and refuse to try to look at this from a more holistic perspective. You know, professional denial and all that.

So, phone phobia has been rearing its ugly head and I finally talked myself into making a phone call to a very highly recommended doctor today. Which no one answered - not even voicemail! So I looked into it, only to find that this person has like, twenty different entries on my health insurance's website, with as many different phone numbers. So I had to call four different numbers in order to finally hit on her current office. And she's not taking anyone new until April, and I got too flustered to tell the receptionist that this is sort of urgent.

How does one GET an appointment somewhere when time is sort of important? Everyone has such a waiting list, and it's starting to feel like it's impossibly stupid to try to change doctors because I can't get into a new office for months and months.

I am feeling so beaten down by this. Not being able to have a normal sex life because one's bits are rebelling at every turn is just...fucking shitty. Really, really depressing. I feel unclean and gross and unattractive and not at all interested in sex, considering the fact that I'm never sure when it's going to start hurting. It's not exactly a turn-on.

I hate winter.

I hope everyone is okay.
ChingusKhan
((yemena))

Wow, what an interesting post!! Thank you. That was exceptioally insightful.

The whole social stigma thing associated with depression is quite amazing when you stop and realize how many are afflicted. Right now, I can - without even thinking about - name off 4 people that I know very well that are taking meds for depression. So many people suffer and all of them/us think they/we are alone. We're not; they're not.

I, frankly, refuse to believe that some weird chemical imbalance makes me defective or "less strong". This is just my bag of hammers and I'll carry it with as much grace and dignity as I can.

candycane_girl
It's terrible that there is still a stigma surrounding depression in various cultures and age groups. My grandparents don't know that I see a psychologist or that I'm on meds because they think that's for "crazy people". In fact, we've long suspected that my grandfather suffers from bi polar disorder (his own doctor wanted him to get a psychiatric evaluation but he refused) but he thinks he's just fine.

It's also tough because my dad is Indian and he seems to believe that no one should take medication and that everything can be fixed some other way. On one hand, I understand what he's saying; I'd say about 90% of my improvement has been thanks to actually talking to a psychologist and only 10% has been the meds. But I hate that he's always telling me that I don't need "those pills" and that I should just be able to deal with things some other way.
stargazer
((((((((luci))))))))) um, i would tell her what is going on. plus, you don't want to go into the emergency room. i don't know if you are feeling that way, but if you know you need to see the doc NOW....then, you need to be persistent. i know you are not feeling that way. can the mr. call for you??

getting back to yemaya's discussion of race, culture, and mental health...depression is seen as not having enough faith and/or selfishness. i remember having mexican clients and their families would say they just needed to go to mexico for alittle while. i had a hard time understanding (because of my own upbringing in western culture) and a fellow latina told me that working in the fields, being in the country....a person wouldn't have time to think about things. you would be too busy working. so, there is some stigma of white, patriarchial structure of an emphasis on individuality and self-importance. values that are at conflict with other cultures. wanting to stay connected with one's culture and family is still viewed by some as a sign of dependence, which in western culture (especially America) is a big no-no.

depression does effect everyone. it sucks that all of these other factors can make it difficult to get well.

(((everyone)))
LoveMyPugs
((((((((((luci))))))))))

Girl, I went through that too. For almost four years. It always seemed to come on a Friday night and I'd have to suffer through it all weekend because "the doctor doesn't do Saturdays". Three doctors and one specialist later I gave up.

I started:
1. Using Monistat every time as soon as I felt the onset of an infection. I used the three-day treatment.
The seven-day seems to take too long and the one-day is too short.
2. Avoiding sex as much as possible, causing a lot of trouble between Mr. Pug and I.
3. Only wearing cotton panties (still do to this day).
4. Using water based lube.
5. Using only Dove soap down there.
6. Always wiping from front to back.
7. Monitoring my period and ovulation on MyMonthlyCycles.com. Planned Parenthood has a lot of
information on the consistency of your discharge throughout your cycle. I know now when I’m
going to be dry and I’ll use a little lube even if I’m not having sex just to keep things moist.
8. Washing my hands before and after I came in contact with my hoohah.
9. Taking Acidophilus supplements (I hate yogurt so I take a pill instead).
10. Using baby powder in that general area in the summer to keep things alittle dry (cause I'm a
sweaty bitch).

I stopped:
1. Using tampons and just used pads.
2. Using condoms, spermicides, and birth control. Did the pull out method (I know it’s risky but a
girls gotta do what a girls gotta do).
3. Drying my hoohah with the towel. I blow-dry it on the cool setting before I blow-dry my hair.

I can honestly say that for me I think it's a moisture balance thing. I’ve kept to this regiment and I’m proud to say (knock on wood) I haven’t had the problems I used to have. I’m not suggesting you give up on the doctors because I don’t know how serious your situation is. I’m just offering some suggestions that worked for me. Good luck girl!!


lucizoe
Heh - totally didn't mean to turn this thread into a "What's wrong with Luci's vagina?" thread, but I need to respond to pugs and then back to depression! whoot.

smile.gif Last doctor's appointment it was a bacterial infection plus a yeast infection, so I don't know exactly what it is now, so I'm hesitant to do any yeast infection regimens. I came down with a streptococcus C infection (which usually only happens with pigs and horses, so my doctor was really amused by it), and a week later the vaginal stuff started. It wasn't a yeast infection caused by antibiotics, as there were no antibiotics to take for this particular strain. However, I have found out that a strain of streptococcus is one of the bacterium usually present in the vagina, and I think my throat infection somehow mutated and migrated and fucked with my pH.

Of course, no one is interested in talking to me about this, apart from nodding blankly and handing me metrogel, which doesn't work. If I was handed a billion dollars tomorrow I would sink most of it into research into women's health, since no one else seems to be doing it.

There's so much dismissal that happens. I was online looking up infections and the fluffy articles about it said stuff like, "The only sideaffect of [insert any vaginal infection here] is discomfort." Like it's not a big freaking deal for a woman's vagina to HURT. Gah!

* * * * * *

And, in classic luci-fashion, all my attempts to branch out and take some steps to help me out are being met with little roadblocks, totally surmountable to healthy people, totally derailing for me. People won't return my phone calls. I KNOW it's not personal, but it just feels shitty to make effort and be rebuffed. I returned a call the day after I missed it, last week, and haven't heard back. It was regarding work (not a job, but volunteering in my field - a position I have already interviewed for and established myself in, and the person I'm supposed to be helping won't call me back now), and I'm afraid that they think I'm unprofessional for not calling them back the same day, or something. I don't know if I should call again. I dunno. My brain hurts today.

I think I need to go back to bed.

So - how is everyone else?
LoveMyPugs
Luci –

Sorry I wasn’t trying to turn the thread into a "What's wrong with Luci's vagina?" either. I just saw you were upset and I had gone through something similar but from your further details it doesn’t sound like what I was having. Good luck with the doctors. Don’t give up.
maddy29
thanks for the support everyone-i've been talking about this stuff and it's really helping. imagine that-talking about stuff actually helps!

very interesting discussion on culture and depression-yet another thing people have to deal with when they feel like shit!


luci-i had a yeast/bacterial infection for like a year, too. i was on antibiotics for my crater zits at the time, so i'm sure that was why. but it was literally a monthly thing, it'd go away while i had my period and then like two days after my period it'd rage up again. it was realllly awful- i hope you can find a decent doctor. my first one misdiagnosed it. gak.
annelise
i keep wanting to post things about how sad i've been, and how horrible i feel about my relationship (his emotional probs make mine seem like nothing, sometimes, and it's all so hard). but it's all such a long story and everything seems like too much drama to post anywhere at all.

my bf is one of few people i'm close to--i just don't make friends easily, though i keep trying to have a more varied and social life. and it feels like our relationship might be falling apart, in large part because of his depression and self-loathing. he loves me but he resents the responsibility of a relationship...i've tried to be understanding but it seems to be getting too much for him.

i was already depressed about a bunch of things in my life besides him. i feel worthless and trapped and scared about my life. and now, since talking to him yesterday, i have no appetite and i can't sleep and my health is bad already (chronic illness, part of what depresses me!).

so, yeah, not doing so hot emotionally.
mornington
I don't come in here as often as I should. The atmosphere has changed for the better since the first time I came in smile.gif

(((((maddy)))) I can sympathise with that. I find when I'm getting depressed, I find myself less able to empathise with others (unless they're sad, which only makes me worse) and I hate becoming the selfish, self-centered bitch I can be.

((((luci))))

I find that - among my rl friends - depression and other mental health problems are becoming more and more accepted. I'm not sure if that's just because most of my close group of friends have depression or other problems. I think it's becoming more accepted among the younger generation to a certain degree, it just takes someone to say "so, I have depression..." and suddenly everyone's talking about it. Among my parents generation and my grandparents, it is less acceptable. My father freaked out when my mother told him I'd been diagnosed - and even now walks round me like i'm made of glass - does this fuck anyone else off? understanding and sympathy is all very nice, but sometimes "special treatment" makes you feel worse?

just a thought.

((((everyone))))
mandolyn
i've been lurking. and vibing each and everyone of you. but unfortunately don't have much to say. i'm quite scattered and borderline incoherent this week.

crap week. which has turned into a crap weekend. i don't know if it's because my period's coming. or if i need to up the zoloft. my therapist gently suggested i stay with the lowest dosage, and work on my coping skills. but as far as i'm concerned, i'm taking the fucking meds to give me the emotional balance (or stepping stone or whatever metaphor that's eluding me at the moment) so i can focus on developing coping skills. i'm tired of constantly thinking about coping skills, goddammit.

(((everyone)))
stargazer
it surprises me that this thread was not so supportive before from what some of you post. i'm glad things have turned for the better.

luci~i hope you are doing ok.

maddy~i'm glad we were able to help.

annelise~i hope you are not taking on much of the responsibility of your relationship with your boyfriend. just cause someone has an illness does not excuse the fact of his not want to deal with the responsibility of a relationship. that's a big statement. maybe you should ask yourself why you choose to stay with him?? i'm just looking at your own best interest. he might need the space to take care of himself. you can only do so much to help him. which makes me think of what mornington had to say....

mornington~yeah, i am annoyed with the special treatment i was getting when i was at my weakest. my mom would not let me lift things or do other little tasks...as if it was too much for me. i didn't really argue with her about this stuff. i was annoyed. i mean, i was depressed, but i wasn't totally helpless. and sometimes i just didn't want to talk about things. i just wanted some space, you know. but, it didn't mean i was gonna do anything harmful to myself.

mando~my irritability and moodiness did in crease when i was premenstrual. maybe keep track of changes in your mood next time around if you see a pattern. before i made dietary and lifestyle changes, my moods were very erratic before my periods. seriously. now, i hardly get any PMS at all. i'm sure the combo of those changes and meds have helped me. if you have any questions just PM me. and i know you've been lurking! smile.gif thanks for checking in with us!

((((everyone))))
ratgrl
(((Everyone))) I'm not even going to say Happy Monday, because that's an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned, whether you're at work, school or whatever. I'm in a hella shitty mood right now, for several reasons.

*Warning: Major venting ahead:*

My depressed mood isn't really abating. I have my good and bad moments; today's not so good. I already know I'm not going to be returning to work this week as scheduled--there's no way I'd make it through even an hour at that place, the way I'm still feeling! I have an appt. with my shrink tomorrow; hopefully he'll give me a written extension of my sick leave that I can give to my boss.

I think I'm also stressed because tomorrow, my dog goes in for another chemo-from-hell session, and I worry that it's going to make him really sick, as sometimes happens.

The weather: Do any of you find that this affects your moods? I think the fact that we've had relentless cold and minimal sunshine these last few weeks has been a factor in my prolonged depression. And it's not about to get better any time soon: tomorrow, they're forecasting 3-6 inches of new snow. Fun stuff, huh? mad.gif I fucking *hate* winter with a passion!

Oh, and something new for me to worry about: Last week I found a breast lump. I went right to my doctor's office to get it checked out; she had me go for an ultrasound and determined that it should be surgically removed. I certainly hope to hell it's not cancer, but either way, I want that thing out ASAP. Now I have to sit at home and wait for the surgeon's office to call to make an appointment for the biopsy. Any day now, I say!

Gah, I know this must read like such a "poor me" rant. I do consider myself fortunate in one respect, especially after reading posts by Yemaya and others: I do have a pretty good support system. My immediate family has been very kind and understanding throughout this whole thing. I called my father last week (he lives in another state) to tell him all that's been going on with me, and I ended up bawling my head off to both him and my stepmother, who was on the other line in their house. They were great at listening and offering words of support. They even sent me flowers the very next day! My mother, also, has been wonderful. She lives close by, and she says that she's going to check in by phone every day! And I have a couple of good friends, especially one, who themselves have been through severe depression and know what I'm going through. It's been helpful to see and talk to them. As for Ratboy...as much as I love him, I don't think he really understands the extent of my depression. Although I've been treated for it for years, he just kind of takes it in stride. He hasn't really talked to me much about this latest episode these last couple of weeks, even though I've been home most of the time. When he's not at work or sleeping, he's at the computer, playing chess. It's a bit frustrating when I don't feel I can talk freely with the person I'm supposed to be closest to...but I like to believe that if push came to shove, he'd be there for me.

All right--rant finally over. Hang in there, everyone. I'm going to do my best.
LoveMyPugs
Ok, I really feel like I’m going to loose it today. I’m ready to cry and wanting to break things. I’m just really feeling a melt down coming on. Mr. Pug isn’t home thank God. He has seen too many of these. I’m going to make some tea, listen to Enya and light a candle. I’m going to calmly try to work on my Sociology homework and accomplish something today. I’m just feeling awful today and I know a good cry is on its way. Hopefully I’ll feel better afterwards. Let’s just chalk up today as a waste and wait for tomorrow.

Love you all

((((((((((Everyone))))))))))


Ok, here comes the tears. I'll post back later.
lucizoe
(((pugs))) catharsis, though, right? sometimes I try to force it, if I feel like I need to cry, by watching sad movies

(((stargazer)))

(((ratgrl)))

It is the weather. Oh indeedy.

It's cold and grey in New York today, although not as cold as it has been lately, so of course I am berating myself for not getting more exercise today...

I'm supposed to go to a rehearsal tonight to meet some folk related to my volunteer gig, but all I want to do is stay home, curl up on the couch and whimper. The idea of having to go and meet all these strangers and interact with people has been freaking me out all day. I have six tranquilizers left from my prescription for last spring and I'm seriously considering taking one, which I haven't done for months and months. They knock me out.

I don't know what I'm so scared of - are they all going to turn en masse, point at me and start yelling "Oh my god! Look at the stupid ugly fat girl, thinking she can do this work!" ? No, of course they're not. But that doesn't matter, because my brain is doing that for them, and it's all hopped up to take anything as negative, no matter what.

Bleh. I need to leave in an hour and I really, really don't want to go. I just want to be under a rock. I'm making myself panic now.

Stupid stupid anxiety.
maddy29
i'm so with y'all. such a bad day. three hours late to work. had to drag my crying ass in. cried all the way in on the bus like a freak. boss is not happy, makes me hate myself more. it's not like i LIKE feeling like this.

just totally overwhelmed with feelings. feelings i "shouldn't" have, because they prove how greedy and selfish i am.

my friend says i should go back to therapy. so much work and energy and i've already done that twice in the past few years with not great results. i don't really believe anyone could help anyways. i'm just lazy unmotivated greedy selfish stupid flakey blah.

i know i don't always feel this way, but right now it feels like i do. or, like i'm just always trying sooo hard to NOT feel this way. to not let myself slide down into the spiral of self-hatred. but man, i'm there. i'm hating myself. i know it doesn't do any good to beat myself up but i'm just so argh..... sad.gif

wanted to scream and wail last night but couldn't because it was 11:30 and i figured roomie was asleep. i can't imagine ever having the privacy to just yell or do whatever i need to do, to express my feelings.
whitelightning
((ratgrl)) everything will work out alright. you're taking care of yourself, and you're on top of it. good luck.

about the weather: i live in the pacific nw, so around feb/march, i get very weepy and feel like i'm totally repulsive, with my ugly windswept hair, wearing my shapeless raincoats, rain-soaked jeans. but we're having great weather lately and i'm starting to feel spring coming on. and then...summer. i can't wait for the hot, dry winds and blue skies.

about depression in general: i too, know that this is simply a part of me. i've felt like "this" (depressed, etc.) as far back as my memory will take me, which is about 1 1/2-2 yrs. old. or i've always felt frustrated, contrained, frightened, anxious, sad...there's not just one thing. i can name many people and events that i know have directly contributed to my depression, but i simply cannot give a name to what has always been in the background - that tugging right below my breastbone, the dread of accomplishing any task, the fear, the helplessness...

today i just took a midterm that i completely forgot i had. i'm applying to nursing programs now and am so upset about how complicated this whole process is...during my forgotten midterm, i had such bad heartburn (which i never get).


maddy29
QUOTE
but i simply cannot give a name to what has always been in the background - that tugging right below my breastbone, the dread of accomplishing any task, the fear, the helplessness...


totally. sad.gif i feel ya.
candycane_girl
maddy, did you see the same therapist both times? I think finding the right person has a huuuuge impact. I saw one person and I felt like she just didn't get me and minimized my feelings. Seeing her was kind of pointless. But my current psychologist is amazing, I feel like she completely understands me and it makes a huge difference.

I don't feel like I've always been depressed. It seems like something that started later, when I was about 12 and my dad was drinking a lot. I still have a lot of anger towards him, it seems like we can be on okay terms for a few days and then I just get frustrated and upset with him because he's so....ugh. And if it's not him that's getting me down, it's something else.

I'm so frustrated with school right now, my best friend in class has now gotten an internship and is going to be starting on monday. Meanwhile I haven't even had a single interview (or mention of one) yet. I feel like everyone else is going places and I'm stuck.
maddy29
QUOTE
I feel like everyone else is going places and I'm stuck.


hell yeah. i feel that way too. i hate comparing myself to others, and i really try not to, but sometimes when i'm down it's just like dang, i'm 30 and i'm a lousy research asst. making 35K a year-not even fulltime-with a master's degree that i'm going to pay for the rest of my life even though i don't use it. grr.

i've had two great therapists in the past ten years. 1 for about 2 years and the other for about 3. then my therapist had stroke, almost died, was in a coma for 6 months, then was blind and stuff, so that pretty much sucked. this happened right when i was leaving the social work field.

so then, i just didn't go to therapy for a long time. i saw my therapist a few times once she was better enough, and i could go see her. but, i feel like that's just going back to the past. also, i kinda know what she's going to say, and i feel like i need someone different.

i found one person, who was all upset that i was an incest survivor and said she could take me because she only has one other survivor on her caseload, and she can only handle two of us. nice, right?

the next person was just last year-she was nice and all, but too practical for me. i mean, she would validate my feelings but then in the next breath tell me i did'nt need to feel that way. um, ok?

so yeah at this point it just seems like too much trouble to search someone out.

but, i did have a big ole freak out last night and that helped a lot. i just cried and snotted all over my boyfriend and just let it all out. it hurt a LOT. i feel better, but exhausted today.

one thing is that i'm trying to change way too fast. and i'm not giving myself any credit for the changes i have made. i'm beating myself up for not being able to change tons of entrenched patterns that i've been doing for years. i gotta remmeber it all takes time...gah.
mornington
I'm venting in here... fucking doctors and thier fucking "catchment areas". Helloooo, mid-treatment here? I've finally found a supportive doctor, who treats me as an intelligent individual (as opposed to the moron treatment i frequently get - i have depression, not some sort of mental retardation) and I'm due for referral to the breast clinic as well as a therapist. I cannot switch doctors now and go through it all again.

gah.

((((whitelightning)))) I hear you.

((((busties))))

yemaya
QUOTE(stargazer @ Feb 9 2007, 06:20 AM) *


getting back to yemaya's discussion of race, culture, and mental health...depression is seen as not having enough faith and/or selfishness. i remember having mexican clients and their families would say they just needed to go to mexico for alittle while. i had a hard time understanding (because of my own upbringing in western culture) and a fellow latina told me that working in the fields, being in the country....a person wouldn't have time to think about things. you would be too busy working. so, there is some stigma of white, patriarchial structure of an emphasis on individuality and self-importance. values that are at conflict with other cultures. wanting to stay connected with one's culture and family is still viewed by some as a sign of dependence, which in western culture (especially America) is a big no-no.

depression does effect everyone. it sucks that all of these other factors can make it difficult to get well.

(((everyone)))

Hi .Stargazer & ratgirl.

Certainly this is not new news, but for me a white women is definitely taken more seriously if she is depressed as opposed to a Black women. The woman in Texas who killed her children due to post-partum depression-is a prime example of how a good portion of society-even her husband and mental experts see fit toe excuse and forgive a woman that killed her children? How many Blacks and Hispanic women languish in jail or roam the streets because of mental illnesses but it is seen, especially for Black women, that is their fault, that they are less than because of.

The assumption is that we are seen as vulgar, more course, less refined, therefore how could we be saddled with the seemingly more nebulous and therefore more complex emotional, mental concerns of a White woman and of course this assumption nullifies many Black women as being less than-of being incapable to feel like the norm, therefore we are not fully seen as relevant or even human.

I recall being 15-a virgin-going for a Pap smear thanks to my stepmother, and the White male doctor, assumed that I was promiscuous and could handle an examination, but he broke my hymen and it was PAINFUL. It was a kin to rape especially when I had to do a urine sample and there was a blood in it. I was completely and utterly clueless and didn’t know that this was wrong. The Doctor calls hours later, apparently realizing what he had done, but I was so STUPID- I didn’t realize why he called until many years later.

I am sharing this story to illustrate how the medical community often views Black women. That at 15, in my case, I was already whoring around, probably already gave birth to 5 kids and was used to it. Would a White girl at 15 be treated the same way? I doubt it and from that experience, I have never ever engaged in an intimate relationship and this among many experiences has colored the way I see White men. They are hurtful and racist. I can’t see them any other way.

On another note, there is a bill out called Mental Parity bill, which I saw on C-SPAN over a week ago. It is important that we support any legislation that distigmatizes diseases like depression and helps get people like me the help that they need.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/02/13/ap3422663.html

What do you think?
maddy29
holy crap yemaya-what a horrible experience with that doctor! the idea that he just ASSUMED that skin color = sexual activity is obscene. Although, I guess if you were there for a pap, he just assumed it was because you were sexually active? But sheesh.

Did we already talk about the whole "black women are SO strong" thing? Like well, they can handle depression because they are SO strong. Or, they aren't depressed, they can handle anything! I wonder how this gets in the way of people seeking treatment. Well, i mean-i can guess. bleh.

annelise
aren't you SUPPOSED to get pap smears every few years, starting in your teens, regardless of sexual activity? i don't remember when i started getting pap smears, but it was long before i started having sex.

from my teenage years on i always had docs ask straight out if i was sexually active, and the recommendations for frequency of pap smears (every year or every three years) varied accordingly.

that a doc would assume that about a fifteen year old is appalling. i don't quite know how to express how f'ed up that is.

eta--make sure to mute that forbes link, there's a really annoying ad. but... passing a bill that would require mental health insurance on par with coverage for other physical illnesses.

that is so very very much needed.
annelise
there's a senate committee voting on the mental parity bill tomorrow. it seems like there's a decent bit of bipartisan support for it, and since there's a democratic senate and house now, there's a much better chance for it to go through.

i am trying to remember the full process of how a bill is passed, which i know better from the movie "mr. smith goes to washington" than from poli-sci classes!

but according to a scan of wiki, my memory of jimmy stewart's explanation was about right--it would have to pass that committee, then the entire senate, then the house and finally get signed by the prez.

seems like all that would take a while, so it might still be possible to write congresspeople about the importance of this issue. reading up on it a bit more, it's been around for ages. i might have written to a politician about this years ago, come to think of it. arrrrrgh.

eta: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/mp/archives/200...pen_letter.html is a blog post about the bill from last october that has links with more info.
candycane_girl
When I was a teenager my mom told me that once I turned 18 I should get a pap smear regardless of whether or not I was sexually active. I think it was just regarded as part of a regular physical.

yemaya, I'm sorry you had such an awful experience with that doctor. I can't believe the way some people act.

That bill sounds like a great idea. I hope it gets passed.
yemaya
Understood about Pap smears in your teenage years. But that was never explained to me. Its only years later that I realize. My stepmother brought me there specifically because her own daughter, three years my junior was diagnosed with Herpes (she got it because she was promiscuous even though she had a steady boyfriend (and yes I am aware you can’t get Herpes from being simply promiscuous)) so she automatically assumed, even though I was very shy and asocial that I must be doing the same thing.

Nothing was explained to me. The doctor did not ask me any questions about my sexual activity or gynological health or periods, or whatever. Nothing. And at the time I was living in a Western state with hardly any Black people. The only people he’s probably treated were SAHM’s and military brats. I graduated from a high school class of 300-400 in which I was the only Black person, so it wasn’t like he was treating an inner city population in which that assumption, however presumptuous, could possibly be valid. Again the Doctor Knew he was wrong because he must have seen the blood, the grimace and called sounding a little panicky and scared. He did not speak to my father or my step-father. Again I didn’t realize all of this until many years later.


Mental Health Parity

I originally saw the discussion on CSpan. It was live when I viewed it which was last month. Congressional Discussion on Mental Health and Addiction Equity http://www.cspan.org/VideoArchives.asp?Cat...=100&Page=5 Here are some links...it may already be in video archives so you can actually hear the committee and advocates speak on this important issue…Maybe you can view it better than I can. It is rather difficult to google information about the bill, but I am not sure if the average American knows, cares, or is aware of this issue. Again this goes back to the conversation of stigma and how some law makers are trying to put measures in place to lessen the onus.

http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectid=B77...80C09397AA58913

http://www.nmha.org/go/parity/states


But yeah..it may be months/years before anything happens.
candycane_girl
I am having a crappy day. Well, not entirely crappy. It just seems like it's good then bad then good then bad. I'm upset because one of my closest friends is moving to another city to start his internship on Monday. I know that I'll be there in a month and a half but still, it just seems weird that he's leaving already.

My mom's in the hospital and even though she's doing alright it was really upsetting to see her today, throwing up and barely wanting to speak. She had an operation and she just kept saying that she was really tired and wanted to go back to sleep.

And the last thing is my weight. I have gained about two pounds in one week and I haven't been eating anything different. I am sooo frustrated!
puss in boots
Hi there,

I'm new to the lounge, and hope that you all won't mind if I attempt to change the subject. I am on anti-depressants and I have such a low libido, and so much difficulty with sex. I have a new boyfriend and he's great, and we've only had sex a couple of times since our first time the end of Dec.. I have chronic Lyme Disease so my overall health isn't the best, but dang! A girl's gotta have a little fun. I feel like I've tried everything. Oral L-Arginine, OTC herbal libido formulas from the health food store, Yohimbe, Emerita's blend, topical gels- the Emerita collection- stimulant, warming, parben free, all natural lubes, all sorts of vibrators, 2 or 3 different boyfriends over the years, a vibrating cock ring is the latest. I've tried a few different antidepressants, but I'm not at a point where I can go off of them. I'm on Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. My boyfriend is a sweetheart and has been so kind and understanding, but, I'm just so high maintainance when it comes to sex. I need all the stars to be aligned and then maybe just maybe I can achieve an okay orgasm (by myself or with him)

Anyone have any suggestions? I'm ready to have some fun, and I'm pissed that there aren't a lot of options for women.

sincerely,

My anitdepressants have depressed the joy of sex


P.S-

The things that I have found that help when combined:

a glass of red wine
lots of time to prepare clear my head (do things that make me feel good about myself and my body- exercise, shower, mentally prepare-clear my head)
Less talking, more of a rhythm
Take our time!
Feeling like my partner is excited to be with me, touching, kissing, playing
Direct clitioral stimulation/girl on top

lucizoe
Hi there puss in boots! Sorry that it's been so crappy for you. I really don't have that much advice to give you, but if you go to the sex threads, you might find something that will help. I wouldn't try to force it so much, myself.

Hope you make some progress!

(((candycane))) I'm sorry you've been so down, and especially about your mom.

My mom fainted in class the other day and had to go to the emergency room to make sure she wasn't having a heart attack. She sat in the ER for 7 hours, then they kept her overnight, and didn't feed her ANYTHING for fourteen fucking hours (everyone else got breakfast, but they just skipped over her. 'Cause you know, if someone is fainting and has low blood pressure, the best thing to do is to deprive them of food) and she eventually had to tell THEM what tests they were supposed to run because they fucked up so badly. If it hadn't been for my father using his teacher yell at the nurses - yeah, then they paid attention, when the fucking man said something - she'd probably have just walked the fuck out.

I'm pissed off at the thought of my mom in that situation and it's sort of coloring my mood right now. That and our old friend returning, and the fact that people will engage it. Just put the damn thing on ignore and stop acknowledging its existence.

Blah.
girltrouble
((((((((((candy))))))))))
((((((((((luci))))))))))
(((((((((puss)))))))

puss: i can't speak to your medication, but i do know adding liquor might not be the best idea.

but one thing that might help is non-goal oriented sex. ie, orgasm not being the point of sex play between you and your boy. making it more about sensation, and making each other feel good. i think sometimes if you think you are "high maintenance" sex wise, sometimes that tension is an orgasm inhibitor. knowing that you are playing with no expectation of orgasm often allows you to be more in touch with your body.

i would suggest posting something in one of the sex threads, like luci said. i don't think people mind talking about how their meds effect them sexually, i think sexually you'll find better answers there.







today i was riding the bus home and i realized i was getting my usual winter blues. on one hand it was super good, cos usually i get it from late summer to mid spring. but here it is mid feb and i got my first bad case of depression. that's pretty good right?

i just forgot how bad it got. granted, it's gotten so much better over time. back when i was a boy, i was banging my fists against my head, and for a few years after transition i would have uncontrolable rocking, crying fits where my bones would ache from living. luckily, it's much lighter/ different but now it's just kind of... a deep, deep, deep hopelessness with really depressing realizations/thoughts.

like: usually i pass. people take me as a woman, after all, my voice is spot on, and other than my height i'm told that i am feminine, attractive, even though i still have to have some hair removed in my goatee/beard area. but all the same somedays, when the depression hits, i just feel so fraudulent-- like a fake woman, but see, here is the fucked up ironic thing-- i felt the same way when i was a boy-- i felt like i was working so hard to be a fake man. ugh. just feels like i can't win, and that's when i start spiralling down....i've also noticed that i haven't been eating. which is always a battle for me. not that i want to be skinnier, i've worked pretty hard the last 2-3 years to gain weight, only to have lost most of it in the last month. sad.gif
puss in boots
QUOTE(girltrouble @ Feb 18 2007, 02:05 AM) *

((((((((((candy))))))))))
((((((((((luci))))))))))
(((((((((puss)))))))

puss: i can't speak to your medication, but i do know adding liquor might not be the best idea.

but one thing that might help is non-goal oriented sex. ie, orgasm not being the point of sex play between you and your boy. making it more about sensation, and making each other feel good. i think sometimes if you think you are "high maintenance" sex wise, sometimes that tension is an orgasm inhibitor. knowing that you are playing with no expectation of orgasm often allows you to be more in touch with your body.

Thanks for your post. I wish that I had more to say to help you. I can relate to winter blues, but I've never been a boy, however, I am a woman who sometimes doesn't feel all that feminine. I give you a lot of credit, for recognizing that your depression isn't as bad as it has been. Way to go!

i would suggest posting something in one of the sex threads, like luci said. i don't think people mind talking about how their meds effect them sexually, i think sexually you'll find better answers there.
today i was riding the bus home and i realized i was getting my usual winter blues. on one hand it was super good, cos usually i get it from late summer to mid spring. but here it is mid feb and i got my first bad case of depression. that's pretty good right?

i just forgot how bad it got. granted, it's gotten so much better over time. back when i was a boy, i was banging my fists against my head, and for a few years after transition i would have uncontrolable rocking, crying fits where my bones would ache from living. luckily, it's much lighter/ different but now it's just kind of... a deep, deep, deep hopelessness with really depressing realizations/thoughts.

like: usually i pass. people take me as a woman, after all, my voice is spot on, and other than my height i'm told that i am feminine, attractive, even though i still have to have some hair removed in my goatee/beard area. but all the same somedays, when the depression hits, i just feel so fraudulent-- like a fake woman, but see, here is the fucked up ironic thing-- i felt the same way when i was a boy-- i felt like i was working so hard to be a fake man. ugh. just feels like i can't win, and that's when i start spiralling down....i've also noticed that i haven't been eating. which is always a battle for me. not that i want to be skinnier, i've worked pretty hard the last 2-3 years to gain weight, only to have lost most of it in the last month. sad.gif

lawnpigeon
It'd be the Cymbalta, Puss. Wellbutrin is actually known to often increase sexual function/reverse the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (okay, well Cymbalta is actually an serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, but it's inhibiting serotonin reuptake, so, you know) on sexual function. I mean, it doesn't always, but doctors sometimes will prescribe a bit of Wellbutrin to counteract the effect SSRI that's also being taken.
I was on Cipramil/Celexa for three+ years (an SSRI) and have been off it for one year and still can't orgasm and sexual feelings just aren't as nearly intense as they were before I started taking it. Apparently things may take years to right themselves, or they may never. Yay. (There are various sites I could point to you for in formation on this, but Wikipedia is usually a good place to start -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_SSRI_Sexual_Dysfunction)
I have no advice except to get off the Cymbalta. Can you just be on the Wellbutrin? Have you discussed any of this with your doctor? I understand the sexual side effects are depressing in themselves. Maybe try taking Ginkgo Biloba as well, that can help with increasing blood flow and making climaxing easier in many people. And hey, it's also good for the memory!
mandolyn
yemaya, thanks for the info on The Mental Health Parity Act of 2007. as someone with sucky mental health insurance (but at least i have something, believe me, i am thankful), i would like to know more about this, and follow it. i'm just livid that our mental health insurance is completely seperate from our medical coverage. i'm waiting for them to come after me at some point for getting anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds from my GP.

girltrouble, i'd say that's a major "accomplishment", that you're getting the winter blues so late in the year. (altho i'm sorry you're getting them at all.) for the last few winters, on the recommendation of a bustie (who's name escapes me), i've used SAM-e with varying but basically helpful results. i get wicked SAD every october. it usually starts lifting in february, when you can tell there's more sunlight in the day. i didn't take SAM-e this year tho, due to the new meds.

puss, i'm sorry i can't offer any advice, other than, maybe you're trying too hard? i'd go with what everyone else said, especially not making the ultimate goal an orgasm. it's a big plus that your partner is so supportive and understanding.

so far, the zoloft hasn't adversely affected my libido, but i just upped my dosage, so we shall see.

luci, what an awful (but typical - grrrr!) experience. i hope you're mom's ok, and that she goes to her doc for a full workup, and that it's nothing serious.
mukky
hi ladies,

i'm new here, but this forum has been so helpful so far...just to know that others are feeling the same things i am.

i know the feeling of wanting to dodge plans (even with good friends) because you're totally anxiety-ridden about going out and having to interact with people...sometimes i get so bummed out that my social cirlce never seems to grow, but i know it's my own fault. i simply don't understand how some people can just pick up a phone and call anybody without completely freaking out about it...i try to avoid the phone as much as possible. even email freaks me out sometimes....what's wrong with me??

i've never been clinically diagnosed with depression, but i've had some clues that i may have it...sometimes it's just a feeling of total paralyzation. like i can't drag myself off the couch and do any of the creative things that make my life worthwhile...i feel overwhelmed by life in general.

and mr. mukky is great most of the time, but he was raised to believe that you should just deal with all your feelings and problems yourself and not burden other people...so there's that mountain of guilt when i try to talk to him about how i'm feeling monumentally bummed out (which seems to be pretty often lately).

i don't want to depend on someone else to make me feel better, but i'm having a hard time figuring out how to do it myself...i definitely don't judge anybody for taking meds, but i'd rather not go that way (sexual side effects are daunting).

has anybody found that exercise has significantly improved their mental state?
whitelightning
mukky, i'm sorry you're feeling so overwhelmed...sometimes it's too much. the best way i can describe it is through a tetris analogy. you've got all your little blocks that you need to stack; most of the time, we can arrange them to make a complete line that neatly disappears. then, we get a block that just doesn't seem to fit quite as neatly as the others and then the next thing you know, we're stacked to the brim and it all collapses.


exercise does wonders for me, but the *thought* of exercising always keeps me from doing it. e.g., i don't have the right sneakers, i can't afford a gym, i don't know where to go, i hate running, etc... but i've been taking a tai chi class this term and i've found it to be very helpful. in the beginning, i was so frustrated because i just wasn't getting it. i hated feeling lost in it and i would flap my arms to the side and huff and feel sorry for myself. like i'm such a loser or something. but, i kept at it and i feel that it's teaching me focus and persistence. and i feel more flexible, which is nice.
LoveMyPugs
whitelightning -

I loved your Tetris analogy. My drafting class is making me so overwhelmed. I can't drop it because I promised my parents and Mr. Pug that I'd get through one semester without dropping a class. Meanwhile, while I'm working slowly at my drawings all the rest of the assignments are just piling up. It's so frustrating. I just keep skipping the class and trying to work at my own pace because the instructor is infuriating. I don't know what to do. It's making me so angry and feeling like such a loser. I know I'm not but I can't keep the feelings and thoughts out of my head. I'm going to go home and try to keep working. I might do some housework first cause it helps me unwind. It’s very monotonous so I can zone out during laundry, dishes and dusting. Plus I get a lot accomplished.

((((((((((EVERYONE))))))))))
candycane_girl
welcome mukky. I think that exercise definitely helps. Which is why I should drag myself out to the gym. I haven't lately because I just..I don't know, I feel like staying inside most of the time. But I know that I do feel better after exercising, maybe it just has something to do with moving around and getting the blood flowing.

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