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@maw258. I can relate to this.
Even as a child I felt lonely and isolated. Being bright when you're quite young doesn't garner a lot of friends. My mother was ill a lot, my father traveled for a living and when he was home he was strict to the point of abusiveness. I grew up thinking I wasn't worth much.
As a mother I experienced grievous losses – our daughter died at age 26 2 weeks after I got sober. My profession was hospice nursing and I wound up doing that in my private life as well. (Years later, my youngest son, by then an adult, was killed in a wreck.)
4 months after our daughter's death 25 years ago my husband of 33 years died unexpectedly of an asymptomatic primary glioblastoma or brain cancer.
He was supposed to have taken out mortgage insurance but failed to do so and I lost our home. After a back injury at work, I lost my job and my apartment and became homeless.
Until I finally started receiving disability I had few counseling and medication options but finally was able to go through counseling (several times and I still do a kind of group therapy in a 12-step recovery program) and was given Paxil.
Later my physicians changed my medication to Zoloft which eventually stopped working and which left me with hair thinning and mild tremors.
As I also have fibromyalgia, my new primary physician wanted me to try Cymbalta, which so far has helped me manage my depression very well, not to mention helping the fibro. In fact, I'm actually a happy person now.
The downside to the Cymbalta is increased intention hand tremors and some tardive dyskinesia (automatic movements) but neither side effect substantially affects my daily life and are well worth the mood stability and resilience despite horrific diagnoses of COPD, CHF, CKD, and diabetes.
With counseling and medication, group therapy and meditation, 12-step recovery meetings and reunion with my Native American side of the family, I have gone from cradling a loaded gun in my lap to being happy and free.
What has worked for me might not work for anyone else. But life is still a hoot and I decided quite some time ago not to leave the party yet. I'm available to "talk" if you want to.
Hope you find some solutions!
@maw258 , I think that it's a great idea to reach out to your physician(s) to get opinions on your concerns, but ultimately the decision will be up to you. I was not aware of the possible association between onset dementia and anti-depressants, and it's something that I will read up on for myself. My quality of life is so improved by taking medication that I'm also going to ask my psychiatrist about this next time I see her. As an aside, and really coming back to your original post, I also use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to cope with my depression and anxiety symptoms that still occur, by directing my thoughts, realizing when I'm making mental leaps or errors, I find that it helps me a lot to cope with my problems. I also have my "safe" place of work, when I'm busy and my mind is not so prone to take me where I don't want to go, and I wish that it wasn't that way; leaving me to find some other coping skills to expand my experiences feeling happy.
I have been reading your posts and the posts of others in the Connect community and I see that you are getting some very caring responses to your problems. Since part of your experience was the death of a loved one, I'd like to invite you to join our discussion on Loss and Grief. Here is the link to take you to these discussions, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/loss-grief//
Just click on the link and read and join in the discussions about grief. I think you will be helped by this as well.
Have you been part of a grief support group yet? If not, that might be a good first step.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you again.
@maw258 losing a loved one by death is a major stressor. It is understandable why you are having problems. I find doing something to try and deal with it helps, but time is the great healer for loss by death. It may take years to finally feel you are doing well. I certainly empathize with what you are going through. I have lost both of my parents. I will be praying for you.