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rollinsk (@rollinsk)

Is depression permanent?

Depression & Anxiety | Last Active: Sep 8, 2021 | Replies (84)

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In the spirit of trying to address the question asked by @rollinsk about "Is depression permanent" I have already sort of put in my 2 cents with my reply to @jimhd. For me, depression (or my brand of it) definitely was NOT permanent. I did not get into detail in the previous post as to how I went about pulling out of it, other than to say that with my wife's help and many many discussions with her about my issues among a variety of other topics, I was able to dismantle the drivers of my depression to a large degree. So rather than wait until later to tell this tale I have decided to" just do it" as Nike says.

These drivers began when I was very young, not sure of the exact age but by 9 at least. I felt to a very substantial degree, like I did not fit into the world. I felt much dislike of myself. This was made worse after the age of seven when I started to get fat and spent the next 7 years or so as a chubby kid. I became extremely self conscious. I remember looking at myself in the bathroom mirror as a kid and pretty much just hating what I saw. At 14 I got skinny after a growth spurt of about 8 inches, so I was not chubby anymore or at least not overtly so. I looked pretty normal in that way. I still thought I was an ugly person (in retrospect, I wasn't).

My father moved us to a different part of the Chicago area when I was 14 so I started my first year of high school not knowing anyone. The kids in the new area were more affluent than in my old town and I had a difficult time relating to them. This move deepened my depression that I was already living with. And it continued into college, then into my post college employment.

What really helped a lot was finding God when I was 24. With a very strong Faith developing I at least had Him as a rock or center for my life, but it did not eliminate the depression, but lightened it somewhat. Then I got married and my wife turned out to be the most amazing counselor. We started to have what we referred to as "coffee time" every morning and would chat for about 1 to 2 hours each day, before I went to work. A few years of this did wonders for me. But I still had many of these same drivers that had made me very unhappy for so long.

Then she watched a show by a therapist named John Bradshaw on PBS, called "Healing the shame that binds you". Also another one of his call "The family". She got a ton of help herself dealing with her demons, especially from the Family series. But then somewhere she read about something she called "The Work". I will have to ask her where it came from exactly, I don't remember. She began doing The Work on herself, and after a time I began to notice changes in her personality. Very good changes. Like a new maturity and a new calmness. After we had dinner with a friend at a restaurant at which he commented on the changes he also was noticing in her, I began to realize I needed to start trying to do this for myself. This was probably when I was around 34 or 35 or so.

Mainly what The Work consisted of for me was dedicating a large amount of time sitting quietly alone in a room, becoming very still and just trying to remember incidents in my childhood in which I was hurt in some way emotionally by someone else, be it my father, mother, siblings or someone else. This involved much dredging up of old memories, which takes a lot of thought and time. I would think of some way that I felt badly about myself and tried to tie it to some specific incident in my childhood. I would try to view the incident in a way in which I could see how I was wrongly hurt by another person (I often was emotionally abused by my older brother for example) . And I would try to realize how wrong that was. I tried to view myself as an objective third person, and tried to tell that person who was me that I had deserved to be loved in that situation, and I tried to feel that love as that little person. Through just giving that small little person who had been me the love I should have been given then, it somehow dismantled the drivers that were created in me by that situation.

I know this is too long, and I apologize, but it's actually just a tiny nutshell version of what I went through, hopefully just enough to perhaps peak someone's interest in trying to do work on themself. I wish good mental health to you all. Hank

PS: If my wife can tell me about where she learned about The Work, I will post that separately. She's still asleep.

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Replies to "In the spirit of trying to address the question asked by @rollinsk about "Is depression permanent"..."

Hank – Thank you for sharing your journey and insights.
At one hospitalization the therapists there used what's called Family of Origin which help me realize how my family's abusive environment affected me and still does at times. I had to move away from them and all the drama.
Again, thank you for your honesty!

@jesfactsmon Hi Hank, Just had to read what you had to say about your journey with/through depression. Thanks so much for sharing. Love you, and I think maybe I need to do "The Work." With me, it was my mom and my sister. Lori Renee

Thank you so much. I have posted a lot and I mean a LOT about my depression and why. So much of it goes back to our childhood. After marrying two abusers, I have married a man who lived a wonderful life with his parents, his friends, everything. He says he can't even fathom abuse and the dysfunctional things my family portrays. Last night my bp got to 200/100 at midnight. I think I need nerve pills but my doctor won't give them to me because I take pain pills for my back. I need surgery but have no intention at this time of getting it. I am waiting for my doctor's office to get back to me with a code so I can get on my portal. I keep screwing up my passwords. I have no idea how many times I have had to change it! I think it makes my bp rise.