Managing Life-Long Mental Health as a Senior

Posted by georgette12 @georgette12, Jan 13, 2017

I have just started using this site so this is my first message.

@martinius Thanks for adding to our discussion. Music is a wonderful gift! Teresa

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@georgette12

Oh, just want to say something and then i will sign off. I gave my phone number to theresa and colleen. So i now can be contacted.
But i need to say one more time that i feel much safer than i did last week. To have our online community care so much and wonder if i was okay was not expected and it has so overwhelmed me with gratitude. I will definitely not do stupid things without checking in with you guys first! Blessings

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Thanks for coming back to share this @ihatediabetes. While I’m sure the trigger experience was difficult, it is good to know that there was a benefit and that the Connect community could contribute to that benefit.

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@georgette12

Johnjames, thanks so much for telling us about the pain specialist . i am praying that you will have more and more strength each day. I did not know that there are service dogs specifically for psych issues. I am going to look that up. My english bulldog serves the purpose for now. I lost my bassette hound last year at the age of 14. Long life for a bassette. My chow mix had also passed 6 months earlier. I got my puppy before gracie died because i knew i wouldn’t do well when she passed. I stayed with my chow, louie, and of course with gracie as i had to make the decision to let each of them go. I still can’t look at their pictures because it is still too traumatic. But louie did live 11 years which is long for his breed.

Oh…i used to work in rehab/hospice/alzeiheimers (wrong spelling there) facilities and we brought in petting zoos for our patients. We actually brought into the building and even up the elevator a llama, goat, pigs and rabbits and all sorts of unusual animals. They sat on the beds (well, not the llama and goat)! And everyone came out of their yukky mental and physical stuff they were dealing with. Even me! I carried a baby pig around all day but, unfortunately, the zoo wouldn’t let me take him home. They found me hiding in a closet with him but they heard his squeeks through the door and found us.

It sounds like you have a loving wife and your comment about not wanting to leave her alone to suffer if you were “not here” is extremely compassionate and sensitive. Those who take their own lives have no idea of the life-long trauma they leave for their loved ones. It sounds like, even though you live with such mental and physical pain, you put your family first, and friends. Please keep us informed as to what is happening with you. You are definitely a role model and i feel encouraged when you share. Blessings.

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Teresa- Thank you for being such a friend-even those we have not met, I still can thank God for people like you, with a heart of compassion. JJAMES

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@lesbatts

These people are supposed to be Christians? I’d try another church if I were you and don’t tell anyone about your background.
I do not go to church but I had plenty of it when I was a child, enough to make me not want to ever go to church again.
My family and close friends know that I am Bipolar and I never tell anyone else. I thought the bias was lifting against people with mental illnesses but I guess not.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Jimhd…..i will check that NAMI info for you. I still get their newsletters. DBSA is DEPRESSION BIPOLAR SUPPORT ALLIANCE. I attended that as well. Another great peer support group country wide.

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@gailb

Georgette12, don’t take from my post about the inch worm rule that I start out with distrusting people. I have a basic trust in people with the exception of those I pick up on right away as not being trustworthy. I will sometimes use the inch worm rule with them, and other times I will just stay away from those I think are not trustworthy. I understand that those empathic feelings I have are filtered through my own experiences and may be my own issue and not reflective of who that person is.

In the past I was too trusting and I had few boundaries, which meant I laid my heart and life out to everyone and was not able to discriminate between those who would respect and be kind to me, and those who might take advantage of my nievete’. I would often be hurt by untrustworthy people. I learned through therapy and years of personal work that I have boundaries that are real and necessary for me to live a productive and happy life. I learned to use the inch worm rule when my intuition told me that I needed to be cautious until i knew a particular individual better. This worked very well, especially in business situations. (I have worked all of my life, retiring in 2016.)

My life has been filled with situations where I could not trust the adults in my life, and had to rely on myself to keep me safe. Since I was a very young child, I didn’t always make the right decision about safety. I also learned that at times the best way for me to get support was to open up to everyone, looking for the person who would love me. That is where my insecurity and my hyper-vigilance were in conflict and confusing for me. I first sought help with counseling when I was 24 years old. I grew up with my parents separating when I was 18 months old, after my father pulled both my arms out of my shoulder sockets sending me to the emergency room. My mother was pregnant with my sister at the time and she was very sick. She decided to send me to live with my aunt. I lived with my aunt until I was 4 years old. Then I came back to my mother, and I was totally confused about which woman was my mom at that point. By the time I was 5, my mother realized she could not take care of my 2 older brothers, my sister and me. She sent my brothers to live with our father in Denver, and my sister and I were sent to an orphanage in Missouri, where my mother lived. We were there until I was 12 years old. My grandmother bought a house so my mom, sister, and I could live with her. That lasted 2 years, and then my mother couldn’t stand living with her mother. So, she took my sister with her and left me to tell my grandmother that she had gone to Denver. I ended up living with my mother in Denver after she had remarried my father, when I was 16. I was pregnant and married by the time I was 19. I needed to create my own stability. I had been in counseling for 3 years when realized my marriage was a mess and my husband was an alcoholic. My first husband and I were married for 9 years.

That’s a snapshot of my history, which in detail is disturbing, but that would be just too much for this forum. Suffice to say mistrust and confusion were a big part of my psyche. I really needed counseling and I was aware enough to ask for help when I was 24 years old. My life steadily improved since then. I only realized about 4 years ago that I was depressed for most of my life, and again I asked for help. I am taking Citalopram now and it has had a tremendous affect on my happiness. Life is good now; I am fulfilled; I love my second husband of 34 years. I am very grateful for what I have learned and the opportunities I have had to choose to be successful in my life.

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My dear gail….thank you for sharing such a personal story . i was so happy to read that you have been married for 34 years in a loving and happy marriage. You chose happiness and peace and joy…..although you could have chosen the opposite. You are such an inspiration. I so wish you the continuing love and increasing happiness in your life and for your loved ones. Many many blessings to you.

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@lesbatts

These people are supposed to be Christians? I’d try another church if I were you and don’t tell anyone about your background.
I do not go to church but I had plenty of it when I was a child, enough to make me not want to ever go to church again.
My family and close friends know that I am Bipolar and I never tell anyone else. I thought the bias was lifting against people with mental illnesses but I guess not.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Thanks, Georgette. I’ve never heard of the bipolar group. The first psychiatrist I saw said that I have depressive bipolar disorder, which means that my highs aren’t as high as a regular bipolar.

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Kudos to whomever started this site. I can confirm that talking to people with the same symptoms and diagnosis helps because they can relate. I hope to learn different so called “tools” so I can handle my depression and that I can help others with what I’ve learned through therapy and medications.
I’ve been suffering with depression for a very long time. I came bout of the so called ‘Closet” when my Mom passed away on my 40th birthday. That was 21 years ago. I’ve been hospitalized a few times because of suicidal ideations. I’ve read a few of the other posts and can relate to some of them. When I read Georgette’s (I think) posts it made me think that we do have a lot in common. I’m a so-called senior (61) and didn’t think I would be depressed this long. I kept hoping and praying this feeling I have would go away. Apparently not. I’ve been in therapy for a very long time and have been on several medications. I’ve tried several cocktails of meds and some work better than others. It’s very difficult to find what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been feeling down in the dumps for awhile now so I thought maybe, just maybe I would get some encouragement here. Depression drove almost all of my friends away because they just didn’t understand. I hope that this is. The site for me. Thanks to all that read my book….look forward to hearing from you.

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@tallygirl

Kudos to whomever started this site. I can confirm that talking to people with the same symptoms and diagnosis helps because they can relate. I hope to learn different so called “tools” so I can handle my depression and that I can help others with what I’ve learned through therapy and medications.
I’ve been suffering with depression for a very long time. I came bout of the so called ‘Closet” when my Mom passed away on my 40th birthday. That was 21 years ago. I’ve been hospitalized a few times because of suicidal ideations. I’ve read a few of the other posts and can relate to some of them. When I read Georgette’s (I think) posts it made me think that we do have a lot in common. I’m a so-called senior (61) and didn’t think I would be depressed this long. I kept hoping and praying this feeling I have would go away. Apparently not. I’ve been in therapy for a very long time and have been on several medications. I’ve tried several cocktails of meds and some work better than others. It’s very difficult to find what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been feeling down in the dumps for awhile now so I thought maybe, just maybe I would get some encouragement here. Depression drove almost all of my friends away because they just didn’t understand. I hope that this is. The site for me. Thanks to all that read my book….look forward to hearing from you.

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Welcome to Connect, @tallygirl.
Thank you for the lovely comments about our community. I have to concur that we have a strong and supportive group of people sharing here. May I ask how you “stumbled” upon Connect?

Let me start by introducing myself. I’m the Community Director and my job is to introduce you to other members. To that end, I moved your message to the discussion that @georgette12 started called “Managing Life-Long Mental Health as a Senior”. I agree that your story has a certain ring of commonality with other members sharing here like @safetyshield @johnjames @jimhd @hopeful33250 @lesbatts @rspaulling @overwhelmed @gailb @martinius.

Here are few other discussions you may appreciate reading and joining in:
– Been treated for major depressive disorder for most of my life http://mayocl.in/2jTNxQI
– Need help! Depression and anxiety http://mayocl.in/2kCbo8q
– I survived suicide attempts http://mayocl.in/2dw4ZJv

Tallygirl, I’m confident that you will get encouragement here. We look forward to getting to know you. Do you live alone?

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Thanks Colleen for your letting me join this group of people. I’ll have to learn my way around this site.
I do not live alone. I have 3 grown boys who are married to the sweetest young ladies. I could not have picked a better partner for them. Then I have 2 beautiful grand daughters. I live with my husband and we are both retired. He has a part-time job in which I look forward to spending time by myself. I’m alone right now and have been for a few days. I’m babysitting my son’s s cats and dogs. Hubby will be here on Wednesday. I’ve been in bed most of the time. I know it’s not good but I can’t get up. I take the dog out but come right back to bed. I won’t get to my home until Sunday. If I’m not better by them it looks like I’ll end up in the hospital. I don’t like going because all they do is keep you safe for a few days and then release you. Been there done that. Anyway, I’ll check this site out tomorrow whei don’t have a headache. Hoping it gets better….Again, thank you for allowing me into this site. Oh, you asked how I stumbled alone this group? I am a patient at the Jacksonville, FL Mayo. Have a great evening!

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@tallygirl

Thanks Colleen for your letting me join this group of people. I’ll have to learn my way around this site.
I do not live alone. I have 3 grown boys who are married to the sweetest young ladies. I could not have picked a better partner for them. Then I have 2 beautiful grand daughters. I live with my husband and we are both retired. He has a part-time job in which I look forward to spending time by myself. I’m alone right now and have been for a few days. I’m babysitting my son’s s cats and dogs. Hubby will be here on Wednesday. I’ve been in bed most of the time. I know it’s not good but I can’t get up. I take the dog out but come right back to bed. I won’t get to my home until Sunday. If I’m not better by them it looks like I’ll end up in the hospital. I don’t like going because all they do is keep you safe for a few days and then release you. Been there done that. Anyway, I’ll check this site out tomorrow whei don’t have a headache. Hoping it gets better….Again, thank you for allowing me into this site. Oh, you asked how I stumbled alone this group? I am a patient at the Jacksonville, FL Mayo. Have a great evening!

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@tallygirl It sounds like you’ve been away from home and are pretty depressed. Join the club. It also sounds like you’re thinking about getting out of the pain you feel. Do you have a plan for how you want to die? If you don’t want to talk about suicide here, you can go to another page that Colleen recommended, http://mayocl.in/2dw4ZJv. I’ve survived a number of attempts – probably because I don’t own a gun. I’ve overdosed a lot of times – I haven’t kept count – been in survivor hospital twice, and should have gone more, but I don’t really want to because I know everything they’ll say. I’ve made survival coping plans, thought a lot about reasons to keep living, and worked on making goals to live for.

I look forward to hearing more from you.

Jim

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Hi Jim…thanks for your reply. I am very depressed and just want to go home. I’d love to get out of this pain. I dont own a gun and wouldn’t by one if i could. I’m not allowed because ive been baker acted once. I dont want to go into the hospital because i too, know what they do. They keep you safe for a few days and then release you saying “good luck”. Who wants to hear that again. I’m trying to write down my reasons to live also but it usually turns into a page for my ulogy. SAD TO SAY. I’m taking it a day at a time. I was up the entire night last night which wasn’t good. I even took 2 extra sleep pills. Didn’t help.
How are you feeling ? Hope well…..or the best that you can. I’m really proud of you for working so hard! Keep it up!
Lynne

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Hi Lynn I’m so sorry that you’re not feeling well. I too am very depressed and spent most of the day in bed yesterday. I will not let myself do that today. Some of the time I have to take a nap even when I’m feeling good as the handful of pills I take every day makes me so tired. I wish for all of us that they could come up with a magic pill that would take away the depression and anxiety and would work for everyone. In this day and age you would think we would have more effective solutions for our illness. I feel a little better today and even though I live in New England I’m going to try and get out with the dog today. One thing I’m worried about is not feeling better when we go to Florida in three weeks. I will be with people all the time which I don’t mind for a while but I also need my alone time.
Jim I hope that you too will begin to feel better. Have you tried changing meds? Have you Lynn? I think I’ve run the gamut on pills therefore there are few options for me. There are a couple of new antidepressants that have come out in the past few years but I haven’t tried any of them yet. I guess that’s all I have to say. I’ll be thinking of you guys and hoping that you get better.
Take care,
Leslie

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@lesbatts

Hi Lynn I’m so sorry that you’re not feeling well. I too am very depressed and spent most of the day in bed yesterday. I will not let myself do that today. Some of the time I have to take a nap even when I’m feeling good as the handful of pills I take every day makes me so tired. I wish for all of us that they could come up with a magic pill that would take away the depression and anxiety and would work for everyone. In this day and age you would think we would have more effective solutions for our illness. I feel a little better today and even though I live in New England I’m going to try and get out with the dog today. One thing I’m worried about is not feeling better when we go to Florida in three weeks. I will be with people all the time which I don’t mind for a while but I also need my alone time.
Jim I hope that you too will begin to feel better. Have you tried changing meds? Have you Lynn? I think I’ve run the gamut on pills therefore there are few options for me. There are a couple of new antidepressants that have come out in the past few years but I haven’t tried any of them yet. I guess that’s all I have to say. I’ll be thinking of you guys and hoping that you get better.
Take care,
Leslie

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Thanks Leslie. I appreciate your thoughts and questions. Not sure if there will ever be a magic pill. It would be a dream come true. Probably not in my lifetime. I’ve been a recluse since Wednesday when my husband left for NE.. where do you live in NE? I was born and raised there and now live in Florida. I love my bed more than I should. It’s been my best friend for a very long time. I do have a question for any of you. If you know or think you need to be in a hospital setting would you go even if you know the outcome. The few times I’ve been in it was basically to keep you safe for 3 days and then say good luck. Door shut. Have any of you experienced this? Leslie I hope you are up and about. Keep up the great work! Jim, hope you are doing better as well.
Thank you for your thoughts. Let’s fight this demon together.
Lynn
Oh Lynn, I think I’ve been on almost every medication and combinations of meds the docs can think of. I refuse ECT.

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Hi Ihatediabetes, i thought I’d check in with you given the trail this conversation has taken. I didn’t @mention you in case you unsubscribed from this discussion. But if you’re following it, just know that I’m thinking of you.

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@lesbatts

Hi Lynn I’m so sorry that you’re not feeling well. I too am very depressed and spent most of the day in bed yesterday. I will not let myself do that today. Some of the time I have to take a nap even when I’m feeling good as the handful of pills I take every day makes me so tired. I wish for all of us that they could come up with a magic pill that would take away the depression and anxiety and would work for everyone. In this day and age you would think we would have more effective solutions for our illness. I feel a little better today and even though I live in New England I’m going to try and get out with the dog today. One thing I’m worried about is not feeling better when we go to Florida in three weeks. I will be with people all the time which I don’t mind for a while but I also need my alone time.
Jim I hope that you too will begin to feel better. Have you tried changing meds? Have you Lynn? I think I’ve run the gamut on pills therefore there are few options for me. There are a couple of new antidepressants that have come out in the past few years but I haven’t tried any of them yet. I guess that’s all I have to say. I’ll be thinking of you guys and hoping that you get better.
Take care,
Leslie

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Where I live they do not even try and keep you the 3 days. There is an extreme shortage of mental health providers and mental health beds. As a result there is little in the way of good mental health hospital care here in Minnesota. Mayo is the only one and of course their small number of beds cannot handle all of the state. I refuse to go back as I see it as a waste of time and money. I just tell myself I have made it through a long life of this so I can make it through the rest. I too have been through all kinds of depression meds and they do work to some extent, but not fully. I still have days I do not want to get out of bed. I believe that life is precious so I try to stay away from thoughts of ending it. I try to think of how I have problems all my life, but so do others and we make it through. I firmly believe that some life is better than no life. We all effect others for good sometime in our life so we would have been missed had we not been here. This is not to denigrate feelings people have of hopelessness, but just to say that it is possible to make it through.

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