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.

@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 for your input. It was greatly appreciated! I too wish they would do mor for mental illness. Will it happen in our lifetime?

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well folks, since I did not get any response for my plea for someone to talk with, I guess it just confirms my suspensions of who can I trust. I know I am new but golly gee folks, just say HI…I did a couple of responses that someone liked what I had to say but did not reply…why?? This may sounds really needy or nerdy, but it is what it is. Yeah, we all have problems, all of us that live here on this planet , but it seems to me that the success that someone has experienced is the most valuable thing we can offer each other…..well other than letting each other KNOW they are LOVED.! truly loved! BE there for each other…and I am as guilty as anyone. I tend to sit back and every once in a while reach out to test the waters..There have been some responses and they have been nice, but on the level I am trying to find. I miss having friends, but I don’t promote it either, so I though maybe this forum would be an outlet. WE ALL have something that has affected us in a negative or horrific way. My experience so far that life can be tolerable, wonderful or extremely hard and unpleasant. WE all have to make that choice everyday of how we choose to see it. I do wish, hope, pray that we can all reach out and find peace,letting go of whatever is stopping us from living. Ok…enough ranting?
PEACE & LOVE……JJ I am am 74 yr been here.woman.:)

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@jjwest

well folks, since I did not get any response for my plea for someone to talk with, I guess it just confirms my suspensions of who can I trust. I know I am new but golly gee folks, just say HI…I did a couple of responses that someone liked what I had to say but did not reply…why?? This may sounds really needy or nerdy, but it is what it is. Yeah, we all have problems, all of us that live here on this planet , but it seems to me that the success that someone has experienced is the most valuable thing we can offer each other…..well other than letting each other KNOW they are LOVED.! truly loved! BE there for each other…and I am as guilty as anyone. I tend to sit back and every once in a while reach out to test the waters..There have been some responses and they have been nice, but on the level I am trying to find. I miss having friends, but I don’t promote it either, so I though maybe this forum would be an outlet. WE ALL have something that has affected us in a negative or horrific way. My experience so far that life can be tolerable, wonderful or extremely hard and unpleasant. WE all have to make that choice everyday of how we choose to see it. I do wish, hope, pray that we can all reach out and find peace,letting go of whatever is stopping us from living. Ok…enough ranting?
PEACE & LOVE……JJ I am am 74 yr been here.woman.:)

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Okay Jj….I am here, I just joined this forum yesterday, I did not see any of your other posts. I did not know what and how to respond. My fault.. Can you just trust me until tomorrow to ;respond. I was up the entire night lastnight so I’m beyond seeing straight. I just washed up and took my so-called cocktail to see if that will help. I sure hope so. I spent the day in bed and if I can make it I’ll be up at dawn and will check back. Sorry no one responded.
Take Care Lynn

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@jjwest

well folks, since I did not get any response for my plea for someone to talk with, I guess it just confirms my suspensions of who can I trust. I know I am new but golly gee folks, just say HI…I did a couple of responses that someone liked what I had to say but did not reply…why?? This may sounds really needy or nerdy, but it is what it is. Yeah, we all have problems, all of us that live here on this planet , but it seems to me that the success that someone has experienced is the most valuable thing we can offer each other…..well other than letting each other KNOW they are LOVED.! truly loved! BE there for each other…and I am as guilty as anyone. I tend to sit back and every once in a while reach out to test the waters..There have been some responses and they have been nice, but on the level I am trying to find. I miss having friends, but I don’t promote it either, so I though maybe this forum would be an outlet. WE ALL have something that has affected us in a negative or horrific way. My experience so far that life can be tolerable, wonderful or extremely hard and unpleasant. WE all have to make that choice everyday of how we choose to see it. I do wish, hope, pray that we can all reach out and find peace,letting go of whatever is stopping us from living. Ok…enough ranting?
PEACE & LOVE……JJ I am am 74 yr been here.woman.:)

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Hi @jjwest, We’re here. We’re listening.
I’ve very much enjoyed your messages and the support that you’ve given to others. Thank you. However, reviewing your messages I didn’t see a plea for response that went unanswered. But never mind that. I’m here now. And everyone involved in this discussion is here for each other.
Tell us a bit more about you. How can we listen more effectively to what you want us to know?

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@jjwest

well folks, since I did not get any response for my plea for someone to talk with, I guess it just confirms my suspensions of who can I trust. I know I am new but golly gee folks, just say HI…I did a couple of responses that someone liked what I had to say but did not reply…why?? This may sounds really needy or nerdy, but it is what it is. Yeah, we all have problems, all of us that live here on this planet , but it seems to me that the success that someone has experienced is the most valuable thing we can offer each other…..well other than letting each other KNOW they are LOVED.! truly loved! BE there for each other…and I am as guilty as anyone. I tend to sit back and every once in a while reach out to test the waters..There have been some responses and they have been nice, but on the level I am trying to find. I miss having friends, but I don’t promote it either, so I though maybe this forum would be an outlet. WE ALL have something that has affected us in a negative or horrific way. My experience so far that life can be tolerable, wonderful or extremely hard and unpleasant. WE all have to make that choice everyday of how we choose to see it. I do wish, hope, pray that we can all reach out and find peace,letting go of whatever is stopping us from living. Ok…enough ranting?
PEACE & LOVE……JJ I am am 74 yr been here.woman.:)

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jjwest- Sorry- I didn’t see your email, but I’m glad you are here and I’m sure others are as well. I’m a Army Chaplain-retired after 8 years infantry with the Big Red One, and the last 33 years as a Chaplain Counselor-I’m 71, and feel like I’m about 91. I have Parkinson’s, and a number of other disabilities./ but we all do and we all struggle day by day- and this is a great place to vent, no matter how bad things get. They all very caring folks- I have been with this group for the last 7 plus months. I sure will be praying for you my friend and I hope to hear from you. jjames.

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I see some of the same names here that I see in the chronic pain discussion. It gets confusing for me, trying to find the group I want to write in.

It seems the level of my depression has worsened over the past few months, along with the thoughts of giving up, what’s the point, I’m tired of living, and on and on. When I was in a facility for people who attempted suicide but couldn’t even get that right, they suggested that we rate our days on a scale of 1-10. For my purposes, 1 means I’m dead; 2 means I’m trying; 3 means I’m getting things together to carry it out; 4 means I have a plan and am seriously considering it; 5 means I’m marginally safe, with thoughts about dying, but not planning yet; 6 is a level I thought I’d never reach, but until a few weeks ago, I’ve been 6 for a year or so. It took 8+ years to get there; 7 means I’m feeling good, only an occasional thought about death…10 would be the best day of my life.

I haven’t taken an overdose of meds for a year or so – I don’t remember exactly when it was. It had been 8 years between that time and the previous attempt. I started in 2005. It’s a letdown whenever I wake up and find I’m still alive. I’m thinking that the next time I’ll actually take a fatal dose. I have morphine sulfate contin, clonazepam, amitriptyline, cymbalta, bupropion, caffeine powder, oxycodone, muscle relaxer – quite a list of things, and I take most of them every day by prescription, others only as needed.

But not today, or this week, or this month. I commit to staying safe as far ahead as I’m able, like not wanting to miss something that’s coming up. My second granddaughter will be born mid March, and I’d like to be able to hold her, which won’t happen until July or August, because our daughter lives in New Hampshire. Her husband is Coast Guard, out of the Boston station, and is being transferred all the way from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, in Alameda, California. That’s just a day’s drive. At least, it used to be a day. I don’t like to drive as many hours as I used to in a day, so now it’s a 2 day trip.

I met for the first time in at least a year with a psychologist last week, for an assessment to be approved for a spinal cord stimulator. The assessment took about 5 minutes of the hour, and he’s pretty determined to get me on his schedule for a weekly session. I could probably stand to have them more frequently than that right now. His receptionist said he’s scheduled 3 weeks out, and when I told him that a couple of days later on the phone, he wasn’t pleased. I hope he remembers me.

Time to shut down the computer for the night. Thank you all for being here with me.

Jim

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JIM, THANK YOU for writing this. You seem to be in a lonely place, but you are fighting and that is wonderful. Your goals will get you there. Ya know no one really knows when it will be time for us to leave this world, so try enjoy the small stuff.. I have my ups and downs and like you I have reached out for help, and have a goal everyday and it seems to help. Getting older for me is such a hard place to be. I find I am not through with this life yet, I too want to see my kids be happy and my grand children grow up. My oldest grand daughter who is 23 & finishing college, threatens me that I better not die until after I hold her first child. That’s my long term goal : OH I have a spine stimulator and it has been wonderful.
Take good care of yourself JIM….and always remind yourself YOU ARE LOVED
PEACE & LOVE jj

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@jjwest

well folks, since I did not get any response for my plea for someone to talk with, I guess it just confirms my suspensions of who can I trust. I know I am new but golly gee folks, just say HI…I did a couple of responses that someone liked what I had to say but did not reply…why?? This may sounds really needy or nerdy, but it is what it is. Yeah, we all have problems, all of us that live here on this planet , but it seems to me that the success that someone has experienced is the most valuable thing we can offer each other…..well other than letting each other KNOW they are LOVED.! truly loved! BE there for each other…and I am as guilty as anyone. I tend to sit back and every once in a while reach out to test the waters..There have been some responses and they have been nice, but on the level I am trying to find. I miss having friends, but I don’t promote it either, so I though maybe this forum would be an outlet. WE ALL have something that has affected us in a negative or horrific way. My experience so far that life can be tolerable, wonderful or extremely hard and unpleasant. WE all have to make that choice everyday of how we choose to see it. I do wish, hope, pray that we can all reach out and find peace,letting go of whatever is stopping us from living. Ok…enough ranting?
PEACE & LOVE……JJ I am am 74 yr been here.woman.:)

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Hi jjames, thanks for writing, nice to hear from you. Someday I would like to talk with you about faith. WOW I hear you about feeling older than you are. ME too. Parkinson’s, I really don’t know much about it, can you tell me about how it affects you? I used to go to church, I was very active, taught teens and adult bible studies. I was even a Stephens Minister Leader for many years. Then my husband died of cancer after three months of being diagnosed. My life changed completely. Some say that we make ourselves sick, maybe so but I am not totally convinced. I want so much to be able to talk with someone who will truly listen, not judge, not try to compare, but true empathy. Understand what I mean? I will try to keep posting, and TRY to be as positive as I can muster. I have a history of not staying with things for a long time, I work on that daily.
thanks again…i wish for you…PEACE & LOVE….JJ

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Hi Tallygirl,
Thanks for the note, and I look forward to hearing from you.
PEACE & LOVE…jj

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@jjwest

well folks, since I did not get any response for my plea for someone to talk with, I guess it just confirms my suspensions of who can I trust. I know I am new but golly gee folks, just say HI…I did a couple of responses that someone liked what I had to say but did not reply…why?? This may sounds really needy or nerdy, but it is what it is. Yeah, we all have problems, all of us that live here on this planet , but it seems to me that the success that someone has experienced is the most valuable thing we can offer each other…..well other than letting each other KNOW they are LOVED.! truly loved! BE there for each other…and I am as guilty as anyone. I tend to sit back and every once in a while reach out to test the waters..There have been some responses and they have been nice, but on the level I am trying to find. I miss having friends, but I don’t promote it either, so I though maybe this forum would be an outlet. WE ALL have something that has affected us in a negative or horrific way. My experience so far that life can be tolerable, wonderful or extremely hard and unpleasant. WE all have to make that choice everyday of how we choose to see it. I do wish, hope, pray that we can all reach out and find peace,letting go of whatever is stopping us from living. Ok…enough ranting?
PEACE & LOVE……JJ I am am 74 yr been here.woman.:)

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I am not sure myself Colleen. I want to share but am afraid I will come across as being a Know-it-all. I like so many others have been through a lot of things in this life, and….”it ain’t over yet” 🙂 I want to hear others and be there for them, but I have such a difficult time reaching out. I done that here for the first time in a very ,very long time. As I get older and unable to do the things I want to do due to disabilities, I get down, and I believe I need to hear how others are coping with health and mental issues. Pain is pain! and it is so personal and individual…so what do I want from others ,,,,I may know down deep, but I seem not to be able to put clearly in my mind.
Thank you for responding, hmmm about not seeing my previous post…I saw it so I am not sure why it wasn’t seen.
PEACE AND LOVE …JJ

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@tallygirl We are pleased that you found our group! I can see that many of our members have reached out to you. These are just a great group of people who share and care and we are glad that you have become one of us! Folks post at this site when they are hurting and as they feel better they begin to encourage others, that is what makes this group wonderful! Have you considered joining a NAMI support group in your area? NAMI is a great group that seeks to break down the stigma of mental illness and provide support for those who deal with mental illness as well as their family members. Keep in touch with us and let us know how you are doing. Teresa

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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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@lesbatts Hi Leslie: I applaud your tenacity when you said, “spent most of the day in bed yesterday. I will not let myself do that today.” Breaking the habit of inactivity is a good first step for overcoming depression. Depression is one of those illnesses that does not respond well to “bed-rest.” A short nap can be good, especially when dealing with the fatigue that comes from meds, but activity will help lift the depression. Thanks for your insight, input and example! Teresa

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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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@johnhans I like what you said, “We all effect others for good sometime in our life so we would have been missed had we not been here.” This is so true! You are to be commended for seeing your value in our world (and especially at Mayo Connect). Depression sometimes blinds us to our value and keeps us from seeing our true self, but you have managed to avoid that pit-fall. I’m so glad that you chose to post. I wish you well as you affect others for good today. Perhaps we all can make this our goal – to make one positive contribution to life today! Teresa

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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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I admire you. You’ve come from such a long far away place and i can hear happiness from your post. Congratulations! You are quite an in spiration! Thanks again!

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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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I”m lucky I have some of the top hospitals in the country in my area. I went to Silver Hill in Connecticut. I was there a week but if I told them I was suicidal they would keep me, I believe for two weeks. I know you can stay there as long as you want but my insurance will only pay for two weeks. After that you pay by the month which is approximately $200,000.
I made some friends while I was there and some of them were staying for a month or two. New Canaan is an area where many people are very wealthy and can afford to pay. I would love to be able to go for two months, I could do one but I don’t think my husband would be very happy.
Another thing about going to the hospital is that you always end up with a roommate. I hate sharing a room with a stranger. I’ve been in the hospital three times, this last time (about five years ago) in Belmont Ma. and my roommate was pretty scary, I didn’t feel safe therefore if I have to go back in I’ll go to Silver Hill. Most of these programs offer day programs that are pretty helpful. My insurance will pay for that as long as I need to go. Enough babbling I just hope that eveyrone is doing the best that they can out there today.
Take care all,
Leslie

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