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.

Yes, I make jewelry, and I do lampworking which is making glass beads with glass rods, and a propane and oxygen torch. I have also been sewing since I was 14.

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JOHNHANS: Are you getting any kind of talk therapy? When combined with medication it can be very effective in dealing with life issues. Also I have found that learning meditation and yoga have both helped my stress and depression, as well as relieved some of my pain by increasing flexibility and strengthening my muscles. Most insurance will cover talk therapy and stress reduction (yoga, meditation), especially if prescribed by your doctor. I have personally done all the things I am recommending here, and they have all helped me. Good luck John!

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Meantime, I saw my pain doctor yesterday. He drug tested me to see if I have any drugs in my system other than the Tramadol and Baclofen that i have been presribed–specifically marijuana. They won’t find anything since I have followed his instructions and have not taken anything other than the medications he prescribed. Since I am still having pain in the night and all day in my right sciatic nerve all the way to my toes, he added Gabapentin to my cocktail of pain meds. I take 1 at night for 3 days, then if I’m still having pain I will take an additional pill in the morning for 3 more days. I can add another pill then if the second pill doesn’t stop the pain. If that doesn’t work I need to let him know. I took the first one last night, and i didn’t have pain until I awoke at 3am. So, I’m thinking this pill may help the problem in the long run. Im excited about the prospect of pain relief. It’s amazing the toll chronic pain takes over time. I am kranky when I have pain, I know. I also feel tired and get down much more often. I’ll be very happy to have some relief. As I said, my left side nerve pain has resolved since my back surgery on 12/22/17.

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@gailb

Meantime, I saw my pain doctor yesterday. He drug tested me to see if I have any drugs in my system other than the Tramadol and Baclofen that i have been presribed–specifically marijuana. They won’t find anything since I have followed his instructions and have not taken anything other than the medications he prescribed. Since I am still having pain in the night and all day in my right sciatic nerve all the way to my toes, he added Gabapentin to my cocktail of pain meds. I take 1 at night for 3 days, then if I’m still having pain I will take an additional pill in the morning for 3 more days. I can add another pill then if the second pill doesn’t stop the pain. If that doesn’t work I need to let him know. I took the first one last night, and i didn’t have pain until I awoke at 3am. So, I’m thinking this pill may help the problem in the long run. Im excited about the prospect of pain relief. It’s amazing the toll chronic pain takes over time. I am kranky when I have pain, I know. I also feel tired and get down much more often. I’ll be very happy to have some relief. As I said, my left side nerve pain has resolved since my back surgery on 12/22/17.

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@gailb Thanks for sharing your good news about the new pain med that is working. How wonderful to have some relief! Good for you.
Teresa

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My B.A. was in music/Bible. My music major was piano, way back in 1972, the same year we were married. I still play the piano and do other things with music, as well. I enjoy knitting, yard work, house painting and puttering around with projects with wood. Having 10 acres, with a barn,fencing, and all that goes with it tends to keep me busy.

I guess with everything I do and have, I shouldn’t be depressed, but depression doesn’t seem to live by any rules.

Jim

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@jimhd How wonderful that you fill your life with a variety of activities. That is so important! Depression is the one thing that will not get better with bed rest. Your life style shows great wisdom, Jim. Thanks for allowing us to get to know you better, you are an asset to our group here at Mayo Connect. Teresa
(PS I like what you said, “depression doesn’t seem to live by any rules.” So true!)

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@jimhd

My B.A. was in music/Bible. My music major was piano, way back in 1972, the same year we were married. I still play the piano and do other things with music, as well. I enjoy knitting, yard work, house painting and puttering around with projects with wood. Having 10 acres, with a barn,fencing, and all that goes with it tends to keep me busy.

I guess with everything I do and have, I shouldn’t be depressed, but depression doesn’t seem to live by any rules.

Jim

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It’s great that you keep busy Jim, I try to get something done each day. Also as hope does I like your saying “Depression doesn’t seem to live by the rules.”

Leslie

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@gailb

JOHNHANS: Are you getting any kind of talk therapy? When combined with medication it can be very effective in dealing with life issues. Also I have found that learning meditation and yoga have both helped my stress and depression, as well as relieved some of my pain by increasing flexibility and strengthening my muscles. Most insurance will cover talk therapy and stress reduction (yoga, meditation), especially if prescribed by your doctor. I have personally done all the things I am recommending here, and they have all helped me. Good luck John!

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I have gotten talk therapy over the years and the therapists all said they could find nothing that was causing it–it is just a genetic depression. It goes up and down, but I never get mania. I am on pills that have helped level out some of the ups and downs, but I still go into bad depression. It is just for shorter periods. I have seen no reduction in my GAD. It seems to be getting worse. I see a spychiatrist and talk with him about every two months. The problem is that I get used to the medication and now I seem to have gotten used to all the medications that I can take. Some have side effects that are contraindicated due to other conditions I have. I have neuropathy so yoga would be difficult for me. My muscles are weak due to it. Thank you for your suggestions. I do appreciate your taking the time to reply and offer some suggestions. I am glad you have found some relief.

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@gailb

JOHNHANS: Are you getting any kind of talk therapy? When combined with medication it can be very effective in dealing with life issues. Also I have found that learning meditation and yoga have both helped my stress and depression, as well as relieved some of my pain by increasing flexibility and strengthening my muscles. Most insurance will cover talk therapy and stress reduction (yoga, meditation), especially if prescribed by your doctor. I have personally done all the things I am recommending here, and they have all helped me. Good luck John!

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@johnhans
Depression wears a person down. When I’m more depressed than usual, I just want to stay in bed, or in the recliner, shopping for bargains, looking things up. Normally, I just go through life slowly, do a little bit of work, do just what has to be done. On Mondays, I’m committed to visiting 4 Hospice patients, so I leave home and get back between 5 and 6. Sadie is always with me, and during the visiting, she makes a lot of people smile. That’s my only regular weekday commitment, but I have a doctor’s appointment most weeks. On Sunday, we leave home at 9:30, go to church, and spend the afternoon shopping and resting in the car at a park. I walk with Sadie at the park, so she can get some exercise before time for the evening service at church. In the evening service, I play the piano and lead the worship time. We get home at 8, so it’s a really long day. Often my feet hurt up to 6 or 7 when I spend a day in town, whether it’s on Sunday, or a day we have appointments. Any day we go to a doctor, it means a day of shopping, mostly at thrift stores.

I tend to say a lot to express a thought. Being depressed doesn’t necessarily shut me down like it used to. I just do what I have to, without the pleasure or enjoyment I used to.

Do you have any volunteer work that you do? I’ve found that helping others has brought back a little sense of meaning to my life. Life was meaningless, and I felt worthless, hopeless and like I was a burden to my family from 2005 until this last year, when I’ve made some progress with my mental health. It would be great if there were a pill or a magic formula that would instantly stop depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

But, until that happens, life goes on a minute at a time.

Jim

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@gailb

JOHNHANS: Are you getting any kind of talk therapy? When combined with medication it can be very effective in dealing with life issues. Also I have found that learning meditation and yoga have both helped my stress and depression, as well as relieved some of my pain by increasing flexibility and strengthening my muscles. Most insurance will cover talk therapy and stress reduction (yoga, meditation), especially if prescribed by your doctor. I have personally done all the things I am recommending here, and they have all helped me. Good luck John!

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To: @jimhd @gailb @lesbatts @johnhans @safetyshield @johnjames @georgette12 @rspaulling Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading your posts and I’m so pleased to see how you share your feelings, your weakness but most of all your strengths as you have dealt with depression as well as physical problems for many years. Your responses and replies to each other offer encouragement and new ideas which are so important in dealing with mental health issues. You also offer hope to the Mayo Connect Community as a whole. Just needed to say a big “THANK YOU” to you all. You have all blessed me. Hugs to each of you, Teresa

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@gailb

JOHNHANS: Are you getting any kind of talk therapy? When combined with medication it can be very effective in dealing with life issues. Also I have found that learning meditation and yoga have both helped my stress and depression, as well as relieved some of my pain by increasing flexibility and strengthening my muscles. Most insurance will cover talk therapy and stress reduction (yoga, meditation), especially if prescribed by your doctor. I have personally done all the things I am recommending here, and they have all helped me. Good luck John!

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Hi Jim, as I mentioned previously I have been on some 30 drugs for my Bipolar Disorder. Some medications would work for a while then I’d get sick again. My doctor finally tried Parnate which is an older class of drugs know as MAOI’s. Some doctors don’t like to prescribe them as they have drug and food contraindications. I’ve been on them for at least 10 years and they are still working. I also eat some of the forbidden food and have never had a problem. It gets high marks from people that are on it. Look it up on Web MD, or RX list. It works great for atypical depression.
Don’t get me wrong now, I still get depressed now and again but it’s usually short and mild.
Good luck Jim I hope you’re feeling well soon.

Leslie

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@gailb

JOHNHANS: Are you getting any kind of talk therapy? When combined with medication it can be very effective in dealing with life issues. Also I have found that learning meditation and yoga have both helped my stress and depression, as well as relieved some of my pain by increasing flexibility and strengthening my muscles. Most insurance will cover talk therapy and stress reduction (yoga, meditation), especially if prescribed by your doctor. I have personally done all the things I am recommending here, and they have all helped me. Good luck John!

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Thank you so much for your kind words. I always learn from communicating with others. And, I love sharing things I have learned over the years.

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@gailb

JOHNHANS: Are you getting any kind of talk therapy? When combined with medication it can be very effective in dealing with life issues. Also I have found that learning meditation and yoga have both helped my stress and depression, as well as relieved some of my pain by increasing flexibility and strengthening my muscles. Most insurance will cover talk therapy and stress reduction (yoga, meditation), especially if prescribed by your doctor. I have personally done all the things I am recommending here, and they have all helped me. Good luck John!

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No I do not volunteer. Because of my disabilities I find that places are not willing to take me as a volunteer. I have tried and been rejected. I need to use a walker and also use paratransit which is limited in where it goes so that makes it hard for me to get into any kind of volunteer work. I need to have someone come in and help with the housework because of my disabilities so I am limited in that respect. I wish I could afford a retirement community where they have scheduled activities where I do not need to go out, but those places are way to expensive for me. I did recheck the latest list of services for senior services in my area and found even less than before. The only one listed does not even operate in my county. Otherwise it is nursing homes and retirement communities.
I am glad that you are able to help out others in their last days. That is a great thing to do. I am also glad that you have a church to go to. My church closed up and I have not been able to find another where the paratransit goes as weekend service area is reduced. I will keep looking as I am not one to give up. No one said life was easy, we all have our problems to deal with. As you said life goes on minute by minute. Just like it has for all the many previous years I have made it through.

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Been off posting for awhile but i did want to take time to say why and tell you i am still with all of you in spirit and my thoughts are constently with all my new friends on this forum . i seem to be plummeting downward and have stayed away so i would not spread my negativity and increasing depression. But i do want to acknowooedge y8urm posrpts. I cannot seem to actuaoo6 put sentencesn togeth3r to spell corr3c5lymwhat i am trying to swy. I can5mw33m to g3t the letters together anr i canno5 correct them as its too frustratng. So i hope you can figure out my response.
Jim, please dont think you should not be depressed. You feel what you feel and i have found it better to honor my feelings no matter what.
I find that its less stressful to be honest with myself about me…and not worry one bit about you or someone else thinking you should feel other than what you reaaly feel.be who you are and accept yourself andnbe proud of overcoming your challenges. And are continuing to overcome, or maybe even accepting where yiu are at the time. Even though you have these challenges, pleas3 know you are perfect the way you are…whatever that may be at thentime.

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Johnhans, here is anthoughtnabout v8ounterring. You might volunteering on line . i haveminvestigated myself andmit just requires a tekephone. Imseem to be h hmhaving too much troublr writ7ng.nsoni have tonsign offl .mineombelieve. I think mynsons suicide plus. Recent events that are toomstressful hav3njust put me over thenerg3.ni intook 4 valium anr i will go to sleep.

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