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seeker70
@seeker70

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 11, 2017

Long-term depression

Posted by @seeker70, Oct 11, 2017

I have been depressed, when I think about it, since I was a kid (I”m a senior now!) I have been treated off and on with meds and minimal talk therapy, but nothing changes. In the past it has been underlying but as I grow older it is becoming more intense. People ask: ‘why are you depressed? I never get depressed, just get a better attitude’. Or they don’t hear my (probably passive-aggressive) cries for help. Or they say: ‘what do you have to be depressed about?’ Actually although I agree with these opinions to a certain extent, it does not address the problem that depression is not a ‘why’, not is it a ‘choice’. It’s almost like being gay, you just are. Maybe I should just accept it (guess that’s what I have done for decades 🙂 But I don’t want to. I want to feel better now. Earlier in my life I was able to enjoy things, although the depression would keep popping out. But now I seem to have trouble enjoying anything, including my own family, and it’s harder and harder to ‘push depression down’ once it’s popped. So I have longer periods of depression and sadness and sleeplessness and lonliness, an shorter periods of being able to enjoy my life. Or want something. Or look forward to anything. I will say too that I have as much to be happy about as I do to be unhappy – but as I said, it’s not a ‘why’. I’m looking for people to explore this idea, and to help each other begin to overcome. Or maybe it’s just me and there’s no one else who feels this way — 😉 Thank you for reading all this.

REPLY

@seeker70 – I totally connect with what you say, and I know it would be helpful to me to enter a conversation with you. Trouble is, I’m part way through a cold, and I’m just not up to writing or thinking. Give me a couple of days and I’ll try to remember to join in. I’ve been going through a month or so of increased depression, and being sick right now is the pits.

Jim

a beast to be sure

@jimhd

@seeker70 – I totally connect with what you say, and I know it would be helpful to me to enter a conversation with you. Trouble is, I’m part way through a cold, and I’m just not up to writing or thinking. Give me a couple of days and I’ll try to remember to join in. I’ve been going through a month or so of increased depression, and being sick right now is the pits.

Jim

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Thanks so much for the reply — feel better soon!

Having the diagnosis of depression is a curse when it comes to getting medical help. This is seen in my chart now that everyone communicates they are quick to mention this do blood work and go no further. I no longer even try. I do not have a history a physical pain with depression. They are not going to listen. Just do my best and maybe the pain will improve. Their solution-talk to a therapist. Now my pain is blamed on depression because all blood work is okay. The run of the mill stuff. Go a way old and depressed person as we have better things to do like help patients without depression. Doomed and damned by PCP. I am going to the grocery and find a smiling face.

Hi Seeker 70,

By no means are you alone in your desperate wish to come out from under the dark cloud and see the sun again (this is how I visualize depression sometimes). I, too, have been dealing with some level of depression since I was a teenager. I have been taking medications (too many) for several years and seeing a therapist every week as well. Sometimes I feel so trapped in this life of misery. I also have several chronic physical problems that make it hard to live a ” normal” life and feed the depression.

I think there are two major things I want to say. One is that you must believe and let others know that depression is an illness just like diabetes or heart disease. You didn’t bring this on yourself and you can’t just “change your attitude” and make it go away. I was told to “pull up my boot straps” and get on with life, when I was a teenager and it just shows that people need to be educated about mental health. One thing I’m involved in that helps me is advocacy for people who have mental health concerns. I work on an anti-stigma campaign in my county and am involved in peer support (being with others who face similar struggles and providing support to one another).

This leads to my second point. You are very intuitive and obviously have not lost hope as you are reaching out to others for support. For me, this is one of the most important things that I can do to help with my recovery. It’s difficult, though, because I haven’t found many people of my age (I’m 55) who are interested in listening to a “boring old sad woman” (this is how I feel about myself a lot… part of my depressive symptoms include very low self esteem and negative self image). However, when I find someone who wants to listen and wants someone to listen to them, it’s marvelous and hopeful.

So, I would be glad to talk with you some more, if you are still wanting to discuss what you’re experiencing , etc. Let me know with a post here and we could possibly exchange email addresses. I often have to remind myself so I think it’s important to say this to you…You are not alone! Take care.

Seems I am not alone in the dark cloud. Sad others deal with it too.

@sharlynn62 I am 66 and there is nothing anyone else can do. It is up to me. If I cannot use my CBT skills then what else is there? I am 66 and I do not mention the “D” word to anyone. I feel like a leper in society. I surely will get back on track. Currently I lack the desire to even try. Yup, listening to the depression demon. Native Americans left the tribe when they were no longer of value. Welcome to my pitiful world.

Hi Sharlynn62,
I’ve read the sharing between you and others in our group. I’ve been depressed for so many times that it became a comfortable space for me to occupy as I knew where I was and what was happening. I learned to feel the pain and continued to function after several years of suffering. I would put on my actors face and go out into the world and fool those around me although I was crying inside. My Father would tell me that I was my worse enemy. I was so sick that I didn’t understand. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned is that once I accept my illness, I have been able to work on the illness by people who are willing to help me recover. These people are professionals and others who share the same sicknesses and hope is instilled. I’ve learned that acceptance and hope are two verbs that require action on my part. Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression. I have no idea what your mental diagnosis is and the medications you take. Hopefully, your Doctor can help you with this portion of treatment. The best to you.
charlie75

@charlie75

Hi Sharlynn62,
I’ve read the sharing between you and others in our group. I’ve been depressed for so many times that it became a comfortable space for me to occupy as I knew where I was and what was happening. I learned to feel the pain and continued to function after several years of suffering. I would put on my actors face and go out into the world and fool those around me although I was crying inside. My Father would tell me that I was my worse enemy. I was so sick that I didn’t understand. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned is that once I accept my illness, I have been able to work on the illness by people who are willing to help me recover. These people are professionals and others who share the same sicknesses and hope is instilled. I’ve learned that acceptance and hope are two verbs that require action on my part. Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression. I have no idea what your mental diagnosis is and the medications you take. Hopefully, your Doctor can help you with this portion of treatment. The best to you.
charlie75

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Hello @charlie75

Thank you for your encouraging words to @sharlynn62 and all of the others in this discussion group. I especially like what you said about, “Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression.” How very true!

In the midst of depression, it is hard to put those ideas into action – but then it is also hard to stay depressed.

Teresa

@charlie75

Hi Sharlynn62,
I’ve read the sharing between you and others in our group. I’ve been depressed for so many times that it became a comfortable space for me to occupy as I knew where I was and what was happening. I learned to feel the pain and continued to function after several years of suffering. I would put on my actors face and go out into the world and fool those around me although I was crying inside. My Father would tell me that I was my worse enemy. I was so sick that I didn’t understand. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned is that once I accept my illness, I have been able to work on the illness by people who are willing to help me recover. These people are professionals and others who share the same sicknesses and hope is instilled. I’ve learned that acceptance and hope are two verbs that require action on my part. Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression. I have no idea what your mental diagnosis is and the medications you take. Hopefully, your Doctor can help you with this portion of treatment. The best to you.
charlie75

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Hi Teresa,
Thank you for the kind words. I hope you are doing OK and feeling good. Our depression hurts and the dark spaces are hiding places. At least most of is come out of the hiding places when we are ready and have gained more strength for the next time. I meet with a CBT group twice a week, and I’ve learned to talk about my feelings which has lifted the periods of depression due to the caring and love I receive my group.
charlie75

@charlie75

Hi Sharlynn62,
I’ve read the sharing between you and others in our group. I’ve been depressed for so many times that it became a comfortable space for me to occupy as I knew where I was and what was happening. I learned to feel the pain and continued to function after several years of suffering. I would put on my actors face and go out into the world and fool those around me although I was crying inside. My Father would tell me that I was my worse enemy. I was so sick that I didn’t understand. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned is that once I accept my illness, I have been able to work on the illness by people who are willing to help me recover. These people are professionals and others who share the same sicknesses and hope is instilled. I’ve learned that acceptance and hope are two verbs that require action on my part. Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression. I have no idea what your mental diagnosis is and the medications you take. Hopefully, your Doctor can help you with this portion of treatment. The best to you.
charlie75

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@charlie75 That is wonderful! I’m sure the CBT group has helped immensely.

Teresa

Hi hopeful33250,
Thanks for mentioning my reply. It’s good to know that we have friends that share within this network. Miracles work thru people by Grace. May you be blessed and find happiness
charlie75

@charlie75

Hi Sharlynn62,
I’ve read the sharing between you and others in our group. I’ve been depressed for so many times that it became a comfortable space for me to occupy as I knew where I was and what was happening. I learned to feel the pain and continued to function after several years of suffering. I would put on my actors face and go out into the world and fool those around me although I was crying inside. My Father would tell me that I was my worse enemy. I was so sick that I didn’t understand. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned is that once I accept my illness, I have been able to work on the illness by people who are willing to help me recover. These people are professionals and others who share the same sicknesses and hope is instilled. I’ve learned that acceptance and hope are two verbs that require action on my part. Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression. I have no idea what your mental diagnosis is and the medications you take. Hopefully, your Doctor can help you with this portion of treatment. The best to you.
charlie75

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Hi Charlie,
Thanks for sharing your experiences in response to my post . I can really relate to what you said about “putting on the actor’s face”. Even though I have accepted my illness, I still have to put on the face so I can function in the community, either working or volunteering. Because I work with others who have mental health challenges, I can often “take off my mask” and share things with them. I’m very involved in peer support and believe it can be extremely helpful, along with therapy and medication, if that is what a person chooses. I applaud you for taking action and working on having hope and optimism. I really struggle with this after being depressed for so long and have so many other problems, mostly physical that make it hard to live the kind of life I want. I try to take it a day at a time; sometimes an hour at a time, if I need to. I find that getting out and doing things that help other people really helps with my recovery. It gives me a sense of purpose and takes my mind off of myself.
I appreciate reading about what you’ve found works for you. I am continually learning from interacting with other people. I hope that some of the things that I write or talk about are helpful to others. I wish you well on your recovery journey.
Sharon

@charlie75

Hi Sharlynn62,
I’ve read the sharing between you and others in our group. I’ve been depressed for so many times that it became a comfortable space for me to occupy as I knew where I was and what was happening. I learned to feel the pain and continued to function after several years of suffering. I would put on my actors face and go out into the world and fool those around me although I was crying inside. My Father would tell me that I was my worse enemy. I was so sick that I didn’t understand. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned is that once I accept my illness, I have been able to work on the illness by people who are willing to help me recover. These people are professionals and others who share the same sicknesses and hope is instilled. I’ve learned that acceptance and hope are two verbs that require action on my part. Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression. I have no idea what your mental diagnosis is and the medications you take. Hopefully, your Doctor can help you with this portion of treatment. The best to you.
charlie75

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I agree, @sharlynn62, the more we share, the more we learn. I’m so glad that you are posting as well in this discussion. I know that helping others always gives us more than what we give!

Teresa

Hi Sharon,
Your reply is very well taken. I can identify with your feelings and statements. You have really helped me. Thanks for taking the time to share.
charlie75

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