Long-term depression

Posted by seeker70 @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.

@jimhd

I found myself in a dark place I'd never been 12 years ago, a deep hole of depression and suicide. It was a tortuous climb out, that took several years. I lived on the edge of the hole for some time after, and sometimes I find myself back close to the edge again. Such was the case a year ago. I think I had started into the hole, and really didn't want to live. There hadn't been a therapist available to me for 18 months, though if the director of the behavioral health department at the main hospital had seen me, I might have been able to get an appointment with him, even though it's an hour drive. I had to see him for a required evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I kind of came apart in his office. I'd had to wait for 3 months to get that appointment. What he saw concerned him but he was booked three weeks out. That's a long time for someone in my condition to wait. But I made it for six weeks until a therapist finally came to my town. I know he saved my life.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I've been feeling times of sadness lately, which is something fairly new, and I haven't figured out how to deal with them. The therapist told me today that depression tends to suppress emotions, so when we feel one, or I should say, when I feel one, I don't know what to do with it. It's been a long time since I have felt anything.

Jim

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@desirea You are not alone with this.

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Thanks @parus I've been taking it now for 10 yrs.

Liked by Parus

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@jimhd

I found myself in a dark place I'd never been 12 years ago, a deep hole of depression and suicide. It was a tortuous climb out, that took several years. I lived on the edge of the hole for some time after, and sometimes I find myself back close to the edge again. Such was the case a year ago. I think I had started into the hole, and really didn't want to live. There hadn't been a therapist available to me for 18 months, though if the director of the behavioral health department at the main hospital had seen me, I might have been able to get an appointment with him, even though it's an hour drive. I had to see him for a required evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I kind of came apart in his office. I'd had to wait for 3 months to get that appointment. What he saw concerned him but he was booked three weeks out. That's a long time for someone in my condition to wait. But I made it for six weeks until a therapist finally came to my town. I know he saved my life.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I've been feeling times of sadness lately, which is something fairly new, and I haven't figured out how to deal with them. The therapist told me today that depression tends to suppress emotions, so when we feel one, or I should say, when I feel one, I don't know what to do with it. It's been a long time since I have felt anything.

Jim

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@parus Thank You. I am so used to it now, I forget.

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It sure sounds like you are describing my life. Also, I am so sorry to hear some of the comments of others, yet they let me see that I am not alone in certain feelings. My depression goes back many, many years to when I was in school. I had no idea what it was. I thought there was something wrong with me. I can remember being so tired, yet having so much anxiety over the thoughts of going out with people. I was convinced I was "freak" and had no future. Of course, I could not talk with anybody about it then — had to hold it in so my folks and friends would think I was okay — but I wasn't. In the last few years, I look back on my life and describe it like traveling along a base line on a graph. Days above that line are in the light, days below the line are in the darkness. It is so easy to get pulled down below that line yet so very hard to climb out of it. Most days I am just so tired of it. Someone mentioned pulling away from church because it triggers PTSD for them. For me, it triggers a deep, overwhelming sadness due to two factors. First, I believed that with prayer for His blessings on me and my family, everything would be okay. That belief was crushed when my son took his own life quite uexpectedly as a freshman in college. That was a total shock that causes me utmost confusion even today over what happeened. Secondly, I am emotional at church because I have so much deep rooted guilt for feelng the way I do about it. Why can't I get the faith back that I once had? I struggle with the concept of prayer now. Why did God not hear my pleadings to protect my sons? Guilt and sadness generally prevail. Nobody said life would be easy. There are other events in life that pull at me as well. One day at a time is about all I can deal with any more.

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@tbaxter33

I so appreciate the articulate way you expressed your feelings. The idea that depression is "like traveling along a baseline on a graph" was very poignant. I am so sorry that you have experienced so much pain, but expressing that pain is a good thing for you and it will also encourage others to feel their pain as well.

Is there anything that helps you to alleviate that pain (or go above the baseline of the graph)?

I look forward to you continuing to post.

Teresa

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Teresa, thanks for the reply. I have been on various meds for years. Several have been tried. I cannot say that any have made a profound difference. For me, I poured myself into my work in the years following the loss of our son. I worked many hours per week and more than 50% of weekends. I felt like I had that part of my life under control and was proud for once. Then, I got word that I was being moved to a "corporate" position and they were giving my job to a much younger gentleman who I spent a few years training and mentoring. So, I concluded then that I had failed as a father and now failed at my career. Believe me, for two years people have tried to convince me otherwise, but I live it, I know how it works, and I just latch onto the truth. So, no, I don't have a magic solution for finding joy in life. I wish I did. I am blessed in so many ways, for which I have abundant gratitude, but that does not get me over the big mountains. Of course, I am grateful that I am generally able to function daily. Some days it is a struggle. It brings to mind the old saying .. "fake it till you make it!". I believe that originated with a whole different set of issues, but it seems pretty applicable to living with severe depression as well. Make yourself get up and go every day. It is painful, but the alternative is far worse I believe.

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@jimhd

I found myself in a dark place I'd never been 12 years ago, a deep hole of depression and suicide. It was a tortuous climb out, that took several years. I lived on the edge of the hole for some time after, and sometimes I find myself back close to the edge again. Such was the case a year ago. I think I had started into the hole, and really didn't want to live. There hadn't been a therapist available to me for 18 months, though if the director of the behavioral health department at the main hospital had seen me, I might have been able to get an appointment with him, even though it's an hour drive. I had to see him for a required evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I kind of came apart in his office. I'd had to wait for 3 months to get that appointment. What he saw concerned him but he was booked three weeks out. That's a long time for someone in my condition to wait. But I made it for six weeks until a therapist finally came to my town. I know he saved my life.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I've been feeling times of sadness lately, which is something fairly new, and I haven't figured out how to deal with them. The therapist told me today that depression tends to suppress emotions, so when we feel one, or I should say, when I feel one, I don't know what to do with it. It's been a long time since I have felt anything.

Jim

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@kdo0827

Hmm. I was thinking maybe the Gabapentin was making me hungry all the time. If it's the Remeron, I guess I need to work harder on exercising my will power.

Jim

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@jimhd

I found myself in a dark place I'd never been 12 years ago, a deep hole of depression and suicide. It was a tortuous climb out, that took several years. I lived on the edge of the hole for some time after, and sometimes I find myself back close to the edge again. Such was the case a year ago. I think I had started into the hole, and really didn't want to live. There hadn't been a therapist available to me for 18 months, though if the director of the behavioral health department at the main hospital had seen me, I might have been able to get an appointment with him, even though it's an hour drive. I had to see him for a required evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I kind of came apart in his office. I'd had to wait for 3 months to get that appointment. What he saw concerned him but he was booked three weeks out. That's a long time for someone in my condition to wait. But I made it for six weeks until a therapist finally came to my town. I know he saved my life.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I've been feeling times of sadness lately, which is something fairly new, and I haven't figured out how to deal with them. The therapist told me today that depression tends to suppress emotions, so when we feel one, or I should say, when I feel one, I don't know what to do with it. It's been a long time since I have felt anything.

Jim

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@lisalucier

I feel neither the highs nor the lows.

Jim

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@jimhd

I found myself in a dark place I'd never been 12 years ago, a deep hole of depression and suicide. It was a tortuous climb out, that took several years. I lived on the edge of the hole for some time after, and sometimes I find myself back close to the edge again. Such was the case a year ago. I think I had started into the hole, and really didn't want to live. There hadn't been a therapist available to me for 18 months, though if the director of the behavioral health department at the main hospital had seen me, I might have been able to get an appointment with him, even though it's an hour drive. I had to see him for a required evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I kind of came apart in his office. I'd had to wait for 3 months to get that appointment. What he saw concerned him but he was booked three weeks out. That's a long time for someone in my condition to wait. But I made it for six weeks until a therapist finally came to my town. I know he saved my life.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I've been feeling times of sadness lately, which is something fairly new, and I haven't figured out how to deal with them. The therapist told me today that depression tends to suppress emotions, so when we feel one, or I should say, when I feel one, I don't know what to do with it. It's been a long time since I have felt anything.

Jim

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I HAVE A SEVERE VISION ISSUE. THAT IS WHY I NEED TO USE CAPS !

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@gman007

@jimhd, I have had the same issues with being numb and my psych is slowly getting me off klonopin as she says that could well be the reason. It is no fun coming off of it either. Probably because I have done it several times, I find stopping the klonopin more difficult emotionally than the synthetic morphine I have used for 10+ years for pain. My psych (I just started with a new one) also thinks I may need to lower my zoloft dosage if I really do want to feel again, but like you, that is a semi scary proposition. I have been numb for so long that I don't know how I will handle the emotions I do feel, but I am willing to risk some short-term discomfort to be able to feel real joy with my children and grandchildren, and of course, my wife. Gary

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@gman007

I talked with the therapist about this yesterday, and I'll be talking more next week. It can be hard to distinguish between meds and depression, which one causes the numbness. I'm almost 68, and I've been numb for a long time, but especially for 15 years. I'm asking myself if I even want to feel.

Jim

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@jimhd

I found myself in a dark place I'd never been 12 years ago, a deep hole of depression and suicide. It was a tortuous climb out, that took several years. I lived on the edge of the hole for some time after, and sometimes I find myself back close to the edge again. Such was the case a year ago. I think I had started into the hole, and really didn't want to live. There hadn't been a therapist available to me for 18 months, though if the director of the behavioral health department at the main hospital had seen me, I might have been able to get an appointment with him, even though it's an hour drive. I had to see him for a required evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I kind of came apart in his office. I'd had to wait for 3 months to get that appointment. What he saw concerned him but he was booked three weeks out. That's a long time for someone in my condition to wait. But I made it for six weeks until a therapist finally came to my town. I know he saved my life.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I've been feeling times of sadness lately, which is something fairly new, and I haven't figured out how to deal with them. The therapist told me today that depression tends to suppress emotions, so when we feel one, or I should say, when I feel one, I don't know what to do with it. It's been a long time since I have felt anything.

Jim

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Hi, @donny67 — please just go ahead and do whatever you need to do, in that case. We want to be sensitive to your vision challenges, and we'd absolutely like to have you keep participating with us in this community with whatever text works for you.

How did things go with the anxiety today?

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@tbaxter33

It sure sounds like you are describing my life. Also, I am so sorry to hear some of the comments of others, yet they let me see that I am not alone in certain feelings. My depression goes back many, many years to when I was in school. I had no idea what it was. I thought there was something wrong with me. I can remember being so tired, yet having so much anxiety over the thoughts of going out with people. I was convinced I was "freak" and had no future. Of course, I could not talk with anybody about it then — had to hold it in so my folks and friends would think I was okay — but I wasn't. In the last few years, I look back on my life and describe it like traveling along a base line on a graph. Days above that line are in the light, days below the line are in the darkness. It is so easy to get pulled down below that line yet so very hard to climb out of it. Most days I am just so tired of it. Someone mentioned pulling away from church because it triggers PTSD for them. For me, it triggers a deep, overwhelming sadness due to two factors. First, I believed that with prayer for His blessings on me and my family, everything would be okay. That belief was crushed when my son took his own life quite uexpectedly as a freshman in college. That was a total shock that causes me utmost confusion even today over what happeened. Secondly, I am emotional at church because I have so much deep rooted guilt for feelng the way I do about it. Why can't I get the faith back that I once had? I struggle with the concept of prayer now. Why did God not hear my pleadings to protect my sons? Guilt and sadness generally prevail. Nobody said life would be easy. There are other events in life that pull at me as well. One day at a time is about all I can deal with any more.

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@tbaxter33

I'm sorry for the pain your son's death has dealt you. Losing a son or daughter is one of the more difficult troubles to bear.

Suicide is a subject that people don't like to talk about much. I've learned that the word suicide is usually a real conversation stopper.

I understand about prayer. I've prayed for lots of things that never happened. My wife and I read a book together as a night time devotional. The one we're reading right now is about prayer, by Philip Yancey. If you can get it, I'd recommend it.

It was while I was a pastor that I attempted suicide several times. People have a hard time understanding or reconciling that with the image of a pastor. I had to retire because of depression and suicidal ideation. I couldn't do my job anymore. I was disabled by my poor mental health. So I know a little about guilt, too, Bax.

I believe that I was depressed long before it was diagnosed, too. Childhood is rough today, with all of the evil around our kids, but it wasn't a walk in the park for many of us seniors. Depression and suicide rates are highest among men over 65. I suppose it's at least partly because we were raised to stuff our feelings. Real boys don't cry, and all that.

My experience with the baseline is that mine is lower than average. My good days are what most people would call bad ones. My bad days – well, I probably don't need to describe them in this group.

Let's keep our conversation going. I have to stop now and get ready for bed.

Jim

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@gman007

@jimhd, I have had the same issues with being numb and my psych is slowly getting me off klonopin as she says that could well be the reason. It is no fun coming off of it either. Probably because I have done it several times, I find stopping the klonopin more difficult emotionally than the synthetic morphine I have used for 10+ years for pain. My psych (I just started with a new one) also thinks I may need to lower my zoloft dosage if I really do want to feel again, but like you, that is a semi scary proposition. I have been numb for so long that I don't know how I will handle the emotions I do feel, but I am willing to risk some short-term discomfort to be able to feel real joy with my children and grandchildren, and of course, my wife. Gary

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@jimhd, Good luck with that. I think there is absolutely evidence of the fact that some of us have chemical imbalances that do not allow us to process feelings in a "normal" way and that is what meds are for. I have been doing a lot of work on understanding how I think and how to change the way I think. The book "Mindfulness:An eight week plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World". It has helped me tremendously in being able to harness my anxiety and let it go – definitely more work to do, but I never believed before that I would ever be able to get this far. I hope your talk therapy either allows you to feel in a positive way! Gary

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@jimhd

I found myself in a dark place I'd never been 12 years ago, a deep hole of depression and suicide. It was a tortuous climb out, that took several years. I lived on the edge of the hole for some time after, and sometimes I find myself back close to the edge again. Such was the case a year ago. I think I had started into the hole, and really didn't want to live. There hadn't been a therapist available to me for 18 months, though if the director of the behavioral health department at the main hospital had seen me, I might have been able to get an appointment with him, even though it's an hour drive. I had to see him for a required evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I kind of came apart in his office. I'd had to wait for 3 months to get that appointment. What he saw concerned him but he was booked three weeks out. That's a long time for someone in my condition to wait. But I made it for six weeks until a therapist finally came to my town. I know he saved my life.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I've been feeling times of sadness lately, which is something fairly new, and I haven't figured out how to deal with them. The therapist told me today that depression tends to suppress emotions, so when we feel one, or I should say, when I feel one, I don't know what to do with it. It's been a long time since I have felt anything.

Jim

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My daughter took it before and gained weight also. I certainly need to work on My willpower and not give in. It's hard when you're already on a limited diet. I'm going to try much harder. Have a blessed day.

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@jimhd

I found myself in a dark place I'd never been 12 years ago, a deep hole of depression and suicide. It was a tortuous climb out, that took several years. I lived on the edge of the hole for some time after, and sometimes I find myself back close to the edge again. Such was the case a year ago. I think I had started into the hole, and really didn't want to live. There hadn't been a therapist available to me for 18 months, though if the director of the behavioral health department at the main hospital had seen me, I might have been able to get an appointment with him, even though it's an hour drive. I had to see him for a required evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I kind of came apart in his office. I'd had to wait for 3 months to get that appointment. What he saw concerned him but he was booked three weeks out. That's a long time for someone in my condition to wait. But I made it for six weeks until a therapist finally came to my town. I know he saved my life.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. I've been feeling times of sadness lately, which is something fairly new, and I haven't figured out how to deal with them. The therapist told me today that depression tends to suppress emotions, so when we feel one, or I should say, when I feel one, I don't know what to do with it. It's been a long time since I have felt anything.

Jim

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THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING ! THE DR. CHANGED MY MED DOSE FROM TWO 0.5 MG XANAX DAILY TO THREE DAILY. MY ANXIETY HAS BEEN AT LEAST HALF OF WHAT IT HAD BEEN FOR THESE THREE DAYS NOW. I JUST HOPE IT LAST. VERY KIND OF YOU TO ASK. THANKS AGAIN !

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