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.

I hear you. I feel the same way. Also what do they mean when they say you get better. Likes it's an sickness you recover from. You never do. It's like you're in a cage

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@sharlynn62

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.

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I hear you. Im going to be 57. I've suffered since 4th grade. I have OCD and anxiety and depression

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@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 don't understand what they mean by getting better. Who gets better? I have never gotten better. I take several meds. My doctor just sits there listens smiles at me and writes things down. I've tried 2 therapist 2 different Dr several different meds. Im going to be 57. I've had OCD anxiety and depression since 4th grade. I've never have been better.

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@lisalucier

Hello, @stressedmesseddepressed — I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You and @jimhd both have a great idea about stretching and its relaxing properties.

I thought you might be interested in some information Mayo Clinic has written on stretching:

http://mayocl.in/2mbjmDA (stretching essentials)

http://mayocl.in/2CGZLmg (slide show with guide to stretches)

Is stretching something you practice regularly for your mental (and/or physical) health?

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Yoga Instructor Peggy Cappy has clients in their 90s who had all kinds of arthritis, mobility issues and this loosened them up. She's on PBS quite a bit. The stress relief / sleep CD, I've never heard to the end, about 20 minutes. I'm always asleep before it ends! I play it on my portable CD player. Feel better soon! (Stretch gently.)
https://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Rest-Peggy-Cappy-Arthritis/dp/B00S3JC5GC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1521206393&sr=8-2&keywords=peggy+cappy
https://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Cappys-Stress-Relief-Relaxation/dp/B000VZK69E/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521206736&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=peggy+cappy+sleep+for+the+rest+of+your+life
https://www.amazon.com/Classical-Stretch-Reversing-Beginners-Strengthening/dp/B01HQSYXE2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1521207910&sr=8-3&keywords=aging+backwards

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@lisalucier

Hello, @stressedmesseddepressed — I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You and @jimhd both have a great idea about stretching and its relaxing properties.

I thought you might be interested in some information Mayo Clinic has written on stretching:

http://mayocl.in/2mbjmDA (stretching essentials)

http://mayocl.in/2CGZLmg (slide show with guide to stretches)

Is stretching something you practice regularly for your mental (and/or physical) health?

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We just need to start slowly whether it's walking or yoga. I can only walk for about 15 minutes at a time now, and I started at 5 minutes of walking for every other day. A few times I've had to wait 2 or 3 days between walks due to pain and tiredness at first. It took 6 weeks to work up to 15 minutes 3 days a week. I think moving, even though painful at first, is helpful. You could also try using some CBD oil or other pain reducing rub before and after your walk.

I love yoga. I do Restorative Yoga, in which you use lots of props to help with the poses. Also, most of the poses are done while lying down on a thick (or a double) yoga pad. I use bolsters, blocks, belts, sand bags, blankets, dowel bars and the wall to assist with the poses and allow me to do them with the least amount of pressure and as much stretching as I'm comfortable with. I had to learn to stop being competitive with others in my class, and go at my own speed. I particularly liked the end of class when we spent 20 minutes after finding our most comfortable resting pose, in meditation. I always left feeling refreshed and relaxed. I am not doing Yoga currently, but will begin again in April. I am much more flexible since I have done yoga. We also do poses to increase our balance and specifically work on arthritic hands, feet and toes. I highly recommend giving yoga a try.

I also do ART, Active Release Technique therapy with my chiropractor. I have written about this therapy before as it is what freed me from the pain in my right hip, lumbar, thigh, knee, calf, ankle and toes. I was astonished that it worked so well and so quickly! Within 3 weeks of sessions twice a week, my pain was nearly gone. I had tried everything to be rid of the pain, including acupuncture, physical therapy for several months, walking, massage, and chiropractic manipulation none of which worked. I had an L5-S1 laminectomy in December 2016, which relieved the same acute pain on my left side. However my surgeon said that my L4 problems would require rods and pins. He recommended that I try everything less invasive first. I know that once you have to do fusion, it is required for other disks as well sooner or later.

My family has genetic back issues including Degenerative Disk Disease, so I have watched my older brothers go down this road ahead of me. So, I decided to follow my surgeon's recommendation.

I read about ART on Mayo Connect and when I researched it, I thought it was worth trying. It works on muscles and nerves that get bound together after trauma of some kind. That trauma can include going through lots of pain, or surgery of some kind, a fall, a car accident, or an injury from childhood. I have PTSD from a traumatic childhood, so lots of psychic and physical pain from those experiences. (I'm curious if others of us have PTSD as well? I know a couple of others commenting here have mentioned it.) ART releases the nerves that are bound and freed me from that chronic pain I'd had for years off and on and then constantly for 2 years. You need to find the most qualified and trained chiropractor to do this, so some research in your area is needed. My chiropractor, Dr. Todd Andrews, also does sports medicine and Total Body Fitness. He's currently working on my TMJ and neck issues. It's helping beyond anything I could imagine. I will do/try almost anything to be free to go places and do things that pain had previously prevented.

Gailb
Volunteer Mentor

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I wish I could wave a magic wand to relieve your depression, fears and anxiety @parus @shoregal45 and @swanie. I wrote about what has worked for me, but I recognize that it may not work for you. Being on Citalopram also diminished my depression, panic and anxiety long enough for me to be ready to find and use ways to relieve most of my physical pain. I remember how I felt when I was mired in my fears and couldn't see or find a way out of them–it Was like being in a cage. Chronic pain increased my fears and depression. I'm holding out hope that something someone has written about here will be helpful for you. I'm sorry that you are having these problems in your lives.

Warm regards,
Gailb
Volunteer Mentor

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@lisalucier

Hello, @stressedmesseddepressed — I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You and @jimhd both have a great idea about stretching and its relaxing properties.

I thought you might be interested in some information Mayo Clinic has written on stretching:

http://mayocl.in/2mbjmDA (stretching essentials)

http://mayocl.in/2CGZLmg (slide show with guide to stretches)

Is stretching something you practice regularly for your mental (and/or physical) health?

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LOL. Me too!

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@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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Thanks for sharing that. Sounds like something I should look into.

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@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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Keep on pushing. I had a neurologist years ago who told me to keep on searching and don't let any doctor tell you that you're a hypochondriac woman! He was right. After 2 years of sickness and going to many doctors I finally found the one who diagnosed me with Lyme Disease – pretty depressing.

REPLY
@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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Thank you. I've been pushing for years and nothing

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@gailb

I wish I could wave a magic wand to relieve your depression, fears and anxiety @parus @shoregal45 and @swanie. I wrote about what has worked for me, but I recognize that it may not work for you. Being on Citalopram also diminished my depression, panic and anxiety long enough for me to be ready to find and use ways to relieve most of my physical pain. I remember how I felt when I was mired in my fears and couldn't see or find a way out of them–it Was like being in a cage. Chronic pain increased my fears and depression. I'm holding out hope that something someone has written about here will be helpful for you. I'm sorry that you are having these problems in your lives.

Warm regards,
Gailb
Volunteer Mentor

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Thank you.

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@parus

@shoregal45 Anxiety is not pleasant. I mostly stay to myself as also have chronic pain which increases anxiety. I continue to try and find ways to deal with what I need to deal with on a daily basis. Some days are better than others. The two go together. I know what heightens them and do my best to avoid these things. Hard to believe I once worked with the public, raised kids, did commissioned art work…things change. Adaptation and acceptance can be an insurmountable obstacle. I no longer endeavor to understand. PTSD has created havoc in my life. I still brave the world when I can…usually when I know I need to because if I don't do things for myself I will end up in some state hospital crammed full of poison called medications.
Detailed list, smiling face, polite and not wanting any one to know the fear within.

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So sorry you're going through this.

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