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.

@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 too have dealt with long term depression since my younger years. Each time I would pull out and dare to live again some trauma would take me back down. It’s been that kind of yo yo my whole life. Have been on and off various meds throughout the years, some have helped but I have never been totally free. A while ago I just accepted hat this would be the way it would be. I am presently on Effexor which when you’re began really helped. At my request the dosage was reduced and I am now not feeling so drugged but notice the difference in negative ways. You indicated that you go to some kind of group that helps. Could you tell me more about that. I would appreciate that.

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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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@mrmaid11 Thank you for sharing your story and experiences. For some, the journey out of depression is a lifetime journey and that is OK. Sometimes meds are important part of that support that is needed. @charlie75 mentioned the CBT group that he is in, perhaps he will share more about that in future posts. CBT (cognitive behavior therapy can be quite helpful). There are many workbooks about this including David Burns, The Feeling Good Handbook.

Teresa

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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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How do I join this group?

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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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Hello, @kdo0827, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. By posting here in this discussion (thread) about long-term depression, you will now be notified by email each time someone in this thread posts anything, so you can follow along. If you want to follow the Mental Health Group as a whole (any discussions on mental health topics), you’d want to go to this page, “https://connect.mayoclinic.org/groups/, and scroll down to any groups you would like to follow and click on the “+ Follow ” under the name of any group.

Have you experienced some 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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Thanks for the welcome! I only want to follow this one for now. I most definitely suffer with depression. My whole life, my personality, my existence has been affected by it. I suffer with chronic pain, neuropathy, diabetes as well. It started about 3 years ago. I believe it comes from Methadone and the fact I’m at home with no social interaction. I have no desire to leave the house or really do anything. I so want my life back!

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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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Hello @kdo0827

I am glad that you have joined Connect and this conversation. We have a number of Members who will gladly share their experiences with you and try to encourage you in your journey through depression. I would like to introduce you to Jim, @jimhd a volunteer mentor, as well as @parus, @charlie75, @amberpep, all who are active Members of our group.

You mention that you spend a lot of time at home with no social interaction. Can you tell us more about what you think keeps you at home?

Teresa

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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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@kdo0827

I’m a bit frustrated now. I wrote a couple of paragraphs, and while I looked up at the TV – MASH is on – my note disappeared. I’ll try again.

I guess that sometimes it comes down to how badly we want to get back our lives. I have a cold right now, so my level of badly is kind of low these days.

As a rule I feel better when I get out of the house, even if it’s just to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy. Tomorrow should be an exceptional day by that reckoning, but I don’t know. We are going to the senior lunch at our church, then to the long term care center to celebrate the 104th birthday of a friend. A stop at the pharmacy, then, on the way to my weekly therapy appointment. After that it’s time to go home and crash. Hopefully I won’t crash before I get home!

I hope you will be able to get out of the house soon, even if it’s just to grab a few breaths of air. Is it cold where you are?

Jim

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I have written before regRding my dealing with long term depression. I was doing pretty well but have begun feeling like i’m Slipping back. I have cut all ties with people I knew and spend my time with my daughter who has some special needs. I have been widowed for 12 years after 52 years of a somewhat tumultuous marriage. I think about the many things I did wrong and so badly wish I could have been a nicer person. I was raised in the Midwest in a home where my parents fi ghting was the standard that was there every day. Other terrible things happened and so many I blame myself for. I was a child but I could have behaved better instead of ad ding to be he the e siting problems. I ruminate on my past. And see that I wasted my whole life. I have become a useless being who adds nothing to this world. I’m just here. Am going to go back into therapy hoping that might give me some relief. I’m onmeds and have managed to stay out of the hospital for the depression the past two years. I have had two bouts of cancer during the past 5 years and hold my breadth each time I go or Che Kip’s. I think…. not will it comeback. But just when. I’m sorry for sounding so negative but I can’t seem to hold on to any positive thoughts. I need some people to talk to.

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@mrmaid11

I have written before regRding my dealing with long term depression. I was doing pretty well but have begun feeling like i’m Slipping back. I have cut all ties with people I knew and spend my time with my daughter who has some special needs. I have been widowed for 12 years after 52 years of a somewhat tumultuous marriage. I think about the many things I did wrong and so badly wish I could have been a nicer person. I was raised in the Midwest in a home where my parents fi ghting was the standard that was there every day. Other terrible things happened and so many I blame myself for. I was a child but I could have behaved better instead of ad ding to be he the e siting problems. I ruminate on my past. And see that I wasted my whole life. I have become a useless being who adds nothing to this world. I’m just here. Am going to go back into therapy hoping that might give me some relief. I’m onmeds and have managed to stay out of the hospital for the depression the past two years. I have had two bouts of cancer during the past 5 years and hold my breadth each time I go or Che Kip’s. I think…. not will it comeback. But just when. I’m sorry for sounding so negative but I can’t seem to hold on to any positive thoughts. I need some people to talk to.

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@mrmaid11

Depression induces a ton of guilt in us, doesn’t it. I’ve spent a lot of time the past 12 or 13 years, sorting through the piles. I know that I carried a backpack full of heavy guilt and shame rocks for a very long time.

I have had a string of therapists who have helped me distinguish between the deserved and undeserved rocks. Like you, I still have some in my backpack that don’t belong. I know that it’s not my fault that people abused me and traumatized me, but it’s human nature to feel it necessary to assume some of the blame.

I hope that when you get to the therapist, you’ll make more progress toward lightening your load. It’s more than you can bear, I know. And you don’t have to feel like you’re falling under the weight of the undeserved blame anymore.

Lightening the load isn’t an instant process. But we can remove one rock at a time until the weight no longer is killing us.

Obviously, you already know that this is a safe place to say whatever is heaviest on your mind, and I hope you’ll keep coming back to talk. We all need a place to do that.

Jim

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I have a millstone around my ankle and at times my neck. I will try some positive input as soon as I can. For now back to my little world of creativity-sort of. Yup, in blah mode. It is not an instant process and I will continue with this process the best I can at the moment.

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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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Hello @kdo0827

I just read Jim’s, @jimhd, response to you and feel that he is offering you some good examples of small steps you can take to get out of the house. Even if just to walk outdoors for 3 minutes and take a look around you and allow yourself some deep breaths of fresh air. Often @parus has mentioned going to a store and just seeing people smile will help her.

Change can occur with a “small-step” approach. What small step can you take today?

Teresa

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@mrmaid11

I have written before regRding my dealing with long term depression. I was doing pretty well but have begun feeling like i’m Slipping back. I have cut all ties with people I knew and spend my time with my daughter who has some special needs. I have been widowed for 12 years after 52 years of a somewhat tumultuous marriage. I think about the many things I did wrong and so badly wish I could have been a nicer person. I was raised in the Midwest in a home where my parents fi ghting was the standard that was there every day. Other terrible things happened and so many I blame myself for. I was a child but I could have behaved better instead of ad ding to be he the e siting problems. I ruminate on my past. And see that I wasted my whole life. I have become a useless being who adds nothing to this world. I’m just here. Am going to go back into therapy hoping that might give me some relief. I’m onmeds and have managed to stay out of the hospital for the depression the past two years. I have had two bouts of cancer during the past 5 years and hold my breadth each time I go or Che Kip’s. I think…. not will it comeback. But just when. I’m sorry for sounding so negative but I can’t seem to hold on to any positive thoughts. I need some people to talk to.

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Hello @mrmaid11

I just read Jim’s @jimhd post and noticed that he said some important things about guilt. Did you know that a symptom of depression is guilt? Perhaps today you and think a bit about lightening your load as he suggested (removing one rock at a time) and see how you feel.

The guilt of childhood behavior is a common one. Children tend to take blame for family problems. This blame does not belong to children. It is an adult problem – not a child’s problem.

Keep posting, we are here to listen and encourage you.

Teresa

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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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Hope you do make it home safe and sound! It seems lots of people tell me to get out of the house. I understand it may be helpful but forcing myself to do it is very hard. I did get out to Walmart this week and I’m taking my mom to run errands today. I’ll try to notice if it makes a difference. I also volunteer at Hospice, go to church, keep the nursery twice a month and I feed the homeless once a month. I’m not on any medication for my depression. I’m now encouraged to have found this group. Thank you for caring!!

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@mrmaid11

I have written before regRding my dealing with long term depression. I was doing pretty well but have begun feeling like i’m Slipping back. I have cut all ties with people I knew and spend my time with my daughter who has some special needs. I have been widowed for 12 years after 52 years of a somewhat tumultuous marriage. I think about the many things I did wrong and so badly wish I could have been a nicer person. I was raised in the Midwest in a home where my parents fi ghting was the standard that was there every day. Other terrible things happened and so many I blame myself for. I was a child but I could have behaved better instead of ad ding to be he the e siting problems. I ruminate on my past. And see that I wasted my whole life. I have become a useless being who adds nothing to this world. I’m just here. Am going to go back into therapy hoping that might give me some relief. I’m onmeds and have managed to stay out of the hospital for the depression the past two years. I have had two bouts of cancer during the past 5 years and hold my breadth each time I go or Che Kip’s. I think…. not will it comeback. But just when. I’m sorry for sounding so negative but I can’t seem to hold on to any positive thoughts. I need some people to talk to.

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Thank you for your reply. Intellectually I know the guilt shouldn’t belong to me but my emotions say differently. The two can’t seem to hear each other. I clearly understand that I was not responsible for the crime my father committed but I want it to go away so bad that it seems easier to take the responsibility for that and the following chaos.

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@mrmaid11

I have written before regRding my dealing with long term depression. I was doing pretty well but have begun feeling like i’m Slipping back. I have cut all ties with people I knew and spend my time with my daughter who has some special needs. I have been widowed for 12 years after 52 years of a somewhat tumultuous marriage. I think about the many things I did wrong and so badly wish I could have been a nicer person. I was raised in the Midwest in a home where my parents fi ghting was the standard that was there every day. Other terrible things happened and so many I blame myself for. I was a child but I could have behaved better instead of ad ding to be he the e siting problems. I ruminate on my past. And see that I wasted my whole life. I have become a useless being who adds nothing to this world. I’m just here. Am going to go back into therapy hoping that might give me some relief. I’m onmeds and have managed to stay out of the hospital for the depression the past two years. I have had two bouts of cancer during the past 5 years and hold my breadth each time I go or Che Kip’s. I think…. not will it comeback. But just when. I’m sorry for sounding so negative but I can’t seem to hold on to any positive thoughts. I need some people to talk to.

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@mrmaid11

You have a lot of insight and I appreciate that. Have you worked through this false-guilt with a therapist? If not, it might be a good idea.

In the meantime, try writing affirmations to that little child who took the responsibility for father’s wrong behavior. Give compassion to what that child endured and see if it might help.

Will you give that a try?

Teresa

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