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.

My heart goes out to anyone suffering from long term depression and anxiety. I am so thankful that I am no longer in that black hole. However, I can still remember the almost unbearable feeling of not being able to function during that time. I was so blessed to have a neighbor and friend who would listen while I cried and went over and over my lost feelings. I had refused to go back to my doctor and had no place to turn to. I loved my husband, but no longer trusted him. I didn't have what it took to leave him, but wished most of the time that he would leave me. I felt totally unloved and like a total failure. I actually never could see where my hospitalization and shock treatment helped, but maybe it dulled the pain for awhile so I could begin to have some kind of plan to survive. It was a long and slow struggle. I did it without medicine. I remember walking and calling out in my mind for help. I would repeat without knowing exactly why "Oh God, Oh God". It became a sort of pathetic mantra. Then I became unreasonably afraid to leave home for over a few minutes. I felt if I was away from home something terrible was going to happen. For a long while I was able to will myself to sleep during the day while my boys were in school. I just wanted so badly to find joy in life again. A reason to live and a way to live. My thoughts were "how can you live the rest of your life this way?". How can you be a normal mother? Somehow I begin to know there was no help for me but a higher power, but how to connect with that power for real was another question. I knew a lot about God, but I didn't know Him. I desperately wanted to. I felt He was my only hope. I believed He would love me unconditionally if I could just know Him. I badly needed a real honest to God Father. I had a long way to go and a lot to learn. Times were dark, lonely and I was afraid of life and myself. I wanted to go back in time and make everything good again, but that's impossible. I had seen the devastation from depression in my grandparents lives and then in my mother's life. I had seen my cousin who I dearly loved take her own life, another cousin who was Schizophrenic, and now they had diagnosed me as Bi-Polar. They had actually given me insulin shock treatments. I felt I must be insane, what was I to do?

REPLY

My heart goes out to anyone suffering from long term depression and anxiety. I am so thankful that I am no longer in that black hole. However, I can still remember the almost unbearable feeling of not being able to function during that time. I was so blessed to have a neighbor and friend who would listen while I cried and went over and over my lost feelings. I had refused to go back to my doctor and had no place to turn to. I loved my husband, but no longer trusted him. I didn't have what it took to leave him, but wished most of the time that he would leave me. I felt totally unloved and like a total failure. I actually never could see where my hospitalization and shock treatment helped, but maybe it dulled the pain for awhile so I could begin to have some kind of plan to survive. It was a long and slow struggle. I did it without medicine. I remember walking and calling out in my mind for help. I would repeat without knowing exactly why "Oh God, Oh God". It became a sort of pathetic mantra. Then I became unreasonably afraid to leave home for over a few minutes. I felt if I was away from home something terrible was going to happen. For a long while I was able to will myself to sleep during the day while my boys were in school. I just wanted so badly to find joy in life again. A reason to live and a way to live. My thoughts were "how can you live the rest of your life this way?". How can you be a normal mother? Somehow I begin to know there was no help for me but a higher power, but how to connect with that power for real was another question. I knew a lot about God, but I didn't know Him. I desperately wanted to. I felt He was my only hope. I believed He would love me unconditionally if I could just know Him. I badly needed a real honest to God Father. I had a long way to go and a lot to learn. Times were dark, lonely and I was afraid of life and myself. I wanted to go back in time and make everything good again, but that's impossible. I had seen the devastation from depression in my grandparents lives and then in my mother's life. I had seen my cousin who I dearly loved take her own life, another cousin who was Schizophrenic, and now they had diagnosed me as Bi-Polar. They had actually given me insulin shock treatments. I felt I must be insane, what was I to do?

REPLY
@ainsleigh

It does seem that depression (and anxiety) are not choices-who would deliberately choose them?! It is wonderful that Mayo Connect is here so that nobody
who knows about it has to feel completely alone. There is always somebody to share with and who will empathize and support and understand likely
from personal experience. Also it gives us the chance to learn and possibly find helpful info. and ideas on how we can manage. I am so grateful for learning about genetic resting for mental health medications for example. One thing we learned in our Recovery group was that changing our thoughts when we are in a downward spiral can help. It is not necessarily easy to do I know. How to do that is anything that works for you- eg go for a walk, phone a friend, watch a TV show, go to the store, walk the dog if you have one, look up something on the computer that might interest you etc. Practice does help I have found.
Best wishes!

.

Jump to this post

I am very grateful for the connection that we can have through these groups. Isolation and loneliness can have disastrous effects on those with a tendency towards depression. Family and friends frequently do not have the patience to deal with chronic conditions. Here, we can say what we need to say. And always, learn from each other.

REPLY
@parus

@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.

Jump to this post

I use a small white board with colorful markers. I put the date at the top of the whiteboard. This may seem too simplistic for some, but I need the structure and the simplicity. I put the ONE thing that absolutely must be done that day, I may also put several things that are "rewards" or fun things to do that will reinforce positive thing and behavior. If I don't get them all done, I will just put them on the board for the next day. This way I won't stress out over the complexities of daily life.

REPLY
@parus

@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.

Jump to this post

Ladybugmg, How about writing a short list of the things you want to do for just today. Not too many things. You may work on them simultaneously, for instance laundry & paying bills, but do not venture out of the list for the day. I find this helps and keeps me from becoming overwhelmed. 🙂 My list looks a little childish, but this is OK. It's just for me and my sanity. LOL (I include everything).

REPLY
@parus

@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.

Jump to this post

I hope the exchanging of ideas as to how each one of us uses coping skills helps others. I like the method of using colorful markers on a white board! Good suggestion!

REPLY
@anniegk

I hear what you are saying. I have had depression and Anxiety for 30 years and in the past was given medication and i pulled out of it. Not anymore. Iam now 72 years old and have not been able to pull out of this depression/anxiety. This depression has been going on for 1 1/2 years. Iam so sick of the anxiety and depression. I also have a heartbeat irregularity that really makes me nervous and anxious. It is also getting worse with age. I have also developed cramping and weakness in my lower legs I go to a doctor and they pour tons of pills on me and PHYSICALLY I feel worse than before. I worry I am having a heart attack. I fear that i will have to be hospitalized for my heart and that they will take me off all my meds cold turkey and that it will cause withdrawals which could also kill me. I have been on 250 mg er Seroquel 1 time a day and Buspar 10 mg 2x a day for over a year and Remeron for 10 years at varous doses. I also take BP Meds Lisinopril and a waterpill and Propanolol. I try to tell my husband about my fears and how i feel but after all these years, he is tired of listening to me. I just feel alone and like Iam circuling the drain. You are not alone. I just want to feel relaxed and tranquil and enjoy .whats left of my life. It is hard to get good mental care in our area. Iam going to my physician. and he sees me every 3 months. I dont feel any support from him. I do have a physchologist i see but i have problems with all the mindfullness, CBT and relaxation etc. In short, iam a mess.

Jump to this post

Thank you for your kind words Jim. I feel sorry for people that have to share their lives with a depressed person. I just wish there was a way to make them truly understand how you feel. It is so hard to explain something that you dont totally understand yourself. It seems whenever i have a trauma happen in my life, my depression goes wild. I wasnt totally stable but was functioning than i lost my beautiful 2 year old heart dog to a vicous fungus infection. It just destroyed me. I loved that dog with all my heart. I also lost my old dog it was expected but still hurt. .it was just too much. Iam a dog lover and i grieve for them just like i do a person. It seems like there is always a trauma or disaster waiting out there to knock you down.

REPLY
@anniegk

I hear what you are saying. I have had depression and Anxiety for 30 years and in the past was given medication and i pulled out of it. Not anymore. Iam now 72 years old and have not been able to pull out of this depression/anxiety. This depression has been going on for 1 1/2 years. Iam so sick of the anxiety and depression. I also have a heartbeat irregularity that really makes me nervous and anxious. It is also getting worse with age. I have also developed cramping and weakness in my lower legs I go to a doctor and they pour tons of pills on me and PHYSICALLY I feel worse than before. I worry I am having a heart attack. I fear that i will have to be hospitalized for my heart and that they will take me off all my meds cold turkey and that it will cause withdrawals which could also kill me. I have been on 250 mg er Seroquel 1 time a day and Buspar 10 mg 2x a day for over a year and Remeron for 10 years at varous doses. I also take BP Meds Lisinopril and a waterpill and Propanolol. I try to tell my husband about my fears and how i feel but after all these years, he is tired of listening to me. I just feel alone and like Iam circuling the drain. You are not alone. I just want to feel relaxed and tranquil and enjoy .whats left of my life. It is hard to get good mental care in our area. Iam going to my physician. and he sees me every 3 months. I dont feel any support from him. I do have a physchologist i see but i have problems with all the mindfullness, CBT and relaxation etc. In short, iam a mess.

Jump to this post

@anniegk

Two years ago, my service dog, Barnabas, died suddenly from a stroke or some other brain event. Just a week earlier the vet did a checkup and said he was in great health and had years of life left. It was just out of the blue! I still miss him. I love my new dog, Sadie, but the loss still hurts.

Jim

DTTS

REPLY
@anniegk

I hear what you are saying. I have had depression and Anxiety for 30 years and in the past was given medication and i pulled out of it. Not anymore. Iam now 72 years old and have not been able to pull out of this depression/anxiety. This depression has been going on for 1 1/2 years. Iam so sick of the anxiety and depression. I also have a heartbeat irregularity that really makes me nervous and anxious. It is also getting worse with age. I have also developed cramping and weakness in my lower legs I go to a doctor and they pour tons of pills on me and PHYSICALLY I feel worse than before. I worry I am having a heart attack. I fear that i will have to be hospitalized for my heart and that they will take me off all my meds cold turkey and that it will cause withdrawals which could also kill me. I have been on 250 mg er Seroquel 1 time a day and Buspar 10 mg 2x a day for over a year and Remeron for 10 years at varous doses. I also take BP Meds Lisinopril and a waterpill and Propanolol. I try to tell my husband about my fears and how i feel but after all these years, he is tired of listening to me. I just feel alone and like Iam circuling the drain. You are not alone. I just want to feel relaxed and tranquil and enjoy .whats left of my life. It is hard to get good mental care in our area. Iam going to my physician. and he sees me every 3 months. I dont feel any support from him. I do have a physchologist i see but i have problems with all the mindfullness, CBT and relaxation etc. In short, iam a mess.

Jump to this post

@anniegk

This is Sadie.

Jim

20170605_122411

REPLY

Hi, I am very interested in what you have posted. My life runs parallel to yours. I have come to accept it as genetics, but I will never give up trying to beat it. Cognitive therapy has been helpful, although I find it difficult to speak to a therapist about this, so I read a lot. Of late, I have had an increased determination to overcome this affliction. I believe it is within us to move beyond it. I would love to hear from anyone who may have suffered from depression for decades. Do you have any suggestions or specific actions that may have been helpful for you?

REPLY
@anniegk

I hear what you are saying. I have had depression and Anxiety for 30 years and in the past was given medication and i pulled out of it. Not anymore. Iam now 72 years old and have not been able to pull out of this depression/anxiety. This depression has been going on for 1 1/2 years. Iam so sick of the anxiety and depression. I also have a heartbeat irregularity that really makes me nervous and anxious. It is also getting worse with age. I have also developed cramping and weakness in my lower legs I go to a doctor and they pour tons of pills on me and PHYSICALLY I feel worse than before. I worry I am having a heart attack. I fear that i will have to be hospitalized for my heart and that they will take me off all my meds cold turkey and that it will cause withdrawals which could also kill me. I have been on 250 mg er Seroquel 1 time a day and Buspar 10 mg 2x a day for over a year and Remeron for 10 years at varous doses. I also take BP Meds Lisinopril and a waterpill and Propanolol. I try to tell my husband about my fears and how i feel but after all these years, he is tired of listening to me. I just feel alone and like Iam circuling the drain. You are not alone. I just want to feel relaxed and tranquil and enjoy .whats left of my life. It is hard to get good mental care in our area. Iam going to my physician. and he sees me every 3 months. I dont feel any support from him. I do have a physchologist i see but i have problems with all the mindfullness, CBT and relaxation etc. In short, iam a mess.

Jump to this post

So sorry about your loss, it’s a tragedy when you lose a beloved pet. Enjoy your Sadie, she’s a beauty.

REPLY

Good morning- I also have been depressed and angry on and off for years but very severely for the past 4 or 5 years. I am 71 years old and have been in and out of therapy. I have been diagnosed with PTSD due to my 20+ years of lung cancer and childhood anxiety. Last year I stopped seeing a therapist who turned out to be sicker than I was. She was so depressing! After last year's 4th lung cancer I decided that I would not fall into a deep depression again. I was so fearful of this. I began a blog about my journey https://my20yearscancer.com/. My PCP helped me with a medication that supplemented anti-depressants that I was taking, Wellbutrin. I am not interested in ever getting off these pills that have helped me. They are not 100% successful all the time and I have to fight to help them work. It's now 6 months since my last treatment and I have more tests to go through. That always sets me back, esp with anxiety. I have also begun to exercise, and that helps incredibly well. It's the thought of doing something good for me that makes me feel good, that I actually did something.
I wish you well. I hope that this thread continues because I think that this beats most illnesses as far as debilitation go. It's an all encompassing cloud that just wont go away, or at least in the background, always threatening to rain. I hate it. I know that we all do. I think that it's part genetic too.

REPLY
@merpreb

Good morning- I also have been depressed and angry on and off for years but very severely for the past 4 or 5 years. I am 71 years old and have been in and out of therapy. I have been diagnosed with PTSD due to my 20+ years of lung cancer and childhood anxiety. Last year I stopped seeing a therapist who turned out to be sicker than I was. She was so depressing! After last year's 4th lung cancer I decided that I would not fall into a deep depression again. I was so fearful of this. I began a blog about my journey https://my20yearscancer.com/. My PCP helped me with a medication that supplemented anti-depressants that I was taking, Wellbutrin. I am not interested in ever getting off these pills that have helped me. They are not 100% successful all the time and I have to fight to help them work. It's now 6 months since my last treatment and I have more tests to go through. That always sets me back, esp with anxiety. I have also begun to exercise, and that helps incredibly well. It's the thought of doing something good for me that makes me feel good, that I actually did something.
I wish you well. I hope that this thread continues because I think that this beats most illnesses as far as debilitation go. It's an all encompassing cloud that just wont go away, or at least in the background, always threatening to rain. I hate it. I know that we all do. I think that it's part genetic too.

Jump to this post

In regard to my treatments I meant to say cancer treatments

REPLY
@vllynn

Hi, I am very interested in what you have posted. My life runs parallel to yours. I have come to accept it as genetics, but I will never give up trying to beat it. Cognitive therapy has been helpful, although I find it difficult to speak to a therapist about this, so I read a lot. Of late, I have had an increased determination to overcome this affliction. I believe it is within us to move beyond it. I would love to hear from anyone who may have suffered from depression for decades. Do you have any suggestions or specific actions that may have been helpful for you?

Jump to this post

Structure has been my best friend, as well as my worst enemy. I have to have things written down, somewhere, to gauge what will be going on every week. Otherwise I am like a balloon that is accidentally let go and flies off into the heavens, never to be seen again. I flag certain times during the day for specific activity. I read devotionals, the Bible, do housework, listen to music videos on YouTube, play the piano, sing, take care of people and dogs. I take classes that interest me, and I try to make sure I get out of the house every day. I just recently got my pastoral counselor certification, so I am dedicating this first year to helping and encouraging others any way I can. Pro bono. Actually, I don't see how I will ever get past that little sign I have posted on an antique child's desk, "Therapy – 5cents." It's just what I do. I was miserable and so sad for so long, I will go to almost any length to help someone else not have to go there. I have found some things that work for me, and for others. I would love to share with you. We can learn from each other.

REPLY
@merpreb

Good morning- I also have been depressed and angry on and off for years but very severely for the past 4 or 5 years. I am 71 years old and have been in and out of therapy. I have been diagnosed with PTSD due to my 20+ years of lung cancer and childhood anxiety. Last year I stopped seeing a therapist who turned out to be sicker than I was. She was so depressing! After last year's 4th lung cancer I decided that I would not fall into a deep depression again. I was so fearful of this. I began a blog about my journey https://my20yearscancer.com/. My PCP helped me with a medication that supplemented anti-depressants that I was taking, Wellbutrin. I am not interested in ever getting off these pills that have helped me. They are not 100% successful all the time and I have to fight to help them work. It's now 6 months since my last treatment and I have more tests to go through. That always sets me back, esp with anxiety. I have also begun to exercise, and that helps incredibly well. It's the thought of doing something good for me that makes me feel good, that I actually did something.
I wish you well. I hope that this thread continues because I think that this beats most illnesses as far as debilitation go. It's an all encompassing cloud that just wont go away, or at least in the background, always threatening to rain. I hate it. I know that we all do. I think that it's part genetic too.

Jump to this post

Good for you for "firing" your therapist who wasn't helping you get anywhere. Sometimes it is so easy to stay with the familiar, even if it isn't really working out for us. Because it is familiar, and at least there are no surprises. I am so glad we all found each other here. I look forward to sharing and hearing more of your stories. We truly can learn much from one another.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.