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seeker70
@seeker70

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 11, 2017

Long-term depression

Posted by @seeker70, Oct 11, 2017

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

REPLY

@merpreb

These are just thoughts, not directed at anyone in particular.

Every family has their own history and stories to tell. I think that by setting other people up as happy, we make ourselves seem more miserable. Now I'm not saying that we make ourselves depressed, but I think that we increase our unhappiness by thinking that we are different and everyone else is happy. When I'm depressed I want to be like other people, not depressed. Misery loves company and we are sometimes our are own worst enemies. As youngsters, if we were unhappy at home we always thought that our neighbors were happier. I want to live next door, their lights looked cozier and more welcoming than mine.

When I was a child I lived across the street from a very large family. I loved this family, I had a crush on one of the sons too and I wanted to live with them. Later on I found out that the son had been sexually molesting his sister. That was not a happy family.

We imagine our misery in contrast to what we think others feel. How many people do we actually know who are honestly happy? I think that most people just go along and live there lives, find a balance and settle in. Life now is very hard due to the increase in hostilities around the world. Life is tough and produces a lot of angst, especially if we have cancer. Cancer is lousy and treatments are lousy. It maybe the first time we think about our own death. We question how long we have to live. These are all thoughts that are normal, natural and prevalent in the society of cancer. But this doesn't mean that other people are happy. It also doesn't mean that we will be stuck in this state forever.
I'm also sure that there is some genetics involved and chemical imbalances. For sure we need to attend to those and see if they can be remedied, but thinking that other people are happy, that next door is a happier home or that the person who travels all the time is blissful is setting ourselves up to slip lower in depression.
Merry

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Your statements are so true. When everyone around you seems happy you automatically think i wish i could be happy like that. How many people look at you when you have a smile on your face and think…I wish I had their happiness. Dwelling on happiness and feeling good will just make you feel worse. Your own happiness will come back when you can just let go of the negative thoughts…like Iam sick with a uncurable disease, I will never be OK, etc. This is something Iam struggling with right now.

Iam in the same boat as you. Iam 72 and been going through a very prolonged depression (1 1/2 years) i also have anxiety. I really hate that. As i get older, I seem to get my depression and Anxiety and lack of sleep more frequently. I have a Pyschologist that suggest I try EMDR treatments. I figure i have nothing to loose so iam going to give it a try.

Hi, @anniegk — so sorry to hear the negative thoughts are hard to let go of. I think many people experience negative thoughts at one time or another in their lives, but it takes wisdom and courage to recognize it, as you have.

Sounds like you've been having quite an extended bout with the depression, anxiety and lack of sleep. Seems like that would be a very challenging combination.

Here is some Mayo Clinic information about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment, found within a page on PTSD: https://mayocl.in/2nQOhG4.

Wondering if you'd share more about what your psychologist said to expect with this treatment?

I feel this way much of the time and I don't know why. I started yoga and have gotten more involved in things which has started to help. I think if I could sleep better I would have a different outlook.

@lknightb

I feel this way much of the time and I don't know why. I started yoga and have gotten more involved in things which has started to help. I think if I could sleep better I would have a different outlook.

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That is one of my worst problems. Lack of sleep causes Anxiety and depression and Anxiety and depression causes lack of sleep. Its a round robin. When i wake up, my chest is tight and my legs are cramping and iam anxious and chrned up inside.

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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@parus
Reading your posts is sometimes painful for me. This is not a criticism of you; I think it's because I fully feel how discouraged you are at times. I would like to lighten your load, but I know I can't do that for you. I was once where you seem to be, and I want you to know there is hope and help out there. I remind myself often that, "What you see Gail is what you get." I know that sounds trite, but it is true.

I don't think anyone can see the good and positive in others until we also see it in ourselves. I also think it's very difficult to go from a life position of depression and "I'm not OK, and everyone else is not OK" to the next step forward. That step involves being able to see that other people are OK (not everyone but some people) so those people may be able to help you, i.e., "I'm not OK, but you are OK." This is a tremendously helpful step forward in our search for relief from the pain of seemingly never ending depression. It's so hard because it means we must make ourselves vulnerable. You are doing that here on line, and that is so important. After that step, we must be able to see that we are worthy of kindness, love and caring. At that point life begins to look up.

I had to finally begin taking antidepressants after many years of therapy, support groups, meetings and learning what I could do to help myself get better. I was diagnosed with PTSD from my childhood and early adulthood, which left me fearful of everything and depressed. I was a deeply wounded person. I had many panic attacks and extreme anxiety with anything or anyone new or unknown to me. I wanted to live a better life so I worked hard to know myself and learn about my internal emotional geography. I was dead set against medication so I only began it as a last resort about 6 years ago. I'm 69! I had exhausted all the therapy and techniques to change, and they had a tremendously positive impact on my life, but I still had anxiety and depression that was deepening with age. That led me to ask for an antidepressant finally. I accidentally ended up with the right one for me. It was hard titrating onto the Citalopram at first, but I could feel a little stirring of excitement and happiness begin after 2 weeks. I knew it was going to work at that point. I am so happy that I found the help I needed to free me from my lifelong anxiety and fear. I'm sure I have a chemical imbalance that had kept me in my fear/depression prison all my life.

I encourage you to find a doctor or healthcare team you can trust and ask for genetic tests to determine what antidepressant will work for you. Ask friends or family members who they would recommend as a great physician. When you have the new physician ask them to order the genetic tests for antidepressants, and recommend a good therapist who can do talk therapy. You deserve to be happy Parus! You have to believe that before you can once again take the steps to make it so. Even if you've tried this in the past, do it again. Things change over time. Doctors who have messed up charts and information are not good and caring docs. You need to find one who is caring. You sound like you are a very powerful woman Parus, perhaps more powerful than you realize.

Warm regards,
Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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@gailb I am sorry I have caused you or anyone else pain. No one here needs/wants more pain.
I realize I likely live in an entirely different world than some and a better one than others. Hospitals/doctors are all now in large groups and rely on a laptop. It is not their fault they have learned to believe what they see on their magic machines. They do not have time for talk or to even try to straighten out mistakes in charts and oft times it has now become potluck as to whom one may see even though one has a PCP. Even being properly assertive can result in expulsion. again, not their fault, it is the system. It is a mess and it is not because of social status-or is it? I once was a hard working woman, knowledgeable, well-educated, positive social skills, helpful/caring. None of this is in their holy grail and it out not to matter I am still all of these things only can no longer use these skills due to health issues. It is NOT the depression that keeps me from being a "useful" member of society. Gee, when a pain specialist tells me to walk, a therapist says there is nothing she can do because my physical pain is worsening my depression.
The depression has gotten much worse because I can no longer be of value in a materialistic world. Yes, I have had depression since childhood and I once could deal with it and see good in myself and others.
You see, the things I need are no longer obtainable. I have given up because of physical disabilities.
I asked about genetic testing-this I will not do again. I can no longer drive a long distance.
I read your words and I am not attacking you personally. You have much to be thankful for in finding a team of professionals that do take the time and care. I am hopeful your suggestions will help another. Another member mentioned we all live in different worlds and have different family histories. I am thankful for the time that others take to be supportive. I too have read things that hurt because I cannot fix things. I so want others to be happy and spent my life pleasing others and being grateful for the smiles I could bring. The grocery store is the best I can do. You see, I did this to myself by always striving to please others. I am angry with myself and this is a hard one. If I were rich I would now be called eccentric because I am afraid of being hurt again.
If I am sounding bitter about the past…I was trained to be a people pleasing child with a mother that could never be pleased. No, I am not still trying to please the woman giving me life. I like to help others and feel I no longer have anything to give.
I do have a grandson and enjoy him more than I can say in words. Everyone is busy and I am thankful I did get to see his daddy (my son) for a few minutes this past Sunday. My son filled me in with the small amount of time he was allowed. I cried after they left because my grandson wanted to stay with me and there wasn't time (for grandma's red bag) and his mommy could not be reached to ask her permission. It is always the children who pay the price 🙁 I can no longer go there for now-it is not personal.
Okay, now to post or not to post????
Reassuring to know it can be deleted by the upper echelon if need be.
Maybe it will be of value to another.
BTW, I do live in the US.

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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I worked in Health Care for over 40 years. It was better then but the tools they use are much better ! However the health care system has become so complicated that it can be very discouraging ! There are some good Doctors out there keep trying, it could help you life a lot !

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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@gailb,@parus

I am so sorry what you both are going through. It hurts my heart for what you and others are going through and this is the only way I know to try and help.

I cannot say I really know what you are going through because we all are different. Being physically, mentally, and sexually abused at a young age and knowing your brothers, sisters, mother was going through the same thing took it's toll on me mentally. I am 57 and deal with this secret all the time. I have GAD, MDD, and Anxiety, Panic attacks, etc. All the things that come with depression and more things that it has caused. I dealt with it the best I knew how as a child and a adult. That is all we can do. Try to deal with it and hope something will help us. I am not proud of how I dealt with it. So I did the best I could. I learned after being older however that just because I did not beat my children or other things, I lacked loving them the way I should have. I wrapped myself up in work not to think of my abuse but in the mean time not thinking of what I should have been doing with them. I don't think I let them know how much I loved them. I can't remember if I told them enough or not. thank God they are both good adults. No drugs or alcohol problems and they both work.

Now to get to the part we are all different on how we handle things. My siblings and I are close. We all love each other and we help people if we can. The only hate I felt is for the person who did this to us. One handles the abuse until she drinks too much then all men are dogs and becomes verbally violent. She is a hard worker and always have been. She gives to those in need. The other drinks all the time, did drugs, and wanted revenge all the time, could be abusive at a times. He could not hold down a job. He helps the people he can that need it. The other handles it like I do but better. She is a hard worker also. She gives to people in need. As the years went by for me I dealt with it by drinking sometimes but mostly what helped, which might sound out of sorts to some, is knowing that there are people out there who went through worse. I tell myself it could have been so much worse than what we went through. There is always questions as to why? Why do people hurt others? How can they hurt their own children, wife, husband? Why? Why? Why?

What helps me now and makes me feel better is this grandchild I have been raising since she was 2 weeks old. She is almost 4 now. She was a gift from God. How do I know? It came to me in a dream that there will be a baby in our lives. Of course I dismissed it as being a silly dream but when it came true and when we took the picture in my dream I knew she was a gift from God. So the laughter and love she brings with her helps me so much with this depression. It still will come back when I become overly stress like happened when I joined here recently, but she helps pull me out of it.

I hope no one takes this in the wrong way. I am just trying to help someone, anyone. I hate to see, hear, people are hurting. I have not said much on here because I do see people who are hurting way more than I am. I feel all my problems are petty compared to most the people on here. I hope by telling this story it helps someone in some way.

God Bless,

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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I do understand about grandchildren and my little 3 year old is the joy in my life. He is still at the age he thinks grandma lives a great big house and not an apartment. I want him to grow up having "happy" memories with grandma which is something my adult children did not have when they were little. Their grandmother disowned all of us by writing a letter to my 8 year old daughter sending it to her on her birthday. Her reason? God told her to do so. The God I believe in would not be that cruel. Only a cruel coward would do what that grandmother did.
We can learn compassion through misfortune and abuse.
@littleonefmohio Reading about your grand daughter put a smile in my heart. Thank you.
My little grandson loves me unconditionally as I do him. I can recall some loving grandparents talking about the joy of being a grandparent-now I understand.
My little scamp helps me too. He is far better than medications or anything else.
I have been doing portraits of him as it helps me feel like he is here with me. I would see him everyday if it were an option.

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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@littleonefmohio

First, no one's problems are petty. You sound as if you have had a hard life and as a result you are left with depression. That isn't petty. I'm happy you are sharing your experiences with everyone. Often your experience mirrors that of another person and let's them know they/you aren't alone.

Second, even though I had a hard life, and must take antidepressants, I am a happy person. I recognized that after the age of around 25, I was responsible for choosing my life and how much of my bag of learned behavior and abuses I would continue to carry. I went through my "bag" looking at each old learned behavior from my childhood, and I decided to let go of most of it. Choices I made as a child in order to survive an abusive situation were no longer appropriate or working in my life as an adult. I WANTED to get better and let go of my past anger and hurt. It has taken a lot of hard work and self awareness to look deeply into who I really am. It takes a lifetime of continuous examination of who I am and how I impact others to keep getting better.

I once heard that there are 3 layers to each person:
1. The facade. The person we project to the world and want others to think we are due to societal or family pressures.

2. Underneath the facade is the person we're afraid we are. That contains our fears that we'll never measure up to expectations of our own or others; that our life doesn't matter and we really have nothing to offer. The recognition that we have been fooling everyone with our "act", the facade. In this stage we may feel like a fake, since no one knows the real person we are.

3. And, underneath that is the person we really are. The loving, beautiful core of our heart holds this person. This who all of us are trying to reach, who we've been waiting to know. It's the sweet child person who was deeply wounded by unknowing adults. It's the part of us that longs for recognition from US. Once you are touch your core, you will never be the same. You will be freed from your fears that you don't matter, are petty, mean, ugly, selfish, or any other judgement you or others have about yourself. I know who I am. I love and appreciate my heart. I feel humbled at the joy of finding my interior to be exactly as I had always known I was.

So, my life is good! I have so very much to be grateful for, including the learning that has resulted from all my life experiences. My hope is that sharing my learning will encourage others to find hope and ways to deal with their issues. I had to be willing to face my fears, my unhealthy behaviors, and my depression monster fully, and then move on from there. I used to say that my path in life was full of poop that was spread all over. I fell in it and rolled around for a long time until I couldn't stand the stench anymore. Then, I started learning ways to stand up, and eventually get the tools to shovel the poop off my path. At a point I had nearly cleared my path when I stumbled on another pile of poop. Thankfully I have enough tools in my new bag, that I was able to clear the path quickly. I still have a pile to clean up here and there, but now I am able to do that.

Growing older is a big change. Letting go of the work that used to define who I was (although still partly a facade) was difficult. It's taken me 3 years to fully embrace who I am as an "elder" because I'm still the same young person inside. I am just now loving being the "Elder Gail", and have lost my guilty feelings that I'm not doing enough or contributing to life anymore. I am still contributing, just differently now. I'm enjoying my grandchildren which I wasn't able to spend time doing while I was working. They are all fabulous and happy young adults now. This December I will be 70 years old. I'm so lucky to have the life I have.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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@parus
I love the new profile picture you have. I'm assuming this is one of your drawings of your grandson. What a beautiful child. I'm so happy you have him in your life. I have 8 grandchildren, but none of them are children now. My husband and I have "adopted" our daughter's housekeeper's son, Yamir. He was just 2 when we moved here, and now he's 4 1/2. What an amazing joy it is to be around him and do special things with him. I love it that he calls me "little grandma" and my husband, "big grandpa". I understand your love of your grandson.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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@gailb @parus Yes it is amazing how grandchildren can make our hearts smile. I have never been a happy person although I try. I never been a real religious person, although I have always believed God was there, so the dream had a deep impact on me. Those grandchildren do show unconditional love to us and the innocence in them I want them to keep forever. Never want them to grow up but I have no control over that. haha.

@seeker70 Hi there. I feel for you, I really do. I have a daughter in the same boat. I have taken the 12 week course from NAMI to learn more about depression and mental illness. I found the course very helpful. It gave me a better understanding of what it is like to have the various forms of depression. I get it that you can't just snap out of it. I hate that depression even exists. I am glad that you found Connect, I hope this site helps you and also inspires you to help others. -Terri

@parus

I have learned to not even mention the "D" word. Admitting thus has offered nothing except cause more harm on many levels.

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@parus Love the picture of your little grandson! Teresa

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