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.

@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.

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That is a big really good idea about making and then tossing "to-do cards," @ladybugmg, especially for those who get a sense of satisfaction when they get to throw something out.

How are you implementing the one-thing-at-a-time approach, @ladybugmg? Curious about what that looks like, as I'm guessing quite a number of our members also feel overwhelmed at times.

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@jimhd

@seeker70 – I totally connect with what you say, and I know it would be helpful to me to enter a conversation with you. Trouble is, I’m part way through a cold, and I’m just not up to writing or thinking. Give me a couple of days and I’ll try to remember to join in. I’ve been going through a month or so of increased depression, and being sick right now is the pits.

Jim

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Thanks for your post, @elwooodsdad. Sounds like a long time with depression and anxiety/panic attacks.

You mentioned knowing and practicing coping mechanisms in your toolbox. Wondering what those are and how they help you?

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If someone were to hurt me and I would say aloud, "ouch, that hurt", I would be forever shunned. It might help if I said it to myself. The world I live in is filled with hurt and one does not dare state that something hurts. The world I live in requires not saying anything. Much safer this way. Only from my own perspective. Others do not want to know about depression and I learned long ago to always present with a smile. Afterall, it is only depression and for some a way of life. It is different for everyone. Depression is a disease and admitting it can turn some of us into a leper. I believe that others think it may be contagious. Best to not mention it. Just how it is…no one else can fix another's depression.

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@jacquienina

Please, please continue exploring options for remediation. It's really difficult to connect, I know that. For me, medication has finally been the relief I needed. But that isn't for everyone. But I know the difference between being able to feel okay most every day, as opposed to the opposite feeling of not wanting to leave my bed, ignoring the phone, and friends day after day after day.
Please don't give up on yourself.

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Hi, @jacquienina — welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

Sounds like medication has helped you a lot. Is that what brought you out of ignoring the phone and friends, and not wanting to leave your bed?

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@jimhd

@seeker70 – I totally connect with what you say, and I know it would be helpful to me to enter a conversation with you. Trouble is, I’m part way through a cold, and I’m just not up to writing or thinking. Give me a couple of days and I’ll try to remember to join in. I’ve been going through a month or so of increased depression, and being sick right now is the pits.

Jim

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I sent you a message.  Disregard.  I found it!  Just couldn't find it on the page with all the other groups.  In a rush this morning.  Getting a massage.

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@theodosia

I saw a woman going by while I was in a restaurant who wore a t shirt that read " I don't do depression!" It stuck in my brain as something very unique.

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Would that it were so simple, @theodosia. Interesting comment on a medical diagnosis. What do you think about that statement on the shirt?

Do you have a diagnosis of depression, @theodosia?

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@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.

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She is a pretty girl.. i actually had a McNaag 40 + years ago.

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@gailb

@angiegk, I hear your pain, and encourage you to search for an antidepressant that will work for you. I am taking Citalopram, which has been remarkably successful for my depression. I must go to a previous appointment, but I will check in with you more later. There is testing that can be done to determine what drugs and antidepressants will work for you. Medicare will pay for the tests. More later . . .

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

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GeneSight by Assurex. ( MTHFR). Be sure you get a doctor that takes it serious. Some of the doctors just blow it off.

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@jeanie26

Greetings, I am not new to the Mayo clinics site but I am new to this forum. I was dx with PTSD following a lifetime of abuse, naturally, depression comes with PTSD. I decided one day that I had had enough of feeling depressed and anxious, I went into my bedroom, shut the door, and I cried, I cursed, I prayed, I slept and when I woke up, it started all over again. In my case, my depression was caused by other people so in order to fully recover I needed to forgive those that hurt me.I finally forgave those people, but it wasn't easy, it took time to be able to forgive the monsters who had caused me so much grief and pain, but I am here to tell you there IS life after abuse.I still deal with depression and anxiety but it is very controlled. What helps me the most now is knowing my God the way I do. I know without a doubt that he will be there for me and every day, several times a day, I count my blessings and yes I have been truly blessed. I am 70 years old now. It took till I was in my late 40s and 50s to get a real grasp on life, but. I now own my own home, my car is paid for and I am a retired nurse. I've come along way from the scared, fragile, nervous woman I had become, to, the calm, self-caring, loving woman I am today. My life was in utter shambles for the first 40 years of my life, depression, and anxiety was all I knew. My hate and distrust ruled my life, but now I use that hate and distrust to my advantage by forgiving but not forgetting and using caution with people and places that just don't feel right. I have come to recognize my own strengths and weaknesses. I have stood up and challenged the world, I will never allow myself to be beaten down again, I will only invite loving, caring, people into my world, I surround myself with the beauty I love, things that make me feel good, things that give me the most pleasure and I remember, I am a strong woman but I could not have done it without my higher power. God by any other name is still God. I hope my story has helped at least one person. I have so much to share, so many ideas and strategies and so many experiences. I will be back. Thanks for reading this post..My name is Jeanie.

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Hi, @jeanie26 — I am truly sorry you've experienced so much pain. It sounds as if you've taken some healthy steps following the abuse you suffered, like the forgiveness you've come to, counting your blessings, your faith, surrounding yourself with beauty, and using caution in places that do not feel right to you.

I thought you might be interested in this discussion on PTSD on Connect, to read through and perhaps participate, as well: https://mayocl.in/2Ktnme2.

Also, I especially wanted you to meet @littleonefmohio @parus @brightwings @parus @amberpep @peach414144 @vsinn2000 and @wendallzmom, who will understand your background with abuse and whom I hope will share some of their insights with you from their life experiences. Wanted to be sure you met @gailb, too, if you've not encountered her before on Connect.

You mentioned you have some ideas and strategies you might share. I'm wondering if you have any you might like to share that have helped you move forward from your traumatic experiences?

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Guldern depression has destroyed so many lives.

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I have had many days where I wake up and immediately, even before my feet hit the floor, I know that I have a battle to fight. I want to be positive, I want to have a smile on my face for my family. I want to tell the demons to go back to the hell they came from. Many days I am an overcomer. Some days the struggle takes so much out of me that I hug the couch and the tv remote, read my daily devotional, get my Bible close by, and pray that I get at least three verses covered. Even if it takes all day to accomplish it. Depression is a respectable condition. Like Diabetes, Gout, and Eczema. Get some medicine, take it easy, and wait to feel better. Only sometimes, it takes several trials of different medications to achieve anything resembling balance. Then there's this thing called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. If we have suffered from depression for decades, changing our thought patterns is not the easiest thing to do. But if we will try to eliminate the negative thought patterns that are so drearily comforting, we just might see a lot more sunshine in our days. "I'm worthless." "I have no special abilities." I'm ugly." " No one ever comes to see me." All of these lies that we tell ourselves need to go straight into the trash can. You are of infinite worth. You have gifts, and lots of them. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. If no one ever comes to see you, then make plans to go see someone in the nursing home who never gets a visitor. Be to others what you wish others would be for you. In the meantime, try to take just one step towards making a positive change that will do you a world of good. It will be so worth it. You've got this.

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@mamacita

I have had many days where I wake up and immediately, even before my feet hit the floor, I know that I have a battle to fight. I want to be positive, I want to have a smile on my face for my family. I want to tell the demons to go back to the hell they came from. Many days I am an overcomer. Some days the struggle takes so much out of me that I hug the couch and the tv remote, read my daily devotional, get my Bible close by, and pray that I get at least three verses covered. Even if it takes all day to accomplish it. Depression is a respectable condition. Like Diabetes, Gout, and Eczema. Get some medicine, take it easy, and wait to feel better. Only sometimes, it takes several trials of different medications to achieve anything resembling balance. Then there's this thing called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. If we have suffered from depression for decades, changing our thought patterns is not the easiest thing to do. But if we will try to eliminate the negative thought patterns that are so drearily comforting, we just might see a lot more sunshine in our days. "I'm worthless." "I have no special abilities." I'm ugly." " No one ever comes to see me." All of these lies that we tell ourselves need to go straight into the trash can. You are of infinite worth. You have gifts, and lots of them. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. If no one ever comes to see you, then make plans to go see someone in the nursing home who never gets a visitor. Be to others what you wish others would be for you. In the meantime, try to take just one step towards making a positive change that will do you a world of good. It will be so worth it. You've got this.

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I agree with you, @mamasitalucita — I believe that keeping an eye on our thought patterns is very important. I found myself in a bad thought pattern a few years ago, and learning to counter those thoughts and "catch myself in the act" of thinking negatively — especially tearing myself down — was critical.

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