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

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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@ladybugmg

Just good advice! I agree that a prepared patient will generally get treated with respect. If you come into the office organized with a detailed plan for what you want to discuss you will receive a more attention.

Doctors are scientifically minded folks who have a lot of respect for organized individuals who present their case in a thoughtful, organized and respectful manner.

I appreciate that reminder.

Teresa

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@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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@hopeful33250 How is it this did not work for me-me thinketh some scientifically minded folks are intimidated by thus and become flustered when I presented in an organized manner. I am in search of another PCP the best ones are not taking any new patients. Where I am located I enter into a maze of examination rooms and honestly feel like a rat in search of cheese that is edible. I am striving to keep a sense of humor. This endeavor is exhausting. I know many experiencing the same so it is not just me. I would like to believe that all are doing the best they know how in this technological maze. It terrifies me to go to a medical facility. Something about this is not healthy. I have never experienced this type of thing in the past. Maybe it is my age. It must be-it has to be me.

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@anniegk

The area where i live, our office calls are only 15 minutes long. I do have a pyschologist that i see every couple of weeks. That helps. When you are afraid of some new physical symptom that developes it would be nice to be able to see a doctor that is somewhat familiar with your case instead of giving you a appointment with a on call doctor that knows nothing about you. It is scary.

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@anniegk I know the feeling 🙁

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@parus

It would be helpful when someone comments if they would address to whom they are commenting with an @etc.

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@parus Thank you for asking for the @… to identify to whom the post is directed.
Gail
Volunteer Mentor

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@parus

It would be helpful when someone comments if they would address to whom they are commenting with an @etc.

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@gailb and @parus — yes, the @username is a great tool if you are directing your post to a certain individual in a discussion, want to name a few people in it, or want to bring someone not in the current discussion into it.

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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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@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.

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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.

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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?

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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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@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.

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@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

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