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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@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.

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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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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 !

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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.

Jump to this post

@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,

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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.

Jump to this post

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.

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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.

Jump to this post

@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

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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.

Jump to this post

@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

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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.

Jump to this post

@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.

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@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

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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 Love the picture of your little grandson! 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.

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250 His daddy and I both miss his curls. His curls may be gone, but his love of grandma are not nor is my love for him. I have been doing drawings (pencil is still what I prefer in a world that clamors for color) a scrapbook of a different type with drawings from the many "candid" photos I have taken over time.
Can anyone tell how much I love my grandson??? My depression lifts when I am with him. I so cherish those times when he and I have quality time and can explore what is in "his" grandma's red bag.
I will add my most recent drawing with his curls.
So, yes, there are times the dark cloud of depression turns to the brightness of the sun. It helps to do portraits of him too!!

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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.

Jump to this post

@gailb Beautifully written.

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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.

Jump to this post

@gailb Your assumption is correct. I have only 1 grandchild :(. I know what you mean about hearing grandma. He sees me and squeals with delight. No one else matters-I love it!!!

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