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.

@charlie75

Hi Sharlynn62,
I’ve read the sharing between you and others in our group. I’ve been depressed for so many times that it became a comfortable space for me to occupy as I knew where I was and what was happening. I learned to feel the pain and continued to function after several years of suffering. I would put on my actors face and go out into the world and fool those around me although I was crying inside. My Father would tell me that I was my worse enemy. I was so sick that I didn’t understand. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned is that once I accept my illness, I have been able to work on the illness by people who are willing to help me recover. These people are professionals and others who share the same sicknesses and hope is instilled. I’ve learned that acceptance and hope are two verbs that require action on my part. Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression. I have no idea what your mental diagnosis is and the medications you take. Hopefully, your Doctor can help you with this portion of treatment. The best to you.
charlie75

Jump to this post

Hi @charlie75. Your words are so helpful and inspiring. Support groups are so wonderful to me because there is such a sense of community. When I feel alone, I think about the kind words that have been said to me. When I think I have messed up really badly, I read or hear an encouraging that helps me feel like I can return to acceptance. Charlie, you are a breathe of fresh air. Thank you for your contribution to these pages. Blessings,
Mamacita

REPLY
@sharlynn62

Hi Seeker 70,

By no means are you alone in your desperate wish to come out from under the dark cloud and see the sun again (this is how I visualize depression sometimes). I, too, have been dealing with some level of depression since I was a teenager. I have been taking medications (too many) for several years and seeing a therapist every week as well. Sometimes I feel so trapped in this life of misery. I also have several chronic physical problems that make it hard to live a ” normal” life and feed the depression.

I think there are two major things I want to say. One is that you must believe and let others know that depression is an illness just like diabetes or heart disease. You didn’t bring this on yourself and you can’t just “change your attitude” and make it go away. I was told to “pull up my boot straps” and get on with life, when I was a teenager and it just shows that people need to be educated about mental health. One thing I’m involved in that helps me is advocacy for people who have mental health concerns. I work on an anti-stigma campaign in my county and am involved in peer support (being with others who face similar struggles and providing support to one another).

This leads to my second point. You are very intuitive and obviously have not lost hope as you are reaching out to others for support. For me, this is one of the most important things that I can do to help with my recovery. It’s difficult, though, because I haven’t found many people of my age (I’m 55) who are interested in listening to a “boring old sad woman” (this is how I feel about myself a lot… part of my depressive symptoms include very low self esteem and negative self image). However, when I find someone who wants to listen and wants someone to listen to them, it’s marvelous and hopeful.

So, I would be glad to talk with you some more, if you are still wanting to discuss what you’re experiencing , etc. Let me know with a post here and we could possibly exchange email addresses. I often have to remind myself so I think it’s important to say this to you…You are not alone! Take care.

Jump to this post

@mamacita

I know that doctors don't have much time to spend with each patient now. They are very much on a "manufacturing" line, with quotas of how many patients they must see each day. That number determines how much time they have with each of us. Here it runs from 10 to 20 minutes of their time with me. Often they have student interns with them, and then I feel like a specimen rather than a person to whom they are listening and relating. Many doctors don't try to develop a relationship with their individual patients as they have so many and they come and go. As a result, doctors who went into medicine to help others are stifled in their desire to know their patients and really help them. They burn out and either become zombies to keep their jobs, they find a better health employer, or they leave healthcare entirely. These days we seem to base everything we do and every service we provide on moneymaking only. It seems to me that if we're doing the right things the right way, the goal is to take care of the customers or patients. If we do that really well, then enough money will be the result.

I am lucky to have St. Jude Heritage healthcare system as my home. I also trust and when needed use Mayo Clinic.These are 2 of the best medical providers I have used, along with St. Lukes of Kansas City. My physicians, with a very few exceptions, connected with these systems have been caring, excellent technically, and we even talk about our families, vacations, etc. I have a personal professional relationship with each of them. They listen to my physical and emotional issues and do their best to help me. As a result, I am pretty darned healthy all things considered.

I wanted to add that DNA testing is pretty new, so we must ask for it because many physicians are just not aware of it, or they haven't incorporated it into their practices yet. I think it's brilliant and can save a lot of time and agony for those of us that take antidepressants. I will ask my PCP about it when I see him in September. I just participated in a study about a possible vaccine for fibromyalgia, but when they tested me I don't have it. That's fabulous news for me. I'm sorry for those who suffer from it as do my sister and brother.

I hope this post is helpful for some of us here. I think most doctors hearts are in a good place when they start, as are nurse's hearts, but they get worn down by our health systems, insurance demands, working 10 to 12 hour shifts, and seeing very ill and injured people on a daily/hourly basis. I don't think most employers spend the time and money it takes to help their physicians and nurses deal with the emotional toll the job takes on them. The patients pay the price in the long run with detached health care workers.

Thanks for listening. We will all continue to search for the holy graile of emotional stability and joy.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

REPLY
@charlie75

Hi Sharlynn62,
I’ve read the sharing between you and others in our group. I’ve been depressed for so many times that it became a comfortable space for me to occupy as I knew where I was and what was happening. I learned to feel the pain and continued to function after several years of suffering. I would put on my actors face and go out into the world and fool those around me although I was crying inside. My Father would tell me that I was my worse enemy. I was so sick that I didn’t understand. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned is that once I accept my illness, I have been able to work on the illness by people who are willing to help me recover. These people are professionals and others who share the same sicknesses and hope is instilled. I’ve learned that acceptance and hope are two verbs that require action on my part. Action helps with optimism and optimism brings me out of my depression. I have no idea what your mental diagnosis is and the medications you take. Hopefully, your Doctor can help you with this portion of treatment. The best to you.
charlie75

Jump to this post

@swanie I have a friend who takes Trintellix for depression and klonepin for anxiety. She said she had been on every antidepressant ever made over the last 20 years, & the Trintellix is what lifted the clouds for her. Have you ever tried either of these two medications?

REPLY

You are definitely not alone!! So many suffer from depression. I am one of them and I have suffered since I was a child. I'm 44 now. I had shingles when I was 4 due to anxiety watching my dad beat my mom.
Now as an adult I am extremely happy in my life. I moved to my dream home, I have no money problems, I do not have to work and I'm getting married to the greatest man. So some ask, what do you have to be depressed about. I don't know…it's just a deep dark feeling that I get and can't shake. I've had days where I couldn't get out of bed. When I did work, I missed so many days because I couldn't function so I'd lose my job and then that would cause more depression. Look at all the famous people that commit suicide because of depression. It's real and its something that so many people suffer silently.

REPLY

Researchers find that a deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine is associated with a particular subtype of depression. Individuals with very low levels of this molecule often have highly severe symptoms and don't respond to traditional antidepressants.

FULL STORY
Depression is not a single disease. The term refers to a cluster of feelings and behaviors, brought on by a variety of underlying causes. And, unfortunately, it is often difficult to determine which type of depression a person has: a physician cannot take a mouth swab or a blood sample to diagnose the nature and severity of a patient's psychiatric condition — at least not yet.

Read more https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180730154745.htm

REPLY

I’m 71, and depression has been my life for most of it. I am diagnosed as having Dysthymia, a constant low level of depression with occasional major episodes. I am having a major issue now, and it will pass. I am on meds, have a psychiatrist, but I am so sad. I don’t like the suicidal ideation, the stress on my wife, etc. I have to wait for it to pass or wait to die. Either option is attractive.

REPLY

Hi, @elwooodsdad — that sounds very hard living with feeling so sad. You have all the right things in place, with a psychiatrist and medication.

You mention going through a major issue right now, and I'm sorry to hear that. I'm wondering if you would share a bit about what it looks like when you have a major episode?

@ladybugmg — with the research you shared on deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine being associated with a particular subtype of depression, I'm wondering if this research has any particular significance for you personally?

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @elwooodsdad — that sounds very hard living with feeling so sad. You have all the right things in place, with a psychiatrist and medication.

You mention going through a major issue right now, and I'm sorry to hear that. I'm wondering if you would share a bit about what it looks like when you have a major episode?

@ladybugmg — with the research you shared on deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine being associated with a particular subtype of depression, I'm wondering if this research has any particular significance for you personally?

Jump to this post

I deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that causes mostly fatigue, some anxiety and sleep disturbances during certain times of the year. It was once thought that it only manifests itself dduring the spring or the fall and in my case it started in May and seems to be ebbing as we enter autumn.. Many doctors do not recognize it however the wife of my primary care doctor also deals with it so I have a sympathetic listener in regard to SAD.

By the way I do research and send the information to MCC even if I am not afflicted with that particular problem but rather so those who are can be aware that there are researchers who are working to find answers that will better the lives of those who are suffering from those particular maladies.

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @elwooodsdad — that sounds very hard living with feeling so sad. You have all the right things in place, with a psychiatrist and medication.

You mention going through a major issue right now, and I'm sorry to hear that. I'm wondering if you would share a bit about what it looks like when you have a major episode?

@ladybugmg — with the research you shared on deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine being associated with a particular subtype of depression, I'm wondering if this research has any particular significance for you personally?

Jump to this post

@ladybugmg, Hello. My daughter also suffers from SAD. I was considering getting her one of those special lamps that mimic sunlight. Have you heard of or used anything like that?

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @elwooodsdad — that sounds very hard living with feeling so sad. You have all the right things in place, with a psychiatrist and medication.

You mention going through a major issue right now, and I'm sorry to hear that. I'm wondering if you would share a bit about what it looks like when you have a major episode?

@ladybugmg — with the research you shared on deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine being associated with a particular subtype of depression, I'm wondering if this research has any particular significance for you personally?

Jump to this post

I have done research about the special lamps and apparently that helps some people but not others so the results are mixed.

I live in area of the country that has high temperatures during the summer however when it is cooler I try to be outside in the natural light as much as possible. Starting in May of this year when it began to get too hot to be outside I began to feel very lethargic which increased in intensity during June and July but I noticed that in the last couple of days I began to feel more like my normal self.

I found that the mornings were worst but I am strong willed so even though I had to rest more, even falling asleep for a short time, I concentrated on doing something that takes my mind off the lethargy. My laptop computer is attached to a monitor so I access programs, such as old Andy Griffen (sp) sitcoms or others that make me laugh and that seems to help lift my spirits.. I also keep a lamp with a very bright light next my desk and sometimes that makes difference.

Some SAD patients say that they use meditation successfully and sometimes that also helped me. I will keep doing research about SAD and post the information to MCC.

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @elwooodsdad — that sounds very hard living with feeling so sad. You have all the right things in place, with a psychiatrist and medication.

You mention going through a major issue right now, and I'm sorry to hear that. I'm wondering if you would share a bit about what it looks like when you have a major episode?

@ladybugmg — with the research you shared on deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine being associated with a particular subtype of depression, I'm wondering if this research has any particular significance for you personally?

Jump to this post

@ladybugmg

My son also has SAD. However, his depressed time starts when it's Autumn and the sun is not shining for as long each day. He uses his full spectrum light box from the through winter, and can put it away when Spring arrives with its longer days. He's OK during the summer. He's also taking Paxil year round. The light does help him somewhat, but not as much as he had hoped.

From your post, it sounds as though your SAD happens at the opposite times of the year from my son's. Please correct me if I'm not understanding your post accurately. I know some people react differently to the sunlight.

Thanks, Gail
Volunteer Mentor

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @elwooodsdad — that sounds very hard living with feeling so sad. You have all the right things in place, with a psychiatrist and medication.

You mention going through a major issue right now, and I'm sorry to hear that. I'm wondering if you would share a bit about what it looks like when you have a major episode?

@ladybugmg — with the research you shared on deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine being associated with a particular subtype of depression, I'm wondering if this research has any particular significance for you personally?

Jump to this post

Gail

This is my first experience with SAD so I am still in the learning stage as to how effects me. The doctor prescribed Tizanidine to be taken at bedtime however even though I filled the prescription have not taken any of it. So far I have learned that SAD can occur at different times of the year but for a long time it was thought to only occur during the winter months.

I think there is some factor(s) about SAD that is being missed by those treating patients, such as a vitamin or mineral deficiency so I am experimenting with drinking a glass of Emergen-C 1000 mg Vitamin C in the afternoon which seems to give me both a physical and emotional lift.

I am also beginning to wonder if there is some connection between dropping barometer readings and the onset of SAD as I find the condition is worse on cloudy days. Does your son notice this?

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.