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.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety Support Group.

@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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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@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.

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@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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@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

Thanks Parus. It was from my heart.

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 Wow! You are a phenominal artist! Who knew we had such exceptional talent among us!

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