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.

I have suffered from depression since 1988. I am now 59 years old. My GP treated me for many years with varying degrees of success. Looking back now he should have sent me to a psychiatrist for treatment. I had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital in 2011 for a major depressive episode. Initially I was being treated for anxiety. The team in the hospital decided to focus more on the depression aspect of my illness. My GP would have always said that the anxiety was the outward symptom of my depression. I did not need Xanax to treat the anxiety element of my depression. After two months the doctors decided to try ECT and change my melds to SNRIs. The results were amazing. I knew this treatment had worked for me. I know there is a lot of controversy with ECT. I was discharged shortly afterwards.
When I came home I made contact with a clinical psychologist. I attended the psychologist for the next year every fortnight . We used CBT and Mindfulness as our main tools to aid me in my recovery.
Never give up hope. I never thought that I would ever feel the way that I am currently feeling.

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@padraig Thank you for sharing a positive result with depression. What a wonderful report!

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@padraig

I have suffered from depression since 1988. I am now 59 years old. My GP treated me for many years with varying degrees of success. Looking back now he should have sent me to a psychiatrist for treatment. I had to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital in 2011 for a major depressive episode. Initially I was being treated for anxiety. The team in the hospital decided to focus more on the depression aspect of my illness. My GP would have always said that the anxiety was the outward symptom of my depression. I did not need Xanax to treat the anxiety element of my depression. After two months the doctors decided to try ECT and change my melds to SNRIs. The results were amazing. I knew this treatment had worked for me. I know there is a lot of controversy with ECT. I was discharged shortly afterwards.
When I came home I made contact with a clinical psychologist. I attended the psychologist for the next year every fortnight . We used CBT and Mindfulness as our main tools to aid me in my recovery.
Never give up hope. I never thought that I would ever feel the way that I am currently feeling.

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@padraig

I see this is your first post on Connect, welcome! I am Teresa, a volunteer mentor with Connect.

I appreciate your post. It is a good example of how sometimes it just takes a while to put together the right combination of professionals as well as meds. I appreciate your persistence in finding answers.

I am happy to hear that you are doing so much better. I look forward to your posts in the future.

Teresa

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@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

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Hello every one I\'m new to this site I suffer from e u personality disorder anxiety and depression I\'m just wondering if anyone else has been put on quitiepine

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@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

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Welcome to our group. I also suffer with anxiety and depression. I just started on Remeron and Lexapro. I\'ve not tried Quetipine. I\'m not familiar with e u. What does this mean?

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I too, have suffered from the Big D for many years including years before diagnosis when I thought I was just moody. No matter what I try or do, the clouds come and my mind convinces me of all that I fear is true. Truly the only thing that really helps me is that I finally have a diagnosis, I believe it to be true, and I have finally come to terms with it and the fact that I will always have it. Surrendering to it is somehow, strangely, helpful. I certainly do wish it was otherwise, but it is not, so I use what Ive learned in therapy and make it through each day the best way I know how. Its not easy or often very pretty but it is what it is.

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@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

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Sorry emotional unstable personality disorder and I\'m also on sertraline 200 mg I\'ve just been weend off diazepam and put on quetiepine

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@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

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Thanks! Hope you\'ll have great results. It\'s so hard to find something that works.

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I SEEM TO FEEL JUST LIKE YOU ABOUT DEPRESSION ! LIKE YOU SAID GETTING OLDER SEEMS TO JUST MAKE IT WORSE. LIKE YOU SAID WHEN I WAS YOUNGER IT WASN\'T SO BAD. I AM 67 I WAS ALWAYS SINGLE GAY AND ALONE ! THIS PAST JUNE I HAD TO HAVE A SHUNT PUT IN MY HEAD TO DRAIN OFF EXCESS FLUIDS. ( IT\'S CALLED HYDROSEPHLIS.) IT HAS BEEN WORSE WITH THAT GOING ON ! I HAVE BEEN ON MEDS SINCE 1986. MAYBE THEY WERE WORKING BACK THEN AND THOUGH I STILL TAKE THEM I DON\'T THINK THEY ARE WORKING. MY PCP DR. SUGGESTED I GET ANOTHER OPINION, MY APPOINTMENT IS IN MARCH. I CAN\'T WAIT ! ( NOTHING TO LOSE ! )
WITH THE WHOLE WORLD GOING TO HELL ON A ROCKET THAT JUST ADDS TO THE MISERY !
I ALSO FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.
WHEN DOES IT END ? I AM NOT AT ALL SUICIDAL I JUST WISH IT WOULD ALL GO AWAY ! I JUST WANT TO BE REASONABLY HAPPY.
IT\'S EVEN BORING WRITING THIS. I DON\'T KNOW WHAT ANYONE COULD WRITE BACK THAT WOULD HELP, NOTHING TO LOSE
I GUESS.
I JUST FEEL EMPTY & CONFUSED AND SAD, SO SAD !
I AM NOT A BAD GUY AT ALL ! WHEN I WAS WORKING, ( ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELOR ) THINGS WERE BETTER . I AM RETIRED NOW. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I AM VERY THANKFUL I HAVE A DOG !
HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER SOON !

G

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Something that's helped me is sunlight, getting outside, walking the dog. It might take a while. If it helps think about a light for cloudy days. The dog will be happy.

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@donny67

I SEEM TO FEEL JUST LIKE YOU ABOUT DEPRESSION ! LIKE YOU SAID GETTING OLDER SEEMS TO JUST MAKE IT WORSE. LIKE YOU SAID WHEN I WAS YOUNGER IT WASN\'T SO BAD. I AM 67 I WAS ALWAYS SINGLE GAY AND ALONE ! THIS PAST JUNE I HAD TO HAVE A SHUNT PUT IN MY HEAD TO DRAIN OFF EXCESS FLUIDS. ( IT\'S CALLED HYDROSEPHLIS.) IT HAS BEEN WORSE WITH THAT GOING ON ! I HAVE BEEN ON MEDS SINCE 1986. MAYBE THEY WERE WORKING BACK THEN AND THOUGH I STILL TAKE THEM I DON\'T THINK THEY ARE WORKING. MY PCP DR. SUGGESTED I GET ANOTHER OPINION, MY APPOINTMENT IS IN MARCH. I CAN\'T WAIT ! ( NOTHING TO LOSE ! )
WITH THE WHOLE WORLD GOING TO HELL ON A ROCKET THAT JUST ADDS TO THE MISERY !
I ALSO FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.
WHEN DOES IT END ? I AM NOT AT ALL SUICIDAL I JUST WISH IT WOULD ALL GO AWAY ! I JUST WANT TO BE REASONABLY HAPPY.
IT\'S EVEN BORING WRITING THIS. I DON\'T KNOW WHAT ANYONE COULD WRITE BACK THAT WOULD HELP, NOTHING TO LOSE
I GUESS.
I JUST FEEL EMPTY & CONFUSED AND SAD, SO SAD !
I AM NOT A BAD GUY AT ALL ! WHEN I WAS WORKING, ( ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELOR ) THINGS WERE BETTER . I AM RETIRED NOW. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I AM VERY THANKFUL I HAVE A DOG !
HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER SOON !

G

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@donny67 You may want to turn your caps lock off. It seems you are angry and shouting at everyone. Sorry things are hard for you right now.

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@parus

Once I had no other choice other than to retire at the age of 53 my life has continually deteriorated. Even when I draw or paint to try and distract myself from the pain every time I move my body my neck sounds like popcorn popping and it shoots pain throughout my spine. A disability that cannot be fixed and realistically will become worse the older I grow. There are those that have told me how lucky I am to no longer go to work. I can sit watch TV, surf the net, and the religious ones telling me how I need to read the Bible and pray for others-oh yes, become a pray warrior and I will be of use to the Kingdom.
I do not mention depression nor the physical pain to others. I do not want another’s pity or hear how I look healthy and why am I not working or volunteering.
What I hear is why can you not be useful. Saw the therapist yesterday and realized there is nothing she can do as I know my skills and what works for me. Distraction works the best. Helping another helps me until I find I am being used. I fade a way. My helping is enabling. As long as I will transport a neighbor whose car is in the shop he will not get it fixed. Amazing how quickly he had it back when I would no longer be his source of transportation.

Yes, I am depressed and know I am the only one who can do anything. Therapist and I agree that there is nothing she can do. Done and thankful she is well educated enough to know there is nothing more that can be done and I know this too.

There are times when there is nothing that can be done and the more I try the deeper in the vortex I am. I am not even looking forward to Spring. Doubtful I am alone in the black hole. I can be encouraging to another and also sincere when I am. Therapist and I also agreed that the last 2 appointments had been the same old same old. When a person is stuck they are stuck. Reality is not all fun and games, praying, etc. I am responsible for my thoughts and controlling thus and sure ain’t no one else can change thus except me. “Them thar are the facts y’all”. Would go for a soak in the tub, but would not be physically capable of getting back out and already stewing in my own filth enough.

Do I dare submit these words? I sure do not want to upset someone else. I at least can admit I am in the dark hole and venting can be cathartic. One more suck it up or this too shall pass…Fear not as I am truly passive and everyone is safe as I only have words. The tough old woman has succumbed to the fact things will not improve until I improve my attitude.

Thanks, I needed to air my frustration. Yes, I am far better off then many. Have I covered all of the bases?

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@parus

Have you considered finding a different therapist, who might have a fresh perspective?

Jim

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@kdo0827

You are certainly not the only one. So many of us here feel exactly the same way. I admire you for reaching out and joining us. My oldest daughter started with depression & anxiety her senior year. We sent her to several psychiatrists but never helped. Finally we found out she was suffering from Bi-Polar disease. It took awhile to find the right medication for her but eventually we did. Years later my husband was also diagnosed. I’m like you not wanting to do anything and find it very hard to find joy. I tried Wellbutrin but couldn’t take it. Just today I started Lexapro and Remeron. I’ll let know if it helps. I want you to know we are all here for you. You’re welcome to PM me as well.

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@kdo0827

Has the new medication begun to help? I know it takes time really to feel the effects.

Jim

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@kdo0827

You are certainly not the only one. So many of us here feel exactly the same way. I admire you for reaching out and joining us. My oldest daughter started with depression & anxiety her senior year. We sent her to several psychiatrists but never helped. Finally we found out she was suffering from Bi-Polar disease. It took awhile to find the right medication for her but eventually we did. Years later my husband was also diagnosed. I’m like you not wanting to do anything and find it very hard to find joy. I tried Wellbutrin but couldn’t take it. Just today I started Lexapro and Remeron. I’ll let know if it helps. I want you to know we are all here for you. You’re welcome to PM me as well.

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Hi Jim, thanks for asking. I started the meds last Friday. I\'m taking the Remeron at night and 1/2 a Lexapro through tomorrow and the up it to a whole tablet. I may notice a slight difference. In my opinion I seem to be in a blah mood. But I don\'t feel the heaviness as much. Going to see if things get better. Sure hope so. How are you feeling today?

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@donny67

I SEEM TO FEEL JUST LIKE YOU ABOUT DEPRESSION ! LIKE YOU SAID GETTING OLDER SEEMS TO JUST MAKE IT WORSE. LIKE YOU SAID WHEN I WAS YOUNGER IT WASN\'T SO BAD. I AM 67 I WAS ALWAYS SINGLE GAY AND ALONE ! THIS PAST JUNE I HAD TO HAVE A SHUNT PUT IN MY HEAD TO DRAIN OFF EXCESS FLUIDS. ( IT\'S CALLED HYDROSEPHLIS.) IT HAS BEEN WORSE WITH THAT GOING ON ! I HAVE BEEN ON MEDS SINCE 1986. MAYBE THEY WERE WORKING BACK THEN AND THOUGH I STILL TAKE THEM I DON\'T THINK THEY ARE WORKING. MY PCP DR. SUGGESTED I GET ANOTHER OPINION, MY APPOINTMENT IS IN MARCH. I CAN\'T WAIT ! ( NOTHING TO LOSE ! )
WITH THE WHOLE WORLD GOING TO HELL ON A ROCKET THAT JUST ADDS TO THE MISERY !
I ALSO FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.
WHEN DOES IT END ? I AM NOT AT ALL SUICIDAL I JUST WISH IT WOULD ALL GO AWAY ! I JUST WANT TO BE REASONABLY HAPPY.
IT\'S EVEN BORING WRITING THIS. I DON\'T KNOW WHAT ANYONE COULD WRITE BACK THAT WOULD HELP, NOTHING TO LOSE
I GUESS.
I JUST FEEL EMPTY & CONFUSED AND SAD, SO SAD !
I AM NOT A BAD GUY AT ALL ! WHEN I WAS WORKING, ( ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELOR ) THINGS WERE BETTER . I AM RETIRED NOW. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I AM VERY THANKFUL I HAVE A DOG !
HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER SOON !

G

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@donny67

G,. I'm 67, too. I understand that medications quit working in time. I'm glad that Wellbutrin still works for me after 12 years, but I recently started a second antidepressant, Remeron, because I was feeling more depressed for awhile. I think it's starting to help. If I were you, I'd be looking forward to the appointment in March. Remember that it can require trying a few meds for a few weeks each until you find the right one. I don't know about you, but patience isn't my strong suit.

I certainly understand the feeling of being overwhelmed. It's one of the hallmarks of depression. I hope a new medication helps with that. I've lived with that, along with hopelessness, worthlessness, pointlessness and sadness for more than 15 years.

I have a service dog who is always with me. Sometimes people ask me what his service is, and I usually feel like saying none of your business. But I just tell them he's a psychiatric service dog. Most of the time that ends the conversation, but sometimes a person will pursue. Usually when they do that, they themselves would love to have a dog, or a family member needs one for some issue. If a man my age starts a conversation, he usually is assuming I'm a Vietnam vet, which I'm not. I tend just to listen in that situation.

Having my dog with me all the time is important to me. We used to attend a church that denied access, which is their right under ADA regulations. We changed churches three years ago where she's welcome, and I've never heard a negative comment from anyone. People love her, and loved my previous dog who had a stroke or some other brain event and I had to have her put down. That was a really difficult time for me.

Do you find that your counseling career is a help in dealing with your own demons? I retired at 55, because of mental health issues and suicide attempts, from being a pastor, which had been my vocation since college. The feelings of loss are going still with me. Our lifelong vocation becomes part of our identity, doesn't it. Sometimes I feel weird being on the other side of the desk.

Know that you're not alone. We'll always be glad to hear from you.

Jim

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