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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/23/2012 in Posts

  1. I was going to write this post as a journal entry to myself as I'm feeling very low and panicky at the moment. However on the off-chance that it might be of benefit to some of the good, nay great, folks on DF I thought I might as well post it here. I read a lot of the posts on this forum and one very common feature of what people are going through is the fear and panic they feel at what is happening to them. Browse through the posts and you will see a lot of, 'I don't know what's happening', 'Something is not right', 'I'm losing my mind', etc. I've made similar statements in some of my previous posts on this very forum in the past. Even though I've suffered from depression for more than 10 years I am still freaking out at how bad I'm feeling right now. Surely by now I should be an expert at managing this? I have had enough experience after all. So, this is what I'm trying to tell myself (and for what it's worth I know this to be totally true, it's just that depression sometimes casts a dark fog over our thinking): For all the terrible symptoms it produces we are all suffering from the SAME basic condition. Of course depression and anxiety affect us uniquely, such is the nature of a disease of the most amazing and complex system known to man, the human brain. However, even though we probably all feel like we are going through something totally personal to us, and I don't deny that in a sense we are, essentially we're all suffering from the same underlying illness, caused by abnormal changes in our brain neurochemistry. The reason none of us can just 'snap out' of depression is that it's an absolutely real illness. Stop thinking of the symptoms you are experiencing as being a manifest reflection of something that is deeply wrong with you. You're just ill. In the future they will be able to precisely elucidate the neurochemical changes that are going on within the brain. For now, they have kind of a rough idea of what's going on but not much more than that. Some days I wake up and can hardly get out of bed. I mean that quite literally. I feel numb to everything, no energy, utter hopelessness for the future and no interest in anybody or anything. Then a day later I can wake up and feel totally normal. Nothing in my life circumstances has changed from the bad day to the good day, it just so happens that for some reason that is inexplicable to me on the first day my neurochemistry is screwed up and on the second day it is within normal ranges. So whatever weird, horrifying, disturbing symptoms you are suffering from please try to remember that you're just ill. If it was an illness of the body you would feel pain or you would have difficulty walking or impaired vision. However, because illnesses like diabetes, arthritis, etc affect organs other than the brain the symptoms they produce, while they can of course be very serious, are still more uniform and less confounding than an illness which affects the brain, an organ many many times more complex than anything else in these bodies of ours. If you feel totally down or anxious when reading this then just accept that there is little that you can do about the way you feel right now to feel instantly better, although of course things like exercise and certain fast acting medications can help greatly. But also know that your brain chemistry is in flux and you are not going to carry on feeling like this forever. There's no point trying to analyse the way you feel or trying to think the way out of your depression, anymore than it would make sense to try and think your way out of diabetes. The depression or anxiety is there, it is making you feel so bad and when it goes you will feel better. I realise that we might all have developed depression for different reasons but I doubt there is one person on this forum that can say that his or her life circumstances are absolutely unique and that the life he or she has gone through is worse than that experienced by many of the millions of people who go through terrible things but don't ever develop depression. Accept that the depression or anxiety is there for now, stop thinking about it and learn to function as best you can even with the worst depression or anxiety that you have ever felt. And take hope in the knowledge that this will get better. Many posters are also blaming themselves for something that is not in the least their fault and saying things like 'I feel like a loser', 'I don't feel worthy', etc, etc. I say to you 'Nonsense!!!' You are just ill. In fact you are more worthy than most because you're dealing with a horrible illness and still managing to keep going. Most of you deserve medals, I tell you that. You're soldiers. Yet because our society is so nasty and backwards, we are still expected to function as well as people who don't have depression at all. When I think about how I am, I mean how functional I am on a good day as compared to a bad day, the gulf between the two is massive. The bad day Bud cannot possibly hope to compete with the good day Bud. It's like trying to be in a fight with someone with one hand tied behind your back. So be realistic and don't be too hard on yourselves. When you're down then do what you can but don't expect too much. Be gentle. As for what everyone in your company or your social circle thinks, to hell with them. They're not experiencing this and you are. Human beings like to go around feeling superior to others and judgmental, especially in modern workplaces. Their lack of sympathy, empathy or understanding is a sad reflection on them, not on you. I tell you you are all wonderful people and it pains me to see you suffer. Well maybe right at the moment you can't help the suffering but you can avoid compounding it. Let's support each other through this and take the view that we are in it together. Know that if you post here you'll get a reply, so however incapable of understanding people in your lives might be, you'll always have this forum to come to. I don't know about you but I at least find great solace in that. Thanks for listening. B
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  2. Those are all great- thank you. I'm working to see every day things as accomplishments these days- getting out of bed for example, going to difficult appointments, etc. I am starting to FEEL the accomplishment too, which is a totally new thing for me. Going on day 6 now, no SI, feels pretty good,
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  3. To be honest every single good day feels like an enormous success and I try to appreciate that.
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  4. I do not feel successful since losing my job. However, I guess if I had to pick something I would have to say that I am successful if I make it to my doctor appointments and meetings on time. These days I have trouble getting up and getting to appointments and if they are earlier than noon.....forget it.
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  5. False. We are imperfect...far from the perfect humans originally created. Our brains have chemical imbalances and we are traumatized while living on this planet, so while we may have God in our life and believe and try our best we cannot expect that we will be instantly cured of our ails.
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  6. I feel successful because I'm sober and feeling very good.
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  7. LonelyHiker

    The Meaning Of Life?

    I am an atheist and believe that we give our lives meaning via the choices we make. I also believe that our lives' meaning changes from moment to moment, much as Viktor Frankl describes in his book Man's Search For Meaning. Life may seem meaningless, much like the myth of Sisyphus and his endless task, but the key thing to remember is he (Sisyphus) never gives up. His perseverance is itself what becomes the meaning of his life. So should we all never give up, regardless of how absurd our very existence may seem at times, if only for the sake of bettering ourselves as human beings. In this regard, our very quest for meaning is the very thing that imparts meaning to us. Peace, Tim
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  8. Hey, listen, it may be long since pertinent, but I'm an insurance agent and I had to study all this stuff! I've also had personal experience filing disability for mental health. What you need to do in this circumstance is call human resources to get the number to file a claim for FMLA (family and medical leave act), where, if you've worked there a year, you should get job protection for up to (I think) 16 weeks of unpaid medical leave. FMLA protects your job, meaning you shouldn't be written up or fired if you qualify for FMLA and miss work with valid medical documentation. It does not replace your income. Short term disability claims are usually separate, and they are usually filed to the insurance company that works the plan for your employer - for me, my employer IS the insurance company, but for you the benefits may be through Unum, the Hartford, etc. Your disability claims IN ADDITION TO FMLA job protection, and require more than just a doctor's note - they require documents like the APS (attending physician statement) and it's a lot more hassle for your doc. If you get short term disability, you will get income replacement, usually at a fixed percentage (like 80% for the first 16 weeks, then 60%...this may depend on your years of service to the company or on the policy purchased by your company). You will continue to have to fill out forms for the duration of your disability, if it's short term, or, you may need to at some point in time convert to a long term disability claim where you'll get something like 50% of your income indefinitely or until you go on SSDI. SSI and SSDI are social insurance programs that you have paid into by taxes, just like you and your employer pay into private disability insurance. If you file for disability, which you can do online, they will determine if your condition qualifies you and if you have worked enough credits to earn social security disability (and if so, how much your benefit is). If that happens, you'll get the monthly check from Uncle Sam and after 24 consecutive months of benefits, you will be able to go on Medicare. (YAY Medicare. Everyone in the world should be jealous of Medicare, and every American should have access to buy in regardless of age or disability...but I digress.) Keep in mind, most people are denied for SSDI benefits the first time they apply, and it takes a while sometimes to get what you've earned. Now, since I understand that your situation didn't go down like I described above, with filing for FMLA protections or STD claims, you may still want to speak with HR and see if you can retroactively file. It absolutely may not be too late, because it has been LESS THAN 60 DAYS! There are so many times in laws where the guidelines are 90 days or greater, so do be optimistic. If you are fired and you truly believe that you will not recover sufficiently to reenter the workforce, you can start the SSDI process. Better to start early, since you may be denied lots of times before getting benefits. If you are fired and you think you can make it elsewhere on unemployment - good luck! :) I mean that sincerely, the job market is what it is, but there is work to be found.
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  9. *hugs* I liked 'Managing your Mind' too, but the main thing that has helped me lately is actual therapy...just wanted to say in solidarity too, I worked for years in crappy jobs after graduating, and I know many, many people who did the same. And people who have tried careers, not liked them and left to work as a barista in a coffee shop instead and been much happer. It isn't a reflection on how valuable you are as a person, I promise, and it doesn't make you a slacker! That drudge day-in-day-out is really hard. I would honestly never judge someone not worth knowing because of their job (ok, if they were an arms dealer or something... ), I really think people who react that way aren't worth knowing anyway.
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  10. I feel like it is not the negative thoughts themselves but how you perceive them and deal with them. If negative thoughts come to you and you are able to dismiss them, and actually be in the moment instead of mulling over things, then you are less likely to be depressed. If you ruminate over and over, then maybe those thought patterns are part of the cause of the depression. Not sure if I'm making sense.. just my two cents.
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  11. Hi Le Renard, It's interesting to me (being a literature lover myself) that these plays impacted you so much. They did what their creators intended then, didn't they? I think you have to take the approach that this is just a literature study, it will be over soon and push through. I think you should look at the fact that clearly although it feels very real to you, these were both just works created by great playwrights telling a story. It's hard not to immerse yourself in these plays because they are so strong, but maybe you can write about how it is difficult to remain detached and objective because they are so "real" to you. It could make for a great paper. Sincerely, MaddieLouise
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  12. (((Abby))) I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a hard time with this. It can be incredibly difficult dealing with losing a person we loved, almost like a grieving process. I know right now you're hurting and lonely, but as you've said yourself, you made the right choice. Your relationship was obviously toxic and it's not something you deserve in your life. Your family sounds wonderful and supportive, so right now is the time to lean on them for all the support you can get. You've been through so much with the emotional abuse and your own depression, now it's time to focus on yourself and get well. You don't need people like him in your life as they will only make that impossible. Take care of YOU right now. I think what you're experiencing is what many of us do when we end a relationship. You're at a place right now where you think mostly of the good times. You think about how you felt when you were with him, when you were happy. You wonder if you'll ever find anyone else who will make you feel this way. It's a pretty common thing that we tend to idolize those "love lost" people and the relationships we ended. The fact of the matter is that you WILL find some one who makes you feel that way again. You'll find some one who treats you well and doesn't emotionally abuse you and hold your mental illness against you. Try to remember this, and it will help you through this as you go through the process of loss and grieving. As cliche as it is, these things DO take time. Right now focus on getting well. The rest will fall in place as this happens. Give yourself time to cry if you need it, but be as strong as you can. You can and you will get through this.
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  13. I dont get mad at friends happy statuses. At times I do feel a little jealous though. They dont have to deal with mental illness and are able to live their lives to the fullest without limitations. But this is the card I was dealt so I have to try and live with it as best I can. I feel less jealous when I have something good happen for me and I share it, everyone is very supportive and happy for me as I appear to be for them.
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  15. Wormling

    Am I Over Thinking?

    I don't partake in Christmas at all. It all seems too commercial. Happiness should not be measured on who spent the most money.
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  16. Violet31

    What Is Your Work?

    I have four jobs I really love: I work in post production at a TV-station, translate and prepare shows and movies for broadcasting, teach art and films at the Academy of Arts, manage film festivals and art shows in the National film archive, write articles and books for publications.
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