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StanF23

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About StanF23

  • Birthday 10/12/1970

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    USA-northeast
  • Interests
    Interests = oxymoron. Non-existent when MDD visits.
    When MDD is gone: weightlifting, hockey, Science Channel, NatGeo, fast cars (BMW and Porsche). And my 2 boyz yo.

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  1. I think it depends on the country. In the U.S., which is able to successfully recruit enough volunteers, there is really no need to make it compulsory. On the other hand, look at a country like Israel. They do not have a huge population and they face an existential threat to their existence. So they need to have compulsory service. Even females are required to serve. Not so much in front-line service, but in specific capacities: intel, logistics, headquarters, training, and so forth. I don't know what the situation is in Singapore. Would they be able to fill enough of the empty slots if the government switched from mandatory to all-volunteer? The other question is this: Is there even a remote possibility that the military can work out well for you? In other words, that you could learn to overcome your anxiety, the Basic Training would whip you into great shape, and you would maybe make some life-long friends. Is it really as horrible as you are expecting, or is it possible that you are "catastrophizing" it? Every army is different. In Israel, it is compulsory, the training is quite tough, but the instructors are VERY supportive, and there is a strong feeling of helping out your buddies and vice versa. If someone is slipping, both the instructors and the students give a lot of encouragement and support to help that person get through. And everyone gets to come home once a month for a long weekend. To decompress. Then you have the other extreme: Russia. A lot of hazing, a lot of brutality, high rate of su!cide in the ranks, and so forth. Not a fun place to serve. I would assume Singapore is toward the more "civilized" end of the spectrum, just based on their high economic and democratic standing. But obviously you would have the best feel for it. If it is really as unbearable as you make it out to be, maybe you can apply for a modified duty based on medical issues. But again, is it possible this could actually turn out to be a POSITIVE experience? Maybe it will make you physically and mentally more resilient. You should speak with friends or family that have gone through the military, to see if they can give you insight and helpful tips. Best of luck to you.
  2. Ishy: The answer to your question is a resounding "yes". Depression can most definitely cause REAL physical pain. It does not happen in a lot of depressive cases, but it does happen. I know because this is how my sister's recent depression manifested. And in a small subset of people it is the ONLY symptom for months, with the other depressive symptoms arriving later to the party: the usual sadness, despair, insomnia, etc. Depression produces measurable changes in brain chemistry. It can also affect how pain signals are modulated and processed. Pain perception starts with specific pain receptors located throughout most body tissues. When a certain temperature or pressure threshold is reached, an action potential is fired, and the pain signal is sent to the brain. This process is also called nocioception. Depression can, in some cases, lower this threshold. The hard part is figuring out whether it's depression causing the pain or something else. You're right to be skeptical, because you never had depression. And thankfully your schizophrenia is done (hopefully forever). There is something called fibromyalgia which causes pain in a similar fashion, by altering how pain is perceived and processed. And there are other syndromes that can also be responsible. So it becomes a process of elimination: you need to do different tests through a neurologist's office to eliminate possible causes. It's a pain to go through all the diagnostics(pun not intended). But a good neurologist may be the only way to know for sure. I agree with LaurynJcat: you can try certain things right away, without waiting for a doctor's appointment. Stretching daily, exercise, and proper body positioning while you are sitting/working may help. You can also schedule a massage at a spa.
  3. The weather has not been helping. Getting from point A to point B was already a grind. Now it's a full-fledged project: layer upon layer of clothing, scraping stubborn ice off the windshield, and getting nasty colds every other week. I feel like the waiter brought me a plate-full of depression, and is now asking if I want some more sauce with that. And he won't take no for an answer. Needless to say, I also feel nice and emasculated. No job, taking 2 meds, and whining like a little girl to you guys. And to think there was a time when I actually considered myself "tough". What a joke I am. Unmotivated bum. Letting down my family.
  4. This current depression is a swamp with no solid ground beneath me.. No matter how hard I try to get going and do the important things to make myself better. It's like I am cranking on all cylinders and the wheels are spinning. But I still find myself standing in one place. Trying to get to the gym on a regular basis. Tring to keep looking for a job, despite rejection after rejection. Trying to not nap during the day. But my traction control system will not engage. The best way I can describe my current state: the engine is revving but I am standing in one place. So how does it actually go down? Take the gym for example. I do make it there, but it takes me forever to get all my ducks lined up before leaving the house. Water, i-Pod, gym bag, spare T-shirt, lock. It becomes a major project. Everything is like a super-slow-motion movie. Eventually I do make it. I even started getting my old form back recently, only to be derailed by a bad bronchitis these past 2 weeks. Back I go to square one. The job search is another futile undertaking. Another super-slow-motion movie starts rolling, in parallel to the gym movie. Some days I get semi-motivated and send out several feelers. But I may as well be tossing a message in a bottle into the ocean. Other days I just tell myself there is no point and I do not even do a single thing regarding job searches. Why? Because it just drains all my life juices out of me. Even when I have not been depressed, the world always seemed to move one step faster than I could keep up with. But now I am just treading water, hoping not to sink to the dark bottom. I mean, even if some miracle happens and I do get a decent job, I will be fired in the first month because of how much my inner pace has slowed the last few months. A hamster spinning a wheel and getting absolutely nowhere.
  5. One of the cornerstones of a deep depression is believing with your heart and soul that you cannot be helped. That's what deep depression does. It moves in and tells you it ain't leaving. Then it gets all comfy, and even starts walking around in its underwear like it owns the place. So in reality, you DO have a roommate. And it's a clingy one. Your absence of any hope for improvement is a classical symptom. Therefore I cannot honor your request to "trust you" that there is no cure. That is just your illness speaking. I know because I too have experienced this dark pit. More than once. As for ECT, I am not saying it is necessarily right for you. That is something you will want to discuss with your pdoc. The broad guideline is that a patient should try at least 2 different anti-depressants with no improvement, before it is considered treatment-resistant. But you can certainly push to get it done sooner, if it's an emergency. As for how ECT works, throw away any pre-conceived notions of what you've seen in the movies, or read in books. The procedure has several steps. You are given a light general anesthetic, propofol IV. When you are asleep, you are also given a muscle relaxant. You are out, you feel nothing during the procedure. The doc tapes a couple of electrodes onto your head...and then zap! A seizure is induced. Your body doesn't convulse because you were given a muscle relaxant beforehand. Maybe a toe or a finger might twitch, but that's about it. Now usually a seizure is a bad thing. But in this case a seizure is a good thing. It is a very good thing. Here is where we get to the mysterious part: you definitely need to have the seizure to get a therapeutic benefit. That much we know. But no one knows the exact mechanism of action. Something about having the seizure must trigger sizable neurochemical cascades. Some sort of "reboot" in those parts of the brain that affect emotion, mood, motivation, reward. I woke up after the first couple of sessions and could not feel any difference. By the third treatment, I started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. With each successive treatment, there was more and more light. I must have had at least 25 to 30 treatments in all. I needed about 15 before I felt like a human being. The last 5 treatments were monthly "maintenance" sessions. You need to taper it gradually to avoid relapse. That's pretty much it, in a nutshell.
  6. Hey InFlames. I really enjoyed our interaction on the other thread about Work issues. I remember your story well. I am here to shoulder this current burden with you. As are a lot of other folks here, who I have found to be helpful and kind. Sounds like classical, nasty......depression. I have 3 comments specifically about what you wrote. 1) I noticed you said you are still living with your ex. Not for me or anyone else to judge whether this is good or bad. Perhaps your circumstances are such that other living arrangements are not an option? But I do want to mention that it can be difficult to turn over a new leaf when you keep getting reminded of an old wound. Sometimes it is better to extricate yourself physically from that co-habitating environment, so that your brain can rest and reset. Healing is difficult when there is tension and uncertainty close by. 2) There are probably more medication options now than when you were last on Paxil. Paxil, to the best of my knowledge, is less frequently prescribed than other SSRIs. Precisely because of its greater side effect profile. You owe it to yourself to get to a psychiatrist and relay the above information to him/her. Your bad responses to both Paxil and Remeron may be valuable information! The things you felt can give your pdoc an important clue in plotting out safer, more effective alternatives. 3) You can always opt for the express route. No, not the morbid one you suggested! I am talking about ECT. The routine meds can take upwards of 4-6 weeks to kick in and take effect. If you are in such despair that you feel you cannot make it that long, ECT kicks in substantially quicker. On a pure percentage basis, it is more effective than most meds at pulling patients out of deep, despairing depression. It certainly saved me back in 2005, when my first marriage fell apart and my father died, both within a one month window. I was convinced, like you, that my "goose was cooked" and my life was over. Kaput. Get the body bag ready. And yet, somehow ECT pulled me out of the abyss of no return. I did not find the side effects to be troublesome at all. I can discuss the side effects with you, if that is an option you are willing to consider with your pdoc. Anyway, those are my 3 little suggestions, for whatever they're worth. Your friend in depression.
  7. I do not think you should beat yourself up for feeling this way, GoldenOne. Even if your brother was NOT autistic, it is perfectly natural to love a close family member and at the same time hate certain aspects of their behavior/personality. It is natural to have these 2 emotions co-exist inside you. It does not sound odd or harsh at all. And sometimes, it is ok to have the negative feelings outshine the positive ones. In terms of practical advice, I agree with Sheepwoman. Get ahead of the curve by telling your friends ahead of time about your brother's condition. You can tell them very matter-of-factly, like here's what to expect at my house. That way they will not be shocked or surprised by things he might say or do. And you will want to stress that he is harmless, and they have nothing to worry about in his presence. It will actually be a win-win. On the one hand it will take the pressure off you, like a weight being lifted off your shoulders. You will not need to be on pins and needles. On the other hand, it can also be an excellent learning experience for your friends when they do visit. It will expand their horizons, make them more tolerant people, less judgmental.
  8. Can totally relate. Video games were my sanctuary for several months after I quit work. I was binging, to the point of getting very little sleep. The game environments are so realisitic these days, and the gameplay itself is both challenging and highly rewarding. It is definitely an addiction. I am convinced it is the same physical neural pathway as coca!ne, porn, and gambling addictions. Luckily, I broke the cycle but it still calls my name sometimes. HUGE problem among young people in both South Korea and Japan. They have game rehab centers there.
  9. Getting my 5th grader to school on time, and his little bro to pre-school. And sometimes it's because I have to pee. Mornings are definitely tough. The kids are a good anti-depressant, but it's a short half-life: once they are in school I start moping around with my head down.
  10. Yes, dopamine agonist. But it is never cut and dry with psychotropic drugs. The brain is just an incredibly complex organ. For example, a lot of the SSRIs are very similar to one another and have the same mechanism of action. Yet it has been shown time and again that the same patient will respond extremely differently to different SSRIs. He/she may not respond at all to Prozac or Zoloft and then get substantial relief from Lexapro. It really is a crapshoot. In your case, it sounds like Wellbutrin was the next logical choice in light of the serotonin syndrome.
  11. Thanks InFlames, for the kind words. Your post took some of the pressure off. I just thought of another metaphor: a battered streetwalker who finally ran away from an abusive pimp. I don't mean to make light of their situation, but it truly felt that way when I left. So even though I am not making any money right now, I feel liberated. That last company was abusive on so many levels. Ingrained in the culture. Even those that have survived the repeating, annual layoffs have been fleeing in droves. Now everyone tells me that looking for a job is priority #1. In some ways they are right. But in some ways it's like looking for another pimp to beat and abuse me. My only hope is to find a "nicer" pimp. :-)
  12. For me, obsessing over my own future death stopped when I had kids. It really changed my whole perspective. I don't view my conscious state as all-important. Now I view my physical body more as a DNA vehicle. Now that I have passed that DNA to my 2 kids, I feel a surprising sense of calm. In the sense that the DNA, i.e. my system "code" will survive in my kids and then in their kids, even when my physical being is long gone. Weird, huh? Must be all the nature and evolution programs I love to watch on TV. It's all about the gene. Making its way from one vehicle (body) to the next. I am not suggesting that everyone go out and make a bunch of kids ASAP to quell their fear of death...but when/if you do, you may also find that deeper perspective. That's the scientific "tranquilizer". The practical "tranquilizer" is that you get so busy taking care of these DNA extensions of yourself (i.e. kids), that it does not leave as much time to ponder death. You're either driving them to and from activities, dropping them off at school, taking them to the dentist, tossing them in the air, watching their favorite show with them, etc. In other words, you are living for something besides yourself. It is stressful in many ways, but in a very different way it takes the pressure off thinking about yourself. You are living for something bigger besides yourself.
  13. You do not mention the dose the doc started you on. 150? 300? There is a good possibility that the events you mentioned were not in any way caused by the Wellbutrin. It may be caused by withdrawal from the Zoloft. Or it may just be a complete coincidence and not caused by either drug. In any event, three days is not a lot of time to make a judgement call about Wellbutrin (and other anti-depressants as well). It has a delayed effect, similar to the SSRIs. You need to give it at LEAST 3 weeks, possibly longer, before you decide it's not helping. That's probably why the doc was encouraging you not to quit it just yet. Settle down, keep taking it as prescribed, and see how the next few days go. You may find that you are tolerating it quite well, and those other events were unconnected. On the other hand, let your doctor know if you continue to have more episodes like the ones you mentioned.
  14. Dude, consider this a compliment: you do NOT sound like you're 23. I've seen some of your other posts, and from your writing I thought you were definitely well into your 30s or even 40s. In other words, you sound wise beyond your years. Maybe having anhedonia (as frustrating as it is) makes one more perceptive in other aspects. Sort of like a detached observer. Able to analyze events and people objectively, without any emotional bias.
  15. I would not call 1 mg a "small dose" for Klonopin or Ativan. It's a regular dose. It is a good dose if you feel panicky and/or highly anxious. Otherwise, you may find you can get away with 0.5 mg. Why even try a smaller dose? Well, obviously with benzos you've got the addiction potential. That too, will vary from individual to individual. I am not talking about scary addiction like you'll be hanging on street corners looking for your next hit. Nothing like that. But you may feel pretty darn uncomfortable if you're used to higher daily doses and then stop. And also you will develop a higher tolerance, so after a while you'll need a higher dose than 1 mg to get the same effect. Anyway, 1 mg should be perfectly ok if we're talking a few weeks. But you don't want to find yourself still on daily doses two years later. For me, the true "beauty" of benzos comes out when you use them on an "as needed" basis. You pop one here or there to take the edge off a particularly stressful morning or a short-term worrying situation. But when the acute part of the trigger is gone, you just lay off the Klonopin or Ativan until you need it again. Of course, that's easy for me to say because I do not have a high addiction potential. I can drink socially but I never crave alcohol, never got into cigarettes, and have used benzos in the past at higher doses when I was very agitated/anxious.
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