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Everything posted by Michelle38

  1. I know depression causes me to shut off especially after a meltdown but I don't recall if that happened with me and my anxiety. I know there was something shut off most of my life, a dead spot I felt but not sure if that wasn't just my emotional pain point. But depression does send me into shutdown mode. It may have something to do with a different area of the brain possibly something related to emotions but I haven't looked that up yet. I do know I stayed in hypervigilant emergency mode even after i found the peace I was just not perplexed about it. I accepted it that is until the stressful event. But I am working now to stop rushing and let go of things being an emergency. I still struggle to keep it contained but it doesn't seem quite as pervasive as before.
  2. So I just read a little bit about the brain and how it functions. Someone please correct me if I am wrong as I am not a scientist but what I read was there is a part of the brain called the amygdala that acts as the attention center. It is always running on idle surveying our world on the ready to send out a message or warning. The prefrontal cortex then takes that information and decides if the warning is warranted or not. For instance if you come across a lion in your path in the wild the prefrontal cortex would hopefully tell you to run like mad but if you come across it in a zoo then it would say no danger here just enjoy the show. The thing is they think for people with anxiety that part of the brain or something to do with the connection can cause it to be hyperactive or hypervigilant. I found that fascinating because it always seemed to me that my behavior was rooted in being hypervigilant about my behavior. It was like I had to watch my every move to keep from messing up. I guess they believe that people who are prone to anxiety maybe do not have a great connection with the prefrontal cortex telling them that there isn’t any danger. Therefore everything becomes an emergency or threat. That was what it always felt like to me, that I responded to the world as if everything was an emergency and I had to resolve it right this instance or else. Now here is the strange thing to me that I am trying to understand. There was a time when my life was so stressful that I came very, very close to a nervous breakdown. I started to show classic signs of a nervous breakdown with constant agitation and bursting into tears for no reason. And then one day I just snapped but in a good way. I was suddenly profoundly peaceful about everything in my life. I still had issues but none of it bothered me. I stayed that way joyfully for almost 10 years when I got triggered back into an even worse severe depression than before and the anxiety and fear came back as well. This after a prolonged period of being in a stressful situation. So it is almost like that moment I snapped turned off the warning system and then being subjected to a stressful fearful situation turned it back on. I just find it interesting that something very scientific is very well happening in my brain though I could not tell you how it wound up shutting down on its own. Some sort of survival overload safety mechanism more than likely but I always kind of wondered what happened and this may be part of the answer. Has anyone done any research on the brain in regard to fear, anxiety and emotions? I am going to look around some more but want to get any feedback on this subject. I am not sure it has anything to do with depression persay but it's implications in relation to anxiety are quite interesting to me though another article I read before made reference to a theory that depression can at times be triggered after a period of high anxiety. The coming off the anxiety triggers the depression so there may be a link but in general I think the amygdala prefrontal cortex connection may be mostly related to anxiety issues. I would really love to get back to that place/state of peace but I really didn’t do any of it on command so not sure how one would even begin to replicate the brain shift I guess you would say. It’s all very strange to me though maybe it is something fairly common. I am just very curious about it all now.
  3. To be honest I am not sure I am in favor of self medicating with illegal drugs but point 1 really caught my attention. I spent most of my young life in fear and anxiety with an emergency mentality about everything. Everything was an emergency and had to be done in a hurry or else was how I ran my life. I took a job that added stress as well my home life was not the greatest and then some health issues piled on top of that my stress and anxiety went through the roof. I started to show classic signs of a nervous breakdown with constant agitation and bursting into tears for no reason. And then one day I just snapped but in a good way. I became as you say, was this you or someone else, well regardless, I became a zen master. I was profoundly peaceful about everything in my life. I still had issues but none of it bothered me. I stayed that way joyfully for almost 10 years when I got triggered back into an even worse severe depression than I had ever known. Well I had skirted it on occasion but was able to get out. This time I could not just turn it off. No so sure about the fear but the anxiety was definitely back but I would say maybe not as bad as before but I also don't have as stressful a life as I did before so I can't honestly say if they would be back as badly as it had been. Anyways, I have been trying to understand what happened and this is the first I ever came across possibly understanding why. Where did you get this info from? The link you posted seems to be related to point 3.
  4. Please hold on and please do call someone before you make any decisions. It sounds like you are putting too many expectations on yourself based on what you think other people think. The truth is you can only live for you. What you want is all that matters. Are you in therapy at all? I think it might help you to sort out your thoughts and help you find a direction to go in. In any event, try not to worry about whether you are or are not disappointing anyone and make your mental health and happiness your top priority. Seek out help if you are unable to find your way on your own. None of this is easy. Take care. I send you hope and love.
  5. Do not in any way shape or form be hard on yourself. We all have struggled immensely with our own depression. Like Neurotic Lady said it is much easier to be compassionate towards others than towards ourselves. I think they say that depressed people make the most compassionate people towards others because we get it. I know for me I am really good at putting on a mask so no one can see the truth. But looks can be deceiving. I know when I am in the throws of the dark side of depression all I want is for the pain to stop. I just want it to end because it feels like it will never end and I feel like the weakest person on the planet. I have cried so much these past three years I could fill a small lake or at least a good sized pond. I cry about everything. Right now I am in the middle of some intense regret feeling a lot of would have, could have should, have and trying to not turn on myself. It's a process that takes time with a lot of ups and downs. We all struggle so just be kind to yourself if you can.
  6. I would not recommend drinking as a solution to your pain or lack of feeling. It is a risky path to take that can lead to drinking becoming a crutch. I highly suggest you look elsewhere to lift your mood. Music, a funny movie or good book, watching puppy and kitten videos on YouTube a hobby you enjoy. Something other than a path that could lead to further regret down the road. Please mull over your choices. I wish you well and hope you feel better soon.
  7. It is not your fault your friend is depressed, it is not your fault that you can't save them and it is not your fault that your brain is wired for this. It is not just a pity party. We are not doing any of this on purpose. No need for guilt. Just use this experience as a way to try and be more mindful of the thoughts you can work to turn around. The last thing you want to do is beat yourself up. You will just wind up causing yourself to sink deeper. Depression is extremely challenging, no bones about it. Be gentle.
  8. I don't know what your situation is so I would consult with your therapist about what you desire and they can inform you what is and what isn't possible for your situation. If you truly have ADD I am not sure if it is wise to be off meds. This said, I know that there is a thing called exposure therapy where you allow your emotions to come forth so you learn how to deal with them but again I would do this under the guidance and care of a doctor. I spent 2 years in full emotional meltdown mode and it is pretty harrowing but I also saw at the end of it that I did not fear my emotions. Just because the emotions and suicidal thoughts were overwhelmingly strong it didn't mean I would act on them. I proved to myself that I had restraint even if my mind was weak in its thoughts. This gave me a sense of power over my emotions that I did not have before. So I would say maybe discuss this with your doctor on your next visit and see what they have to say. But do not go off any meds without consulting them. That can actually be pretty dangerous.
  9. I don't think we should ever compare ourselves to another. They say into every life a little rain must fall. No one's life is a bed of roses, we all have to face challenges from time to time. Challenges none of us would wish on another. So though a person's life may seem all roses and fun it doesn't mean it is the case. I have a beautiful life and nice body and a good job. By all accounts I should be healthy and well adjusted but still waters run deep. On the surface all appears calm and fine to the outside world but underneath there is an incredible turmoil going on that is more challenging than I can handle at times. So you can't always judge a life by the surface details. Your cousin at this point appears to have had a lot of things handed to them. Yes it all seems great from the outside and who knows maybe he will have a picture perfect life but you also don't know what is in store for him down the road so try not to compare. Set a goal for yourself for what you think will bring you happiness. Set your intentions towards achieving that goal and just start walking towards it. What life is like now does not necessarily dictate what life will be like years down the road. It is already turning around it sounds with finding the new lady in your life. Focus on that and let the rest drop. Take care.
  10. I am not sure if it all can be totally beaten but it can be conquered to a large degree. The first half of my life was plagued by fear and anxiety. I had some depression symptoms, moodiness and a ever present dead spot somewhere inside me but for the most part I was able to be happy at times until my stress levels at work and at home got to a crisis point. I came very close to having a nervous breakdown when I snapped in a good way. One day, like all the others, in a completely stressed out state feeling as though I was about to break a thought and feeling came over me that I was my intentions not my mistakes. At that moment I can't say that I was over anxiety but I was over the mental anguish I was putting myself in. I was suddenly OK with life. It was a very odd thing but I didn't care I was just happy to have some peace. That lasted for close to 10 years when a scary medical condition came about and I fell into a horribly severe depression afterwards. I turned on myself something fierce and spent 2 years bound and determined to annihilate myself and then another more in than out of the feelings. I am finally getting clarity and learning some things. I now see that there are some people who have brains that are wired to have stronger emotions than others. This is a big challenge because any emotion can over take us and dominate our life. If that is truly the case then we may never be totally free from having strong emotions but what we can be free from is the thinking that causes those emotions to run out of control. I am seeing for me that there was a lot of negative self talk in the background undermining my self image and self esteem to the point when a difficult and strong emotion came about I was in a sense making the situation worse even a crisis with my inner dialogue. I have been doing a lot of soul search to get to the root of it all and it has helped tremendously. So in that regard I do think we can recover and have a happy life. We may likely always have to be mindful of our emotions but they don't have to rule our world. So in general I think it important to not just throw meds at the situation to just feel better but rather work on the inner defeating dialogue that is complicating matters dragging us down into even darker moods that can be very difficult to pull out of. I am not against meds, and I do believe it can take some time to find the right doses and combinations that work for each individual I just believe that for true happiness it can't be the only thing we do. Ultimately I have a very questioning nature. Even as a kid the teachers would hush me (finding this is a big trigger) because I asked too many questions but it is the inquisitive mind and need for clarity that has helped me to sort it all out for myself. The biggest thing is we need to set a goal for what we want and just keep walking looking for the answers. They may not come fast but they will come but they for sure won't if we don't go looking. So will we ever get past strong emotions, we may and we may not but we can get past them controlling our world and as a result find true happiness in life.
  11. Wow, bizarre. 15 years ago when I was so stressed out I almost had a nervous breakdown a doctor suspected this in me. I didn't really notice it so much at the time or maybe I did my best to deny it. I had hurt my back and went to him with help for that but in the notes he commented that I had a flat effect and he suspected anehndonia. He was pushing counseling for the stress. He thought my back issue was all stress related and I didn't agree but I was afraid of counseling, partly cause I didn't have time but mostly because the sad thing was and maybe still is if you are labeled with a mental illness you can become almost uninsurable. But regardless I don't know that he handled the situation well in helping me see that my inability to cope was the problem as opposed to just the things in my life being a problem. I clearly saw my life circumstances as being the issue not my lack of coping skills. I see now I was wrong and that he was pretty spot on. I got mad at him though cause I thought he wasn't taking my back issue seriously. Guess I should have given him a break. Such is life. At least I am trying to sort it out now.
  12. If the doctor does not suggest it I would consider seeing a therapist as well. You have some trauma in your past that you could use some help with. I do hope it all goes well. Come here to talk it out anytime you need to. The people are very supportive.
  13. Glad to hear it went well. Had a couple of very large fibroids myself that made a mess of things for me. They wanted to do a hysterectomy with the second surgery but I would not allow it. I guess I just wanted to keep all my parts regardless of ever having children. Well rest up and glad to here it went well.
  14. Yes, I agree, the title makes the person sound all weepy when that isn't always the case. The emotions can go quite strongly in other directions as well. The emotions just tend to be stronger than what other people feel. I didn't realize there was such a thing until I came here and started to read up more on depression. I very much fit the profile though I am a quite girly so I would not have the stigma quite as much as a man. I will check out the book.
  15. I am confused exactly what this is. I think I may have had some form of it my whole life but not sure I understand what is depression related and what is from anhendonia. My father was very critical of my mistakes and my successes so I never developed the ability to be proud of myself. I have never felt accomplished. People compliment me and I have always appreciated it but I never felt it for myself. I felt love for others but never for myself. I know people love me but I can't feel their love. There was also, even when not in depression what I would call some sort of dead spot in me. A disconnect with life. It wasn't severe or anything but it did keep me from really joining in all the reindeer games so you might say. I kind of sat on the sidelines. I even just now recall a doctor putting on one of my reports that there was a flat effect about me. I only know this by requesting a copy of my files and I really didn't quite get what he meant at the time but now I kind of guess he saw the disconnect. I never thought to question it or try to change. But I did work through my anxiety at one point and really opened myself up to feeling love for others. I even found a little bit of pride for myself. I remember saying it was the first time I had ever felt proud was breaking through my anxiety, or maybe I just felt relief. But then I crashed into severe depression and the biggest crushing blow was not being able to feel love. I lost the ability to feel love. I still did at first I think but I just felt it slow slip away until I reached lost hope and it was totally gone. I fought hard to not lose and made the whole situation worse but it was the one thing I didn't want to lose but I could see it going and kind of knew it was only a matter of time before it was gone. I can still feel laughter or humor, not sure what emotion that is but it is very fleeting and that is probably the only positive emotion I can feel. I don't feel excitement, pleasure or love. It seems the only emotions I can feel are negative ones, anger, hate, sadness, despair. But even as I walk out of the dark depression and on occasion start to feel hopeful again, maybe even a twinge of excitement I now wonder if I will ever feel self love. If I didn't have it before not sure how I would get it now. Not sure what I am asking here just trying to understand it all. I can clearly see it being completely separate from depression but made intensely worse by being in depression. So many layers to all of this it is hard for me to wrap my head around.
  16. I wrote in a journal everyday, still do. There are about 16 of them now. A lot of darkness in them but it truly did help me get out the hurt and sorrow and helped me to see what I was thinking, what was really bothering me and after a while, a few journals in, I stared to notice that after i wrote out a rant, if I sat for a while and just let myself be, I was starting to journal counter arguments to all the negative self talk and blame. So writing it out really was great therapy for me. It can definitely help. I am sorry your job is such a huge source of stress. Is there a way for you to search for another while still keeping this one in the meantime? You deserve to be treated with respect and have a job you do not feel threatened at. As for your relationship I am sorry you don't have someone who is more supportive but please do keep in mind that how he responds isn't something you are responsible for. But I understand what it means to do this on your own so please do come and blog and chat with the other members. I am fairly new myself and find everyone very supportive. You are not alone anymore. Stay strong and hope you feel better soon.
  17. I am so sorry to hear you need surgery. I have had a few in my life and they are just a scary thing to go through. I send you love and strength and even though I can't be there with you physically I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers all day long. When you are feeling better please do let us know you are OK. (((HUGS)))
  18. Have you talked to your spouse about this? Been frank with her about how much this is impacting your happiness? You may be surprised at her response. You say your job has a lot of flexibility. Is there any way to fit in some hobbies for the things that your heart is passionate about with this flexibility? A way to satisfy this missing spot so the rest doesn't feel like drudgery? This is a dilemma that I think a lot of people face but unfortunately no one can make the decision for you but you. I would say weigh the pros and cons and really make sure that it is just the job that is affecting your mood and not something else. Meaning the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Once a passion becomes a career there is a whole new set of stressors added to the equation that can affect the situation. In some cases the passion is so strong there is no questioning but when there is doubt it is best to look at the situation as a whole and see if it is really just the job affecting your happiness or something deeper. I do hope you find clarity as well your happiness. Welcome to the boards.
  19. Glad to hear you are feeling better. You rode it out and that is all we need to do sometimes in regards to accepting a down mood. With time you may be able to spot your triggers but for now just remind yourself that you can ride it out. It won't last forever. It's not about choosing how to feel but rather acknowledging this is how I feel and I have no choice right now but to feel this way. Now how do I want to handle that? Do I fight it or do I see what these horrible feelings are trying to say? When I first fell into severe depression I was terrified of what I was feeling. The pain was so intense and scary all I wanted was to be out of it but I could not change it. I could not just stop feeling the emotional pain so I had no choice but to ride it out. And by ride it out I mean I chose to let it come out. In the privacy of my own home when no one was around I allowed myself to have complete and total emotional screaming my head off crying out in pain meltdowns. It took quite a bit of time but after a while I actually came to see that the emotions weren't so scary after all. They were not comfortable and I am not happy when they are around but if I let them have a voice as opposed to try and force them away they can be released much sooner. And now I have moved on from trying to fight off the feelings. I have accepted that I will have an emotional breakdown from time to time. But I try and keep from prolonging my suffering when they do come knocking on my door by not engaging in demeaning self talk that would only make the situation worse and cause the emotions to spiral out of control. But it was only until I stopped fighting (accepted) having the emotions in the first place that I began to learn how to lesson the duration of the emotional crisis when it came. So maybe right now you are in a position where you will suffer and suffering is what you need to accept. So what can you do to possibly minimize it or make it a bit less difficult on you? In general most people never chose to feel bad. It is not a choice to feel bad but sometimes we have to accept that we are going to feel bad because fighting against it only makes it worse. Suffering is not fun but there are things we can do to make it a little less uncomfortable, like simply slowing our breathing down and engaging in soothing self talk that serve to calm us, One thing I say all the time when I feel myself starting to spiral is, Calm down Michelle you are OK. After a while I start to feel OK. There are other things you can do too but the point is yes, you may need to accept that the situation you are in is going to cause you some pain but the pain isn't forever and maybe if you think about it there might be some tricks you can find that help you cope with something you do not like.
  20. I would say yes, that is part of the process. As we try to heal we are bound to uncover old wound that were suppressed and never dealt with. I know I went through a period were I just felt overwhelming trauma. I couldn't even tell you what it was about, I just felt like the whole weight of the world was on me over all the trauma in it. It was a difficult time but I knew it was just old hurt coming out. As well I felt for a time like I was young again because I was feeling insecure again when I had done a very good job of getting myself to a place where I thought I was fine so to be back in the emotional turmoil is a bit hard. Try not to run from the feelings so much as try to process them with your therapist if necessary. They definitely sound like hurts that wounded your self worth. Things that are happening in you life now, even if they don't mirror the situation are a reflection of your wounded self image that needs healing and as such may remind you of how you felt back then. As a side note, they are all lies by the way. Whatever those kids said and did was done out of mindless careless thinking on their part. It was not a reflection of you.
  21. They say the true sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. I don't know if that is a clear description of insanity but the idea is that if we keep doing things the same as we did before we will keep getting the same as we have gotten. Acceptance is about giving up the struggle wanting something to be different when it is not possible. It is the struggle to try and push the situation in a way that it won't go that keeps us in misery. So what you say is exactly true. Things are what they are no matter how you feel so is how you are feeling helping the situation or making the situation worse. If it is making the situation worse then it is a matter of looking at the situation knowing that it can't be changed and making a decision about how you want to deal with it from that place. One day at a time, one minute at a time, distraction even if the situation is a painful one or whatever else comes to mind. So you are accepting reality and finding a way to cope until the situation has passed or resolved on its own. Everything, and I mean everything in this life is temporary. At some point there is an end. Acceptance is about how we deal with what is in front of us until we reach that end. As a side note though, acceptance is hard when what you need to accept is having depression. I am not sure if this is what that is about but I personally struggled with accepting my depression because who in their right mind would want to accept feeling bad but it isn't a matter of accepting the bad feelings but rather accepting that this is the situation I have to deal with it whether I like it or not so what am I going to do about it to try and heal it or even just make it a bit better.
  22. Yes, I can understand with the illness and all the loss that this would be a very scary move. I have never owned a home but live in one and they are work on top of having health issues I can see that being scary. I guess I would start asking how realistic is it going to be for you to be able to take care of the home at this point in time? How long do you think you will be able to maintain the ability to care for the home? Can you set a time period for when you think it might be time to sell so you take the pressure off it being forever? Is turning around and selling it for something in town something that would be a better option? Or could you turn it into a rental so you can hang onto your beautiful land and bring in some income? You do have options but you just need to sit down and contemplate what option you feel the most comfortable with. You are in fear now which can muddy the waters so just try and still your mind, letting go of as much of the fear as best you can and assess now, future and what route gives you the most peace. One may have just a tad more peace than the other. Or even just a tad less fear. Well best of luck deciding I am sure whatever you decide your daughter will be there to support you.
  23. I agree with Epictetus, there is no one size fits all remedy to depression. If there was we would all be cured by now. The only thing I will say is your post brought to mind something I had read. Depression aside, there are 2 types of situations we are confronted with in life. Those we can change and those we can't. In the situations where we have some control to change the circumstances a problem solving approach is appropriate. However in the situations where it becomes apparent that change is not possible then acceptance may be the route that needs to be taken. Knowing which category our situation falls under can be a bit tricky sometimes but that is the general rule of thumb in how to deal with difficult circumstances so I have read. I as well, do hope that you are able to find a solution to your dilemma.
  24. The book that I found helped the most was Choosing To Live by Thomas E Ellis and Cory F Newman. Even if you aren't suicidal it really gets you thinking about defeated thinking generally present in depressed individuals and gives exercises that challenge that thinking.
  25. To be honest I didn't do a darn thing about my mental health until I fell into a crisis about it a little over 3 years ago. I thought I was fine. I had myself convinced I was fine when really there was a lot of turmoil going on underneath just waiting for the right moment to get triggered and all the pieces that was holding me together fell apart. I guess in my favor I have always been very spiritual, trying to understand life, why we are here, what people are about so it set the stage for me having a questioning mindset about all of a sudden finding myself bound and determined to destroy myself and not being able to turn the feelings off. It quite frankly took me by total surprise and yet looking back all the signs were there. The fear, stress and anxiety, living life like everything was an emergency, being terrified of my emotions, urges to suicide that came about out of the blue for no cause. Anyways, all of it were things I was able to either suppress or rationalize away and so I was in such denial I thought I was pretty put together but then a very stressful event tipped me over and I had to face my demons. And I guess from the start I just questioned everything that I was thinking and feeling trying to understand why. I journaled so that I could hear what my thoughts were saying. I allowed myself to have emotional meltdowns in privacy when no one was around to prove to myself I didn't have to fear myself. But mostly I used my dreams to help get some guidance on what was wrong and what to do next. The biggest thing they tried to relay was that it wasn't going to happen over night. The healing was a process that was going to take time if I was to do it without it breaking me. I have always had a fast way about me. Get to the point and move on and my dreams on a number of occasions had to tell me to slow down, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done. So the main message was set my sights on healing the pain, make it a goal that you are determined to achieve but be gentle with myself as I worked through it all. We are going to have ups and downs, successes and stumbles, but all of it, each step is progressing us towards a healing even if it feels like we are going no where. We know more now then when we did when this started so just keep walking. That is what we mostly need to do is keep walking doing whatever we need to do to never give up. It is hard to be in pain. None of us wants to be there but the worst thing we can do is get down on ourselves for being in pain and not being able to turn it around in an instant. A lot of people who are depressed have a lot of negative thinking habits that need to be to be broken. Being mindful of how we are responding to life and what our thoughts are saying about it is a process that can take time to sort out. I used my dreams to help push that understanding along but you don't need to be adept at dream work to figure yourself out. We just need to be mindful of ourselves and we will actually eventually reveal ourselves to ourselves. Then it becomes a matter of breaking toxic habits which just takes time. I know where my achilles heel is, I know my triggers but I still get anxious and I still get triggered into feeling self destructive but I am learning to try to find new ways to respond when that happens and I do better on some occasions and not so well on others but with each experience I am learning and getting stronger. So to answer your question, not quite sure if it is about conquering depression or about reaching some other hoped for goal in life, the message is really the same. Always be self compassionate first and if you find yourself starting to get too hard on yourself then you have gone too far in your self discipline and it will actual work to counter your cause. You don't need to be tough. I think that is what gets us into trouble in the first place, beating ourselves up because we aren't tough enough. Then when we fail we are not encouraged to keep trying. We don't need to have our self fixed or figured out right this minute, we just need to set a goal, be gentle with ourselves and just keep walking.
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