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Everything posted by Michelle38

  1. I too just got pinged to connect with someone from my childhood. I haven't talked to her in 30 years but she managed to find me on Linked in and I quite frankly would have ignored her but happened to see her page on Facebook through another friend. I am not on Facebook cause I am really not much for socializing but figured it might be nice to reminisce about old times. I do not intend to tell her about my depression. Actually few people know because I am aware how difficult it can be for people to know how to behave around you. I just didn't feel it is worth the extra work it takes to explain and deal with their baggage. Right now my main concern is healing me. To do that I have had to learn to be really mindful of how I speak to myself. I have always had a general depression and disconnect with life and worked hard to deny stress, anxiety and out of the blue urges to suicide even when I was happy but for the most part I functioned pretty well and kind of thought I had a really good handle on my mental health until a life event caused me to crash into a severe depression that I could not get out of. I had fallen into it on a couple other occasions because of life events but I was able to get out but this time I really turned on myself and had to finally face what was going on. I had to finally admit that I had mental health issues and it was time to try to work to resolve them. If I am to look at my life it seemed pretty normal. I have a good life with good people in it and a good job but upon closer reflection I could see that my childhood had a huge impact on my self image. Some of us are born with stronger than normal emotions. This makes it harder for us to keep them contained and makes us more sensitive to the things that happen to us in life. But it isn't just being sensitive that led me to depression. That is part of the chemical issue but how I was treated created a self image of someone who was a failure and who would never amount to much. And so when the depression hit I fell into intense self blame and a desire to annihilate myself that I am still trying to turn around. It seems to me that you as well may have some self image issues. To describe yourself as someone you expect people to view as f'd up is a clear indication of low self image. The only reason why it may not be surprising that you struggle to cope is because you very well have never been taught good coping skills from the start. People who are prone to strong emotions quite frankly need to learn ways to process the emotions. For me the go to solution was to suppress but they just build up inside until they turn into a monster. But I myself was not taught good copings skills because quite frankly my parents were not taught them themselves. I have not discussed any of this with my father but can clearly see a lot of indicators that lead me to believe he has a lot of the same emotion regulation issues as I do. so the point i am making is that on first blush I thought it was all me. I was hopelessly flawed beyond repair when the truth is that yes, I do have a challenging brain compared to other people in the world in how it handles emotions but there are things I can do to help manage my emotions and retrain how I speak to myself so as not to demean myself and make my moods spiral into despair. So though I think CBT can be of help I also suggest some plain old mindfulness work. Watch how you speak to yourself, see if you can recognize patterns in what you say to yourself, how you view the world and try to stop and reframe defeating talk into something that is more self supportive. The idea being we need to unlearn being our own worst enemy and learn to be our own best coach. It is not easy to do and takes a lot of work and I slip up a lot but I do know the times when I am successful I can pull out of the really dark stuff a lot quicker. Getting to the root of why my self image was so low was super helpful but regardless if I ever knew retraining myself in how I treat myself is more important for my emotional well being. I may never be free from strong emotions but I would like them to tend towards being strong on the happy side as opposed to the negative defeated side. Anyways, I am glad I found this place. The people are really supportive and it is helpful to know you are not alone in your struggles. The things you think and feel are felt by others makes it seem less like you are the only one who understands how painful this all can be. I hope things turn around for you soon. Hang in there.
  2. Why not work at Marvel? Is it imperative to have a degree in illustration to get a job with them? Even a low level job or some other comic? Maybe even doing some side work at home? Not sure how that industry works but I know it isn't always necessary to have a degree to work in the creative arts. Well it sounds like you may do more to further your career with the things you are planning now. But try not to set your dreams too low. Maybe you won't get into Marvel at this time but that doesn't mean one day you won't have the skills to get in. Sounds like it is something you are passionate about so just keep walking towards it and things will fall into place for you. Leave the door and your potential open to anything and your dreams are more likely to come true.
  3. You are not doing it on purpose and don't let others try to convince you that you are. I as well have a beautiful life and yet I struggle with my mental health. I actually did a pretty good job of denying and ignoring some pretty major red flags my whole life until I crashed emotional and became extremely suicidal. I had to finally stop and listen to what the dark thoughts and feelings that were chasing me my whole life were saying and I was quite amazed at how deeply I hated myself. I had no clue where it came from until I also stopped and looked at my upbringing and depression in general. There are some of us that are born with stronger than normal emotions. They can come out of no where and we lose control of them. This coupled with a father who was critical of my loses and wins caused me to develop the image of being a failure. So when life threw me a curve ball it became very easy for me to turn on myself and fall into self blame. Chances are the moods shifts are partly related to hormones but you also could be coming up against some triggers that you just can't see right now. As odd as it sounds someone telling me to be quiet was a trigger and it was only after being diligently mindful for some time did I notice the shift in how I felt about myself when someone told me to be quiet so though you may have some hormone imbalance there may also be some thinking patterns and beliefs about yourself that you need to turn around to feel better about yourself and life. This takes time and there are a lot of ups and downs but if you can find a good therapist that you feel comfortable with you can make great strides at recovery of your depression. In any event, finding this place has been pretty awesome. To know you have found people who get it is a comfort so stop by often if only to just get your thoughts out. The people are super supportive.
  4. Well it sure sounds like going to school was putting a lot of pressure on you. Can I ask what kind of classes you were taking? Was your field of study related to writing comics or completely unrelated to your interests?
  5. I would not doubt that this move is kicking up some dust but do keep in mind that making peace with our past doesn't necessarily clear everything out. A lot of my mental health issues stem from how my father treated me. He wasn't mean to be mean but was kind of harsh and being sensitive it really affected how I saw myself as well I was never taught good coping skills. So though I made peace with him years ago recognizing that he really didn't know any better I still had a lot of self image issues that I wasn't aware of until my emotions crashed in on me. For the most part I am at peace with most of the world and relationships in general but my relationship with myself got a bit damaged from my upbringing and that still needs healing so though you are at peace you may need to work through some things that caused hurt in the way you see yourself or in your perception on how to handle life. But you seem to have some good self awareness which is really helpful at spotting where our pitfalls are so we can turn them around. Anyways, best of luck with the meds and just focus on the move and getting settled. Counseling isn't supposed to be a pressure situation so go when you are comfortable about it and ready.
  6. It's definitely that. Seems like a never ending cycle but even if it doesn't seem like it progress can be made little step by little step. Therapy can help you make those kinds of steps, even just getting some good books could help. But doing something proactive to try and address the root of the depression will give you the best shot at a recovery that lasts. Feel better soon.
  7. I am sorry you are hurting. Maybe you can get a new prescription? Not sure with over medication laws and such. Are you in therapy? Seems to me that some work on your cognitive thinking might help you turn your brain off and/or turn the negative rumination into more supportive talk or at least learn how to stop tearing yourself down. Coming here has helped me to get some of my thoughts out. The people here are super supportive. I hope you feel better soon.
  8. Yes, I have that as well, feeling completely out of it not able to think, having trouble finding simple words or using the wrong word forgetting what I am doing while I am doing it. I had difficulty one week where I got confused how to use the zipper on my coat twice on different days. I knew how it functioned I just thought I was missing parts when I wasn't. It was very disconcerting and makes you concerned for the welfare of your brain. I honestly don't know what it is and I can't blame meds for the problem because I am not on any so if anything my point would be the meds you are on do not address the issue. The issue is unrelated to your mood if the meds are helping keep your mood stable. I guess unfortunately it may not be an issue that meds can easily correct. I don't exercise enough to say whether or not it helps in the long term. In the short term I can't say it helps on the days I do it.
  9. I do this quite often though not usually for an hour. For me though it seems like it is a safety net. A response from my brain to get me to stop negative rumination. I quite literally just don't want to think anymore because that would keep me from having negative thoughts. I feel like I could and want to sit and stare at the wall for the rest of my life. Not thinking or doing anything. In any event it usually happens when I am feeling a need to stop whether that be thoughts or emotions. I just stop everything and turn off. Though to be honest it isn't really something I consciously control it just happens which is a bit disconcerting but stopping a negative spiral is not a bad thing. The one thing I have to be careful of when I turn back on is to not fall into worse negative thinking. I have had it go both ways. Where I got worse emotionally or where I just remained neutral and eventually leveled off. Basically I think it is a coping mechanism. I don't necessarily think it is that your brain is totally shutting down but rather trying to stop a bad pattern though for you it might be different so you may want to talk to your doctor about it. See if it is partly due to your meds.
  10. Really, I always find it a bit upsetting to hear that a doctor has prescribed anxiety or depression meds and has not suggested counseling. Whether or not one goes for it it seems like it should go hand in hand because the meds really are possibly just covering up the problem. They can't fix the problem. I can totally relate. We sound similar. I was definitely a stuffer my whole life. I was so good at denial that I even chose to ignore and brush off random strong urges to suicide like jumping out of a moving car. Emotions were very fearful to me so I ran for my life from them until I couldn't run anymore. A life event sent me into severe depression and I could not get out of it so I had to sit in complete and total emotional meltdown for 2 full years. Interestingly enough, after allowing the strong emotions a voice I have lost my fear of them. I am not happy when I flip out but at least I am not making things worse by trying to run from them which only actually made them stronger or in the minimum made them last longer. Anyways, you may want to try some exposure therapy which I think is part of DBT so that you can make some peace with the strong emotions. If I learned anything it is that strong emotions, though they can actually feel physically painful, can not cause us to die and just because a person has strong emotions or even urges they can still have a lot of restraint at acting on them. This was very empowering for me to know that I can melt down and nothing bad will happen. For a long time I was in total fear that something horrible would indeed happen if I let myself go. I now trust my restraint and will continue to work on the thoughts and beliefs that are leaving me vulnerable to emotional breakdown. In any event, do what you feel is right with your doctor. If you think therapy is something you want to try then ask them for a recommendation. I really am surprised they didn't offer it up already.
  11. I second everything Ratboy said. Focus on you and your health and wellness and a recovery is possible. It doesn't have to stay this way forever but we do have to work on ourselves if we ever want a recovery. this takes time and patience and there is a lot of ups and downs but so long as we don't give up there is definitely hope to find happiness again. To feel happiness again. it's not gone just a bit lost right now under some negative thoughts and ideas. Get those out of the way with some work on yourself and you very well could see your mood shift. Best of luck, this is a great place to talk things out. The people are very supportive.
  12. Some people are wired for strong than normal emotions. That makes it difficult for us to regulate and control our emotions. On a general basis I can be pretty even keeled but if something is worrying me it makes me vulnerable to being easily triggered emotionally. Something very minor can send me into complete emotional meltdown where I am a crying mess in complete distress. I think DBT therapy is supposed to help those of us with strong emotions learn how to ride them out. There is a theory that our response to the world, anxiety and the hypervigilance that comes with it is a learned response which I can see some validity to that but that doesn't mean it is easy to turn around by any means. I know logically that I am acting irrational but I can't always stop myself from the response. It is so fast and sudden it takes me by surprise but what I can try and be mindful of is how I am feeling in general. Like I said, if there is something in my life that feels challenging or is making me a bit nervous if I address that first it may help me to keep from having the meltdowns. I know that being mindful of how I speak to myself helps keep me from spiraling into total self hatred. If we are mindful of our thoughts and responses we can turn them around but it takes a lot of time to unlearn a way of responding to life that we have been doing ever since we can remember. I do highly suggest maybe at least getting a book on DBT and seeing if it helps with your anxiety. Addressing the reasons why you are fearful as well may help you get a better handle on it as well. We may never be totally free from our strong emotions but if we work on the thoughts and feelings that make the situation worse we can very well get to a point where we are able to stay on top of our moods and subsequently feel better about our lives. Depression and anxiety can go hand in hand but I don't think they are the same thing so each may need to be addressed in their own way. I know if feels like you are insane when it is happening but I would really refrain from defining yourself as hopelessly flawed because we can make great strides and turning our mental health around. We can learn to manage our anxiety and find better ways to cope and maybe just use our strong emotions for great excitement and enthusiasm as opposed to only the negative feelings.
  13. Oh dear that must have been awful. I haven't had to deal with panic attacks but I do have complete emotional meltdowns where I have to do much like you to calm myself but it does almost sound like last night was a reaction to the med. I would definitely at least inform the doctor what happened. That med may not be for you. I wish I had another suggestion but it unfortunately is trial and error to find what works for you because not all meds act the same on all people. Gosh what a great husband you have to help you through that. The guy I am with has difficulty dealing with emotions so I have kind of kept my depression and mood instability hidden from him. I guess I never gave him the chance to help but kind of feel I would get a pat on the back kind of response and him running and hiding. Well anyways, your husband sounds like a good man and a great support. I hope you feel better soon and good luck with the doctor. Hopefully the next med works better.
  14. Well that seems a bit excessive to send the cops out for you after an angry comment. I am sorry you had to go through that. Finding a therapist that you work well with can take some time. There is nothing wrong with trying a few out and moving on if the fit doesn't seem right. As for me, like I commented, I discovered that a lot of my problems, though partly due to having a brain wired for strong emotions were compounded by my upbringing as well. It took a lot of soul searching and quite frankly being very open and honest with myself about what I was thinking and feeling. It was amazing to me how I spent most of my life trying to deny my thoughts and feelings big and small. But it wasn't until I stopped running and denying and finally stopped to listen to what I was saying to myself that I started to get the answers I needed to move on. It unfortunately takes a lot of time to work through all the layers and there was a lot of back and forth about what particular issue was the root of my problems. Turns out there are a few but like the peeling of an onion I just keep at it until hopefully one day I stop having emotional meltdowns. Until then I just keep trying to walk, stop to cry when I need to, and never fail to ask myself tough questions. I have done a lot of reading and a lot of journallng and mostly learned to be mindful of my thoughts and reactions. The more I was able to see and hear myself the more clues I got to where my trouble spots were and what my triggers were. I have good days and I have bad days but I am light years away from where I was 3 years ago when every fiber of my being wanted nothing else but my total annihilation. So though I can't say I am recovered just yet, I am making progress. At first it didn't feel like it but at some point I started to see a shift and the dark isn't quite as dark as it was at the start of the severe depression. So the best advice I can give you is to first and foremost do the things that you feel will help you towards your recovery and second, never give up because even if it doesn't seem like you are moving you are, and finally don't ever settle for less than you deserve because you deserve to be happy and healthy. It is hard painful work to recover from depression but you are worth the effort. Best of luck finding your way and come here often if nothing but to vent. The people really are very supportive.
  15. I can relate. I was severely depressed for 2 years straight but lucky for me I work mostly by myself isolated from most of the rest of the company so when I am really low I can close my door for privacy. I also am lucky in somehow so long as I wipe away the tears and sit for a moment I don't look like I have been crying so that helps me keep it hidden but I can imagine having to interact with others must be hard. But I was at that place feeling tearful if not crying all day long. I still 3 years later cry almost everyday but in general it is only for a short while at the beginning or end of the day. On occasion I struggle all day long but it does get better. I really can't say whether or not it is the right choice for you to take a medical leave or not. For me the stability of my job is one of the things that kept me together but I know it is incredibly hard to force yourself to go to work when you feel like all you want to do is hide and cry. Can you take a few days sick off and see how you feel? I would say listen to what your heart says. You have to do what you feel is best for you for your recovery. You really are what is most important here.
  16. I also do not think you are despicable. Please do not talk to yourself like that. Depression is insidious and robs us of our ability to feel anything other than negative emotions. I know I have felt love for my family and yet after crashing into severe depression I can't feel it at all. It's upsetting but I also understand it isn't really a reflection of who I am but of the disease. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up or call yourself names about it. In any event, if you are in therapy I highly suggest you talk with your therapist about these fears. I am sure they can help you sort it all out. Take care.
  17. Depression is hard and painful. There are a lot of ups and downs and plain old falls. Turing it around doesn't happen quickly and it can make it seem like we will never get past it but with every step you take you are getting closer to your recovery. I am not totally sure depression is completely understood by the medical community but there is some truth to the fact that the brain does like habit. Right now you have new good copings skills from your therapy but your brain has a tendency to automatically respond from the depressed state. You have automatic thought and emotional responses to life that you have been doing for a long time and it takes time to retrain the brain to respond the healthier ways that you have been taught so we just have to keep at it and not give up even if it seems like we aren't getting anywhere because we are. So though knowing the skills doesn't make you feel better it is a good first step at getting to a point where you don't just know but also live healthier. Welcome to the site. Hope you feel better soon.
  18. Well not sure I have an answer or suggestion for you but I can relate to the brain not working well. It quite frankly feels like you can't think straight and I even forget how to do simple things sometimes but the worst thing you can do is get down on yourself about it. Just try to hang in there and focus on getting stronger. For me I make lots of notes for myself. Hope you feel better soon.
  19. I don't have any suggestions for you but just want you to know I am sorry you are in so much pain that you self harm. I hope you are able to turn that around for good one day. Welcome to the site. The people here are very supportive.
  20. What kind of suggestions are you looking for? I grew up saying quite often that I was afraid of everything and everyone, well maybe not out loud but I definitely felt I was born that way. I also got very random urges to suicide that were out of the blue and made no sense. My life by all accounts was pretty normal and pretty good compared to some of my friends but looks can be deceiving. In general there are people in the world who have stronger than normal emotions and as such things that may appear to be normal occurrences/normal upbringing can have a profound emotional effect on our well being and self image. The point is that though my childhood appeared to be quite normal there were some things about it that undermined my ability to feel good about myself and invalidated my worth and caused me to be a fearful person and as such I wound up crashing into severe depression after spending most of my life maintaining the status quo denying I had general depression and mental health issues. So though I initially thought I was born this way, and partly due to the strong emotions I was but ultimately my sense of self was affected by my upbringing and the only way I was able to uncover that was to do a lot of soul searching about my life by looking at what I was thinking and feeling. I guess if you are really serious about recovery try therapy or in the minimum find books that speak to you that can help you understand the root of your depression as opposed to settling on being born that way. It is possible but it is also possible there is some thinking and beliefs that were taught to you growing up that are undermining your ability to be happy and really the only way to know for sure is to work on you. Anyways, welcome to the site. Everyone here is super supportive. I hope you find the answers you are looking for.
  21. This took a lot of effort and contemplation for me to finally see after many years of running from some dark demons I was afraid to face. Quite frankly my life looked fine and normal by all accounts so it really didn't dawn on me that my upbringing or lack of being taught certain skills could have such a devastating impact on my well being, I really thought I was just a horribly flawed human being but now I see a clear connection between who I am and how I was raised. In any event for me, I was never taught to celebrate myself. I was only taught to judge my mistakes and losses but also to my detriment my wins as well so the end result was someone fully engulfed in self blame unable to see any potential and quite frankly believing they would be nothing but a failure. My father meant well, he was just trying to look out for my best interests but in the process he undermined my self image and invalidated my existence. Strangely though I am not able to be a good coach for myself I have always been one to be super good at uplifting others. Not sure where I got that from but I definitely have very low self esteem, low confidence and have never really ever felt proud of myself. Can't say I have turned my self image around but I am learning to be my own best coach and being mindful to try and not be my own worst enemy. I was also never taught good coping skills. Being a highly sensitive person with strong emotions I was never taught how to properly process them. Instead I was taught to suppress and deny them which worked fine for most of my life minus a few rare occasions but in general that form of coping actually helped me to function to some degree when I was younger and had a lot of anxiety and fear but not learning how to healthfully cope with adversity and challenge and process emotions in general led to a breakdown when a life stressor triggered an emotional crash and I could not contain them anymore. Because they were bottled up for so long I had an intense fear of them and not knowing how to process them I lost control and quite frankly feared myself and what I might do. I still lose control on occasion but I am learning some better coping skills as well learning that a loss of control of emotions does not mean I will lose control of my actions. I can be crazy wildly emotional and still have restraint from acting on the emotions. This inability to cope however, I do not blame on my parents because quite frankly how could they teach me something they were never taught. I almost think this should be some sort of class for teens right as they are getting ready to graduate and head off to higher education. That last year of school might best be served teaching people how to cope better with life. Who knows, we could see less strife in the world as a result. Finally, the critical father was something that was easy for me to pick up on but what I didn't catch until just recently was that I was told quite often to be quiet. My father yelled a lot for us kids to be quiet. Pretty typical but for me and my sensitive nature it caused me to shut down emotionally and mentally. This I think may have had an even bigger impact on my self image than the criticism because it caused me to feel like I should not speak or live for that matter. Not only am I a failure but also I do not have anything of worth to say. It took a long time to pick up on but anytime anyone asks me to be quiet or hush I feel myself shut down. I did not notice this until I started to try and become more mindful so it was kind of a surprise but I can clearly see how this coupled with the criticism invalidated my existence for me. I quite frankly didn't think there was a point or worth to my existence which is likely the biggest factor in why it was so easy for me to completely and profoundly turn on myself when life threw me a curve ball. So those are the things that have had the biggest impact on my self image and self worth. I can't say that I am fully past them all but being aware is much better than being in complete and utter confusion about why I wanted so badly to destroy myself. At least now I have something to focus on and heal as opposed to just trying to hang on for dear life and not die. Having the clarity of first understanding my brain is likely wired for stronger than normal emotions but that my upbringing had an impact on creating an unhealthy self image has helped me to make leaps and bounds at my depression recovery.
  22. Well I guess the moral here is that we can't look outside ourselves for happiness. It never lives up to our expectations. It is important for us to work on us. Heal what thoughts and beliefs that are undermining our self image and inner peace. Not easy to do but the only way to really find true happiness is to find peace with ourselves and life no matter how it looks. That unfortunately can take a lot of reprograming to achieve but it isn't impossible it is just we will feel like crap until we shift. This important thing is to never give up trying. You looked outside yourself and did not find what you were looking for, maybe it is time to look within. Best of luck. Hope you find some answers soon.
  23. I wish I had the answer that would fix you but the best I can offer is to keep walking. Keep walking and keep looking for an answer. The more you question yourself the more inner insight you will gain that hopefully leads you to some breakthroughs in how you think and feel. But none of this is easy by any means. It truly does feel like a never ending battle. I have been at that place of feeling terrified that life will spiral into an abyss and it is a horrible place to find yourself. Do you have a therapist you can talk to? Hang in there and breath. I hope you feel better soon.
  24. Yes, I know, the hopelessness is difficult but things are not hopeless even if they feel that way. They will get better the problem is when we don't have, have never been taught healthy ways to cope with adversity, moving is a big deal especially if you have no support system with the move, then it is easy to fall into feeling defeated by life. I would say the first thing you should do is applaud yourself for making a stand to not respond the same way as your mother. That takes a lot of courage and inner will to not turn to self medicating to simply feel better. As you experienced it doesn't make things better, it only complicates things and makes them worse. So the fact you do not want to follow that path is one you should be very proud of. You may not yet know a better way but you are wise enough to know the wrong way and that is a good first step towards your recovery. You are ahead of the game even if you don't realize it yet. I also understand about life issues getting in the way of counselling. It isn't the end of the world if you can't manage it but it is best to also try and work on it yourself as opposed to doing nothing. Doing nothing but taking meds will help you feel better but may keep you responding to life the same so the idea is to try and learn to be mindful of your thoughts and reactions to life. This is where journaling really helped me. To see in black and white what I was thinking and feeling was pretty revealing and I use the journal to not just write out all the bad thoughts but also to write down my wins, the things I am thinking that help me reach better understanding. Any insights along the way I pick up as I go through my day. I also like to do dream work. I find my dreams to be very helpful at understanding my subconscious mind. It does take some practice and patience to get the most out of dream work but I find it very helpful. And finally I highly recommend finding some books on depression and coping that speak. Understanding your depression will help you learn to be mindful of where your pitfalls are and reading books on coping will help you to pick up healthier responses to life as opposed to just shutting down emotionally. As well if there is anything else that you naturally feel drawn to then go for it. There really is no wrong way to treat depression so long as we are making steps towards recovery so do what feels comfortable to you. If it is something as simple as meditating or sitting and listening to music that lifts your spirits when you are down then go for it. Whatever feels right to you. And when the hopelessness creeps in, and it may likely keep coming back, just keep reminding yourself that you have what it takes to walk through it, that it won't last forever. Things will indeed turn around.
  25. I believe in an afterlife. I think if we die tragically and/or suddenly there can be some confusion at first but from what I understand our loved ones and guides are around to try and understand what happened and help us cross over. In general once we realize what is happening peace and love come over us and we move into the light. Though I have also heard a theory that we initially experience what we expect to experience based on our belief systems and that after some time we become aware of our true essence. I think this is especially true for people with strong religious beliefs. Physically I have heard that is it like a releasing and letting go. We become light as the heaviness of having a body dissolves.
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