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  1. Hello, I'm not sure if I have posted this in the right place as it's not necessarily directly related to depression, but I am in treatment for anxiety and depression and have been fighting them for years, although currently it is mostly anxiety. I am just really hoping to find if anyone else at all has had this experience. I've tried asking the two people I trust and are close to me, but neither could relate. For the past week or so, I've been having thoughts which 'aren't mine.' It's like I'm 'hearing' them but NOT out loud: it's rather in the same way that I 'hear' my own thoughts (as opposed to actual speech), except these are completely out of my control and catch me by surprise every time. I don't know when they will happen or what they will say. I feel a wave of fear & disorientation sometimes when it happens because it's such a strange feeling and it catches me off guard. It happens all throughout the day. Usually the content is random, but at other times they repeat my own thoughts (like an echo I can't control) or repeat what I'm reading moments after I have done so, sometimes word for word, other times they elaborate, for example adding an adjective that changes the whole meaning. Basically it feels like something/someone else is somehow shaping these thoughts in my own mind to 'speak' to the thoughts which I myself control. Sometimes they interrupt and distract me. They're going on as I'm writing this. Examples: 'You've convinced me.' 'In the basement.' I do feel compelled to 'think back' -- things like 'Shh, be quiet,' even though it's not technically actual noise they're making, just noise in my 'mind's ear.' I do feel like there are people or entities 'speaking' through these thoughts, and even if they exist only in another part of my brain, they are separate from me. Just now they said: 'Other people. Changes in you.' As such, I feel like I need to be careful what I think back to them. Is there anyone else here at all who has experienced something like this, or knows anyone who has? Is it something I should be really worried about? I have a psychiatrist but am reluctant to tell her for fear of her assuming it's more than it is (again, I'm not literally 'hearing' them, I'm receiving them on a different, internal level of sound, and I know that other people around me are unable to 'hear' them and can distinguish between them and words that everybody can hear) and, I know it might sound bizarre, but it seems almost disrespectful to whatever is behind these thoughts ('Whatever needs to be done.'), as though I should really try to hear them out ... Thank you for reading all of this; your respectful input would be appreciated so much
  2. Good luck. :) Personally I have been a vegetarian for almost 10 years, and was vegan for one year of that. Ultimately I gave up on veganism because I was finding it difficult to get all the nutrition I needed from a restricted diet (I'm quite underweight and find it hard to gain weight), but I hope you won't have that problem. Many don't. Probably the main worry, though, about a vegan diet is lack of vitamin b12, a vitamin found mostly in animal products. I would greatly recommend that you start taking a vitamin b12 supplement as you start on a vegan diet, as lack of b12 can cause so many problems (including psychological and neurological ones) and you cannot overdose on it. I have to be honest: when vegan, I didn't personally notice any improvement as such, but I think that was because I had already been eating very close to a vegan diet for years. People who make a bigger change (e.g. going from eating lots of fried meat, pastries and sweets with eggs or milk in, etc.) are probably more likely to notice beneficial effects. Generally being limited to vegan foods cuts out a lot of fast and junk food options and gets you to focus on getting more nutritious fruits, veggies, nuts, wholegrains, beans, pulses, wholegrains etc. which are much kinder on our bodies. I really hope that it helps you -- and it might well -- but I do have to warn that, though it may be beneficial for many, it's not a miracle for most. I still had both mental and physical health problems while vegan, and still do as a vegetarian, and was never able to do well off my meds regardless of what I ate. Still, best of luck.
  3. It sounds like, as nice as your therapist is and as much as she is trying to help, she isn't the right fit for you. Therapy can be difficult and anxiety-provoking sometimes, but if it's making you more anxious every time and generally not helping, it might be worth trying another therapist who has a different approach and can help focus more on your thoughts rather than mindfulness (for example a CBT therapist or psychotherapist.) It is not wrong of you at all to choose no longer to see her if she is not helping you, but I understand how it may be difficult to tell her that. I told my latest therapist that I would no longer be going to see him over e-mail, and explained why; it was increasingly difficult to get to his office (some way away from here) and I had been finding the therapy too overwhelming at the time due to various factors and felt I needed to take a break from it. To end things on a good note, you could be honest and simply say that you don't feel the therapy is helping you at this time and you need to work on other things at the moment (even if that may simply be a different kind of therapy), but thank her for her help and for trying it with you.
  4. I can understand feeling both ways at the same time: wanting, on one hand, to have company and be a part of something, but on the other, finding it overwhelming to do so, or not being able to get the sense of enjoyment or connection that others seem to from spending time together.
  5. I hear you, Kogent5; I find the Christmas holidays difficult too; the high expectations, the emphasis on social gatherings, the cold weather ... my family doesn't do much either. Personally I'm glad about that part because big parties and gatherings make me so anxious, but I understand also how it's difficult to see everyone around seeming to enjoy themselves so much & not yourself being a part of it. Christmas eve eve dinner doesn't sound sad at all. :) I think the best thing you can do is try to be kind to yourself and treat yourself in small ways if you can. Are there any genres of movie other than romance you might feel more comfortable watching alone? Donating blood is a great idea also. I've heard that blood stocks tend to get really low around this time of year, so your donation will be especially valuable to those in need of it.
  6. I'm sorry to hear you've been going through this, Kurt87. Dealing with depression certainly does make it harder to find and stay in a job, and it's hard enough even for people without any mental health problems. It sounds like you've been trying very hard, though, with all the agencies you are with, and the number of applications you send per month. What kind of work have you been applying for, or would you ideally like to do? It sounds like cleaning jobs really aren't for you and wear you down even more. Do you feel similarly about retail & bookkeeping, or do you feel better (or at least, less bad) about working in those areas than in cleaning? If what you'd prefer to do is something qualifications could possibly help with, is there any chance you might be able to take a course at the local college, or online? For example, my local college offers an IT/programming course if you're interested in that area of work, or catering, or social care ... another idea for gaining experience is to volunteer somewhere related to a field you might like to go into for a while -- that always looks good on a CV and can be that stepping stone into a career in certain sectors. You could also try having your CV professionally reviewed if you haven't already, to see if there's anything you could change to make it stand out more to employers. I hope that we can help at least a bit, and that you are able to find an area of work more suited for you soon.
  7. Standup, thank you so much for your kind and helpful reply. All that you have said makes a lot of sense and is reassuring to read. I will definitely try to keep an open mind in terms of treatment options. Thank you for the luck – I am wishing the same to you in your own treatment – and for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response. It helps a lot.
  8. I recently had an assessment with the mental health team and will most probably be switching medications within the next few weeks, although the psychiatrist is yet to say what to. The background: I have been on the SSRI sertraline for over a year, and while it has helped, especially in the beginning, it has not stopped me from having periods of significant depression. For much of the past 2 months, I have been really low in mood, not eating, exhausted, plagued by horrible thoughts, feeling hopeless, lacking in motivation, tearful, unable to concentrate on or find interest or enjoyment in anything, with nightmares, urges to self-harm and thoughts of suicide. However, without yet having changed medication ... in the past week or so, it seems I have begun to come out of it myself. This is the way it frequently goes. My phases of depression can last anywhere from a few days to several months, but usually 1-3 months. This has been happening for a whole rough eight years. The depression will come on for seemingly no reason, and eventually, also lift for seemingly no reason. This happened before I was on any medications at all, as well as when I was consistently on one medication. I'm lost as to why this happens and have yet to find any answers. My question is, is it normal for depression to happen like this -- does anyone else here experience it that way? Or is it more common for depression to persist until medication is added or changed? I sometimes doubt myself because my depressive phases will come to an end eventually even without medical intervention, but at the same, the symptoms are real and sometimes quite severe, and I have at other times seen doctors/psychiatrists who have verified that it is depression. The possibility of bipolar disorder was brought up after fluoxetine caused me to develop symptoms of mania a few years ago, but I don't think that I have it (those symptoms stopped when I stopped the medication.) While my mood certainly does cycle, it seems to be more between varying degrees of depression, anxiety, and 'normal.' I do have periods of increased energy and sleeplessness, but I feel those are more anxiety related. I have also experienced phases of euphoria in the past, and the sense of connection to other entities & to another world, but I was able to act relatively 'normal' and so feel it was more a spiritual thing than symptoms of mental illness. I have experienced phases of hallucinations also but again, although they are very real to me, am able to be careful and recognise when they are not to others so that I am able to act 'normal' around them, and they are very rarely distressing. I am wondering if I should even be changing the medication, now that it seems my depression is lifting by itself again. However, it's also clear that my current meds aren't stopping it from recurring. Should I change it in the hope that a different medication might keep it at bay more effectively? If you made it through all that, thank you so much. I would be really grateful for any thoughts or input at all, as the whole situation has me pretty confused.
  9. I have recently received a referral for therapy. I was struggling with depression and anxiety problems for a long time, and had reached a point where I was desperately seeking any kind of help. Two months ago I was prescribed SSRI medication. The first few weeks were rocky but now I can say for sure that they are helping a lot. For the first time in a long while, I can honestly say I feel fine. I am certainly no longer depressed and my anxiety is greatly lowered. My negative thought patterns do not remain but change when my mood changes. I still have some problems with social anxiety but they are much less severe and I feel able to work on them on my own. I thought therapy was a good idea because episodes of depression and anxiety have been reoccuring for me over the years, and perhaps I could better learn skills to deal with or prevent them. But considering that I am well now, and would be taking up appointments that could be being used for those who are not (there are long waiting lists) I'd feel guilty about going and perhaps I shouldn't. Do you think it would be reasonable to still go, or should I not make the appointment? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  10. I'm glad to hear you got used to them -- thank you again for your replies. Actually it seems things have been somewhat normalizing for me also over the past few days, but I'll definitely bring up those things that are still going on with my doctor.
  11. Thank you for your reply. It's helpful to know at least that I am not the only one. I'll try and see if I can contact the doctor, though I likely won't be able to for a while. I'm wondering, did it pass for you after some time of taking it -- how long did it take, if so?
  12. And more: an eye looking out from the banner of these forums, something black scuttling over my bed, intense brightening and widening of lighting, more spots of light and a very clear and loud external whisper of a word in my thoughts. Thoughts like static noise I am randomly interpreting. ("Look up." "Get lost." "What is it?" "Oh, my Dad worked in there.") My vision shaking again, like there's an earthquake. I need to stop thinking about this. Well, I guess I am to a slight extent but it doesn't matter.
  13. My vision has been strange. At first I thought it was just vertigo -- things moving up and down at random points in the day for a stretch of time, closer to me and then further away then closer again, with feelings in my body like I was in a moving vehicle. Everything got very bright and very real. Sometimes my vision shakes or vibrates, or everything seems to move sideways. Earlier in class I couldn't concentrate as everything kept swimming in and out of focus and it looked like the lighting was dimming and brightening. At times I've seen just certain things moving, like a hanging on the wall in class suddenly flying upwards or a section of wall moving. Random lines and blurs of colourful light. Spiders and moths moving in the corners of my eyes. Hearing vague humming or whispering or, faintly, my own thoughts or the things I'm reading either repeated or for the first time before I actually had the chance to think them. Then there are faces; I keep momentarily noticing their outlines in patterns or objects or the blurs in my vision and it was distracting me every few moments in class. Most are very vague outlines but I could draw them. I've seen them in plain or lined paper (a lot), the screen, desks, the ceiling, the carpet, the air. They are like drawings, not realistic. I looked up at the ceiling and saw it breathing and swirling. My own body is changing a lot; body parts feel unfamiliar or look wrong or seem like they're something else. Not sure if this even constitutes hallucinating since I can tell that such unusual things are probably my own mind changing, but at the same time I know it doesn't seem quite normal and that has started to make me anxious at points. I don't see my doctor again for another three weeks and I'm not sure I should tell her anyway. I strongly feel like I should not, because she might either not believe me or take it too seriously. Does it sound within the realms of normal SSRI side effects at all? Might it go away by itself, or remain without being too much of a problem? Has anyone else experienced this? Edit: I meant to add -- I've been taking this for just under a week. This started after I began to take it although I have experienced some things like this before. The "Use Full Editor" button is flashing bright white. Does it actually do that?
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