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    Seattle, WA
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    Music, travel, food, staying in shape (or trying), talking about odd topics, what life is, etc, making people laugh.

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  1. Hello everyone, i have read many posts, and I'm always surprised by how many people out there suffer from how our neurons decide to fire in our brains. I have not been here for a while, just struggling to get through each day. This is a place where we can open up with no worries of judgement or awkward blank stares. There is a giant facade out there, our day to day interactions, work, etc. We must appear "normal", whatever that even is. With reports on increasing anxiety and depression, especially in young kids, I'm not sure we have this life thing figured out. How are we "supposed" to live? That is what I struggle with every minute. Am I doing it wrong? Everyone else looks happy... But many of us are not. What is missing? I do not think anything is "wrong" with us, we are just discovering there must be another way to live. But this is hard because we live in a society with expectations. What do we all share in common? I think we all or most of us live in "western" societies? We are supposed to have a job, house, do the 9-5 thing, relax with a drink, watch TV, and do it again the next day. What if this does not work for everyone? Trying to find a way... I find alcohol had a huge impact on my life and moods. So I quit drinking. Its been difficult because my wife drinks every day, and it was a large part of my social life. Quitting has been illuminating and frightening at the same time. I'm also trying microdosing, we'll see what happens. I'm happy there is a place like this where we all can share the real us, free from judgement. Discuss how we thing, what we've tried, what we've experienced, just connect and know we are so not alone. The next time you look at someone, on the street, the farm, on TV, just know this is the surface. There a struggles we all go thru. I'm sure people look at me and think "he's happy all the time, he is a "normal" person. Ha, if they could see the struggles and thoughts... Anyway, I need to figure out how to spend my time today. That is very hard lately. So hard to find something that motivates me, that I really want to do and that I think will bring my joy. I do believe I have set too high of expectations, at least that is what I'm told. It could be anything, petting the cat, drawing, listening to music, gardening, bowling, etc, etc. I't really does not matter what it is, something... And just be in the moment, enjoy that fleeting moment. It will flow into the next, and time will pass. I hope you all find that moment today.
  2. Checking in after a long break. Still on 40mg of Paxil, and nothing else. Weaning off now, going down to 30mg, see how that is for a couple weeks. I really want to see how I am without any medications in my blood. Its been very tough, but I feel I am adjusting. Mornings are the worst, and I have to get going or else I will lay there feeling dread and hopelessness. I struggle the most with what to do with my time. I then get anxious about it, like I am not doing something I should be. Like I should be helping someone else, my parents, my kids, etc. I dismiss anything I think of as having "no value" and "no purpose". So I just lay there some more and ruminate. Trying to understand life is the little things. Simple pleasures.... I need to stop asking "why"? Just live, breathe, and be. We'll see how the rest of this summer progresses. I hope everyone finds hope, courage, and strength...
  3. Have not checked in for a while. Its been a rough road the last year or so. I am currently on 40mg of Paxil, and 15mg of mirtazapine at night. I am learning to cope with hope I feel, and my goal is to ween of the Paxil, then drop the mirtazapine, and be med free the first time in 20 years. Therapy has helped, and I am starting with a new therapist who specializes in EMDR. If I can improve some in the next month or two, I will begin the taper off of Paxil. I also find aerobic exercise helps my depression and anxiety. Running, rowing, biking, anything that gets my heart rate up for about 30 minutes improves my mood.
  4. Hello everyone. I am wishing you all positive and peaceful thoughts during this hard time. I am really struggling lately. I got laid off from my job last month (I am in tech), and feel completely under confident and useless. I do not like what I was doing, and do not want another job just like it. I am trying to find something similar, but I think I lack the skills for many of the positions. I feel I cannot measure up, and this search will take forever. My wife is working thankfully, she is a special ed teacher and goes into the classroom with a few kids that really need face-to-face time. My kids are moved out, so its me alone in the house all day. It rains and is dark here much of the day here in Seattle. I find myself worrying constantly about my kids, and my parents, who are in their 80's. My dad has early dementia and lives alone in Michigan. My mom just had hip replacement surgery yesterday and is recovering. I just cannot seem to find any joy anywhere. I try so hard to be mindful and grateful. I feel like a failure, and that I am letting people down. I feel rejected, isolated, like everyone is doing well but me. But I know thats not true. My mind just wants to be so sad. I try so hard to find enjoyment in things, and try to keep busy. Mornings are the worst, before bed I feel some relief. I just keep going, that is all I can do. But my body hurts from the worry, its exhausting. I know others are hurting as well. I wish you strength and peace. This is hard. I just wanted to express my feelings today. I want to believe there is a light at the end of this tunnel, its just been a long time. I hold on to hope dearly. Thanks for listening everyone.
  5. Hi Zagor, Yes, I have tried it over this summer. I did the recommended duration (35 sessions I think?), then another 15 because I did not feel any difference. The treatment itself was fine, I got used to the odd feeling of the pulsing. But I came to the conclusion it did not change the way I felt. I would recommend going to a very reputable place, one that has experienced TMS people, and have done this many times. If they do not do the correct "mapping" procedure it may not be as effective. The mapping is the first session where they move the unit around your head and change settings and such to see where the best location for treatment should be. I do not believe I had any lasting side effects, though sometime right after my speech seemed a bit slurred. Make sure to tell them if you have any muscle twitching during the sessions, as this is not supposed to happen. I wish you the best of luck with this! I know it works for some people. Love to hear your experience. Peace.
  6. Sorry you are going through this. I suffer with depression (and anxiety) as well. I know how strong the urge can be to do nothing, even though you know it might help. I was on venlafaxine as well for a time, then tried many other similar drugs. Sometimes their efficacy just drops. Have you talked to your doc about other options? I tried many things, just making that appt with the doc felt like an accomplishment, to know there are other options out there. I agree that being alone can be difficult. COVID is amplifying this as well. Social interaction definitely helps me some, so I try to call someone everyday. Or go to the store and get some of my favorite snacks, just to get out. I also need to force myself into activities, or I will sleep most of the day. I try and make plans that I cannot get out of, or make it very easy to take some action. Like putting my clothes next to the bed, so I do not give myself a chance to think, I just get dressed, next thing you know I am up and outside, maybe driving to the coffee place. Maybe you could put your clothes in the bathroom, so you have to go there to get dressed, then the shower is right there. Turn it on, and feel that warm water on your skin. Showers can energize. As my therapist says, "don't forfeit, just show up". Then I see where it goes from there. Hope you find some comfort in this forum, I know I have. We are all out here, you are never alone.
  7. Hello EL23, welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear you are struggling today. I suffer from depression and anxiety, and know how some days can be more manageable, and then some others are just a battle. On those days I tell myself this will pass, better days are ahead again. When I have a rough patch (like lately), I try and reach out to others, and this forum, because I know I am not alone in this. There are people out there, dealing with similar issues, who care. I'll turn on some music, text or call some friends or family. Then try and get active. The more I sit around the more my mind acts up. Maybe take a drive, a walk, I'm going to try the bookstore in a bit, just browse and distract myself. I hope you find some peace today. We are out here, listening! - Jeff
  8. Thank you so much Epictetus, for the kind words, support, and motivation. It means a lot to hear from others, their experiences, ups, downs... What you said makes sense. Most of my childhood was "not doing things right", or "not doing them well enough". To be fair, I was not a good student. I had the aptitude, just hated school and acted out, mostly to get attention. I am an only child. I never felt like I measured up to my peers. It is easy to slip into the perfectionism trap, especially in our culture. Achievement is rewarded, celebrities and billionaires are admired. But life for most of us is not this. And we need to know that is just fine. As you said, it could be worse. Its been a tough road, and there are many bumps still ahead, but at least its a road! Got to keep going... thanks again.
  9. Hello everyone, I really hope you are doing well today, and are getting stronger. I have posted before, but it has been a long time. This year has really been a test. I have come to the realization that currents meds do not help anymore with my depression and anxiety. I have tried so many, including the new methods out there, and no positive results. Its hard to come to this conclusion, but I am working 100% now on cognitive based therapy. Reading some books, articles, anything that can help me heal. Recently our youngest moved out, so the house is more empty and quiet. I really miss having the kids home, we are so close. My wife is a teacher and goes to her classroom everyday. I just got laid off last week too. My self esteem is broken now, it is very difficult not to continually obsess over my situation, that I will not find a job, and I am letting people down. I feel like I have failed. I feel alone, like everybody's else's life if moving forward, and I am left behind. Feeling isolated, rejected. The depression side makes me not want to do anything. I know how important keeping busy is with anxiety, to get focused on something else, but I have a negative outlook on everything I think of doing. Which makes me just lay around, trying to escape my feelings. Of course I cannot sleep, so this leads to rumination, until I cannot stand it anymore and force myself to get up. I was on Paxil for about 12 years, and it really worked for making my mind stop ruminating. I could just deflect certain feelings, they did not stick. I was more motivated and enjoyed things. Without it my thoughts seem to take control. A constant barrage of self sabotage, negative outlooks, self pity and anger, feeling stuck in this pattern. Everyday seems like the last, a struggle to do things. Can I just enjoy life sometimes? How? There are moments when I do feel a bit better, usually when I am out of the house, like if we go somewhere for the weekend. Really trying to find some way to feel good about myself. Get some strength to keep moving forward. Keeping busy, doing things I enjoy, even if I think I won't enjoy them. I have things I can focus on, like learning new skills so I can find a job. Really worried about this as my motivation is low, and my outlook is negative. Like "will learning this really help me, or is it just a waste of time?" In fact, I think of most things this way. But life is the little things, I used to enjoy them more, now I belittle them, and say "this is mundane". And the worry creeps in, worried about my kids, parents (as they age, dad diagnosed with dementia too). I cannot control everything. I know gratitude is supposed to help. I need to practice more. I realize this is about practice. Its so hard! But I have to do it! Neurons that fire together, wire together, as my therapist says. Form new habits, new patterns... A day at time, change will come slowly, but it should come. So, has anyone felt like this? Has anyone improved using cognitive therapy alone? I'd love to hear peoples experiences, and what has helped, what has not helped. I feel alone in this, and maybe just sharing things with all you brave souls out there can help us both. Strength in numbers! I think just connecting with some people would help so much. I hope to hear from some of you, and we can keep in touch and help each other through these times. Why should be go thru this alone? Thank you all, be brave, one day at a time, we can do this
  10. Thanks @jkd_sd@Atra@justannabelle Those are some good suggestions. I do have a lot on my mind, so when I am idle all those worries come flooding in. I need to address how I respond to these worries (family, job). Working from home has been difficult because it is too quiet and isolating. One big factor too is that the antidepressants I was on for years no longer work, and I have been much more sensitive to things, that really amps up the anxiety. Thanks again for the advice, its comforting to know people are out there listening
  11. Hello everybody, I really hope you are all finding some sunshine today. I have somehow gotten to the point where I am super anxious whenever I have free time. I do not know what to do. Nothing I think of sounds good, and I talk myself out of it. I seem unable to enjoy anything. Anyone else get this way? I did not used to feel like this. I could just enjoy doing nothing, or I would come up with something. Now I just feel like sleeping, but I cannot, my mind will not let me. They days seem so stressful because I cannot enjoy my time. Has anyone found a solution for this?
  12. @Epictetus, thanks for your reply. I will check out the "Worry Cure". I have been diagnosed with depression as well, although lately it seems the anxiety much stronger. I believe they are related. have been told from my psychologist that I have a very strong "inner critic", that gained power through my childhood. I know I am tough on myself, and need to start defending myself against this critic. Thanks again for your kind words.
  13. Hi @Atra, thanks for the information. I am talking with a psychologist regularly, and will bring up CBT. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I hope it keeps working for you.
  14. Hi everyone. Over the past couple years my anxiety has increased to an almost unbearable level. Some nights I get no sleep at all. It affect my work and social life. Basically any idle time i have I fill with "what ifs", especially around my kids. Both are in college out of state. I start thinking of all the bad things that could happen to them, and it just freaks me out. The more I try to stop thinking about them, the more I do. I worry about accidents, abductions, just anything bad. I also feel like I do not measure up anymore. No self confidence. Even with old friends, I feel a bit out of place, like there is something wrong with me. I basically cannot enjoy myself anymore, I feel inadequate, different, rejected. Can anyone relate? If so, what helps you?
  15. jeffreyd

    The healing road

    It has been a long time since I entered a blog entry. I am not sure anyone will even read this. But it helps to get things out there. I've been seeing a psychologist for almost 3 years. I have tried so many drugs too, none seem to help at this point. I am now realizing I need to start healing without drugs. I had a good run with Paxil (12 years), but nothing has helped since. I now realize there were/are many events in my life that led me to this moment. I do believe brain chemistry has a lot to do with it, some people are more prone to certain conditions beyond their control. But as with many things, I think a combo of nature/nurture form who we are. I was an only child. I was shy, I was bullied. I was rejected. I wanted so badly to be accepted, instead I found cruel rejection. My parents divorced when I was 13. I spent a lot of time on my own. I started smoking pot and drinking a lot. This continued through college, and drinking was a part of my social scene for decades after. I had huge mood swings. Depression, then elation. Anger, sadness, euphoria. When my first child was born I decided to try meds, so I went on Paxil. It was a miracle for me. Mood swings went away, things did not bother me, I could stop my mind from ruminating. Less worry, more confidence, it was great. 12 years later, the effects wore off. For the past 6 years I have tried different meds. Currently on lamotrigine, and trying Paxil again, but I feel physically like crap, and am getting no benefits. I think I might finally be done with meds. With the help of my psychologist, I realize I learned so much behavior from my early years. I learned to fear social interaction. I feared my vulnerability. I felt nothing I did was good enough, felt unliked when everyone else was liked. This turned into shame. I felt I had little value. Felt I did not matter. My inner critic was running wild. As I got older I became my own bully. Unsure of myself, always afraid I was being judged. Now that I am almost 53, and my two kids are in college, the house is empty. I work from home most of the time. I feel lonely and disconnected from people. I was laid off from work twice (due to company downsizing) and this took a toll on my self confidence. I still worry about my value, at work and outside of work. I cannot relax, I am constantly anxious and worried about things. Taking clonazepam but do not want to do this long term, and it does not really help that much. Makes me tired, and feeling dull. So knowing why I am who I am today helps. Knowing events in the past contributed to my thoughts and behavior today. But they are so engrained, its been so many years I have learned this behavior, it is very tough to relearn new behavior. But I have to, if I want to ever see happiness again. I want to be there for my kids, for my wife. My parents are aging and I fear losing them. I am afraid of loss, as I will feel even more alone. So I begin my healing journey with pure willpower, and practice. Work on taming my inner critic, learn to love myself. Learn to understand I am human, live everyone else, and I have flaws, like everyone else. But I have talents too, foster those. Get out and connect with people. See that people are also dealing with issues, empathize with each other, heal together. Start doing things, try thing, see what you enjoy, then do more of it! Believe in yourself, the past is the past, move forward. I do matter, I am valued. Do not be around people who do not value you, life is too short. Of course this is easy to write down. It seems so daunting to do. But it can be done, if it takes years, it can be done. I am on my way... Thanks.
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