I'm glad to have found this forum. The last time I had depression bad enough to seek a forum was three and a half years ago. I tried going back to that forum just now and it was very inactive, sadly. I'm glad to have found it here. Hello.
A short background...
I noticed my depression really coming back about 5 months ago, so I sought treatment. There were a genuine two years that I felt just fine, and about a year of a slow downward spiral. The last time I had depression which lasted a dark two and half years, I cured it by by moving and making many major changes in my life, but I am now in a situation where that's not really an option... I have trapped myself. I do feel the desire to escape in order to fix it, but I feel this time I have to look deeper within myself instead of running away. I struggle with anxiety as well, and have developed a horrible coping mechanism: a shopping addiction. I am currently not on medication. I am struggling to find affordable therapy that fits my schedule in my small town. My insurance sucks and the therapist I found is barely covered and charges a lot, but I can go to her after work. But I am only able to see her once a month now and even that is a strain on my finances, which is a large part of my worries due to the shopping.
My depressive feelings are rooted in loneliness and struggling to connect to people even when I really try. I have extremely low confidence and self esteem, mainly in my abilities relating to my career and it really worries me. Five months ago my mother came to visit me for the first time since I moved, and for the first time I realized that she has been emotionally abusing me my entire life. This is the event that really triggered my depression again; it was shocking to finally define something that made me feel so abnormal for so long. And I have come to realize I learned to have low self-esteem from her, as well as a plethora of other personality flaws (which now I realize came from coping with how she treated me), particularly in the root of people-pleasing tendencies. I feel like I have neglected myself for a long time, I let myself take a job and feel trapped in a toxic work environment where people emotionally manipulate me as well, I struggle to make friends, and my hobbies have slowly broken away. I feel scared to create anything again because I hate myself so much, so instead I would rather be bored and do nothing, like literally just sometimes stare at a wall... And sometimes instead I then just shop to take my mind off of everything, and put myself in an imaginary world where these things I convince myself I need tell me I am confident.
I would be interested to hear if anyone else has depression that comes in waves like this, and if you've ever struggled with a shopping addiction or other dangerous coping mechanism, and perhaps even what kind of trauma you may have experienced in your formative years that has contributed toward low mental health.