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Stan Islavski

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Everything posted by Stan Islavski

  1. Ringing in a little late here. I hope it is still helpful. You can try an online Physician. They charge a nominal fee for basic issues. I think the last time I used one, it was about $50. Of course, I'm sure many online Physicians are careful about prescribing medication to someone they don't know/have full history of. But Effexor/Venlafaxine is hardly a concern on the "street". You can also ask around your area for any doctors/clinics that work on a sliding scale. There are many, you just need to find them. Good luck!
  2. I agree with what has already been said. To add to it, I don't know that depression has anything to do with what YOU are needing right now. You have obviously been through a lot of hurt and pain. And you are looking for someone/something to blame. It might be the depression. It might not be. It's natural to feel that way but you'll likely never get the answer you want. I think that's a universal truth among all bad breakups. You sound like a very smart, capable, self-assured person. Don't let this change that. I suggest you take the needed time to grieve and then pick yourself up and start moving forward again. All that said, I can tell you a little bit of my story. I had thoughts about infidelity quite a bit in one of my previous relationships. My girlfriend was very selfish and emotionally manipulative/abusive. That relationship is what caused my depression to initially surface. I became so depressed and suicidal and I just wanted someone to treat me like I mattered. Since I wasn't getting that attention at home, I thought a lot about getting it elsewhere. I don't blame my ex-girlfriend for that. I also don't hold her accountable for my depression. In time, I realized that she just wasn't the person I needed her to be. My inability to break up with her sooner was a combination of many things. Most importantly, my low self-worth. So at the end of the day, we just weren't compatible. It was a horrible situation on many levels. And we both got hurt as a result. But depression or not, we were simply mismatched. And that was the bottom line. If your ex has depression, I think it's important you don't blame yourself. It's a horrible disease that you cannot control. And no matter how much you try to help and do the right thing, it might never matter in the end. And if your ex does NOT have depression, I think it's even more important that you don't blame yourself. Lack of integrity is also a horrible disease that you cannot control. And no matter how much you try to help and do the right thing, it definitely will never matter in the end. Always be true to yourself and the rest will work out on its own.
  3. Hi, I am currently in the middle of an extremely bad bout of depression (I've also developed a debilitating case of anxiety). I haven't been on meds in over 10 years. But with the severity of this bout, I've lost any handle I've had on it. That said, I KNOW something needs to be done. And my doctor wants to put me back on medication. But I'm opposed to medication. I have a few high-level reasons (and some biases) for disliking meds. But I don't know if this thinking is right or wrong considering the severity of my depression at this moment. Has anyone here successfully managed a severe bout of depression without meds?
  4. I certainly know how trapped that makes you feel. But step back from your negative bias for a second. You said you were going back to school to better your life. You may feel trapped because school does that at times. But all the time you're putting in right now is for yourself. It may not be the "fun" you envisioned you'd be doing at 30 years old. But it is time and effort you are spending on yourself.I went back to school at 36. It's hard and it takes up a lot of your time. But it's for you. If you don't like your major, change it. Always Remember the goal. Remember why you're doing it. Please believe me when I say it's just a little time out of your life. And you will have many great years to look forward to after you're done. Good luck!
  5. Well... I can tell you one thing for sure. The whole world is most definitely NOT moving forward and into better things. And sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. But that's only because you've not taken care of your own grass. Once you get to the other side of the fence, that grass will be great... for a little bit... until it turns brown and dies because you didn't water and fertilize it. We need to get into the habit of taking care of our own grass. Then it will be something worth enjoying. You want a different life but there is something you can do besides wait. And that is to take action. Set goals. Even small daily goals that will give you a sense of accomplishment. You have a month until your job ends. Use that time. Don't just sit on it. I usually feel like I don't have any energy to do anything. It's an uphill battle at first to get off the couch. But after a week or two it gets easier. Especially if it's routine. For example, I go to the gym a couple days a week. At first I didn't really have the energy. But now I look forward to it. Try it. I know it's not always easy. But I do believe it's worth it. Good luck!!
  6. I feel like me and my wife are in a very similar place. Without knowing a bit more about you, I would assume that this is not your depression talking and you're right to feel your marriage is disconnected. In fact, that's probably a part of what is perpetuating your depression right now. However, I don't believe she disapproves of you. My guess is that's a combination of a few things. For one, she probably has no idea how to help (and hasn't for a long time). That leads to frustration and withdrawal. It reminds me of my kid (he's 4). Sometimes I just don't know how to "reach" him. I try everything I can think of but we're just not connecting/communicating. And I just don't know what to do. That's likely how your wife feels. She is probably also frustrated that your depression doesn't go away quickly. People that don't suffer from depression just don't understand its effects. And they wonder why you just can't "get over it already". I don't know that I have much advice. But it sounds like you both could benefit from more open communication and (especially) understanding and empathy. I wish you all the best. And I really hope things get better for you.
  7. Personally, I'd do the taxes. I too feel like I'm not part of my team. The feeling sucks and no celebration dinner in the world is going to change that right now. Doing taxes sucks too. But they don't cause emotional perturbations like the former does. So getting them finished would definitely provide a sense of accomplishment. And it would be one less thing I'd be anxious about every day. Good luck!
  8. I am in the U.S. and I'm wanting to learn how other societies treat & manage depression. Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge? The reason I ask is because I want to manage the physical/chemical/neuro (whatever you want to call it) side of depression without medication. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  9. I haven't seen her I a while but It's been a good experience. It hasn't been an uber enlightening experience. But I've seen 8 traditional therapists/psychs (that I can remember) and the life coach has provided more insight and homework in a few months than all of my therapists put together. But she also has a clinical background. So that probably fit well with me. Just like anything though, I'm sure there are some that aren't very insightful.
  10. I'm hoping someone out there might have some thoughts that will turn on a light bulb or two. One of the biggest issues I'm facing right now are negative thoughts. They consume me every minute I am alone and have nothing else to occupy my brain. These thoughts are all replays of times when I felt wronged in some form. It may have happened last week, or last year, or even twenty years ago. Many times these thoughts turn into violent thoughts. It is nothing I'm going to act on. It's just very disturbing. For example, I got into a disagreement with a friend several years ago and we've parted. I felt he was very unreasonable at the time, and so I replay the conversation in my head different ways... and also what I might say to him if I saw him again. But he's very stubborn and narrow-minded. So the replay in my head turns into a physical altercation - feeling like that's the only way to make him listen to me. The other day it got so bad that I felt "possessed". I just couldn't kick the thoughts out of my brain and it seemed like I was being controlled by them. That was pretty much the tipping point. Simply put, I'm not at peace. My brain's negativity bias is on turbo and I see nothing at all good about my life. I've been to several traditional therapists and also a life coach. Some were more useful than others. And we've tried different things to kick the negativity (including some CBT and mindfulness). But I just feel it's getting worse. In addition, my immune system is out of wack. In the last few months I've acquired some ailments that I never have before... along with 2 autoimmune diseases. There could certainly be some other factors, but I blame a large portion on the stress, negativity, and hatefulness that consumes me. Last night I thought about joining a Buddhist Temple - thinking that practicing zazen might get me going in the right direction. But I read that while zazen may provide some benefits, it will likely not be the lifestyle change that will reverse depression and anxiety. Perhaps that was just a "disclaimer" since they are not licensed therapists... but it wasn't very encouraging. Anyway... I'm open to thoughts. Thanks for reading. :)
  11. From the little bit you said, I would guess that there will ALWAYS be someone you are going to be envious of. If you achieved all the successes your friends have, I bet you would still find someone to be envious of. So my advice is to first realize that this is the way your brain is wired, and accept that it does not necessarily reflect reality. Second would be to determine what's important to you, and go after it. I know it's cliche. But I'm 40 and have been chasing after other peoples' successes my entire life. The times when I was most happy, was when I was chasing after my own passions (and marking those success along the way). It didn't matter what it was, or how much/little income it produced. It was all about me. It was selfish, but not in an unhealthy way. It was just me taking care of myself. And that can be a pretty powerful thing. Yes, these feelings of envy will return from time to time. No, they are not the answer the all your problems. But they are a large piece of the puzzle. And like most everything else we have to manage, it is important that we recognize them and deal with them appropriately when they arise. Good luck!
  12. One of the many layers to my depression (labeling it any further than that right now is futile) is feeling like I am unimportant in the grand scheme of things. That alone is not really what I am struggling with right now. It is how to manage it. In my case, I feel unimportant all the time. As a result I put others' needs ahead of mine. And when someone discusses their problems, I often feel like my problems aren't so horrible. So I should just shut my mouth and suck it up. But then I feel even more depressed because I don't allow myself to talk about my issues out of fear I will appear/feel petty. I know I'm not alone with this. So I'm just wondering how others might have come to manage this sort of thing. I mean the "right" thing to do when depressed is to talk with someone. But if that results in feeling petty, we can feel even worse. And if we don't talk at all, we can feel even worse. Thoughts?
  13. Lately, I've been struggling with determining why I have difficulty being happy and showing it. My 1-year old son is an incredible joy to be around. But when he does something funny or cute, I catch myself stifling my reactions to him... especially when other people are around. And it's not just with my son - it's with other things too. So I keep thinking back to my earliest memories, trying to figure out where exactly I was taught that "being happy is wrong." But I just can't put my finger on it. I'm just looking for thoughts or questions I can ask myself that perhaps I haven't asked yet. All input is appreciated.
  14. Good advice! Another thing about hobbies, they can be lumped into 2 categories: 1) Performance based 2.) Leisurely Both are great, but for different reasons. Performance-based hobbies provide you with some type of competition, and allow you to measure your progress over time. Leisurely hobbies allow you to mentally rest while focusing on something positive. Most importantly, sometimes hobbies require a true commitment. I know there are many days when I just want to do nothing but lay on the couch and feel bad about myself. That's OK once in a while, but don't let it become a habit. Commit to your hobby and force yourself to it even if you don't feel like it. Also, on those days that you do just want to slump around, think of something that you can get done at the same time. I'll use those days to lay on the couch and catch up on all my recorded TV shows/movies.
  15. Have you thought about making a list of daily goals when you get up? Sometimes, it really just helps to have tangible evidence of things getting done. But it is also a commitment. Try committing to setting (and reaching) daily goals every day for a month... or even just a couple weeks. Your goals should be: 1.) Specific 2.) Attainable (in a day) 3.) Working Toward a Larger Goal For example, if one of your long-term goals is to have a clean house, set a goal one day to sort and file 1 stack of papers. If you want to go to college, set a daily goal to contact one of your choice colleges and request an information packet. Cross off your daily goals when you get them completed. You may not get them all completed everyday, and that's fine. Roll them over to the next day. The point of doing this is to provide evidence to yourself that you ARE able to take the necessary steps to reaching larger goals. It's also to relieve the burden of larger jobs one step at a time. At the end of each day, you'll have proof-positive in your hands that you can look at. And it also takes your focus off other peoples' expectations. Because in the end, it doesn't matter what THEIR goals for you are. The only goals that matter are the ones that YOU want to accomplish.
  16. What things used to bring you joy? Think about those, even if you really don't feel like you care about them anymore. A lot of us went through periods just like you're experiencing. For me, I picked an activity to get involved in. It was an activity that I used to love doing, that I could improve at, was social, and kept my mind occupied. It really was integral to helping me find my "place" in the world. Maybe you're feeling like you don't want anything right now, but I suggest you try and reconnect with things you wanted earlier in life and put those on your poster. Hopefully that will point you in some good directions.
  17. I've been in a very similar situation. Nearly identical, really. First of all, what you're feeling for him is normal. As you pointed out, you did have some good times. Just don't forget the reason you broke up though. It might be hard at times, but don't forget. I'll share with you what worked for me. Everyone's different, but hopefully something I say will make sense and point you in the right direction. First, learn to say "thank you." When someone gives you a compliment just smile and say, "thank you." You might not believe it, or you might want to overly praise them for their graciousness. But seriously, just smile and say, "thank you." Not only does it demonstrate an amount of confidence, but you learn to accept the compliment for what it is. Analyzing compliments (whether good or bad) means you're questioning the validity. So don't try to convince yourself of anything. Just smile and say, "thank you." Second, take on an activity that you love doing. I found this to be very important. Do it regularly... like 3+ times a week. If possible, choose something that you can measure your progress on. Maybe a sport, or exercise, or a musical instrument, or some other art form. The key is to be able to see your progress. When you can clearly see yourself improving, that's when you start to rebuild genuine confidence in yourself. Finally, take time for yourself once in a while. Go shopping, or hiking, or whatever selfish activity you enjoy doing. But make sure it's something for YOU... on your OWN terms. If a friend wants to go with, great. If you'd rather be alone, that's great too. But make sure you're doing what you want to do. I hope that helps!
  18. No need to be sorry. Not in the least. My first question is... is your sudden onset of depression really caused by what happened 7 months ago? Or is it possible that something that happened more recently triggered it? I can't speak for everyone, but when depression creeps up on me it's usually a direct result of something that happened recently. And yes, I will get down on myself over things that happened months... even years ago. But it's not because of those things, it's just because I am reminded of those things. You said you broke up with your partner... I assume you had a very good reason. Remember that reason. I had a really difficult time when I divorced my wife. The depression I went through before and after the divorce was debilitating. In many ways, I felt worse after the divorce. But I slowly started putting my life back together. And I am in much better shape because of it. Hopefully some of this will hit home and give you the boost you need. Just hang in there and focus on what you need to do to be healthy.
  19. I don't know about that. Stuckey, I got two big red flags from your post: 1.) "but i'm super depressed and i rather be alone for the rest of my life" Perhaps BetterOff is right and this is your depression talking. But, some people are actually quite happy being alone. Other people are simply so miserable with their significant other that they would rather be alone than with them (and they find someone later on that treats them right). And that takes us to: 2.) "she says she wont see anyone else if we break up and live with her parents forever, that's something i dont want on my conscious" If that is a common theme with your girlfriend (and is what I think it is), then I have to disagree with BetterOff. You don't have someone that is willing to stick with you through thick or thin. You have someone that is manipulating you for their own selfish needs. The first part of that statement is her laying a guilt trip on you. The second part of that statement demonstrates that it works. She knows your vulnerabilities, how to exploit them, and uses them to control your behavior and your mental health. And guess what? That behavior can trigger depression in the person being manipulated. I have seen it and am very familiar with situations like these. This doesn't mean that I'm right. It's just another view on your situation. You have to do some more reflection of the situation and try to realize exactly what's going on. It also doesn't mean that she's an inherently mean-spirited person. Which makes accepting it a bit more difficult. But it doesn't excuse it. If you are not in control of your own being, you'll be miserable. And to answer your question, I don't think you can let her down easily. Especially if I am right about her manipulating you. There will never be a "good time" and chances are she will fight you to stay together. It might hurt because you are a naturally compassionate person. But you have to make a choice. You can choose to be manipulated and miserable, or you can choose self-preservation. Wayne Dyer wrote a pretty good book entitled Pulling Your Own Strings. I recommend it. And if you are not sure whether or not you're being manipulated in the relationship, you will by the time you finish reading.
  20. While I agree that perhaps bullies are scared, compassionate people, I don't necessarily agree that they should be treated as such. I am also of the mindset that they need to be punished. They need to feel that control over them, and feel what they do to others. It might help with some, it might not with others. But in my experiences with bullies, the only thing being compassionate towards them accomplishes is another opening for them to bully you. It displays a vulnerability. And bullies feed off of any vulnerability they can get their hands on. But that's just my opinion.
  21. Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure that can make anxiety go away overnight. Try engaging yourself in an activity that you enjoy. One in which you can measure results. Losing weight can be a tough one, especially since you're going to have ups and downs throughout the journey. But generally, exercise is a great way to distract your mind with something positive. Maybe you want to do some resistance training / weight lighting with an exercise routine. Muscle building gives you weekly results and may just provide the frequent success stories you need to keep pushing forward. Most importantly, don't stress yourself out over things. You'll have ups and downs and that's OK. We all have our bad days. Even without anxiety. Think of it as a day off. Well, I'm not sure I subscribe to that theory. You don't have to learn to live with yourself. You can CHANGE! That's one of the best things about being human. Again, start by finding an activity that you enjoy and gives you positive results. When you start to see improvement in any part of your life, it will begin to offset all the negative thoughts you have. I don't necessarily subscribe to this theory either. I believe that, in many cases, anxiety/depression are (at least) partially influenced by NOT following our ambitions and meeting our goals. For whatever reason, we sometimes stop working toward our ambitions and things we enjoy. After a few months, we say to ourselves that we'll get around to it. After a year or two, we make excuses but promise ourselves to pick it up again. A few years after that, we look back and all we see is "wasted time". We think to ourselves that we haven't done anything, and we get down on ourselves because of it. Eventually, that's all we see - "wasted time". We don't see the time we have left. Make a list of your ambitions. Organize them into short and long term goals. Do something everyday to reach that final goal - even if it only takes 10 minutes. But keep in mind that short term goals are (in many ways) more important than long term goals. For example, look at how you feel. You want results NOW. But if you organize your short term goals well, you WILL see results NOW. And in a few months, you will look at your accomplishments and see that you are that much closer to your long term goals. I believe that action can change our lives. If you don't like something about yourself, take action. Don't "learn to live with it." Engage yourself and do something about it. Hopefully, something I said makes sense to you. Take what is useful and feel free to discard what you don't find useful. We're all a little bit different. And if you feel disorganized or unfamiliar with setting goals, take a look at David Allen's book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. There are many helpful books our there, but that just happens to be the one I'm most familiar with. Either way, it really helps to find a system that takes the chaos out of areas of our life. Good luck!
  22. Like Tim said, these things can sneak up on us quick. I know it happens to me a lot more than I would like. Try to take a breath, relax for a moment, and realize that it is temporary. If it wasn't, then you would not have been doing so well before!
  23. I didn't mean to give the wrong impression. It's not that I don't care about or don't know what Clinical Depression is and how it affects me. I had learned a lot about it when I was first diagnosed. I just know that: 1.) The names of diagnoses can and do change. 2.) The names of diagnoses can vary from region to region and psychiatrist to psychiatrist. 3.) I believe mis-diagnoses and over-diagnoses have become a problem in this country. 4.) I don't know much about other forms of depression or how they relate to what I have. 5.) Any two people can be affected differently by the same diagnosis. So I am not necessarily a fan of treatment/advice given solely on the name of the diagnosis (which I feel psychiatrists and therapists have done to me). I guess that's pretty much what I meant when I said that. No offense taken.
  24. I agree with fireve... make out some 1, 2, and 5 year plans. Take control of your life. It sounds to me like your life is running you - and that feeling of no control makes any bad situation worse. I also don't think you're wrong for resenting your husband. But you shouldn't feel guilty about it. That is wasted energy. Instead, try to discover WHY you resent him, and then you can go about beginning to heal that part of your relationship. My gut instinct is that, on some level, you are feeling manipulated and controlled by him... and that may be part of why you're resenting him. The reason I say that is because people with illnesses like that often become very manipulative. It's not a bad thing, it is simply a symptom of living with the disease. For some time, your husband had very little control over his illness. It is a lot of doctors saying, "You have to do A, B, C and X, Y, Z to ensure any chance of recovery. You have to do it 4 times a day, every day, indefinitely. And I still can't guarantee you'll get better." In the end people need to feel like they're in control. If he couldn't control himself, he would find something else to control. And that might have been you. This may or may not apply to you. Feel free to use what makes sense and discard the rest. The point is, don't feel guilty about your feelings. Just try to understand why they are there. Hopefully it will lead you to be more compassionate about yourself and your husband. You need time for yourself too. Don't ever forget that. Don't let anything get in the way of that. I encourage you to start small. Find an inexpensive, accessible hobby that offers you a little peace and solace when you need it. An activity in which you can measure progress is ideal. This is why exercise tends to be good for mental health. When you can see actual results from your work, you begin to feel productive and worthwhile. Right now it seems like you're fighting and fighting and fighting, and you feel like you're still losing ground. And that is a cycle you need to reverse. Finally, it is important for your husband to understand all these things too. You need each others' support. It cannot be a one way street. And I firmly believe that through understanding and communication, you both can begin to mend your relationship. Again, some of this may apply, some may not. At the very least, I hope something in here made sense and will give you that little boost.
  25. Hello all A short about me: I'm 36 and first realized I had depression almost 10 years ago. I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression at that time. (I still don't know, nor care what all the different labels mean. I only know that everyone is affected individually - and that is what is important.) I suppose I've since "beat it" but it likes to show its ugly face from time to time. For the most part, I've been able to manage it quite well. Lately, I've been experiencing many changes in my life that are accompanied by major stresses and worries. With this, I've been noticing another problem: Anxiety; and I've been having a hard time managing it. There are also growing stresses, anger, and hatred that I feel I am unable to manage at this point. Put it all together, and the depression is stewing back to the surface. I know it is probably time again to seek therapy and that could be a helpful piece of the puzzle. But last night I've come to realize that I don't have a support system. The one person I could count on 10 years ago has since vanished from my life. I have a lot of great friends and family; and for them I am thankful. But they suck at support. I guess that's why I'm giving this forum a shot.
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