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Everything posted by ellemint

  1. I feel for you. I have many of the same symptoms and feelings. I don't have any word of wisdom to offer, sorry. My own writing skills seem to have also deteriorated. Please just know you are not alone, there are so many very people suffering from this awful condition. And through the internet I am conscious of you and your suffering and I wish you compassion and virtual hugs. Please remember no matter how it feels that you are a worthwhile and valuable person, and I hope you can find a way to at least reduce the suffering a little.
  2. Welcome to the forums KMN26121 ! I have the same issue and I don't have some great solutions. Sometimes if I just force myself to get outside and tell myself all I need to do is walk down the sidewalk in front of my condo, that little step at least gets me out of the house. Sometimes that can build into an entire walk in which I interact and make conversation with neighbors who I see outside. Sometimes I enjoy these conversations, other times I just grit my teeth and get through them. But anyway, you're not alone in having this problem. good luck
  3. I guess my purpose right now is just to survive--- alive, awake and aware.
  4. Right now I take alprazalom every day for anxiety but it probably also makes me feel more depressed.
  5. In many states, like Florida, it is illegal to record a phone conversation without informing the other caller, so if you plan to record phone calls or meeting I would let the other party know, or if it's a meeting of something important, put it into writing (like a meeting with a condo board association), so that you have proof that you have let them know you were recording. Otherwise, it can't be brought up in a dispute, or in court, should it ever come to that. I know because I have had extreme difficulties with a condo board, and when I talked to a lawyer he said none of what I'd recorded could be used since I hadn't informed the other parties.
  6. But others think it is a choice. A friend told me the other day that my problem is that I feel sorry for myself and that I should just be happy because of what I have going for me. I guess people think I can just decide not to be tormented by severe depression. Would that it were so. The people I've tried to talk to about how I feel have not reacted with much sympathy. "Get over it", "toughen up", and "everyone has problems" are the primary attitudes I've gotten. This just makes me feel worse, much worse. I went to a psychiatrist, but he just charges a lot of money and prescribes pills. I've decided I don't want to be addicted to pills, so I'm not taking any now. I tried them in the past, but I don't believe they will cure me. I've read a lot of self-help and spiritual books and articles. Their message boils down to "think positively". This probably works for some people, but I just can't sustain a positive attitude. I've tried to change my life for the better, but the result is consistent failure. I don't want any more happy, trite "good advice". There are few things I hate more than reading happy stories about people who "overcame" their depression and tell us how to do it. I don't see much hope anymore. I know after a lifetime of dealing with intense sadness, depression, and anxiety that it won't ever go away. It's just who I am. Mental illness runs in my family. (My brother has severe schizphrenia, and his life is hell.) I can't stand the loneliness of being alone, but I also don't want to be a burden on others and stress them out. My grim heaviness stresses them too much. I really can't maintain any close relationships in my condition. Nobody wants to be around a negative loser. It's a no-win situation. All I want is for everything to end. I'm afraid to commit the ultimate taboo, though, because it will hurt my family, and I'm afraid of being reincarnated right back into this life as punishment. At the same time the thought of a few more decades of living with my illness is terrifying. I know some of you understand what I'm talking about. I guess we just have to endure as long as we can. Maybe after death we'll get some relief. (With our luck, though, we'll just transfer into another state of hell.) What a ray of sunshine I am today. :) I can relate very much to what you write. I feel the same way. I've struggled a lot with letting people know the way I feel, which rarely works out in the long run. It just stresses people out, and they can't deal with it. So I am left with the option of not mentioning depression, and just keeping relationships superficial. Right now I've pretty well lost nearly all my friends, mostly because I've moved multiple times and I don't keep in touch very well, but also because I burnt so many bridges because I was so often this upset, lost, anguished person, and people just got fed up with it. I don't feel like psychiatrists and medication work anymore. I'm still on a low-dose anti-depressant, but just like any drug, I honestly believe that one's brain habituates to psychotropic medications, and that they stop working. They worked great for me the first time I took any, but now, decades later, I don't think so. There are four books I would recommend that go far beyond just "positive thinking": Russ Harris - The Happiness Trap Alex Korb - The upward Spiral, Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One small change at a time Robert Leahy - The Worry Cure - Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping you [not about depression per se but still good since for me anxiety/avoidance are tied in with depression] Michael Bennett, MD, Sarah Bennett - "{swear word} Feelings"- One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing all life's impossible problems - Actual name of book, first word of this book, rhymes with buck Alex Korb also writes a blog in Psychology Today, and Michael Bennett and his daughter have a very good website.
  7. I hate the holidays and I hate Christmas. It's the anniversary of my mother's death. I feel no Christmas cheer, I had to move and have made no new friends, I feel alone and without family. I just hate everything right now. sorry.
  8. We've medicalized human suffering, we shame and reject people for their suffering and despair. Instead of thinking 'there goes a person who has struggled mightily against huge obstacles and setbacks and still keeps fighting', we stigmatize and disparage them. We talk of cancer survivors but rarely depression survivors or warriors, but that's what we are.
  9. Action Potential, yes, the significance and applicability of your name was not lost on me --- good choice! I am glad it gave you some relief to at least lay things out in a non-critical environment. I have always found depression forums a very supportive place. I would not worry about anyone identifying you---many a grad student could relate to what you write. I also went through how to explain a weekly or bi-weekly hourly appointment,, but the thing is you don't really have to explain to anyone. Unless you are being paid to be in the lab from 9 to 5 or something, then your schedule should be self-managed and somewhat flexible, am I correct? If you feel compelled to explain yourself, which I don't think you really have to do, you could always say that you are getting regular physiotherapy or chiropractic treatments for headaches or your back or something like that, or schedule appts at the end of the day and simply say today 'I have to get out of the lab by 4 pm on Thursdays, or maybe you could work a mid-day appointment into a long lunch, just say you have a weekly obligation, or a yoga class, no one should really be questioning you about that. It's none of anyone's business. I mean there are people with all kinds of obligations, like students and workers who need to leave promptly each day to pick up kids from daycare etc. Main thing is you have to take care of yourself. It is hard to find a good therapist or counsellor, you may have to shop around until you find one that is a good fit. That is so great that you gave you a good presentation and received praise from a critical prof. That's amazing! "So I feel left in the dust and like I'm just being used as a backbone for the lab, without getting what I need to out of it. He also just kind of throws out big ideas and experiments but I'm expected to make things happen on my own, which often involves a lot of stuff I just don't feel capable of planning by myself. So I feel incompetent and lazy. And again, none of this is in any way intentional on this part and I really think he just can't see it happening." I don't have a solution for this, but if it is something that is going to be excessively stressing you out, it should be dealt with. Maybe there is no perfect solution, but maybe some options could be explored to improve things even slightly. I'm just brainstorming but for the other students that you are assisting maybe ask them first to find what they are looking for in the Methods sections in papers, and if it is about learning a technique or equipment, there are manuals for equipment, and even most techniques are written up somewhere, although I know some things can only be learned hands-on. I don't know, you may just have to go to the big man, and tell him, 'I need to discuss with you the steps to implement this experiment because I don't have the experience yet to take it from idea stage to completion.' You are after all still a student. It is expected that you are still learning, and don't just instantly 'know' everything. And maybe he has forgotten this. I think it is very true that the further away some researchers get from the days when they were hands-on spending many hours in the lab themselves, they forget how much work is required. But I think you need to set realistic limits on what is possible, and communicate that to him. It certainly doesn't mean you are incompetent or lazy!!! I hope you accept you have value as a person, just for being you, yourself, cheerful or not, competent or not, and cherish and celebrate yourself. cheers, ellemint
  10. I don't know why more doctors don't pay more attention to this side effect of gaining weight mostly in the abdomen. First of all, abdomenal fat is really unhealthy, and to me any medication that is causing fat to accumulate there is not a good medication. I'm a skinny person and when on Cymbalta my waistline simply expanded as if my magic, I swear I wasn't eating anymore. It also made me feel like my head was stuffed with cotton, not care about anything, and just sleep all the time. All in all, I think Cymbalta is a rather evil medication. Just my opinion.
  11. You deserve more help --- from others, and from yourself! I have my doctorate and know how difficult grad school can be ( I don't know if action potential refers to your area, but mine was in neurophysiology/electrophysiology). Your supervising professor should be giving you more contact and guidance. That's what he/she is being paid for. My experiments were always discussed in depth with my supervisor before I tackled them, and he wouldn't just leave me floating on a project by myself. It is not demanding or at all out-of-line to ask to speak to your professor and request that he/she give you more attention, guidance, input, and feedback. Maybe schedule a weekly meeting. He just sounds lazy. Just my opinion, but you shouldn't have to be supervising other students in the lab, that's his job. Take pride in your performance. You are doing very difficult things without getting much or any positive reinforcement for your efforts. So you are going to have to pat yourself on the back and appreciate the hard work you are doing despite the outcomes of the experiments. It is very difficult to stop self-loathing, and I can relate to that feeling. But know that depression lies to you about your worth, your accomplishments, and your abilities. You may feel despair, but try not to believe in what it tells you. You are a valuable and worthwhile person no matter how you feel about yourself. There should be counsellors at your university student health center, and that might be worthwhile to check out. Doctors and medication can only do so much. Your grievances and feelings are legitimate and understandable, and it might help to have someone to talk to, to bounce things off of, and gain perspective and maybe some help in coping.
  12. You can say to the doc exactly what you wrote above. Or you could even print it out and hand it to her and let her take the lead from there. I have the same issue. I usually talk in a pretty positive manner, I guess I've learned to adopt a mask, but I wouldn't worry about it. Just talk in whatever manner you feel like. Good luck. You are not alone.
  13. I often feel the way you are describing. I am sorry you are suffering. I would try not to even think about the new job right now. Think about it when you are actually there. Realize it is normal anxiety that anyone would feel prior to starting a new job. They wouldn't have hired you if you didn't have valuable skills. Be proud of what you have accomplished and are doing despite your symptoms! You found a job. You are babysitting a grand-child. Those are challenging tasks for anyone, let alone someone suffering symptoms of depression and anxiety. Remember depression will often lie to you about your own worth and the value of your achievements, so you need determination and vision to see through those lies. I have recurrent depression and sometimes it is a battle we fight for our entire lives, but don't judge yourself by your symptoms, have compassion for yourself. Having the strength and will to fight, in spite of pain and distress says something significant about who you are. You are stronger than you feel.
  14. Also, maybe with the psychiatrist see if you can be put on a cancellation wait list. Psychiatrists have tons of cancellations. I had a 4 month delay before I could see a psychiatrist, but called and said I was available any time they had a cancellation, and got a call the next day to come in.
  15. I'm sorry you are going through this. Did the crappy doctor at least fill out the paperwork? And yes, I would at least give the EAP people a call, even if not doctors they are still a resource and may be able to give you some assistance.
  16. This website has all the major depression tests for free and provides online scores: http://farmacologiaclinica.info/scales/MADRS/
  17. I think if you are not comfortable with the dosage/drug that your doctor has prescribed for you, I would hold off, and return to him and discuss that. Your concerns are totally valid, and it could be that he could suggest another drug, or a lower dosage. But I would not start taking such a strong drug at a relatively high dose without first discussing with him. It used be a top-down, doctor knows best approach, and patients who balked or questioned things were viewed as non-compliant, but fortunately I think it has shifted to a more egalitarian respectful relationship between doctors and patients, in which they work in a partnership to explore pharmacologic treatments that that both see as reasonable and workable.
  18. Good for you havehope! That takes courage. good luck.
  19. I am feeling really down today too. I could not get out of bed until 7 pm and by 9 pm I was back in bed. Me too. Spent most of the day in bed listening to podcasts. I don't know what I'm doing. It's so self-destructive and not getting me anywhere.
  20. Is the song of the sea in tune only with the rising waves? Does it not also sing with the waves that fall? ---Tagore
  21. You are not defective. You are a human being worthy of respect and who should be treated with dignity. It is a crime that anyone working hard at a job should not be paid a fair and living wage. Be proud of yourself for hanging in there. Take pride in your performance, and job, regardless of how it compares with others because you are fighting the hard fight.
  22. I think there's more holiday family dinners that are like that than there are the type depicted on TV commercials with everyone sitting around with glowing eyes, pride and fond smiles, and no irritable looks or snarky comments.
  23. I'm trying to build basic relationship online right now to get used to communicating with people again. It's not really going well. I hear from a couple people every few days or so. We're not that alike other than our "symptoms". I guess that's really as good as it gets online anyway. An occasional message. I've had that meetup thing recommended a few times. I checked out the ones somewhat near me. Aside from the fact that I can't approach anyone in person, especially groups, I saw nothing remotely interesting. Hiking groups. Groups who go to clubs. Overly active, outgoing activities. Hopeless. I'm fully and sadly aware that finding someone like me would be, by definition, impossible. We're in our houses never coming out to talk to anyone, and will never know the other even exists. "I'm fully and sadly aware that finding someone like me would be, by definition, impossible. We're in our houses never coming out to talk to anyone, and will never know the other even exists. " I don't know if you meant to, but that's actually ironically funny. I'm kind of in the same boat, and I've looked at Meetup too and so far have not attended any. There are usually some that meet to eat, you know they dine out, a fairly innocuous activity, I mean, everyone eats. Could that be something you could try? Again, maybe for now put aside the ideal of finding someone who shares your interests, and just maybe spend some time with people doing a fairly laid-back activity that you can at least tolerate. Also, there do seem to be a fair share of movie-going meet-up groups. That's not that much involvement or conversational committment. I go back and forth between the U.S. and Canada, and should be leaving for the U.S. soon. Maybe when I am there we can help encourage each other to go to one meet-up activity in our own respective areas, and follow-through and report back how it went.
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