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Everything posted by ellemint

  1. Seabeach, I'm glad you found it might be helpful. :) I use mindfulness and techniques I learned from ACT for dealing with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings pretty well every day---it's made a difference. :)
  2. So are you saying that it is better for you now at your current job than it was before? --- in terms of how your boss is treating you and your work hours?
  3. I have never had ECT, but I hope that you were thoroughly informed about what it involves and side-effects. To me, it should only be used as a last resort, once many other methods, medications, therapies, lifestyle changes have not worked. But I'm not in yours shoes. Memory loss is a known side-effect of ECT, but if the degree of memory loss you have is objectionable to you, I would be cautious about having more ECT and maybe talk to your doctor about it. There is also Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation now which I think is a little more benign. Have you looked into that at all? all the best, ellemint
  4. I would think it depends how stressful your current job is, because I remember you wrote about how your boss was disregarding you. I know personally I wouldn't want to be working 12 hour days under a thoughtless boss. Another point is that the other job may start out with an easier, less challenging role, but does it have opportunities for advancement within the company? How big is the company? Personally, I would go for more money, easier job, less stress --- but I see your point about learning more at the current job, and having the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. Maybe make up a simple list of pros/ cons for each job, and give each pro and con a weight out of 5 as to how important that factor is. See which job scores higher.
  5. You could try Natural Ginger Gravol, it might be a bit stronger than ginger tea. Or if nausea is bothering you a lot your doctor can prescribe something.
  6. That's not such a bad problem to have ! :) I thought you didn't like the way your boss in your current job treats you.
  7. Computerboy, have things gotten any better at work? (I hope so.)
  8. He sounds like he has some paranoid symptoms which makes me wonder if he has what's called 'psychotic depression' or even some degree of schizophrenia. He definitely doesn't sound like a family doctor is enough to oversee his treatment; I would do one step at a time and I would make the first step locating a new psychiatrist or treatment center. Most places have Community mental health resources -- have you checked those? Sixty is not that old. He sounds like he's really lonely and needs contact with people. But he needs wider social support than just the family. There are therapeutic community 'day programs' and even drop-in centers for people with mental health problems in many cities. It might be worthwhile for him to even move to a nearby city that has these resources, even though I know a move would be disruptive, but it might really improve his quality of life. Anyway, just my thoughts. good luck. ellemint
  9. My personal belief is that it takes a long time for the brain to adjust to not having the medication present ---- months, even years. And someone like myself who has been on anti-depressants for decades I don't believe the brain ever goes back to the way it was before medication.
  10. Thank you squareone ! -- I love your post. I find it encouraging. I think it is so true, the medication will only get you so far, the rest is up to the individual. cheers! ellemint
  11. One of the defusion techniques mentioned a lot in ACT is to identify a thought, let's say it's "I can't do this." and then sing those words to yourself in your head to the tune of a song. I do it all the time with "Moves like Jagger" by Maroon5. It truly just separates me from the panicky thought enough that I can deal with it. Another defusion technique is for a few minutes to picture a thought appearing in print on the tv screen, or on a ticker tape, or imagining it appearing on a succession of people's T-shirts, like everyone is wearing a T-shirt saying "I can't do this.". Be creative. Sometimes I visualize newcasters or Obama all saying that "ellemint is feeling like she can't do this." or "CNn headline news: ellemint reports "she can't do this." Just ridiculous stuff. Again, after a while you start to see they are just words, and not necessarily true, and at least for me it reduces the impact of the negative thinking, or fear. Or you can do it with an image, let's say you have this image of failing at something---you can picture that image on the side of a hot-air balloon, spacecraft or on a bunch of billiard balls on a pool table, or as a TV commercial or part of a soap opera. Whatever you come up with. It seems to reduce the power or impact of that anxiety-provoking image.
  12. I use a technique similar to what Ep1ctetus describes, that I have learned through ACT (Acceptance and Commitment therapy) --- involving 'defusion' and 'expansion' techniques. The rationale is that if we try to fight anxiety or distract ourselves from it--- it doesn't work ! http://www.get.gg/act.htm Defusion involves noticing your thoughts, images, memories, feelings when you are anxious and then defusing from them with a variety of techniques. Some are described in the following link: http://www.get.gg/defusion.htm To deal with fear and anxiety you focus ON the feeling, locate where it feels most prominent in your body, what sensations you are experiencing, like butterflies in the stomach, or a tension in your chest or throat, or fluttery feelings of panic and dread. You visualize the sensation as much as you can, and then you give it room to EXPAND. You breathe into it and visualize what is happening as you do so. You may even place your hand compassionately on the part of your body the feeling is centered, like your chest. The goal is NOT to make the feeling go away, but quite often you will find that a byproduct of expanding the feeling is that miraculously it gradually does reduce and dissipate and you are able to proceed onwards with whatever you want to be doing instead of being stuck feeling anxious. It's analagous to the old yoga story: A teacher asks a student to dissolve a cup of salt in a cup of water and drink some. The student can hardly take a sip. Then the teacher asks the student to dump the cup of salt in a lake, and take a drink. The student can now drink the water. Sometimes when we give something room to exist and expand, things become more manageable. A helpful book on this by Dr. Russ Harris is called "the Happiness Trap:".
  13. I personally have not found CBT that useful. I used to have severe social phobia, and it wasn't until I got on Xanax and saw a psychologist for a year or two that I was able to finally reduce it. I'm a big fan of ACT - acceptance commitment therapy. It doesn't concentrate on pinpointing and analyzing negative thoughts and moods, but teaches one how too proceed mindfully in the direction you want while 'defusing' negative thoughts. It has some innovative very effective ways for dealing with uncomfortable feelings like social anxiety. Some defusion techniques here: http://www.get.gg/defusion.htm There are 2 books by Dr Russ Harris - The Happiness Trap and The Confidence Trap -- that I have found enormously helpful. You can probably get them at your local library. There's an overview of ACT at the following sites: http://www.get.gg/act.htm http://www.thehappin...p.com/about_act And there are ACT therapists all over the world, you can find one in your area via the following link; http://contextualpsychology.org/ take care, ellemint P.S. Xanax should only be used for very short-term periods of time, like a few weeks. It was never intended for long-term use and is way over-prescribed by doctors, so I'm not advocating Xanax at all. It just it happened to work for me in reducing social anxiety physical symptoms a little so that I could proceed with behavioral strategies to conquer it.
  14. Well if 150 Wellbutrin is all that you are on --- that's usually considered a sub-therapeutic dose. How long have you been on it? So before augmenting it I would think your you and your doctor might want to consider upping it to the regular dose of 300.
  15. I don't think you're trying too hard but I do think you can't "evoke" emotions just by trying --- if you know what I mean. Like trying to force yourself to cry or force yourself to feel good. The more you monitor your feelings the less involved you are going to be in whatever you are doing. The monitoring is going to interfere with actually experiencing whatever emotions are there to experience, and be replaced with frustration and despair that you're not feeling the emotions as you used to or wish you could. It's like playing tennis while critiquing your every move and constantly wondering "am I having fun now?" --- you're not going to have fun that way. If you however lose yourself in the game, and get totally engrossed in it, you are more likely to find that you are actually enjoying yourself. It's like the enjoyment is a by-product of engaging mindfully in something. It's almost guaranteed that if you are doing an activity solely to derive enjoyment from it, and tackle it with that mindset, then you will not. That mindset is at odds with how pleasure and emotion arise naturally. Anyway, just my thoughts. :)
  16. itstrevor, here's a link to an interesting article on the neurobiology of anhedonia. It's just the abstract, but if you click on the "elsevier full text article" link on the upper right, it will not take you to a full text but will let you look at figures & tables from the article. The captions for the figures I found explained the gist of the article. A brain circuit (in the rodent) was identified that is thought to be involved in anhedonia and reward related behavior, and they hypothesize that the reason SSRIs often fail to fix anhedonia is that "depressed neurogenesis in the hippocampus" inhibits that effect. The interesting thing is I know I have read that lithium is one of the few drugs that actually increases neurogenesis in the hippocampus. If I find that article I will provide a link. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/22177980 Another article on pubmed showed that people who through "neurofeedback" were trained to increase activity in the part of the brain that 'lit up' to pleasant pictures reduced their scores on the Hamilton Depression Scale and also showed increased positive mood. that article: http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3366978/ To me this has implies that if we could train ourselves to activate those positive-reward circuits in the brain through maybe some kind of positive meditation it might reduce anhedonia. (and without drugs!) Maybe that is why meditation has been shown to have anti-depressant effects. :)
  17. Well I hope that you are able to get somewhere with the new therapist. I'm living back at home after being on my own for decades while I'm getting my depression treated, and it does suck. I hate it. So I'm with you on that. Also, I don't think anyone can lock you up against your will unless you are a danger to yourself or others --- and that has to be based on statements you yourself make or else actual behavior. It can't just be other people's opinions or conjecture --- otherwise we'd have people locking up their spouses and relatives all the time ! :) take care, ellemint
  18. "And almost assuredly I will be placed under the care of men in white coats in fear that I will make another attempt to escape in the only way I currently know how." ----- seriously? I mean, is this a fear of yours or are you speaking metaphorically?
  19. I like Boston terriers --- also, Starla is a great name for her. :)
  20. Good for you yesican in getting out of bed and taking care of your kids! That is an accomplishment. I have trouble with exhaustion and getting out of bed too --- I think it's extremely common with depression. Please try to ease up on yourself with the self-criticism. After all, where does it get you? I know it's easier said than done but try to realize that labeling yourself a loser is just that --- a label. It's not true. Having depression doesn't make you a loser. Not accomplishing much during the day does not make you a loser. You are much more than your depression, including being a loving Mom to your kids. ellemint
  21. Oh wow! - I am so glad you didn't get arrested. Unbelievable how stuff like this happens, isn't it? I am so glad though to hear that you have an interview for a job! That is a major accomplishment in itself. Here's hoping you get it. Maybe you could tell your landlord you're interviewing for a job and he might cut you some slack? take care, ellemint
  22. I am sorry and I know how miserable that is --- I have the same question for you that I've asked others: are you getting some help and support to deal with this? take care, ellemint
  23. Thanks. The biggest part was just accepting that I deserved to get better and suffer less. I was also lucky to stumble into some tools that worked well for me like CBT and mindfulness meditation. It's a process and there are ups and downs depending on what's going on my life. It might sound selfish but my own emotional well-being is the most important thing in my life and it influences all of my decisions on some level. I'm comfortable with that because I believe I can have more of a positive influence in the world if I'm happy. That's awesome effortless. I find mindfulness has really helped me. Just little things like really concentrating on a task, all the sensations involved with just washing a dish for example, and staying in the here and now. And realizing that thoughts are just thoughts -- they are not necessarily true --- and imagining them floating by like leaves on a stream. In other words, obtaining some detachment from negative thoughts. I have found ACT very useful, Acceptance Commitment Therapy --- I have been reading a lot of books about it. It incorporates a lot of mindfulness and breathing/meditation. :)
  24. welcome starla1979 ! I used to have severe social phobia all my life and finally in my '30s I saw a therapist who helped me work on it --- and I'm not longer shy like I used to be. So it can go away --- there is hope. :) what kind of dog do you have? take care ellemint
  25. Absolutely, easier said than done. It's not an easy process. But this is weird. My Dad actually apologized yesterday ! for a particularly mean tirade the day before yesterday. He never apologizes. :)
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