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Everything posted by ellemint

  1. itstrevor, I would keep as far away from ECT as possible. There are more and more studies showing that it damages the brain and causes long-term memory problems. There is now something called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and also Vagal Nerve Stimulation that you might want to research. I think they are a little more benign. ellemint
  2. But your true personality seems wonderful! I know you don't think this, because you view yourself with contempt through a very self-critical negative lens. I hope a therapist can work with you to have some compassion for yourself, and appreciation of the good qualities that you have. By thinking of yourself as "an overweight depressive with self-image issues and poor eyesight who lives with his sister and spends his days flattening his pile'o mattresses that he uses as a bed with his big flat butt while typing up overlong rants to post online about how much he hates where he life has gone, and how he refuses to even really try to fix it any more." ---- aren't you now just bullying yourself as in the past you were bullied by others? Other people treated you abysmally but that doesn't mean that you now need to treat yourself that way. , Can I just say two words: Michael Moore---- the writer , film maker and activist --- he's a big guy, not handsome ---- but millions of people, including myself admire him. He doesn't have a naturally magnetic personality, but he has forged ahead doing things that are meaningful to him and created a rich interesting life. Life isn't all about getting outside approval. You need to get selfish and tap into "what is it that interests me? What do I want to be out there doing? Is sitting at home on the mattresses a reflection of my true interests and goals? " I am struggling with these sort of issues myself. And I know that's not always easy to figure out, but taking a "what's in this for me" attitude as opposed to "what are others going to think about me? how are others going to react to me?" approach can sometimes be of benefit. I've been reading a book called "The Confidence Gap" by Russ Harris MD. It uses an ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) approach to issues around lack of confidence. It's not just another glib self-help book. If you have a library nearby I would highly recommend it. Here's an overview of ACT to give you some idea of the approach : http://www.actmindfully.com.au/upimages/Dr_Russ_Harris_-_A_Non-technical_Overview_of_ACT.pdf Here's a website where you might find some like-minded people, although it's not as active as depressionforums. http://theicarusproject.net/ :) ellemint
  3. I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so bad. Are you getting support or treatment? take care, ellemint
  4. Flightlesone, If you wait a day or two it will let you do the tests again for free. re the nail biting, if you are referring to question #9 -' Agitation' on the Hamilton Depression Scale where 4 = hand wringing, nail biting, hair-pulling, biting of lips ---- it seems that based on what you describe you would score a 4. I hope your scores go down ! take care, ellemint
  5. I also think you're a good writer with a distinctive "voice". I would encourage you to explore that avenue even if it involves writing columns for a local newspaper or publication that doesn't pay a lot. One thing I noticed is that you think some options are permanently closed off to you. That may be the case. I sometimes feel like that too --- BUT I know it is not necessarily true, because none of us know what the future will bring. It is a thought --- a self-limiting thought. One of the questions I like is: "Is what you are doing working to help you create a richer, fuller, more meaningful life?" So, is telling yourself 'any meaningful friendship with a woman is never going to happen for me' going to lead you to a better life, even in terms of how it makes you feel to think that. There are lots of quixotic, geeky people around -- unless you're out there a bit you'll never know if you might meet someone like that at a bookstore, or a library. I would wish for you that you could keep your mind flexible and open to the possibility that although you may feel that some things are never going to happen for you --- that it's just a thought --- and you really don't know. take care, ellemint
  6. Yes, I'm on meds and have begun seeing a therapist again. I've been on the meds for several months, and they worked before, but now, not so much. That seems to happen a lot --- a drug will be more effective the first time around than the second or third. I'm beginning to think it is something to do with the drugs themselves--- they may modify neuronal synaptic structure enough (like receptors getting shut down because of a flood of serotonin) so that subsequent use is less effective.
  7. Rapperx, lots of people have strong sexual fantasies that they would probably never live out it real life. I wouldn't feel "odd" for having those thoughts. Hating yourself for having these thoughts is only going to compound things and make your feel worse. I would try as much as possible to not condemn yourself for what I believe are fairly common sexual fantasies. And since it's bothering you, I would encourage you to open up to your therapist about it --- it doesn't mean you have to discuss the content of your fantasies. Believe me, your doctor would not find it shocking or unusual --- they've heard it all. take care, ellemint
  8. Hang in there Tamer, I feel for you. I don't think anyone should be taken off of Effexor cold turkey. I'm surprised your doctor didn't taper you off of it. I think some of the uncomfortable feelings you are having now could be due to stopping the Effexor so suddenly. In an ideal world maybe we wouldn't be on an anti-depressant and a stimulant but lots of people are, I'm on Celexa and Vyvanse myself. Let us know how it goes.... take care, ellemint
  9. I can relate. There have been periods of time in my life when I have had lots of friends. But when I get depressed I start to isolate myself and also become needy and histrionic with my friends. So then I lose friends. Right now I'm trying to work myself back to socializing again, and I wonder what is stopping me: part of it is that I feel like some sort of isolated weirdo. But all kinds of imperfect, even weird people have friends. So I'm just starting with a group that meets to take walks. I feel anxiety even about such a small step but I know it's anticipatory anxiety and that it will go down the minute I actually DO something social. Your feeling of not belonging is just that a feeling --- it doesn't necessarily represent the truth. I think depression can make us feel like 'it's just a bother' to socialize and make and keep friends --- but I think having social contact and friends is a human need, so we should try to forge ahead despite those feelings. take care, ellemint
  10. I found citalopram to decrease, not increase anxiety. What about something as simple as a hot compress or heating pad? Or a hot shower or bath? Have you tried massaging your own neck? Or doing some simple yoga moves like the "cobra". The following website has videos for beginners of all the basic yoga moves. http://www.yogajournal.com/ good luck! ellemint
  11. Thanks for the update itstrevor --- I hope this combo proves helpful. wishing you well, ellemint
  12. Grovette, that's how I feel ! Call it whatever----- a syndrome, a condition, an illness, a disorder, an imbalance, a genetic predisposition, a locus of problems--- but primarily I want to feel better and function better using whatever tools/treatment/ support or resources available to me, including my own inner resources. :)
  13. My Montgomery-Asperger is down to 20 ! --- still 'Moderate Depression' but lower than before. Given that I have been severely depressed since 2008, I am encouraged and feel even a tiny bit of hope, which I haven't felt in a long time.
  14. Hi Lisa --- that sucks. I feel for you. Are you getting support and/or treatment for this? take care, ellemint
  15. I'm taking B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fish oil, and a multi-vitamin. Most of these are for migraine and because of deficiencies revealed by tests. I can't tell if they help with depression. I feel a bit that B2 does.
  16. I'm somewhere on the middle with this. I think psychiatry differs from other areas of medicine in that it is much more socially determined. Even now there is no diagnostic test for depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, ADD --- only a shopping list of symptoms, symptoms that are sometimes rather vague and arbitrary. I mean right now the psychiatric profession is busy revising and creating the criteria for mental disorders in its latest version of the DSM. How? - by committee. What other area of medicine determines diagnoses by committee? Psychiatric diagnoses are almost too simplistic: they don't capture the spiritual /emotional /physical /social /economic factors that influence a person's mental and emotional well-being. The mechanistic/ biological view that dominates medicine is in my opinion too limited a way to view depression. I don't believe that we should ever define ourselves in terms of any medical diagnosis, whether it is cancer or depression. The closest I would come is to say "I suffer from depression" which is a constellation of behavioral & mood problems that may or may not have a biological correlate. I have depression but I also have resiliency, strength, intelligence, determination. The depression is one aspect of me, one that usually varies over time, and that at times is not even present. So to think of myself as permanently mentally ill --- maybe it's denial but it's not the way I choose to view myself. As psychiatrist Peter Breggin says in the linked article, psychiatric diagnoses have their disadvantages and limitations: "Psychiatric diagnoses are not genuinely medical; they are not based on biological defects or disorders. There are no objective tests. They are not about the body; they are about the mind and spirit. The medical aura that surrounds psychiatric diagnoses give them a false validity. Psychiatric diagnoses are not rooted in science but in opinion." http://www.huffingto...s_b_618507.html
  17. I agree with what Ep1ctetus has so wisely stated. I get the same comment from my family, and I have found there is no use in trying to persuade them that I am trying or start listing all the things I am doing to reduce depression. It doesn't work, and it just leaves me feeling in a one-down position. It's like if you had cancer and your blood counts were low from chemo---no one would dare say "you're not trying" hard enough to raise your blood counts. But since others can't see the problems in brain function that might be going on you're attacked for the very symptoms that are causing you so much suffering. hope someone else posts a good comeback or response to those hurtful comments. take care, ellemint
  18. Michael -- I just wanted to say I am so impressed with the progress you've made in getting & starting a new job and averting financial ruin ! I hope you are giving yourself credit for these accomplishments, even if the feelings part hasn't fallen into place yet. You're inspiring me. :)
  19. Drugs that target the glutmatergic system of the brain show promise in alleviating depression --- here is a link to a scientific article on the topic. But as far as I know these agents are still in developmental stages. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/20825266
  20. Actually, there are studies that indicate that long-term anti-depressant use can modify the brain. Here is just one: http://www.ncbi.nlm....70/?tool=pubmed This study was in depressed patients with an average age of 80. Those who had used anti-depressants had reduced brain volume in some areas compared to depressed patients who had not. The two groups were equal in severity of depressive symptoms so it wasn't that the medication-using group had more severe depression. The authors concluded that: "in this community-based sample of old persons without dementia, late-life depression is associated with more brain atrophy and more white matter lesions, which was mainly driven by antidepressant use." But this study had limitations: data on type, dosage and duration of anti-depressant use was unavailable and it was cross-sectional (at one point in time). It's not like I'm happy to read about studies like this. I've been on anti-depressants for decades, so if they damage the brain and make you more prone to chronic treatment resistant depression, well, I just have to deal with it. :(
  21. Yes I wish there was a drug that made me feel like that also ! Ketamine has been shown to have this effect in several recent research studies: after one medically supervised injection patients with severe depression experience instant relief that persists for about 2 weeks. Now if they could make this medically safe, like alter the drug to remove the hallucinatory properties it can have, so it isn't so dangerous, I would love to find a treatment like that. If I miss a total night of sleep I'll feel so much better that day, I'll get a bunch of stuff done, I'll feel much more positive --- this is a well-known effect in some depressed people. I always think, oh, if I could only feel this way all the time. But then ultimately I have to go to sleep --- I wake up and the depression is back.
  22. As far as strategies that work to counter anhedonia, I find mindfulness helpful -- by that I mean focusing my attention as much as possible on the present moment, whatever I am doing, whether washing a dish or taking a walk. Approaching it non-critically, and not focusing on thoughts of the past or future. And if my mind wanders, which it always does, that's the nature of the mind, gently bringing it back to the present. Also focusing on the senses of sight, hearing, touch, vision and smell of the present moment. This happens naturally when you are really absorbed in a task --- but it is a useful skill that you can also PRACTICE anytime anywhere It's not like this makes me experience great enjoyment of that moment and whatever I'm doing, but it does seem to help a little. :)
  23. I can relate to the way you feel about waiting for a phone call or text that someone has promised. But what you are describing sounds obsessive to me and counter-productive. Honestly, don't worry about it. I know, easier said than done. But you are modifying important things like your phone number and you may have deleted calls from others that mattered, all because of a phone call that you sister-in-law may not have even bothered to make. Try to step back from this situation and see that it is not your obligation to do anything more with regard to your sister-in-law. You don't owe her any explanation. She owes you one. You don't owe her any apologies. You have done nothing wrong. take care, ellemint
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