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  1. I think a lot of people who suffer from depression get stuck in their own thoughts more often than others. It's a terrible trap. Depressed people tend to isolate themselves, which allows for even more time with their thoughts, which can lead to terrible things. This is, obviously, somewhat unhealthy after a while. You have to push yourself to get out and be among other people, or to do things outside of your house. I'm not saying that you can't spend any time lost in your own thoughts, but you have to be able to recognize when it has become too much and get out and allow your brain to focus on other things for a while.
  2. This may sound trite, but you may need to adjust what you think of as "your potential" to account for the fact that you have a real (and not imaginary) illness. It's no different than any other medical condition, even if some people don't really recognize this. I'm bipolar, but was not diagnosed until I had already gone to law school and worked as an attorney. It's a miracle that I survived that long before receiving treatment. But I lost my dream job because of my frequent hospitalizations. The job where I had a ton of friends, was respected and had a real future. Where I expected to spend my entire career. I was crushed, to say the least! It has taken a fair amount of therapy, but I have finally accepted that my illness precludes me from holding certain jobs. But that doesn't mean that I don't have something to offer to the world and that I'm not a valuable person. I'm living up to my potential as a person with a law degree, who also suffers from bipolar disorder. I hope that you can find work that gives you meaning. But don't base it on the salary or the "prestige" of the position! Ask yourself if you are doing the best you can given your circumstances (and don't be too hard on yourself!). If you can't find a way to find meaning in your job, maybe you can do some volunteer work, even just one day a month. Helping others is a great way to feel good about yourself!
  3. I have dealt with this before, and I agree it can be tricky with work. Some practitioners have evening and weekend hours to accommodate working people, so if you are willing to switch to a different provider, this might be the best option to preserve your privacy at work. Otherwise, you should try to schedule your appointments as early or as late in the work day as you can, and ask your supervisor for an accommodation so that you can get "necessary medical treatment." And leave it at that! There is no reason why your workplace needs to know that you are being treated for depression (or whatever your particular diagnosis is). If they pry, tell them that you are not comfortable discussing your condition outside of family members. Hopefully, they will respect your privacy. It is important to assure your supervisor that you will do whatever is necessary to complete your work despite this accommodation. I just responded to one of your other posts, and I'm glad to hear that you are getting treatment!
  4. Youngbull, my heart really goes out to you! It's hard enough being 18 without having to deal with depression. I'm glad that you reached out here, because this is a good group of people, and there is always someone willing to listen and respond with a kind word. Also, I highly recommend that you find a counselor or a therapist of some sort to help you continue to work through your issues. Not knowing your particular situation, I don't know how practical a suggestion that is, but I wanted to throw it out there. Hope you are feeling better today!
  5. I don't think that this makes you weak at all! Self harm is a very personal thing and there is nothing wrong with trying to keep it private. When and if you ever feel like talking about it, I'm sure your friend will be there for you. Hopefully you are getting some help so that you no longer feel the need to harm yourself when things get difficult.
  6. I'm not entirely sure, but I would suspect that it means that she exhibits some of the characteristics of bipolar disorder, but not to the extent that would warrant a bipolar diagnosis. Regardless, CBT can be very helpful for anyone who struggles with mental illness of any kind. I hope that she follows through with her therapist's suggestion.
  7. To me being a victim is complaining about how bad things are, but not making any effort to improve your situation. Take concrete steps to help yourself get out of your depression. See a psychiatrist, make an appointment with a therapist. Do research online on tips to get out of depression (things like self-care, distraction, mindfulness, etc), or find group therapy in your area. Don't just wallow in your own misery. That won't solve anything and will likely alienate those around you and make you even more depressed. It's hard work, so you have to prepare yourself for the challenge. Eat well, practice good sleep hygiene, get fresh air and some exercise (even if it is just a 10 minute walk).
  8. I agree with ladysmurf's suggestion to join a support group. The depression and bipolar support alliance (DBSA) offers support groups across the country. I attend one every Monday night and have done so for years. It is so helpful to know that there are others who suffer from the same issues as you, and it is also a great feeling when I can offer support to others! Their website lists the locations by state. Truly a life saver for me. I have never done rTMS, but I have done ECT, and I suggest that if you ever consider this as an option, think very hard about it. It can be extremely traumatizing (speaking from personal experience). Some people who have treatment resistant depression feel like they have been helped by it, but it did nothing for me except erase my memories for a period of time. Anyhow, as my therapist sometimes reminds me - it's not always this bad, and it does get better. It is truly hard work to get out of a depressive state, but it is certainly worth the effort. It sounds as if you have an interesting background in this field and quite a bit of experience. Hopefully this will help you on your journey. One other suggestion, a partial hospitalization program, if there is one near where you live. I've been through this several times, and even if you know the basics of CBT or DBT, it is usually helpful to go back for a refresher. It gets you out of the house and gives you structure to your day, plus you might learn a skill or two that help you get out of your depressive state. I'm actually in an IOP (intensive outpatient program) which is just half days of the same thing, because I was just discharged from being inpatient last week. I'm finding it to be more helpful than I would have expected. Good luck to you! Keep persevering!
  9. I'm struggling today due to a med change. I just got out of the psych ward a few days ago, and my psychiatrist is weaning me off of my antidepressant. I've been taking Viibryd for several years at 40 mg and I'm now down to 10 mg as of yesterday. It's hard adjusting to life without an antidepressant. Hopefully this is just temporary as my body gets used to it. In the meantime, I'm just exhausted and a little irritable, which I guess is to be expected.
  10. I went for a 50 minute walk with my mom. It was a beautiful, sunny 50 degree day. Nice to get the fresh air!
  11. Why is it that you want to wean off your meds? Do you feel "cured" or do you feel like they aren't doing anything for you? This just sounds like a lot of change all at once. Especially since you are looking to change jobs. You have no obligation to continue therapy if you don't feel like you are getting anything out of it any longer, but I like your idea of maybe cutting back your appointments at first. It's kind of like weaning off of your meds, you may not feel great if you do it like pulling off a bandaid all at once. You don't want to end up having a relapse and having to start all over again from scratch. Talk to your therapist about it. They may have some good advice.
  12. I went for a walk with my mom this afternoon. Up until about a month and a half ago I was going to the gym 5-6 days per week for 1.5 hours cardio and some weights. Got a nasty cold and everything fell apart with that. Need to get back on the wagon with exercise! It is so important to mood.
  13. Just curious as to what kind of help you are getting for your alcohol problem. It sounds like it is very detrimental to your life. It's not super healthy to start your day with a shot of alcohol, but I'm sure you know that. Things are not going to get better if you don't get a handle on your drinking. Please seek help for this!
  14. That's a great start! I am introverted myself, so making friends isn't always easy for me either. You know the saying "fake it until you make it"? Keep going to the game nights. Eventually you will continue to see the same people over and over and I'll just bet someone will talk to you, or you will strike up a conversation with one of them. Getting yourself out of the house is just so important to building self esteem. You aren't going to get past this rough patch any faster by sitting at home ruminating about things that make your upset.
  15. I'm sorry I don't know a lot about your as a poster at this point, but if you aren't seeing a therapist already, you need to find yourself someone to talk to about your issues. You can't keep taking it out on your body. When you cut or harm yourself, it becomes addictive. Your body releases some kind of chemical reaction to the pain that makes you feel better temporarily. I have heard from a psychiatrist that this becomes like a drug addiction. You end up needing to do it more and more in order to obtain the same release each time. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is a very dangerous habit! You can forgive yourself. It takes time though. I hope you have a therapist who can help you work through your problems. If you don't have one, please strongly consider finding one right away. At least go to your primary care physician and let him/her know that you are struggling. You cannot do this alone, and you are in a crisis. You are not a loser, no matter what happened! Please get help!
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