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Twitchy1

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Everything posted by Twitchy1

  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!
  16. That's a tough one, because jokes are so "in the moment". My only advice would be, when you are thinking of saying something that you think is clever, funny, edgy, political, etc. - take a split second (at least) to think about your audience and whether or not what you are going to say is advisable. I guess the old adage "think before you speak" applies here, no matter how trite it sounds. It's hard to train yourself to do this, because those comments tend to just roll off the tongue before you have a chance to stop yourself. I guess you need to remember to be more deliberate with your words, particularly in the classroom in front of younger people. You don't want to lose your livelihood due to an offhand comment.
  17. What a tough thing to go through. I'm so sorry that this happened to you. Life sure can be unfair sometimes. Don't let this become a reflection of you and your worth though. It is a reflection of the values (or lack thereof) of your former friend and former girlfriend that they would do such a thing. They weren't worth your time. I agree with the previous poster that the fact that you have had a friendship in the past means that you are capable of having good relationships in the future. Don't write off the entire world just because of these two selfish turds. You are a good person going through a tough time. Give yourself some time to grieve but not too long. Get back out there and be around people. Don't isolate, because then you will be stuck in your head with all of the negative thoughts floating around! It will get better!
  18. I agree with the previous posters that medication can be a very important part of getting out of a depressive episode. The hard part is being patient while you try to find the right medication for you. They work differently for different people, and that goes for side effects too. I tried four antidepressants before I found the one that works best for me (which is Viibryd, by the way). I'm also on a couple different meds because I am bipolar in addition to having major depressive disorder. For the record, I don't really experience any side effects from my meds other than possibly gaining some weight. When I am stable, I wouldn't describe myself as numb - I can definitely laugh and have a good time. It is difficult, however, for me to cry. It's a decent trade off. Therapy is also a hugely important part of my treatment. I see my therapist weekly and it is so important to me. Be sure to work closely with your healthcare providers and be honest with them if you decide to try medications. Give the medications a chance to work (which can take many weeks). I hope you find what you need!
  19. Do you live near a major city? You could go to a botanic garden, an aquarium, planetarium, museum, zoo. Do you live near a river or stream and like to do things outdoors? You could go kayaking or canoeing. Go to a state park, bring a lunch and go for a nice hike. Maybe find a volunteer activity, like working in a soup kitchen or a food pantry for a day - that always helps give perspective on our own problems. Just throwing stuff out there. Don't let your flatness (which I can totally relate to!) stop you from continuing what has been a very nice tradition for you and your wife. It will make you feel better to get out!
  20. I think the greatest thing about what you wrote is that you have a lot of goals and optimism and hope. So many people who struggle with depression are not able to achieve even this. Congrats on this first step! One idea on how to execute is to sit down and make a list of the things you want to achieve, and think through the steps you need to take to achieve them. Write them all down, even the smallest steps - they don't have to be in any order, just brainstorm at first. After you have exhausted this stage, put them in order. That way, you have something to look at each day to remind yourself of what you want to achieve and what you need to do to do so. Maybe start with the small things, and seriously they can be really small (sometimes just getting out of bed and getting dressed!). Once you finish a step, you can cross it off your list. This way you will have a visible reminder that you have accomplished something. It's a good feeling to accomplish things, no matter how small. Hopefully this will give you the motivation to continue on to bigger steps and bigger goals. I think you can do this without a life coach. You've already done the hardest part, which is realizing that you have goals.
  21. Wow...slow down! you are catastrophising (not sure I spelled that right, but you know what I mean). I'm sure things seem bleak right now and that algebra feels daunting, but you will get past this. If you can, get some extra help from your professor or ask a classmate to help you understand the material. Professors are usually happy to help students who are struggling. They want you to succeed just as much as you want to succeed! Or if you have a little money, see if your professor can suggest a tutor to help you through this subject. You WILL get past this, I promise. You are NOT fighting for nothing! You are doing something important to further yourself, which means that you do believe in yourself and your future. This is just one class, one subject. A means to an ends. Once you finish it, you can essentially forget about it and move on to the things that interest you. It also sounds like you could benefit from some counseling. If you aren't already seeing a therapist, you should consider finding someone you can talk to. They can help you work through these feelings so that you don't give up on yourself. Your school may even have resources in this area. It's definitely worth looking into, for your own mental health! Good luck, you can get through this!
  22. I'm struggling with a similar situation right now. Having a lot of suicidal ideation to the point of compulsion, but that's not something I can share with my spouse or my family. They would fall apart! Fortunately, I see my therapist weekly (and right now I may see her twice per week) and my psychiatrist at least every two weeks. They keep me on a short leash because they know I will bottle this stuff up otherwise, or worse. My therapist pretty much agreed that I don't need to share the intimate details of how I am feeling with my spouse (my kids are too young to share this with anyhow), but that I should just let them know that I may need a little extra support. My spouse probably has no idea what I have been dealing with for the past few weeks (I'm bipolar and have been rapid cycling between mania and depression), because I work very hard to hide my symptoms from my family and try to keep things appearing normal. The best thing i can suggest is to continue working closely with your therapist and being as honest as you can be with him/her. Ask for advice on how to broach this with your family. Good luck to you and I do hope that things turn around for you!
  23. I attend a support group once a week, which is extremely beneficial. The group is DBSA (depression and bipolar support alliance), and they have meetings all over the US. I'm a huge proponent of these groups! I have been attending for many years and it is great. Not only are the meetings great, but I have developed friendships from the group and now I have a regular lunch date with a couple of other members once a week. That gets me out of the house into a social situation with people who "get it", which is SO important sometimes. Otherwise I like to read, and I'm writing a memoir about my personal experiences with mental illness and the funny things I have experienced while inpatient. I try to do a little housework each day so that I feel like I am contributing to the household. Not that this is fun, but there is a sense of accomplishment that is nice. And I try to make dinner a few times a week. Learning new recipes can be fun. I was going to the gym every day and getting some cardio in, but i've kind of fallen off the horse with that lately. There is nothing wrong with playing video games or watching TV as an outlet! Everyone has their own preferences for things that relax them. As long as it doesn't interfere with the rest of your life and kind of take over, it isn't harmful (in my opinion).
  24. Oh Tid322, I know exactly how you feel! Sometimes it seems that having kids is the only reason that I am still here. I have to survive for them, because as my therapist always reminds me "they never get over it." ("it" of course being the suicide of a parent). I wasn't diagnosed as bipolar until after I was married with kids, though i suspected it when I was younger. It seems to be getting harder and harder to fight off this illness to remain a "normal" suburban housewife and keep things "normal" around the house. But I do it because sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. And a lot of the time, I am OK. It's just that when things are way up or way down, it just seems longer and harder to deal with. Just remember that your kids know that you love them! I'm sure you are the best parent you can be. If your kids are what keep you alive, then so be it! Make the most of that part of your life. But do try to find time for yourself so that you still have something personal to hold onto. Not sure what that might be for you. For me, it is reading, playing with our dogs, taking a long hot bath with a glass of alcohol! Could be anything. Keep your chin up!
  25. Finding the right medication or cocktail of medications and the correct dosage is a long fought battle for many of us. Just know that you will eventually find it if you are honest with your doctors and if you give the meds time to work properly. It can take many weeks for them to work properly. In the meantime, I know it's extremely difficult to hang on, but it's worth the fight. Just to give you a positive story, I've been on many different antidepressants over the years, and have now found one that has worked for me for several years without pooping out (FYI it's Viibryd, in case anyone is curious). Keep at it, and don't be afraid to be honest with your doctor about what you are feeling! Be sure to take care of yourself as much as you can in the meantime (find time to relax, do something that you enjoy, etc). You will succeed and feel better!
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