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budfox

I Had Three Depression Free Months

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I really don't like my job. The work is just ok but the atmosphere in an open plan office sucks. I'm an introvert and the constant noise is hell for me.

About three months ago I finished a placement and have been off since then. Up until then I had worked fairly constantly and had never gone for more than 4 or 5 days depression free.

But since quitting work I had three whole months of being 'normal'. It was wonderful and really encouraged me that a depression free life, at least for long stretches, is possible.

Sadly work will be starting again soon. Maybe because of this and maybe for other personal reasons I'm starting to get a bit shaky again. I have to take the blame for a lot of this. I've been using clonazepam more than I strictly needed to. For the first time in months, yesterday I took Dexamfetamine (prescribed for ADD but I basically use it as an off-label depression treatment). The crash was pretty terrible and I needed to use a lot of clonazepam just to get to sleep.

I feel myself already starting to slip back into the stim-benzo rollercoaster that I was on while I was working. I don't know if it's just self destructive tendencies or just wanting to feel something that has led me to do this.

Right now I'm feeling so down after last night. I have some dexedrine right next to me and even though I know how bad the crash was yesterday (and always is), I'm ready to reach for it.

I'm either self destructive or a complete moron or both.

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I think you're just doing your best to cope. Don't beat yourself up. Are you on an antidepressant or a mood stabiliser as well as the benzo? SO glad you had 3 good moths though that's awesome. I guess it shows how much your work environment was impacting you. Is changing jobs/careers on the cards for the future? Could be something to work towards...

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Thank you very much for the kind reply mellabella.

It's amazing how quickly things can change. I'm not exactly sure what did it, but it was probably drinking far too much on NYE. It was wonderful to have the depression free three months. Honestly it shocked me, I didn't think I'd ever go that long without depression again. I'd built up to running 40km a week, was eating quite healthily, etc.

Now I feel like I'm back in that pit of despair and it's almost harder to cope with before because it feels like something 'new'. Whereas before I was so used to it, I'd sort of learned how to cope.

I can't physically bring myself to get out of bed at the moment, it's so bad. Feels like it's going to be a long, hard road back. I should be starting work again soon and that's hanging over me....... just no idea how I'm going to work in this state. Everything seems overwhelming. God, life can be so easy when you're not depressed. It's really not a level playing field is it?

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It's certainly not a level playing field Budfox! :( I know what you mean the up and then down throws you a bit but at least you know it is possible for you to be well.

Sounds like things are pretty serious at the moment. Do you have any support? Professional or otherwise?

I don't know your work/financial situation but it doesn't sound like you should be going back if it is that bad for you...

Can you maybe just focus on one thing you can do today to keep the worry at bay for a bit? Like book a drs/therapist appointment, eat an easy but healthy meal or have a shower? I know that may be way too much but whatever you feel is helpful for you today...

Sending you warm thoughts

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Thanks guys.

Yeah, it's not a level playing field at all. I think I've done ok at this point but now see myself slipping behind peers because I'm so hampered by the depression and anxiety. That's ok though, I'm not that ambitious. I'm not trying to reach the top of my profession or anything.

My main problem is when I feel bad I always start focusing on the 'big' issues. Life, the universe, death, etc. When I feel good, those things are interesting but dont emotionally devastate me. Your suggesion to focus on one thing is a very good thing.

I managed to do a lot today because I took some dexedrine. But what goes up must comes down and now i'm dealing with the crash. I may make quite a few rambling posts tonight. I hope you all don't mind. I don't even need any replies, it just helps to write stuff out.

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I know what you mean about work today was my first day back after Xmas and I was dreading it, then a so called friend said they were terminating our friendship as they needed space which made me have a panic attack to had to leave early. I don't want to go it tomorrow and it is stressing me out

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You aren't self destructive or a moron, you are just trying to feel better. But I do understand what you are saying. When I am feeling good I feel like I will never be depressed again and then when I fall into depression I feel like I will never overcome it, that is how life will always be. It is a crazy rollercoaster. It sounds like your job is the source of much stress and anxiety. Do you have a therapsit that you can talk to about this? Maybe a therapist can help you reframe your thoughts on where and how you work so you can learn to cope better with the situation. Or maybe you might want to consider a career change into something that is more suited for your situation.

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Michelle, you really hit the nail on the head about feeling like you'll never overcome depression when you're in it but then feeling like you'll never be depressed again when you're not depressed. That's exactly it.

Right now I'm suffering from typical symptoms of depression which I've experienced a hundred times before but they're still messing me up. You'd think after 17 years I would have learned how to deal better with these. I can't even conceive of any joy now or in the future. Yet when I'm not depressed, watching a film, reading a book or eating a good meal can be enough to make me feel good. Now nothing is funny, enjoyable, pleasant, uplifting, interesting. Just a giant nothing.

It's just a tunnel of never ending bleaknes.. It's not real but it's just so unpleasant, especially not knowing when it's going to be over. Arghhhhh depression is such an awful illness. I hope this bout doesn't last too long.

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That's great news that you had 3 depression free months. Don't be so hard on yourself, you are not a moron or self-destructive. You're just going through a hard time. Maybe instead of using the stimulant/benzo combination you could try a more traditional antidepressant? Have you ever been on one that worked for you? Best wishes for your depression bout to end soon :)

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Thanks TiffanyC.

Yes, I'm taking three antidepressants at the moment (clomipramine, lamotrigine and nortryptiline). To be honest the first time I took an antidepressant it was magic. Totally cured me. But they have become less effective over the years.

Right now I'm at a bit of a nadir. Not only can I not see joy in anything, I can't see the possibility of joy in anything. Everything seems completely and utterly pointless. I know it's just the depression but I feel like an alien who sees any pleasure humans get in their activities as being totally absurd. It's a dreadful feeling. When you feel like this, there just seems absolutely no purpose in doing anything. I have a fair bit to do over the next few days and can't imagine how I'm going to motivate myself to do it.

I'm reading the 'How to Get Motivated to take a Shower' thread and I can totally relate. So weird that just a few days ago I was feeling motivated and interested in the silly things in life.

I know the key is to just relax and let these feelings of utter pointlessness just be there, knowing they will subside but sometimes it's easier said than done.

Thank you all for the support.

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It is and it isn't real... It's our experience & our suffering so that makes it real. I just mean it's not like you should just be able to ignore it the pain is very real. But it's good you can keep it in perspective that the world isn't really as bad as it feels right now.

I totally can relate to thinking about the big things too much when I'm down. I actually got 'one day at a time' tattooed on my inner arm to remind me. Have you tried meditation at all? That's helped me a lot. I use an app u can get for free called Headspace. Really quick, easy & 'non mystical'.

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Michelle, you really hit the nail on the head about feeling like you'll never overcome depression when you're in it but then feeling like you'll never be depressed again when you're not depressed. That's exactly it.

Right now I'm suffering from typical symptoms of depression which I've experienced a hundred times before but they're still messing me up. You'd think after 17 years I would have learned how to deal better with these. I can't even conceive of any joy now or in the future. Yet when I'm not depressed, watching a film, reading a book or eating a good meal can be enough to make me feel good. Now nothing is funny, enjoyable, pleasant, uplifting, interesting. Just a giant nothing.

It's just a tunnel of never ending bleaknes.. It's not real but it's just so unpleasant, especially not knowing when it's going to be over. Arghhhhh depression is such an awful illness. I hope this bout doesn't last too long.

I know EXACTLY where you're coming from.

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Michelle, you really hit the nail on the head about feeling like you'll never overcome depression when you're in it but then feeling like you'll never be depressed again when you're not depressed. That's exactly it.

Right now I'm suffering from typical symptoms of depression which I've experienced a hundred times before but they're still messing me up. You'd think after 17 years I would have learned how to deal better with these. I can't even conceive of any joy now or in the future. Yet when I'm not depressed, watching a film, reading a book or eating a good meal can be enough to make me feel good. Now nothing is funny, enjoyable, pleasant, uplifting, interesting. Just a giant nothing.

It's just a tunnel of never ending bleaknes.. It's not real but it's just so unpleasant, especially not knowing when it's going to be over. Arghhhhh depression is such an awful illness. I hope this bout doesn't last too long.

I understand exactly what you mean and I hope that it passes soon. Right now I'm dealing with my lack of motivation to do anything for myself. Sometimes I wonder if my meds have taken away my sense of humor at times, even while they're keeping me from thinking about suicide all the time.

I wish my brain worked better. I wish I didn't need a crutch, rather, crutches in order to do some of the most basic stuff.

I wish that for you as well, budfox. And for everybody here. Better brain function in 2015!!!

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Thank you Dolphin, Steve P and MellaBella.

I swear, this place keeps me going sometimes. It's great being able to talk to friends about this but if they haven't been through it, it's not easy for them to fully understand quite how debilitating this is.

Dolphin, I feel exactly the way you described. I honestly don't know what the meds I'm taking are doing for me at this point, if anything. Maybe things would be even worse without the meds but I can say they're not working effectively if I'm still experiencing this level of depression. I have to admit though that I have to take a lot of responsibility for this latest episode - drinking far too much on NYE was what kicked this off. I think I'm going to finally have to accept that I'm not free to indulge in the sort of excesses that people without this horrible disease are able to.

I just arrived in another beautiful city (Prague) and have absolutely no desire to set foot outside the apartment where I'm staying. It's all lost on me. Every day of depression feels like another wasted day.

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I agree it's not the same as when someone has been through it and really understands. Sometimes I can feel even worse if I talk to a friend and I can tell they don't get it because then I feel stupid and like a weirdo. Which is silly I know.

Wow are you in Prague for work or holiday? Do you think you'll go back to your dr when you're home? I know some people do find meds stop working for them and need a bit of an adjustment or change up. Not that they're ever the cure 100% but they can help a bit.

Yeah it sucks not being able to let loose and have a few drinks. I once had a few too many and ended up in hospital with alcohol poisoning because it interacted with my meds. Well that was my excuse anyway...

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Hey MellaBella,

Thanks for your kindness.

I'm here on vacation. There's really so much to enjoy here but it's hard to enjoy any of it. I was thinking about how to explain depression to people and realised that one thing I would emphasise is that it's outside the range of normal human emotion. I think when people hear the word 'depression' they relate it to their own experiences of feeling down or melancholy. But what I'm feeling right now is nothing like that, it's something else entirely. I'm sure most people on this forum will know what I mean.

I'll see my Doc when I get back and pray there is something new he can try. So far I've been through Seroxat, Prozac, Citalopram, Lamictal, Clomipramine, Nortryptyline, Wellbutrin. I'm not sure what's left.

One thing I have realised is that I have to live as clean a life as possible. I've generally been better when I've avoided alcohol (as well as prescription stimulants and benzos) altogether. The problem is after a couple of weeks I feel pretty sturdy and that I should be able to have a few too many drinks to wind down, then I do and sometimes it triggers terrible episodes of depression. Sometimes it doesn't and I'll never understand why.

I think running was helping a lot but now I feel physically exhausted.

Am flying back to London tomorrow. Here at least I'm with my fiancee (and her brother and his girlfriend, who are lovely) but she doesnt live in London so from tomorrow it's back to solitude. Kind of terrifying and comforting at the same time (comforting only because I know there will be no expectations or stresses about disappointing anyone when it's just me).

Thanks for listening guys. It helps a lot.

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I am glad to have read your insight. Frankly, I have a job with great benefits and mostly a good place to work. The problem is my job itself. I'm bored with it. So I have a hard time deciding how much of depression is just misfiring parts of brain, or directly related to being down about my job.

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Yeah it's hard to understand unless you've experienced it. At the moment I'm not suicidal or crying all the time just a bit tired & flat. I can enjoy things tho which I realise is huge. I have been there tho & it is terribly painful.

It's good that you've realised what works for u. We r all different & the brain is such a mystery! Maybe just focus on the things u can do to look after urself atm. No pressure to run. Even working up to a walk around the block can be a good goal.

I've been on a few meds too & what's worked the best was lithium, lamictal & prozac together. I'd been on all of those before but not together & it really helps.

I hope being home is comforting & not too isolating.

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