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Dysthymic9

Struggling with Dysthymia depression..

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So I've never posted anywhere what I go through on a daily basis but I've been really wanting to reach out to others that deal with my same struggles. Its hard to talk to my boyfriend about my struggles.. I feel that he doesn't understand the daily struggle of getting out of bed, lack of energy, the mood changes..so much more, too. I easily can have a change in mood to pure irritability and negativity and he asks what's wrong.. I've said I'm just feeling down and I get the response "why?" Or to try to shake it or somewhere along those lines then I feel a tenseness between us because I can't just "shake it off". 

This is definitely not something you can shake. Its a feeling of worthlessness, no drive or motivation, racing thoughts and analyzing myself and asking myself that same question, " why?". Why do I feel this way. Why do I act this way. 

I struggle with daily chores around the house, with keeping up with my job (pretty much getting the energy to go in), trying to appear happy so others don't ask questions. My head actually starts to hurt because I think so much about my depression and I have anxiety on top of that. 

I try to isolate myself from other people because I'm nervous about what they'll think of me. I'm very quiet in my depressed times (more than usual) and feel awkward around other people. I'd rather just not go out and stick to my TV shows or video games. My boyfriend gets upset when I try to get us to stay in, which I understand, but this is a struggle I'm running out of ideas to help. 

I currently see a therapist but I don't feel its really going the way I want. I feel I just talk and talk and get no real sense of direction. Maybe its because I'm not communicating what I need out of it effectively?

I guess I really needed to get some of my story out there to people who struggle with this too..

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Hi Dysthymic9, I too struggle with dysthymia, and accompanying endogenous depression, the type with an organic cause. I know all too well that when you struggle with these kinds of atypical depression or any depression and then negative circumstances are added, it's extremely tough. My heart goes out to you. It's nice to read your post, thanks for sharing your story. When I first found these forums I thought I would post a couple of times at most and that would be it, but here I am! A warm welcome to you; I have met some of the nicest ppl ever here! And so empathic and caring! 

Hope you like these forums; to me they've been someplace to come to where ppl understand that it's not our fault if it's hard for some of us to want to "go out and have a good time" and do the daily things that ppl without depression have no difficulty with; they don't even give them a second thought. Depression is tough and it's painful. Hoping to hear from you again if you feel like posting somemore; glad you're with us!! Take care, much love to you:hugs:

 

Edited by mulberrypie

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Thank you Mulberrypie for your response! I definitely think I'm going to like this forum, I've been searching for a few days a good forum that I can just get my thoughts out there to people who understand. I've been trying to find as many things to help me with this struggle as I can. Are there any tips you have for me for your dysthymia? I've been diagnosed about 3 years ago with it but I've known I suffered with depression for awhile. I have even taken many courses in psychology in high school and college to try to get a better understanding. 

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Hey again, I just looked up dysthymia to see if there was anything new out there about handling it; I didn't find much more than last time I searched or talked to my doctor, I'm on generic Lexapro, and it helps a little, one important thing for me is that when my brain gives me false negative information to try to remember that it's just things like chemical imbalances in my brain making me feel bad, and that it's an illness, not something I'm doing wrong, if that makes sense?  Hope this helps! :)

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Thanks for checking it out, I do understand what you mean though. I'm starting to realize more and more, it is an illness- not something I'm intentionally aiming for to feel irritable spontaneously but it is tough to try to hold it back and not let it effect the ones I care about :\ At some point during my day i tell myself "I'll get through it, things change" and it does help pull me back up, at least a little bit. I have been on a few medications, wellbutrin, abilify, remeron, ativan. I always had trouble keeping up with meds after high school but I've recently found a new routine for taking my vitamins.  

Thanks again for your responses, they really do help. 

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Hello Dysthymic9...Just joined this site and saw your post, so I decided to contribute.  Living with dysthymia has been difficult.  For me it started I believe when I was in the six grade.  The persistent low self esteem, feelings of guilt, lack of desire for creating and working toward goals (asking:"what's the use?"), finding little pleasure in things that most people enjoy.  It wasn't until I was 33 that I discovered there was a name for the way I felt about and processed life situations.  Until then, I just felt I was defective.  I still feel that way at times, but I now know that I'm not alone in this...and that I have things going on in my brain that can be improved if I work at it.  That's hard to do most of the time though, because if I just did what I felt like doing, I wouldn't socialize at all, because for people like us socializing is hard work.  I feel the need of putting on an act, because I don't want to be the one sitting in the corner feeling sorry for myself...getting questioned: What's wrong?"  That's ok too, but I get tired of explaining it over and over...as I think they are tired of hearing it.  I keep thinking that one day I'll wake up, and I'll be healed from this, but I'm 64 now and I've pretty much resigned to the fact that I'm going to be fighting this for the rest of my life.

Now I've said all this not to discourage you, but to let you know I understand, and now to let you know what things have helped me get this far, and to have at least some brief glimpses of what I think life could be.

Isolation feeds the illness...It's feels like the most stable / comfortable place to be, but that's only because I"m sitting at the bottom of a valley.  I find if I force myself to go to family gatherings, church, and other social functions, hard as it is to do, I almost always feel better later for doing it.  The more I do a certain activity, the easier it becomes.  When I do talk to others, I try to focus on them...asking what's going on in their life.  This gets the focus off me and my problems, and helps me feel better by maybe helping someone else feel better.  I have to continually push my "comfort envelope" out, or my world shrinks. It's a constant battle...some retreats some advances.

A good diet and daily exercise helps a lot...I just walk most of the time (I can't tolerate hard workouts anymore), but anything will do...bike riding, running,  I try to do 1/2 hour at least 4 or 5 times a week.  I sometimes talk to people I meet while walking, and that counts toward my socializing goal.  As far as food goes....there are so many directions to go here...everyone has an opinion.  I think the main thing is balance, and restrict sugar.  Gatorade is my comfort drink, but it has tons of sugar so I save for only certain times.  I try to eat fish a couple of time a week.  Sardines or wild salmon to avoid mercury.  Lean meats... lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, good fats / oils, and nuts.  Garbanzo beans are supposed to be good too.  I've tried the low carb diets, but to no avail. I have to have carbs...I just try to have healthy one....whole grain, and complex ones, trying to avoid things with added sugar.

I've tried a ton of medicines...First was self medicating with alcohol...worked great, but I now know that didn't do anything but mess up my brain more.  Most of the antidepressants I've tried create agitation that I can't handle.  I found two that worked...Doxepin and Remeron (very low dose for both).  They both helped for a while I think because I have bad anxiety too with insomnia. Both of these act on the histamine receptors which helped me sleep.  They also helped to lift my depression.  They were a temporary help though, because after 2 years, they both quit working and started to make me feel bad instead so I had to stop.  I used a benzodiazepine (tranquilizer) for years.  It was fantastic for one month, and then hell for 6 more years, cause it quit working as well, but I couldn't stop taking them.  Don't ever take these for more than a couple days to get through a specific crisis.  I'm currently taking nothing but some vitamins and low dose aspirin for my heart.

My faith in God...at times a real comfort...at other times it makes me feel worse because I'm always seeing myself as falling short of where I should be as a person...but still, having a hope for when this life is over, provides some strength to manage to get through today.

Well sorry for going on so long...hope there is something in here that can benefit you...

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I understand your frustration, and am glad to hear you're trying different things. I tried several different drugs before I found one that truly evened out my hormone levels. It was a horrible process (each one made me feel worse than I did before!) but I am soooo grateful that I did it, and that my doctor was patient in helping me figure it out. My relationship with Jesus Christ was also a huge comfort, and I often prayed for Him to get me through the dark days and show me the right thing to do. 

If talking to your current therapist isn't helping, maybe try someone else? I know Focus on the Family offers a FREE phone call to a licensed counselor, maybe that could help? If you call 1-855-771-4357 you can talk to someone! Just make sure you call between 6a-8p Mountain Standard Time. And if no one answers, you can leave a message so someone can call you back. If you feel comfortable telling the counselor where you are located, he/she might be able to recommend a support group in your area, or something else that might help you. Hang in there! You can do this! Just focus on taking one day at a time. 

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@Tiros and encourger101 really appreciate you sharing your expierence and advice. I tend to try to stay within my comfort zone and not go out but today was a nice change of events. My brother needed some help getting tools for a project so instead of staying cooped up I went out and helped him out. Just getting out of the house for an hour gave me some good energy so I went to cleaning the entire house pretty much, and I must say after like 6 loads of laundry, 2 loadsof dishes, dusting and vacuuming I really feel acomplished. Ive been trying to set out goals to help me deal with this depression and this forum is one. Ive been starting to eat more fruits and whole grain and not fast foods, It does make you feel generally healthier. I also have been on remeron and I think it helped but just dont think I had the right combination yet. Ill be seeing my psychiatrist soon to start to figure out the right meds for me. I also will pray to God when im in rough times and thank him when I'm having good days. @encourger101 ive seen a total of 3 therapist in the past 4 years (took a 1 1/2 year off) and I think the one I have is a happy middle of the two. I'm just not sure if this specific structure is right for me or I just need to be more direct what im looking to get of it. Thank you guys again for posting it helps a lot. 

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