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hemlock11

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Hi everyone. I hope I am doing this correctly, I'm brand new to the boards (brand new - haven't even done any reading yet, just did a search for forums that focused on help for people with depression and joined immediately). Please correct me if this isn't the right place for an introduction and I'll be happy to move/delete the thread :)

I'm not quite sure what all to include, but I am in my mid-twenties and was diagnosed with depression as a teen. I have also had anxiety since I was a young child that has been crippling at times. Currently, I'm not attending therapy or on medication, and I have never been on medication, but today was sort of a turning point for me. I realized that my stubborn attempts to push myself to get better on my own have been counterproductive, and I'm getting worse. Joining this forum is the first step, and as soon as the 4th of July weekend is over I will call my doctor to discuss treatment options. I can't live like this anymore and the idea of a reprieve from how I feel all the time sounds like an absolute dream.

Depression and anxiety both run on my dad's side of the family (I am female), and I got a full helping of those genes. My dad has been a big source of support for me at times, but he also contributes in some ways, which I can get into at a later time. My mother is very happy-go-lucky and always finds the positive side of things, so she tries to comfort me, but I don't think she understands why my dad and I can't just snap out of it. My fiance, who I love dearly, was raised by stubborn parents who taught him that mental illness is not "real" and that people with depression should just do yoga and snap out of it. Luckily, between his sister (who is a pharmacy technician and lovely person who understands the reality of mental illness) and me, he is slowly starting to accept that depression is a legitimate ailment. However, like my mom, he doesn't completely get it. I've been at the end of my rope lately, and when I started crying today over something admittedly small (but stressful to me - I stalled a stick shift truck that he was teaching me how to drive), he told me to "act like an adult, quit being a baby and stop crying because you're not getting what you want in life." It hurt, but also made me realize that I need a broader support group who understands what this all feels like. That's part of what led me here.

I'm looking forward to meeting you all and getting to know you better!

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Hi hemlock11,

So sad to hear you are going through all this.. For what it's worth, you are NOT alone feeling this way.

This struck home..

6 hours ago, hemlock11 said:
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 I've been at the end of my rope lately, and when I started crying today over something admittedly small (but stressful to me - I stalled a stick shift truck that he was teaching me how to drive), he told me to "act like an adult, quit being a baby and stop crying because you're not getting what you want in life." It hurt, but also made me realize that I need a broader support group who understands what this all feels like. That's part of what led me here.

I'm looking forward to meeting you all and getting to know you better!

 

 

I been told something to effect a few times.. No one who hasn't felt this way can possible know what it feels like. They don't know how much it hurts.

Don't be intimidated! just jump into things and give us what you want to.

We are listening.

Take care!

 

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Thank you so much for your kind words, @Searchingforasoul. It helps so much to know I'm not alone.

I'm so sorry that you have been told the same thing. It's so insensitive and sometimes very surprising to hear, depending on who's saying it and your relationship with that person. It can be very invalidating to be told over and over that you're just not trying hard enough, so to know that other people understand the struggle and are there for support brings a lot of peace. I hope I can help bring some peace to others as well.

Thank you again for your warm welcome!

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Welcome hemlock. I'm glad you decided to take some steps to get treatment. You can't beat clinical depression just by gritting your teeth and putting on a happy face. Accepting that you have an illness is not the same as giving up or giving in. It takes more courage to seek that initial treatment than to simply do nothing about it and suffer in silence. Best of luck to you and stick around.

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The condescending tone of your fiance seems ominous to me. Seeking help is a good idea, so be proud of yourself for coming here and deciding to call your doctor. I would recommend a psychiatrist, though. A general practitioner probably doesn't have the knowledge and experience of depression to be especially helpful. I also recommend a therapist. Perhaps you should also confront the naysayers in your family and tell them that your condition is legitimate and you need their support.

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Hermitic makes a good point....You're going to need your fiance's support, so there are some things you can say and do to get him on board with the fact that depression/ anxiety is a real thing. Like this....

 

 

 

my00238_im00356_c7_pet_depressionthu_jpg.png

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Not sure why this site doesn't let you post links, but these are relevant to your situation, so I'm gonna post them anyways. If mods want to delete them, well, that wouldn't be necessary but whatever.

5 ways to explain your depression to a loved one

How I Finally Made My Wife Understand What It’s Like to Be Depressed

How To Explain Depression To People Who Don't Believe It's Real

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Hi Hemlock11 :)

That was mean what he said. But sometimes people who don't have real depression can't empathize with others that do. They just think people who are depressed are being weak or whatever. He is probably not going to be a helpful source of support for you.

I have heard nothing but great things about yoga so I would recommend it. Acupuncture is also very effective and can heal the issues deep in your nervous system that are causing you to feel unwell. But I also realize it's not always as simple as doing one or two things. It'll likely take doing multiple things to fix the entire puzzle.

If you really feel like going to a doctor to get on medications is your only option then go for it but I have other things in mind you should try first because I personally don't believe medications are safe or really all that effective. I know some people have success with them but a lot don't and even run into problems with them.

These are really good things to implement in your life and will help you feel better. I have had WAY better results with kratom than I ever did with meds so I would rather you take kratom. If you have more questions about it let me know.

Please avoid sugary/processed foods as they will make you feel terrible. Go for fruits and vegetables to boost your energy and mood. Get regular exercise and go for walks to get fresh air and sunshine.

It also helps me to watch people on youtube when I need advice or consolation. I have some good ones here but if you don't like these people try to find someone you like and watch them when you need a boost.

I have more tricks up my sleeve so if you're looking for more ways to improve your mood and I'll be happy to share them with you. We're happy to have you here and if you ever feel like you need to chat feel free to message me :)

 

Edited by durandalblue

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On 7/4/2016 at 2:45 PM, standup said:

Hermitic makes a good point....You're going to need your fiance's support, so there are some things you can say and do to get him on board with the fact that depression/ anxiety is a real thing. Like this....

 

 

 

my00238_im00356_c7_pet_depressionthu_jpg.png

Oops that didn't work....Maybe this.

my00238_im00356_c7_pet_depressionthu_jpg.png

Edited by standup

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Thank you so much for the warm welcome, everyone :) I'm sorry I haven't returned to the boards all week, I've been working long hours and I usually just come home, eat and go straight to bed. It was a really pleasant surprise to log back on and see all of your responses.

Hermitic, I agree. Sometimes he treats it like a joke. He made a comment about a girl in yoga pants having a great ass, and it really upset me. I mean he can think what he wants but it was incredibly insensitive to say it to me (although I know lots of girls are ok with their SOs making comments like that, and that's fine, I'm just not as laid back lol). He literally laughed at me when I started tearing up. I think a lot of it is a tremendous lack of emotional maturity on his part, even though he's 27 and should know better. Really, there have been a lot of red flags, and I'd be lying if he said that he hasn't tried to improve himself... but the cumulative effect of it all on me is still there. Maybe I could make a separate thread about him, haha.

standup, thank you so much for those links! I'll go through them and show them to him. I think anything that puts it in an easier to understand format will be good for him to read...

durandalblue, thank you for the suggestions :) I'm not completely set on medication. I just feel sort of at a loss because I've tried so much and it only offers me temporary relief until it gets to the point that I don't enjoy it anymore (even things that I love - I'm sure we can all relate). Ideally I wouldn't have to get on medication, because the main reason I haven't taken it is because I'm afraid of what it will do to me. I always hear that it gets worse before it gets better, and the side effects I've heard of frighten me too. Then there are the benefits, and the wonderful improvements many people have been able to make on it... so I've been conflicted for a long time. I will look into what you suggested and am very interested in hearing what else you find works well!

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I'm pleased you found our advice helpful. He is openly admiring other women in front of you, in spite of your emotions? That seems quite awful to me. If he's your fiance, then your relationship is probably better than what I imagine after reading this thread, so I don't know if advising you to reconsider your relationship is a good idea. His treatment of the women in yoga pants seems sexist to me, and definitely immature.

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Just something to consider....Meds suck, but they sometimes they work. And when they do, it can be liberating. Really. When I was on the right meds, I felt like my true self was finally freed. Consider trying. What do you really have to lose? It may get a little worse before it gets better, but if it works, it's totally worth it. I'd rather not take meds but I'll continue trying because I hate feeling like this. I'm alive but I'm not living. I can't function. I don't want to quite say it's come down to life or death, but it's pretty close. It's up to you. You have to weigh things in your own life. Personally, I have to try everything at my disposal because I'm just sack of bones and tissue otherwise.

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We were with one of his best guy friends at the time, and he told me later that he was "just being one of the guys" in front of his buddy, which didn't sound like a legitimate excuse to me. He apologized, which didn't mean much after he laughed at me for finding it upsetting.

Should I make a separate thread about my relationship with him or post about it here? I don't want to clog the board with threads but there's a lot to talk about, lol

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You could explain it here or you could post it in a different thread. Don't be afraid to clog the forum. This forum exists for people to explain their lives and emotions.

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Ok, here goes:

He and I met in college. I was his first real relationship. I fell in love with him very fast. He was easy going and fun to be around, which was such a nice contrast to the dark cloud that always hung over me. He seemed like a real supplement to my life and he got me out of my shell.

Things were excellent for the first 8 months, although he would get upset from time to time because I didn't go out with him that much (meaning out drinking with friends). I tried explaining to him that that was because I had to help take care of my handicapped adult brother while my parents worked, but I don't think he understood.

Fast forward to our first vacation together after 8 months of dating. We were with friends, I was the DD that night, so I was perfectly sober for the whole night. He got insanely drunk. So drunk he was crying and forgot who I was several times. He admitted to me that night that 3 months prior, on my birthday, he went to a concert (I knew about this - my dad was BBQing for me so I couldn't go, but he had committed to going with his friends to this concert), and while there he met a girl and went home with her. He claims that all he did was play alcohol pong with her and a couple friends, and while he considered sleeping with her, he didn't. Once we got back to the hotel from the bar and he passed out, I went through his phone (I know, I know) and found the texts he sent from that night. He was bragging to his friend (the same one in my previous post) that he came close to having sex with her, but decided not to. Definitely, by far, the biggest heartbreak I've ever experienced. I lost my virginity to him, I thought he was amazing, and he did this on my birthday. I don't know why I didn't leave him after that happened; I think I was so shocked and partially in denial that I decided it was ok to just work through it. We've talked many times about this, he keeps telling me he feels horrible for it and doesn't know why he did it, but he did admit at one time that he did it out of "revenge" because I never went out partying with him and he was fed up with it.

I also found out that he had been flirting with some girls he used to "talk to" because he enjoyed the attention. He's always been self conscious and these were girls who had been unreachable for him, so he thrived on the attention from them and the subsequent confidence boost. He stopped this on his own because he felt guilty about it, and admitted it to me when I asked him for honesty. He showed me the texts that he had exchanged with them, and while it wasn't appropriate for someone in a relationship, it was nothing that crossed the line into cheating. I chalked it up to being part of a new relationship, and it bothered me, but not as much as the other thing because the other thing was so huge, I guess.

Over a year later, those were really the only problems we'd had, and he'd gotten better. He quit drinking, since that seemed to mess with his ability to control himself. I made him get tested for STDs because it seemed like the intelligent thing to do, even though I was pretty sure he hadn't cheated. He dropped all non-platonic contact with other girls. He matured a lot in general. We got engaged and everything was good. We moved in together about halfway across the state after we'd both gotten jobs.

Then, I got laid off from my job. He was mostly supportive but cruel about my depression, which of course got worse after the job loss. In the midst of job hunting, one day, I got a terrible headache that eventually turned into a terrible fever, which eventually turned into what my doctor thought was sepsis. I was very sick and very afraid because they never did determine the source of the infection, but I eventually pulled out of it. Then I started turning yellow. I was constantly nauseous. I went in for blood work and found out my liver enzymes were extremely high. I tested positive for tumor markers (ended up being a false positive) and my white blood cell count was very low. I was told that I probably had cancer and they scheduled me for a liver ultrasound on the day before Christmas eve. I got the information about the tumor markers and the ultrasound in one phone call. I called my fiance, with whom I had been arguing about something unimportant, and he didn't answer. I left him a voicemail telling him the news. I called again an hour later, still no response. I texted him to see if he was getting my messages, and he responded "yes. no more stress." When I asked for clarification, he said "it's always some drama with you. I'm driving and relaxing." This led to a huge fight, he eventually apologized.

The time came for the ultrasound, and I didn't have anyone else to go with me besides him. He blew me off because he wanted to buy tires for his car before all the stores closed for the holidays. So I went for the ultrasound myself, and I've never felt so afraid and alone before in my life. I made plans to break up with him.

When I tried to break up with him he started crying, swore he'd do better, he'd take off work to go to my hepatologist/rheumatologist appointments, etc. He said he didn't know how to process grief. And to his credit, he has done better, and gone to my appointments with me without my asking. But it hurt. I think the doctor cared more about me than my own fiance.

That was nearly two years ago, and things have gotten better. He tries a lot harder. He doesn't make comments in front of me about other women being hot, he tries to make me happy, he does try. His friend (the one I keep talking about) told him one day that what he did to me on my birthday several years ago was "not wrong" and "no big deal because nothing happened," my fiance defended me and insisted that yes, it was wrong, and nobody can justify it. And I wasn't there, I heard that through a friend, so I know he wasn't just saying it to keep me from being p*****. So he's growing up some. But there are comments here and there about my depression, my anxiety, the things I worry about, that are just insulting. He'll say things that aren't true to stress me out ("hey, looks like somebody put a huge dent in the door of your truck out in the parking lot"), then laugh at me when I flip out. It's not ok, and I don't appreciate being treated like a joke.

That was a novel, I'm sorry, but that's the whole story.

Edited by hemlock11

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6 minutes ago, hemlock11 said:

Lol apparently it corrects b e e r to "alcohol."

And some words disappear altogether, I found out that the hard way and had my post look stupid due to a huge blank space lol.

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Stories like that make me sad. How could he be so indifferent to you? If you insist that he has improved and is improving, then I'll believe you. But if I had been in your position, I think I would have ended the relationship with him around the time of the ultrasound. Not caring about your fiance possibly having cancer seems too despicable to me. I suspect you feel a profound connection to him because you've been with him so long and he was your first sexual partner. I imagine ending your relationship would be very difficult. What he did on your birthday and around the time of your illness was inexcusable, I think.

Does he go to your appointments now because he cares or because he feels obligated to? My parents are in their fifties and have been married since their early twenties, and they clearly feel nothing for each other. I assume they stay together because they feel obligated to do so by society. In high school a student once asked me something like "don't you hate it when you walk in on your parents kissing?" I thought this was a joke. Parents? Kissing? But everyone knows parents hate each other! I could not understand that the other student had parents who loved each other and their children. Do you see you and your partner becoming like my parents?

This reminds me of things I heard when I lived at the university dormitories. The awful things boys said about girls were repulsive. They acted like women were objects or toys to be played with and exchanged. I wondered if they considered women human. I've always supported women's rights, and I would never act that way toward them, yet those boys had much romantic succes while I am still kissless. No girl/woman/female has ever even given me a chance to care about her. I digress; this thread is about you.

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As far as us turning out like your parents... I don't know. It's a valid point to make and a good question. I don't think so, but I feel like I have no example of a truly good relationship. I see lots of relationships like the one you describe your parents having, including my own parents. People tell me "oh, give it 2 more years and you'll be throwing knives at each other" or "just give it time, you'll get to where you're so bored with each other that it takes daily work to convince yourself to stay in the relationship." So I hear stuff like that and I don't know what to believe. There's no real benchmark. Relationships take work, but how much? How much is too much, how much is too little?

I think you and I have a lot in common. I'm sorry to hear about your lack of "success" with women, but can I tell you, you probably don't want "success" with them anyway. They don't sound like good people, and I know you can find someone who genuinely cares about you and loves every part of who you are (and that will be TRUE success :)). I didn't kiss anyone until I was 22 and felt like an incredibly late bloomer. I had guys tell me I was pretty and really nice and this that and the other but they never asked me out. They went for the girls who were materialistic and talked about how they only dated guys to get the free food and were judgmental and just not very nice people in general. I felt like something was wrong with me. Just know that there is nothing wrong with you. I know how incredibly invalidating it feels to get ignored and passed over time after time, but it is not an indication of a problem with you, it's an indication of a problem with them.

Edited by hemlock11

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I have seen a lot of ugly relationships too. But that other student's parents did not have an ugly relationship, so perhaps hatred isn't inevitable. I worked at a restaurant for four years, and I saw many couples and families. To me, most of them seemed tremendously unhappy and annoyed. They were rude to each other and me, and looked very stressed. They were fussy about what could be eaten, who should sit where, etc. Only a very small minority of couples/families seemed happy. Perhaps your relationship takes too much work when you feel exhausted by it. Maybe when you come home from work in order to do more work to maintain your relationship, rarely feeling like that work is accomplishing anything.

My advice is to avoid marriage. Marriage is a social contract involving paper and the government, but human emotions care not for bureaucracy. If you aren't married, then separation won't be as big of a problem (though it will still be difficult). Live with him for as long as love lasts, and if you become like my parents, leave before you feel trapped in misery. Of course, I'm no relationship guru.

I hope I can find someone like that. I wasn't "passed over;" I was ignored. Nobody even insinuated attraction to me. I also felt like something was wrong with me. Can I really feel like there is something wrong with every woman I have ever met because none of them have been attracted to me? I was also a "late bloomer" and have felt frustrated by the place of sex in society. I made a different thread ("Sexual Expectations") about a similar topic. I feel like I diverted this conversation from you to me, and I apologize for that.

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I didn't read it as you diverting the conversation away :) That's why I came here. To finally feel like I'm not alone in feeling the way I do and experiencing the things I experience.

I think depression puts a lens on everything we see and mutes it. Small signs of attraction may easily go unnoticed. A girl looks at you frequently and then looks away as soon as you look at her. You might brush that off as certainly not being a signal of attraction because I think we all have such an unjustifiably low opinion of ourselves. That's just one example. I have to try to convince myself every day that not everybody hates me even though that's what my irrational mind is convincing me of. When the lady at work who bakes cookies for the office makes sure I get one before they all run out, my mind automatically goes to "she must feel sorry for me" instead of "she's a nice person and she must think of me as a nice enough person to do me a favor." We have to try to see through the lens of depression.

I do agree with you and your stance on sex's place in society. In many ways, I'm happy I waited as long as I did. I lost my virginity when I wanted to and not because I felt peer pressure to hurry up and get rid of it. I don't regret it. At the same time, it would have been awfully nice if the opportunity had been there for a while before... you know? I need to go find your thread and contribute. It's an interesting topic.

I have no idea when or if we'll get married. We already own a home together which would make parting even more difficult. I do truly want things to work, but I don't think I'll have kids with him. That's not a huge loss because I'm not sure if I ever felt the pull towards motherhood anyway (kids are great, but I can't help but feel like I wouldn't be the best mother), but it's too big of a commitment to make with someone you can't even fully rely on to support you emotionally.

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If there ever were signs of attraction, they were entirely unnoticed. I didn't misinterpret signals due to the lens of my depression; there were no signals (to my knowledge). Moreover, I wasn't attracted to any of them. Except one. But I've talked about her enough on this forum that I'm sure you've probably read about it. If you want to know more about me, here is most of the emotionally significant information. Please don't feel obligated to read it just because I'm linking it; I don't mind if you don't read it.

I don't recall any girls ever looking at me. None ever tried to talk to me. But I also remember being a rather nasty person in school, so maybe that precluded any affection toward me. But in college I was different. I even tried talking to a girl/woman or two.They weren;t interested in any interactions with me. I had a lot of those "they're just being nice" thoughts. When people clapped after my class presentations I felt nothing. They clapped for everyone. When someone said "good job" I thought it was condescending and done out of pity. If anyone ever did care about me, I was totally unaware of it. I was too obsessed with my pain. I still am, I think.

Here's the thread about sex:

Sex represents intimacy, emotional connections, and social success to me. I have failed at all of those things, so sex has almost a mystical meaning to me. My libido is quite weak; I'm not really interestd in sex. I'm interested in love. I'm interested in earning the affection of a wonderful person, and that person cherishing my affection. I've never had a girlfriend. I've never been on a date. I've never even held hands. But you can read about all that in the thread.

I recommend Philip Larkin's poem "This Be the Verse." I think not having children with him is a good decision. Us depressives are engrossed by our emotions; how are we supposed to care for children too? I could never be a father. I shudder to think of it. I can't deal with that responsibility. Knowing how hugely influential my parents were to me, I know I would wield much power as a father. But I don't want power, and I would not wield it well. If you don't think you would be a good mother, than not having children is a good idea. Children are a huge investment of time and money. They'll take one quarter to one third of your life. I could never deal with that. Of course, I am speaking for my future self, and I don't know how he feels. I doubt my status on the matter will change much, though.

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