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Successful Why Am I Still Battling Depression


AM1581

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I’m new here and stumbled upon this forum and glad I did.

I wonder this everyday.  I am successful, why am I still battling depression?  I am educated with 3 degrees, 2 professional certifications, a good job, a sweet 5 year old, an award winner for my job/organization, family that for most part love me, people think I’m kind and sweet, I’m a homeowner and fairly healthy.  Why do I feel alone constantly and depressed most days?

This depression constantly haunts me!!! I always try to say well I’m depressed because I’m alone and don’t have a mate. Or I’m depressed from my past demons or because I don’t have but 2 close friends (that I barely see or talk to because I work 6 days a week and take care of a 5 year old alone).  Or I’m depressed because my child had a birth injury that turned our lives upside down for first few years of her life. Or because the relationships I had never fullly loved me back? But in reality all of these things cannot be the full reason for my depression.

Why can’t my successes erase this depression that constantly have a hold on me? Please tell me: Do exercise really help? How can I be around people if I constantly work to support myself and daughter as single parent? How do I build more relationships when I don’t know where to start or how to find the time for extra activities? And do these avenues help?

Edited by AM1581
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Hi and welcome to the Forums, AM51!

I hope you will find this site to be as welcoming and useful as I have.

Because of painful tendinitis in my hands, I cannot respond adequately to your post.  My apologies.  As I am sure you probably already know, there can be many factors that can cause or contribute to depression.  Here are a few I know of although my list in far, far from comprehensive:

Some depressions have been linked to organic pathology in the brain, for example or other medical issues: anemia, hypothyroidism and so on.*

Introjected values are said by some to cause or contribute to depression.  The theory of introjected values is that we have values we value personally and others which we inherit from others like parents and others.  Introjected values are values that others tells us "should" make us feel happy and fulfilled.  We may achieve these values and be depressed because they are not what we really value but what some part of us thinks we should value.*

A German industrialist named Oskar Schindler was supposedly very unfulfilled although he was a successful spy and businessman.  Later in life he became a Holocaust rescuer and apparently found this more fulfilling then his previous successes.  Maybe this illustrates the difference between real values and introjected ones.  I don't know.  Perhaps I am wrong about this.

"Perfectionism" has been said by many authorities to be a cause of depression.  Very successful surgeons and other highly skilled medical professionals often suffer depression and some suggest perfectionism might be a causal factor.*

Since I am not an authority of any of this at all, please do not rely on my opinion.  I am just trying to share some things I have read or heard second hand. Hopefully others here will have better words than mine!!! 

Depression can be brutal, whatever the causal and/or contributing factors.  I sure hope you will benefit from these Forums, at least in being able to communicate with fellow sufferers. 

My apologies for not having the wisdom to be able to answer your questions with authority.

I am also sorry I cannot respond to your others questions, which are profound and poignant, but the pain in my hands is too much right now.

  I wish you all the very, very best in your battle against depression and in life!!!  - epictetus

*All research is subject to limitations, such as scope of study, duration of study, objectivity of study, confounding factors,  conflicting studies, new discoveries and other factors.  

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Welcome to DF, AM1581.  Glad you found us.  Like @Epictetus, idk that any of us can necessarily answer the whys, but we can share personal experiences you may find useful.

Depression can come from so many sources.  Some are situational.  Some are biochemical.  Some are a bit of both.  Yes, many of us will attest to exercise helping - even a walk.  Sounds like you already have enough on your plate, however.  What you may want to explore is getting the help of a therapist to sort that out.  A good one will also have resources to recommend a good psychiatrist if they think meds will help.  You don't have to settle on the first therapist you find.  Google "how do I find a good therapist" and you'll find some solid suggestions.  Of course, too, you can get opinions from this rather large DF community.

My take from what you've written is, yes, you're successful DESPITE some significant challenges.  And you're busy keeping it together.  As sole caregiver to an elderly mom and who has significant health issues of his own, I'm all too aware of burnout and the effect it has on MY health.  That may be a part of what you're experiencing.  It can often be a struggle for me to practice - I've just had a particularly rough 3½ weeks - but I'm an advocate for what I call Me Time.  I don't want to come off as a smartass, but when was the last time you said, "no"?  That's to say, no one can be all things to everyone.

I hope you can continue to fill us in.

Edited by MarkintheDark
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Hi MarkinDark, 

I cannot remember the last time I said no to work or home activities. I never want to let people down, but I think you are right I have a little burnout from college and grad school, dealing with a disabled child, working 6 days a week and keeping home life together. I have some “Me Time” in between working to get my hair and nails done but those almost are essential to my work because I sometimes have to do public appearances and meetings with high ups in community and photo ops.  

Will work on finding a therapist, I found one that was good last year but my insurance doesn’t cover her and she is $150 an hour and I make “too much” for sliding scale, but at same time I can’t afford $150 per session, in the state I’m in I really need a therapist once a week for awhile.

Thank you for your insight! It has helped!

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Welcome AM! Glad you found us and hope we can continue to be a good support to you. To add to the good things that have already been said, I think you have the kind of depression that is an illness and not the kind that is a result of just circumstances. Yes, all of those things you mentioned can help us deal with this disease yet I don’t think there is a perfect cure. However, we can live good lives with mental health care, good self care, and realistic expectations, I believe. Hope you keep coming back and posting. 

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Depression is a jerk.  Doesn’t matter how good life on the outside is depression can sneak in.  A good counselor will help you find out why, because there is always an underlined why.  Have you had your hormone levels checked, including your thyroid?  Do you have a good therapist or pastor you can talk to?  So many times we forget that we have to take care of the body, mind and soul.  The soul usually gets ignored.  I know the only thing that healed my depression was my faith.  God is the only way I got out of the 25 year pit of depression.  As to your other questions yes excercise can help, different therapies help different people, cutting stressors that can be cut out helps, and for me music therapy is so helpful.  Praying you find healing -Rachel

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I agree with what Epictetus have said: an image of "success" that the society imposes upon you - wealth, career, family - may not correspond to your own calling in life. My advise would be: try to find something fulfilling, something that will make you happy - art, hobby, helping people, religion, or various other things. You will discover new communities and meet new people, who have similar interests and beliefs, and that will definitely make you feel better about your life. It may be difficult to commit your time to these things, but work/life balance is very important. Your life shouldn't consist entirely of work and sleep.

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On 9/15/2018 at 6:29 PM, AM1581 said:

I’m new here and stumbled upon this forum and glad I did.

I wonder this everyday.  I am successful, why am I still battling depression?  I am educated with 3 degrees, 2 professional certifications, a good job, a sweet 5 year old, an award winner for my job/organization, family that for most part love me, people think I’m kind and sweet, I’m a homeowner and fairly healthy.  Why do I feel alone constantly and depressed most days?

This depression constantly haunts me!!! I always try to say well I’m depressed because I’m alone and don’t have a mate. Or I’m depressed from my past demons or because I don’t have but 2 close friends (that I barely see or talk to because I work 6 days a week and take care of a 5 year old alone).  Or I’m depressed because my child had a birth injury that turned our lives upside down for first few years of her life. Or because the relationships I had never fullly loved me back? But in reality all of these things cannot be the full reason for my depression.

Why can’t my successes erase this depression that constantly have a hold on me? Please tell me: Do exercise really help? How can I be around people if I constantly work to support myself and daughter as single parent? How do I build more relationships when I don’t know where to start or how to find the time for extra activities? And do these avenues help?

Why? Because you have mental illness. I thought that by this stage of my life I would have things figured out, you know, conquered this thing but it's not so. Mental illness is sort of the invisible illness in that inless you have a total breakdown it's not obvious to others. But theres always hope though it may not seem so. You've obviously managed to do some awesome things in spite of and you should concentrate on that. I truly wish you well.

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It sounds like you are very busy in general and on the go a lot.  This can for some leave little time for reflection.  It may help if you can set aside just 10 to 15 minutes per day of quiet time where you focus on just you and your inner self.. not what you need to do or accomplish for that day or for the future. Just be in the present moment and relax get back in touch with yourself.  Yes exercise can help. 

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