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Hello, Im new here and I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for 10 years now. 

Ive been trying to think back to how it all started and why I become depressed in the first place but I honestly done know. Ive always been an anxious and shy kid, but not to the point of where it was a ever a problem like it is today. As you all know I'm sure, it comes in cycles and can last from a week to months at a time, sometimes you can point out the trigger and sometimes you can't. Im in a cycle right now, its pretty bad where I haven't been able to leave the house for around 4 weeks now (unless absolutely necessary) and its frustrating, why am I even like this? Why cannot I not function and show up to work like every body else? Why do I retreat to my bed and Netflix? Its such a destructive way of coping but I don't seem to know any other way. I think the hardest part of this illness is figuring out a way to climb out of the darkness, and to keep it at bay when you feel it creeping back in. Its so ****ing difficult, people who dont suffer from depression and anxiety dont know how lucky they are. 

I decided to join this forum because I need help and atm I'm too afraid of therapy and talking to a stranger face to face about everything, those who do, I applaud you because it takes such courage to do that and stick with it. It really takes courage to fight and live another day, I really admire all of you and reading your posts and stories makes me know that I am not alone here and I dont have to suffer in silence anymore :') 

So, my name is Charlee (pronounced shar-lee not Charlie! its a strange name, I know, but ask my parents why not me lol) Im 26, and live in little New Zealand, its nice to meet you all :) ❤️

Edited by Charlee

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Hello @Charlee! Warm welcome to the forums!

I am happy to see that you have reached out to us for help- here we will provide as much help and support that we can give. I hope your experience here goes wonderfully :smile:

I'm sorry to hear that you have been struggling. Depression and anxiety don't mix well, I can agree. Have you found different alternatives/activities aside from your bed and Netflix to help relieve stress/anxiety? I could suggest journaling to help get all your thoughts on paper. A few others would be active and creative hobbies- such as jogging, walking, drawing, or writing. Is it possible for you to carry a pocket produc for your anxiety? Such as a stress ball or fidget spinner?

I can greatly relate to you. My depression has definitely lightened up since I've been here, but my anxiety can really act up badly at times. You're not alone on not being able to go to a therapist or medications, as I and many others can't do that too. But we got this, alright?

Again, warm welcome :hugs: Keep us posted, and I hope you feel at home here with our forum family!

Wishing you the best!

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Hello there Charlee;

I also have depression and anxiety and can totally relate to what you are experiencing.  I too can remember a time when my symptoms did not hinder my day to day activities however much like you I got to a point where I would not leave the house either and my day to day activities went to ZERO. 

I give you a lot of credit for joining this forum and speaking out, that is a HUGE step!  Right now if you are not comfortable with seeing a therapist then this gives you a place to voice how you feel and get some good feedback.  No one quite understands how "we" feel except those who are having the same type of problem.

Please only share what you feel comfortable sharing, but I am inclined to ask if you take any anti-depression or anti-anxiety medications?  It seems your condition would warrant it and may change your life.  It did for me.

Let me know how you are doing, and again, please only share what you feel comfortable sharing.  

Jay

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A warm welcome to you Charlee.

Our goal here is to not leave anyone behind in their depression cave.

You mentioned trying to figure out a way of climbing out of the darkness.

Perfect metaphor!

Depression is a natural formation / resource.

In nature caves are formed by erosion, stress, upheaval.

If you're are willing and able to invoke clever metaphors you can climb out of the deep, dark , dangerous depression abyss.

We are here to help each other find the EXIT/ENTRANCE and then metaphorically anchor oneself outside the depression cave.

Keep posting your concerns and we will help.

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Hi Charlee,

     I also want to welcome you to the Forums!

     You are so right about depression.  People who do not struggle with it cannot really understand how brutal it can be. 

     Hopefully these Forums will be as helpful to you as they have been to me. 

     I am looking forward to reading anything you post here. 

     By the way . . . I think it is really cool that you live in New Zealand.  I once tried to create a New Zealand city in the game called "SimCity."  I thought New Zealand architecture was very interesting.

- epictetus

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@MaepleSyrup @jayb1233 @Oscar K @Epictetus 

Aww thanks guys you're all so kind :') so I am on meds (escitalopram) and have been for around 2.5 years, but I haven't done any therapy because it scares the crap out of me and I feel like I can work it all out by myself (but now coming to the understanding that I cannot). 

I have really bad coping mechanisms, When I'm stuck deep in and really bad I can't do anything but stay in bed watching TV, I cant workout or go to work, I cant really even talk to anyone who cares about me, I just stay in that silent hell until I can manage to pull myself out. The longest its ever lasted has been about 8 months, that was 2016, and I was a student at the time and I almost had to leave uni and I almost got fired from my job too. So its been a bit of a struggle, these last 4 weeks have been really bad (2016 bad) and I don't want to lose everything I've built so far so I need to find a way out now, im really trying, yesterday and today I left the house and went to the library to do some work, which is the first time ive been able to leave unnecessarily in 4 weeks, so thats progress for me and im proud of myself for the small win :) 

Im glad I join here and posted my first post, its helped me take the first step I needed to, to start climbing out :) 

and @Epictetus thats fuuny and cool, NZ is a fab little country and Ive loved living and growing up here and I honestly dont think ill move countries ever, tho I do want to do extensive travel one day! 

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@Charlee I am really glad you joined as well!  I am also glad you made it out of the house!!  That is great to hear.  Combing the forums and finding topics that interest you may be a nice fill in for therapy right now until you are ready to speak to someone face to face.  Conversations like this should help as well.  I am finding so many nice people on here.

I am really glad that you are "pulling yourself up" @charlee but please consider talking to your doctor, and work these forums if you continue to feel yourself slipping back to "2016 bad".  It sounds like you have worked very hard and have overcome a lot, so let's keep that ball rolling forward!

I hope things continue to get better for you.  Here to help/ chat if needed.

Jay B.  USA/ Delaware

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Hi Charlee!  Yeah, def count us among your successes.  I can't add much more to the other wonderful responses.

I'm all too familiar with the cave where I keep Netflix running.  While I'm living there, I have to keep my successes very basic.  They sound ridiculous:  Did I flush the toilet?  Did I take a shower?  Did I eat...something?  Sometimes those will morph into a li'l cleaning or laundry or groceries.  From my perspective, your trip the the library was huge.

You have a furry companion?  Reason I ask is that, over the years, mine have been my saviors.  They require food and affection.

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@MarkintheDark Furry friends are the best!  I have a pug, Lulu!!  Some days she is my whole world.  It makes me get out of the bed, walk her, feed her, play with her, etc.  She is my loyal furry friend!  She loves me unconditionally as I do her.

Pet's in themselves can help to motivate us, and just make us feel better in general.  When you having that terrible day, week, or month you know that animal is there for you unconditionally and that he/she depends on you which gives you enough motivation if to only get up and out to do the things it takes to care for your pet.

It truly is a win/win.  I love my Lulu.  She is my unofficial/official therapy dog!!  🐕

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Hi Charlee,

Welcome to the forums.  This is a nice place to be. I have 'met' very nice people who have given me insight to how I feel  (its ok to feel sad) and that I'm not alone and suggestions to make it through the rough times. 

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Sorry guys for not replying, I got really busy with work (I work from home and in the office if I can get there). 

@MarkintheDark @jayb1233I do have a furry companion, I have a ragdoll cat called poppy, whos my best friend and has been with me for 7 years, and at my worst, she honestly saved me because the one and only time ive ever been suicidal, she came to mind and I couldn't do it because I couldnt leave her, how could I trust that shed be ok in someone else's s care? She's really kept me going, and is my most loyal friend and knows my moods and won't leave my side if im upset or really stressed. I really couldn't cope without her, and that scares me because I know she wont be around forever. Going home to her is the highlight of my day, and feeling her weight next to me at night is my biggest comfort. I believe furry friends are so important when you're so vulnerable ❤️

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We're probably related.  My ragdoll was "Buddy"...and he was.  At my worst, and even since, my guys have been the ones who saved me even as, 17 years ago, I prepared to do myself in.  I had four feline companions at the time.  What kept me going for the next 11 years was my vow, spoken aloud to them, I'd see them through their lives.  I did and it's one of my proudest accomplishments.

What's interesting is that I now have had a single feline (my avatar Spot) for several years who embodies the personalities of all four, yes, right down to the ragdoll behavior, though he's clearly not one.  It's as if they sent Spot to see me through MY life.

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@Charlee  I don't think people give animals enough credit sometimes.  Obviously us animal lovers do, but as a whole animals help us in SO MANY different ways.  From predicting seizures, companionship, police dogs, therapy pets, the list goes on and on.

Where would we be without our furry friends?  Pet lovers take a few extra moments today to let your furry friend know just how much you appreciate them! 

I hope you are feeling better and doing well.  I am still battling a medication adjustment and just don't know which way to go with it at the moment.  Such is life.

Hope you have a Great Day!

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@jayb1233 absolutely, they're so underrated and such life saviours, its a privilege to share your life with one and have such a high bond. 

Im doing ok, still haven't left the house much, some days I can, but some days I get up and get ready and am about to leave but I get all this anxiety and cant. But aside from that, I'm ok 👍. Im also trying to decide if I should come off mine now because I feel like they've done their job and all they can, but then I also feel like it would be stupid to stop them when im not in a "good" phase. IDK. 

Feels lol, hope you're ok 😊 

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Whatever you do, dont stop the meds whilst you are in a bad phase without tapering properly..... stopping the meds can be harder than starting, and whilst most extremes reported are  rare, they can be quite painful, and mood altering.

iunderstand your willto stop, but think of your current state and decide if now is  the time. Switching might be a good option, either another big pharma or an alternative coping strategy, 

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