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Hi everyone. I have a combination of Existential Anxiety and High Function Depression. Ever since childhood I am always just under the normal line on a depression chart, meaning I am always somewhat depressed. Yet, few people would suspect that as I perform well at my career and other areas of life. My depression does not prevent me from participating in life. Just enjoying it. Sometimes the depression dips lower. I also have anxiety about the meaning of life, why do we exist, why am I here, where do I go when I die and why does God exist. I hate it that I am here on the side of a planet in deep space and no one knows why or how. Yeah, typing it out it sounds pretty silly. I am a Christian, but obviously my faith is not as strong as it could be.

Throughout my life I have seen Psychiatrists, Psychologists, numerous mental health counselors,  and attended several support groups. Yet, I am what I am. Which is usually depressed. I've been on Zoloft for over a decade and it keeps the deep dark depressions at bay. Two years ago I very slowly weened myself off it and that did not turn out well. Back on it. I take a Xanax once or twice a week as needed. I am now 66 years old and semi-retired, which only aggravated my stress.  

I feel sort of bad listing my problems when they are so slight in comparison to so many others. Yet, persistent low level depression really sucks.

So, why the hell am I here?  I am wondering if anyone else who may have suffered like this have developed any methods of dealing better. I am so tired of not being happy.

Thanks much

Trad England

 

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Welcome trad England. As someone who has been depressed I can tell you that your problems are just as real as anyone else’s.  The dark pit we find ourselves in is real. I think your situation is just as valid as anyone else’s. Prayers for you tonight fellow traveler. Keep the faith. 

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Hello and welcome @Trad England, glad you found us. I like to think of this support community as a "found family" of people who (in some important ways) I have more in common with than my biological family. 

You mentioned High-functioning depression. That can be alot like having "regular" depression with the important difference being that most people don't believe you have depression at all. But you do.

I understand why you might feel sort of bad comparing your problems with others - we all do that. I suggest you try responding to such thoughts and feelings with this gentle reminder and affirmation: ah, but mental illness is not a competition.

The degree of impairment doesn't determine whether or not we deserve or can use understanding, support and compassion - we don't get enough of this, that's why we're here. A found family. 

10 hours ago, Trad England said:

So, why the hell am I here?  I am wondering if anyone else who may have suffered like this have developed any methods of dealing better. I am so tired of not being happy

Well for starters, coping. What I've learned is nothing works all the time but something works most of the time. Like most of us here, I've become a collector of tools that work some of the time. At no time will my toolbox be either full or complete.

So, if I can get my feet off the toolbox, open it up and attempt to use what's inside, I'll eventually find one that helps me improve my emotional state. Or if not improve, help me to tolerate. And if not tolerate, help me to not make a bigger problem. The most important tool I have is self-compassion: I'm doing the best I can with what I already know. 

Existential anxiety, I find curiosity is effective against it. To use curiosity, we need to become better at listening to the tiny voice inside us rather than to the loud shrieks and moans of anxiety and depression. 

I look forward to reading your contributions and thanks for introducing yourself.

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I also want to welcome you here, Trad.  I'm sorry for responding so late to your first post, but I have been ill lately.  What you write about is so familiar to me from my own personal experience [not that I am in your shoes or would want to trespass on the uniqueness of your experiences.]   Since you posted last Wednesday, I was wondering how you are feeling today?    - epictetus

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On 7/15/2019 at 5:18 PM, Epictetus said:

I also want to welcome you here, Trad.  I'm sorry for responding so late to your first post, but I have been ill lately.  What you write about is so familiar to me from my own personal experience [not that I am in your shoes or would want to trespass on the uniqueness of your experiences.]   Since you posted last Wednesday, I was wondering how you are feeling today?    - epictetus

Hi Epictetus, 

Thanks for asking. I don't get the severe lows, I just drift below the normal line. Sometimes I get very depressed and wish that the pain would stop, but ending it all is not an option for me. It is consistently being down that tires me. I have been on Zoloft for about a decade. I tried to quit very gradually two years ago. Over the space of six or seven months managed to eventually get off of it. That was not a good thing. A darkness visited me often and eventually I had to go back on it. Maybe after all this time my mind is just adapted to it. So, while Zoloft might be keeping me from the dangerous lows, it sure isn't helping me shake the blues.I use a mood app that rates me. Scale is 1 to 10. 1 is call 911, and 10 would be close to that in the other direction. 5 is neutral, not depressed but not happy either. I usually am a 4 with a 3 tossed in now and then. Once a month or so I can say I am a 6, but I never exceed that. I think my natural state is just below normal. It is frustrating. 

 

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Hi Trad,

     What you describe is something I experienced on Zoloft too.  My doctor had to add a second medication [augmenter] to boost the effectiveness of the Zoloft.  I can't remember what that medication was now as I have been on Celexa now for over 20 years. 

    Its awful to get stuck at level 4 or worse at 3.  Does your doc know that you are not in full remission of your depression?  I reached a point while on Zoloft where it seemed to completely lose effectiveness for me and my doc switched me to another med and I experienced full remission. 

    I am not a doctor or medical professional, but I wonder if you doctor could help you to get to full remission of your symptoms.  When I was at level 4 and 3, I was extremely frustrated.  I remember that period of my life so vividly.  I wish I knew what to say that would be helpful but I am at a loss for ideas.  I do feel for what you are going through.  My heart really goes out to you ! ! !   - epictetus

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On 7/24/2019 at 9:41 AM, Epictetus said:

Hi Trad,

     What you describe is something I experienced on Zoloft too.  My doctor had to add a second medication [augmenter] to boost the effectiveness of the Zoloft.  I can't remember what that medication was now as I have been on Celexa now for over 20 years. 

    Its awful to get stuck at level 4 or worse at 3.  Does your doc know that you are not in full remission of your depression?  I reached a point while on Zoloft where it seemed to completely lose effectiveness for me and my doc switched me to another med and I experienced full remission. 

    I am not a doctor or medical professional, but I wonder if you doctor could help you to get to full remission of your symptoms.  When I was at level 4 and 3, I was extremely frustrated.  I remember that period of my life so vividly.  I wish I knew what to say that would be helpful but I am at a loss for ideas.  I do feel for what you are going through.  My heart really goes out to you ! ! !   - epictetus

The original doctor who prescribed Zoloft was a regular MD, family doctor. All my other regular family doctors since have just ignored it pretty much. I had a horrible experience with a Psychiatrist 30 years ago so tend to stay away from them. I have seen counselors from time to time, but honestly, it seems that most of the time they are more concerned about collecting their $120 for each visit. Or they are just guessing.  I also have experience working at a university so I know that most people who become counselors or Psychologists/Psychiatrists do so to heal themselves. I dealt with those students in my capacity at the university and they were the most difficult, and the least founded in reality.  So, with my lack of confidence in the PSY world, I have no one to talk with about it now.  How would I even find someone? 

By the way, thank you for the comments and suggestions. Is this the correct forum to be discussing this? Also, I hope to be able to assist others in some way too. Don't want to just take and not give. 

Trad

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I am also new here (although when I went to create an account today I found that I had done so 12 years ago and forgotten about it). I can relate well to a lot of what you said. I’ve been quite successful in my career so far and my best defense mechanism through my life has been humor so most people have no idea how much I struggle inside my own head. It’s lonely and I empathize! I wish you the best and hope you are able to find some help for coping. 

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On 7/26/2019 at 1:49 PM, Trad England said:

So, with my lack of confidence in the PSY world, I have no one to talk with about it now.  How would I even find someone? 

Peer counselors and mentors could be an option for you. Most receive training and depending on the region, they may be certified by a non-profit or a governmental body. 

While they don't necessarily possess the same education and training as psychiatric professional counselors, they do have lived experience with mental illness. This imbues peers with a strong sense of empathy, a special understanding of the circumstances and challenges of living with conditions like depression.

The power dynamic in the peer therapeutic relationship is very different - in a positive way. Specifically, people who feel that the psychiatric practitioner-to-patient relationship is too hierarchical or paternal may respond better working with a peer. 

On 7/26/2019 at 1:49 PM, Trad England said:

Is this the correct forum to be discussing this?

This forum is meant for introductions for new members. You may see more people reading, reacting and commenting on your posts in a forum that's set up for the subject you want to discuss. Your lived experiences, your talents for survival and your struggles and setbacks are likely to benefit and/or resonate with other members of the community so I hope you'll continue to share. 

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On 7/26/2019 at 4:49 PM, Trad England said:

The original doctor who prescribed Zoloft was a regular MD, family doctor. All my other regular family doctors since have just ignored it pretty much. I had a horrible experience with a Psychiatrist 30 years ago so tend to stay away from them. I have seen counselors from time to time, but honestly, it seems that most of the time they are more concerned about collecting their $120 for each visit. Or they are just guessing.  I also have experience working at a university so I know that most people who become counselors or Psychologists/Psychiatrists do so to heal themselves. I dealt with those students in my capacity at the university and they were the most difficult, and the least founded in reality.  So, with my lack of confidence in the PSY world, I have no one to talk with about it now.  How would I even find someone? 

By the way, thank you for the comments and suggestions. Is this the correct forum to be discussing this? Also, I hope to be able to assist others in some way too. Don't want to just take and not give. 

Trad

Welcome Trad,

I am late on this topic and welcoming you and I apologize!

I just discovered my Zoloft forum was down and I fixed it.  You can go there and hopefully post.  I had a problem though posting about Zoloft and it took me to the Home page...LOL If it does, We can send @ItsNeverEnough our fab webmaster/member a  PM/ notice telling him so.  Yes I am a Beatles fan!  I am also the Owner/Forum Admin here at DF, you are not alone being a "Senior"!  At the top of our forums you will find a dropdown list of Staff,

who's who. etc.

So please, do please  post anywhere.  You will relate to many of your peers and find a lot of information!

Hugs,

~Lindsay

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