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I'm glad to have found this forum. The last time I had depression bad enough to seek a forum was three and a half years ago. I tried going back to that forum just now and it was very inactive, sadly. I'm glad to have found it here. Hello.

A short background...

I noticed my depression really coming back about 5 months ago, so I sought treatment. There were a genuine two years that I felt just fine, and about a year of a slow downward spiral. The last time I had depression which lasted a dark two and half years, I cured it by by moving and making many major changes in my life, but I am now in a situation where that's not really an option... I have trapped myself. I do feel the desire to escape in order to fix it, but I feel this time I have to look deeper within myself instead of running away. I struggle with anxiety as well, and have developed a horrible coping mechanism: a shopping addiction. I am currently not on medication. I am struggling to find affordable therapy that fits my schedule in my small town. My insurance sucks and the therapist I found is barely covered and charges a lot, but I can go to her after work. But I am only able to see her once a month now and even that is a strain on my finances, which is a large part of my worries due to the shopping.

My depressive feelings are rooted in loneliness and struggling to connect to people even when I really try. I have extremely low confidence and self esteem, mainly in my abilities relating to my career and it really worries me. Five months ago my mother came to visit me for the first time since I moved, and for the first time I realized that she has been emotionally abusing me my entire life. This is the event that really triggered my depression again; it was shocking to finally define something that made me feel so abnormal for so long. And I have come to realize I learned to have low self-esteem from her, as well as a plethora of other personality flaws (which now I realize came from coping with how she treated me), particularly in the root of people-pleasing tendencies. I feel like I have neglected myself for a long time, I let myself take a job and feel trapped in a toxic work environment where people emotionally manipulate me as well, I struggle to make friends, and my hobbies have slowly broken away. I feel scared to create anything again because I hate myself so much, so instead I would rather be bored and do nothing, like literally just sometimes stare at a wall... And sometimes instead I then just shop to take my mind off of everything, and put myself in an imaginary world where these things I convince myself I need tell me I am confident. 

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has depression that comes in waves like this, and if you've ever struggled with a shopping addiction or other dangerous coping mechanism, and perhaps even what kind of trauma you may have experienced in your formative years that has contributed toward low mental health. 

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Hello again!  Actually I've been sort of struggling with the shopping thing. Not so much shopping to feel better, but spending, even on essentials when I don't have the money.  Then panic when the bill comes. I do get depression that worsens in phases. Read up on trauma and how it relates to adult functioning.  

Seems like you have an idea of where your troubles stem but getting free help is almost impossible. Using this site can help until you decide to get further therapy. I'm lucky in that I realized buying things made it worse so I embraced minimalism but still struggle with finances.  It's a practice in self control that's not easy.  Asking for help doesn't hurt.  Stick around.

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12 hours ago, thecolorgreen said:

I'm glad to have found this forum. The last time I had depression bad enough to seek a forum was three and a half years ago. I tried going back to that forum just now and it was very inactive, sadly. I'm glad to have found it here. Hello.

A short background...

I noticed my depression really coming back about 5 months ago, so I sought treatment. There were a genuine two years that I felt just fine, and about a year of a slow downward spiral. The last time I had depression which lasted a dark two and half years, I cured it by by moving and making many major changes in my life, but I am now in a situation where that's not really an option... I have trapped myself. I do feel the desire to escape in order to fix it, but I feel this time I have to look deeper within myself instead of running away. I struggle with anxiety as well, and have developed a horrible coping mechanism: a shopping addiction. I am currently not on medication. I am struggling to find affordable therapy that fits my schedule in my small town. My insurance sucks and the therapist I found is barely covered and charges a lot, but I can go to her after work. But I am only able to see her once a month now and even that is a strain on my finances, which is a large part of my worries due to the shopping.

My depressive feelings are rooted in loneliness and struggling to connect to people even when I really try. I have extremely low confidence and self esteem, mainly in my abilities relating to my career and it really worries me. Five months ago my mother came to visit me for the first time since I moved, and for the first time I realized that she has been emotionally abusing me my entire life. This is the event that really triggered my depression again; it was shocking to finally define something that made me feel so abnormal for so long. And I have come to realize I learned to have low self-esteem from her, as well as a plethora of other personality flaws (which now I realize came from coping with how she treated me), particularly in the root of people-pleasing tendencies. I feel like I have neglected myself for a long time, I let myself take a job and feel trapped in a toxic work environment where people emotionally manipulate me as well, I struggle to make friends, and my hobbies have slowly broken away. I feel scared to create anything again because I hate myself so much, so instead I would rather be bored and do nothing, like literally just sometimes stare at a wall... And sometimes instead I then just shop to take my mind off of everything, and put myself in an imaginary world where these things I convince myself I need tell me I am confident. 

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has depression that comes in waves like this, and if you've ever struggled with a shopping addiction or other dangerous coping mechanism, and perhaps even what kind of trauma you may have experienced in your formative years that has contributed toward low mental health. 

grr. one of them days. I had half of what I wanted to say typed out & then accidentally hit the back button on my mouse & lost it.

Anyway. Welcome. I am not always very active on here mostly because I find it hard to connect. I am not sure that my situation is similar enough to draw any parallels to yours, but at its core, I think I understand some of what you mean. I don't have a shopping addiction, but my coping mechanism (pot-are we allowed to talk about illegal drugs on here?) is getting very expensive so I understand that anxiety of when you have to cough up money for necessities. 

I don't think I have the same type of toxic environment work environment, but I have serious issues with the way they run things & how I have been there for 25 years & have gotten only a handful of modest (ridiculous enough to just be insulting) raises. But I let myself get trapped & I've found myself in job that feels like some kind of abusive relationship where I can't leave because I have nowhere else to go. Their lack of increasing my pay has made me believe that I'm only worth that & I have no skills that will get me a job that is probably any better. I feel like they probably are totally aware of that fact so don't fear losing me despite how little they pay me. 

My depression is pretty constant, but there have been a few times (not nearly enough) when I am more functional than others, but they seem to happen less and less frequently. Right now, I am at what feels like as low as it can get. I enjoy nothing.  The few things that I could say I almost always enjoy on some level no matter how bad I felt (music & food) are gone. I've never been the kind of depressed where I lose interest in food. This is the first time. Now acquiring and choking down food is just another tedious chore in a life with no purpose. Another hassle I have to find the energy to do so I can keep breathing, in order to work, in order to make enough to continue living a life that I am seriously done with. Were it not for my cowardice & ridiculous laziness, I would definitely have ended it at this point-probably way before this point if I'm honest. I have often wondered if all I had to do is press a button to get off the ride immediately with guarantee of complete painlessness, is there anything that would keep me from eventually just pressing it, probably sooner rather than later?

I can identify with the low self esteem. I had a less than an ideal upbringing, but nothing in the way of being belittled or criticized. More of a neglectful upbringing that results from being raised by alcoholics, my stepfather being the violent type & my mother being the type that would seem to say things when drunk that she knew were sure to set him off. No one was ever violent towards me though. So I really don't think I should be this messed up.

I hate this. My intentions were to try to say something that might make you feel better or at least heard, but I feel like I just rambled on about myself. I hope something I said was meaningful out of it all.  

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I have suffered relapses back into depression, theolorgreen,

It is both scary and extremely demoralizing.  I was helped a lot by reading self-help books by cognitive therapists but I think the key for me to emerging from relapses has been medication.

I hope you gets lots of responses from members here, sharing what helps them.  So very, very sorry you are suffering again ! ! !

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Welcome! Sorry you are struggling. My depression use to come in waves but the last seven years it has stayed around. I faced a traumatic event when I was young that caused me to feel not good enough and from that I developed perfectionism to cope. I still struggle with that today. So I relate to you in a way. I feel for you in that your way of coping also causes financial stress. Glad you found us. We will support you as best we can. 
 

BW

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Hi @thecolorgreen and welcome.  My story is similar to yours,  I've had relapses into depression at key points in my life each one unspeakably brutal.  I've had cbt and therapy and currently starting new meds.  My destructive habit is not shopping but isolating when ill. find .  It's so hard to find the words at the moment,  but wish you kindeness.  thanks for sharing something so difficult

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Hello and welcome @thecolorgreen to our and now your friendly online support community. 

I'm sorry you're going through another episode of depression and that relationships with others that could be supportive aren't.

I think crafting a narrative of one's struggles with depression is among the more useful things we can do with what we've been handed. To me, yours seems self-reflecting, sincere, in touch with your emotions - these qualities you possess will be very useful in navigating back towards recovery. And you seem genuinely ready to work towards that. So even if you dont write another post here, well done. 

@shyfelyne, disclosing our own struggles so that another will get the "okay it's not just me" feeling is a form of kindness, it's compassionate. Thank you for sharing your struggles because I need to be constantly  reminded how depression "doesn't care" whether I think I have reason to be depressed, it just is. I was emotionally neglected as a child. I had no idea what that meant. It took a long time to acknowledge and even longer to see why it's made it hard for me.to understand or even recognize my own needs. 

Maybe we can learn from each other's narratives, I don't know. If not then at least we can take a small measure of comfort in knowing there are others who get it. 

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