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Depression as a life sentence


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I've been struggling with depression for almost as long as I can remember. I started therapy again in September last year since I felt I couldn't handle it without help anymore. For a while now my therapist has been trying to get me to accept that my depression will be with me for the rest of my life. Yesterday, it finally clicked. She is right, I've been vulnerable to depression my entire life, and it's not going to go away. There will be moments when it's manageable, and there will be moments when it's not. I should learn to live with it and find more and better ways to cope instead of trying to aim for a "cure".

While I'm sure she sees this as a major breakthrough for me, I feel as if I've been given a life sentence and this realization has just completely broken me. I feel like the last tiny bit of hope I had left is now gone, and I've been fighting an invincible enemy all these years. I could never have won this. I could handle it, all the falling and getting up again and again and again as long as I knew what I was fighting for, something at the end of all this, something better. I was fighting to get through this, because the life 'on the other end' was a life worth living, and I wanted it so much to be mine.

I can't realistically keep doing this my entire life. Major episodes occur more often as I get older and they're always worse than the last one. I feel utterly defeated and exhausted.

 

 

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Hi justannabelle,

 

Thank you for posting, and welcome. I can assure you that you are not alone in this realization.

 

Please be gentle with yourself. You've done a lot of work to get to this point, possibly far more than you give yourself credit for. I understand that it can be overwhelming to fight your way through episode after episode just to see that there may not be a "final" episode. I literally feel pain for you.

 

But take a breath. You have been victorious. I would say you've been nothing but victorious, since you are still seeing a therapist and seeking help by other means. Sober4life is right too: what kind of therapist says that to you without also providing you the means by which to cope with it? There are much better ones out there.

 

Tym

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Welcome new friend to our forum family.

I can definitely understand your predicament.

My experience reveals depression to be a natural formation / RESOURCE.

I like to invoke a metaphorical cave to describe my depression.

It is always there but I must metaphorically anchor myself outside the deep, dark, dangerous abyss.

Maybe this insight can help a little.

Oscar

 

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Hi justannabelle,

I also want to welcome you to these Forums.  It is very nice to meet you.  I don't really have anything better to offer than what has already been offered to you by the others here and I hope even more members will respond to what you wrote.  Have you ever consulted with a licensed physician since depression can sometimes involve a biological dimension which "talk therapy" alone cannot remedy?  While I cannot speak for others, I myself was helped much more by medical treatment than by psychotherapy.  In any case . . . I do hope these Forums will prove helpful to you.  Depression can be such a brutal illness. 

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Thank you very much for the replies and for the welcome. It's nice to have a place to talk about these things openly. I appreciate you taking the time to read my story and respond. The last couple of days were really rough, still struggling today but at least I'm feeling somewhat calmer.

In response to Epictetus, I am on medication as well (escitalopram and trazodone) which used to really help me, though lately I've been feeling the effects less and less. I will speak to my doctor about this. Thank you everyone.

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That's how it seems to work a lot of the time with depression.  Something helps for a while and then it doesn't work anymore.  If something helped before something will help again.  You just have to find that thing out there that does help.

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Welcome!  I, too, have chronic low-grade depression with depressive episodes.  Accepting this was sort of a 'bummer', but it does feel freeing to consider a depressive episode as a setback instead of a total failure.  I am currently struggling more than usual.  What has worked for me long-term is to find a physician and a counselor who have gotten to know me and help me stay on track.  It took some searching, but has been well worth it.  This forum has helped a lot with the daily struggle when things get tough.  

Good luck and let us help if/when we can.

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Long-term depression with recurring episodes feels, to me, like a series of boxing matches between rivals. The first one had the most power in the punches, the second was the most hyped, and every one after that is just recycled familiar territory. As we get older, we even start to realize we know each other's moves. Thinking about it like this helps me keep the perspective that "he" isn't showing me anything he hasn't already.

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Hi!

I've been seeing a great therapist (since Covid-19 we've been doing phone appointments) who recently said the same thing to me.  He posed it as a question, of course.  Something like, "Would it be so bad if you just accepted this as part of who you are?"  I gave it a great deal of thought, and though that thought doesn't help when I'm particularly anxious or weepy, in the scheme of things, it makes sense. For me.  I've been depressed since early childhood, and my hoping to get over the next hill like a jolly rancher (!) is putting to much pressure on myself for results.  And I'm a result-oriented person.  Process is therefore painful for me, but as I age, I see that life has always been a process and my wanting everything resolved according to my expectation has added to the difficulty I have in this life.  This world.  This . . . whatever.

Anyway, nice to meet you.

WOTL

 

 

 

Edited by womanofthelight
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Quick update. I went to see my doctor again about this. I explained how I was feeling and that the meds didn't seem to work anymore. She asked a bunch of questions and ended up calling some sort of mental health crisis center. Two psychologists will be coming to my house tomorrow to talk, and they should be able to get me an appointment with a psychiatrist soon. I have no idea what to expect and my anxiety is through the roof right now, but I do trust my doctor's judgement. We'll see what happens.

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On 6/11/2020 at 10:59 AM, justannabelle said:

I've been struggling with depression for almost as long as I can remember. I started therapy again in September last year since I felt I couldn't handle it without help anymore. For a while now my therapist has been trying to get me to accept that my depression will be with me for the rest of my life. Yesterday, it finally clicked. She is right, I've been vulnerable to depression my entire life, and it's not going to go away. There will be moments when it's manageable, and there will be moments when it's not. I should learn to live with it and find more and better ways to cope instead of trying to aim for a "cure".

While I'm sure she sees this as a major breakthrough for me, I feel as if I've been given a life sentence and this realization has just completely broken me. I feel like the last tiny bit of hope I had left is now gone, and I've been fighting an invincible enemy all these years. I could never have won this. I could handle it, all the falling and getting up again and again and again as long as I knew what I was fighting for, something at the end of all this, something better. I was fighting to get through this, because the life 'on the other end' was a life worth living, and I wanted it so much to be mine.

I can't realistically keep doing this my entire life. Major episodes occur more often as I get older and they're always worse than the last one. I feel utterly defeated and exhausted.

 

 

Your therapist is half right. You naturally will struggle with depression all your life, but that is If you choose to accept it, and leave things the way they are. What you therapist didnt tell you is that, depression can be overcome. You just need to address what is making you depressed and deal the issues. You will always have problems and you need to equip your mind to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. There are also various ways you can change the depressive mood, such as a hobby, or music, or praying, or meditation, etc. 

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