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xora

No More Options - At The End

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Hi, I'm hoping I can get some advice on where I can go from here. I've lived with depression for my entire life. In my early twenties I was diagnosed with major depression, social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder. I tried medication, different variations over the years, before deciding to come off them as I didn't see any change other than negative side effects. I tried CBT through group therapy and didn't think that was very helpful either. I've tried one-on-one counceling with both a psychologist and psychiatrist for over 7 years (since maybe 2005) at the same clinic. Did it help? I'm not sure. I have changed during that time but I don't think it was because of the counceling. The sessions were irregular with large gaps inbetween appointments, sometimes going as far as 6 months. Yes, there were times when I did have regular appointments every week for a period of maybe a month or two, but during the course of seven years those regular periods were scarce. Also, I mostly saw the psychologist for therapy sessions while the psychiatrist would pop in whenever I needed medication.

In January I was informed that I would no longer be seeing the psychologist as she decided not to see patients covered under the governement health plan (my guess is that this is due to the sudden cut backs to health care in the province) and that she will only be seeing patients that are covered under insurance or pay out of pocket. So, that left me with seeing the psychiatrist for therapy sessions. However, I'm finding these aren't very helpful either. While he is encouraging and means well, I still often feel like I'm being patronized or that he just doesn't understand enough to help.

My depression and anxiety has impacted all areas of my life. I feel incapable of having normal relationships with people, whether it be friendships, professional relationships or romantic ones. I've tried and as I get older I feel even more disconnected from others. I feel behind on everything.

Work? The majority of employment opporutnities require social interaction. After awhile I feel co-workers get the wrong impression of me, that I'm "stuck up' because I can't build connections with anyone else. When I was younger I was even fired from a regular retail job because I didn't "smile enough".

School? That's been an ongoing dilemma since my early twenties. Two years ago I was able to get a grant that covered tuition for a college program that was up to two years in length. So instead of going back to university I decided to attend a local college in the same field of study. During the last year I experienced severe stress, anxiety and depression and wounded up dropping a couple courses. I had planned to take them in the summer but I feel even worse than I did during the school year. I registered for one a few months ago and attended the first class, but decided to drop it last week.

Relationships? Hah! Hahaha! These don't exist for me. Whether it be friends, professional or romantic. I think this is probably my biggest problem of all since it ties in with everything else. My fear of being judged. I'm 31 years old. There aren't regular people my age who can identify with me. Most are employed with steady income, married, even singles are independent, confident, know who they are. I don't feel like I can open up to anyone because I feel so far behind at my age. I don't want to be pitied. And yet closing myself from others is only hurting me in the end. I have a few aquaintances, people I'd like to think of as friends but afraid to call them that as I either don't know that much about them or don't spend enough time with them. Although some of them I've known for years. I've never had a romantic relationship and at this point don't believe I will in this life time. How can I given all the above?

Sometimes, I have good days and don't see myself so negatively. I'm certain when you look at me I seem like a regular girl. I've been told that quite a few times. But I don't feel like one. I don't even feel human. In fact, I don't see the point in going on with my life. I cry all the time. What's even worse is that there are people out there who deal with more pressing issues and find ways to live their life. With me I feel alone and there isn't really anything anyone can do to help. The only one who can change me is me. But I'm not sure where do I go from here. There is no one I feel comfortable talking to about this because no one out there will get it. I'll only be pitied.

Suicide? I really wish I could go through with this. It would be so easy, an end to the suffering. Complete and total nothingness. Silence. Afterall, if I can't forgive or make peace with myself I'll never move forward in life. And there isn't anyone I can lean on for support. But there is something frightening of the act itself. If it were an accident, something beyond my control, maybe I'd welcome the end. But most likely I know I'll be afraid because of that tiny glint of hope. Hope that maybe I can heal. But when? Another ten years? Twenty? When I'm old and grey and lived a meaningless life filled with no joy?

Is there hope for me? What do I do from here?

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You obviously want the things you talk about — a job you enjoy, friends, a relationship, joy. You haven’t given up on any of these ideas, and that is a very positive sign. If you want them, you can have them. And it won’t take you until you’re old.

It may take you longer than it seems to take other people, but that’s fine. Don’t let yourself get caught up in thinking, “I’m supposed to have X by this age.” Most of us do this to ourselves. It only helps us to make bad decisions.

You sound like you have every reason to have hope, and to keep working toward having the life you want. I think what might be helpful for you is finding another therapist. If you’ve spent years seeing this person and don’t feel any better, you’re seeing the wrong person.

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Nah, I've already tried to get a referral to another therapist. Unfortunately, if I don't have insurance through an employer or pay for sessions on my own, there isn't anyone else I can see. So I'm stuck with him.

Not really sure what makes me sound like I have a reason to have hope. Everything I wrote indicates the opposite to me. Appreciate you trying to be encouraging, though.

Edited by xora

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Of course there is hope xora. It is clear that you still have hope for the things that you have mentioned. Just keep fighting, and hang on to that hope because you will recover. It just takes some time, time to learn and accept things about yourself. At some point you will find peace and joy in life.

And also, something that always gives me hope is understanding that treatments for mentall illness will only get better. Heck, they might be able to cure depression completely in 10 years. You never know.

Best Wishes :)

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I appreciate the encouragement. Would also like some honesty: I have no money; I have problems maintaining employment because of anxiety and depression. Which feeds into feeling worthless. I have no friends; people often get the wrong impression of me because of my anxiety and depression. Lacking both of these things makes it impossible to function in the world. I'm in my early 30s. I have no support. Realistically, I can't see how this will get any better.

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Xora,

I feel empty most days myself and have to remind myself that with depression life is not always going to be easy. For me my depression keeps me from doing the things I should probably do and/or do things i want to do. Socially it makes me feel like a freak. Ironically i have a highly social job which makes me interact with many people day in and day out. I usually can tell when my depression is hitting me based on others noticing that I'm not acting right or they make the cheer up comments. Sometimes I feel like I'm wearing a mask for others just so they don't think I am depressed.

I would suggest trying small goals as a start. Set even the smallest thing to do which has helped me lead into other larger events. More importantly, don't give up on your small goals. If you feel overwhelmed then go back down to the smaller goals even if that's just to get up and do something for yourself. I had to do that today and I'm starting to feel a little better despite some stress from work, family issues, and life in general.

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Thanks, Ennovahs. I can relate with a lot of what you described. I have tried doing little things and built up over time. But it never really works out. It's like pushing a bolder up a steep hill; just as you get closer to the top you slip and have to start all over again. Sometimes I self sabotage when I get discouraged so that hinders any progress I make. My accomplishments seem worthless when I think of it on a wider scale because I feel I should be at a different level by now. I'm not sure how I can live with myself.

Edited by xora

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Xora, I can very much relate to what you are saying. I have struggled (and still struggle) with the same set of problems: depression, GAD and social anxiety.

Up to about age 34 I was crippled by social anxiety: people thought I was stuck up but I was just so anxious around people that I would freeze up. I would turn red and tremble. I worked with a good psychologist for a while, and also was on Xanax, and after also starting on Prozac somehow it gradually went away. Which was a miracle because I had suffered with social phobia ALL MY LIFE. It determined everything, what courses I took in university, my jobs, all my activities.

Don't give up! There is hope. One thing I found was that if I was involved in an activity, like if I joined a gym and was working out, then it gives you something to be doing and you can just talk to people in little 15 second snippets because everybody is busy, that helped.

I suggest you find a new therapist. You mentioned province, are you in Ontario Canada? (if you don't mind me asking) Because there are some no cost options there. that's where I live presently.

Also, a quote: "We probably wouldn't worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do". ~Olin Miller

Most people really are not paying much attention to us, they are much more concerned about what we think about them.

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Hi Ellemint. I've tried different medication over the years too but haven't had much success with them. So I decided to come off them. I understand what you mean about depression/anxiety controlling everything. Sometimes I feel like it's become me even though I know it's not true. I had a good year a few years ago when I believed I was on my way to recovery. Situationally things were looking better and then it seemed to have fell apart the following year. Or maybe it isn't as bad as it actually is, although it definitely seems horrible. If I keep going back and forth like a yo-yo like this I can't see how I'll ever recover and lead a normal life.

Yes, I'm in Ontario. I've tried getting another therapist. When I asked for a recommendation to a new clinic I was told things weren't the way it was some years ago and that it was now extremely difficult to find a therapist that saw patients under OHIP. I'd most likely need to be covered by insurance or pay out of pocket. What no cost options are you referring to?

I think I've heard that quote before. It's something I heard from a councillor once; that people are usually more concerned about their own lives rather than judging what others are doing. It's something that's hard to remember though when your struck with sudden fear in certain situations.

Edited by xora

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Hi Ellemint. I've tried different medication over the years too but haven't had much success with them. So I decided to come off them. I understand what you mean about depression/anxiety controlling everything. Sometimes I feel like it's become me even though I know it's not true. I had a good year a few years ago when I believed I was on my way to recovery. Situationally things were looking better and then it seemed to have fell apart the following year. Or maybe it isn't as bad as it actually is, although it definitely seems horrible. If I keep going back and forth like a yo-yo like this I can't see how I'll ever recover and lead a normal life.

Yes, I'm in Ontario. I've tried getting another therapist. When I asked for a recommendation to a new clinic I was told things weren't the way it was some years ago and that it was now extremely difficult to find a therapist that saw patients under OHIP. I'd most likely need to be covered by insurance or pay out of pocket. What no cost options are you referring to?

I think I've heard that quote before. It's something I heard from a councillor once; that people are usually more concerned about their own lives rather than judging what others are doing. It's something that's hard to remember though when your struck with sudden fear in certain situations.

There's this website:

http://www.mentalhealthhelpline.ca/

They have a 1-800 number you can phone to find out about mental health services in your area. For example, they told me about Halton Mental Health services in my area where you can get counselling for $5.00 a visit. http://www.halton.ca/cms/one.aspx?objectId=11930 and they also told me about some psychologists in my area who will bill on a sliding scale, in my case $35.

Also, if you contact your local Canadian Mental Health Association they can tell you about no or low-cost options in your area.

http://www.cmha.ca/

And there's the Ontario Mood Disorders organization, who offer some free support programs :

http://www.mooddisorders.ca/

I don't know where you are but in Oakville for example there's a peer-support group called Equilibrium, they also have one in Hamilton I believe. (I haven't gone to it though)

http://equilibrium-oakville.com/depression-bipolar-disorder/

I moved to the Halton area about 8 months ago, and was initially frustrated because I couldn't find any services. The waiting lists to see a psychiatrist were several months. I simply went to the Emergency Room and told them I was depressed and wanted help. They're not going to lock you up or anything unless you say you're going to hurt yourself. They linked me up with a free Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy Group which ran for 10 weeks, and also a therapist (social worker) that I see for free through Community Mental Health at the hospital.

I can certainly relate to things going up and then down like a yo-yo. Don't give up---I know it's tough. I seem to do well for a while, and then not so well. ... I have recurrent/chronic depression. But I just keep plugging along, because what's the alternative?

I hope some of those links can steer you to some treatment resources. take care!

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It's been about nine months since I made this thread. Nothing has really changed in terms of how I feel. As much as it scares me I'm seriously considering suicide.

My therapist would like to start me on meds again. Unfortunately, I can't afford insurance and it doesn't seem like I'll be covered under benefits in my place of employment any time soon. So that option is not available.

I honestly feel inhuman. I have no desire to live anymore. My entire life has been spent in an endless cycle that I just can't break free of. I'm not even sure if I have the capacity to feel happy anymore. I don't have anyone that I feel comfortable talking to about my depression - I feel no one would understand and I'll only be pitied.

Is there anything I can do or is this really it? I should either resign myself to a life feeling like this or end the suffering.

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Xora,

I can identify very closely with how you feel. You definitely will get better (I'd keep going to the professionals to help that tho).

While I don't have any great advice, some days I grasp on to whatever little thing i can think of or do to lighten things up a bit. Most days that's appreciating my dog, but there are tons of things you could do too.

Hope things feel better soon!

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All I can say is that I empathize with you, I used to think women didn't sink as low as men in depression and that they could somehow deal with it better, at least socially, but I'm glad to have my assumptions shown to be wrong. I feel a lot of the things you do, like the world is leaving me behind-- we should be in the prime of our lives. It's not so much our shame that we can't deal with the world, it's the world's shame that they can't deal with us. A lot of people feel this way and would rather **** themselves than intrude on the lives of others, but we should see it as some kind of imperative not to fall for that, otherwise nothing ever changes.

We have to break out of our own cycles, get away from how we interpret the world, let others wash over us so to speak if given the opportunity. I find some of my own thoughts can go to deep, dark and frankly petty places but thankfully I live with my family who has the ability to snap me out of it. I know if you live alone that can be a problem, in any case I hope you continue to try and hold on.

Edited by hystericalanduseless

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