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Depression is getting the best of me. Help... Please.

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Depression is getting the best of me. Help... Please.

Postby ladybug78 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:45 am

I just don't know what to do right now. All I do is stress myself out over everything. I'm 18, taking a victory lap at school (because my parents would make me get a 2nd job if I didn't go back to school), and I have skipped a lot of class within the past 2 months of it. I've had a job for almost a year, working part-time, but my depression has gotten so bad that I can't bear to be at work let alone do pretty much anything. I am currently on a month-long leave, which is nearing its end. I should technically be returning by the beginning of November. And I am scared because I don't know if I will be better or not. Probably not. My manager, I can tell, is already not impressed with me, rightfully so. I feel horrible taking a month's leave. I feel lonely because I know she doesn't understand. Do I quit? Do I ask for short shifts?
I am currently on 10mg a day Cipralex (antidepressants). So far they have done nothing but worsen my condition. I will point out that it helped my panic attacks, but it has not helped my depression. I know that they are supposed to worsen your condition before they get better. I have roughly 12 left to take.. When will they kick in? What happens if they don't?
I have already dropped a class at school, so I am an "exception" so to speak, only taking 2 classes a day with 2 spares. It still stresses me out beyond belief. What should be simple, 10-minute homework seems like an insurmountable task.
I feel the only one that puts a sincere amount of effort into understanding me and trying to help me is my boyfriend. My best friend is there for me but I don't think she understands; my father, who is depressed himself, wouldn't even believe me if I told him I'm depressed; and my mom, who tries to understand.. I think she's partially in denial. That, or she is undereducated.
I have had one appointment with a councellor who has recommended that I see a psychiatrist. But what if I can't find one? Or if it doesn't help?
I feel sad. Empty. Lost. Stupid and annoying. Even posting on this forum, I feel like I am a nuisance to everyone around me. I feel guilty as all hell BECAUSE of the way I feel, since I am very lucky to live where I do, to have enough food to eat, etc.. I'm grateful but it is so hard to be happy. I feel guilty. I used to cry all the time. Now I'm on Cipralex and WANT to cry a lot of the time and just CAN'T. I'm tired. I'm so, so tired.
I rarely have thoughts of suicide- very rarely.. I more so wish that I didn't exist at all.
More guilt comes from that since I know I have many people that love me.
And I'm sure some of you can relate to this - you know, when people tell you to snap out of it and get your life together. IT'S NOT THAT EASY!
I have no motivation to do anything. Nearly everyone I know has gotten their G2 and I haven't gotten my beginners. No idea what I want to do with my life. I also suffer from migraines, and I make myself sick with worry. I feel like I am constantly going in a circle. All I want to do is lay in bed all day because I can't bring myself to do anything productive.
Thanks for any help. Means a lot to me.
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Re: Depression is getting the best of me. Help... Please.

Postby Schiff » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:21 am

I'm afraid I can't offer much other than than solidarity. I know exactly how you feel. I'm basically in the same situation myself right now. I could have written the exact same post, save a few details.

Go see the psychiatrist. Meds have helped an incredible amount. It will take a long time, some experimentation, and potentially some hard and scary times, but things will get better eventually. Remember that you are not facing the same things as everyone else. You have a legitimate and difficult medical issue.

Feel free to pm me if you want to talk.

Stay strong,
Schiff
Current meds: Lamictal (Lamotrigine) 200mg 2x daily; Seroquel XR (Quetiapine) 150mg/daily

Past meds: Prozac 10mg/daily; other SSRIs that I can't remember now.
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Re: Depression is getting the best of me. Help... Please.

Postby Hope spammer1 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:41 am

Hi there I know this is a really tough time for you. It doesn't sound like your parents are being very supporting which is what people like us need more than anything. When we're overwhelmed by stress even the most easiest task become a challenge. Like for me choosing what to eat would take me forever. What you should do is focus on your happy memories to relieve your stressful mind like your boyfriend or things you have accomplished so far. Think about what fuels your negative emotions. Fear of failure, low self esteem etc. and do something to lessen the problem. Even if you can't control the outside world you can still control your mind. Learn to talk to your self and reassure yourself everything is going to be okay. You don't have to try so hard all the time this will only drain you of your energy and focus. Realize that your best is good enough. If you manage to learn how to relax your abilities will improve. This will also allow the medicine to work faster and better. All of this will only work if you believe in it and yourself. You can beat this with time I'm living proof
Don"t give up like others have. Go find your happiness.
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Re: Depression is getting the best of me. Help... Please.

Postby Josef » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:32 am

Hi ladybug78 :)

I'm sure you've heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine. I think that's because it stops negative thoughts dead in their tracks. It's like pushing the reset button. So with that in mind, let me just start by saying you are not a nuisance! So stop saying that because it's starting to get annoying... :P

Seriously though, depression is like a habit, or more accurately, a skill; much like playing an instrument. The more you do it the better you get. You seem to have the basics down pretty well: Always focus on the negative, and then explore every possible consequence thereof. The problem is that if you keep practicing all day every day, you're going to end up being a virtuoso, a depressing a thought in itself.

Having just had a refresher course of my own not too long ago, I can share with you some of the things I learned. The two main ingredients of depression are sadness and powerlessness. It's pretty hard to avoid sadness. Let's face it, 'stuff' happens. Powerlessness on the other hand, is something only children are supposed to feel, right? And their way of dealing with it... is to cry. Now if you were still a child you could cry all the time, but as an adult, you know that's not an option. Your brain cells however, don't recognize the concept of adulthood. All they know is they're sad, so while you're busy going about your daily business, or trying to anyway... they're doing this... Image

We are all constantly being bombarded with bad news. It's like being in a rainstorm. If you don't have some sort of a coping mechanism, an 'umbrella' so to speak, you're going to get soaked. One of the things I do is to run everything through a filter that looks for any possible way to extract some humour. It lessens the initial shock and makes bad news easier to digest. What you're doing however, is exactly the opposite. You're looking for bad things and then amplifying them. The result is much like what happens when you put a microphone too close to a speaker. You get feedback that sustains itself. I'm guessing you picked that habit up from somewhere, so to tell you to just quit doing it would be a bit like asking an alcoholic who lives in a pub where they give out free booze to just quit drinking.

What makes mental wounds so hard to deal with is the fact that you can't put your mind in a cast. It's not like a sprained ankle where you can take the weight off it until it gets better. On top of that, nobody sees your injury, so they give you funny looks and make comments that make it even worse. That said, it is possible to break the cycle.

The first thing you need to do is to identify the things that are contributing to the problem, and then do your best to quarantine them. Getting rid of the things that trigger negative thoughts isn't always possible, but the more you can do that, the quicker you can recover.

The next step is to break the habit of negative thinking. Try to get into the habit of taking a step back and asking yourself: 'What am I thinking? Why am I thinking this? Will dwelling on it solve the problem, or will it make it worse?'
If there are issues that are constantly coming up, try to separate them into categories:

things impossible to ever control ---> ignore them
things you will eventually control ---> it'll sort itself out, so don't worry about it
things you do control now ---> you can make changes if you want
things you could eventually control (with time, practice, education, etc.) ---> try to chart a course to get there

Then, switch your thoughts to something positive. For instance, ask yourself what would make you happy, be fun to do, and could earn you a living at the same time. Those are the things you can slowly work towards. Imagine your future as a painting. Quit stressing out that it's not done and start drawing! Don't let what might happen tomorrow ruin today, especially when it might not happen at all! Happiness is not some far away place. It's how you feel when you are free to
choose your thoughts.

Finally, there are always going to be things that are beyond your control. How you choose to make sense of it all is up to you, but one thing is for sure: hope is essential. You can't live without it.

And now...

Image

Image
Self esteem is all about being secure in your nuttiness... isn't it? Someone please agree with me...
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Re: Depression is getting the best of me. Help... Please.

Postby Josef » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:12 pm

continued...

Up until now I've assumed that most of the bad news in your life has been coming from CNN, and that you're not normally being inundated with negative thoughts coming from the inside. In other words, everything I've said up to this point has been completely and utterly useless to you! Image
Well, maybe not everything...

It does seem, however, that relativity applies equally well to psychology, and that unless we both share the same frame of reference, even the meaning of the word 'normal' can easily get twisted into a pretzel. So let's take a step back and examine what exactly 'normal' means in the context of psychology, since from what I've observed, people tend to build their lives in such a way as to reinforce what they believe to be a 'normal state of mind'.

For our purposes, a 'normal state of mind' is that which best represents the average range of emotions you experienced during the first few years of your life. You can think of it as a combination of feelings (a chemical balance if you like), that make up the center point on a scale, a measuring instrument that's unique to you. It's like having a ruler imprinted on you, and since, as a child, you have nothing else to compare it to, there's no way to tell if it's skewed or not. That then becomes your personal definition of 'normal' and it gets filed in a hidden folder called 'truth'. As you may have guessed, what gets stored in the 'truth' folder isn't necessarily true. It's simply that which your subconscious mind believes to be true, whether factual or not, and it's going to be used to build every aspect of your life, including your self esteem.

As an infant, chances are you didn't criticize your parents for being less than perfect role models. Instead, you probably jumped to the silly conclusion that they were perfect, and just happily took it all in. At some point however, you stopped soaking things up like a sponge and became more discerning. The problem is that by that time, you had already filed a lot of things in your 'truth' folder that didn't belong there, and were well on your way to building a 'normal' life. Image

Earlier, when I said you weren't a nuisance, your world didn't suddenly change, did it? I mean, the clouds didn't part bathing you in beams of sunshine, right? That's probably because you're much more careful about who gets access to your 'truth' folder now. Only the most trusted people are allowed in; people like your parents, close friends, and of course... you. So why can't you just erase all the bad stuff? Well, to borrow your own words: it's not that simple! For one thing, memories, even those based on false assumptions, are very hard to erase. But there's also another problem, and it has to do with the way things are interconnected, and the fact that most living things don't like the idea of cutting off their own limbs!

Image

Image

The solution... is time, and the realization that you can't just assume that your parents' relationship is going to be the blueprint for your own future. Remember that we are all dynamic individuals, meaning that we all react and change according to the people, the circumstances, and the world around us. In other words, give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and while you're at it, add something new to your 'truth' folder; something along the lines of: 'Yes, it could be that way... but it doesn't have to.'

Lastly, no theory of relativity would be complete without carrying it to the extreme. So what happens when your idea of 'normal' is so out of whack that you can't recreate it using external means? In that context, schizophrenia could actually be your mind trying to repair itself! After all, creating hallucinations is much safer and less embarrassing than saying: "Hi! Can we be friends? I need someone to abuse, insult, and occasionally terrorize me..."
Self esteem is all about being secure in your nuttiness... isn't it? Someone please agree with me...
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