Advice greatly appreciated - Depression and Anxiety leading to despair

Oh flips,

I new to this sort of thing but I am currently at a bit of a loose end. I don't know how to word everything..

I have suffered from depression since I can remember, I didn't have a very happy childhood...

I didn't realise that I had depression however until a year ago when I attempted to commit suicide, it was after that, that I learnt my behaviour wasn't 'normal' and I have been able to understand myself more.

However I thought that understanding would make things easier but I feel like I am spiralling out of control. I battled through my 3rd year at college to secure my place at university, once I was at uni I thought that everything would be ok.

But if anything I have found myself spiral down the dark pit again, I am just so frustrated at the moment. I think what has driven to me reaching out on this website is that I have suffered numerous emotional breakdowns this term but a few hours ago I had a really bad one and I felt so lost and alone and frustrated, scared you name it.

My anxiety has come back with a bang too, I feel unable to leave my halls of residence alone which is preventing me from attending my lectures etc and I am falling behind which is making me more stressed.

The doctor here said that I need more help than just the anti-depressants as they will not help me alone. I went to tell him they are not helping my anxiety so he just upped the dose. I feel that even the doctor can't help me. If anything my anxiety has been much worse. I can't go back to the doctors as I am too anxious to leave my house. I have also started to have panic attacks. I get periods where I feel giddy and ready to face everything but then the next day I can be back to sqaure one... I just don't understand.

I just want answers concerning my mental health but people just don't really know what is wrong with me. I have gotten so used to burying my problems that I don't even really know the root of my depression fully any more and find counselling awkward, my counsellor recently asked me if she was doing anything wrong...

I am hurting those that love me. I just don;t know what to do any more. Life is getting harder and I am getting more frustrated.

I am sorry for such a long paragraph but any help at all would be appreciated.

Thankyou!

4 Replies

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  • I too have depression and anxiety (GAD) which has been going on for 4 years now and I totally feel like you. I currently have cbt therapy and self esteem therapy as well as 45 mg Mirtazapine which is helping. Maybe you should ask your GP for some kind of Therapy and maybe take a copy of this post to show them. Hope this helps.

  • RhiBeh...Hi There... You may have to summon every ounce of courage that you have to begin a move from the emotionial turmoil you find yourself in. It's far easier, I know, to stay in the perceived relative safety of your room but it will achieve nothing. Time perhaps to face the problem head on...re-visit the GP whom you saw and fully explain what you have said in your post here. Print it out, if necessary and let him read it. It may be that a break from studies could be in order at this point? It may be that a new counsellor or support system needs to be put in place for you? It may be new medication might be indicated? You won't find out or be able to move forward unless you summon up the inner strength you have to help or begin dealing with this. It will be uncomfortable to take that first step. Take it anyway! The symptoms of anxiety are awful when it is the winning emotion...BUT the symptoms of anxiety and panic won't physically harm you and they will get easier as you allow them to pass. Please think about all you have achieved to get to UNI and know that things can get better. Summon up that courage and make an action plan which you can cope with to take the first steps to getting well again. Be patient with the journey and keep posting here to talk about your progress. We are all on similar hard journeys and learning how to cope with issues which seem to have taken over our lives, but we are all heading forward together my friend. Start a journal for yourself to begin addressing some of that inner turmoil...it's only unaddressed hurts and fears which are overwhelming you and soon, with all the right support, you can begin sorting out the turmoil. Don't let it all get the better of you! Good luck. I am thinking of you today.

    PD7979xxxxx

  • First, you are not hurting the people that love you. What is hurting them is the pain you are in - through the anxiety and the related depression. They want to see you happy. They want to take the pain away and are fighting themselves over the fact that they can't take the pain away. I know it sounds really 'arse about tit' but it is their internal fight coming to terms with the fact that they can't make you happy that is making them unhappy and at that level it is their problem not yours. You can't do anything about it any more than they can take away your pain.

    The anxiety and panic attacks are a vicious circle. It's not easy to get out of it but you can if you keep reminding yourself that what is going on is your brain trying to tell you that you are stressed and you need to take some time out for yourself. However, the bits of the brain that deal with fear go back to when we were living in caves and the danger was a grizzly bear or sabre-tooth tiger and the brain needed to send us the worse thing it could picture to get us to move out of danger. Modern life is very difficult and stress is usually our biggest danger and then the strategy of sending you the worse picture imaginable (which is very very different from reality) back-fires big-time because you feel more stressed and it's just a horrible vicious circle - so you have now progressed from anxiety to panic. However as one of the other replies says, these are thoughts rather than reality and the way out is to remind yourself of that and then try to focus on the reality. I know it's easy to say and not so easy to do ... but reality is that you can do it, and it probably won't be as hard as your thoughts are telling you it will be.

    Remind yourself of what you have achieved in the past rather than focusing on failures. You will have had failures in the past and you managed to get over them. Yes there will be failures in the future but you can also get past those.

    I really hope this doesn't sound like I'm telling you to pull yourself together and get a grip because that is so NOT what this is about. The doubts and the fears aren't the problem - it's the pattern of reacting to them - the fighting them - and telling yourself to get it together that is - just recognise them as what they are - warnings rather than reality and be gentle with yourself. Understand that you are scared and that everyone is scared at times - but that doesn't mean you should avoid the things that scare you - in fact if we are talking about stress exactly the opposite is probably nearer the truth. We need to learn to roll with the punches rather than try and stand up and just take them on the chin. Listen to the warning but don't get caught up in the 'words' of the warning. Take breaks and do things in little bits. Be honest when you are finding things difficult and don't be scared to ask people for help or let them know you are struggling. Ask people to help you get out of the halls but may be allow you to find your own way back - or to navigate some of the journey on your own so you can get your confidence back.

    You may find that some counselling and CBT help - NHS waiting times can be a bit horrendous so might be worth finding out what student services have to offer.

    You might also find some mindfulness meditation helpful in giving you some of the skills that help with being able to separate yourself from your thoughts and your thoughts from reality - see if there is a Buddhist meditation group at the University - Yoga is another possibility.

    Exercise is also good.

    Building routines can also be good - so you can go onto autopilot rather than having to worry about everything all the time and getting overloaded.

    You might find working through the following book - which comes with some meditation CDs helpful - it's based on a course in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) - Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world - Mark Williams and Danny Penman

  • Believe it or not, it is quiet normal for someone like you to feel the way you do, for what you have been through. You need to find a counsellor that works on the inner child. It is a specialist area. Half of the problem is finding out what is wrong.

    Secondly, your gp is there to help you. if your not happy with him change, it you find someone that clicks with you.

    Your body mind , is telling you in no uncertain terms it isnt happy, or well. You have a mental illness. How your feeling is your minds way of saying, you need to make an appointment asap. how your feeling is saying YOU NEED HELP Now.! either your drugs are not strong enough or you need to change them.

    Maybe you are putting too much preasure on yourself ie uni. Your ill, so taking care of yourself is your main priority right now. Take some time out. Taking therapy is the best way forward for you. if you dont get it done you will keep having breakdowns till you do.

    The pain from within, needs to be expressed and felt. Being with a counsellor will help you do that in a safe environment, with empathy and understanding, without judgement, confidentially.

    Take a few years off and concentrate in getting well. with people who love you and can be there for you.

    kind regards

    Linda

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