An introduction from a newbie

Hi, my name is Jack. I've suffered anxiety/depression since I was a teenager. It has had quite an impact on my life over the years and I have been hospitalised on psychiatric wards on quite a few occasions. Thankfully I do have periods of remission. I've been enjoying such a period now since around February. I joined the anxiety forum a couple of months ago, at the time my anxiety was very severe and it was making me miserable. I'm not a young man anymore, I'm 45. I've joined this group because I hope to learn how to make good use of it, to keep me on an upward trajectory. I also feel that in the 30 years that I've been dealing with my depressive illness I have perhaps gained some experience that may be of help to those who are perhaps feeling some of the effects of depression for the first time.

I have found tremendous benefit as a member of the anxiety forum, so with a little trepidation I've decided to join this forum too.

I wouldn't say that I'm depressed at the moment, but I am very concerned about the future. I feel like I'm fighting against the clock to sort my life out before I really get old. I don't know if that makes much sense.

I hope to learn as much as I can from this forum and maybe offer some advice or empathy from my own experiences along the way.

Thanks

Jack.

16 Replies

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  • try to live in today and not worry about the future which is not here yet. the future will be shaped out by living well today. obviously to a certain extent we have to make plans. and sometimes it takes time to learn what is really good for us. love grace xoxoxo

  • Thank you Grace. Wise and considered words. I believe that you are right, I know that I need to practice mindfulness and learn to live in the moment. I always appreciate your opinion and hold it in high regard.

    Thanks again.

  • hi jackmcG anxiety and depression is awful thing to have. I know what you're going through . It comes in waves you just have to keep fighting it .take care .julie ☺ x

  • Thank you Julie. I'm sorry to hear that you suffer anxiety and depression too. I absolutely agree with you, I too have found it comes in waves. I appreciate your kind words and support.

    Take care too

    Jack

  • Hi Jack, welcome to the community. I look forward to hearing about your adventures and hopeful extended remission.

    Lori

  • Thank you so much Lori. I'm looking forward to being a part of this community. I really believe forums like this are of great benefit to some of us who suffer with depression and anxiety.

  • Hi Jack

    Welcome to the site.

    I think that these sites are a god send and have helped so many people.

    I read what you wrote in your introduction and I was very impressed and I thought it's a great thing that your going to support others if you can through your personal experiences.

    I am also on the

  • Sorry finger slipped on I pad.

    PTSD and fibro sites, they help so many of us.

    It is great if you can help others a and makes you feel that your doing something useful.

    Look forward to reading your posts.

    Take care and best wishes.

  • Thanks fibropop. I actually didn't know there was a PTSD forum too! I receive counselling for PTSD, so I'd be very interested in that forum. I don't know if I could share very much though. Thank you very much for your encouraging words.

  • Hi

    I'm sure you can.

    Just chatting can help someone know that they're not alone.

    Take care and best wishes.

  • Hi jack welcome to this group i hope you get what your looking for people on these groups are very helpful ! I found i got a lot out of these groups as im not sure i would be as knowledgeable about my depression and anxiety with out them ! I noticed youve had anxiety for 30+ years thats a long time what type of treatment have you had over the years and now ! Please feel free to let me know if i can help. Take care of yourself. David

  • Thank you David. I have had psycho therapy and CBT and I have been on so many different medication regimes over the years. I've spent a lot of my life in Australia and I've found that in many ways their approach to treatment is different. I have been given various different diagnoses over the years in the UK and in Australia. I've had just about every treatment other than electro convulsive therapy. I've been offered it but I've refused it. In many ways over the years I've not done myself any favours and have probably compounded my problems in the various ways I've tried to cope or escape the depression and anxiety.

    Thanks for being so welcoming David and for your encouraging words.

  • Hi JackMcG, I am also fairly new to this forum. I was introduced to Heal My PTSD forum after reading Michelle Rosenthal's book of the same name- and I am constantly amazed how supportive and kind everyone is and how much it has helped me on my journey. Part of it is just knowing you are not alone in your struggle with depression and anxiety, for I find most of us feel isolated to some degree because of our internal struggles.

    I wanted to offer you my empathy and just to know that I understand what you mean about thinking life is ticking on and time is just flying by. Although I am only 30, I have reached a crucial stage in my life where I realize that I have no career, no family, no friends and no life really to speak of... The past 10 years or more I have spent quite literally running away from my past. I have even skipped countries to get away from it, and yet it still haunts me right here right now. Depression is a horrible thing and I really do feel for each and every person who suffers from this invisible disease.

    That being said, there is a delicate balance I feel between acknowledging your condition, and also trying to get on with your life. I have by no means reached this middle ground, I am just offering it as a working hypothesis if you will. I know there are some days I am 100% focussed on my healing and recovery- I am also in therapy, EMDR, medication etc- but seem to go nowhere with it, other days when I distract myself and do things that are more enjoyable (even small things, like going for a walk in the rain- yes I am eccentric) I find that my mood is more elevated.

    What I am trying to say is that acknowledging we have this illness and this shadow is one thing, learning to live with it while still pursuing our happiness and life's purpose is another.

    I don't think it ever really goes away, so there will never be this "aha I'm cured!' moment where I feel better and can finally get on with my life. I just have to keep on struggling forward taking baby steps towards my goals, even if its small like get my drivers licence, posting on this forum, going to the gym, smiling at a stranger on the elevator. I hope to find deeper meaning in all of this some day.

    Anyhow I just wanted to reach out and let you know you're not alone, and when we all put our heads together we come up with better solutions so it's good to share your opinion and your story :) Best wishes!

  • Thank you so much littletraveller. Your response really resonated with me. I've been flitting between, the U.K., and different parts of Australia for a very long time.

    The incidents that have caused my PTSD took place in the early nineteen nineties and sadly were repeated and compounded in 2004.

    What you've described is almost exactly how I've been living my life since the end of 2005 when I left hospital. I have made things more complicated because I was driven to self medication. Throughout the nineties I was able to outrun most of the symptoms of PTSD, or at least I thought I was able to. In fact I was just lost and crazily blazing a trail further and further from any semblance of a normal life.

    In 2001 everything came crashing down. I became anorexic not because I wanted to lose weight but simply because my nervous system was completely shattered. I left my partner and child and went to Australia to get well again.

    It's a long story. I've been on the run for far too long. My physical health hasn't been very good recently. Once again things are coming to a head. The difference is that this time I have learned from hard experience. I'm determined to head off each issue as it presents itself. Easier said than done. There are responses that are hard wired into my central nervous system now. They've become like a reflex, so difficult to control.

    I just don't have it in me to run like I used to, and I'm not ready to check out just yet, so the only option seems to be to face my demons. It's difficult. I'm sorry it may have taken time for me to respond. There are days when I can't even face going online.

    Your empathy meant so much to me, and your honesty. Thank you little traveller. I know this may have been the incorrect forum for this response, but I really wanted to answer your kind comment.

    Thanks once again

    Jack.

  • No problem Jack, thanks for your response as well. It's very true what you say about trying to outrun PTSD, that is exactly what I had been doing subconsciously for years. You show tremendous insight into your condition though which I believe will help a lot in your healing progress. When you talk of your reactions being hardwired into your central nervous system, that's quite amazing you recognize that.

    I am told by my psychiatrist that my reptilian brain is misfiring. My fight/flight mechanism has been so overstimulated that now it's just permanently switched on. So I am constantly reacting to things in a primal survival mode even when it's completely unnecessary.

    Part of healing is telling yourself you are safe. Safety is a necessary platform from which you can raise yourself up to fight your demons as you say.

    The worst part of fighting your demons is knowing what part of them is you, and what part of them is foreign. Kind of like cancer cells. You have to go on a deep covert mission to figure out where the enemy lies. (I am trying to make this sound like an adventure, because my inner child responds well to this motivation). Weeding out your old reactions from your true self, and figuring out what is your new normal.

    I love inspirational quotes, personally. The old Indian saying comes to mind about the two wolves fighting within you, evil and good. Which one will win? The one you feed, of course.

    I wish you all the best on your journey :) Take care.

  • Thank you. I can see there is hard won wisdom in your words. I appreciate the encouragement.

    Keep feeding that good wolf little traveller. I wish you a safe and calm road ahead as your journey of adventure continues.

    Best wishes

    Jack

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