Finally emerging from the pit of desp... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Finally emerging from the pit of despair.

Opossumish
Opossumish

Just joined and asked to introduce myself, so here goes. I have over four decades of dealing with severe Major Depressive Disorder under my belt. My biggest achievement is that I'm still here, living and breathing. What a struggle it's been! I greet my birthdays with the excitement of a 5 year old, because I never thought I'd live this long. A recent two year depressive crisis that left me barely functional launched me into the serious pursuit of recovery, which has become a literal part time job for me. Individual therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Ketamine Infusion Therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, lots of supportive friends, and a whole lot of hard work and I can finally imagine a future with me in it. I just signed up for an art class for the first time in years! I'm looking forward to talking to you folks and engaging in mutual support.

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Hurray! You just shared a great deal to teach that some of us have a chronic condition that will need maintenance. But you have been on this venue long enough to be of comfort to me when my service dog Scooter died. That meant a great deal to me. :)

Opossumish
Opossumish in reply to Hidden

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:)

That's so encouraging. Thank you for sharing that. Never give up hope

Yay for Art class!

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can you explain ketamine therapy

It's pretty miraculous: a small dose of an anesthetic agent given on an outpatient basis that is successful at getting people out of depressive/ suicidal crises in 72% of patients. The downsides are that it is extremely short- lived (average duration two weeks), very expensive, and not covered by insurance. The drug itself is dirt cheap, so the drug companies have no incentive to spend millions for FDA approval for depression treatment, so that's unlikely to change any time soon.

While it is done as an outpatient, you do need someone to drive you home.

Attached are some relevant articles. I can point you towards additional resources if you're interested, and am happy to discuss my experience with you.

bloomberg.com/graphics/2015...

ketamineadvocacynetwork.org/

bluetoad.com/publication/fr....

I'd love to hear more about your story. I'm 20 and really struggle thinking that I will be depressed and anxious till I die.

Recovery is such hard work but it is achievable. (Remind me of this when I post from the pit of despair again, please!) Don't give up!

Part of what helped me survive was the suicide of my best friend from college. We bonded initially over our histories of depression and suicidality and became as close as only people who share that kind of suffering can be. A couple of years after college, when we were estranged because of my untreated depression and his alcoholism, I learned that he had hanged himself. Almost 30 years later, I'm still reeling from the pain and grief and waste of it, wondering desperately if he knew I still loved him. I know we would have been great friends again eventually, and am saddened anew by every song, movie, book, and piece of art that he never had a chance to experience, but would have loved. Living through his suicide made me realize that no matter how great my anguish, I can't bear to put my loved ones through that pain. It is because of Steven 's death that I am still here, but it has been a long and treacherous haul. My life is his legacy, humble as it is.

That said, I never had long term goals or plans for the future, because I never expected to live this long. I never had dreams because I had no hope. So, now I'm in the peculiar position of being 52 and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Although I've been in therapy for decades, it's only over the past year and a half that I've really hunkered down and pursued my recovery tenaciously, recognizing finally that the down side of surviving this long is that the time stretching before me is shortening. I spent so much of my life wishing for death, that now I realize I have to spend my next couple decades (should I be so lucky) actively pursuing life!

Tell me about you. It's great that you are pursuing your recovery in your youth. New therapies and treatments are emerging all the time, there is hope, I promise you. Don't give up.

The story about your friend is really something and I greatly appreciate you sharing. I really appreciate you helping me on this site, it really was a great welcoming. I also feel the time we have left here is so important and a lot of my anxiety comes from the thought of our mortality.

I'm pretty bad about talking about myself but I will try lol. I'm 20 years in to this life. I had a strange time growing up. My father was an addict and my mom worked the majority of the day and was not around as much as I would have liked as a kid. By the time I was 16 my father had overdosed and he passed. I still have a lot of trouble dealing with him and his death. Before then I remember being somewhat normal for a kid with that kind of background. I stayed out of trouble and really considered my self a good person. Once he passed I got into recreational use of drugs and alcohol. I had a hard time in school and I always did. Right before I graduated is when my depression started. After the depression I started to have troubles with anxiety. I tried a semester of college but failed and took a medical withdrawal from school. Since then I've been surviving off other people sadly. Havnt been able to support myself. When I try working I end up having to quit because the anxiety at work is to much. I have no access to any of the things I've found that help me even just a tiny bit.

On the brighter side, I do feel very blessed having my mother and the house that I do. I feel blessed that I don't have to suffer like so many people on this planet do. Even though i am suffering in a way. It could be so much worse. And I wish my anxiety filled brain would look at it that way...

Thanks for sharing, especially as you've said it's difficult for you. Great job! It sounds like you've had a lot of significant challenges in your relatively short life, which makes it all the more impressive that you've made it this far, and that you keep trying to improve your life.

I'm so sorry for the tragic loss of your dad; I can only imagine how difficult that has been for you. I'm glad you have a supportive mother and a safe place to live. I'm glad you're in a position to concentrate on healing and are able to take a break from work while you overcome your challenges. Recovery can be a full- time job; if you're able, try to be proud of yourself for doing that job, even though the pay sucks! 🙂 You might not be supporting yourself in the conventional, financial sense, but in the most literal of meanings, supporting yourself is exactly what you're doing. I'm currently only able to work part-time because my treatments are so time - consuming and because I'm still only able to handle minimal stress, but on good days I try to remind myself that this is the prep work I have to do so that I'll be able to work more in the future. You have nothing but time ahead of you (I know that can feel daunting when you're in the thick of it), and your future life will be so much better because of the hard work towards recovery you're embarking upon now.

I'm impressed that, even in your pain, you're able to recognize that it could be worse. That bespeaks a resilience that will serve you well on this journey.

Are you currently receiving therapy or treatments? There are so many resources out there these days. I hope you're allowing yourself to get the help you deserve.

Keep on keepin' on. Keep me posted. 🙂

I'm currently seeing a therapist once a week. But I know that I should be doing more. I have emailed churches asking for help and seeing if they have any support groups or anything that may help me. I'm open to any suggestions you may have. I live in the US so I know there is more help out there then I am receiving. I have trouble paying for the treatments that arnt covered by my insurance. Do you experience anxiety towards your financial situations? Like do you worry about how your going to pay for it all? I feel we are born in a weird time where mental health is such a problem but it's not being addressed as much as it could be. I hear of all these great clinics that I can never afford to go to.

I appreciate your responses more then you know. I really don't get to talk to people in person like this at all. I'm very glad I found this site.

I'm glad our conversation is helping you. It's helping me too, giving me some perspective on my own journey. I appreciate your thoughtful listening as well.

Oh boy, do I feel anxiety about finances! Some of my treatments are very expensive, and the most expensive one isn't covered by insurance. I'm having to rely on the generosity of my parents to get treatment. We've had a very rocky relationship since childhood, so that brings with it a whole host of feelings of anxiety and shame and fear. While I can (barely!) support myself as far as mortgage and utilities and groceries, etc. go, getting the treatment I need would be impossible without their help. And asking for help is not a skill I've yet mastered, it's very hard for me! So, I can relate to your feeling inadequate about not being able to support yourself: now imagine what it feels like to be in that spot as a middle -aged person! Yikes!😨

Still, I keep telling myself that my parents would rather help me than attend my funeral, and I'm taking the steps I need to get better. But yeah, it's hard. I try not to waste time wondering what I could have been if I hadn't been saddled with this illness, how far I might have gotten if my hardest task hadn't been sheer survival.I like to think I'll come out ahead in terms of wisdom, but that remains to be seen.

As to help for you, my friend: have you looked into peer support in addition to this group? It's availability varies wildly from state to state. My state doesn't have much, but I know MA and N.Y., for example, have tons. I traveled 2 hours each way to attend a (free!) WRAP (Wellness Recovery Acton Plan) workshop over 3 Saturdays . It was immensely helpful and started me on the road to hardcore recovery. I have a good friend who works in the field; if you're comfortable sharing the state you live in with me (feel free to do so privately), I can ask him if he knows of any resources near you. Like I said, services available vary wildly, but some places, in addition to groups where you can talk to like- minded folk, have people who can take you to appointments, help fill prescriptions, apply for services, etc. and it's all free, so the price is right!

Here are some links to give you an idea what peer support entails. Happy reading! ☺

samhsa.gov/recovery/peer-su...

npr.org/sections/health-sho...

mentalhealthamerica.net/pee...

That's good to hear your parents are around to help you. I pray my mom lives to see me grow out of this state.

I wish I could join an art class or something. I went to a sip and paint once. Some people bring alcohol or wine. I don’t like it but my painting looked like I was drinking if that counts. The teacher walks you through one step at a time. It was fun. Mines hanging by my bed. I just remember being so extremely anxious the whole time! Overdrive! It also cost 30-40.00 for it. We got crock pot spaghetti also. I didn’t eat either. Anxiety. I took a sewing class once. I learned how to make a pair of pajamas. I then came home and made pajamas for everyone. I was like a mad seamstress. Then I moved and just don’t have room to set up my stuff. It was costing a lot though. It’s cheaper to buy pajama pants. I need a hobby though. That sounds fun. I hope you enjoy it!

I hope you find another outlet for your creativity soon. It really helps me, but is kind of a catch 22, in that I have to feel well enough to do it in the first place to reap the benefits! Even little things like coloring help me. I try to do it when I'm on hold for hours with the insurance company, and then at least I feel productive hours later even if my issues weren't resolved, if I have a pretty picture of a wolf or an elephant I've colored in! I just have to be careful not to get too perfectionist about coloring within the lines, or it becomes counter - productive!

I’m extremely ocd. I would drive myself crazy.

So glad you are on the mend! Depression is the worst along with anxiety!

Just saw your post did you ever go to an inpatient program I tried ketamine and it didn’t work for me ☹️

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