Fighter

My childhood wasn’t good as were many others at that time. I was diagnosed with depression around 17years old and under a physiatrist, at the age of 22 I was sectioned and had the max 6 lots of shock treatment. My personal life was somewhat chaotic I drank quite a lot. I have suffered bouts of depression since then some worse than others, I have a wonderful husband who supports me through and through I no longer drink we had our own business for 20 years. Although to others I come over confident I’m not, I hate going out to meet anyone I haven’t got the stamina or can’t be bothered. The anxiety and panic takes over and will do anything to get out of it. The depression is totally cocooning, I’m closed in and can’t get out I wake up in a cloud and can’t see the point in doing anything everything is pointless I have to try n focus it will pass it will pass, it does but I’m in a constant down frame of mind and feel I no longer find enjoyment in anything. Im 68 We are financially good, no children I drive and do Tai chi once a week. Over the years I’ve had many different treatments but I genuinely feel if you haven’t had depression you can’t fully understand it, you can’t read these feeling in a book. ( sorry) Hopefully now I’ve found this site I can write down thoughts with likeminded people I hope so. I look forward to hearing from anyone with similar experiences. I’m not a miserable person by far and will not give in to this,

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  • I'm 64 and have experienced a lot of the same circumstances. There are weeks that go by that I don't go out my door. I understand what it feels like to be isolated. I have had people tell me that I am conceited and act like I'm better than everyone else. Oh, that is so hurtful when, in fact, I am so terrified of being around people and saying the wrong thing that I shy away and try to hide inside myself until I can get out of the situation. Then I end up feeling guilty and humiliated, isolating myself. This is a vicious cycle that is hard to crawl out of.

    I'm glad that you have a husband that understands. My husband and I had our 25th anniversary 6 months before he passed away two days after my birthday. That was in 2007 and I am still grieving.

    I have had to find ways to occupy myself when I don't have the energy to fight the guilt that comes from not cleaning the house, not getting dressed, not going anywhere, not being the strong person that everyone else seems to be (and that I feel I need to be).

    I used to shop to feel better. Then the guilt of spending would set in. I used to cut out things that I wanted from catalogs and put them in a notebook. Then I could "shop" without the guilt of spending or being too fat. Now I use Pinterest and I can pin anything I want and it satisfies my "thrill of the purchase" with no guilt.

    Something I have been doing recently that keeps me from getting so self-absorbed is looking at pictures of the recent disasters. I simply can't feel sorry for myself when I see families who have lost everything they own wading in 4 feet of water and smiling. That is powerful and inspirational and reminds me that hope is not impossible.

  • I thank you for sharing with me your thoughts, yes there are many people worse off than us but it dosnt help us does it. If only we had answers to help each other on this forum but we don’t. I also feel guilty because I do have support and after reading other like minded people’s stories ( not sure if that’s the correct description) it saddens me enough help isn’t available for us it’s a lonely illness and as I said I’ve fought it all my life ashamed to admit when I feel down, putting on a cheerful face pretending to listen to conversations, showing interest and scared they want me to join in as I don’t know what to say because I’ve not taken in what anyone has talked about I’m just surviving being there. I have had CBT 3 times and even though some things the therapist has said makes sense I still can’t get past the fact that unless you’ve had depression you don’t know what it’s like but If there is one thing I’ve learned is I no longer want to be a victim, I heard a saying on tv and it hit me, made me think and try to understand my thoughts more the words was Don’t be a victim Be a Feeder I suppose it’s a way of heading off negative thoughts that trigger our depression ( I’m only telling you my interpretation of these words, yours may be different) so im practicing when my negative feeling start to kick in ( I’ve learned how to recognise the symptoms) don’t forget I’m 68 so had years of analysing and searching for answers so any slight relief is a help. I now ask WHY am I going down, what’s triggered it, am I surmising what’s been said or done, How do I know what’s going to happen I cannot see into the future. The darkness and disinterest still comes but I force myself to practice, it’s very hard and sometimes I can’t focus because I don’t care and I’m tired of fighting but I do it. I don’t know how but I do. I hope this helps, try and be the Feeder who puts thought in your head and kick them out if you don’t like them.

  • I feel the same. I am bored to death but don't feel like doing anything. The things I used to enjoy are blah to me now.

  • I am blown away by the emotions I have experienced on this first day. I haven’t heard of commitment therapy, but it sounds interesting. Your concept of victim to feeder and practicing the awareness of triggers sounds exhausting, but you are doing it! Good for you. That inspires me to share my motto that really helps when I think of it, but I am also having to train my mind to remember it right when I start feeling despair. It is “Quit complaining and find a way.” I started using that to cope with being alone and having to become a handyman. I learned that having a pity party is not going to fix my toilet. I am proud of myself when I can accomplish a task instead of crying about it, and I realized it could also stop me from crumbling with despair. I am not remembering it every time I start to spiral, but with practice there is hope. I just had a thought..I should think of it as a new medication. Any comments or ideas? I’m open.

  • Good on you any task you can complete when in this state is an accomplishment it’s so hard because inside your gut and mind says NO give up, and it’s so easy to do so, but life does go on and you alone ( I say you but mean we with depression ) can try to choose the path we take. Look I’m no doctor I don’t know any of the answers I am a repeated sufferer so I’m still searching but one thing is for sure and that is I will listen to others with this damn disease and take any suggestions given. WHY because we live and breath it every day of our lives terrified of another episode returning as we don’t always get a warning you can be ok one minute and doomed the next, its not something you can read about in a book to fully understand ( sorry doctors) it controls you and rips out your soul telling you there’s nothing and nowhere to go. Medication does help but we do have to help ourselves as well don’t you think? As I’m writing it’s like opening a volcano, there has never been a time when I’ve spoken so openly how I feel, I’m so glad I joined this forum a few days ago. As I write the words it’s like a revelation how I truly feel without the frills it that makes sense. I don’t need to put on a show for you because you don’t know who I am I could live on your street I could be your neighbor, my point is we are one of so many sufferers floundering feeling alone no matter how many friends/ family that help us WE have to, WE have to listen to each other’s ways of coping and give it a go. I have a good life at least I would if this thing didn’t stop me enjoying it as I should and I so so want to. Yes I want to talk to you Yes I will take onboard any advise ( not willing to try marijuana though I’m a tad to old ) but thanks for your thoughts and if it helps you great that’s fine I think. Let’s keep talking.

  • I know your pain I have my good days and my bad days a lot of my anxiety attacks I thought were heart attacks in the beginning because of the physical symptoms I was always having (heart pounding, dizzy, impending doom feeling, breathing difficulty) but after years of having them and talking to doctors and therapists I realize now when I have them they are just anxiety attacks but they can be very scary for sure if you don't know what it is in the beginning. I hate taking RX meds too so it's a double edge sword, I feel like I trade one problem for another when I take the pills the doctors give me and all the side effects that come with them. To be honest I have been using medical marijuana for the last few years and I feel it really helps me and doesn't have near as many bad side effects. I know it might sound crazy but look into it and try a sativa strain it really helps with mood, anxiety and depression. But use a low does if you never tried it before

  • I’m sorry if my last reply sounded flippant regarding you taking marijuana it wasn’t meant in that way, I have heard of many People useing it for pain relief too. No it doesn’t sound crazy whatsoever gets you through is good in my book. I agree side effects to medication can sometimes be worse than the depression

  • Hi Tatabrain!

    I know what you’re feeling all too well. Depression can be a small thing, or it can feel like a huge chasm. As I’ve aged, my depression has changed as well. I have realized three things :)

    1) Depression makes it difficult to meet people and be around crowds. I’ve noticed (especially on here) that depression and lack of companionship seems to go hand in hand. Although we may prefer the isolation, loniliness can be difficult to bear. I have my hubby and two very good friends. When I feel the depression clawing at me, I try to reach out to a friend even if we don’t discuss my depressive issues. I usually feel much better after chatting with a friend.

    2) Everyone is fighting a war that you can’t see. Your pain is your pain, and that’s ok. Yes, it sucks that we’ve had a bad hurricane season and forest fires. The list could go on and on, and someone will always have it worse than you, or worse than I. Don’t let that invalidate your feelings. I used to say that even though my childhood was bad, that my parents did the best that they could with the skills they had. While this is true, I also had to recognize that my feelings were valid. I know I’ll never treat my kids the same way, and if I do I’ll see a therapist stat. So in that sense my parents did have a choice. I still believe my original sentiment but I also had to stop making excuses for them at the same time

    3) Learn your triggers. I dealt well for several years and when we decided to adopt, I was thrust back into my childhood. The pain and anger rushed back so fast I knew I needed some help. Then we moved and all was well at first because I’m a thousand miles from my toxic family, but my anxiety and depression got triggered in the process. Moving is stressful and exhausting! And so is learning a new environment. I knew it would be rough but I did not anticipate the deep depression.

    I’m still working on my triggers and I hope to be better prepared in the future. I wish you the best of luck! I hope you start feeling better soon.

  • Hello chatnoirmd your story is almost a copy of mine. When I was sectioned In1971 the shock treatment removed most of my bad memories but I can remember the feeling of sheer relief and euphoria after each session, I had the maximum six sessions. I have never recaptured that feeling and imagine I never will. Given the information my problems had stemmed from family life by my doctors I too make excuses for the way my dad was ie he’s been to war he’s shell shocked he came home to no home no parents etc etc but it doesn’t help me or my siblings, my dad had a choice and my mum was so afraid of him she had to stand by his decisions, he made her life hell because her mum and dad survived and his didn’t, mums parent lived miles away and there wasn’t any support for families then. My brother and sister also suffer with depression. I used to think I was selfish not really feeling overwhelming sadness over tragedies but I’m a very loving caring person and would do anything for anyone amongst people I know maybe that’s why I get taken advantage of, it’s as if I want to please people and want them to like me all the time, it’s exhausting I just want to be me but I can’t let myself be me. Does that make sense? We also recently moved we are both worn out, as you say it’s hard but we do get through things in our own way don’t we. Best of luck any tips are welcome.

  • Wow! That sounds a lot like my family, you are right there unfortunately. The main difference is that I’m 37 so imagine having a child, and that you never sought help with your issues and refuse to even believe you could have depression. It’s pretty obvious to everyone around her. I could go on and on about the bad she grew up with but I’ll give you a snippet. Her dad was a drunk and the kids had to sneak around because if someone woke him, they’d be beat and mentally abused. I only know that from her brother. She rarely talks about it. Her father shot her mother while she was holding my infant brother. He eventually shot and killed his own son because he was drunk and his son talked back to him. This was all before I was born. She had a lot of trouble getting over her siblings death and I know she still suffers to this day.

    Both of my parents were emotionally unavailable and they often needed us kids to care for them. When I had my own issues, my mom told me to pretend it didn’t happen. To ignore the pain. To hide things from my dad. She put me in the path of a familial sex offender but didn’t care because he mowed the lawn and did whatever chores she wanted.

    For years, I dealt by saying they gave me the best that they could. Their goal was to do better than their parents and they did. I used that as justification to make it through the day. One day I was reading a book that really put it in perspective. Stop making excuses for them. They also had choices.... they could have done things differently. They did what they did. While what I initially said was true about their goal to do better than their own parents, you also acknowledge that they had the power to make changes and didn’t.

    Don’t invalidate your feelings :) It’s ok to acknowledge that some people are worse off in circumstances, but your pain is yours. It’s real to you. You feel it everyday. Heck, Irma even visited me and messed up my roof lol. Others had it worse and when concerned ‘friends’ asked how we fared, I was reminded of the folks in Houston. That angered me because all these ‘friends’ asked several times the entire week how we were holding up and then didn’t care. I had every right to be stressed and frustrated by our situation. But you can bet I never mentioned it again unless it was to someone that also lived here.

    I’m rambling and super tired, so I hope this makes sense. TTYL!

  • There are a few similarities between our upbringings apart from the shooting bit. You have made me realise that I have made allowances for the behaviour and choices that were imposed on me and you are right about not having to do that. There's a difference between feeling pain and allowing it to turn into suffering. Everyone feels pain at some point of their lives in some form. Continuing to !try' to battle it only makes it worse, in accepting that we have pain, recognising it this helps to move out of the suffering

    Thanks for sharing, that's another step forward in making that realisation so thank you :)

    Kind regards

    Mark

  • I'm glad it reached someone. For me, that realization lifted such a heavy burden from my shoulders. I felt much lighter and I felt validated. It was a huge eye opener, and so I try to share that tidbit because for years I was bogged down with those feelings. It really was that "ah ha" moment"!

  • I know what you mean about a lifted weight. I didn’t realise my thoughts n feelings were “ normal” when you have depression, I was so afraid to let people know the real me warts and all, I seem to think everyone expects so much from me but that’s not true it’s me that put myself in that train of thought, others really don’t care they just enjoy my company and like to see me out n about. I’ve locked myself out of society feel lonely and feel I’m missing out of living a life. I hope you will keep sharing it’s helping me so much to understand myself I am going to do something about it, change my thoughts.

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