I'm now 66 and have had dysthymia and recurrent depression since my late teens. I've had most antidepressants at some time, and am doing fairly well on venlafaxine, which I hope to reduce soon.
I've always had great difficulty in social relationships and have always been single and celibate. Unusually, I started self-harming mildly at 58, although it is now very infrequent. I know that it is a maladaptive way of coping with stress (much like excessive drinking etc.) and am trying to replace it with more helpful methods - ringing helplines, floral scents, pleasant things to touch and taste, and playing with my lovely rats.
I'm really pleased that I coped well last week when the judge pulled out of a rat show I help to organise, two days before the show. Fortunately a retired judge stepped in. I handled the journey well, without too much worsening of my arthritis and the next day running the IT went well. I'm a little apprehensive about a weekend away at an agricultural show - mainly because I have to camp overnight, and I'm not sure how well my back etc. will manage.
I'm finishing short-term counselling next week. Housework and money are my main areas of stress.
Getting too long ... more later!