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13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Time for change...

I have been suffering from depressions for decades. Already 25 years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression and advised to take therapy. Back then the psychiatrist suspected that I had been suffering from depressions for years. However I never followed through with therapy as I didn't want to be stigmatized.
 
I have always been able to hide my feelings. I always have a little smile on my face, so people never question my feelings. Eventhough I am very introvert, I learned to interact with people and act as a social butterfly. After a social event I have to have my me-time though - complete solitude in darkness. I have been able to create a facade of a friendly, relaxed, fun-loving guy who loves city life.

Three weeks ago I noticed that I was very hyper, but at the same time very ineffecient. I knew I would fall into a major depression and for the first time in 25 years I decided to try to really make a change. I went to my physician and explained my situation, which came as a complete shock for him... I had a very long conversation with him, where he went looking for a traumatic event. As I have been involved in risk taking behaviour, I had sufficient events to choose from. I never had really suicidial ideas; sure I thought about death, but I never see it as a solution. During our conversation I started to hide behind my facade again... As a result he thinks I quite good in coping with my depressions and he prescribed a light med.
 
When I told my wife I was prescribed medication, she was also rather shocked. Her mother is bipolar and has had depressions in the past. However her mother is very expressive, so she shows all typical signs of depressions. I don't show them. I feel I am quite lucky as my wife really wants to help me... however I don't even know how.
 
This weekend the depression set in despite the meds. I only want to watch stupid comedies, which make me smile. I'm not sleeping properly, I'm not eating properly... every morning I will drag myself out of bed, so at least it looks like I'm okay. I know my wife comes home around 6 PM, so I will make sure to have taken a shower by 4 PM, so at least it looks like I'm okay... But I realize that I'm not okay... Especially the last 3 years the depressions have become a major interference in my life.
13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Time for change...

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for getting back to me. Would it be helpfull to dig a bit deeper regarding how I feel? Yes. Can I? I don't know... I'm not really tired of hiding my feelings behind a facade, I kind of like my facade; it's comfortable. I'm starting to realize that my coping machnisms including the facade are failing. I come from a culture where people tell you how you should feel. They are quite persistent in forcing their opinion about how you should feel upon you. By having a facade, I used to be able to work through my feelings in my speed on my terms. I used to be able to work through depressions, but now I am no longer able to really cope with it anymore...

Currently I feel mainly tired.... in 4 weeks I have had only 1 night of good quality sleep. I don't feel like doing anything; everything seems to be going down the drain anyway. Even little things I'm normally very good at, take me hours and hours to complete... and even then they don't even come close to my quality standards. If that happens, I'm almost desperate. I start to second guess everything I have done up to now... at the same time I want to forget everything I have done and encountered up to now. I try to feel as numb as possible...

I tried to start with the program. I have a hard time setting little steps goals as I'm a real big picture guy. For me little steps are just little steps and I am not able to enjoy little steps as successes. The program also makes me to think about my feelings and maybe I am just afraid of what I may feel. I think I have said something similar 25 years ago; being afraid of feelings.
13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Time for change...

Hi Tiana,
 
Thanks for your response. I did go to the GP and we doubled the dose. I was really sick for a couple of days. Next checkup will be in three weeks.
 
Currently the correlation between thoughts and feelings seems to be missing. My mindset is still quite negative, but it doesn't affect my mood much. I had set my very easy goals and even though I have not been able to meet any of the goals, somehow it doesn't really bother me. It is a slight annoyance, but it doesn't result in the typical negative thoughts regarding failure. This is a completely new experience for me.
 
I have the feeling that for once I can work through a depression instead of struggling through it. I will have to work on my procastination and thought pattern, but I think I can and that is an enormeous improvement.
 
Thanks for being here and willing to listen...
 
Regards,
 
Jacques
13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Time for change...

Originally I went to my GP because I knew a depression episode was coming. Now 4 weeks later the depression really starts to hit. On Tuesday I had night class and just getting out of the door was hard. When I arrived at the university I sat in the car for roughly 1.5 hours... I couldn't get myself to get out of the car and to class, so I went back home.
 
Yesterday I went to a store to purchase some supplies. It was the first time this week I completed something. Somehow it felt like a success.... but I see my todo list growing every day. I drag myself out of bed every morning and sit in the kitchen. I don't even start reading the newspaper... I just sit there without doing or thinking anything. Life is passing by...
 
I know that what I should is not that important; it's about what I want.... but if I don't have anything I want, I won't fail in attaining my goals. However other people have their expectations of me and I will have to decide whether I am going to meet these expectations or not...
13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Depression and Own Business

Hi All,
 
During the last couple of weeks my work has suffered tremendously. My clients have noticed a lack of quality and only because of previous work, they are giving me slack... but it will hurt my business in the long run. I would like to know whether there are other business owners around, who have been dealing with same problem.
 
Jacques
13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Rebuilding Self Esteem 2

I grew up as youngest kid in a family with very strong personalities. I was always too young, too unexperienced, too immature etc, so the others would do everything for me.... resulting in being blamed for being too lazy, not willing to take responsibility etc.. Even nowadays this attitude still persist amongst my siblings. I'm kind of glad that they live on another continent.

Keeping friendships is indeed a problem for me. I have the tendency to withdraw from social life for weeks, months in a row. I often doubt myself whether I can do something both in professional and academic life - I never finished any formal education. I have lost jobs because my job performance nose dived due to depressions. I used to smoke anything that could be smoked (gave it up 15 years ago) and if it wasn't for the meds I would be drinking heavily (I have woken up on park benches in the past).

I never knew whether the low self-esteem was caused by what I did, or the low self-esteem was the cause of what I did. I still don't really know.

13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Depression and Own Business

I guess I have the luck that we are not dependent on the income from my business as my wife has a very good paying position. However, right now businesswise things are getting problematic. I'm going through one of the most severe episodes of depression in years and I haven't delivered anything in almost 2 months.
 
Tonight I have to go to a business meeting and I don't even want to go. I have to make myself to want to go. I know I'm going to be completely drained after tonight. This is really a far cry from the 18 year old entrepeneur and I was 25 years ago. Eventhough I was already suffering from depressions back then, at least I was able to outrun my depression. I think that is the biggest difference right now, I realize that I need help but I don't know what kind of help I really need or even how to ask for it.
13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Rebuilding Self Esteem 2

Samantha, I have been working through the sessions and I noticed that many of the techniques used, were already part of my coping strategies. Especially the techniques for challenging the negative thoughts, were very familiar for me. I have been coping with depressions for decades, so familiarity with the techniques didn't suprise me (otherwise I would never have been able to cope with depression for such a long time). 
 
One of the techniques I used to challenge my negative thought, are the use of little momentoes. I don't like to dwell on my accomplishments (especially when they are small), but I have letters of recognition framed and hanging in my study. They make me feel better when I'm down. I always have the tendency to throw them away as they are not really big accomplishments, but I know they can cheer me up so that's why I keep them.
13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Time for change...

Time is passing by and I am just an empty shell without feeling. Nothing is registering anymore... The disconnect between reality, feeling and cognition is complete. It's almost a halucinary experience; I'm the observer of my life.
 
My agenda is filling up with social events for the holidays. I have to go. I fall back into the old habit of putting up the facade. I notice I'm not focussed on the people I talk to; I am focussed on the interaction. All my interactions are rational. If I want to bring in feelings, I will need to feel... what do I need to do to feel?
13 years ago 0 52 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Time for change...

~m,
 
Thank you for your kind words. I don't really feel discouragement as I don't feel really anything. I do realize that I'm still descending further into depression, however it is a rationalization of what I should be feeling; it's not what I feel. I have been visiting my doctor on a regular basis; we have switched meds and increased the doses several times.
 
Things that normally lift me up, have no effect at all. My list of accomplishments, playing with my cat, a hug from my wife... somehow they don't register. I know I should be worried, as during a similar episode about 20 years ago I lost almost everything I had. But I don't feel worried; I only feel tired... very tired.
 
I realize it all sounds very low... maybe it is. Maybe I need to bottom out before I can climb up again.