If anyone can give me some advice I would appreciate it. I am a 30+ year old male that may have been having episodes of depression for more than 10 years (I am not sure). I am the owner of a technology company that is 14 years old. I am a lead designer of our main products. However, I am also responsible to lead the Team and keep them productive.
I seem to go through cycles of active “creativeness” and then total lack of motivation. During the times of “Creativeness” I stay up all night working and sleep very little. I estimate averaging 2-4 hours per days. Even with little sleep I design difficult parts of our products. Afterwards many would suspect (including me) that lack of sleep would result in sloppy design decisions or mistakes but I find this not to be true.. During this time even after 16 hours of concentrated working I may go to the store, get a steak and salad and spend 4 for hours watching TV because I cannot sleep.
Every 3-6 months I change and believe I exhibit many of the signs of Depression. I will lose almost all of the excitement I get working on projects. I find it extremely difficult to get out of bed and will sometimes sleep for 16 hours. Even when awake I cannot concentrate and may spend the rest of my time awake staring at the TV. I can go for months without getting anywhere on my work.
I all I did was design work the mood swings may not cause a problem because of the productivity I have when “UP”. However, I own the company and have over 30 Team Members (Staff). Besides the design work I need to be able to direct, lead, and inspire others. When I am depressed I can go for weeks without going into or even calling the office. Normally anyone working for a company with my behavior would be fired. And, anyone with staff would loose their respect. I think I have lost some respect but because my designs are good they “give me a break” and put up with me. Furthermore if I continue this way I will loose the entire company and disappoint all those that work with me (and make their life harder in that they have to find other jobs.).
A few years ago I tried going to a therapist but I think my attitude toward life is that I should be in control of my own destiny and that makes it hard for me to take advise about my psychology. After going five times I felt I was given no helpful direction (in my opinion). (Even though I think the therapist was qualified and did a good job.) Also since I have these “cycles” I soon after become positive and so even if the therapist helped I do not know.
When I am “Depressed” I think maybe I am just lazy and am mad at myself. I certainly believe someone can be depressed and many people writing post here are. However, because of my stubborn attitude toward myself I think I may not be and am just creating excuses for not working. Also since I have always seemed to “snap out of it” after a few months I am concerned that If I seek treatment I wont know if it helped or I felt better on my own because it “was time”.
I am resistant to taking any medications (for depression) because of negative stories I read (including on this board). I also think that since it seems like all meds take weeks to take effect I would not be able to tell if any mood change was already happening, cause by a placebo effect, or a result of the meds.
My “Pattern” also makes it hard on my family, friend, and girlfriend. When I am “UP” and am pleasant to be with (I think). However, many times all the conversation I can make is about my work. When I am “DOWN” I may avoid everyone for several months.
In that last few days I have been “UP” and have gotten more done than in the last few months. This verbose letter is an example. (I have written more than 50 pages in the last few days to document work related things.)
As I stated if it wasn’t that others depend on me I could probably continue with my behaviors for everand either just work for myself or others would put up with me because on the average I think I am productive However, I need to run the business and keep others productive and employed.
Can anyone relate to my problems and give me advise as to whether I am just lazy? Or, that I have a problem that can be treated. As if so how? As I said I saw a therapist for a while with no help but have never taken any “Meds”.
Well..firstly I will say that owning your own business is one of the hardest things that anyone can do! I am not surprised that u feel that u can't sleep ..because work doesn't finish at the end of the day..your mind is still on overtime when u come home...so many things to think about. Also, feelings of tiredness and laziness is definitely coz of work too. However, in my opinion..u r experiencing depression for definite. I feel lazy, tired..sometimes can't sleep, withdrawn from people. All these are symptoms. I am no doctor so I can't tell you how depressed you are.
I know there have been many bad experiences of anti-depressants..however..the most successful one (which I take)..is Citalopram..(there's another name but I can't remember exactly the spelling celexa..or something ). They don't work for at least over 2 weeks...I am very impatient because I want everything to work NOW, so I understand your reasons for not wanting to take them.
If you feel like this depression is affecting your work and life in general (which it seems to)..then try some sor of medication..but u have to give it a chance (they say). I am still waiting for it to work, but if the people say it work...then it works!
Sean, I am not doctor by any means but do some reading on your own. It sounds to me like what used to be called manic/depressive, now it is called bi-polar.
I tend to be slightly this way myself. I too, tried counseling and didn't find it very helpful. I have taken Wellbutrin and Celexa, well, the Wellbutrin made me so lethargic I could barely get off the couch. The Celexa made me feel nothing at all, I wasn't happy, I wasn't unhappy - I wasn't sad, nor was I glad - I wasn't exicited but neither was I depressed, just a big emotional void, so I quit taking any of them.
Now when I am 'being obsessive' as one friend calls it I get a great deal done. There aren't enough hours in the day to do all that I want to do. Then comes the down time - now I think of this as re-charging my batteries. To get out of the slump I make myself get started on something - soon the slump is over and I can once again be productive. It also took me many years to figure this out. I will be 49 at the end of this month.
Do some research on bi-polar disorder - I don't have the mood swings too bad - just run of the mill, but I do go through cycles of mania and then depression.
Try another doctor or counselor if this gives you big problems.