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Old 12-29-2006, 02:50 PM   #1
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Help Me!!

This has been a brutal holiday season for me. The meds I am on are simply overpowered by the depression. The depression is a monster that is far more powerful than these damn meds. I may as well be taking salt tablets. I have lost 7 pounds over the last 10 days as I have had no appetite. It's like my body has shut down. I spoke to my PDOC about VNS therapy, which seemed to offer hope for someone feeling dangerously hopeless. He said that it isn't approved and recommended ECTs and more drugs. I have been dangerously depressed and feel quite alone. I don't want to take more drugs. I have been taking meds since I was 17 (30 years). I had shock treatments years ago and they were totally ineffective (from what I can recall). I am a good person but I just keep suffering/sinking. I am of no use to anyone. Who wants to be around a depressed, unemployed sack of sh_t. If I had the guts, I would end this horrible pain. I am afraid to wake up in the morning. What in the Hell am I supposed to do? Depression has ruled my life. I have fought it and it appears that I am fighting a losing battle that is hurting me and everyone around me. For the first time in my life, I have been unable to work and hold down a job. I want to help other people but can barely function myself. Help me!!! Does anyone hear me??? It's very scary being alone in a black hole. Hopelessness = suicide and I am losing hope. HELP ME!!!

 
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:28 PM   #2
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Re: Help Me!!

I'm sorry you are in so much pain.

I have not read all of your posts, forgive me if you have already covered this... are you in any kind of therapy right now?

The only thing I can offer right now is that the holidays are almost over (thank heavens!). I too struggle during the holidays. And I have had far too much sugar since Christmas and it has a dramatic (negative) effect on my depression. I had been feeling pretty good, so I got lax on my sugar consumption.

Hold on while you and your doctors figure things out. I would suggest that you avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol... and try to get plenty of rest. They sound like simple things, but they can make a big difference. (And I know it's easier said that done.)

Take care.

SOE

Last edited by SOE; 12-29-2006 at 04:29 PM.

 
Old 12-29-2006, 05:30 PM   #3
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Re: Help Me!!

Hey Pianoman,

I think I was around shortly after you first joined (I wasn't me tho) and I've read your struggles. I am so sorry you're having such a hard time right now. The holidays are so hard on so many people. It's not just us folks who are depressed in various degrees either--it's hard on SO many people.

It sounds like this has been an especially difficult time for you. I imagine, this being the first time you haven't been able to work, that this is also a difficult time of transition. From what I understand, men identify more with their work than women do, so not working is a huge piece of your identity maybe and you're missing out on the usual interaction and reinforcement for doing the work. I know I've felt very lost when I've made a career change--I think this must be overly so with depression and the holidays layered on top of it all.

As someone told me once upon a time, "you are not your job". Not having a job does not mean you are a sack of anything negative. It means right now you aren't going to a work place. Sounds to me though like you are working your butt off trying anything and everything you can to get the he** out of Depression-ville. Sometimes that is our only job.

You've heard the thing about suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary situation/feeling, right? The point being that with time, this darkness shall pass. Have you ever called 1-800-suicide? They are very willing to listen and talk, any time of day or night. We're here for you, of course, and sometimes a real voice can make a big difference. Might be worth a try.....what do you think? I think you can also put the 1-800 thing in one of the big search things and find out more.

I wish I could just reach over there and give you a big hug to let you know it will be alright if you can hold on a while longer.

Please keep us posted. Hang on and type all night here if it helps. I'm way way way west of most of you, and will be around off and on tonight.

 
Old 12-29-2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: Help Me!!

Just a few little points, which you may have already considered as you have been struggling with this for quite some time. First, you can't fight depression. You will never win. It's like the war on drugs. It only makes "the enemy" stronger. You have to surrender. Give in. Experience depression without feeling that it's wrong, bad, unhealthy....just experience it as part of being alive. Try not to get depressed about being depressed. That might ease some of the pressure about being depressed. Secondly, I have heard it said that depression is anger turned inward. Have you explored this approach? Have you looked at issues around anger that might be hidden in your mind someplace, unresolved? Lonliness can be quite painful and is often intensifed during these holidays. Hopefully, by next week you will have passed through the holiday time and feeling a bit less of the social pressures to be with friends and family. And, lastly, without discounting the need for medication and proper medical attention, the information on Cognitive Behavior and Rational Emotive Therapy is interesting, freely available on the net and might be helpful. Although you might be sitting at the computer all by yourself, you are not at all alone.

 
Old 12-30-2006, 12:11 AM   #5
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Re: Help Me!!

Just don't give in to the suicidal thoughts, okay?

Post when you read this, Pianoman--let us know you're okay.

 
Old 12-30-2006, 06:45 AM   #6
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Re: Help Me!!

VNS is not approved in the U.S.? How about Germany? It must be approved somewhere. India? Thailand? Canada? Take care

 
Old 12-30-2006, 08:57 AM   #7
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Re: Help Me!!

I'd suggest doing a search on sleep deprivation and depression. My doctor told me about it. It's likely a short term fix, but having just one day of relief can mean a lot when you're really struggling. Basically, about 50 % of depressed people feel better the day after staying up all night. Usually, it's a one day thing, as the effect is lost when a person sleeps the next night. There are methods that may prolong the response, however. I found the results to be amazing. A chance to regroup. If you're bipolar, I'd check with your doctor as sleep deprivation could trigger mania. I found a counselor to be enormously helpful to get through tough times.

Good luck.

 
Old 12-30-2006, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Help Me!!

hi there friend,

i'm sure there must be more out there to help you than just the medication you're on right now. if i remember correctly, you're on effexor, right?

i suggest for you to please call and if necessary pester that doctor to give you something, anything, for a short-term intervention-crisis-problem right now, because you're definitely in need of more than just the effexor. there is lithium, that is considered a mood stabilizer (it's going make you not too low and not too high-- i know that you're not at all high now, but believe, me, i know what i'm saying). there're also other meds out there that have to be available in emergency situations. if nothing works as is, then please consider going into a hospital for a few days. it's NOT the end of the world, and you will get some more care round the clock there. ask your doctor to take you somewhere, where he is affiliated with, so that it'll be easier for him to look after you.

and above all, PLEASE, PLEASE do not give up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my god, there're hundreds of people out there, if not hundreds. at least tens, who are looking out for you and for your responses on this site, me included. please post here when you can, and let us know how you are.!!!! we're all here for you and for one another. we're on your side. and like ms. b--z said, try to talk call that hotline, if you haven't done so already...after all, it's so much different to talk to someone in person. we wish we could talk to you in person, but we can't. but, we're here rooting for you, and we know you'll make it through this cycle, because if you've made it through 30 years, you're a survivor, pianoman, and you deserve our applause!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

god bless you and i'll pray for you!!!!

 
Old 12-30-2006, 10:45 PM   #9
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Re: Help Me!!

Thank you all for your responses. I am doing a tad better today. I feel like I've had a dagger shoved in my gut. I'm so tired...but at least not feeling suicidal. What a hell of a winter break this has been. I didn't know if I'd make it. I'm 47 yrs old and I've been crying like a baby. Best to get into the doc for some adjustments. This is really absurd. None of us should have to experience this madness. Thank you all again for your responses. It means a lot to me. The lonliness and hopelessness are such a dangerous combination. Oh well, just another two week visit to Hell. After all of these years, I'm just a regular customer.

 
Old 12-30-2006, 10:51 PM   #10
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Re: Help Me!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seymour93
VNS is not approved in the U.S.? How about Germany? It must be approved somewhere. India? Thailand? Canada? Take care

Actually, I'm looking into India...in the process of getting an estimate of $$ of the procedure. They perform VNS in India, likely for 1/5 of the US cost. The more research I do on VNS, the more motivated I become to do it. It's a long term/lifelong treatment that improves with time. I should check out Canada. I would imagine it's cheaper there as well. Can't really afford the 25K they want in the US but would spend 10K.

Last edited by Pianoman1959; 12-30-2006 at 10:53 PM.

 
Old 12-31-2006, 06:28 AM   #11
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Re: Help Me!!

Pianoman, I don't know if you are in a place right now to dig into the reasons for your depression, but I don't remember you ever giving a background on your childhood or if you ever did therapy? I remember you telling us about your marriage and your current seperation, however.

 
Old 01-01-2007, 06:17 PM   #12
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Re: Help Me!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sannah
Pianoman, I don't know if you are in a place right now to dig into the reasons for your depression, but I don't remember you ever giving a background on your childhood or if you ever did therapy? I remember you telling us about your marriage and your current seperation, however.

I suppose I should provide some background prior to posting "HELP ME!!" on the message board. Let's see. Where do I begin? I should point out that depression/mental illness runs in the family. Two brothers are taking AD's. There have been suicides: cousins, grandparents, great-uncles. Unlike many individuals who experience bouts of depression at various times in their life or start falling into the black hole when they turn 20, I have been depressed since birth. My earliest memories (age 3-4) are of a depressed, anxious, withdrawn little kid. I had horrible nighmares/night terrors. My hands always trembled. I recently read report cards that my mother had saved from my elementary school days. There are comments from teachers about how I was fairly bright but "very nervous and preoccupied", "unable to focus" etc. etc. This goes back to Kindergarten. When I was approx 12 yrs old, I started doing my own research on depression and mental illness. My parents didn't want to get involved. In those days, it was taboo. I wasn't breaking any laws so they stayed out of it and I searched for help by myself. By age 14, I was taking antidepressants (Elavil, Parnate, Lithium). By the time I was 16, I had been on about six antidepressants and several antianxiety meds. I was also seeing a therapist, who did not believe in chemical imbalances. The depression worsened as I reached age 16. I continued to fight the demon by myself, requesting to be hospitalized in 1976. I was hospitalized twice. The first time was a two week ordeal. The second was a seven week hellish experience which involved megadoses of useless meds and a series of ETC's. I left the hospital, feeling no better than when I went in, hearing ridicule from family members that I was just "seeking attention". I continued to see therapists who were generally quite useless. I tried everything from transcendental meditation to hypnosis. No success. I gave up on the meds and therapy for several years. Then, I heard about a new breakthrough med called Prozac. I began taking that when it first hit the market. Prozac became the first med to actual help me. Prozac was no match for my depression but it did seem to keep me from feeling suicidal for many years. Approx 4 years ago, my pdoc added in Adderall and Klonopin. Both have been beneficial. Over the years, I tried getting off Prozac and switching to other SSRI's but always ended up back on Prozac. About two years ago, I felt that the Prozac was no longer helping me in any way. I basically went without any AD for a couple of years until starting on Effexor about 3 months ago. Effexor has been the most effective AD I have taken. I have been in therapy for about four years. In the midst of all of this madness, I filed for divorce in 2005. I am now attempting to reconcile with my ex. We were married for 23 years. Over the last few months, I have had difficulty finding a job. When I find a job, I have difficulty holding it. In my opinion, my depression is worsening with age. Even with my current drug cocktail, the last few months have been brutal. I have come dangerously close to suicide. The holidays were straight from Hell. I phoned my pdoc who knocked my Effexor XR up to 225 mg a day and wants me to make an appt to add in "adjunt" meds. So my current cocktail is Effexor XR 225 mg, Adderall XR 30 mg, Klonopin 2 mg. I have had insurance problems at the worse possible time but am getting that straightened out. My goal for 2007 is to make some legitimate progess with a disease which has controlled my life. I have fought and fought but I am fighting a powerful beast indeed...a disease which no one really understands (with the exception of the people that suffer from it) I am very interested in the newer alternative treatments (VNS) but am already facing problems with my insurance on that one. I am now 47 years old. I have never actually been offically diagnosed. I am not bipolar, although no doctor has every made that offical. My pdoc feels that I may have adult ADD, GAD, on top of major depression but it often seems that he is just guessing. I am interested in trying Lamictal but have grown so leary of getting my hopes up with meds. So, I hoped that covers it. My background is depression, depression, and depression. I have spent many hours with many different therapists, been in a few depression support groups (something I desperately needed but didn't have over the holidays), and seen several pdocs over the years. My childhood wasn't perfect (environmentally speaking). I lost a brother in a bicycle accident when I was seven. He was eleven. But, nothing environmentally could ever justify the depression/anxiety I have endured. I am a classic "chemical imbalance" case. So, I have two choices: (1) keep fighting and trying everything within reason to treat it (2) kill myself. I have two teenage daughters. Number two isn't a good option. Sorry for rambling. I wish I could be more of a help to others on this message board instead of visa versa. Thank you and Happy New Year.

 
Old 01-02-2007, 04:36 AM   #13
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Re: Help Me!!

Pianoman, I am so sorry that you have suffered for your whole life. I am the big "the environment" person around here. When you tell me that you were a very anxious and nervous little kid the first thing that comes to my mind is a little boy who didn't make a secure attachment to his primary caregiver. This secure attachment is what everything else in life is based on. Do you remember being comforted in someone's arms as a small child? I believe that children are born with their temperments and that yours could have been born a little more nervous and cautious than others but the environment should have made up for that. You should have been held and comforted more than the average child and taught how to deal with your fears. You have probably never felt secure your whole life? I am a big believer in Gestault therapy. You learn to be in the moment at all times - present in the situation that you find yourself in. If you find yourself uncomfortable, this is the challenge - to figure out what you need to do to make yourself comfortable. Have you ever tried yoga?

Last edited by Sannah; 01-02-2007 at 04:37 AM.

 
Old 01-02-2007, 07:19 AM   #14
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Re: Help Me!!

I am in the later stages of my life. When I was little, I remember distinctly crying for no apparent reason. I learned to isolate myself and became introverted. My comforts were my pets, carbohydrate foods, books. My mother was my primary caretaker. She was bedridden most of the time, and when she was functioning, the spotlight was definately on her. I was ashamed that I was a fat kid--my mom always pointed this flaw out to me. I left home too early, just quit high school and took off on my own with no direction, no career goals, no friends. I began drinking to elevate my mood. I realize that booze is a depressant, but it worked to get me through another lonely night. I smoked a lot of marijuana. This worked well, so well that I wasn't motivated to do much of anything.
Before my dad died, he told me that after I was born, my mom decided that she would leave all of us, so dad got some help in the form of a housekeeper. Mom stayed, in fact she became afraid to leave the house. Now it's called post-partum depression. Then, it was considered shamful. As a family, we never talked about depression. There were all kinds of feeble lies told to cover up my mom's and my developing depression.
Looking back on my life I realize that there is more to my sad state than meets the eye. I am sure there are more family secrets that I will never hear.
My point is that I refuse to accept a convenient pathologized diagnosis for my depression. Inherited chemical imbalance of the brain rings hollow when I stack up the evidence. I have accepted the 'nurture' over the 'nature' of my problem.

 
Old 01-02-2007, 07:31 AM   #15
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Re: Help Me!!

Bloodyhell, I'm sorry. You really need some nurturing and darn it, you have to do it yourself now. We sort of had the same upbringing. My mom wasn't depressed but she was very Narcissistic and I was very neglected. I was the last child (five years after my middle sister) and I remember spending all of my time alone before I attended school. I swear my mother never said a word to me! I grew up very anxious, unhappy and I was a big follower and never felt I was very valuable. I spent the time between 14 and now (43) turning my life around by analyzing what I need and taking care of it (the big changes came between 24 and 34, after that, just a lot of fine turning). Of course I couldn't have made the changes without counseling. I am so extremely happy now and if I can do it anyone can. I see that you mentioned shame. Oh I dealt with that too!

Last edited by Sannah; 01-02-2007 at 07:31 AM.

 
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