Ok, so here's the thing. I think I'm better, but sometimes I'm not sure. I've been on Effexor for about 8 & 1/2 weeks. My Dr. kept upping it almost every time I saw her and I'm now up to 225 mg. A few weeks ago, I started to feel really good. Compared to the way I was before I was feeling so happy I could have started skipping down the road. But now I've come down a bit.
I think I must be better. I want to do more, and my concentration is better (I've read 5 books in 3 & 1/2 months). But I'm still having some very off times. Like I'll have a few days or a week when I feel really cranky and I don't want to see or talk to anyone. the last 4 or 5 days ago I felt pretty good, then yesterday I started to freak out because I knew I would have to be going back to work soon. I started to cry, which I haven't done in weeks. I cried so hard that my face twitched for 10 minutes after I stopped. I had a psych appt yesterday and I went in and told my doctor that I could not go back to that job I wanted one with less stress even if it was less money, blah, blah, blah. She warned me to be careful not to do something I regret and left a message for my Occupational Health rep that I may not be back until the end of the month. So after I got home I calmed down and felt really silly and called and left a message on her machine to say she was right and I would go back to work on Aug 20th as planned. I also dropped in to Occupational Health to talk about a plan to go back part time at first. and I felt good about all that. Although I'm afraid that my doctor thinks I'm an idiot.
I do want to go back to work, but I don't. I'm afraid I'll go back and become depressed again. And I would like to change my job eventually. I'm looking into taking some courses to upgrade my skills. So basically I am thinking more clearly than yesterday.
Maybe I am doing much better, it's just that every time I have a low mood I automatically think it's the depression when it's actually just a low mood?
It seems like your med is doing a good job, so that's great, stay on the meds.
This is just my view on depression, but personally, i don't really belive in getting "better" just from meds, or even therapy, i think it's a combination of thoes two things, and also a co-operation between you and yourself on changing your mood, through your personality. I think alot of people (such as myself) after being depressed for so long, have built that negative, and depressive part of them into their personality, so it's almost difficult to let yourself be happy, as you have described, you feel happy, yet you sink back into an unhappy phase. Does it feel strange or foreign to you, that you have these new found feelings of happiness?
I'm sorry if this advice is not very good, although, i have monitored *my* behaviour, and it seems to me, that depression has become part of my personality, as well as being an "illness" or "behavioval problem". I know this is just my experience, but if you identifiy with any of the feelings i have had, maybe this could help you.
I seem to be using my sister as an example a lot these days. My sister has been severely depressed for at least three years. She went through the meds and she has gone through the therapy. Right now she is doing really well. I asked her what the difference between now and a year ago and she said she now has bad days and not bad weeks or months. She said when a problem arises now she can see how to solve it but before every problem was a mountain. To me the big thing is or will be that it is not a struggle to be happy it is just going to happen naturally. Only you can truely gauge how well you are doing but sometimes life is flying by so fast you don't realize it. Stop and look behind you and you will see one bad day out of seven and not one good day out of seven. You have come along way and you are definately on the right path and before you know it you will be there.
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Hi Trg. It used to be that every day was bad and now it's not so I guess that's a good way to measure it. I guess I may have just leveled out a bit. No one is going to feel happy all the time.
Zoe, I definitely identify with you. I have built in negativity. I guess I'm so used to being negative that I automatically look for it and ignore the good stuff and don't even realize I'm doing it.
ST, my doctor said that psychiatrists are more willing to put people on high doses of meds. I was in such a low place that I guess she wanted me to get out of it as soon as possible. Because I was absolutely miserable, and I'm not now. As for work, I don't think I'm ever going to be 100% ready. But that's the fear talking and it's hard to shake that. Medically there's nothing preventing me from going back to work. I have to go back sooner or later and the longer I put it off the harder it's going to be. And if I still can't handle it I'll look for another job. I don't enjoy the supervisor part so I would eventually like to get out of that.
I'm going back on a part time basis first, like half days M/W/F, then full days M/W/F and work up to full time in about a month.
It will help if I can just take things one day at a time.
yeah I know how you feel, not being 100% ready. Or not feeling 100%ready I should say,
Im glad effexor is working for you, it didn't do anything for me or it may have made things worse on me, not sure really.
I was only on 75, I became quite depressed in mid February... for me I do get these odd SAS spells, so it could have been that. Ussually Ive felt Ive been in a low state of depression. Dysthymia I believe it is called.
Anyway, I take Zoloft, I am much better then months past, definitely.
I still feel crazy from time to time. Things aren't as intense.
I personally don't trust my doctor, I took zoloft before(got to the point where I thought it didn't do anything but it does a lot for me so Ive been on and off it before) anyway, after when I've reached about 75, I think maybe before, well the doctor would only increase it every 5 weeks. I think that is way too long. Last time I was there he gave me the same BS about it getting better in a few weeks. I don't think he was going fast enough considering where I've been this time around.
Hey Willow, you actually sound more upbeat. I think after experiencing a bad spell of depression it's difficult to not fear it's return, like you can't trust the good feelings and wonder if the depression will return. If you didn't have control over it before it can do the same again, this is natural how you feel. Keep on with the positivity!!!
Hi Positivity, you're right, I feel like I can't trust the good feelings. I read in a book once that when you're used to being depressed, it's just easier to be depressed. You know what they say about the devil you know...
Roche, I have dysthymia too, and it wears me out. Is your doctor a psychiatrist or a GP?
By the way, one of my friends told me that she can definitely see the difference in me. She can even tell on the phone. This is the same one who said that she never knew that I was depressed. When I mentioned that she said that she always just thought that it was my personality and that I was just really quite, but now I seem different.
I have been doing better. I went to a party Saturday night and I wasn't feeling great and didn't feel much like socializing, but I think I was just tired because I've been really busy lately.
Last edited by mycatwillow; 08-06-2007 at 06:00 AM.
I forgot to mention that I'm looking at some options for improving my job situation, it's in the post to Positivity17. I hate being a supervisor and I would love to make a change, or something to make the other parts of my job more enjoyable.
I read in a book once that when you're used to being depressed, it's just easier to be depressed. You know what they say about the devil you know...
I agree with this, it's almost as if it becomes a part of myself and I've heard others say the same. I guess that's why it's so important to change the thinking which changes the behavior -- did I say that right??
Willow do you want to change your profession altogether??
It's hard to change a lifetime worth of negative thoughts, but we have to keep trying.
Sometimes I would like to change my profession, but there's nothing that I really want to do and I'm not willing to go to school for years and years again to train for something else and have to pay more student loans. I would accept being in the same profession but change the focus. Of course a lot of my problem is my lack of self-confidence and that I'm always scared I will screw up so until I change that I will always have an issue no matter what my job is.
Wow, when I read your posting I totally got this memory....at my last job I would often worry about mistakes and not doing things correctly. Sometimes one of my bosses would call me into their office and I'd nervously wait for them to point out an error, except that isn't what happened at all. Yet time and time again I'd be endlessly worrying about my work, even if the 2 bosses gave me compliments. I hope it's not the same for you b/c I was living in dread and that sucks!! Since I lost my job my mind is so relaxed and stress free from all that worry, it's such a huge difference that it's sick. Of course this was a new discovery, I never realized how much fear effected my life.
At your workplace are there tranfers to other departments?
I'm the exact same way. I live in constant fear. Even if someone at work is in a bad mood, I wonder if I did something to cause it. The thing with work is you spend so much of your time there and there's always so much opportunity for making mistakes. If everything is going right in my life and my drugs are working, I'm fine. But as soon as things start going wrong work makes everything seem so much worse and vice versa.
It's a very large place so there are opportunities for moving around, although not as many for me because I'm at the top of the ladder as a unionized employee when it comes to the pay scale. I would either have to make a lateral move, or take a non-union position. I would like to work for one of the VP's some day, but there are only so many of those jobs and some of the ladies in them are lifers. Plus they're always reorganizing the Executives and I would be afraid of losing my job. Anyway, I'm going to keep my eyes on the job postings.
Do you mind if I ask if you will be going back to work?
Hey Willow!! Something else popped into mind....one of my bosses I got along with extremely well, the other I started off on the wrong foot with from day one and it never really improved. One day a week she was in the office alone and I dreaded it so much, every Thursday was a day spent in hell!! What I came to realize in therapy was how much my interaction with her mimicked that of me and my mother. When this became clear to me, it made me sick to my stomach. Now this boss and my mother are both foreigners which kind of explained some of the cultural differences with them being non-emotional and of a serious nature. Anyway, was wondering if this plays into the fear you experience.
My fear is also in high gear when I'm not "right", in recent years I've experienced so much paranoia it's unsettling, like my thinking is off.
When I saw your question whether I was planning to go back to work, it hit on various emotions. For one, I don't have a job to go back to so I'm going to have to deal with the stress of looking for employment. I can't even wrap my mind around this right now, just thinking about it makes me feel overwhelmed. Secondly, I immediately was reminded of the people that judge me b/c I'm not working and I felt like whichever way I answered you are going to judge me. (I'm only telling you this out of honesty, this was what came to mind, I don't mean to hurt your feelings or sound defensive.) I also had this reaction due to my own guilt of not working which I struggle with half of the time. The other half of the time I'm okay with it and feel blessed to have this time to work on myself, I really am lucky.
So my answer to your question is: I don't know. Right now my mind doesn't feel too sharp, I struggle to come up with words in conversation, not to mention how long it takes me to answer a post right here!!! I feel like I'm not thinking straight. The other day I couldn't remember what state New Orleans was in and I was embarassed to ask anyone so I spent the day straining my brain, it was strange. I must ask the dr. if this is a possible side effect of my meds. I know the longer I am not working the more awkward it may be to get back into the swing of things so I'm just going to takes things as they come, listen to what my dr's say and take whatever time I have.
Once again I am in a manic phase, the last 2 nights very little sleep, it's almost 4 so I'm going to bed, look forward to your reply. Also wondering if you are still feeling rather good!! Take care, Willow!
I don't think you sound defensive. I hope I didn't cause you a lot of stress with this question. I asked it because even though I'm feeling much better and will be going back to work one week from today (yikes) I'm really nervous about it and part of me really does not want to go. I just wanted to know if you felt the same way because sometimes I feel defective. I know this isn't an accurate statement but it's hard to change all those negative feelings and I just wanted to know what your experience has been.
You didn't hurt my feelings, you were just being honest. But I apologize if I caused you any stress by this. I certainly don't judge you for being off work. I actually understand your fear because I felt the same way at first when it happened to me. I felt useless, and worried what other people would think, but all my friends basically said "good for you" and I started to wish I had done it sooner. I ended up being grateful for the time off, and also grateful for having a couple of extra weeks off while feeling good in order to better prepare myself, or to strengthen my reserves so to speak. I'm a bit scared, but it's not going to go away completely until I push myself to do it and prove that I can make it through. At this moment though I feel a bit overwhelmed thinking about it, not being sure if I'm up to the responsibility, so I can certainly say I have a bit of an idea how you feel. But my Dr. thinks I'm entering the danger zone where if I have too much time off I'll get bored & feel unproductive and depressed again. I hope she's right! If you're not ready and your doctor says you're not ready (and it sounds like you have good doctors that you trust), then you should definitely go with that and take all the time you need. Going back into the work force too soon is not going to do you any good, especially considering the fact that you'll also have to find a brand new job. Take all the time you need and to hell with what everyone else thinks. They don't know what it's like to walk in your shoes so they have no right to judge you.
Back to my own fears, I spent so much time at work feeling absolutely miserable I'm afraid that when I go back to that old environment I'm going to start having the old feelings, even though I think I've changed. Am I making any sense? I'm afraid that because I associate so much negativity to my job that as soon as I walk in the door I'm going to start feeling negative and all the changes I've made in my attitude will go out the window. I've been reading a lot about this sort of thing and how you start having negative feelings that you immediately associate with negative thoughts you've had in the past so as soon as you have that feeling you start having the negative thoughts again and make things much worse.
By the way, I do know what you mean about dreading spending time with certain people in your office. There are people at my job that cause me more stress than others, so much so that as soon as I see them walking in the door my mood plummets because I know they're going to say something that is just going to ruin my day. At least you won't have to deal with that particular person you were talking about anymore. There are also a lot of very negative people at my office and there's alway a lot of complaining about different people and different situations and I'm afraid they're going to drag me back down with them. I wish I could win the lottery and not have to deal with it!
Anyway, despite all these worries I am feeling better, it's just that I'm nervous about work. But it's time for me to face it now and I need to conquer it. It's not your time yet. Hopefully it will come for you soon, but if not then just take it day by day. That's all we can do.
You know, I've read a bit about bipolar disorder but never actually talked to someone who has experienced manic phases, so I find it very interesting to hear what you're going through. I've heard the manic phase can be very destructive, but it sounds like you've had enough experience with it that you know how to handle it and turn it into a positive, so good for you! There was one person at my office who was bipolar but I didn't know it until she had to go off work so I never noticed when she was up or down. She's been off for a year and a half so far and will not be coming back anytime soon. The last I heard they still haven't been able to find drugs that work for her.
Anyway, I've rambled on for too long this time. I hope you're still feeling well!