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Old 02-05-2009, 01:27 AM   #1
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Unhappy No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

I've always been a sort of blue person, but in the past few years it got to the point where I really had to look at medical alternatives. I always rejected any medicines, and tended to feel the majority of the people on them don't necessarily need to be. When it was impossible for me to sleep for days and other weird things started occurring -- like not even being able to read a line of text without losing concentration I had to take time off and figure out what was going wrong. Things got real bad -- beyond the sort of emo, I just feel bad about stuff phase. I don't really want to get into too much description but it was all a bit atypical for me. I mean, I was never lazy and finished a BA and MA in about five and a half years with high grades? All of a sudden though? I can't do even the simplest thing. Getting back into music and mixing and DJing sort of helped me along for a while, but blah -- that only comes with spurts of interest.

I've been on all kinds of medications at this point. For about a year I've been on a dosage that sort of stabilizes things for me. I'm neither here nor there; just sort of existing. That's been a good thing because prior to that I couldn't sleep and was constantly agitated nonstop -- worried, upset and had no idea why.

But not it's getting a little monotonous. I feel sort of numb and I want to tell my doctor I'd like to try some different stuff, but every time I have it's been a huge roller coaster. I finally found a combination that gets me through the day (not in a meaningful, productive way necessarily -- but at least able to wake up) and I'm scared to play around with it.

It gets sort of hopeless. I cut pretty much everyone I know off except one person. I don't like to leave the house. Everything, even the simplest things is a chore. The only thing I'd say keeping me away from suicide are my beliefs in an afterlife and the damage it would do to those around me. At the same time I'm not ashamed to say that maybe God would understand what hell I'm going through internally and know I did my best.

Everything is scary to me. Going to the doctor is scary. Picking up the phone and talking to someone is a chore. I feel uncomfortable about everything.

I've been on Seroquel, Lamitcal, Prozack, Lexapro, Luvox, and Zyprexa throughout the past year and a half. My current cocktail is Seroquel (for sleep issues), Lamtical (for mood issues), and Luvox (for depression). This combo has, like I said, been good for getting me by but there's no upward movement. I'm not able to work. I'm not really able to socialize or be functional. Being with friends doesn't even bring me pleasure. Nothing does.

What should I talk to my doctor about? I don't like to talk to him too much because every time he plays with the medicine things just get worse. I didn't take my medicine yesterday and today. I finally took my nightly dosage this morning. I was arguing with myself about whether or not I should keep taking the medicine.

I'm about to cry while writing this but I have no idea why. At the same time I want to go to sleep. At the same time I wish I could do something simple like go to the bank and the grocery store like I've wanted to for a week but I bet I will be too sleepy to do it. Sometimes I think the medicine is a good thing and it's helping me. Other times I think it's destroying me.

I just want to go back to being a normal person again. I want to understand what happened to me. I'm sick of being a guinea pig where the doctor experiments on me to see what might or might not work.

So what should I do?

I've been hospitalized twice. But being kept in a prison and watched for a week doesn't really solve any problems. Things that make some people happy make me want to cry.

Oh, I posted here almost two years ago and nothing has changed since then.

 
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:27 AM   #2
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Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

First of all, congratulations on the post. You are, at least, trying to do something about this, and that's a good sign.

With regards to feeling like a guinea pig - unfortunately, these drugs are pretty new (well, most of them) and everyone seems to react to them differently. Hence, finding exactly what works for you can be a long and difficult process.

First of all, make sure you're eating right, exercising regularly, and it wouldn't hurt to take some multivitamins. I know you feel sleepy and un-motivated, but the mind often follows the body - exercising regularly will make you feel more energetic and motivated (after a few weeks, anyway).

Are you seeing a counsellor or doing CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)? Depressive people are WAY more prone to getting themselves in negative thinking patterns and even the "healthy" among us have to be constantly vigilant to avoid falling back into "old habits". I believe that learning to think positively, focusing, and thinking logically are skills that people like us, who have depression, have to master far better than anyone else - PARTICULARLY when we are initially trying to beat our depression.

Have you considered seeing a different doctor, even if it's just to get a second opinion?

Insanity is trying the same thing and expecting a different outcome. Things aren't good for you now - you need to change them until they are. I won't lie to you. Things may get worse before they get better. But you have already proven how strong you are. You can get through this, IF you are willing to see someone who is QUALIFIED to help you out mentally WHILE you do it.

To summarize:

See your doctor (or get a new one, because frankly on the surface it seems like he's a bit "trigger happy" with prescribing medication)

See a psychologist, preferably someone who understands, if not specializes, in depression, and can help you through the difficult time of changing meds

Exercise, eat right, and take some multi-vitamins, to give yourself the best possible chance

It's not going to be the easiest thing in the world. But you can do it. And once you get through it, you have the whole rest of your life.

-Jake

 
Old 02-06-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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Breezes HB User
Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

I think the key is dealing with the reason for the depression in therapy. Left untouched, the cause can undermine other depression treatments. The therapist's support makes the work easier.

I like exercise because it's well diversified. It works chemically, structurally, and psychologically. Intensity matters. Aerobic exercise seems to consistently outperform other ways of exercise in depression studies. But any exercise is helpful. Studies suggest that the psychological benefit of exercise is underestimated. There is a lot to be said for taking action and fighting back.

 
Old 02-06-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

The way I look at it, in my personal depression, I don't believe I have an end in sight. That sounds really bad, but I have come to realize that I will have to be on medication for the rest of my life. Its not bad though, I've accepted it and thats helped. If you dont THINK medication will work, it might not work as well as it would if you believed in it *IMHO*. Once I finally accepted that medication CAN help and I took it properly at least. I have read many people DO overcome depression and are able to move on and function without drugs. I just don't think I will be one of them. I have been "depressed" an on medication for 11 years, but I feel I have had some sort of depression ever since I was little. Thats just a little background...enough about me.

I have too been on a MANY different drugs and drug cocktails over the years. Most of the drugs didnt work or I had terrible side effects. Mostly being "too numb" or just unable to get out of bed or that notorious "cloudy" feeling. While you are on a cocktail that "keeps you stable" at least, I truly believe there is a better mixture out there for you. It IS a hit or miss, and it IS stressful to change meds. If you get a good doctor who monitors you very closely it is possible to come up with medication that will actually make you better then just "stable." I am considerd Bipolar 2. I was on a cocktail of Trazodone, Prozac and Neurontin for about 6 years and worked great, until I had a lot of change happening in my life and a bad heartbreak in my life and those meds stopped working. I was admitted to the hospital and they put me a LOT of meds. I was on Risperdal, Lamictal, Wellbutrin, Trazodone, Xanax AND Visteral (as needed) Even after I was released from the hospital I was a vegetable for weeks. All I wanted to do was wake up and watch movies all day. My then husband took off work and sat with me for a few days and it helped. I finally made myself go back to work and they made up some crazy reason to fire me! That made it bad. I was heartbroken! Well I was depressed for weeks then I went and enrolled in school to give me something to do. That helped, I met new friends and that helped too. I got divorced and for financial reasons I could not afford to take Lamictal and Risperdal and I am doing just as well without them. Geez, how did I manage to talk about myself again?!

OK! So for my advice. Keep taking your meds as scheduled. Find another doctor and go to him/her and see just what they have to say. See what meds they recommend or if they have any tips. If you have been with your current doctor for awhile and they haven't been able to get the right cocktail its probably safe to assume maybe you should go to a new one. Different doctors have different brands and etc that they prefer. So maybe a new doctor can look at you in a different light. I went to a doctor who was the BEST in the area I live in by all kinds of recommendations. Well, she just couldnt get me right. I had reactions to everything or they just didnt work! So I found a new doctor and immediately he had me feeling better on an entirely new mixture. So I would definitely try a new doc. At least you know what drugs will keep you "stable" if all else fails. Its scary trying new meds, but it will be worth it. Just make sure you have weekly appts with the new doc, then maybe every 2 weeks, then eventually monthly. As of now I am on 90 appts (yay!)

Secondly, I KNOW how hard it is to keep a job. I have gone through SO many jobs. I jsut cant make myself get up and GO. It sounds so simple to other people.. "Just get out of bed and go" But we all know its not that easy. Its just hard to make yourself go, you know? BUT when I am working I always feel better and feel like crap a couple days after I quit, then I get depressed At least with working I get some human contact and I am normally able to "act" like I am ok in front of them. Its like a stage and I am actress, I just "turn on". So maybe try to get a part-time job, just a few hours a week even. It gives you purpose and like I said, human contact. Its so hard to keep up with friends. I often avoid answering the phone and keeping up with the "maintenance" of having friends...but at least in a job, you get to be around people and feel comfortable around them, but you don't have to keep with them and pay attention to them as friends. You have no commitment to coworkers. Maybe even just volunteer for a few hours a week. Getting out there is HARD. But I PROMISE it helps.

Lastly, exercise...its hard to be motivated. REALLY hard. Especially when you feel numb and dont want to get out of bed. I think most people get overwhelmed because they think of "working out" as going to the gym for 2 hours 5 days a week. It doesnt havent to be that at ALL. Maybe just try to take a walk 2 days a week, even for 15 mins. You dont have the everyday dread of "omg i have to workout today". You can spend a couple days prepping yourself mentally, then go out and come back in and know you have a few more days before you have to do it again. It will get easier over time and you WILL feel better. Even going outside somewhere private and getting some sunlight will make a difference. Vitamin D is VERY important to feeling "happy". I even tan in the winter (I know, its bad for your skin!) just to get some Vitamin D going. Take multivitamins too, just stick them with your daily meds. I also take ALL my meds at night. Ask your doc if you can do that, they always say take morning and evening meds but that always makes me tired in the daytime. At least when I take them at night I sleep off the tiredness that comes when you just take your meds.

One more thing, I dont know where you live, but if you are able too, but you might go to a local shelter and adopt a dog. There have been several studies proving how much they actually do help. Or even go a shelter once a week and just spend time with animals, just playing with them. Its amazing what joy a pet can bring.

Anyways, I hope I didnt bore everyone or just repeat things that everyone already knows. Thats just a little about me and through trial and error what I have found works. Of course everyone is different, but you never know!

 
Old 02-07-2009, 09:29 AM   #5
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Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

Do not give up ! Do things that you like doing like your music.. be creative maybe do some art just please don't give up you can beat this and you will. Be honest about the things you need, talk to close ones eat healthy etc stay away from drinking thats a strong depressant.

 
Old 02-07-2009, 08:19 PM   #6
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Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

Thanks to everyone who replied. Here comes a torrent of a response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Harton
With regards to feeling like a guinea pig - unfortunately, these drugs are pretty new (well, most of them) and everyone seems to react to them differently. Hence, finding exactly what works for you can be a long and difficult process.
What alternatives do I have to SSRIs? Are there drugs that simply boost your serotonin levels rather than reduce their uptake? If so what are some names?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Harton
First of all, make sure you're eating right, exercising regularly, and it wouldn't hurt to take some multivitamins.
I eat pretty healthily, though not on a particularly regular schedule. Exercise has definitely not been happening in the cold weather (not that I enjoy it anyway). I've been taking multivitamins along with my meds since the beginning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Harton
Are you seeing a counsellor or doing CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)?
I was -- about a year ago. It was absolutely dreadful. I'm not interested in discussing my problems or thoughts or daily routine with a stranger when a close friend (or hell, anyone on my instant messenger list) could give me the same advice. My insurance only covered so many visits and with the copay involved it was something I terminated after a couple months (thank God). I've had some experiences with therapists growing up as well (forced on me by my parents) and those were always useless as well (they usually ended up using my sessions while I read magazines in the lobby).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Harton
Have you considered seeing a different doctor, even if it's just to get a second opinion?
Yes and no. Here's the way I see it. The doctor is a kind of catalog of different medicines; he knows what's available and takes an educated guess on what might work for you. The issue is really finding the guy with the best catalog and experience shopping with it. Initially my doctor had me on Zyprexa and Lexapro -- which was definitely not helping things, even after getting past the lower thresholds. Since my dad has some similar issues he decided to put me on the same medicines as my father (Seroquel and Luvox); we added Lamitcal later on when I was experiencing some pretty severe mood swings. After that, things settled down and due to past bad experiences I was reluctant to experiment. I mean, I'm glad to just not be crying and those hellish moments (weeks) are the worst. When I composed my original message I had stopped taking my meds for just two days -- which you'd think wouldn't really make a difference, but I was starting to become unhinged and a bit manic.

Back to your question though. I am seeing two doctors right now: a psychiatrist and my family doctor. My family doctor has a pretty extensive background in mental health, so he is sort of my second opinion. My psychiatrist understands that I read up on the drugs I take and works with me in trying to find a good balance. Last time he said he could try some new drugs with me, but like I said here I was hesitant (too many bad experiences).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezes
I think the key is dealing with the reason for the depression in therapy.
At its peak, there was no real cause for it all. I couldn't identify a reason. There were literally thousands of incoherent thoughts running through my mind at one time. The things that do bother me are random and tend to be philosophical dilemmas or compulsions. I've sort of trained myself to let things flow more freely though to prevent myself from getting caught up in what I call chaotic logic. Exercise is double edged sword. It does make me feel good during the process, afterward though I'm beat, and that combined with the meds leaves me with not much free time in the day. I've tried reducing the Seroquel (the main sleep culprit) to different levels and 50mg seems to be the best (at one time, at my worst moments, I think I was on 200mg).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday25
Well I was depressed for weeks then I went and enrolled in school to give me something to do.
Yeah, i took that route in the beginning. I thought if I keep myself insanely busy I won't have time to become consumed by negative thoughts. The opposite happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday25
Secondly, I KNOW how hard it is to keep a job. I have gone through SO many jobs. I jsut cant make myself get up and GO. It sounds so simple to other people..
Right now I just try to keep myself busy period. My interests drift pretty rapidly but I try and keep myself occupied with something 90% of the day. One day I want to read books; the next work on some music; the next just watch movies or write. The worst points were where I was so overcome with emotion that I could barely even take a shower (and that's odd coming from a clean freak).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday25
At least with working I get some human contact and I am normally able to "act" like I am ok in front of them. Its like a stage and I am actress, I just "turn on".
I was a teacher at a community college. I was 'on' for hours a day and I think that could have partially been what led to this mess since I'm a very introverted and non-talkative person. Putting on a show and performing every day was a huge strain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday25
One more thing, I dont know where you live, but if you are able too, but you might go to a local shelter and adopt a dog.
Yeah, I'm a cat owner and she keeps me company most of the day. At other times she's venturing around the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by potnoodles
stay away from drinking thats a strong depressant.
Not a problem. I don't think I've drank since I was 14.

 
Old 02-19-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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TruthSeeker2007 HB User
Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

Met with my doctor a couple days ago and he added Wellburtin to my cocktail. Everything I've read about it seems promising. Now if only my pharmacy / insurance company / whoever could get the authorization after a number of frustrated phone calls.

 
Old 02-19-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
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friendsville HB User
Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

I have had depression for many,many years;but, had many, many ,years ,of no
depression at all. It used to be triggered when girl friends left me.I had electro-shock therapy,and the next year was married to a new girl.ECT's are a last resort,
and may be scarey.I had no problem,however,and they were done in a P/Doc's office.
Now I believe they are only performed at a Hospital.I take PAXIL(Controlled Release,only) for current depression,25 mg daily.I should be on a heavier dose for my weight.My dizziness is my big problem now.I take Meclizine,and it may help.
God bless you all....Bill

 
Old 02-20-2009, 11:01 AM   #9
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Seymour93 HB User
Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

Perhaps a tricyclic ad could help you. They fell out of favor in recent years...However, they work as well as SSRI's. Personally, I had fewer side effects on them.....You described yourself as a very introverted and non-talkative person. Some professionals say introversion and depression go hand in hand. Consider volunteering.

 
Old 02-23-2009, 06:24 PM   #10
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Survivor3 HB User
Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthSeeker2007 View Post

I was -- about a year ago. It was absolutely dreadful. I'm not interested in discussing my problems or thoughts or daily routine with a stranger when a close friend (or hell, anyone on my instant messenger list) could give me the same advice. My insurance only covered so many visits and with the copay involved it was something I terminated after a couple months (thank God). I've had some experiences with therapists growing up as well (forced on me by my parents) and those were always useless as well (they usually ended up using my sessions while I read magazines in the lobby).
Friends can never replace the expertise of a therapist. Give therapy a fair chance. It works.

 
Old 11-17-2010, 06:29 PM   #11
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sandyf HB Usersandyf HB User
Re: No end in sight after 2 years of depression.

Hi Truthseeker. I read your post and was curious to see if the Wellbutrin has helped. I'm going through a bad depression and not sure what med to try next! You're story sounds like mine. Thanks.

 
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