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Old 05-27-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Fighting to remain positive.

Hi there. My name is Jarred and im 25. I've never been formally diagnosed with any disorders but I believe I've been depressed for the last 15 years. My childhood was tough because I lived with my parents and my autistic half-brother who is 5 years my senior. It was very hard growing up with him. I couldn't deal with the idea of having someone whom I was supposed to love that also caused me and my parents great pain both physically as well as mentally. Its not like he was meaning to cause us pain, he was a tortured soul as well. My brother is on the severe end of the autistic spectrum so when me and him were together it was really the same as being by myself. This forced me to find solace in my own mind but unfortunately due to depression I only tortured myself more. I've spent many years feeling stuck in my own mind, constantly over-thinking and worrying about things i really shouldn't.

From the age of about 16, I've wanted to get help and had asked my parents, usually during or after a panic attack, to help me get help. It was hard for them to actually get me help because they were constantly trying to help my brother get better. Also I've always been good at putting on a smile and convincing the rest of the world, and on a rare occasion myself, that I was a normal, happy and outgoing person. Under the surface I felt like I was slowly drowning in depression, anxiety and self-loathing. I would blame myself for my brother's aggressive outbursts. I'd hate myself for not being able to protect my parents from my brother. I hated going out to any place in public because I was never sure if something was gonna set him off and all those people would catch a glimpse of what I dealt with on a daily basis.

He lived with us until I was about 20, then he went into a group home. Even now I still feel depressed. Often I get the urge to cry without anything triggering it. Thankfully I haven't lost many friends even though I am notorious for not returning and ignoring, phone calls and texts, as well as making plans then breaking those plans to just stay home locked up in my room. I have an extremely hard time focusing and keeping interest in things that I know I love and once felt passionate about. I often feel stupid because through non-action I have been slowly digging a hole for myself when I've really had no shortage of opportunities. I no longer have suicidal thoughts but when I was younger I never cared for my future because I never thought I'd still be here. Now I am feeling the pressures and stress of not caring about my future. After spending around 6 years in college and not having anything other than an associates to show for it, I've dropped out because I had no way of paying for it. Never mind all the student loans that I can't pay.

I am reaching out here because I figure its safe and I have a high probability of finding others who can understand my situation on some level. At this point in my life I am utterly sick of hiding behind a smile. Also I am very afraid that I'll finally lose that positive person that I can be. I don't want to be the person I was in my teens. I want to have a future and I want to care about it. I hope this is the first step on the path I want to be on.

 
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:05 AM   #2
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Re: Fighting to remain positive.

Hi
I am so sorry to hear what you have been through. I can relate, at least on some levels. I actually developed gastrits and the start of stomach ulcers from all my worrying. my worrying was about things I had no control of. I barely made it through college due to my low self esteem, things that I was not good enough or smart enough. I never evn really knew what I was experiencing was anxiety/depression until my family doctor suggested I start therapy after he diagnosed my stomach problems. I have been on and off antidressants for the past 10 yeas. I have now comes to terms that I need to stay on them. Have you considering trying therapy. They may be able to help you work though and help you come to terms with how you felt about your parents and half brother. Goings on antidepressants was a big step for me but it has really made a differance for me. I hope you feel better. Keep me posted.
Jo

 
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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Re: Fighting to remain positive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaro21 View Post

I am reaching out here because I figure its safe and I have a high probability of finding others who can understand my situation on some level. At this point in my life I am utterly sick of hiding behind a smile. Also I am very afraid that I'll finally lose that positive person that I can be. I don't want to be the person I was in my teens. I want to have a future and I want to care about it. I hope this is the first step on the path I want to be on.
Hello Jaro21,

I know all too well about wearing the mask of normalcy and wanting to get rid of it at times.

What you're afraid of has occurred in my own life.

Negativity has creeped in slowly but surely and getting rid of it(even slightly) is quite a task in and of itself.

If you can avoid the feeling I possess, then by all means do whatever it takes.
Accept advice and/or support with open arms(at least try).

This sea of misery seems to get wider and deeper with each passing day.This is no exaggeration on my behalf.

Keep fighting for a better quality of life.
You're worth the effort.

With respect
Phoenix
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:50 AM   #4
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Re: Fighting to remain positive.

Keep Fighting the Good Fight... to remain positive, but I hope you stay honest with, and true to yourself, so that you don't fall into any trap of pretending all is well when it's not, or just stuffing your feelings, you know what I mean? I'm just referring to your own inner dialogue, not the "social face" we put on for strangers, or at work/school, or whatever. How great that you are still Young, (although you might not feel it at present), and when you straighten out your issues as best you can, you will have a long, new, better, and happier life ahead. Nothing is carved in stone at age 25!
I could really hear you regarding the impact a severely disabled sibling has on the whole family dynamic. We had 4 kids in my family, but my only brother, the oldest, was severely disabled with spina bifida IV, in a wheelchair all his life. He had a great attitude (all things considered), but it was a HUGE deal that shaped the family and affected us all in different ways. There was no denying the depression factor in our house -- it was inescabable -- and even if depression wasn't in the air, things were always very "different" and even my best friends didn't have a clue regarding the impact of severely disabled siblings. I felt more affected than my sisters because I took care of him the most and always took him out for fun. I hope you have solid friends when you need a sympathetic ear! You sound like therapy might do you a world of good, and a qualified therapist should know if you need Rx help from a doctor or not. *Try to find the best therapist you possibly can, someone you're truly compatible with, and working out your issues will go a lot faster. Please don't fret on the college quagmire -- when you feel better, your path will be much easier to follow. Best Wishes!

 
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
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Re: Fighting to remain positive.

I'd really like to thank you all for sharing your own experiences and your kind words of encouragement! I started looking for low cost health centers in my area and I found one thats very close. I've decided that Thursday I am going to go and check it out. Hopefully I can start seeing a therapist soon. I am feeling really good today so its easy to say I'll go. Just gotta remember that its harder to try but non-action is only gonna make things worse. Again thank you guys and gals.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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Re: Fighting to remain positive.

good for you! Hugs!

 
Old 05-29-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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Smile Re: Fighting to remain positive.

Hello,

Firstly I want to say, thank you for reaching out. With no doubt in my mind you are in a safe place. I am here for you. But you must stay positive! I can see from your post that you are a very kind and generous person. The one thing I must stress that you try not too do is worry. worrying never does any good it only makes you feel worse.

I can tell that you have a bright future ahead of you you. You need forget all of the bad things that have happened in the past. If you feel like crying it is not a bad thing! It only proves that you are human. I admire your courage. There is defiantly nothing wrong with asking for help if you ever feel Down. That is what we are here for! So please feel free to ask anything. Even the smallest thing that's on your mind and is troubling you! We are here to help. you need to focus and your future. Leaving collage might have seemed like a bad thing but it could lead to you perusing a career that you like and have Intrest in. Your a smart guy! If your feeling lonely you should try to gout and socialise, you have to force yourself to sometimes but eventually you will become alot more socially active. Things such as pets can also be a great addition to the family!.

I hope that you understand that you are a great person. You are brave , kind and generous and anybody would be privileged to have you as a friend. So I would like to say thank you!

 
Old 05-29-2012, 09:42 PM   #8
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Re: Fighting to remain positive.

Hi,

So glad to hear that you've found a counseling center close to you. Fighting depression is never a solitary event. It takes confiding in those who can help you win this battle...and it is a battle you can win.

Try not to look at your years in college as "just having gotten an Associates Degree", try to look at it as, "With all that I was going through, I still managed to get my Associates Degree, I succeeded!"

You've been through an awful lot in this life and you've managed to keep yourself afloat, educate yourself, and keep things going, for that you should be very proud....many in your shoes would have just given up, you didn't, you kept fighting! You're a strong person, you've proven that, and you can do this.

Take things one day at a time, changes happen slowly over time. It took a while for you to get to this point. Just remember your aware of the problem and your doing your best to work on it and make things better, which is all you or anyone can ask of you. It sounds like you have good friends who will stick by you, keep those friends close, lean on them when you need to.

Find ways to add some happiness and "good feelings of self worth" back into your life. Volunteering and helping others is a great way to do this. Maybe going to a nursing home and just visiting with some folks who can't leave their beds, or reading to someone. If you like animals, volunteering at a shelter....things like that can help you remember what a good person you are, that you deserve to be happy just like everyone else, and doing good things for others tends to make you feel good about yourself.

Hang in there, things can and will get better.

Kat

 
Old 05-30-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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Re: Fighting to remain positive.

Jaro, You have been through a lot for someone your age. I agree with Katlin that you should feel proud of what you have accomplished in the face of adversity. You are much stronger than you think. Also, I echo Maddy in saying that you are in a safe place. I am very glad you are getting help. A good antidepressant can help with the depression and talk therapy can do wonders for helping you sort through the feelings from your past. Just having somebody tell you that your brother's problems were not your fault, can be a huge relief! Also, it sounds like you might benefit from being in a support group with others who have disabled siblings. Just discovering that you are not alone in your situation can be a great source of comfort. Also, having faith in God is a also huge source of comfort. Knowing you are not alone, that God is with you, and you can trust Him with your life can give you so much peace. What I love is that God can take the negatives in our lives and use them for good. Your experiences give you a compassion that others don't have for children in homes such as yours. I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Last edited by wordgirl07; 05-30-2012 at 03:22 PM.

 
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