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How do you cope with long-term depression?

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Old 10-10-2009, 11:13 AM   #1
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NatalieFaye HB User
How do you cope with long-term depression?

I desperately need to hear from other people who are dealing with long-term depression.

2 years and 8 months ago I had a nervous breakdown and after being put on Citalopram (30mg), having a year of weekly counselling followed by a year of less frequent counselling I thought I was really coming out of the other side. I reduced my meds slowly earlier this year so that I was on 10mg which was suiting me fine until I forgot a couple of doses and the side affects were not remotely amusing. I started my own business a year ago (as much so that I could take my time and get well as to have my own freedom in the workplace) and felt that the side-effects were too much to cope with when the business is so young so I went back up to 20mg. 4 months ago I also came off of the Depo Provera contraceptive injection (I was on this for 9 years), not so that my husband and I can start a family yet, but so that we can start trying next year as we will be 34/35 years old (we've been together for 10 years and married for 5).

Over the past few weeks I have felt myself slipping backwards into a deep state of depression. It is not every day, on the good days I am fine and can function as normal, but 2-3 days out of five I am struggling. The following issues are contributing to this:

1. Lack of confidence - the breakdown made me lose myself for the first time in my life and I have struggled to find the confidence and 'edge' that I once had. This can be debilitating in terms of my work and I am constantly having to reassure myself that I can do the job I am trying to do. This sometimes works but at other times I have to just write the day off.
2. Lack of sex life - my history gave us problems in the bedroom department after a couple of years of being together and we have had really good periods followed by nothing for months, for many years.
3. Weight gain - until the breakdown I was always fit and healthy and at the lower end of my BMI, now I am overweight and do not look or feel myself. I keep having the energy to carry out exercise but just as it is taking effect I lose the energy and the weight goes back on.
4. Money - my husband also has his own business and over the summer we struggled to pay the rent and bills which has added to our existing debts.
5. Distance between my husband and I - whilst we are extremely close there is a distance at times which is becoming noticeably bigger. I am acutely aware that my husband has had to deal with my depression as well as developing his own business and at no point has he reached out for any help himself. This has had understandable effects, some of which he admitted to me today and we have agreed to go to marriage counselling to deal with.

Today I have feelings of failure as a person and sheer frustration that this 'illness' has gripped me again. I don't know what to do for the best, I am already on a fairly high dose of meds and I think on an individual level I have got everything out in counselling that needs dealing with. I have not got out of bed today and that is something I haven't done for some time.

Obviously going to counselling with my husband is going to help and we have agreed not to go anywhere that involves spending money for the time being to help with finances.

It would really help me to hear how other people manage to cope with 'slipping back'. Does this happen often and will it get better or is this going to be with me for the rest of my life? How have other people's spouses coped with long-term depression? Is there anything else I can be doing to make life easier on myself or my husband?

Thank you in advance for your response.

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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trg247 HB Usertrg247 HB Usertrg247 HB User
Re: How do you cope with long-term depression?

It is really important to see the current situation for what it is such as (A) Is it just an increase of stress that is causing the situation (B) What are the difference between this episode and the last (C) Are the coping mechanisms I used to get through it the last times working now. Depression is a scary monster and it tends to be peaking over our shoulder getting ready to attack but sometimes it is just a shadow and not the real thing. The best thing I can suggest is journal your days and see if you can see any triggers or patterns than bring it in to a professional to help determine where you are. Take care
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Current Meds

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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Kiasmama HB User
Re: How do you cope with long-term depression?

I used to have a lot of issues with slipping back, but then I just stopped looking at it as slipping back. What I mean is...I just sort of accepted this is the way I am wired. Not that I don't strive to be as positive as I can, but I just accept that there will be times during the year that I have bad days. I try to eliminate as many triggers as I can, but I don't beat myself up when it happens.

Sometimes I can go years without depressive episodes, but the last few years, I've had a few episodes a year. I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. I don't say "oh no I"m slipping" it's more like a 'here we go again". I know I"ll come out the other side...I always do...I just try to minimize the damage getting there :-)

Old 10-10-2009, 09:07 PM   #4
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Cowpin8 HB User
Re: How do you cope with long-term depression?

I dont have too much to say. I suffer from PTSD and Major Depression. You sound very smart. You seem to know the exact cause of your depression. That is the first step which most people never get past. You can go to local clergy for help with your husband. You are very organized (like me). Go through your list and write out things you can do to address the problems. Only write things YOU can do. Do NOT write what someone else can do. ONLY you can change your life. That is the key to understanding. Put it on paper at night while you are in bed. Sometimes it helps to actually write things down. As you write, more and more thoughts will open up and you might be surprised at some of the things you find yourself thinikng and writing. There is not one single person in the entire world that can change your life. Only you can. It starts by your thinking. Oh yeah...I love to read everything I can on Depression. It seems to help me a lot. I am also having a hard time getting out of bed lately. It WILL get better.
Good Luck, Joe.

Last edited by Cowpin8; 10-10-2009 at 09:08 PM. Reason: spelling

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Phoenix (03-18-2012)
Old 10-12-2009, 02:58 AM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2009
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NatalieFaye HB User
Smile Re: How do you cope with long-term depression?

Thank you very much to you all for your comments. It all makes perfect sense and has helped to put things into perspective. I had a much better day yesterday and by the end of it really felt like I had achieved a great deal this weekend.

Hopefully I will stay up this week and if I don't, well 'here I go again'

Old 03-17-2012, 12:22 AM   #6
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ocie HB User
Re: How do you cope with long-term depression?

I also suffer from depression. What helps me tremendously is exercise and prayer. This has kept me off of antidepression medicine. My husband feels helpless in helping me, but he has faithfully been there for 20 years.

Last edited by Administrator; 03-17-2012 at 02:08 AM.

Old 03-17-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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JoeSwim HB User
Re: How do you cope with long-term depression?

I've been dealing with depression on-and-off for twenty years. I've had therapy, just about every medicine in the book, as well as many of the nutritional supplements that have been proven effective. My only advice is to continue to be highly aware of your symptoms. Journal if necessary, but I have found that working on a journal tends to make me focus on the negative and spirals me back down. For me it is the right combination of medicine, nutrition, and life changes. I tend to take my Pax in the AM (which is not typical) along with Life Spark Depression Supplement right from bed. I'm ready for the day after one snooze. I also take Omega-3 2X per day (make sure you get the highest Omega-3 levels per serving, they vary widely). My depression is highly sleep sensitive so I find that if I manage my sleep, take my meds and supplements, I tend to find myself effectively managing my depression. Best of luck, and remember that you are not alone in this journey!

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