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‘Snapping out’ of depression?


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So…some days are ok. Other days – weeks even – it’s like I’m just…so low. Empty. Anxious. Don’t recognise myself. Wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life. Feel like such a failure. Can’t look people in the eye for more than a moment because my self-confidence takes such a tank. Not even when I’m just, say, buying a drink from a store. I keep my eyes on the drink while the checkout staff tells me how much. I don’t look up as I pay. I don’t feel confident enough to respond when they tell me to have a nice day. I don’t feel able to interact at all. I hate myself for it, and I leave, eyes on the floor. My will to do anything significant disappears. I feel devoid. I also feel really ungrateful because there are people out there who’d trade lives with me in a heartbeat, and for some f***** up reason that isn’t enough to make me snap out of it. It breaks my heart. I withdraw because I’m terrified people are judging me. It makes me hate myself more still. I’m not that important, after all…how arrogant am I to think people have the time or inclination to judge me? Not to mention, how weak, pathetic, and paranoid? I feel so introverted and it makes me miss out on so much. I don’t talk to anyone about it. Can’t. Don’t know how to. Don’t want to burden anyone. Don't know how to express it because my head's so goddamned busy. I stop seeing beauty in the world. I probably appear really cold sometimes to others, and I hate that because I’m not cold. Just so desperately shy. I stop working on my dreams because I just…I have nothing. I start to get body aches as tension builds up. I don’t sleep but I’m so tired.

I know exercise helps. I know eating well helps. I just…can’t figure out how to care when it’s that bad.

It’s exhausting. Can anyone relate? Has anyone overcome it? I’m in a tough, transitional phase of my life right now, and so that probably has something to do with it, but still…it doesn’t feel like ‘normal lowness.’ I’ve been able to pull myself out of that and ‘buck up’ before. But this? This feels like there’s maybe something wrong with my head.

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Standard Internet Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. If at all possible, go find one and see one; if it's affecting your ability to function in everyday life, it's serious enough to go see someone about. Don't wait for it to get worse. Agree with Seven of Seven's suggestion - see if you can get a referral.

 

I've been there, it truly sucks. More big virtual hugs from this corner.

I would suggest trying to do at least one thing to help every day - some days it might be making yourself go out and socialise with a really good, close friend so that you feel less lonely, but some days it might just be finding some time to sit down and do something crafty or creative alone. And then some days it might just be having a hot shower and congratulating yourself for getting through it all. The goalposts are yours and you're allowed to move them any time for any reason.  Getting some basics done like pre-cooked meals (not just for physical health; knowing you can just reheat something and get a good meal any time you like takes a lot of stress off), and house cleaning when you feel good can make a huge difference on days when you feel really bad, because it means you don't have to feel guilty for all the things you haven't done on days when you don't have the energy.


If you need to vent or anything, my PM box is open, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Even if you just need some virtual hugs.

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Thanks so much for the kindness, hugs, and helpful suggestions, guys. It’s actually quite strange for me to be feeling like this. I’ve dressed up as Michael Jackson and moonwalked on a stage in front of 500 people for a charity event before. I used to present to a room of 25 people monthly as part of my job. And so to not be able to look someone in the eye when I’m merely buying a drink from a store…to suddenly get this social anxiety…that’s weird, right? It’s odd. I'm naturally introverted, but it’s not me to be THIS down and shy and withdrawn and it really makes me think something isn’t right.

I’ve made the GP appointment for Thursday next week. I guess I’m apprehensive about the idea of subsequently being prescribed something like anti-depressants, because I know there are side effects and risks of dependency…but, honestly, to get these voids in the day…and inside me…it sucks so much. 

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It can take a lot of guts to ask for help when you're feeling this way, and you've done that, here and with your doctor. Hold on to that and be proud that you're brave enough to take the first step.

 

Be open about your apprehension to your doctor. They should work with you to find a path that's right for you. Maybe that will include medication, maybe it won't, but be honest and open about your hopes and fears and don't be afraid to say 'no' if you feel like you're being steered down a path you're not comfortable with, or if you feel like you're being steered there too quickly.

 

I hope the appointment goes well for you, and that you're able to move toward sorting it all out and living your life the way you want to.

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On 3/26/2016 at 6:12 AM, Jay87 said:

Thanks so much for the kindness, hugs, and helpful suggestions, guys. It’s actually quite strange for me to be feeling like this. I’ve dressed up as Michael Jackson and moonwalked on a stage in front of 500 people for a charity event before. I used to present to a room of 25 people monthly as part of my job. And so to not be able to look someone in the eye when I’m merely buying a drink from a store…to suddenly get this social anxiety…that’s weird, right? It’s odd. I'm naturally introverted, but it’s not me to be THIS down and shy and withdrawn and it really makes me think something isn’t right.

 

I’ve made the GP appointment for Thursday next week. I guess I’m apprehensive about the idea of subsequently being prescribed something like anti-depressants, because I know there are side effects and risks of dependency…but, honestly, to get these voids in the day…and inside me…it sucks so much. 

 

 

I was like you for years.  I didn't know happiness could be a permanent state of being.  I have a terrific supportive husband, had a good job and made terrific money because I was good at it, and felt that I should have been happy.  I felt terribly selfish for not being able to appreciate what I had.  I spent my life trying to keep from doing anything that would give people a reason to judge or criticize me.  I worked hours of overtime, and didn't take time for the things that brought me joy.  And finally, I found myself suicidal and sat through a rough night trying to stay out of the kitchen and away from the knives.  Why?  Because there was one little bit of me left in the core of me with hope.  And you still have that as well, or you wouldn't have put this out here.  

 

You don't snap out of depression.  For me, it was a year long journey, and it did involve antidepressants, and my doctor says I will be on them forever.  But you know what?  It's worth it - it was all worth it.  I spent 4 days in a psych ward, and the surprising thing was the majority of people were just like me - otherwise everyday people with depression taking them over.  I went from that to a one month outpatient treatment that was one of the best things in my life.  The first few days I felt out of place, hopeless, and wondered how listening to the sob stories of others would make me better.  But once I started to share and participate, I found a lot of support and help.  And then I was in weekly therapy for a year, and I still see my therapist every 2 weeks.  Forget all the images of therapists in movies and on tv.  And don't be afraid - this is no different than a physical illness, there is no shame in it.  In my case, I had undiagnosed OCD and a chemical imbalance in my brain that would never have allowed me to be happy, or to do things just to make myself happy.

 

You're on the right path.  Seeing a GP is the start.  After my rough night, I told my husband everything, and he took me to my GP, and my journey began.  And I'm happy, and comfortable in my skin.  And what you said about being arrogant enough to think people judge you?  That's not arrogant - people are very judgmental, and that's not in your control.  I've learned not to care about judgements, and to respect my own opinion.  But not on my own.  I felt before I broke that I needed to get myself into a good frame of mind - that it would be a sign of weakness to look for help outside of myself.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  No man (or woman) is an island.  If you have questions or want to talk to someone who's been there, feel free to send me a message, and I'll respond as soon as I see it.

 

Crystal Jade

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On 3/26/2016 at 5:12 AM, Jay87 said:

Thanks so much for the kindness, hugs, and helpful suggestions, guys. It’s actually quite strange for me to be feeling like this. I’ve dressed up as Michael Jackson and moonwalked on a stage in front of 500 people for a charity event before. I used to present to a room of 25 people monthly as part of my job. And so to not be able to look someone in the eye when I’m merely buying a drink from a store…to suddenly get this social anxiety…that’s weird, right? It’s odd. I'm naturally introverted, but it’s not me to be THIS down and shy and withdrawn and it really makes me think something isn’t right.

 

I’ve made the GP appointment for Thursday next week. I guess I’m apprehensive about the idea of subsequently being prescribed something like anti-depressants, because I know there are side effects and risks of dependency…but, honestly, to get these voids in the day…and inside me…it sucks so much. 

 

 

 

I've suffered depression two major times in my life. It sounds like you may be experiencing something similar; it sounds like depression isn't constant for you, but somehow it's happening to you now. I'm glad you're talking about it and that you've set up an appointment. 

 

Sometimes a general physician will simply prescribe medication because that's the only tool they have been taught. If that makes you uncomfortable, don't hesitate to say you'd rather have a referral to a good therapist if they know one. I was concerned about taking meds too, and my therapist reassured me that whether or not to take meds would always be my choice. Keep in mind that good treatment should always be focused on what the right solution for you personally is. Take care of yourself! 

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I know that broken and empty feeling. I've been there, not wanting to look anyone in the eye.

The worst time for me was, from the outside, when my life was going great. I had just gotten a new exciting job in my field. I trained for and ran my first marathon. My husband and I were doing great.

None of that made me less depressed, because depression isn't a mood. It's an illness. I couldn't will it away, or exercise it away, or work it away. My anxiety was so severe that I couldn't pick up the phone to make an appointment. I couldn't get on the path to get help on my own. My husband found a therapist, and made the appointment.

When did I start feeling better? About three weeks after I started taking Prozac. That medicine put color back in the world. It is magic. I am so grateful for it.

You're not alone.

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On 3/25/2016 at 3:00 PM, Jay87 said:

So…some days are ok. Other days – weeks even – it’s like I’m just…so low. Empty. Anxious. Don’t recognise myself. Wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life. Feel like such a failure. Can’t look people in the eye for more than a moment because my self-confidence takes such a tank. Not even when I’m just, say, buying a drink from a store. I keep my eyes on the drink while the checkout staff tells me how much. I don’t look up as I pay. I don’t feel confident enough to respond when they tell me to have a nice day. I don’t feel able to interact at all. I hate myself for it, and I leave, eyes on the floor. My will to do anything significant disappears. I feel devoid. I also feel really ungrateful because there are people out there who’d trade lives with me in a heartbeat, and for some f***** up reason that isn’t enough to make me snap out of it. It breaks my heart. I withdraw because I’m terrified people are judging me. It makes me hate myself more still. I’m not that important, after all…how arrogant am I to think people have the time or inclination to judge me? Not to mention, how weak, pathetic, and paranoid? I feel so introverted and it makes me miss out on so much. I don’t talk to anyone about it. Can’t. Don’t know how to. Don’t want to burden anyone. Don't know how to express it because my head's so goddamned busy. I stop seeing beauty in the world. I probably appear really cold sometimes to others, and I hate that because I’m not cold. Just so desperately shy. I stop working on my dreams because I just…I have nothing. I start to get body aches as tension builds up. I don’t sleep but I’m so tired.

 

I know exercise helps. I know eating well helps. I just…can’t figure out how to care when it’s that bad.

 

It’s exhausting. Can anyone relate? Has anyone overcome it? I’m in a tough, transitional phase of my life right now, and so that probably has something to do with it, but still…it doesn’t feel like ‘normal lowness.’ I’ve been able to pull myself out of that and ‘buck up’ before. But this? This feels like there’s maybe something wrong with my head.

 

 

 

Well here's someone else from the Chicagoland area that can relate to you. And I'm glad you mentioned that you know you are more fortunate than some other people, because that weighs heavily on my mind a lot.

 

Exercise and eating right does help, more than you'd think, so does social interaction and fun activities. Sometimes you just gotta realize you're going through a thing and you gotta take care of yourself, because no one else is going to. There have been times where all I've done is go to work then lay in bed, rinse and repeat, but eventually I started forcing myself to go for a walk or just drive somewhere to get a cup of coffee and listen to some music. I try to make plans in advance with friends on the weekends and since I'm an avid internet shopper when I'm at work I buy myself something nice or find a cool event that I think I'd like at least once per month.

 

Hope you're feeling better. It's definitely not easy, but just know there's a rebel out here saying a prayer for you.

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Hey all,

 

Firstly, I’d like to apologize for not posting the immediate response these heart-warming words of encouragement deserve. I'll skip the excuses. You strangers owe me nothing, and yet you’ve been so generous with your kind support. Thank you. Sorry for not saying it sooner.

Secondly, thank you for sharing your personal experiences. I did read somewhere that clinical depression can be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain… that makes me feel better as far as my struggles to shake it off alone (so there’s an actual potentially legitimate reason I’ve had difficulty here…but it also concerns me because, CAN I even shake it off alone if it’s a chemical imbalance? Maybe not.)

So, I’m giving some anti-anxiety meds a go. They do seem to calm, but they also make me feel pretty drowsy. Maybe those two go hand-in-hand. Maybe it’s temporary. Maybe I’m just tired to begin with.

I’ll give them some time.

I do hope this isn’t the start of a long road. I hope this isn’t part of who I am. I THINK I’d like to feel less, or at least be able to choose what I feel over. Some famous philosophers, if they were still alive, would tell me that I could pick and choose like it’s some kind of emotional stimuli buffet…’reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears!’…that seems like something divine, perhaps something people just say. So far, I’ve not been able to neurologically re-wire or reprogram myself like this.

 

I don’t know. I’ll see how the meds go. If they could just take the edge off those really bad days, that would be great. 

Again, thank you to everyone. The support here is staggering.

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I'm so glad you're getting some help with this. Depression and anxiety are not just figments of a damaged personality or something like that, they are actual illnesses. The tricky thing is that they are happening in your conscious mind so it's easy to believe that YOU (your core identity/self) are the problem rather than being sick. Getting sick happens to everybody, so please try not to feel bad about this (I know it's hard).

 

Some people catch them like the flu. It comes, it ravages, and it goes. For others, like me, it's chronic and will always require maintenance. Either way, it's smart to put in place self-care techniques and regular preventative maintenance in the form of good diet & exercise. And of course there's a million other ways to help manage your moods! Painting, drawing, dancing, music, writing, meditation, etc.

 

When I was hospitalized for depression (5 days) last October, I was given anti-anxiety meds for some acute anxiety I was experiencing. What a godsend! For those really rough moments/hours, I could take the edge off a feel kind of "chill" and then think about the anxiety-inducing problem later when I was calm. Anxiety meds that are PRN (take as needed) should work very quickly (like 15 min) and any side effects are unlikely to change over time. So if you're feeling like they're not quite hitting the mark, please don't hesitate to talk about it more with your doctor and see if there's something else you can try. For the record, I used Gabapentin (aka Neurontin). I don't really use it anymore since my anti-depressant seems to be covering all the bases for me (Wellbutrin).

 

If you're taking something daily, like Prozac, it can take 3-6 weeks before it really starts to work. Side-effects might go away over time, but please continue talking to your care providers about any concerns in the meantime. It would suck if you put up with something that isn't working for you only to find out it really wasn't necessary for you to do so!

 

Crystal Jade, your story made me cry and really resonated with me. It's very similar to experiences I've had.

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It’s exhausting. Can anyone relate? Has anyone overcome it? I’m in a tough, transitional phase of my life right now, and so that probably has something to do with it, but still…it doesn’t feel like ‘normal lowness.’ I’ve been able to pull myself out of that and ‘buck up’ before. But this? This feels like there’s maybe something wrong with my head.

 

It can be overcome. There was also a thing I had to do that was a tough, transitional phase. If I did the thing I risked eviction and disowning, and if I didn't do the thing I risked killing myself in the near future. Luckily things went all right when I did the thing, and doing the thing made the massive cloud of gloom and stress dissipate...and I "snapped out of it", so to speak. Depression (and a lot of anxiety) went away rather fast--I just had to address the underlying issue.

 

Now I think the depression is sloooowly starting to creep back, but I think I've identified the new underlying issue causing most of the bullshit, and I can deal with it some time this year, hopefully. Like @namelesswonder stated, it can come and go. Being able to catch it early is always good, though.

 

If you're experiencing tough times right now, it's possible that you may eventually snap out of it. It might be worthwhile to look into yourself, or to speak with a professional to try to figure out if there is an underlying problem that is contributing to the depression. As for the medications, there is nothing wrong with having to use a chemical crutch to weather the tough times. It's like if someone had to use a physical crutch after a knee injury. You're not weak. Bullshit just happens in life, and that's nothing to feel bad about. Also, remember this: You. Are. Allowed. To feel bad. You do not have to feel guilty or ungrateful for feeling bad/depressed. It doesn't matter if other people in the world "have it worse", and anyone who says something to you along the lines of blah blah so many people would trade places with you if they could deserves a punch in the teeth.

 

(Don't actually punch them, but you know ;P)

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Just wanted to stop and echo the others:  you're not alone.

 

I'll add that often going regularly to a therapist helps quite a bit for me.  Just getting everything off your chest to a third party who has no bias when it comes to my life is much easier than talking to family or friends.  Or at least it definitely was at first.

 

You said you were giving anxiety meds a chance.   Not sure if they are Xanax-style where you take them in case of emergency or daily meds.  If daily, make sure you give it 3-4 weeks before you decide whether or not you want to stay on them.  It takes a few weeks for most of them to make the changes they are meant to make.

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Jay, I've dealt with this too. Meds didn't end up working out well for me, but I know for some people they are miraculously successful. It's one of those things you won't know until you try for a while, I think.

 

Therapy, regular exercise, and meditation have been the best things for my depression and anxiety, but it's really hard to stay active and keep up the good habits while you're in the middle of it. Hang in there.

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I'd like to echo what everyone else here said.  Having dealt with depression coupled with anxiety issues in the past(including a year off from college, and 3 years or so of my life that were mostly a black hole) there's no universal prescription - but it can, and does get better.

 

For my personal case, medication didn't work particularly well for me(one antidepressant gave me awful digestive side effects, the other just sort of made me "numb"), but time with a therapist did - having someone who can(gently) steer you away from irrational, negative thoughts to gain a clearer perspective on reality.

 

The other thing that helped a ton for me was basically forcing myself to do things - if you can enlist the help of a supportive friend or family member here it helps a lot:

 

On 4/5/2016 at 1:09 PM, curryfiend said:

There have been times where all I've done is go to work then lay in bed, rinse and repeat, but eventually I started forcing myself to go for a walk or just drive somewhere to get a cup of coffee and listen to some music. I try to make plans in advance with friends on the weekends and since I'm an avid internet shopper when I'm at work I buy myself something nice or find a cool event that I think I'd like at least once per month.

 

This is pretty much what helped for me - forcing myself to do things.  In my case, when I was in college, shutting myself in my room and basically doing nothing(including not attending class) was an option - not good.  After I (barely) graduated I eventually landed a job, which was tremendously helpful via structure, social interaction, and above all else, giving me the opportunity to be successful at something and build upon.

 

There's no universal prescription here - but I just want to say: it can and does get better.  Hang in there.

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

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don't feel bad about not being able to snap out of a depression

that's not how depression works

if you can snap out of it, it wasn't a depression

it's a really gradual process, one you might notice happening until one day you'll be like "hey, I wasn't able to do this x months ago"

It's like getting in shape, you don't suddenly wake up with an amazing body.  But with each day of work, something gets a little better.

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                           |     I will face my fear.  I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

Start to Run      |     And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

                           |   Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing.  Only I will remain.

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