2ND TIME == Battling Major DEPRESSIVE Disorder & FMS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by S-Elaine, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member


    For those who know me here at ProHealth’s Message Boards may recall I struggled severely with Depression 9 years ago. Through the help of my Father, he guided me. He was there by my side daily and shared with me his wisdom, advice and showed me how he personally managed to live a life of happiness ---- despite his 2 debilitating illnesses.

    He had Parkinson’s for 19 years and Rheumatoid Arthritis from the neck down, affecting and physically distorting just about every part of his body for 29 years.

    I believed he taught me everything, so I thought. He even asked me to be the person who represents his “voice” / “words”. We re-discussed every topic imaginable. He periodically questioned me to see if I forgot any of what he had said.

    Nine years ago, I completed my Hospital Acute Partial Outpatient Program. I followed it up with Counseling for an additional 9 months afterwards, I felt I had this thing “licked” or at the very least “managed” and all ------- in MY PAST.

    Apparently, I was wrong because I went way off track and never realized it could come back in such a destructive way.

    For the past 3 months I have been following my After-Care Program and re-experiencing the “Recovery” and “Healing” process, That part has all been very therapeutic and helpful.

    When I was in the Inpatient Mental Health Program back in December, the Psychiatrist pointed out to me ..... “You won’t have a coping skill for everything that comes up in life.”

    Those were KEY words. Key words I will never forget. Key words I have learned to use to my advantage.

    I never predicted my own Family Members would become toxic, extremely dysfunctional while also INSISTING ---- We need to keep the family together.

    What????? That is what I say in retrospect. Why continue to repeat the same cycle and never make any progress or improvements. Why should I participate in your drivel? Why do you expect me to tolerate it and dismiss it year after year?

    Why can I not simply …… just walk away?

    I never imagined I would need a coping skill on how to remove Family Members from my life permanently and forever!

    So last year my Depression was building, yet I did not know it. Years of emotional abuse started to pile up and overtake me. I could not 100% separate my life from this negativity because the Toxic Family Members kept resurfacing. I tried everything imaginable, but other Family Members dismissed what was happening to me. Everything was ignored or I was accused of “exaggerating” and blowing things out of proportion.

    Unfortunately, for me in December it turned into “Severe Clinical Depression” which required Hospitalization along with 1 week in the Mental Health Inpatient Facility.

    I was given the label of “Re-occurring Major Depressive Disorder”. I have this along with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.

    My time has been spent on my After Care and Recovery. I am RECLIMBING the same Mountain I did approximately 9 years ago. Although this time the Mountain has more obstacles on it and other contributing factors that may cause a person to become discouraged.

    To my disadvantage, I do not have my Father by my side, and I do not have Supportive Family Members. It is sad to say my own Family Members are unwilling to do anything for me. Some are acting like I have become a problem and are treating me as if they are angry at me. It has now turned into SILENCE and no words are even spoken. You pass by one another as if you are strangers. You do not even acknowledge the other person. I have just become use to this and refuse to allow it to deter me from my Recovery. I have goals set and I am determined to achieve them. I have already achieved some. I am willing to leave behind anyone I need to if necessary. I have tried my hardest to salvage some relationships and I cannot work with someone who does not want to progress along with me in healthy and positive directions. Some cannot even face CHANGE because they are so fearful of it. I am embracing CHANGE!

    I moved on to a Support System consisting of neighbors, relatives, cousins, friends and a Group of Professionals.

    In mid-January I was Hospitalized again for 9 days at another Facility, simply because my Family was NOT educated enough on how hard a “road this is to travel” and there are times when we may doubt ourselves.

    Now again at the end of March, I was brought back to the Hospital for and “Evaluation” and I was presented with the possibility of being put into another Treatment Facility.

    The things that all went into my FAVOR for this recent evaluation was the following:

    == I have been seeing a Counselor 2 times a week since the first week of January. My Counselor stepped in and was able to verify the facts and the tremendous amount of progress I have made.

    == I have been participating in all of my After Care Appointments. Not one has been missed even in Blizzards or Snow Storms. I have been seeing a Psychiatrist as well.

    == My Psychiatrist added in medication for Depression in the morning because I felt it was necessary during this time. ( …. Interesting how neither of the 2 Hospitals I was at never added in a new medication. Interesting how each Hospital was so non-structured where they did not even discuss with me my “issues”. Also interesting how when I finally get to consult MY personal Psychiatrist for an Antidepressant not only does he start me on one that day, he wonders WHY neither Inpatient Hospital ever did that for me.)

    == I had previously identified my “triggers”. I completed all of the workbooks and shared them with my Counselor.

    == I view my Depression as an additional Medical Condition I am aware I need to manage for the rest of my life. Similar to the way I do with my FMS or CFS.

    == I have been discussing with my Counselor “my patterns”, my “early warning signs” and am comparing the similarities of my 3 times dealing with MDD.

    == I have identified the “feelings” and the wrong choices I made each time.

    == I know what to do when you sense there may be a problem. ( ...Immediately speak to my Counselor, call my Psychiatrist, bring myself to the Hospital, pick up the phone and call the “Hotline Number”, immediately tell somebody in your house or even a neighbor .... Or, BEST YET, call 911 and let them know you need assistance and they will arrive within minutes.)

    == Also I asked the Clinician who was doing the Evaluation ...... "Why am I always taken away from MY Counselor?? If I have come so far in learning as much as I can about Depression and I am addressing my "issues" in Treatment, why do my Family Members keep accusing me of doing something wrong or not making enough progress?? Don't I have any rights?"

    I was discharged as along with the instructions of having my Mother come on my Counseling Session that day so we could have some "Family Counseling" together. My Mother also agreed in front of the Clinician she would do this and she would go with me to see my Psychiatrist the following day and to my 2nd Counseling Session.

    We left the Hospital. My Mother changed her mind and I went to all of the appointments by myself.

    This has been another Journey for me and I have learned so much. With this additional knowledge, I can always use it in my favor.

    I get to choose a happy, peaceful, rather quite and therapeutic life.

    Most importantly, ------ I get to say NO ----- to all of the outside pressures of either family, friends or stressful situations, the chaos or drama some people thrive on. Those in the world who are a negative influence and will always take from you, yet never give. Those who live a dysfunctional life and want to solely drain you continually. Those who want to say very hurtful things and still want to continue the fight even when there isn’t one left. Those who will even try to undermine your progress every turn of the way.

    Those you may even have to get a “Harassment Order” against because they just won’t stop.

    Since I am 3 months into my Recovery, I am seeing my -------- NO ------ to all things in the past that contributed to dragging me down is very LOUD, CLEAR & FIRM!

    The beauty of it is you do not even have to explain yourself.

    I wanted to honestly share with the Message Board the mistakes I made. My ups and down. My trials and tribulations. I was also waiting to get to the right place where I can outright say how AMAZING it is when you are given the opportunity to rebuild your life and make better, healthier choices.

    Lastly, I am THRILLED with the way my After Care Treatment is going, and I realize WE ARE IN CHARGE of our future. Resources and tools are always out there for us. We just have to grab hold of them and use them to our advantage.

    ( …… as I just wrote that last section, I visualized being in a Tank and going to WAR with anything standing in my way!)

    == Elaine

    (**EDITED: to try and shorten my Title!)[This Message was Edited on 04/05/2010]
  2. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    You sound like you have survived the most difficult times of your life, and it is inspiring to have read your story. I hope you continue to make positive strides in your recovery. I know how difficult it is, I also have FM/CFS and Major Depr.

    The symptoms never go away for long...just when I think I'm doing pretty well, BAMMMM....they're back! It's hard living w these dds and waiting for the next episode to hit. I am always afraid of slipping back into the pit, and unfortunately, it does happen all too often.

    You have been fortunate to get some good, professional help. I have never felt satisfied w the "therapy" I have received. I haven't been able to obtain any good coping skills to deal w the stressors that always reappear in my life. It's so hard to find a therapist that I feel comfortable with...I've been thru MANY!

    I also was in a psych hospital for 30 days for MAJOR D almost 5 yrs ago. It was a good experience, but also disappointing in some ways. I came home and still had to wrestle with my demons and the stress from my kids and their problems. Again...no coping skills.

    I haven't been truly happy in many yrs. I can't even think of things that actually make me happy most of the time. Typical depression... I've had it since I was a child, but never realized it until I was in my 30's (I'm now almost 49).

    I've been on all kinds of ADs, mood stabilizers, benzos, anti-psychotics, but the depr always resurfaces. Mostly, the meds just turned me into a zombie, except for Prozac which I've been on for years.

    These dds can just suck the life right out of us, and sometimes it seems like torture. I admire your strength, I wish I had more of it myself. Thanks again for sharing, I'm glad you're winning the fight!\

    xxxooo Hermit

  3. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

  4. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    I just read the original post and the responses. How powerful!

    Yes, it is good to read such honest truths about these mammoth struggles even though they are so personal.

    I am in an EXTREMELY BAD WAY emotionally today myself following a physiological crisis episode that began last night. I'll explain that at the end of this post.

    I too feel I have been majorly depressed since about the age of 8. That is when our single mother of seven sons ( I was the youngest) couldn't take being on welfare anymore and she gave in to the big promises of a man who wanted her to marry him.

    Hitting 40 years old and being raised in Iowa when women stayed home and men worked...our mother never really knew how to do anything more than be a stay-at-home mom. She never even learned how to drive a car.

    So, after living a rough life already from a binge drinking and running off first husband...she marries this guy who turns out to be one of the most violent wife beating raging alcoholics between L.A. and San Francisco.

    The guy was an absolute raging Frankenstein at night when he drank ( 6 ft. 3 in. 250 lbs ) but who actually went to work every day and paid his bills ( which my mother was craving and put up with her beatings to keep ) but as soon as he came home he began to drink his Scotch, Vodka, Gin, you name it...and within a few hours he would become a crudely cursing, threatening, raging, drool spitting monster!

    His raging made you sick to your stomach with tension. I had never ever seen anyone like this in my young life. I was absolutely terrified!

    All he ever screamed to our mother was what a bitch she was and we boys were nothing but a bunch of "hog mouthed sons-a-bitches." We were eating "his" food and using "his" house. He had so much hate and he would chase and threaten us constantly.

    I went from a fatherless childhood where our mom would cry and worry about making it every day for years, to a terrifying watching my mother being beaten and threatened and humiliated one overnight! This guy was so terrifying that your stomach would be in knots 24 hours a day. And when the neighbors would call the police after hearing our mother scream for her life...the cops would come and talk to the monster for a while...AND THEN LEAVE!

    Even as a child, I thought..."wait a minute...if somebody just attacked our mother on the street in broad daylight and beat the holy living you know what out of her...you cops would race and jump on this guy and lock him up!"

    But, you just talk to this wife beating monster and drive away? That illogical unprotective insanity just destroyed me.

    There was no protection from this monster. Ever!

    I would break down crying in elementary school from 24 hour stress, fear and lack of sleep exhaustion and depression from this terrorizing nightmare that I was witnessing and living. Trying to be a kid in school while seeing my mother having her arms and legs twisted night after night and crying for help and this guy chasing us out of HIS house at 2 in the morning and threatening to kill us all...again...this just destroyed me as a child.

    It never ended. I lived with this until I left home at about 16. This was in the sixties.

    There were no shelters and help for beaten mothers and kids back then. My mother stayed in this nightmare I believe from her low self esteem , fear of not having any means to take care of her boys financially...and the Stockholm Syndrome.

    So, it's very obvious why I became a mannic depressive in my childhood.

    Somehow I barely coped with my life from that point. Never had counseling. Didn't know how destroyed I was. Got married, had two kids. Always deeply, DEEPLY sad.

    Then in Dec, 2005 at the age of 54 I got a flu, fainted and crushed my face and was taken to hospital unconscious and bloodied and found to have low electrolytes and beginning brinchitis so given two Levaquin tablets and sent home where I fainted again 3 minutes into the ride home.

    Then sent home again next day and still taking this super powerful antibiotic my body just exploded in nightmare symptoms within 24 hours of my first of four doses of this stuff...and the last 4 years have been a living hell ever since with symptoms like everyone else here is experiencing.

    Of course I completely collapsed emotionally soon after all this began

    Have been through everything you ladies have described here. My barely pieced together coping mechanism structure that barely got me through life from 16 to 54...collapsed like it was hit by a tsunami.

    I lost everything...job, career, finances, credit, health, mental state...and my poor wife has had to carry all of us with a job so stressful she has been breaking down crying the last year and a half and has to have regular counseling just to barely cope herself.

    She is so tired and exhausted and dispirited. She says all the time...I wish I could retire from this horrible job...but I can't because how would we all have a roof over our heads.

    Talk about guilt for putting her in this position!

    I still have so many medical malady conditions.

    So many like everyone here describes.

    I think that I have had some leaky gut and been so malnourished for so long. My vitamin D levels and B-12 levels have been off the charts low since I started measuring these. Same with testosterone.

    I was a gardener here for 25 years and worked in pine forested areas on big estates in Pebble Beach, CA...and I am sure I must have been bitten by ticks too...but the two tests I had 4 years ago came up negative for Lymes.

    I took a Vitamin D pill last night and as is the case with almost every pill I take...withing hours my intestinal tract went into the most torturous gas, rumbling, pain, stress ... like a steel wool pad is going through there and rubbing against inflamed lining.

    I have had so many GI tests however, and these come up "mild to moderate" with any symptoms. I cannot go back for anymore I have had so many. Yet my intestinal tract goes into these episodes and I almost want to end it they are so torturous.

    But, I get these intestinal nightmare attacks and they are so often triggered by taking pills!

    Everything from vitamins, antibiotics, other meds... Cymbalta and Prozac did this so bad I was in an almost constant fainting shock state the entire time I took them.

    And these intestinal attacks are always accompanied by massive depression! My theory is that because 80% of our serotoinin is produced in the gut...when I have these gut attacks the serotoinin is shut off. I know, not scientfiic...but why are my gut attacks followed with massive depression?

    What is this GOD ?

    I hope you all don't mind me sharing and letting off of this torture I go through. I know you are going through your own.

    I am the middle of one of these attacks right now and years ago I would have run to the local ( our only one ) hospital, but they would do their tests and find nothing clearly wrong and usually start calling the psyche ward on me. My records are loaded with these psyche notes and comments and this has hurt my medical patient reputation and credibility and care so bad...that sometimes new doctors see these and end my first consult visit right there and say "Sorry, I am not the doctor for you." "You can get your co-pay back at the front desk."

    Seriously, I have had 3 new doctors do this to me during the last 3 years and it's always right after they start looking at my local medical records which they access on their lap tops.

    Those psyche notes in my records are the kiss of death for me getting care anymore.

    Thanks for reading.
  5. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    hi s-elaine. like you, i am battling major depression as well. i had the ailment before i got CFS and also like you, have almost no support system and no psychiatrist (very hard to find here).

    strangely, i was in so much agony from the CFS, i assumed that once that improved i would be ecstatic and have a new lease on life. but its not working out that way at all.

    my CFS is somewhat better but i find myself more depressed than ever.

    the mountain just seems to keep getting bigger and bigger sometimes...

  6. ilovepink4

    ilovepink4 Member

    I have had horrible depression bouts....most of my life....but because of my kids, I just won't take thatfinal step of suicide....i think about it....plan it out how I would do it.....I just don't want to hurt my kids by killing myself.....i have a disabled daughter and she needs me, even more than the other three.....it could ruin their lives if I hurt myself.....i just don't want to mess up their heads.....

    i just never felt that the hospital could help me....i have terrible side effects from anti depressants.....i didn't like talk therapy much so I avoided it....

    when this happens, I just suffer through it....and it is horrible...i will take my sleeping meds day and night so I can just sleep through it when it happens.....

    what does the hospital do for you?
  7. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    The main thing my hospitalization did for me was to keep me safe and well taken care of. The nursing staff did checks every 15 minutes to be sure I was OK...they did this for all pts that were potentially a danger to themselves or others.

    The staff made sure I ate, drank, showered, everything. I was so depressed at home that I would just lay in bed w the blinds drawn all day and cry myself into a fit. I started taking too many pills to knock myself out, sleep was my escape. When I found myself hiding in my walk in closet, I knew I needed to check myself in.

    It was very scary and quite humiliating, I didn't even know myself anymore. Sometimes I still don't....but this is the life I'm stuck with. I can never figure out how to make it better.

    In the hosp, I saw the Psychiatrist every day, and he kept a very close watch on how I was doing. They are able to do more aggressive med adjustments if you are an inpatient. And it felt good to be taken care of.

    I needed some time to just take care of myself, it was almost like a vacation. I have 2 special needs kids who create huge amts of stress for me...daughter has been a horribly aggressive, defiant, autistic, bipolar, devel delayed child since she was about a year old.

    The other patients I lived with really opened my eyes to the world of mental illness. We had several group therapy sessions daily...some good, some not so good. Many days at the beginning, I was so sedated that I slept most of the time. I needed the rest.

    I felt safe and relieved to be away from home. I was able to de-stress and take care of myself for a change. I really didn't want to go home even after a month of being in the hospital. I wasn't "cured" by any means, but was glad I did it.

    With my dds, my doc has found that I have a biochemical/metabolic/genetic disorder that causes my system to lack the ability to produce enough neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine). So, we're still working on figuring it all out.

    But, coping skills still elude me most of the time, especially when dealing with a hateful, violent teenaged girl who is bigger than me and impossible to reason with. I have so many horrible feelings everyday due to our struggles...anger, sadness, hatred, guilt, you name it. It's a rollercoaster that I want to jump off of!

    Ilovepink, I could have written your post...we may have a lot in common. If you have insurance to cover it, why not give hospitalization a try...if you go in voluntarily, you can leave if you're not comfortable with it. You really need to figure out a way to focus on yourself when it gets rough...I know, easier said than done. I live w this dilemma everyday!

    Joeb.......I'm so sorry for the horrors you lived with. I cannot imagine surviving such a nightmare. My father was very controlling and verbally abusive, and that was enough to mess me up in sooo many ways. And I'm afraid I'm doing the same thing to my kids, I see myself acting just like my father sometimes and it makes me sick. No patience, overwhelmed and so unhappy w my life. Having a family is supposed to be a happy thing, or so I thought. I should have NEVER had kids.

    It helps so much to share w people who are living the same types of lives. Nobody else can really understand. I am also Premenopausal and my hormones are going crazy. I only have 2 wks (at the most) of somewhat normal moods every month. Like now, I'm so irritable, sad and angry about everything...I don't know what to do when this hits, and it happens EVERY month! Grrr.

    Luck to everyone, take care of yourselves, breathe.

  8. shari1677

    shari1677 New Member

    What an inspiration you are to me - personally! I'm 43 and have 3 psychiatric admissions under my belt; one when I was 21, one when I was 22, and then again when I was 40 - I doubt it will be my last.

    If you dont mind, can you share more in depth with me exactly how you finally made that jump to quit involving yourself with your family members. I am dealing with that issue now and find it extremely difficult to do.

    I also have no medical insurance, so I am unable to see a counselor.
  9. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Hi to those who have responded.

    I need to emphasize the point of …… “certain wording we use” …. as that is part of the rules of the Message Board. If we can, please be mindful of that. Like SPRINGWATER mentioned, many stories or parts (large parts) of my own story I have to edit out.

    For those who ware suffering from this same Depression Daemon, let’s UNITE TOGETHER and visualize WE are ALL climbing that same MOUNTAIN together. If you reach out, someone will grab your hand. During the time when these emotions become so strong, simply close your eyes and picture yourself on the Mountain and smiling faces are around you of those of us who understand and we will grab on tightly to you and help you climb higher.

    I won’t leave anyone behind because I understand and am very familiar with your “struggles”.

    I can tell you what it looks like at the TOP of the Mountain.

    …… What beauty! The “fog” you were living in before is lifted and your vision becomes crystal clear. The grass, flowers and all of nature looks so crisp. The sky is beautiful to look at again. What an amazing horizon it is when the sun sets and there is so much peace and tranquility. I tend to dance and sing because that is how HAPPY I am. It makes me laugh because I am tone-deaf and have 2 left feet!

    You climb back up to the mountain in order to ------ FIND YOURSELF.

    You will find yourself and also find a better YOU. A better one because the way we were before did lead us back to the destructive path we were on.

    Not only have I found myself, this experience has made me smarter, wiser, feeling very confident of myself again and I am grateful for the added knowledge. I plan on using that appropriately as I map out the rest of my life. My decisions will all be for ME and I will not be taking the focus off of myself simply because it is long overdue!

    If we do not focus on ourselves, then we will not be able to give back to others.

    It took me 3 months to be able to write my message and confidently know I am on the other side to Recovery. I wasn’t able to post my story sooner because I needed to be on “firmer ground”.

    SHARI677 ===== I will reply with the details of how I separated myself from Family Members tomorrow. It will take me time to write that up. For now, just do not have any involvement with them. You are NOT obligated to pick up the phone when they call or respond to any messages. Block them from emailing you too. Cut off all communication with them and keep it PERMANENT. Eventually they will sort of "figure it out". Just do not waiver on your decision or give in to them. Distance yourself from them.

    Yesterday I was hit with 2 more things I could perceive as negatives, yet I am walking away and forcing myself to not let them bother me or feed into the cycle of Depression.

    == My antidepressant is throwing off my sleep and overall not working. Now my FMS pain has come back. I called my Psychiatrist’s office yesterday and I never received a call back. This morning I called again and I will call 2 more times if need be before I leave for my Counseling Session today.

    == Finally I broke the SILENCE with my Mother last night and simply said ------- “Mom, I will be moving out.” The only response was ---- “When??” Then she said --- “OK”. We both put our heads back down and returned to the ----- We are not talking mode & we close the doors to our rooms.

    I have 100% accepted the fact I need to continue to create a HEALTHY atmosphere for myself and nobody is going to drag me down or beat me down.

    Too many insults have been spoken to me. Many recently from my Mother and I know it can feed into my Depression and negativity. However I am NOT allowing it to and I am discussing it openly with my Counselor.

    I actually wrote a LIST when it comes to my Sister. Perhaps I did not mention last year in early June, my Sister came in the house and pushed me 2 times. I’d describe it as a “war took place between myself, my Sister and her TOXIC and extremely dysfunctional Partner who is always seeking trouble, problems, drama and daily / continual chaos.” I never backed down and this was the first time my Sister ever saw me act like that and became to realize I can stand up to her at any time. During that incident my Sister made many, many hurtful comments and those comments STUCK with me.

    ……. “words” were said and those were words I cannot even write here.

    Unfortunately, it kept replaying in my head like a tape recorder and I could not turn it off. Nothing worked. It manifested into nightmares where I would JOLT awake at night to hearing the hurtful comments as if they were being said AGAIN and again.

    Those comments eventually drove me to my Hospitalization in December. Prior to that my Sister had been emotionally abusive to me and at times physical for 5 years. It took me 1 full year to finally REMOVE her from my life and that was another whole ordeal.

    Also, my Family Members have triggered “Flare Ups” with my Fibromyalgia and those can go for 6 or more months. I have to do everything possible to protect my health and sanity.

    Last year I also went through 3 months of Chemo. The Chemo Treatment was easier for me to deal with and handle than my toxic and dysfunctional Family Members.

    Regarding ----- what does the Hospital do for you.

    They “stabilize” you and make sure you are not a “danger to yourself”. Yes, the Staff Members will do a head count check every 15 minutes. Some patients may be every 5 minutes & others may require a Mental Health Staff Member watching them and always around them ALL of the time. When they check on you every 15 minutes, they do not bother you and it is not intrusive. The Hospital will educate you about what you are dealing with. You participate in Group Sessions and they try to keep the day “structured” from 8 in the morning until 9 at night. 10:00 pm is Medication time and by 11:00 pm you go to bed. Staff Members will talk to you at least 1 time a day to see how you are doing and allow you to discuss your “issues”. They help you form Coping Skills and everyone is set up with After Care Treatment of some kind. The Hospital will see if your current medication is working and make additional changes. The Medication changes are monitored daily. The Hospital will also provide you with Workbooks so you can identify your “triggers”. If you ask for more reading material and Workbooks like I did, the Staff Members will provide them to you. It is also nice to be around other Patients who are dealing with similar issues as you. You do not feel alone anymore. As your After Care, you will work with a Psychiatrist strictly for medication management. It helps and do not become discouraged if the first, 2nd, or 3rd medication does not work. Seeing a Counselor is KEY because they are there for you every step of the way. My Counselor helps me when ever an additional family problem comes up and can analyze the situation from a different perspective. Also we have discussed “my patterns” and what are my early “Warning Signs” of the Depression coming back or worsening.

    My first Hospitalization was NECESSARY & the other 2 were because 911 was called.

    Sadly with my first one this past December, I was “RUSHED” into the Emergency Room. Then, I spent a few days in the “Intensive Care Unit” because of my wrong choices and actions. I’ll never forget those days of REALITY setting in and having to face MYSELF really. At the time, it was hard for me to understand even WHY I even got to that level. Eventually I was transferred to the Psychiatric Unit.

    That was my In-Patient Mental Health Program and I learned my episode is technically called a “Relapse”.

    During my stay there is where I learned about “Major Depressive Disorder”. Mine is considered “Re-Occurring”, “Re-Concurrent” or even “Tri-Concurrent”. They list me in the category of “Severe”. This is when you learn and the Hospital is supposed to put you on a medication for “mood stabilization”.

    I was then informed of ----- the STATISTICS.

    OH BOY, did I pay attention to that part. After 1 episode, the statistics are 50% of it happening again. After 2 episodes the statistics go up to 75% or greater. I listened closely as the Psychiatrist there remembered me a bit from 9 years ago and for the 3rd episode it can be as high as 95% to 100%.

    KNOWLEDGE is where I place the emphasis now.

    If I know I am at 95% to 100% risk, what will my decisions be in moving forward??? How do I keep myself safe? What kind of “Walls” do you build now and “How High” in order to make sure you never repeat the cycle again??

    My Sister’s Partner broke threw and lashed her anger out at me. I cannot even post here ----- what she said.

    I had to reinforce the BOUNDRAIES with a “Harassment” Case and then insisted on the prior RULES were broken and how are WE going to address it???? I still have NOT backed down from that subject and this is part of the reason WHY my Mother and I are having the problems we currently are.

    My decision was to have 1 conversation with my Sister and I explained everything I have been through. After a 4 hour talk, she realized she needs to back away from me, and I am not seeking to have any relationship with her or further contact. She could tell by the tone of my voice my mind is made up about never having her or her TOXIC and very dysfunctional Partner in my life ever again. There was sadness on her end because she never really wanted to give up our relationship. For me, I simply do not have feelings for her at all and to me she has become ----- “A STRANGER”.

    Regarding my Mother, she is doing the same thing with me where I feel like I do not have any Parents at all. My Mother has changed into a person I no longer recognize and one who I am walking away from as well.

    I am doing my best to create a HEALTHY environment for myself and I will no longer tolerate any kind of “intrusions”. My JOURNEY will continue and I am excited about what other GOOD things will come my way.

    Any time I see an “Obstacle”, I visualize I am back in High School and on the Track Team. It is simply, in my mind, a hurdle I have to JUMP over and I can remember how I was able to do that years ago. If I was able to make it all the way around the Track without knocking 1 of them over, then why should this be any different???

    It is like ----- taking steps forward. You can pick any kind of step you want. The decision is up to you. You are in control and that is what we forget. For taking a step forward, you can do anything like ----- a side step, a small shuffle, a giant scissor step, a hop, skip, or a jump. A cartwheel or a summer salt. Even Pole Volt if you would like. Just do something or anything.

    Also, if years ago I was 100% bedridden and could not walk because my legs would just collapse during the first year I was diagnosed with FMS & CFS, why is it possible that my Father ( ----- who was in a Wheel Chair himself ----- ) was able to teach me how to walk again???

    I previously wrote about my Father and 2 posts are strictly dedicated to him. It outlines how he helped me and, most importantly, WHAT he said.

    Wrapping up my lengthy post and going to exercise before I need to head out to my Counseling Session.

    Take care,
    == Elaine
  10. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I can't add more to what other's have said. Bless your father. Bless you.

    I have been in your situation battling depression most of my life. Right now it is resolved by getting on the right AD plus therapy.

    One thing I wanted to mention, someone said that they would not commit suicide because of their kids. This is what most people would say as a logical approach. However, depression is not logical, your thinking becomes so messed up that even these arguments will not necessarily seem logical as the pain is too much. I look back and wonder who that person was who tried to hurt herself.

    Elaine, I think you mentioned this, but we have to be realistic and forgive ourselves for being human.

    There is a book which my psychiatrist recommended and said it helped him when going through his divorce. It is called, "The Resilience Factor" by Karen Revich and Andrew W. Shatte. I don't think self help books should replace therapy and generally don't find them that helpful, but this book reinforced what I did learn in therapy.

    There are things that people have said/done to me, and while I can never accept nor excuse their behavior, I have come to terms with it and try to let it go. Much easier said than done but what a load off your back when this happens!!

    We also have to realize that other's may be stuck in their thinking, acting out of ignorance, or think they are giving us good advice when they are actually adding on to the hurt. Some may eventually get it, other's won't. This does not mean we can't tell others our point of view. But when we try to explain and explain and explain, it sometimes puts us in a defensive position. I've been there done that!!

    I find this board and venting by writing also helpful. I often end up tearing up the venting and that seems to add to the therapeutic value.

    I am now rambling.

    Take care.

  11. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Leaving another update,

    I made a difficult decision regarding my Family Members and discussed it with my Counselor to be sure it was OK.

    To quickly bring anyone up to date.

    == Close to 4 weeks ago, I picked up the phone thinking it was my Older Brother because we got disconnected during our conversation.

    == It turned out to be my Sister’s Partner and she goes on a rampage of saying cruel and hurtful things to me, she tosses in ….. “those extra words” that should NEVER be said to anyone.

    I filed a Harassment Order. I cannot afford to have anything throw me off track.

    Then with each one of my Family Members, I asked them to call my Sister’s Partner and confront her on what she said to me. Stand up for me and show your support. Also, we need to let people know what kind of behavior is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated any longer. We will not participate in the dysfunctional manner of others. If we form together and each Family Member speaks to her, we are showing we are united.

    My Counselor felt it was a WONDERFUL idea and would help me feel my Family Members are finally hearing me, when ALL of last year they dismissed what I said and that fueled into my Depression. I then became to believe my Family Members didn’t care about me last year. I felt, how could they care about me, when not 1 of them are doing anything about the TOXIC environment I was living in. My thoughts became so irrational and non-logical.

    Depression can do some very strange things in your head. For me, the scary part is I can go for 0 to 10 and that is one of the biggest issues I am discussing with my Counselor. I am at a point in my Recovery, where I can turn around and see the “train wreck” behind me. I can see all of the things that contributed to my issues and how distorted my thoughts had become. Again, I am using all of this as a LEARNING lesson.

    Regarding my Family Members ……. I also let each one know ----- I have gotten to a point where I will only allow HEALTHY things in my life. If they could not do this for me, then I would no longer have room for them in my life either.

    This was not an easy decision to make it, yet I did.

    So far 2 have made their call.

    Within the next few days I should be finding out what the other 2 decide.

    If their decision is NO, I am already prepared for that and do expect a NO from them. I'd be pleasantly surprised if they say YES.

    Lastly, I had my Psychiatrist change my Anti-Depressant and so far this new one seems better. I will know more within the next 2 weeks. Medication can help when you are healing. My Counseling and everything consisting of my After Care is making this “Road I Am Traveling” a bit easier.

    I am grateful I have been given another chance! I’m lucky I am even here to write my posts.

    == Elaine
  12. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

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