Is there a light at the end of the tunnel

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by JustMeTwo, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. JustMeTwo

    JustMeTwo New Member

    I have suffered from depression for many years and am on medication, yet only when things are absolutely perfect in my life do I feel anywhere near normal. Since that is a rarity, I am constantly struggling to function on a day to day basis. Is this what there is to look forward to the rest of my life? If I don't take medication I can barely find the will to get out of bed, forget actually having to interact with anyone. As it is now, I barely function. If I get stressed I just want to crawl into a hole.

    I have hypothyroidism and take medication for that as well.

    I have spoken with my doctor about this, he runs labs to check my thyroid, calls to tell me my thyroid levels are OK, and doesn't address the depression. I have been in therapy off and on over the years and they confirm major depression, co-dependency, discuss how to manage stress, yada yada yada.

    I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I want a better quality of life. I remember when I was happy and smiling most of the time. I had fun, was full of energy, and laughed. How do be happy again?
  2. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    If your body is low on Vitamin it can make you depressed. If your dr. suggests suppplents get the Vit D 3 kind--they absop easier into your system.
  3. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Hi JustMeTwo. Maybe I can explain to you the goal of treating depression. It's to try to keep you on a somewhat even keel, but then events and boyfriend breakups and layoffs at work and various things are going to break that even keel. Life is made up of all sorts of happenings so life is never an even keel.

    Then the other part of treating depression is therapy because its what you do during that break in the even keel that counts. It means continuing your medication, keep going with your therapy, and use the tools provided to you in other therapy sessions about managing stress, and managing depression when it gets worse. But if you chuck all you're learned, give in, let it totally wash over you, and allow your mind to think "when things were absolutely perfect in my life"--- reality tells you that life isn't perfect at all and none of us are perfect. Therapy tells you that. You'll end up not being able to find that perfect life and never being happy. That's something to discuss with your therapist.

    Therapy can be years in order to truly understand our thoughts and then readjust our thinking and our actions. It's work and dedication to ourselves, but we're worth it. Best wishes and many hugs.
  4. sickofcfids2

    sickofcfids2 New Member

    Hi,

    You sound just like me, and if you're in Arizona, maybe we could talk on the phone ...

    As a preface, I want to let you know that, at age 46, what I am telling you below is simply what I think and believe based on my experiences. I also want to tell you up front that the older I get, the more I'm convinced that I am probably wrong about everything, which is why I feel that I must preface what I say/write.

    I don't know that I can tell you how to be happy again, but I can tell you what I think plays a part in being unable to achieve this, because I feel, based on my experiences and those of others, that there are numerous factors, each of which must be addressed. So here goes:

    1. I think the world that we live in and all the negativity around us contributes to worsening our genetic pre-disposition to being depressed. I avoid the newspaper, the news and anything but comedies and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on which he has humorous headlines. You can also go to NBC.com and find these past shows online; he also has lots of headline books. Adults do not laugh as much as they should. If you can go to a comedy club, that's better still. I also try to find the positive in everything, even the most trivial, or if I cannot find anything positive, I try to make a joke of the negative ("Why aren't schools teaching both Chinese and Spanish to English-only speaking children to prepare them for when our country becomes Chinamerica, Amexico or Chinamexico?" or "Why don't we have films in Spanish and Chinese with English subtitles?"). As to positives, I have a beautiful, loving golden retriever I adopted who has health problems herself and requires a lot of work but is warm, soft, cuddly, devoted and loving.

    2. I feel that perhaps the correct dose of anti-depressants in the right combination can help if you can find a doctor who will mix and match up to five different anti-depressants (I have never been able to do so although I feel that a lot of my depressive "episodes" would not have occurred if my entire life had not been a constant experience so many stressful, traumatic situations, many occurring simultaneously and since birth). Documentaries I've seen on PBS and on the Discovery Health Channel, et al, on severe depression seem to indicate that depression can take a long, long time to treat correctly and usually with a combination of medications, as many as five. One of the people on the PBS show, I believe, actually saw a pharmacologist for the correct treatment. Maybe your doctor just doesn't want to deal with this (it would not be unheard of; I've had tons of doctors through my life whose "mistreatment" or lack thereof caused me to become -- as indicated by blood tests and physical evidence -- physically sicker, disabled, debilitated and to lose huge portions of my life).

    3. If you work and have a very stressful job where no one is appreciative of your contribution, from personal experience and the experience of others who I talk to, this alone can cause severe depression.

    4. High and/or unrealistic expectations about what you can do and/or what you can achieve, whether they are your own or others, I feel is a contributing factor as well. Having been born in 1962 to an upper middle class family, I was raised to believe I could achieve certain things that I was unable to achieve due to the economy, the field I chose, the college education I got, et al, and what I am convinced, based on others' experiences and what they point out to me by way of observation, is just being plagued with a lifetime of "just plain old bad luck" in many areas of life, from the most mundane and trivial to the huge. (Under worst luck in the Guinness Book of World Records, you would see my photo, I am sure).

    5. People in your life who "suck" the energy and happiness from you. Get rid of them, even if they are your relatives. What I mean is try talking to them less on the phone, seeing them less, making the relationship more balanced and/or helping them to see what's positive. If this doesn't work, tell them that you want to be more happy in your life and that you need them to understand you love them but they are part of it and that you will be forced to interact with them less if they can't understand or help you "fake it 'til you make it".

    6. Getting older, in my experience, seems to make people more depressed, in my experience because they look back on a life of unfulfilled dreams, goals, wishes, etc. I don't know how to get around aging although when I worked for a newspaper in a retirement community in my 20s, many older people who would come into the office made it a point to tell me "Don't get old!" I felt they had it made because they no longer had to work and they had all this free recreation with all these clubs around where they could swim or play cards or learn how to make jewelry and pursue all these hobbies I always wanted to but never had the time since childhood because I was always working, working, working.

    7. Financial problems are difficult to cope with and you may not have any control over this unless you have a partner who spends like there's no tomorrow while you work and pay all the bills (which I had in my 20s and early 30s) or you are trying to decide whether to invest a large amount of money you had intended to use for your retirement in a small business you had to sell at a loss based on what your partner told you. This happened to me while married to a materialistic spendthrift for five years who spent all of his money and wanted mine as well, although he did spend quite a bit on things for me that I have started selling over the years (when I have the energy) for additional income, and he also paid $15,000 cash for some dental/periodontal/orthodontic work I needed that resulted from "mistreatment" by my dentist.

    8. Any physical problems that your doctor(s) haven't tested for or won't test for. There are tons of viruses that can wreak havoc in the body and which most doctors won't test for because most are still "old school". The usual CBC blood tests tell most doctors nothing but most doctors still use them. It took me to my 30s to find one good doctor (a psychiatrist) to diagnose me with fibro/CFIDS/ME and order out-of-the-ordinary tests (at least two) for me (discovering my thyroid had been low for God knows how long, which other doctors would not do even though I mentioned that thyroid trouble is genetic on my mother's side and that my mother, my maternal grandmother and my mother's half-sister all suffered from hypothyroidism, as well as likely my mother's older, full sister who avoided doctors like the plague and died at 74). Then, unfortunately, this doctor was diagnosed with AIDS and although still living, he was forced to stop practicing. Then it was until the last three to four years, in my 40s, until I found two exceptional doctors who ordered unusual blood work to find that my white blood cell count is consistently high, along with the number of antibodies to many, many viruses (so many, I can't list them all) and tumor necrosis factor (which my dentist should have known was going on in my mouth 10 years ago when my gum tissue turned black and began spreading after he ignored it). All my IgG (that determine the body's immune function) values are consistently below normal, from IgG to IgE and IgM, and my thyroid was low despite long-term treatment at too low a dose, along with my hormones, which I constantly told gynecologists I felt in my body in my mid-30s who insisted I "could not be menopausal or peri-menopausal because of" my then-age. Surprise, surprise, I could be, am and was, as are my two sisters. Both of my excellent physicians told me that more and more women are going into early menopause (like many girls are starting menstruation much earlier, as my nieces did, around 9 years of age!) but experts don't know why. My doctors accept it, unlike many who need proof, and say it's likely life stress that women are burdened with as a result of "the equal rights movement" which has been terriblly bad for women, giving them more to do rather than less, and/or the toxins in our environment and water.

    Note: Having dated, for over a year, an engineer who then worked for the State Department of Water Resources in California and whose job was to oversee a department of several other engineers, believe me when I tell you that bottled water, tap water, et all, even filtered, is still toxic; either the medication residue, runoff, sewage, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, etc., cannot be properly treated with our current system, which our government will not pay to upgrade, along with our country's other old systems -- just more of the U.S.'s infrastructure like roads, etc., that taxpayers/voters don't want our government to spend money on ... although a war is OK to disable, cripple and kill innocent members of the armed forces ... why does the U.S. have to protect everyone anyway; let's be isolationist like we were under FDR ... sorry, off my soapbox -- and/or the water is being treated with extremely high levels of bleach/chlorine (also, from what I have heard but don't know for certain is the same ingredient in Aspartame, etc., that many experts say is causing illness in people), the only method available, so that our bodies are having to cope with excessive amounts of chlorine, which the human body was not designed to do. In fact, the human body is and was never designed to undergo as much of the stress and trauma, or take in as many of the toxins and process them, as I learned in nursing school.

    9. Whether you're religious or not (and I haven't been since I was a child although I have always been spiritual), based on the results of studies showing that prayer works, I began calling local churches asking if they had prayer lists and then asking for placement on those lists along with going online to Beliefnet and also calling Unity Church every 30 days to ask for prayer. When I have people praying for me, although my luck doesn't completely change, certain specific things I have sought prayer for seem to improve or change for the better. I also pray in case it does work. Because what if, based on the evidence from studies, prayer does work and we're not using it? I'd eat live scorpions to feel/get better.

    10. When was the last time you went on a vacation? Those are necessary even if we don't think they are, and in my experience have always made a difference in how I felt (probably because I didn't have to be responsible for anything!).

    11. When was the last time you found yourself in a playground? I always look for them and sturdy swings so I can pretend and act like a kid again (it's helpful if you have some kids with you), unashamedly and without embarrassment. What do I care? I'm trying to heal me, and if anyone criticizes, likely perfect strangers I would never see again, who cares?

    That's it for now, but I will send you more when I am not in so much pain from my fibromyalgia. Hope this helps.

    Best wishes
  5. piratelife

    piratelife New Member

    Yeah man, the light is behind you casting a shadow. All you can see is the dark shadow. Turn around and you'll see the light. Watch as many funny tv shows and movies as you can or listen to your favorite comedian on cd. You may not feel like laughing but the more you force yourself to be in that mindset the more it will help. I've been there, keep fighting. You'll get there.