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Depression/Anxiety Support Thread--How are you doing today?

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 

Since there isn't one here, I decided to start a support thread as a place where people can come vent, share feelings, ask for support, etc.  Please feel free to jump in anytime and keep us updated on your progress, what treatments you're trying, etc.

 

I'm having a really, really rough time right now, myself.  My depression and anxiety are the worst they've ever been, to the point where I would probably go to a hospital if it weren't for my young daughter.  I'm seeing a psychiatrist, who I like, who is trying very hard to find the right combination of medications for me.  Right now I'm taking a lot of medicine, and it's helping some, but not enough yet.  I work FT outside the home, and it's really been hard to function there, to the point where I feel like I need a leave of absence, but I'm the only breadwinner in the family right now, so that's really not an option.  I feel bad because I feel like I'm not being a good enough mother to my daughter, who has special needs.  I also feel bad because my house is so out of control.  I just can't find the energy to clean, organize, etc.

 

Trust me, you don't want this to be a blog about me wink1.gif, so jump in here and tell us how you're doing.

post #2 of 70

So sorry that you are having such a difficult time...i know exactly where you are though  greensad.gif

 

I have been suffering from depression since childhood, but never really knew it until later in life.  I have been on and off meds for a while now, but am on something that works pretty well right now.  NOt great, but it works.  I had a mini mental break down a few years back, and since then I just can't seem to pull myself back out totally.  A few months after that happened, I ended up quiting my job to stay home with my 2 special needs boys.  I do have to say that this has been the best thing for them, but it has been so hard for me.  I think this is part of my depression.  I am a very active person, but since I started staying home I have gained over 20lbs.  I did have a baby during this time, but I have never weighed this much ever.  My husband wants me to get out and do stuff, but he is always on call and never home and my toddler was born with a cleft lip/palate and is extremely sensitive to new people.  We also just moved to a smaller town for DH work so I don't know anybody at the moment.  Most days it is hard to get out of bed, let alone take care of three kids and keep my house clean. 

 

I could go on forever (you got the abridged version), but better get to it  dishes.gif

post #3 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeautyforAshes View Post

Since there isn't one here, I decided to start a support thread as a place where people can come vent, share feelings, ask for support, etc.  Please feel free to jump in anytime and keep us updated on your progress, what treatments you're trying, etc.

 

I'm having a really, really rough time right now, myself.  My depression and anxiety are the worst they've ever been, to the point where I would probably go to a hospital if it weren't for my young daughter.  I'm seeing a psychiatrist, who I like, who is trying very hard to find the right combination of medications for me.  Right now I'm taking a lot of medicine, and it's helping some, but not enough yet.  I work FT outside the home, and it's really been hard to function there, to the point where I feel like I need a leave of absence, but I'm the only breadwinner in the family right now, so that's really not an option.  I feel bad because I feel like I'm not being a good enough mother to my daughter, who has special needs.  I also feel bad because my house is so out of control.  I just can't find the energy to clean, organize, etc.

 

Trust me, you don't want this to be a blog about me wink1.gif, so jump in here and tell us how you're doing.

Great idea to start this! I think it could be very helpful to brainstorm possible solutions for some of our 'minor' daily problems as well as for the bigger ones. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I had to try 8 different medications and combinations before finding one that works, so hang in there, you'll get there. It can be so frustrating trying out treatments when you need help right away. Hugs xo

Quote:
Originally Posted by montanamomof3 View Post

So sorry that you are having such a difficult time...i know exactly where you are though  greensad.gif

 

I have been suffering from depression since childhood, but never really knew it until later in life.  I have been on and off meds for a while now, but am on something that works pretty well right now.  NOt great, but it works.  I had a mini mental break down a few years back, and since then I just can't seem to pull myself back out totally.  A few months after that happened, I ended up quiting my job to stay home with my 2 special needs boys.  I do have to say that this has been the best thing for them, but it has been so hard for me.  I think this is part of my depression.  I am a very active person, but since I started staying home I have gained over 20lbs.  I did have a baby during this time, but I have never weighed this much ever.  My husband wants me to get out and do stuff, but he is always on call and never home and my toddler was born with a cleft lip/palate and is extremely sensitive to new people.  We also just moved to a smaller town for DH work so I don't know anybody at the moment.  Most days it is hard to get out of bed, let alone take care of three kids and keep my house clean. 

 

I could go on forever (you got the abridged version), but better get to it  dishes.gif

I know that feeling of being deprived of an active outlet. Just a few ideas that have helped me in the past: 1. I got a mini stepping machine when I was full time at home. I used it whenever I had even 10 minutes (I know even that can be rare when you're home with kids). 2. Recently I subscribed to myyogaonline.com. It has all kinds of yoga videos, different lengths (from 5 minutes to 90 minutes, different exercises (pilates, many yoga styles, dance, etc.). It costs $11/month. I do this with the kids around and my youngest (3) climbing all over me. It's not ideal, but it makes a HUGE difference in my mental health and my capacity to deal with life's daily stresses. It sounds like you have your hands full. Can you get a neighborhood teen to come in and clean, fold laundry,etc. - aka a mother's helper? You sounds like a wonderfully committed mother and your kids are very lucky to have you!

 

AFM, I have finally initiated a separation from my husband of 12 years. It is very emotionally draining. At one point recently I was so drained that I was almost incapable of getting out of bed to get my kids to school. I had to add wellbutrin to my regular medication, which has made a huge difference. I am coping now and try to do myyogaonline.com as much as possible. I've also gotten permission to slow down my research process (I'm a PhD student) until I feel stronger, which relieves a lot of stress. My oldest son has anxiety problems, which has erupted lately. I'm finding that the most helpful way to deal with all of this has been to create a network of support. I have friends, my parents, my son's psychiatrist, a psychologist for me, and I started going to Alanon meetings. We'll see how I hold up once stbx returns from his business trip and gets into the separation issues full force.... yikes!

 

xo

post #4 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgreen View Post


AFM, I have finally initiated a separation from my husband of 12 years. It is very emotionally draining. At one point recently I was so drained that I was almost incapable of getting out of bed to get my kids to school. I had to add wellbutrin to my regular medication, which has made a huge difference. I am coping now and try to do myyogaonline.com as much as possible. I've also gotten permission to slow down my research process (I'm a PhD student) until I feel stronger, which relieves a lot of stress. My oldest son has anxiety problems, which has erupted lately. I'm finding that the most helpful way to deal with all of this has been to create a network of support. I have friends, my parents, my son's psychiatrist, a psychologist for me, and I started going to Alanon meetings. We'll see how I hold up once stbx returns from his business trip and gets into the separation issues full force.... yikes!

 

xo

 

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now, too.  It's great that you have a good support network--I think that's something that I'm missing, which is part of why I decided to start this thread.  It's also great that you're managing to get some exercise.  I would love to start exercising again, but I just don't have the extra energy.

post #5 of 70

This is exactly what I came here looking for today.

 

I've dealt with anxiety attacks since I can remember (outside the first grade classroom at age 6? sleepovers at friend's houses? yep). They generally correlate with either eating or sleeping, ie: meal time/bedtime, and I think this may be related to some gastro-intestinal health issues, though I definitely am prone to experiencing regular anxiety/depression and lately it seems to be unmanageable. Last night I had an awful panic attack, and while they happen less frequently, they last longer (hours on end) and I can't bring myself back to a state of "normal." I'm generally dealing with stress from parenting my 5yo DD who I think may have sensory processing issues, I'm a semi-single mom - repartnered but not married, and I've been trying to coparent with my ex for the last 4 years but that's generally a disaster (he thinks he's coparenting, but he's not doing much of anything useful, which is sooooo annoying), and I'm a full time student about to begin a Master's program and I've been taking classes year round for the last three years... anyway. I feel like I'm breaking into pieces. It's good to learn about sensory issues through my DD because I think I also have some, and also to hear someone say "you have anxiety and depression, and panic disorder." Still, though...when and where is release/reprieve?

 

I see a counselor at school. I try various methods of reducing stress as recommended by my counselor - yoga, diet, vitamins, etc. but nothing seems to be working. I recently got into zines and finding blogs by women who deal with these issues because I think that silence is a huge part of the problem and it's good to not feel alone. I've been considering medication but am really afraid to try it. Not to mention, no insurance. I have a health evaluation for Thurs morning to do blood work and screen for vitamin deficiency/thyroid/etc., but am not optimistic as it's through my school's health center and I expect that they'll want to refer me elsewhere...blah.

 

Still, I'm so glad this thread exists. How do you cope when you have full-blown panic attacks? I find that cold helps - last night I kept freeze pops on the back of my neck and it helped.

post #6 of 70

Rosadesal - I saw your post on the sp board, too. I hope you can find better support. After yesterday, I can appreciate a bit better what you're dealing with. hugs.

 

After posting to this thread yesterday, I travelled on public transit to get to my new lawyer's office for our first meeting. On the bus i got my first ever panic attack. At first I thought I was just getting really bad motion sickness but then I realized it was something else. My heart didn't feel like it was racing, though, but panic attack was all I could think of. My fingers were locked and couldn't bend and I couldn't stop shaking and I was dripping with sweat even though it was a cold day. I thought I was going to vomit. But I got through it. I need to do more self care, obviously. 

 

How is everyone today?

post #7 of 70
Thread Starter 

Rosadesal--I have anxiety attacks in addition to the depression.  I had anxiety for years, but never had a label for it.  Recently I went from having generalized anxiety to having panic attacks, and the only thing that has really helped me is medication.  I would definitely urge you to try it if you get the chance--it makes such a huge difference.  I can't imagine what my life would be like without it--I don't think I could function at work or home.

 

lilgreen--I'm so sorry you had to go through that.  Panic attacks just suck.  Glad you got through it okay.

 

Hugs to both of you--

post #8 of 70
Thread Starter 

I have found that a lot of my anxiety centers around work--it is a lot worse during the work week than on the weekends, and right now I need my anxiety meds just to make it through the day at work.  I think I need to look for a new job, but with the depression, I just can't find the motivation to start that search all over again (I don't even have a current resume).

post #9 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeautyforAshes View Post

Rosadesal--I have anxiety attacks in addition to the depression.  I had anxiety for years, but never had a label for it.  Recently I went from having generalized anxiety to having panic attacks, and the only thing that has really helped me is medication.  I would definitely urge you to try it if you get the chance--it makes such a huge difference.  I can't imagine what my life would be like without it--I don't think I could function at work or home.

 

lilgreen--I'm so sorry you had to go through that.  Panic attacks just suck.  Glad you got through it okay.

 

Hugs to both of you--

 

what do you take, if you don't mind me asking?

post #10 of 70
I went to my dr today after going back and forth whether I should get a prescription for the panic attacks. I'm already taking cymbalta and Wellbutrin. But I'm so glad I did bc I would not have made it home today if I had not been able to take one. The ones I got are atavan. Tiny blue pills that dissolve under your tongue.

Bad day all around for me. I'm full of panic and fear and grief greensad.gif
post #11 of 70

May I join?  I have been diagnosed with panic disorder with agoraphobia and also have the depression that most panic disorder patients get along with several specific phobias.  I'm taking Effexor and Xanax and am in therapy to deal with it.  I'm a single mom to 3 little girls and I don't have a very large support system so that's tough.  I am still in the process of finding the right combo of meds and the last 6 months have been intensely hard on me and my girls while I've been so out of whack.  I have always been a "type A" personality, very uptight and anxious and have a family history of anxiety and depression but the last 5 years of my life have been a series of really stressful events which compounded the anxiety and made it quite severe.  I think the hardest part for me is the crushing loneliness of the agoraphobia and depression.  No one in my life understands how truly terrifying it can be to leave my house and get stuck in line at the grocery store or get my kids off their/my routine and have to struggle to catch up and feel like my world is coming to an end if I can't and they are "late" to eat or go to bed.  :(  I just want someone to "get it" ya know?
 

post #12 of 70
Thread Starter 

Welcome justmama.  Sounds like you have been struggling for a long time.  I can identify with a lot of what you have been feeling.  We are here for whatever support that you need.  Hope we can help.

 

 

rosadesal--I take Xanax for the anxiety, and it really, really helps.   The only problem is that it does make me a little sleepy.

 

 

lilgreen--so sorry that you're having such a bad day.  I'm really glad that you got some medicine, and I hope it makes a huge difference for you.  Hang in there--
 

post #13 of 70
Thread Starter 

lilgreen--is it the separation that's causing your bad feelings today?

post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeautyforAshes View Post

Welcome justmama.  Sounds like you have been struggling for a long time.  I can identify with a lot of what you have been feeling.  We are here for whatever support that you need.  Hope we can help.

 

 

rosadesal--I take Xanax for the anxiety, and it really, really helps.   The only problem is that it does make me a little sleepy.

 

 

lilgreen--so sorry that you're having such a bad day.  I'm really glad that you got some medicine, and I hope it makes a huge difference for you.  Hang in there--
 

 

I saw a doc this morning and had them run labs to do a complete blood count, thyroid, and an auto-immune marker test. However, she doesn't feel optimistic that the labs will tell us anything substantial and wants to put me on Zoloft and Klonopin for when I do have panic attacks. I wanted to do some more reading/research before taking the prescription, so I have a follow up visit next week. I was hoping that there might be some underlying medical issue - for the rest of you, are your mental health issues tied to any gastro-intestinal problems? For me, it's that every panic attack involves either diarrhea or vomiting, but I also have upset GI symptoms fairly often without any relation to panic. 

post #15 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by justmama View Post

May I join?  I have been diagnosed with panic disorder with agoraphobia and also have the depression that most panic disorder patients get along with several specific phobias.  I'm taking Effexor and Xanax and am in therapy to deal with it.  I'm a single mom to 3 little girls and I don't have a very large support system so that's tough.  I am still in the process of finding the right combo of meds and the last 6 months have been intensely hard on me and my girls while I've been so out of whack.  I have always been a "type A" personality, very uptight and anxious and have a family history of anxiety and depression but the last 5 years of my life have been a series of really stressful events which compounded the anxiety and made it quite severe.  I think the hardest part for me is the crushing loneliness of the agoraphobia and depression.  No one in my life understands how truly terrifying it can be to leave my house and get stuck in line at the grocery store or get my kids off their/my routine and have to struggle to catch up and feel like my world is coming to an end if I can't and they are "late" to eat or go to bed.  :(  I just want someone to "get it" ya know?
 

It sounds like you've been having a rough time, but you're doing all the right things. Are there any support groups you could join? It took me a long long time to find the right combo for me, so I understand how frustrating that can be. It will happen and there will be relief when you find the right combo. And then you'll be able to focus more on getting better. Feel free to write here for support about things during your day that are challenging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeautyforAshes View Post

lilgreen--is it the separation that's causing your bad feelings today?

Yes. I spoke with stbx on the phone Tuesday and he sounded so put together and calm and strong and I was just a sobbing mess. I have a lot of fear about the kids growing away from me and of being alone. I didn't think loneliness was something I would worry about. But it is. I am giving up so many career opportunities by ending my marriage (because I won't be able to move) that I worry about what I will have to settle for. Mostly, though, it's fear related to the kids and them choosing stbx over me - him being the cool dad with cool friends doing cool things, and I'm just the nerdy activist mom who makes them ride their bikes and recycle and eat healthy food :( I'm better today, though... a bit. I've been doing yoga/pilates for close to an hour every day on myyogaonline.com. That's helped a lot. Ds3 (ds1&ds2 are at my in-laws) and I have been having lots of fun in the evenings, though he cries for his daddy at bedtime every night, which is hard for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosadesal View Post

I saw a doc this morning and had them run labs to do a complete blood count, thyroid, and an auto-immune marker test. However, she doesn't feel optimistic that the labs will tell us anything substantial and wants to put me on Zoloft and Klonopin for when I do have panic attacks. I wanted to do some more reading/research before taking the prescription, so I have a follow up visit next week. I was hoping that there might be some underlying medical issue - for the rest of you, are your mental health issues tied to any gastro-intestinal problems? For me, it's that every panic attack involves either diarrhea or vomiting, but I also have upset GI symptoms fairly often without any relation to panic. 

It's good to get everything ruled out. I know when I am stressed and depressed, I develop GI problems so it could be the other way around - GI problems may be the symptom, not the cause. Regardless, I cannot tell you how happy I am that I decided to try medication for my depression (PMDD, actually). I feel it's a gift and that I am so fortunate to have access to them. Like I said above, though, it took me a long time to find the right combination - one that didn't leave me exhausted, or didn't cause constant acne, or didn't contribute to worse GI problems, or didn't let me sleep, etc. I was only taking cymbalta, but when this whole separation thing got underway my Dr. recommended I add wellbutrin, which has been a life saver. Good luck, and I hope you find the right solution for you. 

post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgreen View Post

It sounds like you've been having a rough time, but you're doing all the right things. Are there any support groups you could join? It took me a long long time to find the right combo for me, so I understand how frustrating that can be. It will happen and there will be relief when you find the right combo. And then you'll be able to focus more on getting better. Feel free to write here for support about things during your day that are challenging.

 

 

Yes. I spoke with stbx on the phone Tuesday and he sounded so put together and calm and strong and I was just a sobbing mess. I have a lot of fear about the kids growing away from me and of being alone. I didn't think loneliness was something I would worry about. But it is. I am giving up so many career opportunities by ending my marriage (because I won't be able to move) that I worry about what I will have to settle for. Mostly, though, it's fear related to the kids and them choosing stbx over me - him being the cool dad with cool friends doing cool things, and I'm just the nerdy activist mom who makes them ride their bikes and recycle and eat healthy food :( I'm better today, though... a bit. I've been doing yoga/pilates for close to an hour every day on myyogaonline.com. That's helped a lot. Ds3 (ds1&ds2 are at my in-laws) and I have been having lots of fun in the evenings, though he cries for his daddy at bedtime every night, which is hard for me.

 

I'm not sure about support groups in this area.  Right now I have a hard time getting out of the house and just doing the day to day stuff and meeting new people is completely overwhelming and terrifying so I'm not sure I'm ready yet.  I AM okay with looking for online support right now and I hope to progress in my therapy enough and get the panic under control enough to join a support group in real life and meet more people face-to-face because I agree that it would help having more people who truly "get it."  I'm seeing a new psychiatrist that I really like and respect and she upped my Effexor again so I'm hoping to see good results in a few weeks and take more control of this anxiety.  And I continue to see my therapist who has helped me see some things in my life that can be changed and some things that I need to get rid of in order to move onward and upward with life.  It's just SO hard when you are digging yourself out of a hole and the light at the top is SO faint.

 

 

I totally understand what you mean about the dynamics between which kind of parent your stbx is vs. what kind of parent you are.  I find myself making up for his "shortcomings" as I see them by being overly focused on nutrition, active healthy bodies, recycling, etc.  And it's tough because he's the cool fun dad who takes them shopping constantly and buys them stuff and gives them chicken nuggets and kool-aid at every meal and I'm the boring mean mom who makes them do their homework and eat their broccoli and brown bread and can't afford to take them shopping just because they are bored.  :(  *sigh*  I know you've probably heard this before but it doesn't last.  The novelty does wear off eventually.  They still love the fun stuff but they start to realize as they grow up that dad is fun but mom is there in the ways that really count.  I heard a few months back from my 7 year old, "mom why can dad always take time off for stupid stuff from work but he can never get the day off when I have a concert at school?"  It took 4 years for it to happen but they've started to see that mom might be poor and mom might be a little "quirky" ;) and make them eat their greens but she's always there when you need her and she'll always be honest with you.  Mom won't blow you off when she says she'll call or she says she'll show up to your school concert.  We can't always say that about dad.  So do hang in there, because rewards come when you least expect it.  Mine are 12, 7, and 4 and the oldest "gets it" usually and the 7 year old is just starting to realize.  It's been 4 1/2 years since he left us.

post #17 of 70

Yeah, lately my light feels awfully faint, too. It sounds like you're getting good care and taking the right steps, justmama. I hope the medication increase helps.

 

Thanks for the btdt story. I need that so much now. I honestly have so few friends IRL who have gone through divorce (strange, I know) so I need to hear stories to reassure myself.

 

Today was a pretty blah kind of day. I've been trying to get the house sorted before stbx comes back from business tonight. I don't want to leave any papers around that would create tension. I have to clear my computer memory. He is only here for one night, but it's stressful. Didn't really get much done overall, though. Ugh. Only a few teary moments throughout the day, which is an improvement. I am keeping busy once stbx takes ds3 to meet up with ds1 and ds2 at his parents'... at least I'm trying to make a busy schedule. Sigh. I hope to get lots of sleep. I really need it.

post #18 of 70

I went to the doctor yesterday. I wanted to make sure I am just having panic and anxiety and no health issues. I sometimes feel like I am having a heart attack. When I was younger and in school I would have panic attacks, I didn't know what they were, I would feel like I needed to run, I would usually go to the bathroom and throw up. This lead to a fear of getting sick, and that made the panic worse. I have been on Zoloft for about 10 years.  I get depressed and wonder why "I" have to suffer with these panic attacks, I would like to enjoy my life.  I don't like change and I find that when several things change in my life I suffer more panic/anxiety.

 

I feel for us, the ones suffering from these issues. If you have never experienced them, you don't know what its like. I am glad to have others to talk with and offer support.

post #19 of 70
Thread Starter 

Welcome stayingpositive--glad you're here.  It is great to be able to share with people who really understand where you're coming from.  I think it's good that you are ruling out any other medical causes for the panic and anxiety.  Lately, I've had a lot of those "why me" moments--it just seems so unfair sometimes.
 


Edited by BeautyforAshes - 7/28/12 at 4:15pm
post #20 of 70

It's hard when you feel alone and not understood. We get it. I've also been happily surprised the few times I've opened up to the people around me about my depression - it has inspired them to share their own troubles with depression and anxiety. I am fortunate that my friends are mostly people who work in my field (trauma, torture, armed conflict) so are generally well versed in metal health issues. But I always thought I have no right to claim depression when there are so many people who have suffered through the horrors of war and we write about their incredible resilience. But when I have opened up, it's made me remember that it's mental illness - not a weakness or shortcoming of character.

 

I'm feeling ok. the less contact I have with stbx, the better I feel. The weather is nice, too :)  I'm without kids today, relaxing. It's such a rare luxury. I'm trying to enjoy it. I'm watching the olympics. I can't help but be cynical, though. I've always loved the olympics but I have trouble appreciating all the focus on these world elites. There are ridiculously talented athletes throughout the third world and the only difference between them and those in the olympics is that those in the olympics are so privileged they can access the training, etc. and all that money used for elites when there are so many people dying uneccessarily. Ok. I will enjoy. I'm going to stop thinking and just try to clear my mind and enjoy :) lol

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