chronic depression - help??
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hojann posted:
Hi. I am 24 years old and was recently diagnosed with dysthymia, or chronic depression. I always felt like there was something not quite right with me, like I was living in a different world from everyone else. I felt inferior to other kids in school. I felt like my friends didn't love me. I felt rejected and undesired.

If you would meet me, it would be hard for you to feel sorry for me. I am, as I know in theory, quite cute, thin, funny, smart, and a nice person. I have a good education and although I am unemployed at the moment I have good perspectives. I have lots of friends, although I don't see them so often because I moved to a different country - I also don't have many close friends. I have a wonderful boyfriend who's been my best friend throughout all this. There were never any traumatic events in my life. So, why am I so unhappy?

When I was young, I wasn't happy either, at least I don't remember being happy for a long time. I know that from age 6 to 12 I had a really big problem with falling asleep at night. I would quite often brood about scenarios and panic, wake up my parents for a comfort that was so little. I would vomit quite often during these nights. I would spend my days afraid for the nights to come.

I feel so ashamed, so worthless. I can't stop thinking of scenarios where my boyfriend will fall in love with someone else, and I panic. I brood over and over in details of things that might prove he'll leave me, and I can't stop thinking about it. Even knowing these are all fake ideas from my stupid brain I can't shake off these feelings. I have been through situations before when guys left me for other girls. But I know this is different, because this is a wonderful person. Even knowing he loves me and I trust him, but I can't trust the future. I can't seem to be able to let go. I live in misery, every day.

I need relief. I've been on anti-depressants (fluoxetine) for over 3 weeks, no improvements. Therapy doesn't seem to help either. I understand what is going on but I don't know what to do about it.

I blame myself for this. I feel like maybe deep inside I have this twisted pleasure in getting attention from this. Maybe I don't want to get better and that's why I don't. But, I really don't want to live like this, I've tried everything my therapist said and I really commit to everything. I get a bit better, then boom, down the ladder again.

I'm so tired.
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whatsupbuttercup responded:
Firstly, you are not to blame! Depression happens to soooo many people. It's not a sign of weakness, or attention-grabbing. What you're going through sounds so difficult, I'm glad you're working on getting better.

In terms of the anti-depressants, often they won't kick in for 4-6 weeks depending on the drug. The other thing is, sometimes it takes a few dosage changes or changes of the drug itself to get the right medication for you. Because everyone's brains are wired differently, it's not always predictable how well you will or won't respond to a new medication. Keep at it, and if it's not working for you be sure to talk to your doctor for a change.

How long have you been in therapy, and what methods did your counsellor use? Therapy is another thing that you may have to fiddle with before you find something that works. There are so many different kinds from CBT, narrative therapy, feminist therapy, and things like music therapy too.

I'm so sorry you're going through such a rough time. I am currently coming out of a depression and feeling pretty anxious day to day, but my trazodone is slowly kicking in and helping. If you want to talk or have other questions, feel free to reply here!
 
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paytonh responded:
Hello,

When I was out on Paxil for the first time, the first 6 weeks were hell. I had hot flashes, cold sweats, panic attacks, nausea, etc... I slept great though which was something I hadn't had in years. So I guess I'm hoping the medication is taking a while and for you to be patient.

I understand your dilemma with your boyfriend. I have a loving boyfriend as well, who has been helping me through a lot recently, even though he is in another state and I know it must be frustrating for him to not be able to hug me when I need him most. We've ha arguments because of this, but it just proves how much he loves me, and in contrast, how much I love him. I know, however, when I become worried and fearful of him leaving me he takes it as me not trusting him, even though it's not what I mean. I have learned to meditate on my paranoia and work out why I feel this way, and it always comes back to my own fears. I take a deep breath and tell myself why I am a great person, and that he loves me despite my flaws. Maybe I don't really believe it all the time, but I try to tell myself I am awesome sauce as much as possible, especially because it's true most of the time. During the times it's not true, and I make a mistake, I completely destroy myself. I started a new mental exercise where I am holding a fishing pole, and as my negative and awful thoughts start running rampant, I reel them in and systematically face each thought. Why did I do that? How could I be so stupid?

Most of the time, the answer is I'm f---ing human. I throw the cuss word in there because it adds a little bit of intensity for a wake up call. I am human, and I make mistakes.

Of course you're posting here for attention! I know I am! But do you realize that wanting attention is normal? I want attention because I don't want to be alone, and I want people to see and accept me. It's when you are determined to be sad and angry because it's comfortable that you need to reflect and admit this to yourself. But then the choice of changing is in your hands once you acknowledge your human faults.

Regardless of your choice, I love you as a person who is honest enough to question your own integrity. It just makes you honest and willing to learn who you are.