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Gets too hard more and more often
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Anneymay54 posted:
I have suffered from depression for most of my adult life. However, truth be known I probably suffered from it when I was a child. I am now 55 years old, taking Celexa and Wellbutrin, med to stop the anxiety attacks, and meds to help me sleep. I was hurt at work some 6 years ago and am on pain management therapy to. The pain along with the depression makes for very difficult times and I find it harder and harder to give a hoot about life at all. I find that just to get through the day I have to push myself so hard just to get out of bed that it adds to the depression by leaps and bounds. I have thought of going to see a counselor but there is no insurance, or money to pay for it. Seems as though I am spiraling down and down with no place to get a handle enough to stop it. I am very tired even though I sleep. I am tired of being in pain day in and day out. I am tired of the poverty my injury put me in. My income is just enough to survive but not live. I am tired of the fight.
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evalise responded:
hi, anneymay - i'm sorry you're feeling so poorly so much of the time, especially as i think i have a pretty good idea what it's like, how hard it is.

it sounds like you and i have alot in common. i am 49, and have been on disability for 6 years now, and, as you say of your income, it's just enought to get by.

i, too, have suffered from depression since my youth, and find that my physical pain greatly worsens it. i frequently have such thoughts as, 'ohhh, just ONCE i'd like to stand up and NOT almost fall over again', followed quickly by, '(sigh) why bother?' - and that's light stuff.

i think it's a good idea for you see a counselor, and i know that the cost can be a huge impediment - have you tried going thru your local health department? many areas offer not only physical but mental health services as well to people in our situation at little or no cost to the applicant. i saw an excellent therapist who helped me a great deal for only $6 per 1 hour session. please give this some consideration; i think it could be a great help to you.

another thing that helps alot is simple human contact. i realize that depression and physical pain can make this very difficult, especially if one lives alone or has transportation issues (i, for instance, live in a rural area and cannot drive), but our perception of both physical and emotional pain can be greatly heightened by isolation, which, as an additional bugaboo, gives us way more time than is good for us to think about our own unhappiness, sometimes leading to feelings that there's no point in continuing to try, why bother to cope with it anymore - who'd notice, who'd care?

this, however, is almost always a tragically wrong perception; it's a fast-paced, busy world, and alot of people, finding that they have to 'make time' for anything - including relationships - that isn't strictly necessary, will do so only for those they think want them to. if we, by avoiding social interaction, give others the idea that we'd rather be let alone, that's frequently just what they'll do, and think that they're being considerate. i know that reaching out - or even being accepting when others try to reach in - can be terribly difficult when you're feeling so bad, but doing so can make you feel so much better.

it seems to be that simply by posting today you have made such an attempt; i congratulate you, anneymay, and hope that you find something helpful in my response, even if it's only that i responded. please think about posting again - maybe we can help each other. : ) i'll check back.

meantime, take care, anneymay, and i hope you feel better.
 
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Anneymay54 replied to evalise's response:
Evalise, thank you for your reply. I was so glad to see that someone had responded. I did do some checking and there is counseling available through the university in my town. I really do wonder why I try. They can't make the pain go away, they can't change my income, and as far as dealing with the pain and depression...I don't want to anymore. I just want it all to go away but I know that it isn't going anywhere. So I will make an appointment to see a counselor and see what happens. At least I know that seeing a counselor can't hurt.

Do you ever find yourself afraid to go out and have to force yourself to go out that front door? As for people coming to see me they don't really anymore and I can't say that I blame them. I can't talk about anything positive and who in the world wants to listen to a "woo is me person all of the time?" My family is the worst of all. My mother and brother's and sister's just don't understand how someone can be so lazy and give a hoot about anything. I have tried to tell them that it is just not true but they say if I wanted to I could get out there and accomplish anything. It really hurts when they judge me that harshly, so I find that I stay away from them a much as possible when I should be able to go to them for support.

I am married and my husband has stood by me through all of this. He became disabled about ten years ago when the arthitis set in his legs and hips. I am unable to get my disability because I wouldn't get as much as he makes and the rules say that only the person with the highest income can get disability. I know in my head that he is a damn strong person being able to stay and help take care of me on the days that I can't walk because the back pain is so bad or because the depression is so bad that I just can't get out of bed. There are so many times that I just want him to hold me but when he does I get scared and back away. He certainly doesn't understand that and I can't explain it either.

I use to sew quilts, do mending, make outfits and such but since the accident I can't sit long enough comfortably to do any of it. I take my pain meds and then try to do it but when the meds take hold I make alot of mistakes in the measuring and putting the right parts together that I just quit doing any of it. I do embroider some which I enjoy very much. It takes me a long time to do a piece since I have to fight with myself to work on it and my fingers tend to cramp but I still love it. I am currently working on a pillow with sunflowers, hydrageya (sp?), poppies, and pansy's on the corners. The whole thing is done in a split stitch which requires my full attention and I can't think of anything else while I am doing it. It does give me a break from the fear and best of all from the feeling sorry for myself for awhile.

I see so many other people that are in such a worse state than I am why can't I put my problems aside? Am I that selfish as to not be grateful for what I do have? There is a fellow that stands on the street begging for money who doesn't have an arm but he still gets out there and does something. It makes me ashamed of myself that I can't force myself to get out there and do something. I want to do something, my heart and soul wants to do something, but when it comes right down to doing it...I just can't. That is so very frustrating in itself that I can't hardly stand it and I am ashamed of myself.

Well I suppose I should close for now. I will be watching for your reply.
 
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kindnesshelps responded:
Anneymay, your story is really familiar to me too. Oh man, it's so hard when every day you have to sum up the energy to do anything, anything at all.

I started missing large chunks of time from a 'nervous breakdown' when I was 44, and have dealt with depression most of my life. I am now 58, and finally have Soc Sec disability for the past 4 years but geeze it sure doesn't go far. Poverty not only sucks, but even tho I try not to I am continually comparing myself to all my successful friends and relatives. I get so angry and resentful at myself for not being able to work, I feel embarassed and ashamed to be in this position.

I've had several spinal injuries so also live with pain every day. You are so right- depression plus chronic pain is a nasty combination.

So I too have spent a lot of time being so tired of the fight. If it wasn't for my son, I would have killed myself years ago, but I just can't do that to him. He doesn't deserve to have to deal with that, his own life is hard enough. But I have lived with the wish so long I have no fear of death and think of it as a release from this hell on earth.

But even with all that, I do have some times when getting up and taking care of myself does help me feel better, when I can push the pain and worry aside at least for a while and do something else. These days are like a gift to me, when I feel ok I appreciate it so much, like I've been given a precious gift.

Even tho you are poor as a church mouse, like Evalise I also think seeing a counsellor would be so helpful. There are low cost services available and I encourage you to check them out. You don't say whether you have done therapy before. Over the years I have done a number of courses, and each one helped so much. So it may be so difficult to find a place you can scrape up the fee for and get started, I think it might be the thing that makes the difference for you. It didn't stop the severe bouts of depression for me, but I did learn new and much better ways to manage myself, and gained a lot of insight into myself and my relationships.

And continue to visit here and write how you feel. I only joined recently, I was looking for a way to connect with people who could understand what I go through, to know I was not alone in this struggle, and to know other folks suffer as bad as I do and they still endure. So maybe I can do that. And you can too. It's such a long, hard road but it is easier when there are others who can really understand where you're at.
 
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evalise replied to Anneymay54's response:
hello again, dear!

i am glad to see that you have found that there is counseling available to you - it really can help so much.

&, oh my, yes - i do find myself afraid to go out, & even when i'm not too anxious, it's still just so hard - just getting dressed is too much trouble. i'm tired, achey, i feel weepy & don't want to break down in public...my daughter (we live together) keeps trying to "get me out of the house"; i say "i was out just this morning" - she says "the back deck doesn't count" & points out that i don't even go on the front porch (might be seen by a neighbor & have to engage in small talk).

she says i am "capable of so much more than i do"; she doesn't seem to get how overwhelming the depression, pain & fatigue can be, how they can erode your self-confidence & sense of self-worth. why is that people seem to think that if they can 'handle' something, you should be able to? or, worse yet - that you can & just won't?

i, too, used to engage in a great many creative pursuits, the supplies & tools for which are all over my room or stored in the garage - mostly just gathering dust. sometimes she will say irritatedly "why, exactly, are we keeping this?" or put some such item(s) in the donation pile - or the trash. other times she will buy me some such thing - & then be distressed if i don't use it soon enough, or if i start but don't finish (in what she considers a 'timely' manner) a project with it. but it's so hard sometimes to get up the energy, & then i keep discovering new things that i can no longer do without help - can't lift or grasp this, can't see or hear that, can't understand or remember the other...it is very disheartening, & the more so when others keep saying things like "well, just start it & see how it goes" & "if you'd just try..." i know how it goes - i have to stop in the middle & wait for someone to be available to help, or i try to do it on my own and end up measuring & cutting things wrong, burning stuff, hurting myself - i DO try. sigh.

your embroidered pillow sounds lovely, anneymay. i am glad you can do something like that - it feels good to create something beautiful, &, as you say - it takes your focus off your difficulties while you're working on it. one of the things i do still do is write - short stories & poetry, mainly for adults, but i do kids' stuff occasionally, too, & sometimes even illustrate it. i keep my laptop & a rocking chair out in the garage, facing the door; when it's open all the way it's almost like being outside, & i sit & write. i find it a good way to sort of translate my troubles - they find their way into characters & plots, or symbolic poetry - it helps alot.

as to why you "can't just put your problems aside", anneymay - i don't know, dear; but i do know that you have that in common with a great many people who suffer as you do, myself included, & i know that it does not mean that you are selfish or ungrateful - just hurt. i understand your frustration & feeling ashamed of yourself - i feel that way, too - but it is also very common in people with such difficulties, &, i think, probably contributes to the problem. funny thing is, you can recognize that & still not be able to control it...sigh. just yesterday my son-in-law caught me crying because my daughter was upset over my not having done something she asked me to help with - which i had said i would do - & very sweetly said "you forgot. it happens" & did his best to comfort & cheer me. &, of course, he was right; i didn't purposely neglect it or her - but i was still miserable over it. the trick, i guess, is to be mindful & accepting (HAHA!) of our limitations without dwelling on them so much that we make ourselves even more unhappy. it's a tough balancing act, tho, isn't it?

well, i'm running out of room here, anneymay, so i will close - in a minute; are you on facebook or yahoo? maybe we could im, actually have a conversation...what do you think about that?

ttfn, dear - will be looking for your next post.
 
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evalise replied to kindnesshelps's response:
hello, kindnesshelps - i like your screenname; it not only identifies you, but is a wonderful reminder for the rest of us.

"nervous breakdown," huh? do they still call it that? how about "y'know, that time when you...", or "when you had your little..." - or, my personal favorite: "well, you deserve a vacation." vacation! of all the vacations i ever imagined, none of them ever had anything to do with disability, unemployment, poverty or any of the other 'entertainments' depression and chronic pain have to offer. maybe it's just one of those things a person has to go thru in order to be able to get it.

it seems we have similar feelings about death, you and i - i can't even remember anymore when i was afraid to die, or why, tho i guess there must have been such a time - cause that's 'normal', right? to have that fear? does that make us stronger, kindnesshelps, or just weird? lol. i express it succinctly by saying "come on, comet!" i have a friend who understands exactly what i mean by this, but everyone ele, i think, perceives it as a joke. the look he gives me when i say it, tho, lets me know that he gets that i'm having an especially bad time, and that he'll do what he can to help me thru it, without drawing unwanted attention - and he does. then again, he is a card-carrying member of the club as a result of combat service; we look out for each other that way. you are so right, tho; being really understood makes it so much easier. that was good advice you gave, i think - to "continue to visit here and write how you feel" - i also just joined recently, and i'm finding it helpful.

regarding "getting up and taking care of yourself" - you know what i do sometimes? i have terrible insomnia, and wake up at all kinds of weird hours (when i can fall asleep in the first place) - usually i try to go back to sleep, with the thought that if i don't get some rest i'm really going to have a hard time handling the upcoming day (looks good on paper, but doesn't always work that way), but sometimes, if it's not so early that it will disturb the rest of the household, i get up and go thru the same routine that i used to when i was still working (except that i don't have to rush to catch the bus, haha). instead of just brushing my teeth and running my hand thru my hair and going downstairs in my robe or yesterday's clothes that i slept in, i go the whole 9 yards - shower, maybe even a bath, do something pretty with my hair, make-up, jewelry, dress nicely (except the shoes - i hate to wear shoes, lol) and then, coffee in hand, work at the computer for awhile (i was a senior admin at a big company, spent alot of time on the computer) - i'll write, or do some research, or make lesson or project plans for my grandchildren...i find it helps alot; i feel 'put together', and it sort of gives me a feeling of purpose to start, and of accomplishment when i get whatever it is done, but without any pressure - there's nobody relying on me for results, no big bucks involved, no deadline...altho my daughter does sometimes say "that's what you're wearing?" lol.

i hope you are finding that connection you were looking for, kindnesshelps - maybe i'll see you here again; till then...take care and be well.


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