Post # 1
Does anyone here battle with depression? For as long as I can remember I have gone through periods of being really "low"… I cant concentrate.. I dont care about my job or my friends.. all i want to do is sleep but my body feels so restless that I want to jump up and down and scream… I stress out about everything and everything makes me freak out and get so grumpy…
These periods last for a few weeks, a month and then I feel ok or normal again.
Is this depression?? I dont have a regular doctor.. but I have gone to see 2 doctors about these symptoms and prescribe me anti-anxiety medicine and say "this will level you out"… but never discuss what is wrong with me. The pills end up making me seriously not care about anything.. so I stop taking them.
I want to talk to a therapist or something but for some reason ALL therapists work 10-430 monday thru Thursday… which totally doesnt work for those of us that have 8-5 jobs… =(
Post # 3
Lack of motivation, irritability, isolation behaviors, and increased sleeping can all be signs of depression. I think your desire to talk to a counselor is a really good idea! Don’t give up finding one– a lot of counselors adjust their hours to include a couple of evenings a week for people who work. Also, you may want to give feedback to one of your prescribing doctors or see a psychiatrist. With anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds, it may take several adjustments to find medication that is a right fit to you. Depression is certainly treatable!
Post # 4
Obviously no one can say for sure, but what you describe at least sounds like it could be depression (including the ups and downs). I think seeing a therapist is an excellent idea, and there definitely are those who work weekends. Have you asked any of the ones you’ve found for referrals?
To be honest, I think that except possibly a few cases (I’ve actually yet to meet one but I’m allowing the possibility), I don’t think medication alone is ever a cure for depression. Almost always there’s a trigger for the depression. It may get to the point where medication is useful for mitigating some of the physical effects so that you have the energy/will to deal with the emotional triggers…but I still think they are there. And not to make too many assumptions, but given your recent post about your awful ex and the ongoing financial reminder you have of him, I would guess that in and of itself could warrant some counseling. You really don’t have to feel this way and be on this roller coaster forever. I speak from personal experience.
FYI, I also think it’s not a bad idea to sort of screen therapists. It’s a very personal thing, and not everyone will be a good fit (our healthcare system doesn’t make this easy, unfortunately). There are also many different types. I think the biggest distinction is behavariol vs. more traditional, root cause, therapy. Behavioral therapy tends to be about modifying behaviors that might trigger or exacerbate symptoms, while traditional forms of therapy (generally some derivative/aspect of Jungian therapy) try to get at the root cause by talking about your experiences/feelings/past. My LCSW friends tell me that the push is toward behavioral therapy b/c it takes less time and so costs less. My personal bias is against it though, b/c I think the journey of understanding why you feel the way you do is important. And you might just end up needing therapy again as you develop new manifestations of the underlying cause. But that’s my opinion and I’m sure everyone has their own.
Post # 5
A few things can help in the interim while you are seeking professional help. (Some do work on Saturdays but those slots are filled up quickly.) Eat a good nutritious diet and exercise. It REALLY makes a daily difference. If that sounds too complicated..try this: eat a fruit and take a walk …or do both at the same time. Also, I nurtured my spiritual faith and tons got sorted out just by this alone
Post # 6
I have dealt extensively with depression. I’ve experienced it and I’ve worked with people who have it too in a counseling context. The symptoms you’re describing sound like they could be consistent with a diagnosis of depression. How long do you go in between episodes? Is there a pattern? Do they coincide with stressful events, your menstrual cycle, the seasons, or something else? How long have you felt this way? Your whole life, or is a problem of more recent onset? Did something in particular precede your first episode, if you remember?
Science shows that the best treatment for depression is a combination of drugs and therapy. Either alone can have meaningful effects depending on the person, but both together tends to work better, especially if the problem is particularly acute. Nevertheless, I took antidepressants without adjunct therapy for many years with good success. Every time I quit taking them (a few times I got sick of medicating myself) I spiraled back down into depression, until I finally really felt ready to stop a few months ago and I feel fine. In total I took drugs for about 4 years and it was what I needed. Not everyone will agree with the approach that my doctor and I took, but the way I looked at it was that if my brain had a chemical unbalance and my drug could fix it, then I would happily take it for the rest of my life if it meant I would feel normal.
However, therapy can have effects that last a lifetime. If you live in a city with a university, check with the university to see if they have a graduate psychology or counseling program that runs a clinic. I used to work in one while I was doing my graduate work, and the services were cheap and we kept nighttime and Saturday hours because so many of our clients had jobs. You can also look into finding a therapist near your work and go on your lunch break.
I am confused that your doctors put you on anti-anxiety medication when what you’re describing here are symptoms of depression. Some medicines are coindicated for anxiety and depression, but generally anxiety medications do tend to have a "flattening" effect. Which ones did you take, and how long did you take them for? It sounds like the doctors you have visited and the treatments they’ve prescribed have not been a good fit for you. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Ask questions; make them tell you what’s going on. You deserve that. If it’s really bothering you that you feel this way, there is real help out there for you.
Post # 7
Instead of going to a regular doctor (who are often ill-equiped to deal with psychological issues), you should go to someone that specialized in mental health, such as a trained clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. They will be able to accurately diagnose you and develop a treatment that suits you, be it drug therapy or psychologically based therapies. Depressive episodes will often remit on their own, but if you do have depression these treatments will help.
Post # 8
Do you have an EAP program at your work? Most big companies do where the company provides counseling to all employees free of cost in helping to deal with things like depression. You should talk to your HR rep at your work to see what benefits you have available with your company. You’d be surprised what you may be eligible for and what programs may be available to you after work hours.
Post # 9
I agree with everyone on all their points. Besides going to the doctor, exercise does help with depression. When I went through my first stint with it, my threapist listened to me talk and also suggested exercise, nutrition, spending time with friends/family and spending time with God. I’m a Christian, so I went to a Christian threapist.
I never used axiety medicine, I just didn’t want to, but I would suggest it, if it got to be really bad.
I control it now. When I feel it coming on, I talk to my sister and she helps me get back on track.