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Thread: It Isn't ALWAYS a Passing Phase (MATURE)

  1. #1

    Default It Isn't ALWAYS a Passing Phase (MATURE)

    It's been a long, long while folks. I must admit that over the past four or five months, my participation in this community has dwindled to a mere "lurking" state, checking stories and popping into the chat every now and then.

    But I wanted to discuss something rather important here, and I wasn't sure where to put it. I put a disclaimer on this topic because it is quite serious, and to some, could be considered mature.

    As some of you know, I have been battling depression for quite a long time. However, when I say battle, I mean that I have just hoped that it would go away whenever it became more prevalent in my life. I was always so afraid of getting help because I didn't want to know what was wrong with me. In addition to this, I am a Graduate Student with a 4.0 GPA. This led me to tell myself that I'd put off seeking help until I was finished.

    What most of you (or maybe even all of you) don't know about me is that, this past May and June, I was literally five feet away from ending my life. It was going to be my body against a slew of traffic on a busy road in my old town. A lot of unfortunate events (one being told I had a month to move out on my own with little money and no job or health insurance) and increased isolation make for a deadly concoction if untreated.

    Despite my grades being perfect, my depression got the best of me in those months, and I became dehumanized. The pain--that disgusting feeling in my chest that weighed me down--was almost to the point where my body and mind couldn't bear it anymore. By God, or by some miracle of some sort, I talked myself out of ending my life. While months have passed, I still feel that pain. Whenever I talk about this experience, it hurts...a lot.

    A few weeks ago, I started having increased moments where my chest would "close up" and my heart would race, almost to the point where I thought I would pass out. It had been going on for months, but I never did anything about it until three weeks ago. A doctor's visit and two blood tests later revealed that I didn't have any infections or physical illnesses; they said it was anxiety and suggested I seek counseling. Biting the bullet, I took their advice. And I will tell you, even though it has been only three weeks, I am healing. And it is the best advice I've taken in a long time. They found that I have anxiety problems and even what's called "dysthymic depression," which is when you have a small trace of depression that lingers, but worsens in instances where you're isolated or something bad happens.

    Needless to say, they're going to find out what to give me to help. They asked me a question my first day in counseling: "When was the last time you were truly happy?" And I couldn't answer. It has been that long. Six years of knowing, and never doing a damned thing to get help. And look what it almost did to me.

    All of my friends always see the happy, nice, caring friend in me...but not nearly enough of them know about this side. I've learned to conceal it in an effort to maintain the image they have of me...yes, that's foolish, and yes it's immature, and it is something I am working on. But now I am getting the help I need, and am wondering why I waited so long to do so.

    With that said, I am compelled to share this with you for two reasons. The first is that I needed to explain my large moments of absence in this community. The second is that I want to stress to all of you the importance of getting this kind of thing checked out. I know some of you are younger and/or may be reluctant to go, but I wouldn't ever want someone else to feel that kind of pain I was (and still am) going through. Don't let yourself get to the point of where I was, because the damage it can deal is a lot worse than it may initially feel.

  2. #2

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    I just want to say congratulations, that's a huge step forward and although to many it might seem like nothing, convincing yourself to get help is really really hard when you're in this state. I know because I've been trying do it for years now.

    I am in what I would consider a similar situation that you describe, although the thought of taking my own life has never crossed my mind in a serious way. It's just not something I could ever do. But I still have that lingering depression, it affects my ability to, get up in the morning, concentrate, reason, find motivation to do even the things that I love (I just don't enjoy them as much or at all), be responsible, interact with people socially, and probably a whole host of other things I can't think of right now.

    While I do consider myself to be successful in life, I have to drag myself through the motions all the time. I constantly maintain a false external image of happiness, normality, and drive/ambition that just isn't there. My parents are the only ones that know of my depression, and even they have a narrow view of it that makes it seem like I am managing it on my own. Which I guess I am but not in a way that allows me to be happy or get enjoyment out of my hobbies and my career.

    I think my depression is considerably more mild then yours, but it's definitely there and it's definitely affecting my life. And yet, even after reading your inspiring post, and reflecting on my own life, I still won't seek help, not really sure why.

    Anyway, glad to hear you're still with the land of the living and making real progress in dealing with this problem.

  3. #3

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    i'm closer to smurf in that state that i feel, and very few people know the actualy state that i'm in emotionaly. i would say that i've never been on the edge of ending it all. I am getting closer to the point of going and trying to find a therephist of help me thourgh it but its hard to acutely go and do it.
    I make new friends sometimes but then like a month or 2 latter they stop calling or being willing to hang out with me. So often times the only people that i have any conection to are the friends that i have online.

  4. #4

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    I'm sorry to hear that you've been having a tough time Dr.J. Like so many others on this site, I too deal with depression and have had bouts of anxiety. At one point my wife had called 911 because I thought I was having a heart attack. The anxiety was job related. I'm glad you're seeking help. I would suspect that the worse times occur when one is alone. Being with others would probably help. For me, getting married was a good move because I'm always with someone else when home, and I have my dog. It's good to have someone to care about and love. I think as humans, we are meant to be connected to someone else, or even something else if it's a dog or cat. At least humans can talk back, and if it's someone to love, that opens up a whole new experience.

    Anyway, I wish you the best in all of this. With therapy, you will explore into who you are, and possibly what you want out of life and how to achieve it. Life is a journey and there should be some happiness along the way. Take the time to do those things which give you some level of enjoyment. Life is always about balance. The best to you.

  5. #5

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    Welcome to The Dysthymia Club. We don't serve punch or Flavor-Aid, for obvious reasons. And you'll have to use a plastic spoon rather than a knife to cut the cake. But welcome, anyway.

    Catch up with me in PM if you'd like to chat.

  6. #6

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    Looking at the meds that i'm on for migraines and there side effects, I just realized one of the side effects that topamax has is depression which is probably drawing out minor lows that i have had over the last 6 or 7 years and turning them into something much more seriouse.

  7. #7

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    As a cousin of mine said to me once
    (having found me in a hotel room with a gun in my mouth long story)

    Cousin suicide is never the answer.

    So I can speak from personal experience. I know the dark hole is deep but you have to work to come out to the light on the other side

  8. #8

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    I lived with more or less what you described since I was a kid. Maybe I still have it, but I took some meds (past tense), improved my mental habits, learned to do well in school and apply myself (I still don't get a perfect 4.0 because I can get very close with a lot less effort). Lately, I've been toying with the idea of being myself more often, rather than this sarcastic persona I've developed as an acerbic and socially acceptable way of being silly. Like, I see quite a few people around school wearing silly fun animal/eared hats, while I can't even bear to wear one at an anime convention. At the same time, by accepting that side of me as not just a side, but an integral part, I'm better able to manage it when I do need to work, instead of being a frustrated sort of sad. Still, on the whole, I'm worlds away from what I used to be.

    In some sense, it was a phase, it just lasted a decade.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
    It affects my ability to, get up in the morning, concentrate, reason, find motivation to do even the things that I love (I just don't enjoy them as much or at all), be responsible, interact with people socially, and probably a whole host of other things I can't think of right now.

    While I do consider myself to be successful in life, I have to drag myself through the motions all the time. I constantly maintain a false external image of happiness, normality, and drive/ambition that just isn't there.
    Smurf, you nailed it, I have been like this for many years just didn't know it until it all blew up.
    Wow, we need to start a Dysthymia group maybe, I just spent the last 3 months in a dark part of this state, actually went to get checked out for recurrence of cancer it got so bad... blew my mind. I never thought I'd ever be dealing with depression like this. I lost a lot of close family over a short time in the fall so it's a bad time. I thought I'd been dealing with it over the last 5 years but apparently not and it all came to a head. I am trying to remedy this without meds and it seems to be working with therapy.

    Thanks Dr_J for posting this and I'm glad things are getting better.




    Quote Originally Posted by Incomplete Dude View Post
    Lately, I've been toying with the idea of being myself more often, rather than this sarcastic persona I've developed as an acerbic and socially acceptable way of being silly.
    Incomplete Dude, that's great to hear, I would love to get on that road to being myself again but first I need to find that part of me, it's been buried for so long I'm not sure if it's even still alive but I'm determined to find it.

    Thanks all for taking the time to post, ADISC is truly a place for support, and healing for those of us who are lost and searching.

    I can not begin to repay what I've got out of this place and the people in it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koda View Post
    Wow, we need to start a Dysthymia group maybe[...]
    Yep. That's what I thought a few days ago. When I started a dysthymia group here.

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