depression come in waves? and too dependent?

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pasara
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 1/9/2007 4:12 AM (GMT -7)   
First of all, I wanted to thank you for your responses and support from my previous posts. It helped me to make sense of things and also just knowing others are out there who listen and care.

The depression is still there but seems to have eased up a bit. I am able to converse and relate to people, whereas before I was on disconnect. Depression coming in waves of intensity is not new, I have had times before where it was better or worse, though recently was the lowest I have gone I think. Before more grief and emotional, this time more empty and lifeless, which is much scarier. By waves I don't mean like a manic depression cycle, just that sometimes worse or less manageable than others. Usually it is distraction or keeping busy that helps; if I am very idle or alone my mind goes down the wrong path.

I can tell my husband is aware of this, and does what he can to help keep me looking ahead. I can tell he is putting a lot of energy my way in tangible and intangible ways. The problem is I feel like I am kind of feeding off of his energy, and don't like that idea. I don't want to be a drain on him because (1) I love him, and (2) it does not jive with self image of independent woman, etc. It scares me to be dependent of someone or something outside of myself. I suffer from chronic fatigue, weakness and chronic pain from a head injury. Life at the moment is pretty restrictive in what I can do, and after a year and a half of this, it is hard to feel positive and find meaning and direction in life though. It is pretty much my husband who keeps me chugging along and works to keep me out of a mental rut. I have had to admit I am very dependent on him, and that is hard for me. Also a big burden for him.

I have two questions:

Have others experienced depression come in waves of intensity?
Do others feel dependent on particular individuals, and if so, how do you make sure it is not too heavy for them?

Thanks again for your insights and support. I am new and learning.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 1/9/2007 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi pasara,
I can relate to the physical illness part of your post and being dependant upon another.  I have always been very self sufficient...my mom raised me that way and I have never wanted be reliant upon another for anything.  When I became sick with MS I was newly married (2 yrs) although we had been togther for 7 before that.  Even though I struggled with my illness and the changes in my physicial self I never asked my husband for a thing...we ended up divorcing as he couldnt take my being sick and the change in our relationship (me). 
When I left him I moved in with my mom until I could find an apartment or house.  That was the first time I had returned home since I moved out at 18.  So I was dependant upon my mom during that time and it bothered me greatly.  Once I found an apartment I was in it for 6  months and became sick again with an autonomic disorder called MSA.  I have uncontrollable drops in my blood pressure so I have had to move back in with my mom and her husband of 3 yrs.
It bothers me greatly that there are days that I am dependant on her to take care of me, brush my hair, help me get dressed and shower because I cant do it.  I always make a point to thank her when i get my senses back and my BP comes back up but she brushes it off...as if it is her duty.
I wouldnt worry so much about leaning on your husband.  That's what he is for and you are so lucky to have a man that is there for you and cares for you that way.  I know it is difficult to feel positive in life...I feel that way alot too.  But I just try to take things one day at a time and see where they land.  Stay strong...

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
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frassy
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 1/9/2007 7:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Pasara, I can really relate to depression coming in waves of intensity and to being dependent on another person. My depression would have waves of intensity, and like you, when my mind was idle it was a breeding ground for depressive thoughts and, hence, depression. I find distractions helped; doing things I enjoyed and being around other. When I was alone I at least played music.

As for dependency, such a sticky issue. I do not know your husband and I do not know the extent of what you call your dependency. I do know that when I was seriously depressed, I was very, very dependent upon my mother and it drained her badly. Not only that but her death thus traumatized me. When I got married and felt dependent upon my husband, I tried to develop a circle of friends and resources so it wouldn't all fall on him, and I found that helpful. I think there is a fine line between needing support and being dependent, and I can't judge whether you are just using your husband for support or fit the definition for dependency. Either way I think it is very useful to have other resources so you are not always drawing upon one. I think it will make you feel better as well. My husband went back to work and I was so glad I had made some connections because now he is not here for me to rely on all day. Also, I found some things I could do for myself that helped me so I would feel like I was my own resource. Whether it was to read a book, call a friend, post in a group, take a walk, listen to some music, or play with the pets, there were many things I could do on my own to make myself feel better. Sometimes I just wrote down what I was feeling and found that very cathartic. I realize you are limited with some physical challenges, but I know here there are many community agencies that would have a lot to offer someone in your position. It would expand your collection of resources and I'm sure it would be just as good for you as for hubby to have a larger pool of resources to draw from.

Please do not think I am saying you are dependent for I am not. I am just talking about support here. It is good to have as big a support system as you can get rather than have just one person. It is good for you and good for your supports. I know it is easy to feel guilty when drawing upon supports. It is hard not to fall into that trap. I think if you had a pool of resources, you wouldn't feel as if you were draining just one. A little variety is good for the soul too. When you are relying on a support, remember to allow them their graces. Allow them to support you for we all like to be of help to others. Try hard to allow them to support you without feeling guilty or burdensome. When my daughters give me a gift or I give them a gift, we always reprimand the other for spending money on us. My husband always says for us to allow each other our graces; to accept the gift rather than reprimand for spending money on us. To just say thank you and not say you shouldn't have done that. We all want to be allowed to give in our own way. So when your husband gives, try just saying thank you instead of saying I feel guilty or I am a burden. It's no easy task though it sounds it. Just be gracious and go easy on yourself.

I know it can be tough for supports too. It can get draining sometimes, so it is good that our supports get rejuvenated with recreational activities, and it is good if they have others contributing to the support system. Sometimes our supports need their own supports as well. I often think that though I have suffered awfully since my surgery, my husband has suffered in his own way and gets depleted with all he has had to do for me. That is when I insist he does something for himself and I try to get my daughters or a friend to assist me with whatever I need that day. Do not confuse this with me saying caregivers feel burdened or suffer terribly. It's just they need fuel too if they are to have anything to give us. That to me is what is important to keep in mind.

I think depression coming in waves is pretty normal because typically we are not depressed 24/7/365. There are times it abates, thankfully, and times it washes over us. It sounds as if you differentiate it from bipolar disorder so I think you seem to understand your own depression and can read it well. I just try to prepare for the waves and know how I will deal with them when they come.

The best of luck to you as you face your many challenges.
And there came a time when the risk it took
to stay tight inside the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom


hollygo
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 1/9/2007 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   
frassy, dang! i wish i could put my thoughts in to words like you!
Pasara, els & frassy, all three posts were an eye opener for me and i thank you all.
for me, i was raised to be codependant. i have no real relationship with my fiance and the dynamics are too much to get in to right now. what i will say is that when i am depressed, he always makes things worse. not that he's a jerk, he's just not capable of relating to others on an emotional level. anyway, my point is that you guys helped me realize that i am codependant on someone that has no clue how to handle it. now i understand that i need to find other resources. i wonder if he sees me becoming strong again, he'll like me again and make an effort to have a relationship with me? if that's not the case, i sure would like to be mentally stronger so i can survive his emotional unavailability. Thanks to you guys for your insight.
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