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Posted By : lifeflows - 9/22/2017 11:25 AM
The hardest part of keeping it all in, hoping the pain will pass is that you feel that you can explode any moment.

please share your meltdowns/ mental breakdown stories.

Posted By : BnotAfraid - 9/22/2017 11:43 AM
Well, I never I one.

My diagnosis came about through severe head pain.

I find that coping skills help tremendously in balancing my emotions.

If you go to the top of this forum there is a thread, entitled "Resources" lots of information to delve into.

Moderator - Depression

"...when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation."
Billy Collins from the poem. HIGH

DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

Posted By : Tim Tam - 9/22/2017 12:00 PM
1st meltdown was when I was 17.

I'm in civics class. My girlfriend is sitting next to me, gushing to my friend in front of her about some important event that has just occurred, and he is gushing back.

I feel left out, I feel sick because overly gushing really gets to me.

The gush on and on. My mind snaps. Nobody else knows it. The teacher says, since we've lost so much time at the beginning of the class, we'll just read orally going around the room.

Read? I can't even breath. My mind is scrambled, and so are my lungs, I'm breathing so fast. Life as I know it is about to end, as it comes to my time to read aloud. My relationship with my girlfriend is about to end, and the relationship with myself will be severely damaged.

I get two words out, and have to take another breath, right in front of the class.

My "really nice" girlfriend who seemingly understands everything, doesn't understand this, and wants to drop me, but I cling for another year till we get out of high school and have a natural, face saving parting.

Posted By : F27 - 9/22/2017 1:36 PM
I have the most boring breakdowns. Generally, I just become very introspective and keep to myself. I haven't cried in years, unless you count when Bowie died, and I tend not to get externally angry. I will get short with people though, and be a pr1ck.

What do your breakdowns look like, lifeflows?

Posted By : kellyinCali - 9/22/2017 2:31 PM
I cry and panic. I can't see the forest through the trees. My brain is scrambled and I have "s" ideation.

Posted By : RobLee - 9/24/2017 8:29 AM
My parents didn't believe in psychiatry, so I never knew anything about mental illness other than from movies, which is probably not an accurate depiction. Earliest I remember was Joan Crawford in the movie "Strait-Jacket" (1964). I've had my share of broken heartedness, probably more than most because I was what the girls referred to as a "nice guy". Approaching 30 had some medical problems that led to what is now called PTSD.

Then I met the woman who is now my wife. She was so sweet, helpless in a way, but seemed to be as passionate about things as I am. We fell in love at first sight, a classic boy meets girl fantasy. Then just a couple months before our wedding she dropped a bombshell on me. She had been institutionalized several times and suffered from adolescent schizophrenia. I told her that I'd had some friends who had been treated because of drug problems but she said no, hers was different.

She had been treated with several of the early phenothiazines and finally was given ECT, which seemed to have cured her. She felt she should tell me before we wed in case I wanted to pull out. I was floored. This was totally beyond my comprehension. Of course I would not pull out... I'm just not that kind of person. I couldn't understand how such a kind, sweet, caring person could have been locked up for so long.

I made it my goal to research and understand as much of this as I could. I made a promise to her during our pre-marital counseling with the minister that I would never hold it against her, and I have kept that promise for 37 years now. Sometimes when we would have a rocky dispute I would wonder how much of this was rational and how much was schitzy... and then I put it right out of my mind. She refers to her past as her nervous breakdown, mental breakdown, or simply her breakdown.

For the first decade or so she exhibited signs of tardive dyskinesia, but we never discussed it. I let her reveal what she wanted to share, when she wanted to. She told our adult sons about it, as there could be a hereditary component, just as I have told them of my family's history of cancer. I shared her experience with my late brother, as he was a Pisces and was very sympathetic. My parents never knew, nor does my sister, who is now the only other one of us left alive.

One year into my cancer I began to have trouble coping. She was no help. I needed not only someone to talk to about it, but someone to console me. She just kept telling me that I was depressed. I tried to tell my doctor, who was also no help. Finally at three years I was undergoing the second phase of treatment for my cancer when my wife was experiencing worse and worse back pain. It turned out to be a spinal tumor and ultimately a rare form of lymphoma. She was hospitalized just before Christmas. Long story ensues.

Whenever I tried to advocate for her she would explode at me. I now recognize that she was under tremendous stress but at the time I reacted emotionally. I now know that cancer caregivers are often under just as much stress (I write about this often in cancer forums). Finally I spoke with my NEW doctor about my problem. I had done much research on my own and asked him for Effexor, as it seemed to be targeted at combined depression/anxiety plus OCD/PTSD characterized by "unwanted thoughts" (rumination/looping).

So now I am nearing completion of the third phase of my cancer treatment and she has been in full remission. Neither of us will know for sure until several years have passed without a recurrence. As for the Effexor, it has probably saved our marriage. I am now much more calm and do not react to situations in the way that I had previously. I mentioned to her that I may be on it for the rest of my life. She does not understand why, but I just tell her I do not want to ever again be the way that I was before.

The only side effect so far is a constant hissing or buzzing sound in my head, from the time I wake up until I drop off to sleep, but have become accustomed to it. I listen to music a lot... not loud, but quiet, soothing New Age music (Enya, Enigma, Moya Brennan, Bryan El) to keep the demons out of my head.

One more side effect early on was what I called "vivid recall of early childhood trauma", but that's another story. Thanks for reading.

Post Edited (RobLee) : 9/24/2017 9:07:44 AM (GMT-6)

Posted By : getting by - 9/24/2017 9:51 AM
Thanks for sharing RobLee....

My mother had schizophrenia... It is no walk in the park.

Hugs, Karen...

fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Posted By : NiceCupOfTea - 9/24/2017 1:21 PM
F27 said...
I have the most boring breakdowns. Generally, I just become very introspective and keep to myself. I haven't cried in years, unless you count when Bowie died, and I tend not to get externally angry. I will get short with people though, and be a pr1ck.

This describes me quite well.

I went through a phase of having more external meltdowns after my first surgery in 2013. Like, screaming, throwing stuff around, etc. I was still living in my parents' house at the time and, no, they didn't react well. But I don't do that anymore - perhaps partly because I live in a block of flats and there's no way I can scream to the heavens without the neighbours hearing.

I tend to just retreat from people and become sullen and withdrawn. I don't cry much and, if I do, there's no relief in it.

I become a pr!ck as well, as evidenced by some of my posts here and on another forum. I just feel numb, mostly. Along with the ideation that kelly mentioned.

Posted By : kellyinCali - 9/24/2017 10:21 PM
Those of you who do not cry are less "stigmatized." I wish I didn't cry. In a way, crying is a release akin to "*******." I have to physically express my pain to get it out. I know that people think I am weak when I cry. It hurts.

It's not uncommon for men, more than women, to express "anger" when they are hurt. Think of the tip of an iceberg. You only see the tip (the anger), but the iceberg is "vulnerability" and "pain."

Post Edited By Moderator (getting by) : 9/25/2017 6:00:11 AM (GMT-6)

Posted By : RobLee - 9/25/2017 7:46 AM
Wow, Kelly, do I understand that! The way I was before was both anger and crying. Not very macho for sure. I was always called a cry baby. My wife says I am "too sensitive." Like this is something I can change? Like I wanted to be this way?

At least I don't drink alcohol... can't imagine the kind of person I'd be if I did. Chemically it's a depressant anyway, but it'ss what many people turn to as a cure for their problems. As I've said. Effexor saved my life, and my marriage. Someone posted in this forum that AD's limit your 'emotional bandwidth.' Lower highs and not so low lows.

I do feel for you Kelly and everyone here with problems (that's almost redundant... if we didn't have problems, we wouldn't be here!) And women tend to be hit harder, if I may say, because of wider mood swings anyway, biologically.

Posted By : kellyinCali - 9/25/2017 2:29 PM
Rob, have you ever heard of the book: "The Highly Sensitive Person." by Elaine Aaron

//In her national bestseller, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, author Elaine Aron defines a distinct personality trait that affects as many as one out of every five people. According to Dr. Aron’s definition, the highly sensitive person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.//


Posted By : Tim Tam - 9/25/2017 4:18 PM reviewed the book saying,

"People who are highly sensitive often feel different, alone, or like there’s something wrong with them. In her book The Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Elaine Aron reassures highly sensitive people that they are in fact different, but not lacking or flawed.

"15-20% of the population is born with a highly sensitive nervous system that presents certain challenges and certain strengths. Aron points out that being a highly sensitive person (HSP) isn’t inherently “bad”.

"I found her information about the cultural preference for certain temperaments helpful.

"As such, sensitive children grow up feeling out of place, misunderstood, and criticized. They’re often told to stop crying, toughen up, or not take things so personally.

"The Highly Sensitive Person affirms that HSPs have many valuable qualities such as intuition, deep concentration, conscientiousness, accuracy, and greater awareness of surroundings and attention to detail.

o I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input.
o I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment.
o Other people’s moods affect me.
o I tend to be very sensitive to pain.
o I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days,into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy and relief from stimulation.

Posted By : F27 - 9/25/2017 5:00 PM
Interesting point Kelly about criers being stigmatized more than non-criers. I don't think it's entirely true though. I've been characterized as cold, unemotional, uncaring, self-absorbed, and an a@@hole, all because I'm unable to relate to most people with the same emotional sensitivity as my peers. I WANT to be able to relate with others properly, but depression gnaws away at my emotional foundation, and I find myself without the emotional energy to give other people what they deserve.

Sometimes I wish I could cry and be vulnerable; at least people might understand that I'm sad and depressed, and not just a jerk. OTOH, I do appreciate being able to react dispassionately to events that might, in reality, be quite traumatic.

Posted By : theHTreturns... - 9/25/2017 9:16 PM
krakatoa!!! enough said.

Posted By : RobLee - 9/25/2017 10:57 PM
Thank you so much Kelly and TimTam. Just ordered it. Sounds like a good fit.

Posted By : kellyinCali - 9/25/2017 11:09 PM
F27, I understand. Both are stigmatized. I happen to have parents who as long as you are functioning well on the outside will praise you for your "strength" and will actual "value" you for your apparent toughness. My Brother once told my Mom "Kelly thinks I don't have feelings." He was apparently upset about it. I can imagine that he suffers like you do so your comment gives me some insight and another perspective. In my experience, people are initially 'drawn' to people who can express vulnerability. However, as time goes on the double edged sword is revealed. Being sensitive...well, we're going to be sensitive. It doesn't take long for many to say "suck it up buttercup" and knock you off your pedestal.

RobLee: smilewinkgrin

Posted By : Moma Thompson - 9/27/2017 11:22 AM
I have suffered from depression for over 10 years. I don’t seem to be getting any better. about 4 years I started seeing a doctor and all they do is prescribe medications. I’ve been on Prozac, ability, Wellbutrin and cymbalta most recently. None seem to work. I also have chronic pain and migraines but no one seems to believe the chronic pain. They sent me to a pain management doctor but she just does injections. I’m so tired and want to just disappear. I had a severe anxiety attack for the first time 2 weeks ago and I literally thought I was going to die. I was hyperventilating and my poor husband didn’t know how to help me. I’m afraid of this happening and so embarrassed that my kids saw this happen to me. I can’t get into my doctor for another week.

Posted By : F27 - 9/27/2017 1:19 PM
Hi Moma Thompson, welcome aboard! Although it sucks that you have to be here.

10 years is a long time to deal with depression, and 4 years is a real long time to play antidepressant roulette. I think our GP's do us a disservice by not setting up our expectations properly. Truth is, antidepressants help, but we still have to do lots of emotional heavy lifting. I'm currently using Cymbalta and find it a good compromise drug - it's not too sedating, not too stimulating, and does a reasonable job of managing my mood.

You see a shrink at all? I find it makes a difference just to have someone non-judgemental to talk to, especially if you're circumstances require you to bottle stuff up.

The chronic pain thing is no fun. Doctors have such a conundrum when it comes to treating depression with comorbid pain. Pain medication can be sedating which is about the LAST thing most depressed people need. So I understand the injection thing. Hope it helps enough to make it worth the effort.

Heheheh ... you're poor hubby. Anxiety attacks tend to freak out the uninitiated. Did you talk to your kids about it? If you did, how did they react?

Hang in there Moma Thompson, depression sucks, and it's a lot of work to deal with, but there's coping skills you can learn to make life easier.

Take care of yourself!

Posted By : Moma Thompson - 9/28/2017 11:37 AM
Thank you and yes 10 years has been along time. I believe it’s gotten worse but it could be that the meds are not doing what they should. I have been on cymbalta for a couple years up to 60mg twice a day but due to my high blood pressure they have decreased it back to 60mg daily. I’ve been trying to get in with my therapist for 3 weeks but they have cancelled and rescheduled due to their staff being sick. I’m a nurse, work full time and I am also in school for my BSN. Thank you all for the support. It helps to hear others with the same issues.

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