Breakdown/Depression

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Michael In NY
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/21/2012 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
On 11/24/2011 shortly after midnight I had a major mental breakdow.  I live alone and called 911.  I was taken screaming/yelling out of control to the psychiatric unit of a Municipal Hospital nearby where I remained for 19 days.  I was diagnosed as Bipolar and placed on Depakote and Risperidone.  This was the first time in 71 years that I had ever been ill and on drugs.  I live in a 100 unit cooperative/apartment complex for 8 years respected and well liked.  I have no close family and mostly casual friends in the apartment complex and community.  I had many close friends who have passed away or live in other parts of the country. 
 
I was released and went to the family doctor who referred me to a psychiatrist.  I spent two hours with the psychiatrist who said, "you're not bipolar".  Both primary and psychiatrist refused to continue the medication.  According to the psychiatrist bipolar is very rare a 71 year old.
 
Since this happened I have become very depressed.  I can't face people and almost never leave my apartment.  When I do it's at night when most people that I know are at home.  I'm humiliated. Occasionally when I do run into people that I know they seem very uncomfortable and many try to avoid me.  If I had a heart attack or stroke people would rally but not a mental breakdown. 
 
It's extremely important that I leave this community.  I have identified another community just 4 miles away where no one knows me.  Once I move I'll be fine.  I'm having problems doing simple chores like taking a shower, shaving, brushing teeth so how can I possibly pick up and move.  I own my apartment but can easily purchase or rent another without selling. 
 
I finally got around to making an appointment with a therapist who I see on Tuesday.  I'm hoping that in time I'll become stronger and will be able to make the move.  For the past 6 months, I've become a prisoner in my own apartment. 
 
I'm grateful that I became sick for the first time in 71 years.  At the municipal psychiatrict ward everyone that I met was welfare, medicaid ,food stamps, SSI, residing in the streets, 1/2 way houses, 3/4 houses, shelters.  No one had a job or money.  I say this because it made me feel so grateful for all that I have. 
 
I spent so much time outdoors with casual friends and neighbors before this happened.  Fortunately three have called and they do occasionally visit.  They feel that I should face people and continue to live the life that I once did but I can't.  I'm so humiliated.  I so wish it had been a heart attack rather than a mental breakdown at 2AM yelling and screaming and waking up many neighbors.  When I leave the buildings its from a rear entrance that few use.  I only leave to shop for food.  News of the breakdown quickly spread throughout the community.  Bad news travels quickly. I so miss social contacts with people.  I'm a stay at home/shut in who's in excellent physical condition. 
 
When this first happened the depression was very severe.   I'm now able to get out of bed and shower each day but I'm still quite depressed.  Sorry for the long message but I just had to get this message out to those who understand depression.   I'm not looking for sympathy.  I have so much to be thankful for compared to those who I lived with for 19 days.  Thank you for listening. 

Post Edited (Michael In NYC) : 6/21/2012 10:07:50 AM (GMT-6)


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42501
   Posted 6/21/2012 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michael,

Please don't feel that way. You are the same person that you once were. Things like that do travel fast, but they are forgotten about fast too. So in no time, you will be able to go out and do the things that you once did. Don't be embarrassed. Things like this happen, and are soon forgotten.

I am glad that you are doing better with self nurturing and such. That is very important, and usually the first thing we stop doing when we are depressed. I spent two years in bed with fibromyalgia and depression. That is two years that I can't get back. I am better now though.

I hope that you feel better soon. Keep posting, and take life one day at a time. One moment if you have to.

Take care...

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Kaely
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 6/23/2012 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michael and welcome.

You may or may not have bi-polar disorder but from what you have written here it certainly sounds like you are depressed. Apparently you also have anxiety issues.
Having a breakdown is nothing to be ashamed of.

You haven't mentioned anything that that was going on in your life before the breakdown. I'm thinking you were simply under too much stress at that time.
Obviously the doctors at the hospital thought something was wrong or you wouldn't have been there for 19 days.

Please don't let this one episode continue to mess up your life. Get yourself to a therapist and if you need a new doctor, find one. It's very important to not just curl up and hide.

Get the help you need and please keep coming back to this forum and posting so we know how you are doing. People here are very caring and helpful.
Chronic pain, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Tennis Elbow (both arms), Arthritis (knees and fingers), Diabetes. Ruptured disk L-4, Severe degenerative damage L5-S1, ACDF C5-C6

Michael In NY
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/27/2012 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Karen & Kaely for your supportive comments. I went yesterday to a Mental Health Clinic that is run by Catholic Charities of NYC. Its a very professional and well run clinic. I met with a clinician where I spent 1 hour and 45 minutes filling out forms and providing back ground/history information. The person that I met with is not going to be my therapist. I'll be returning next week where I'll be assigned a therapist. I'll also be meeting with the clinic's psychiatrist on July 11. So I'll access to both a therapist and a psychiatrist.

Since the depression began, I'm doing a little better but have a long way to go. I had a conversation with a woman who lives across the hall who told me that she had a breakdown 6 years ago and that I wasn't alone. This didn't help me very much in that no one is aware of this women's breakdown. Everyone in our complex and those who I know outside the complex are aware that I was taken to a psychiatric unit and this happened past midnight which involved Police & EMS workers. I'm certain there are others in our complex who have had breakdowns, are bipolar and suffering with depression but no knows who they are. My situation is an open book. It's so humiliating. I wish it had been a heart attack. There's no stigma about having a heart attack but there is about a mental breakdown.

Therapy officially begins next week. I'm not certain how I can be helped but I have nothing to lose by going. I'm 100% covered by Insurance. I just like the idea that I have someone to talk to. I have no close family and few friends. The few friends that I have, I don't want to burden with my issues.

I realize that in this community of 70,000, many have had breakdown and have depression but only they and immediate family are aware. Everyone that I know is aware of my situation. If this had happened while I was out of town and no one knew, I wouldn't have depression and dealing with this humiliation. Sorry for the long message but I just needed to express my feelings. I hope there is some light at the end of this dark tunnel. Again, thank you Karen & Kaely.

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 6/27/2012 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Michael
 
There is no shame in having a mental disability, or maybe more accurately there shouldn't be!! I have major depressive disorder (treatment-resistant type) and have been fighting it for 7 years. I have been hospitalized 4 times, had 19 ect treatments qnd many therapists. It has taken me years to accept this as an illness, not a character flaw or lack of willpower. This is the way we were both raised-keep a stiff upper lip, get over it, stop whining was our take on mental illness. I have finally accepted this as an illness, like my high blood pressure or bad disks in my back.
 
Please try not to let what others think dictate how you live your life. If they are not friends, don't worry about it. Close friends and family should be informed about what you are going thru. Sit down and explain it. Knowledge is power. It took  my hubby years to realize that I did not always have control over my level of depression, that it has nothing to do with him or our daughter.
 
Please go easy on your self-you did have the brain equivalent of a heart attack if you want to look it like that-our brains can get sick too!! The therapist and psychiatrist a re a really great step. It sounds like you have a good place and they can really help you with your embarassment/shame issues.
 
Please let us know
 
Take care
Maggie

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42501
   Posted 6/27/2012 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Maggie is right. Don't let this get you feeling ashamed. Besides people forget things quickly and they probably aren't even thinking about it anymore. Just you are. And like Maggie said, it is an illness of the brain, just like a heart attack or gall bladder attack. Please don't feel ashamed.

I am so happy that you are going to see a psychiatrist and counselor. This is really going to help you to feel better. It is the beginning of a healing journey that you are going to go through.

Keep posting and know that we care.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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