What does your depression "feel" and "act" like?

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kellyinCali
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 10/25/2017 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been struggling with depression this entire year. What is different is that I have also been dealing with:

- Hypersomnia

I just want to sleep. I will get up to go to the bathroom and then go back to bed waiting for "more sleep." I honestly don't want to be "conscious." I want to be unconscious. My house is a mess and everything in my life is SERIOUSLY behind to the point where mail piles up unopened. I've had utilities turned off. I'm basically just alive enough to deal with something if it is on fire.

- BRAIN FOG

I can't really "wake up my brain." My brain *wants* to get up and do things. My brain knows I will feel better if I do but I feel fatigue and lethargy in my bones. I feel guilty for not keeping up with friends but I know that I can't turn to someone for any length of time while depressed. It's a vicious cycle because the isolation only makes things worse

- Crying spells.

The reason I know that my depression has biological components is that I can "feel it in my bones." I might have Bipolar II, where my "mania" is pretty much just "normal." I get Hypomania for a day or two sometimes and it's great just to have relief from the black cloud of depression. This year those days are few and far between.

Healing Well community. I would really like to hear from you because I don't have people to talk to. The people at my church think of depression as a "spiritual" issue. I'm not convinced because I can just wake up and start crying. Like I said, I feel it in my bones. It feels like it has me and not the other way around. Can anybody related? Will you kindly describe your depression or depressive episodes? Is it normal to have "regular" days in between or is that reserved for the bipolar dx?

Edit to Add: I am also certain that I have "adrenal exhaustion." I have slept 20 hours some days. My life has been extraordinarily stressful with ALL of the major life stressors hitting me simultaneously at times (divorce, major illness (ovarian cancer), moving out of my community, being on a limited income and more, more, more.. I am being referred to an Endocrinologist because I must rule out "physical" causes for my symptoms. Especially, since I've been treatment resistant this year and wonder why if it's a brain health issue, I can't find a medication to help me feel better.

Post Edited (kellyinCali) : 10/25/2017 3:58:28 PM (GMT-6)


F27
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Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 866
   Posted 10/25/2017 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, we're twins! At least we are insofar as all the depressive stuff we're going through. Except for the crying part. Boys don't cry, we just punch stuff and blow holes in crap at the gun range.

I'm having a really tough 2017 too. I, like you, have had a succession of down days with the odd interspersion of happy days. I'm not Bipolar, and I doubt if you are. My manic days are only manic when compared to the rut I occasionally crawl out of. That said, feeling depressed and tired all the time is not normal, and I'm working like crazy to find a way out of it.

In my case, most everyone I talk to thinks my issues are sleep related. My sleep is completely non-restorative. I go to bed at 9:00 and get up at 5:45 feeling worse than I did when I went to bed. On the weekends I sleep in, and get up feeling just as poopy. Sleep, on its own, is apparently not my issue, but quality sleep is. So now I'm on the AD treadmill trying to find something that doesn't interfere with my sleep quality.

I find it so disheartening when people talk to me about exercising and walking and socializing. Yes, I know it's right and healthy and all that stuff, but I just can't do it. In fact, these days I barely have enough in the tank to get through the day at work. OTOH, I can always crawl under my desk for a nap.

I don't have any advice to give you - truth is you and I will either get better or we won't. But I'm not going to give up, and you shouldn't either. I remember the good days when smiles came easy and joy was waiting to be discovered. I want that feeling back, and I guess I'm willing to wait this down-period out just for the possibility to laugh with my whole soul again.

You and me? We're not weird, or different, or strange. We're just garden variety depressed people. Keep the faith, Kelly - we've been happy before and we'll be happy again.

smile

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1073
   Posted 10/25/2017 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Why did you get into a depression?

I got depressed, took antidepressants, and it took it me out of depression.

What is your diagnosis? Bipolar II you say, meaning bipolar, without the full blown mania. I have bipolar I, which has full blown mania.

Have you taken different anti-depressants? Are you working with a psychiatrist to do this, plus a stabilizer to keep you from going hypomanic from taking an anti-depressant?

James Zinevich
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/25/2017 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
So sorry to hear your issue. I depend on my doctor. I have had to make dr changes, but I've been seeing my current dr 3yrs now. He's great. Having a dr you truly trust gives the best results. Also, his physician assistant is marvelous.
Deena Sue
Osteoarthritis, fibromylasia, depression. Chronic pain. 7 surgical procedures of wrists & elbows, still have trouble.

pitmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2152
   Posted 10/25/2017 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I used to see a chiropractor for my spine. One day, he told me he was going to be offering "Brain Core Therapy". He asked if I would be willing to try it as one of the components was to help with sleep issues and I had told him of my insomnia. I said yes.

The first visit was a bit 'messy'. Small pads are attached with a waxy glue to different areas of the head. The wires lead to an instrument that records brain waves. Then I was asked to perform 'tasks'...read to myself, read aloud, be read to, etc. "Active" tasks and "Passive" tasks. Evidently, my brain waves were seriously out of whack during these tasks.

A program of 'tasks' was developed as the readings showed that my delta waves were a mess. This, he told me, was why I was not experiencing REM sleep stage. Not only was I not dreaming, REM stage is when the body 'repairs' itself, so this was contributing to my constant pain.

After about the 6th session, I started dreaming again! Not only that, I was feeling more refreshed from my sleep.

I have no idea if anyone offers Brain Core Therapy where any of you live, but it might be worth looking into.

As for 'right now'...a suggestion was given to me many years ago to help me 'manage my day'. Get a kitchen timer (I was told to get one that ticks loudly). Set it for 15 minutes. Lay on the couch and feel whatever...cry, scream into the pillow, punch the pillow...when the timer goes off, get up and do one constructive thing like clean the toilet and wipe out the sink. If I feel like I need more couch time, reset the timer and lay back down, but when the timer goes off get up and do another constructive thing. Repeat as necessary, all day long if need be.

In this way I 'allowed' myself to feel AND got a few small things accomplished each day.

I still use this method to this day. Hopefully, someone else will find it useful too.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, multiple wrist surgeries, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cysts, whiplash, bursitis of hips, grade 5 right shoulder separation and torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

NiceCupOfTea
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10013
   Posted 10/26/2017 5:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I seem to be alone on this board in not seeing my depression as biological or chemical, but a natural (if depressing) response to my life and insoluble, chronic problems.

I'm a bit zonked out right now (thanks duloxetine), but I'll give describing it a go:

Daily life feels like wading through treacle

- Getting out of bed, making a cup of tea, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, typing an email, etc. is a struggle. I will put off even a small task for hours sometimes rather than get off the sofa. It's worse in the mornings and gradually gets better during the day; I tend to be at my most awake late at night.

Brain fog

- Closely related to the above. I can hardly think straight at times. Reading is an effort too. Typing this is an effort.

Agitation

- I don't think I show this one outwardly, but mentally I get so dreadfully agitated and wound up. The duloxetine has partly knocked that on the head, so I'm not feeling it as much as I was. But it's still there, just underneath the surface; I can sense it. The agitation can take the form of insane irritation or insane anxiety. The irritation I mostly manage to avoid inflicting on people in real life, but I can, say, read an annoying post and feel like punching that person or bashing my head against the wall in despair and anger. I was also having literal panic attacks about the future - that's the one thing the duloxetine has halted. I'm still deeply anxious about Brexit, Universal (Dis)credit, the NHS, etc. etc. but have become more numb to it.

Self loathing/criticism

- Most of the time I don't consciously dwell on myself, but certain things would trigger a cascade of self-loathing and hatred of who I was. All I ever wanted to be was 'normal' and, no, it doesn't help to hear that nobody is normal. We all have a sense of what roughly constitutes normality, e.g. getting married, having kids, having a full-time job. I know that those things don't always make people happy, but I haven't gone through most of the milestones of adulthood and that makes me deeply unhappy. Unfortunately I'm in the position of wanting a human connection/intimacy and being utterly unable to attain it, thanks to various things - but mostly due to having high-functioning autism, I guess.

Non-restorative sleep

- I go through spells of insomnia, but at the moment that's not my problem. However, even when I fall asleep relatively easily, my sleep is so utterly unrefreshing.

There's probably more, but I've run out of energy and need tea/something to eat.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41816
   Posted 10/26/2017 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi James,

Welcome to the forum...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41816
   Posted 10/26/2017 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
My depression is similar to everybody else. I am lethargic, sleeping a lot. I am sad and angry all the time. I beat myself up. I am suspicious and jealous. It is all negatives. Insecure...

There is no rhyme or reason. It just happens.

When I am on medication I rarely feel these emotions. So I guess that the medications do their work.

NCOT, Just wondering, do you ever wonder if your circumstances are due to the depression and not causing the depression? I am not disagreeing with you, just wondering...

I hope you all have a good day today. Sunny here for a change...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

NiceCupOfTea
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10013
   Posted 10/26/2017 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Karen - I see what you're getting at. Think there is an element of a vicious circle about the whole thing, so yeah, my circumstances are partly a result of being depressed as well. Definitely. Particularly as my social anxiety and awkwardness get even worse when I am depressed, which in turns means I don't engage with people, which in turn makes me even more depressed.

On the other hand when I'm not depressed, I'm still unhappy and anxious. For reasons I can't explain I actually was happy for a couple of weeks earlier on this year. Not delirously happy or anything like that, but it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could enjoy life again. The only thing that had changed was stopping the duloxetine. I ended up worrying about what my doctor would say and started it again. I regret that now, as that ended the fleeting happiness I had had - even though I know it couldn't have possibly lasted.
Dx Crohn's in June 2000. (Yay skull)
Tried: 5-ASAs, azathioprine, 6MP, Remicade, methotrexate, Humira, diets.
1st surgery 20/2/13 - subtotal colectomy with end ileostomy.
2nd surgery 10/7/15 - ileorectal anastomosis. Stoma reversed and ileum connected to the rectum.
Current status: Chronic flare. Do I have any other kind?
Current meds: 50mg 6MP; Entyvio (started 3/11/16)

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41816
   Posted 10/26/2017 9:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't think that there would be anything wrong with asking your doctor for the duloxetine again. I have done that before with medications. Went off and then went back on. I would discuss this with the doc. You deserve to feel happy.

I don't engage with people a lot. Only when I have to. I do have one friend that I try to see once a week but I often don't go. Sometimes she has other people there and I feel really out of place. So when there are going to be others I usually stay home. I know, I am strange. I do okay when out shopping and stuff. I get along good with people like that and on here. I guess I don't like people getting to know me very much. Oh well.

I think that the duloxetine will help you again. How long were you on it for? Antidepressants can be a pain in the you know what. They take so long to work, then sometimes side effects. I hope you can try it again though and give it another shot.

Thanks for replying NCOT... Have a nice day today...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

BnotAfraid
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7144
   Posted 10/26/2017 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome James.

NCOT nice to see you one the forum.

Depression can be effected by other diagnosis also.

I have the insomnia, how CPTSD encourages it nightly

Paranoia from lack of sleep
brain fog most days
largathic, forcing myself out of bed.
Really forcing my self out of the house for support group [now contemplative prayer grp]
Shopping? well that is a day today flip of the coin
answering the phone another hour to hour flip of the coin.

Most everyday, 5pm nap no longer can focus, plus chronic pain, exacerbated by depression.

Nasty little negative loop for sure.

My solution? Skills, skills, skills and more skills. taking meds

Peace and strength all.
Trina
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;

NiceCupOfTea
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10013
   Posted 10/26/2017 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Oops, I obviously didn't make it clear enough I've already started the duloxetine again >_>. My GP prescribed me some more ages ago, but I only got around to starting it about 12 days ago. It's been almost as brutal as the first time I started it, even though it's half the dose - 30mg instead of 60mg. Thus I'm not in any rush to go up to 60mg, to put it mildly. I was on it for 9-10 months the first time.

I don't engage with people a lot either. I've got one friend I see about twice a year - she lives too far away for us to be able to meet much more than that :-( Other than that, my only social contact is with my family. Well, and the people at my voluntary gardening place. But while they're all nice people, there's nobody there that I would call a friend.

Thanks Karen. Same to you :p

Now I've got to go and lie down. I'm shattered.... >.>

Edit: Thanks Trina!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41816
   Posted 10/26/2017 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I probably didn't read thoroughly enough NCOT. I miss things a lot.

I hope that the medication does help. It takes time, but don't give up. It made you feel well before, I think it will again. Just, as I said, it takes time. And can be very frustrating. And as you said "brutal". But you have been through it before so this time you have that under your belt. Which can help as you kind of know what to expect.

My friend is close. But there are times I still stay home. I get anxiety when I have to go somewhere. My dog anticipates it and starts acting up as she has separation anxiety herself. But I am usually anxious way before it is time to go. Once I get past that I am usually okay unless there are more than just a couple of people there. I get stressed just thinking about it. I know it should be the more the merrier but it isn't for me. I don't know how I went to parties when I was young, but I guess I had alcohol to help me. I don't drink now.

It is hard to make friends that you can trust too. I guess that is why I don't have many. I basically don't trust too much. I am learning though people are just people and they all have quirks. I think that is the right word. I have to learn to accept that I guess.

Any how, Have a good evening.

Hugs, Karen...

Hi Trina!!!
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 19898
   Posted 10/26/2017 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
well done on your sharing my friends, and esp to you karen.

me, a complex riddle of darkness and light hues of hope, opposed by an intrinsic lack of self efficacy, at times. rapid cycling dreams and days and reawakening that i too have a place. a battered soul, severe repression and memory, lethargy, hormones as well, an isolating element exists, small trusted friends and a somewhat hope all thrown in with a major dose of traumatic experience and abondanment.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41816
   Posted 10/27/2017 1:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Jamie...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

kellyinCali
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 10/28/2017 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, EVERYONE, here who posted. It is much appreciated. It also helps me to get to know you better.

The last few days I struggled not to go to the hospital. I have learned that once I start waking up with anxiety and feeling "weird" and "scared" (irrationally, of course), a very deep depression follows. The kind that is barely bearable. Thankfully, I feel better now and am going to join the ladies for a potluck and fellowship. Will be back tonight/this week to share and post with you again. smile

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1073
   Posted 10/28/2017 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad that you posted, Kelly.

Just wondering, if your depression started with an event.

You probably haven't been depressed all of your life.

I've been depressed over an event, or from not having been prescribed an anti-depressant, or from long time not having a job, and it could have gone on for months and I thought I was never going to get over it.

But maybe I got to a doctor, got a job, got around people, something, and eventually I did get over it. Did yours start with an event and long time isolated, we'll say, and it just hasn't gone away?

And the different meds aren't working?

RobLee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 11/3/2017 4:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Tim Tam said...
Just wondering, if your depression started with an event.

You probably haven't been depressed all of your life.

I've been depressed over an event, or from not having been prescribed an anti-depressant...


Please forgive me for jumping in here, but that describes my experience EXACTLY!

I had never been depressed until an incident just three years ago... and my doctor totally disregarded my pleas for help. Through my own research I discovered Effexor and with persistence finally found a doc willing to prescribe it for me. It has been a tremendous help.

The 'event' still disturbs me, but the crying spells are fewer now (though they have been increasing again more recently) and my periods in the pit are now measured in hours not months.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1073
   Posted 11/4/2017 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like you're doing a lot of your help on your own, which is good.

You say, "I had never been depressed until an incident just three years ago... and my doctor totally disregarded my pleas for help. Through my own research I discovered Effexor and with persistence finally found a doc willing to prescribe it for me. It has been a tremendous help."

So, you're seeing that the doctors don't always get it right, which is good. And you not stopping at that point, you're doing a lot of the research on your own.

We can also draw up a list of things we can do, in addition to medicine, that might help us. What helped me one time when I was in depression was working in a mental health type workshop, which put me around people doing some pretty simple tasks.

It put me in the middle of some human dynamics such as, I was helping some people, some people were helping me, and some of the people I was on same level as. All of that was therapeutic.

But I needed a reason for going there, and the simple tasks they were asking of me provided that. So that combination worked for me.

A think a similar thing to that is volunteering. You could walk a dog at a dog pound, volunteer at a hospital say, delivering items to various rooms, or working with some of the patients and seeing how rough a time they're having and maybe your mental energy will turn from your problems to theirs.

That's what I'm doing right now, helping somebody else, when I probably have as many problems as they do. I'm just not thinking of my problems right now.

And with some of our problems, we can often help others who are having difficulties by telling them, "Guess what happened to me one time."

RobLee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 11/5/2017 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Tim Tam said...
It put me in the middle of some human dynamics such as, I was helping some people, some people were helping me, and some of the people I was on same level as. All of that was therapeutic... working with some of the patients and seeing how rough a time they're having and maybe your mental energy will turn from your problems to theirs. That's what I'm doing right now, helping somebody else, when I probably have as many problems as they do... And with some of our problems, we can often help others who are having difficulties by telling them, "Guess what happened to me one time."


Thanks Tim. Unfortunately I have limited mobility, so walking pets and delivering meals is not practical.

However, I have been spending a lot of time with other cancer patients. Often they are scared, and lonely, especially those newly diagnosed. Naturally I have met several who are far worse off than we are (my wife and I both have cancer) and in sharing our experiences they often feel encouraged by the successes we've had in our own struggles. It helps to keep me out of the 'why me' pit of despair.

And I am rewarded by the feeling that I have helped someone. And though I have no medical training, I can often share tips to help them with some of their problems, such as the ravages of chemo or difficulties at home... things I've learned through experience or discovered in my own research, as I remember everything, which is a curse as well a blessing.

Tim Tam said...

So, you're seeing that the doctors don't always get it right, which is good. And you not stopping at that point, you're doing a lot of the research on your own.


Just recently I had an awful scare... the appearance of what might be yet another cancer. Some tests are positive and others negative. So at least for now I have been spared the dread of further treatment. But not knowing is still a big concern.

Yes, doctors have been wrong with me before, far too often unfortunately. But at least for now I can enjoy the holidays with my family and will jump back into the treacherous waters In January. By then it will likely have grown or gone away.

Also I have recently begun to see a therapist, so now I have someone outside the family that I can talk to, and perhaps able to provide some useful guidance.

Thanks again for your reply!
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