Question on depressive episodes

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 8/12/2007 12:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I have some questions that I know cannot be generalized since it's more of an individual affect. 
However, can you tell me some of your experiences with going through depression episodes?  Meaning; do you remember things that happen when you are going through an episode; remembering how it affects your thinking, numbs you from emotions..tricks you?  Do you remember these things after the episode has ended?  If experiencing another episode, after the last ones have ended, does it help you to recognize what you were feeling order to fight the feelings from depression again?
I have read countless threads on different depression forums of people going through complete pain and frustration because their spouse/partner is going through an episode and the depression takes over their thinking.  It completely kills off any form of positive thinking (of course), affects their eating habits, communication becomes less than minimal and affection is but a memory and almost all forms of social interaction cease..just to name a few.  But what I hear over and over, AND that it also convinces this person they are no longer in love with their spouse.  So many of these situations have ended in seperation or divorce.  One thing I have noticed, is this happens with couples that have their partner have their first experience with depression and lack full treatment of meds and talk therapy.
If you are taking your meds, going to your therapy sessions on a regular basis and doing what you can do to rid the depression, wouldn't one become better equipped mentally to handle another episode so as to be smarter than the depression by recognizing the habits from previous episodes?  The meds and therapy are to help stabalize a person right?  To balance out the seratonin levels and the therapy helps to keep one rational, to help with perspective?  Is it possible to have a normal relaitonship if you are doing everything to treat the depression?
I know this is a lot in terms of questions, but to all of you that have experienced this first hand, it is very much appreciated to share with me.
Thank you...

After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, "No hablo ingles."

Honey Bee
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 8/12/2007 6:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi wicked

I am sure others will respond but I just get a feeling from your latest message that you are feeling a little desperate at the moment (please don't take offence at this it is just my honest view). I see and do appreciate that you are trying to gather answers and figure out whether it is worth going through this and staying for the longer haul which is natural of course.

Again maybe for some doing everything works for them but in our experience you can never really have what others would call a 'normal relationship' but then who does. People without BP struggle to maintain their relationships. It is not all about the BP and we should be very wary of this.

We have done absolutely everything in our lives in my view to help the BP. Our working arrangement is totally organised around the BP so there is no pressure to have to have 'normal working hours'. We have marginalised any family and friends and their issues to try and keep the stress at bay. We moved countries for more sun to avoid SAD. We have been open to everything the psych has had to say and try re the meds, we have a pretty good relationship yet STILL the BP is a big feature in our lives. Remember that even if your bf gets over this depressive episode there are more than likely to be many more lows and highs in his life even with careful management of therapy and medication. Meds can stop working after a while, suddenly cause side effects not encountered before etc etc.

I really don't want to be down on your optimistic view as I can see you are really trying to hang in there for your bf. I do have a very positive outlook on the future which is why I am still here in our marriage, but you do need to be realistic about your future. You will have read many people's ongoing struggles even though they are very carefully and putting all their energy in managing the BP.

I can't comment in detail on the issues about remembering and recognizing experiences as it is probably best to come from a 'sufferer' but I do know that some of these feelings are so incredibly powerful that it can be impossible to see and fight the depression again in a rational way. People of course fight it with everything they have and still struggle with it. Education is imperative and gives you some perspective but often doesn't help the person in either high or low 'modes'.

Remember, it is still a chemical issue as you quite rightly so and sometimes there seems to be nothing to stop the changes in the chemicals, even with meds and a fairly calm work and home life. I have been told by many sufferers that doctors still have very little grasp on how to control these changes in the brain. We have moved forward of course but I think there is a very long way to go.

I have just asked my hubbie about this and he says that in the lows and highs "it is like looking at the same object from 2 different sides, when you are on one side it takes an enormous amount of self control to remember what it looked like from the other side". Each side, looks like the only angle at the time you are looking at it" so it is very difficult to remember how you felt in that mode. An example is my hubbies recent depression of several months. He has only felt a bit better for less than a week and the last couple of days have been incredibly positive, talking about the future, wanting to do things etc. Already he finds it quite difficult to imagine that 2 weeks ago he thought he had no future. He knows he felt a certain way but he is struggling to put himself back there and remember exactly how he felt. This is why it is difficult to manage on an ongoing basis.

This is why Bipolar is by definition mood altering and is constantly changing, even the best never really crack it, it is an ongoing process, which doesn't mean it is negative all the time. It is a bit like a car, it can run smoothly and will occasionally need servicing, but it will inevitably breakdown at some point. You cannot predict, monitor and control ever single trigger, chemical change, work change, family change and predict exactly what effects these things may have on a bipolar mind. Believe me we have tried :)

Keep smiling

Honey Bee

I find the irony of the BP is that just when you think things are running smoothly and going great, that is when it all falls apart. My hubbie relates it to climbing up a mountain, you keep rising, the view gets better, the adrenlin rushes and then suddenly you reach the top and fall down the other side with no warning.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 8/12/2007 7:54 AM (GMT -6)   

I have been off of meds for 2 years now and still have depressive episodes. I will cry for hours,I think my whole life is falling apart,I question the reason my b/f is still with me ect ect.

While I was on meds it seemed to be worse. I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry until I fell asleep on the floor. I would not come out of my apartment for was horrible.

I know that alot of people fell that way,and it is so hard to get out of that line of thinking.

Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Off of all meds at this time...woohoo!!

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"

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