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What Depression Feels Like

StrongHeart posted 6/1/2017 08:20 AM

After being in therapy weekly for the 3 years following DDay, there's no denying to myself that I am depressed. Not only am I struggling with depression now, but after learning more about it, I think I may have been struggling with a milder depression since I was about 17 or 18 (that's 14sih years).

The last 2 years have been the worst. I'm at a point where I just can't live like this anymore. I have finally agreed to try medication, made appt with Dr...June 30th is the day.

I have been doing some research, however, and came across this list of descriptors that were defined as "un-clinical" in the article. They have been the most accurate to what I struggle with and I was thinking someone else may identify too:

-Things just seem “off” or “wrong.”
-You don’t feel hopeful or happy about anything in your life.
-You’re crying a lot for no apparent reason, either at nothing, or something that normally would be insignificant.
-You feel like you’re moving (and thinking) in slow motion.
-Getting up in the morning requires a lot of effort.
-Carrying on a normal conversation is a struggle. You can’t seem to express yourself.
-You’re having trouble making simple decisions.
-Your friends and family really irritate you.
-You’re not sure if you still love your spouse/significant other.
-Smiling feels stiff and awkward. It’s like your smiling muscles are frozen.
-It seems like there’s a glass wall between you and the rest of the world.
-You’re forgetful, and it’s very difficult to concentrate on anything.
-You’re anxious and worried a lot.
-Everything seems hopeless.
-You feel like you can’t do anything right.
-You have recurring thoughts of death and/or suicidal impulses. Suicide seems like a welcome relief.
-You have a feeling of impending doom – you think something bad is going to happen, although you may not be sure what, and/or…
-…You have a very specific fear that torments you constantly.
-In your perception of the world around you, it’s always cloudy. Even on sunny days, it seems cloudy and gray.
-You feel as though you’re drowning or suffocating.
-You’re agitated, jumpy and and anxious much of the time.
-Your senses seem dulled; food tastes bland and uninteresting, music doesn’t seem to affect you, you don’t bother smelling flowers anymore.
-Incessantly and uncontrollably into your mind comes the memory of every failure, every bad or uncomfortable experience, interview or date, like a torrent of negativity.

I identify with 19 out of these 23 things and would say these symptoms have persisted for at least a year, more likely two years. What about you?

ETA: clarify/correct somethings (see explanation above )

and also to add...I barely function at my job. I have just enough energy to do the bare minimum in all aspects of my life. I don't have even the slightest bit of energy for anything extra, so enjoyment is out of the question. My SO of 9 months is so incredibly nice to me and it just annoys me most of the time. He sent me this this morning, "Good morning my sweet, beautiful, precious darling. I hope you slept well and are feeling well rested. I will talk to you soon, have a wonderful day!" My first thought? Ugh, why is he so fakely nice? His precious darling? What am I, his pet?? I don't feel like talking.

The thing is, it's not fake. He has consistently been like this for over 9 months. I just can't accept it right now.

[This message edited by StrongHeart at 8:29 AM, June 1st (Thursday)]

MaryG posted 6/2/2017 11:28 AM

StrongHeart, I could almost have written your post, only I don't have a SO to irritate me. I have most of the other symptoms though; like you, I think I've suffered from bouts of depression most of my life but this one is far worse than ever before. The long-term damage that infidelity inflicts on us cannot be underestimated - it affects every fibre of our being, our self-esteem is shredded, confidence shattered, peace of mind destroyed. The sense of failure and isolation is overwhelming; the thought of a new relationship is terrifying - besides, who would ever want such a dreadful person? (When you've been told for years that you're a horrible woman by the man who is supposed to love you, you start to believe it).
I have no idea how to get out of this dark place so I can't offer advice. Just know you're not alone.

one2ndchance posted 6/2/2017 17:27 PM

Don't be afraid to try anti-depressants. It was a life saver for me.

I felt like my life was a sad movie filmed in black and white. After being on meds for about a week, I suddenly felt like it was Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ when she opens the door from her tornado house and steps into the colorful world of Munchkin Land.

They got me through the rough time and strengthened those neurotransmitters that allowed my brain to accept and appreciate the simple joy of life. Once my brain developed those pathways again, I was able to wean myself (under doctor's supervision) off the drugs.

Depression is a serous disease and there is no one size fits all treatment. You may need to try different types of ADs as some perform differently and affect individuals in different ways, because we are all unique human beings and are responses may be different.

But stick with it, be patient, and know that there is hope for a better way of living.

Karmafan posted 6/3/2017 10:33 AM

Strongheart, I always enjoy reading your posts and you certainly come across as a strong, wise, super-smart and ballsy lady. You are one of those women who make me think: how could a man possibly cheat on her!?!? Not that any woman deserves to be cheated on, but you know what I mean..

I am sorry to hear you are struggling, but admire your ability to recognise that you have a problem and the fact that you are doing something about it.

I think I could identify with seven/eight of the typical signs you describe, thus I don't think I am depressed as such but I am certainly tethering on the brink and have been for some time. I particularly identify with what you say, and said on another post too, about relationships: that when we are not in a good place, they somehow feel off, regardless of how lovely the other person is.

I think the decision to take meds is a very personal one and I would never judge someone who makes that call, however, going on antidepressants is not something I would consider myself. I am old fashioned in thinking that bad things in life you face head on. No matter how painful they are. Meds might mask the symptoms but don't go to the root of the problem. Again, I am talking about me and my personal take on this, but I am aware that for some people meds could offer the break they so desperately need to move forward or even just to 'breathe'.

Whatever decision you make, it will be the right one for you. Meds or no meds, from what I have seen so far, you certainly have what it takes to overcome this particular bad juncture in your life and look at the future with renewed optimism

[This message edited by Karmafan at 11:20 AM, June 3rd (Saturday)]

Adlham posted 6/3/2017 13:07 PM

Sometimes when your brain spends a long time being traumatized your brain stops working properly and antidepressants can help get the synapses and such firing properly again. Antidepressants don't have to be forever. I've been on them off and on over the years and the right ones really help.
For my latest go around, it was because I had terrible chronic nerve pain down my legs and got to the point of barely being able to walk. I'm only 45, I've got kids who are active, and being unable to do the things I used to was so demeaning to me. I had 2 failed back surgeries and have been dealing with this for 7 years so you can see how long term trauma of any kind eventually causes problems with your brain. Finally had a successful back surgery and once I finish the pain med taper, I can see a time where I can go off the antidepressants as well because my particular antidepressant is also good for pain. The only reason I might stay on it longer is for period migraines as the med I used to take for those made me loopy as all get out.

Anyways, the point is that your brain chemistry can get off kilter from extended periods of trauma and sometimes it just needs a little help getting back on track but antidepressants don't have to be forever.

ADryHeat posted 6/3/2017 13:16 PM


toonces posted 6/4/2017 21:00 PM

Just saw a TED talk/video about depression. Andrew Solomon was the presenter. During his presentation, he said "depression is like death but in slow motion."

StrongHeart posted 6/5/2017 08:33 AM

Thanks so much for your responses. I guess I just keep hoping that someone will have a magic answer to make it all go away (I know that's not realistic).

The dr. was able to fit me in last Thursday and she was very supportive. You see, I went to see her about this 6 months ago. She prescribed me something then and I didn't fill it.

She prescribed it to me again. This time I filled it and started taking it Friday morning. I feel a little defeated. I had been fighting taking them for a long time. It's hard for me to admit I needed help, but I'm doing it. I really hope it helps.

Futurefear posted 6/5/2017 09:15 AM

I didn't want to take medications either but my baby bro whom is a psychologist basically said that my brain is tired and I need to help it heal.
I'm on a super low dose and it has helped. It takes away the super dark lows and allows me to see joy and not be irritated by every single little thing.
Do I plan on being on this forever? No way! But right now it is necessary to help me get to the next phase of life-stronger, healthier and happier.
Hope that you find some of the same.


dreamlife posted 6/5/2017 09:40 AM

It feels like a sort of paralysis/confusion...unable to make decisions...falling into a deep dark hole.
Am unable to take meds and have had so many real life Stresses... I cannot breathe!

CornflakeGirl posted 6/5/2017 10:51 AM

When I was with ExWH, I had high functioning depression. After D-Day, I had situational depression. 3 months after D-Day, I went on antidepressants and they were a lifesaver. I stayed on ADs for about a year while I worked through the worst of it in counseling.

Since then, I've come off ADs, but, I still journal and I'm in counseling off and on. I'm still anxious, but, my symptoms of depression have gone way down.

It's awesome that you've identified your depression. Keep doing the work in counseling. Would you consider an antidepressant?

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