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Topic: Depression

18 posts, 0 answered
  1. mimiblue
    mimiblue avatar
    8 posts
    23 October 2020
    I never knew or understood what depression was until I was 14. I had a really good and blessed childhood, I had a huge family and amazing childhood friends. When I left primary school and entered high school everything changed. I am now 20 and in university but it's still affecting me and getting worse. As a kid I was so social and talkative, I was so excited about the world and the endless possibilities, I was an optimist. When I entered high school, my personality changed, girls that I was trying to hang out with would constantly bring me down and I lost my innocence and my youth. As a child I thought everyone was nice and a good person and then I entered high school. I completely lost all of my confidence and happiness in high school but I used food (emotional eating) to make me happy and gained heaps of weight. I was a very fit person and now I'm overweight. When I entered university I started becoming myself again and feeling good but then that started to stop as well. A couple of weeks ago I got my old home videos (VHS tapes) converted and I was so excited to watch them but now I completely regret my decision. Ever since I watched those tapes a deep dark depression hit me as I realised how happy I was and how for the past 8 years I wasn't living just exisiting and surviving. Now after seeing my old tapes I feel as if I'll never be that happy confident kid again and now I can't fathom getting out of bed. So here I am lying down on my bed as I'm typing this out, I just feel so hopeless and that everything in life is pointless and meaningless. Since watching the tapes I've lost my appetite and haven't eaten in a week, I've only drank coffee and ice tea, I stopped going to the gym and feel fatigued all the time. If I knew those tapes would bring me all this sadness I would of never converted them .........
  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3684 posts
    23 October 2020 in reply to mimiblue
    Welcome mimiblue, We are so glad that you've reached out to our wonderful community here today. We're so sorry to hear that you've been struggling with depression since you were 14. It sounds like seeing your past confidence has been a trigger for you. Please know that you've come to safe, non-judgemental space to talk things through and our community is here to offer as much support, advice and conversation as you need.  Can we ask if you are accessing any support for your depression, or have you in the past? We would also recommend getting in touch with an organisation called Headspace. Headspace is an organisation specifically for young people aged 12-25 and they offer a wide range of services, and it would be worth having a chat to them to find out what they offer that could be really beneficial for you. You are also always welcome to get in touch with Kids Help Line. They are a confidential and anonymous, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged 25 and under. 

    It sounds like you'd started taking some steps in going to the gym and enjoying the changes and new environment that starting university can bring. You've had a set-back in being triggered by these videos, and it's important to be gentle with yourself at this time. Please know that it's okay to have a set-back, and there is lots of time, and hope that when you're feeling up to it, in your own time, you can keep taking slow steps towards becoming that happy confident person that you once were. 

    We hope that you keep checking back in and let us know how you are going when you feel up to it. We're all here for you.
     
    2 people found this helpful
  3. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    24 October 2020 in reply to mimiblue

    Hi mimiblue

    Wish I was there with you, making a positive difference, being able to relate to many of those things that definitely have the potential to bring us down and keep us there.

    While the advantages of coming out of our depression include finally feeling a difference, from my experience one of the greatest advantages is being able to look back and see clearly how it all played out, that journey into depression. It can be hard to see this when we're in our depression. When hitting the depths of depression, we can be so far removed from our natural self at this point, we can be left with that all too common statement 'I don't know who I am anymore'. In those videos, I'm wondering how much of your natural self you see and miss. I'm not talking about the physical side of things, more the emotional energetic side. At that point where you felt your self again, did you feel energetic?

    The journey back to our natural self can be a long one and it can also be a wonderful one. When I say 'wonderful', what I mean is it can be packed with wonder. Wondering how or why things went wrong on its own can be depressing yet wondering to the point where things begin to make sense within the revelations we crave is what leads us to raise our self. Wondering who brings us down and why (triggers), wondering about why we're not feeling the vibe of our natural self and wondering about how we tick on the level of a highly interactive triad known as 'mind/body/spirit' is all stuff worth wondering about in my opinion. I've taught myself to wonder a lot. Wonder is one of our natural abilities we began life with. Maintaining it is extremely important. Wondering at someone, 'I wonder why you're being such an insensitive so and so' is liberating :)

    I believe unless we've got some obvious 'raisers' in our life we will feel no difference while we're in a depression - someone to raise our spirits, our consciousness, our energy, our motivation levels etc. If the people around us are either bringing us down or leaving us vibing at the same depressing level, the difference we seek cannot be found through them.

    Food, I get it. For me, food is an emotional experience. Heck, just thinking about chocolate leads me to physical excitement. Looking at me, you'd easily be able to tell how much this gal loves food. Exercise not so much. It shows :) Caring for our natural self is definitely a challenge at times.

    Strange question perhaps but 'Do you know how to identify your natural self?'

    :)

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Bronsm76
    Bronsm76  avatar
    31 posts
    24 October 2020 in reply to mimiblue
    I have had a similar experience this week. I could feel a little mild depression for a couple of weeks before but I thought that I could ignore it and it was just some off feelings. Then on Tuesday it smacked me in the face. I had full blown anxiety and depression. The anxiety settled but the depression has stayed. I just want to lie down, not eat, not exercise. I’ve been drinking some protein water and coffee.
    The whole ‘be kind to yourself’ is hard when you feel so down. I’m trying. I just want it to move along. I can relate to what you’re saying.
    1 person found this helpful
  5. yggdrasil
    yggdrasil avatar
    39 posts
    25 October 2020

    Thanks so much for sharing your situation mimiblue. It's so, so hard feeling that way and you should be proud of reaching out. Don't be afraid to use lots of different platforms and services, phone support numbers etc. That's what I do.

    I have similar thoughts to you. I remember having great times with my freinds through primary and early high school, then things getting weird in late high school when lots of people started drinking heaps and all sorts of other things started happening. I think it's a very painful time for a lot of people slowly emerging into adulthood. New stresses and realities strain or change the simplicity of childhood freindships. Money and status and all these crazy things start to become apparent. You can find simple pure freindships and relationships again though. I joined board game groups when I was living interstate, and found that a really nice wholesome way to hang out with people of all different demographics. There'd be students, people early in there careers and retirees. Schools and universities can be stressful and competitive places at times. You can sort of slowly internalise all the anxiety and competition without realising it.

    I'm really sorry converting those videos provided a painful trigger for you. I wonder if this sort of pain comes in cycles throughout our adult lives. The concept of a "mid life crisis" is talked about a lot. I think of that as someone who works really, really hard to pay bills and survive, then suddenly realises they don't feel like they're really living, so they buy a motorbike or electric guitar or something. Trying to connect with a sense of living from childhood perhaps. Perhaps you feel something like that now after years and years of enduring high school, only to then face even more gruelling pressure at uni. I think we put way too much intellectual pressure on young people these days, or rather, we've created a cultural environment where they put that pressure on themselves. I've been going through something a bit like that now after finishing my masters then starting my PhD. All I want to do at the moment is play guitar, paint Warhammer, ride my skateboard and see friends. It's almost like a form of grief for all the life you've missed by working so hard. Maybe we need to extend the concept of the mid-life crisis to all stages of life beyond childhood? I know it's really painful right now but you will definitely pull through it, it's sometimes just slow :)

    1 person found this helpful
  6. yggdrasil
    yggdrasil avatar
    39 posts
    25 October 2020

    I'm also really, really sorry you feel hopeless and that life feels pointless and meaningless. It's a really hard state to be in and a hard problem to solve. I'm worried you've lost your appetite and would encourage you to talk to your GP about this, and about setting up a mental health care plan so you can access some free psych sessions (with a psych you trust). It's so hard because things can spiral downhill so, so quickly, but it may take a while to put them together again. Even if you have no appetite I think try to eat even just a little each day. Your brain needs fuel to work through these problems both emotionally and intellectually. Same with exercise. I'm also very, very fatigued right now. Usually I run every day but the last few months I can often only manage a walk. Even a little walk around the block is really, really valuable if gym and more hardcore exercise is too intimidating. For me when I'm really, really depressed, even getting both legs out of the bed and standing up can be a small victory. Even a walk around the house is a small win. You keep going slowly, slowly and gradually you put things back together. Sometimes it takes months and months so go at your own pace and don't force it or rush it. I went through that cycle once when I was your age, once again near the end of undergrad, and again in my masters. I'm going through it again now. It's hard and painful every time, but I learn a bit more each time. Even though I've had severe depression on and off I've still managed to do really well at uni and win prizes and stuff so it doesn't have to dominate your life and even if you feel hopeless doesn't mean things really are hopeless. Keep on going, keep on going. Just find those tiny little wins. Doesn't matter how tiny they are. When you're really, really depressed just getting both feet out of the bed is a hardcore achievement. The big achievements are slowly slowly built off these tiny little achievements. Even calling the GP or calling BeyondBlue or whoever you trust can help slowly put the pieces back together. It's so hard and can feel embarassing and painful, but very slowly you find a new equilibrium. :)

    1 person found this helpful
  7. mimiblue
    mimiblue avatar
    8 posts
    25 October 2020 in reply to therising
    NO I have no idea on how to identify with my natural self ! I feel like I've been in survival mode since 2014 (defence mechanisms) and I've forgotten and lost who I am. I also struggled at home because their was so much drama happening between my adopted older siblings (who I never even knew were adopted my parents lied to us) and my parents and I kinda felt forgotten about. On top of that my younger brother by only 11 months got sick (diabetes) and he started becoming angrier/aggressive and it changed the whole energy of the house, their was less laughter and more screaming and violence. We were really close and I haven't spoken to him since 2013 even though we live in the same house, I think us not speaking for so long definitely contributed to me losing my natural self and identity since he was a big part of my childhood and my first best friend in life. In my old videos I was so vibrant, so energetic and so full of life, although I've always been an anxious person since I was born I have severe phobias of dogs and cats and that did affect my childhood but it didn't matter cause I was still happy, i can be happy and have anxiety but the depression is what really kills you inside. And now I'm dealing with both anxiety (which has gotten worse over the years) and depression and it's mentally exhausting. I do try and talk to my dad about it (he is a social worker) but I don't want to keep burdening him since he's getting older and I don't want to stress him with my problems, my dad is the only one that knows how to make me happy so if anything would happen to him I would completely lose it i doubt i would be alive for much longer. These intrusive thoughts I get about something happening to him definitely is contributing to both my anxiety and depression. I'm just so exhausted mentally, I have no idea who I really am and what i'm even doing with my life .......
  8. mimiblue
    mimiblue avatar
    8 posts
    25 October 2020 in reply to yggdrasil
    I definitely feel intellectual pressure. My parents immigrated to Australia in the 90s and worked really hard for me to have a better life, so not going to uni was not an option, my dad was the first one in our family to get a uni degree he ended up getting 5 degrees in Australia but we still struggle financially due to other factors. My dad came from one of the poorest countries in the world and even in that country he was part of the poorest (basically in the bush with no civilisation) and my mum was more finically stable (she lived in the city) in that same country. So I definitely feel that pressure of making him proud and becoming financially stable so I can support him for the rest of his life (even though he's a prideful man and would never accept my help). But I am finding uni really hard I'm doing a double degree of law and psyc science and i find it draining i always wanted to do law but i don't know it's just exhausting to me I don't really study hard but i'm managing to still pass. I always get compared to my younger brother who studies engineer at USYD he is much smarter than me he got a 99+ atar and i didn't even get close to that but it's hard always getting compared to him, he just has a natural gift and i can't compete with that....
    1 person found this helpful
  9. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    26 October 2020 in reply to mimiblue

    Hi mimiblue

    I imagine you to be someone of great natural intelligence. While some may have a brain that resembles a human calculator, in the way it's able to calculate academic based questions and answers so efficiently, others hold a highly sensitive kind of intelligence that relates more to 'the nature' of things or people. While the first person may gravitate toward a career in dealing with things, the 2nd will naturally gravitate toward a career that deals with people or nature. It would be crazy to compare the two, they're entirely different.

    Natural intelligence is a fascinating topic that's not given the interest it truly deserves, in my opinion. For example, the natural way the mind and body communicate with each other is fascinating. Coming to understand that communication is worth the effort. Being a sensitive person, I imagine you can easily sense or feel when someone is 'bring you down' or degrading you. This kind of feeling impacts the body. It can be an uncomfortable and highly questionable feeling. Yet, we may rarely question the body's intelligence. Instead, we may simply think 'I'm being too sensitive'. Imagine if you paid attention to this feeling and read it as 'That person is leading me to feel dis-ease. I will demand that they stop. I will question as to why they feel the need to degrade others'. So, you question. You challenge that person to give you an answer. You challenge them to move to a level of higher consciousness. You become a challenging person, in a constructive way.

    A sensitive person with natural intelligence will

    • sense/feel the need for resolution within an emotionally challenging environment
    • sense/feel the need to evolve beyond a challenge, either on their own or with the help of another
    • sense/feel the need for difference, when sameness is soul destroying
    • sense/feel the need for excitement, when there is a lack of it. Hard to 'vibe high' with a lack of excitement
    • sense/feel the need for relaxation when stress is overwhelming the mind and body

    The list goes on. Such a person will sense these things. You could call them 'feelings'. When asked to describe this sense, it's tough. Some may simply call it a 6th sense. An insensitive person may not feel the need for resolution when resolution is desperately needed but a sensitive person will definitely feel the need (natural intelligence).

    It makes sense to me that because you're sensitive and feel so much, you're naturally intelligent. This is who you naturally are.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  10. mimiblue
    mimiblue avatar
    8 posts
    26 October 2020 in reply to therising
    Thank you for the response. I definitely identify with what you are saying. I am a highly sensitive person in that sense and I am very aware of what's happening I can't just wonder through life I have to question everything and what it means. I've always been like that, I grew up very curious and I think going through high school kind of suppressed that curiosity as I wasn't in the right environment surrounded by people without that same energy and curiosity and I think watching my old videos were a trigger for me as I had forgotten about who I truly am inside as I had to suppress it to survive High School and I think that triggered this deep depression I've been under as I am lost and confused on how to get back to my natural self.
  11. yggdrasil
    yggdrasil avatar
    39 posts
    26 October 2020 in reply to mimiblue
    I'm sorry to hear about the pressure being placed on you. It's definitely understandable you want to make your family proud, and I understand the sense of sibling rivalry you've described. And I agree uni is extremely hard. I found it really, really tough too. My opinion is that our parents generation's ideas about what success looks like are sometimes out of touch with what things are actually like in contemporary Australia. Plumbers can make more than psychologists in 21st century Australia! University degrees are not scarce resources like they were in our parents day, and many jobs requiring higher degrees won't necessarily make you happier than jobs requiring lower qualifications. No one really tells you that in school, the assumption is always you need to do the hardest thing you can get into, and that will make you happiest. Lots of my freinds (and myself) are going through a process at the moment of trying to work out if we really actually enjoy and value the work we've fought so hard to obtain. One of my freinds, extremely smart, she studied physics and then was a teacher in fancy schools across the world. By her mid thirties she realised she just didn't enjoy all the pressure of teaching in these fancy schools. She decided what she actually enjoyed was repetitive, precision work, and she's now a clinical coder and loves it! I've never seen her happier. Another freind I did maths with went off to study engineering. Super smart guy. But he just found all the intensity and competition of engineering wasn't for him, and he just didn't care about concrete that much. Now he does disability support, works an admin job in a church, and does a little bit of data science for Swinbourne too. I fought so, so hard to get to PhD level, because I really wanted to do scientific research. So far I've found it really overwhelming and unpleasant. Definitely I am not trying to discourage you from studying hard degrees, you should absolutely follow your passions, but I would encourage you to listen to your own mind and feelings, and not let other people or social expectations make you do things that cause you pain. Have you ever considered studying uni part time? I've done that at various points and it helped make it easier, and also allowed me to explore other things :)
  12. yggdrasil
    yggdrasil avatar
    39 posts
    26 October 2020
    Can I ask are there any techniques that help you manage when things get really bad? Do you ever write things down? Go for walks in nature? Have you tried any of the apps like Headspace or Pacifica? Hope you're going ok today :)
  13. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    27 October 2020 in reply to mimiblue

    Hi mimiblue

    As I say to my 15yo son and 18yo daughter, the Australian education system is somewhat soul destroying, uninspiring, potentially depressing and incredibly stressful at times. I know some people may poo poo me for saying that but I simply want my kids to know that it's not them that is filled with faults. I say to them 'Question everything you find questionable'. What can come with such questioning is a growing level of intolerance toward what you suddenly realise you've been tolerating for quite some time. So, yeah, kids tolerate school. Unless they've got inspiring activities and teachers (who naturally recognise faults in the system), this is the perfect environment to suppress our real nature, which can be quite depressing for some. A sad question to pose, 'How many kids make it out of this system alive?', literally. Makes you realise how flawed the system is and how seriously it impacts mental health. I should add, we are fortunate in this country to have an education system. I don't want to sound completely ungrateful. It could simply do with a serious upgrade.

    When it comes to re-turning to our natural self, I've found feeling the difference that's needed is important. Feeling is like having a compass. I observe as many physical emotions as I can, in order to come to know myself better and find direction. It can involve simple things like

    • If stretching feels good, first thing in the morning, I'll do more of it. I won't just stop and one simple stretch. We carry more tension in our body than what we realise. Some folk do more disciplined forms of stretching like yoga
    • Filtered water vibes me up. A couple of glasses gets my feet buzzing. I know, sounds a bit weird. Our cells thrive on good hydration, it raises their vibration

    More complex differences

    • If what used to excite me just doesn't do it for me anymore, I move on to something more exciting. I'll keep searching 'til I hit the mark. You know when you hit it because you'll feel excitement. Whether it's basic activity or hyperactivity, we're feeling our body being excited
    • Extensively experimenting with what naturally relaxes us is productive. Sound therapy (ASMR), smell therapy (aromatherapy, including getting out into nature), touch therapy (massage) etc, are natural therapies experienced through the senses

    Returning to our natural self can take a fair amount of investigation. Being a detective or detecting what raises our spirits and energy/activity is well worth the investigation.

    :)

  14. Tangney
    Tangney avatar
    143 posts
    27 October 2020

    Hi everyone. It's a shame that policy makers, in trying to right the wrongs of the past in allowing better access to university for people from all walks of life, did not take account of the unintended consequences of "forcing" the vast majority of school students down this path.

    I'm an older person who comes from times when degrees were scarce. I had no parental support, even though I got the marks to get into uni. My parents did not agree with higher education and wanted me to go into something that was within their comfort zone, like secretarial work, which was highly regarded at the time for someone from a working class background. When I left school, after year 12, I went straight to work after about 2 weeks off. No schoollies week. No holidays. No gap year. I was expected to work and pay my way. There was no other option. This entailed being employed in soul destroying jobs that were, to me, menial and gave me no personal satisfaction, except that they allowed me to save up so that I could go to uni part time under my own steam, while I continued in the same menial and soul destroying jobs while I studied my way out of my. In the end, the strategy worked and I now have 3 degrees, which I have never regretted obtaining. In saying this, I have never experienced the advantage of being a full-time student, with access to all of the trappings of campus life. I have always had to work and so all of my qualifications have been obtained part-time while working. It took me 6 years to finish my first degree. I would also like to add that in doing the menial work, sexual harassment went with the territory for most women. There was no-one to complain to and no recourse. If you didn't like it, you had to leave.

    In saying all of this, I completely agree that university is not for everyone and that there is too much focus on university education these days. I also think that the jobs that I considered to be menial in the old days would probably be filled by university educated people these days, which is ridiculous and unnecessary. I agree that people should focus on their strengths, which may or may not be academic in nature and that no-one should be forced into study or a job that goes against their nature.

    I hope you find your equilibrium.

    2 people found this helpful
  15. mimiblue
    mimiblue avatar
    8 posts
    28 October 2020 in reply to yggdrasil
    In High School especially near the end of it, in year 12 whenever I felt anxious or depressed me and my dad would go for walks around my area which has nice scenery and it did help calm me down and feel refreshed. On these walks I would either listen to my favourite music on blast or talk about how I'm feeling with my dad so it would become a therapy session and I felt instantly relieved. But I can't go for walks anymore because my phobia of cats has become really bad and their on our street so I'm blocked from even existing my street unless the car was at home I'm basically trapped, I started going to a psychologist to help me with my phobia's but until I cure it it's hard to go for walks which is contributing to the depressed state that I'm in. I've got my finals exams next week and it's definitely hard to focus as I keep having intrusive thoughts about how I'll never be as happy as I was years ago....
  16. yggdrasil
    yggdrasil avatar
    39 posts
    28 October 2020 in reply to mimiblue
    Ah I'm really sorry to hear about your phobia that must be so hard :( Do you have a backyard you can run in, or maybe a skipping rope? There are also some indoor exercise videos that got popular during lockdown - this is the one I've been using (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nZ2iBGvFhE&ab_channel=TheBodyCoachTV). Don't need to be as hardcore as Joe Wicks, can even just do a couple of reps of each exercise very, very slowly. Do you have any musical instruments at home? I like to bash out a pop song on guitar when I'm feeling depressed and it usually helps. Or sing along loudly in the car. My personal opinion also is try not to think too much about how things were in the past. It's good to have good memories, but remember the past is really just a picture in your head and doesn't really exist... it's just a bunch of neurons and chemicals firing in your brain. It's not reality. Reality is only what's going on right in this moment. Same goes for the future. It's of course important to think about and analyse the past, and to plan for the future, but for depressed and anxious people like us that kind of thinking can really take over and just dominate everything, crowding out the present moment. I think that's why extreme sports, and things like boxing exist. The human brain evolved in conditions where conditions forced people to be in the present, to stay alert to their surroundings and not get eaten or killed. I suspect now because we've largely controlled our environment it's easy for the brain to have too much energy and just run haywire with over thinking the past or future. This is why I keep going on about exercise and stuff like that. Some people are able to get into the present just through meditation and self control, and obsessive thoughts about the past or future just run off them like water. Others, like me and I suspect yourself, don't have that level of control (yet?) and need more external forces to put us in that state. That's why I swear by hard exercise for mental health recovery. Something that really pushes your body, causes discomfort or even pain, and forces you into the present moment. Have you seen the netflix show Cobra Kai? It's sort of a retelling of the Karate Kid movies (I'm showing my age now.) I see the Johnny character as sort of exemplifying the hardcore "force yourself into the present moment through harcore exercise", and the Daniel character as more zen "peacefully entering the present moment through meditation" etc.
    1 person found this helpful
  17. mimiblue
    mimiblue avatar
    8 posts
    13 November 2020 in reply to yggdrasil
    I went to the doctor today and I found out I had Iron Deficiency Anemia and I was severely vitamin D deficit. And i did some research and these things could be linked to anxiety and depression. I'm going to get an Iron Injection next week and i'm hoping this will help my mood and especially with Quarantine i never go out and when i do i'm always fatigued I thought this was because of my depression but it's a little bit of a relief that it's something else.
  18. yggdrasil
    yggdrasil avatar
    39 posts
    13 November 2020 in reply to mimiblue
    Ok that's great to hear :) B12 is another one commonly linked to fatigue and depression. I had a B12 deficiency for a while.

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