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Topic: It Never Ends

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Buzz71
    Buzz71 avatar
    13 posts
    13 August 2020

    Hi I posted much of this in the newbie thread but I would like to seek a wider audience.

    I am 49, married (second time around) with two kids from my first marriage, and a five year old from my second. I am a career public servant at upper middle level, and I have had battles with depression and anxiety since my early 20s. Right now I'm going through (yet another) severe bout of depression. I appreciate we shouldn't post too much personal detail here but context is important.
    I'm actually on leave on half pay all of 2020. After many years of stress at work I decided to take this year to be a stay at home dad and help my youngest with their first year of school. Things haven't gone quite to plan with COVID etc but that's unavoidable.
    Now I am at home and at least not stressed by work but I am depressed as ever. I am very fortunate and have no major problems but I can't seem to shake it. I've tried two different medications over the years but mostly I feel the side-effects are worse than any possible benefits. I have finally weaned off the second of these with much difficulty.
    I feel hopeless ... everything is poisoned by the depression. Halfway through my leave and I am already starting to stress about returning to work. Long hours and high stress are part of the deal and my family has suffered over the years. I saw little of my older two children when they were younger because I was always at work. I don't want - and my wife definitely doesn't want - me to return to that habit.
    But at home not working I haven't found the peace and joy I was seeking. The depression never leaves and I am ... so... tired... of fighting every single day. I wake up and it punches me in the face. I am not suicidal but I do have thoughts about it being the only way to stop the pain. I have quit drinking because I did come close once last year on a work trip - after a lot of drinks I found myself on a high balcony and considered doing it.
    I do have professional help and have a psych I have seen for many years. She is good but no one else in my life understands the pain. My wife cares but doesn't know how to help, and I feel that it is slowly destroying our relationship. I have no real friends left - no one wants to be around depressed people. I feel hopeless- I see no way out and I can't see any options that will make things better.
    So here I am - hoping to talk to people that understand depression and won't just tell me to cheer up and move on. Thanks for listening.

  2. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    519 posts
    13 August 2020

    Hi Buzz71,

    depression and anxiety can be so so brutal - I know how you feel. I've carried depression and anxiety around for the better part of 10-15 years before having a breakdown 8 months ago.

    Ive been at my job for 10 years now. My job is the very definition of a dead end job, Theres no opportunity for advancement, Ive never moved up - just moved sideways. I'm have the same job title as when I first started. I was going to throw in the towel and quit just before I hit 10 years but my psychologist said something that hit me - Its not what you do in life, its how you life your life. I was hating my self so much for being in the position I was in but when I thought about it - work aside - I had it pretty good. So I had a plan that I was going to hit 10 years - go on a long holiday and look for another job - then COVID hit...

    Cant even describe how that made me feel.

    I feel you maybe could be a little burntout? In need of a new job/career change? It takes so much strength to raise a family, have a highly stressful job AND have depression. When was the last time you had YOU time? I only ask because my psychologist recommend I take 2 weeks leave as I was burntout and during those 2 weeks I did things that made me feel happiness and joy which made me feel less depressed and anxious.

    You cant pour from and empty glass, YOU are important too!

    Youre not alone here mate.

  3. Buzz71
    Buzz71 avatar
    13 posts
    14 August 2020 in reply to Gambit87

    Hi Gambit87

    Thanks for your supportive post. I like the advice - it is not what you do but how you live life. It sounds like you have a good psychologist.

    I think in my case I've done many years of stressful work and sacrificed way too much of friends and family along the way. I am taking 'me' time this year, I've taken a break, I think I'm just over the whole live to work rather than work to live thing.

    Specific stressors aside, the depression is so bad it has just drained all the colour out of life. I either don't enjoy hobbies anymore or worse - still feel guilty when I am doing them - even though I am on leave and supposed to be relaxing! The brain is a strange and powerful beast.

    I'm just so tired of fighting it. Sometimes it retreats a little for an hour or two - then bam, back it comes with the force of a hurricane. Sometimes it is so bad it takes my breath away. I feel it like a black living thing inside me, twisting a knife inside. People talk about the black dog as a companion but for me, it is pain inside that other people can't see or understand.

    It all begins to seem a bit pointless really. Most of the joy is washed out of life. I hold on for others - my wife, children and extended family who I know would be devastated if I took action to end it. It just never ends and I struggle to keep going when every day is just pain. How do you keep fighting a battle that you feel you can never win?

    I just want it to stop and I know it won't and there is just no end in sight.

  4. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6313 posts
    14 August 2020 in reply to Buzz71

    Hello Buzz71

    Welcome to the forum. It does take strength to post here so congratulations. Depression AKA the black dog is horrible. Twenty years ago depression hit me like a ton of bricks. I had never felt anything like this. All the symptoms you describe fitted me. I also tried medication, lots of different pills all with horrendous side effects. In the end I stopped taking them. I had a good GP who got me to try an AD from the original group of antidepressant meds, TCA group. It was amazing how much better I felt.

    I know people often think meds will cure their depression but it's not so. They work to give you breathing space to stop your brain fogging up so when the meds just add to that it does not work.The AD I was prescribed really helped me to be calm and receptive to help which I had not been in the past. I struggled with thoughts of ending it all. I would tell myself it was OK, I could go ahead in an hour's time. When the hour was up I set a new time. This was the only way I got through the day for a long time.

    I met a great psychiatrist just after the meds change. Whether it was because I could see more clearly or not I don't know but she was so helpful. After a while I was beginning to see a way forward or at least a lessening of the pain. You are quite right about the pain being physical. I could always feel my depression from the ache or pains in my body.

    I've talked a lot about me and I hope you don't mind. I wanted you to know you can get past all this horribleness. I also knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that life would always be this black world. I am so happy I was proved wrong.

    You said your wife does not know how to help you or support you. Have you investigated the fact sheets on this site? Look under The Facts at the top of the page and also Get Support. Lots of good information there and it is reliable. You can download any of the fact sheets but must send for the booklets, no charge for these. One booklet in particular may be useful as it is for family and friends. It could help your wife gain a better understanding of your depression and perhaps she would read the fact sheets as well. Depression does not show itself like the 'flu or a broken leg and it is hard to see how it can cause so much damage. The brain really is a strange beast.

    Please believe the depression can stop and there is an end in sight. By the way, are you seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist?

    Mary

  5. Buzz71
    Buzz71 avatar
    13 posts
    15 August 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Thanks for your response Mary. I really appreciate others sharing their experiences, it helps to know that others feel similar ways and have found paths to better places.

    I will definitely look into the resources. I am seeing an excellent psychologist who has been with me for many years. I recently lost my GP who moved away - he was outstanding, and my new one just isn't the same. The original one really was a holistic look after your long term health kind, really cared. The new one is just a treat the symptom of the day type so I really miss having that GP who looked at the bigger picture.

    My psych does help a lot but I've already used up most of my allowed sessions for the year so I don't know what next. I want to stay off meds if possible - they definitely are no silver bullet.

    Perhaps I will try the hour by hour strategy.

    Apart from the pain I just hate the feeling of hopelessness and feel that nothing really matters anymore. I'm trying to focus on my family - prioritising them helps. I just miss the joy of life and most of all so, so tired of the constant battle just to keep my head above water.

  6. Buzz71
    Buzz71 avatar
    13 posts
    27 August 2020 in reply to Buzz71

    Hello everyone

    I thought I would reach out again as things have not really improved. I have taken the decision that when I go back to work in five months time I will go back at a lower level with (hopefully) less stress. It feels like admitting defeat but I think it is the best move as it will allow me to remain the primary carer for our early school age child.

    Finally making the decision has removed some anxiety but the depression is still terrible. I can't help this increasing feeling it's all pointless. Nothing makes me happy anymore. I don't seem to enjoy doing anything. Guilt is high as I am leading what by any measure is a secure, safe and privileged life. I go through the motions but everything seems dull and lifeless. I have no direction. I keep trying to focus on my family and it doing the household stuff gets me through the day but there is no sense of happiness there either. I love my family very much but they don't understand how this feels and I feel myself becoming more and more disconnected. Every day seems harder and more of an effort. No idea how to stop this downward spiral.

    Yes I am seeing a psychologist although I am almost out of visits - only 2 left this year before I run out of the mental health plan.

  7. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    519 posts
    27 August 2020 in reply to Buzz71

    Hey Buzz,

    sounds like theres going to be a bit of weight lifted from your shoulders work wise!

    I know the feelings of not feeling happiness or not enjoying anything. Just going through the motions feeling like a robot knowing that you should be feeling something - but it isn't there.

    Slowly slowly (its been tough) Ive been getting back out there and because of that - I've been feeling things again. For me, its baby steps. Things like going for a walk down the street to get a coffee or sitting by the river. My partner forced me to go to places - which I hated at first but id always feel better afterwards. I've started my photography again, going on bike rides etc.

    Somedays it feels like im back at square one - but I forgive myself and start again.

    1 person found this helpful

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