- Depression – Why dont we talk about it?/ your experiences please
Glad to hear its getting easier
I’m pretty good overall although I have just had what i describe as a blip, after a row with the missus i felt it all coming back for a day or two, it has passed now though. it is apparently to be expected though.
My sleep is loads better i still wake early but am getting 7 hours, which really helps.Posted 4 years agodan1980Member
I’ve read through most of this thread, and thought I’d share my experience (other experiences are available etc…) I don’t know if it’ll help any folk out there:
I’ve always had low self esteem/self worth issues. At a difficult time in my work life, I added health problems to my general mix of issues and where as before I’d be able to go for a blast on the bike or do a bit of climbing to pick up my mood, it started to become harder until a point where I lost motivation to go out and do things.
This moved on to loosing motivation to go out at all, even to work, and then onto not being bothered to eat. I wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t going to work or leaving the house and wasn’t looking after myself and started to think that there wasn’t really much point in me being alive and that my friends and family would be better off without me, and thoughts of killing myself became pretty much a constant presence in my mind.
When I eventually told her how I was feeling (Emotionally the hardest thing I’ve done in my life to date), my girlfriend at the time didn’t know what to do, as like a lot of people, didn’t see depression as an illness and just assumed I needed to stop being a miserable git and get on with things. She did however drag me to the GP who I have to say was bloody brilliant with me.
I was reffered to the “crisis” centre at the local mental health unit who had nurses at my home the same afternoon. I was put on some antidepressants (Which I can’t remember the name of). These initially made me feel really anxious and apparently I got quite agitated and aggressive. I don’t really remember much of those 4 weeks, apart from the nurses coming regularly to support my girlfriend and just sit for a while as I didn’t want to talk to them and folk telling me that things would get better, and that I needed to keep taking medication.
After 4 weeks the GP decided to change the meds to Citalopram as I wasn’t going well with the first lot, and again, I was still snappy and nervous. I couldn’t sleep and was really a mess emotionally. I was only on those for 2 weeks before the GP tried something else (Lofepramine). This was for me the lowest point as all the promises of “Things will get better” seemed hollow, that I was beyond help etc. I pretty much only left my bed to use the toilet. Thankfully the new drugs started to have more positive effect on me within about 2-3 weeks (the anxiety and aggression pretty much stopped as soon as I stopped the Citalopram).
Apart from some horrendous acid reflux, and sweating like a fat man in a cake shop, the meds didn’t really have any negative side effects and were having a positive impact on the way I was thinking and feeling.
I wouldn’t say they made me happy, or indeed actually positive, they left me feeling kind of flat. Looking back now, it wasn’t a “nice” feeling, but it was a hell of an improvement on how I had been feeling.
It gave me a crutch to start to rebuild my life, getting outside, doing things and actually start living again. From being a total recluse to (admittedly being forced to) go and meet some friends at a crag (even if I only took pictures rather than climbed) took 6ish weeks. Interestingly looking back at the photos I took, they’re all fairly dark/sombre pictures. I was voluntarily going out on my bike within 10. I had weekly meetings with the mental health unit for the best part of 6 months. I was on the full dose of meds for 12 months, during which time my mood improved and I was (apart from the excessive sweating) back to my normal self. It took about 3 months of lowering the dose before the GP said I’d finished with them. I’d been doing bits of CBT and doing lots of exercise and carried on with that once I was off the pills.
6 months after that my girlfriend decided that my 30th birthday was the ideal time to break up with me. Things started to head south again, but because I was aware of the signs from the first time, I went to the GP before things got to bad and started on the pills again. 4 months after that I accidentally went cold turkey due to forgetting to take them on holiday with me and that was 3 years ago. I’ve not taken anti-depressants since.
I still think of myself as still having “depression” or at least a predisposition to “depressive episodes” but I know the warning signs that are personal to me, and know do stuff to try and make sure the spiral down doesn’t start again.
I only told a very small number of my friends what was going on, mostly out of embarrassment at not being able to cope with “life”, and that was really hard to do. But them knowing means that when they see the signs, or when I see them and know I need to get help, I have support and understanding, and people I can go to.
When I was bad I didn’t believe it, but in reality, things do get better, it’s not easy by any means, and unlike a broken leg it’s hard to see that you’re ill externally so often people who don’t really understand don’t treat you as they really should.
If you are feeling down for a prolonged period, go see a GP, talk to people close around you, or post random stuff here. Support is out there, and there are people who understand and are willing to help.Posted 4 years agoTom BMember
Interesting read Dan-I don’t think that I’ve sunk quite as low as you, but the whole downward spiral of not getting out, not caring is depressingly (pun intended) familiar.
Just got a call from some lovely sounding woman and I’ve got an appointment with a mental health nurse in just under two weeks.Posted 4 years agonickhartMember
I have to start this response with: binners, stop talking utter rubbish.Posted 4 years ago
At the time your article came out I was having counselling for work and post cancer related stress. I’ve been depressed before and have recognised the lowest of the lows but like others have said I’ve never recognised the triggers or how I get out of the depths.
Though I wasn’t depressed at the time the article came out, I was stressed, I could clearly define the difference and I knew why but I couldn’t begin to understand how I got out of it. The counselling worked wonders for me, as did getting a new job and handing the notice in on the last one and riding and finding a bit of fitness helped too. But to find your article and read it (at a kids disco party, yes crying at one isn’t the usual but hey it was a bloody good article) was another tonic. It was a we are not alone in our fears, our perceived weaknesses or our worries. Your article reminded me of riding with mates, of riding alone and the post ride glow. It reminded me of how much my mind and body are inextricably linked and they both need physical exertion (more than just getting out of bed).
The long and the short of it is that your article helped me, along with other factors, get my head straight. So Mr Binners, thank you.
Sorry for dragging this one up again….
Having a really horrible day today. My ‘mood’ starting taking a dive over the weekend. I didn’t get out on the bike or do any physical activity. There’s so many things going on in my head I just can’t make sense of them, sort them out in order and deal with them. I just feel overwhelmed by just being alive, dealing with absolutely every little thing. The drive t work, the shower this morning, my first contact with someone in work, it’s just all a huge anvil on me. I’m frightened to take action, fight it, or call someone, or whatever. Posting here seems the easiest option as nobody knows me really.Posted 4 years ago
St Colin – first off, don’t panic. IME things ebb and flow, you get good times and bad times. The bad times will pass. Go easy on yourself, maybe call your GP or (if you’ve got them) some other supporter/helper. Try to nip out for a ride tonight, doesn’t have to be a biggy, just 10 mins, or just do something else that you might enjoy, don’t go looking for the ultimate buzz. Or just keep posting on here.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks. When I feel like this, I often look for answers. I’ll scour the web looking at threads on forums, or think to myself what I should actually do.
I feel very lathargic today and have done since the end of last week. My eating has been random, and mostly full of sugar – comfort eating I guess. Today though, I haven’t eaten yet. I have the belief that I actually have a pot/beer belly and I hate it, so I go through periods of not eating to see that if in some weird way, it’ll disappear. For the record, I’m just over 6ft and 12st 8lb. Any body fat I have has made its way to my belly. I’m always conscious of it. I sleep with a t-shirt on no matter how warm it is. I’ll wear two layers on my upper body when I go out becuase I don’t want people to see any detail.Posted 4 years ago
Been there St Colin – days when it feels like my batteries have been put in the wrong way round – all seems normal on the outside but inside nothings working, all there is is noise and static and no energy to do anything. Days when you just give in and wait for tomorrow, hoping that somehow it will be better. I know that I need to do something, anything, break out of that but can’t find the energy/belief to actually do it. It’s hateful and I feel for you, but I’m sure that deep down we both know that just starting small, doing little things, engaging with stuff, allowing ourselves to feel a tiny glimmer of satisfaction even though we shut the rest of it out, all helps on the way out.
You sound as fat as me, but I still weigh myself every morning and beat myself up if I’ve gone up a pound. I kick myself by saying that if I was motivated enough to train more/work harder then I’d be stronger, fitter, faster, lighter, better than I am. But still don’t have the motivation to train as a result.
Do you have anyone else helping you – CBT/counselling or anything like that. For me it’s like steering a supertanker by sticking an oar over the side, but I’m starting to notice some effects, hopefully you will too.Posted 4 years agoxiphonMember
Been an interesting read this thread.
The comment on AD being “pain killers” for a sore knee is by far the best analogy I have read in a long time, and I entirely agree with it. It does not help the cause of the depression, which many seem to ignore. Staying on AD for most of their life seems to be the norm. My wife’s grandfather has been on them since the 1950s!
Apparently I suffer from depression, or rather “episodes of depression” too. I was eventually convinced to go visit the GP by my then girlfriend (now wife..)
For me, the event of getting prescribed AD was the trigger for the “upward spiral” – I did not ingest one single magic pill – but psychologically it worked.
Perhaps it was the “shame” of relying on AD pills to function on a daily basis (I say “shame” as this thread is about the taboo subject of depression), or perhaps it was the self-realisation that I had to sort myself out.
Either way, it worked (for me), and I’m now quite a different (much more positive and active) person than before the prescription.
My wife on the other hand is very reliant on AD….. though I’d say more of a psychological dependency than chemical need (like if I forget my inhaler when riding/driving/going out, it can trigger a panic induced asthma attack….).
When we met she had quite severe bulimia but I helped her get through that without the use of magic pills (and she’s been cold-turkey with that for 4 years now 😀 ).Posted 4 years ago
St Colin – how about booking in with your GP then? That’s one tiny step, but better than being alone with it. Fwiw I’ve done 2.5yrs of counselling and am in the middle of some cbt. I understand myself so well these days, but like you that doesn’t always help. For me I know there’s no miracle cure, just a lot of small things that slowly help turn me around. If that’s anything like you, just pick an easy one and see where it leads.Posted 4 years agolittlemisspandaMember
St Colin have you ever heard of body dysmorphic disorder?
I just wondered because some of what you describe sounds quite similar. The symptoms tend to be focused on fixations about particular features, or aspects of appearance, self consciousness, taking measures to try and hide or get rid of the offending body part/s or flaws, feeling distress about said offending body part/s or perceived flaws, and the resulting preoccupation leading to social anxiety, depression, etc. I recognised some of that in the post you made about how you feel about your body shape and the lengths you go to to cover it up. I suffered from it myself, and would do the same, my stomach was one of the areas that bothered me, I still have issues wearing anything fitted or clingy, although I am much better than I was a few years ago.
People often think this is something that affects only teenage girls and young women, but increasingly, men are suffering from it too.Posted 4 years ago
Yea, I’ve felt like that about every part of my body since I can remember. I hate it when it’s warm and sunny, because then it becomes uncomfortable to hide. I have learnt to deal with my legs which I hate. I wear 3/4 riding bottoms, or knee pads if I wear the shorts I want as I really hate my knees. I shudder at the thought of ever ending up on a sunshine holiday.Posted 4 years agolittlemisspandaMember
There are some good resources on Body Dysmorphic Disorder via the MIND website, might be worth a read – there are also some online self diagnostic tools you can use – obviously not a medical diagnosis, but an indication that you might be able to go to your GP with. I’m at work at the mo, so can’t post any links, but could do when I get home.Posted 4 years ago
I’m okay today. Still very anxious and restless.
I’ve been thinking about taking time off work, but I’m not sure that would be a good idea, or help at all.
I’m actually trying to stay off the likes of Facebook and other online places as I’m always comparing myself to others. A lot of my Facebook friends ride so I’m always looking at there videos and photos and comparing that to me.Posted 4 years agosqueezerMember
I’ve not much new to add to what’s been said already but I have suffered with depression for five years and have been through the whole cycle of meds, CBT and counselling. I have been off work for the last five weeks following most recent episode and it has broken the downward cycle. I’m not yet feeling good but at least I have stopped feeling worse each day. My depression is rooted in social anxiety and performance anxiety related to my job so staying off makes sense for me – it might not for you St Colin depending on the root cause of your depression. Sometimes the routine of work can distract you from the negative feelings so working might be right for you. Only you can decide.Posted 4 years agoTom BMember
Update from me, after being on the up for the past month or so, I’m feeling not too far from being back to square one. Slipped out of all of my habits of being organised….missing breakfast a lot, not showering every night, not brewing able to organise my work etc.
At the minute I can’t even be that bothered to try and help myself.Posted 4 years agokudos100Member
Out of interest, anyone meditate to help their depression?
I started in the last couple of years and it has had a tangible effect. Doesn’t stop me getting depressed, but helps pull me out of the black hole once I fall in, if that makes sense.
I’ve struggled with the black dog for 20 years. Not very good at talking about it.
In the last 10 years I have learned strategies to manage it, but I still haven’t totally cracked it and still fall into a bottomless pit, fairly frequently.Posted 4 years agoredsoxMember
Out of interest, anyone meditate to help their depression?
This is something I have been meaning to try. I sometimes do have a problem finding a quiet space to try it.
However…….a bit of a breakthrough has been had here. Having had a bit of a chat (not about this) with my mate yesterday (who stays in Australia) about nothing in particular. It has made me realise that I might be a bit lonely. I seem to have shut myself away from things a bit, lost my zest for life and for doing things…….I haven’t discovered any new music in years. The whole “I need to get out more” excuse. Even popping to the supermarket recently has become more of an effort than it needs to be.
I also seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet (yes, I am seeing the irony of me posting this on a forum) It’s become part of my daily routine to be online, looking at the same websites/forums expecting amazing things to be happening. My job is sitting at a computer, and my home life has become sitting at a computer. I honestly can’t remember the last time I just read a book.
“Working on it” would be a fair descriptionPosted 4 years agotherealhoopsMember
First rule of Depression Club: We Don’t Talk About Depression Club!
Having been there, got the t-shirt, taken the t-shirt back, exchanged it for a smile, I can totally empathize. It’s a real sh!tter when you can’t trust your own thoughts or judgement. Counselling was a big help. Try and stay on the bike as well or start a mancave project.
I’m still very much aware of slipping back but you learn the signs and also how to nip them in the bud.
EDIT: redsox – nothing amazing will happen, trust me. I’m hoping for the same. Try something new, even if its a curry you’ve never had before. New things fire up the senses.Posted 4 years ago
Just wanted to update this thread, apologies for bringing it up. Got a date for my first CBT appointment. My new medication seems to have stabilised me a bit, venlafaxine. However, all my demons remain, just not as strongly as before. Oddly, I’m having huge self-image problems at the minute. I’m always feeling slow on the bike, groggy before and after. I’ve started playing football again after about a year away from it and my fitness with that is pretty poor. I watched competitors at a local triathlon event and felt extremely inadequate afterwards making comparsion to the competitors and myself.Posted 4 years ago
Hi st colin. Well done on the footie – fitness for any sport is pretty specific so it’s no surprise that you’re feeling it, and I’d expect there’s some regulars who aren’t as fit as you anyway. With any luck the CBT will help you find a voice to answer your demons back and slowly but surely defeat them. Have you got the standard 6(?) NHS sessions or are you seeing someone privately? I’ve found that going along to a support group is also useful (a bit like this, thread only in person and with coffee & biccies 😉 ) but it’s good to be able to talk to people who are at different stages of the same thing without needing to explain or justify yourself, because they’ve been there/are there too.Posted 4 years agocu dubhSubscriber
St Colin, noticed this thread popping up again. It sounds from your post today that the trend is generally a positive one. I think for all of us we have better and worse times but if today is better than three months ago that is all we can hope for, an improvement over time. I hope the CBT helps. It did for me but I found it hard work. After an hour session I was pretty wiped out but believing in the benefit kept me going. Stay strong and you’ll manage. There will always be people on here for you if you need them.Posted 4 years ago
This is a longer CBT course. I had attended the 6 NHS sessions about 4 years ago which didn’t help. I don’t believe I was in the right frame of mind for it. I’m feeling optimistic about this new course.
I don’t think I could do a group session, I wouldn’t have the confidence to openly talk to people about it face to face. This is why I have contributed here, for now.
With my body confidence, I have spent the last 24 hours basically degrading myself over every detail.Posted 4 years ago
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