How's your depression?


#2228

Have spent so long feeling happy that I’m single and not really missing l that stuff, or even needing human contact really.

Last two weeks: crushing, constant loneliness. Feel like I’m in the midst of a panic attack now. Can’t breathe. I have no idea where this has come from and no idea how to fix it.

I feel so much like I just need to cry and have someone to look after me for a bit but I’m not really close enough to anyone here to put them through it.


#2229

My housemate was using an online counselling service a few months ago and found it really helpful. I can find out what the website is if you’d like.


#2230

Hey Jook, sorry to hear this - this time of year with the festive hangover is always a total pisser for me too, often without warning. Hope your brain is kinder to you soon.


#2231

Hey, sure there are a lot of people who would be happy to help you out. If I was close I’d be round xx as it is more than happy to talk on here.

Christmas is a really difficult time where everyone around seems to be having fun. Be kind to yourself xx


#2232

It’s impossible for any of us to say for sure because people suffer from depression for lots of different reasons and what works for some will not work for others. Just knowing that someone cares can be a big help, when I’m feeling down just spending time with someone that I love will pull me out of it because often it’s being away from them or feeling that no-one cares can be part of the problem - you don’t necessarily need to talk about it because being with someone can help lift you out of it.

To be honest, I think be a bit more subtle than “I’m conscious that I should probably bring up her mental health at some point”. Just talk or, more importantly, listen. If there’s something she has to say then she’ll probably bring it up and if she doesn’t, then trying to force it out of her might not help. Just try something like ‘how are you feeling’ and see what she says. If she is reluctant to answer or says something unconvincing then try again a bit later.

In my view, the best chance of helping someone is to get them talking because once you feel you can talk about it without judgement then you immediately start to feel better even if what you’re saying is awful - just saying it gets some of it out. The most important thing for you to do is accept the way she feels, whatever it is. Whether it sounds rational or not, that doesn’t matter because she does feel it and that’s where you have to start from. The number of times I’ve told people how I’ve felt and they basically tell you off for feeling down because you have a job, roof over your head etc, it is really not at all helpful (I’m not saying you would, I’m just saying it’s one of the worst ways you could respond).

For what it’s worth, the last few years have dramatically changed my opinion about medication with regards to depression. Having experienced depression on and off for about the last 25 years with seemingly no reason for it (didn’t always seem to be an external trigger), I had always just assumed it was the way my brain was wired and was something I would always have to live with and the best thing I could do was to collect ways of dealing with it. Having been through counselling in the last few years I have changed my mind completely. Spells of depression I thought there was no reason for, it turned out there were reasons for, I just wasn’t aware of them at the time. There was one underlying cause beneath it all and when I realised that, the fact that tiny events could send me spiralling downwards made complete sense. For me, this process has been absolutely invaluable and I have not really suffered from it since I have been to counselling. The occasional bad day, but nothing much really. When I realised it wasn’t to do with chemistry, there was a reason for it all which had nothing to do with me, I realised that I didn’t always have to feel this way and then you can train yourself to respond differently. It takes time but it does work. For me, medication would only have dealt with the symptom and not the cause, and so I would absolutely recommend counselling as a long-term solution and it’s amazing the effect it can have. It’s not the same for everyone of course, but it’s worked for me and I am sure will work for many others.


#2233

Thank you for taking the time to share some of your experiences. It’s genuinely really helpful for me and invaluable food for thought as I approach the situation. I’ve read a lot in particular about avoiding the cliche of ‘but there are people so much worse off than you’ etc and I would never tread down that path.

I’ll definitely be trying to encourage her to get professional help and counselling whenever the situation arises - she’s mentioned it herself, so it won’t be invasive or out of line for me to suggest. I know she doesn’t want to be chained to medication, and I have my own cynicism about medication as a long term solution too (symptom not the cause, as you say), so to hear that counselling was a far superior help for you is really reassuring. I think she is similar to you in that there probably are deepset reasons for when she’s at her lowest that she might not always be conscious of.

I’ll definitely tip-toe around the subject too, I think if I just ask her how she’s been doing it’ll be enough of an open subject for her to take the conversation in that direction if she feels to.

Glad this thread exists and thankful people are willing to be so candid about their experiences.


#2234

also to clarify my comment about medication - that’s tailored to this unique situation regarding this person that I know very well and her own relationship to the medication she was prescribed. No intention to cast judgement on anyone in this thread or otherwise who has benefitted from medication.


#2235

No problem, hope it helps


#2236

From personal experience both as the sufferer and talking to others, I find this the best way. It gives me the chance to open up if I feel I need to - equally, it gives someone else the chance to open up if they feel they need to.

It definitely sounds as though you’re working along the right lines in terms of supporting your ex and I do love your idea about the mental health scrapbook. If the conversation heads down the road of her mental health then it’s worth bringing up, just as an idea and whether it’s something that she might find useful.

Over my five and a half years (I think that’s how long it is…) I’ve found that people sympathetically listening and not judging me, or trying to act as an amateur therapist by challenging my thoughts, or irrational mind mazes are of huge value to me. I don’t want or expect anyone to think they have to provide the silver bullet to fix me, but just to quietly listen to the incoherent vomit of thoughts that are swirling around my head.

It’s a rare thing to be able to pull off, particularly when you care about someone’s wellbeing and just want to be able to make everything okay again. So much well intentioned advice can often exacerbate the situation - exercise is a really good example - I get that one quite often, and I know from experience the benefits of getting out and being active. But, when I’m in a depressive funk and actually getting out of bed feels like an insurmountable obstacle and literally takes every ounce of energy I have, there isn’t a chance that I’m going to have the energy to get out of the house and go for a long walk or run. For that to happen, I need to have some clarity of mind.

As I say, it sounds as though you’re on the right lines with your support - allow her to guide the depth of the conversation around her depression, try not to pressure her or overtly sit there and say… “So, your mental health… how is it?” Not that I think you would, but a simple and genuine “How are you doing?” could just be the open door that she needs.

Just wanna say as well, I think coming in here and asking advice is a really good idea on your part too.

I hope she is able to get well soon - she is lucky to have someone like you as a support network - and if you need more support yourself, we’re all here for you. It can sometimes feel like a thankless task supporting someone with severe depression because it is so all-encompassing for the one suffering - but again, from personal experience, knowing someone out there cares is a comfort that often can’t be put into words.


#2237

Thanks, I’m meeting her tomorrow so this advice is great to take on board the night before. It’s really helpful to hear the perspective of people who’ve been in a similar situation to her - I don’t want to put my foot in it and make some well-intentioned mistakes because I’m sure saying the wrong thing can really put someone in a very dark place if they’re already depressed as it is.

I also realise that most of our most honest conversations about it have been on whatsapp. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing, perhaps it takes some of the social anxiety away and allows for maximum lack of judgment and self-consciousness. So she may not even fancy talking about it in person, so definitely wise if I keep the conversation open but don’t directly probe too much.

She’s one of two people I know who’s currently on the verge of feeling very suicidal and the other one hasn’t actually spoken to me about it so I feel even more powerless in that situation. It’s an incredibly scary and haunting prospect.

Really appreciate the offer of support. Definitely lucky to have DiS as a resource, and all of the lovely people on it. Fortunately my own mental health is fairly sound. No idea why I was blessed with balance when so many amazing people in my life and on here struggle so deeply.


#2238

@slicky thank you both. MUCH better today.


#2239

god I need a therapist.

probably we all do.


#2240

same. i’ve tried a couple of different times. first went the NHS route and did some CBT courses, spoke to a counsellor a couple of times but I didn’t really find it very helpful to be honest. later tried going to a lacanian psychoanalyst which I thought would be more up my street but I didn’t really get a lot out of it and began absolutely dreading going to the sessions so ended up stopping after a few months. i’m not good with sticking with stuff like that which I recognise is a problem in itself - gotta stick it out if you want to see results i guess. think about picking it up again somehow but i’m not really sure how to approach it.


#2241

Same really. I felt like it helped to a point, and there was no progress after that.

Plus, it’s incredibly difficult to stick to something like that because of how up and down my MH is. When I’m feeling good, I don’t even want to entertain the fact that I might not be in the near future, so there’s no chance I want to sit down and talk about feelings for an hour. It would just bring me down, if anything.


#2242

yeah i found it very difficult to keep up with. more out of feeling like i had nothing to say and feeling like i’d wasted the hour. when i was going once a week as recommended i was really just like struggling for things to say. was in a horrible building as well which stressed me out just being there.


#2243

yeah I went to one for a bit for free through my uni but it was really more about ideas for just enabling me to finish the degree and not fuck up my exams. I know i’ve been really affected by trauma and I need to talk to someone about that specifically. it’s not something I can talk about here or with friends and I wasn’t even able to talk to my last therapist about it. I would get a new one but just can’t afford it and can’t be fucked trying to get it on the nhs.


#2244

yeah I tended to fill awkward silences with my own ramblings which were basically aimed at resolving the issues I was talking about rather than actually exploring them and posing questions about them.


#2245

yeah the nhs seems a nightmare tbh, no disrespect to anybody that does it. also feel a bit like my problems aren’t serious enough to warrant hogging much needed resources, which is a pretty crap way of thinking about it but there you go. feel like it’s something i want to do and choose to do for myself so i ought to pay for it, but it’s so expensive to go private. ah jeez.


#2246

I’ve always been denied non-CBT therapy on the basis that it won’t be helpful for someone like me (read: autistic), even though I’ve repeatedly expressed how traumatic things from the past are the root of many of my problems. I’ll never be able to afford private so yay for keeping things buried!

Actually this isn’t entirely true - I did receive therapy at my university in Japan (as well as medication support and monitoring). The MH support I got there massively outstripped what I got here - basically the only time I’ve felt actually listened to.


#2247

That is quite funny (not funny, really) because recently I was told that CBT wouldn’t help me because I am autistic. I was put into something else that was never properly explained (kinda counselling but not counselling, they confused me) but after four sessions, when my therapist had to do a risk assessment thing because of thinking I was a danger to myself, he decided the week after that he couldn’t help me and would discharge me itno the care of the first response team… except they had already discharged me with the recommendation to wait to see the therapist as they couldn’t offer me anything else. Just a mess really, so now I am back to just my GP supporting me because no one else can/will, or in the case of the aspergers service I can’t go to the useful things they do because of childcare issues…

Pretty lucky for me that now being on the maximum doses of my anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications I am taking, I am finally back to being reasonably functional even though there is still an awful lot wrong (which I will leave out here because nobody needs to hear that stuff).

Access is ridiculously poor for NHS therapies, and I don’t think it is purely just down to the lack of resources. The questions you get asked in assessments really do very little to find out what problems are to help direct you to the most appropriate route I think.