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Tackling Depression and Anxiety.

DakataDakata Registered User
edited February 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I'll start from the beginning and make this simple as I can.
Then
Alright, Since I've gotten back from college after the first week i had terrible nights. I was having these hot flashes at night, Headaches and sinus pressure, waking up dehydrated, my mind was racing and there was no clear thought just a bunch of jammer, and when I go off to school that in the afternoon I would feel terrible. I went to the doctor and he said It sounded like I might have gotten a sinus infection so he prescribed me some antibiotics.

There are no longer any hot flashes, My antibiotics have been taken in full, I still feel anxiety at times and depression, and I'm still losing some sleep. The loss of sleep though i think may be that my thoughts are still going and that occasionally I hear a random sound. One night i heard knocking on my window, then my door. I just dismissed the sounds. It was probably some drunks since I live on the ground level of our apartment complex and hear them occasionally yell or rev up their vehicles at night. Every once in awhile I would get a headache in all of this, so I went to the store and picked up some Tylenol PM. It would help me sleep, and I took it for a few days but the headaches are wearing off and tonight was the night I stopped and now I'm back to an irregular sleep schedule it seems.

Now
Some of my friends have shown concern for me and have asked if I was doing ok or that I wasn't looking like my usual self. I would confirm that yes, I've been feeling under the weather and have been losing sleep. I think what has really been giving me trouble is that I can't remember things and I've found it hard to concentrate for longer then 30 minutes. When I get back to the apartment I would just sit down for awhile and go blank. Usually in front of the TV. Yea... that's not a good idea.

I've been combating this depression and anxiety for the past couple weeks, along with the side effects of antibiotics. (It destroyed my probiotics. Let's just say, I've had everything come out bad on the other end.) This kind of runs in the family, and my parents have been talking to me about it. I have had this looming depression in and out when I was in High school, but I just hammered through it. This is my first year away from college, but I never felt like this the first semester away.

I want medication to be the last option to take. The side effects are what raise a red flag. Especially the "thoughts of suicide or increased thoughts." I haven't had any of these, but I have been through a past in which I lost a dear friend. I know the pain it brings, the anger, and evil it brings out in people. I do not want to put my family or anyone for that matter through that.



Here is a list of things I have changed:

Cut down my portion sizes, eating healthier and making sure I get more fruit and veggies

Lowered my Caffeine Intake. I was chugging this stuff down over the break, but when i got back I only have a cup of coffee every few days or so. Now It just makes my stomach sick.

Going to the gym at least twice a week, Trying to keep a routine and ease myself into it and not going at it full and pissed off.

Trying to record my day and see where I am wasting time and where I could spent it wisely.

Drinking plenty of water and keeping myself hydrated.

Reconnecting and keeping my Spiritual side healthy.

This month I have lost... probably somewhere between 10 to 15 pounds. So I'm not sure I made progress, or that my body is telling me something.

"Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
Dakata on

Posts

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Hi Dakata,

    First, I want you to realize that the feelings you have a very normal and not out of the ordinary realm of depression and anxiety. Your brain chemistry really tends to hit when you are this age, so don't be too surprised. I know my depression got really bad at that age too. I know you have fears about medication, but honestly, it may be one of your best bets aside from going to your University's counseling center (which should be free!).
    I want medication to be the last option to take. The side effects are what raise a red flag. Especially the "thoughts of suicide or increased thoughts." I haven't had any of these, but I have been through a past in which I lost a dear friend. I know the pain it brings, the anger, and evil it brings out in people. I do not want to put my family or anyone for that matter through that.
    This is a very big concern for anyone who hears about anti-depressants and it really scares people. It scared me so bad that I asked my doctor about it and he told me that it really only happens in teenagers and statistically, it isn't a big concern for adults. The best thing you can do is let a close friend or family member know that you are starting anti-depressants and maybe to monitor you. Honestly, the only thing you will probably feel in two to four weeks is a lifting of your depression and anxiety. It will be like a whole new world where you can be yourself and function like everyone else. There is an often perpetuated myth that antidepressants make you robotically happy or something, and that certainly isn't the case. My best explanation is that it gives me the capacity to be happy, whereas before I could never be happy, no matter what I did.

  • DakataDakata Registered User
    edited January 2012
    Like I said, It's just been really nothing but a struggle. I know I can push through this, but I'm just afraid of someone close to me getting hurt. I think we have a counselor, I might just start there.

    Schools website is down. Bleh.

    Dakata on
    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    Counseling sounds like your first stop to me. Depression and anxiety can seriously mess a person up. And if you need pills, so be it. Better to try than let things get out of hand.

    I'm ADHD (Not related to what you are experiencing, I know) and have a hard time going to sleep. I started taking 5-10mgs of Melatonin for it. Perhaps you should give it a go. Great sleep for me anyway.

    Steam: kaylesolo1
    3DS: 1521-4165-5907
    PS3: KayleSolo
    Live: Kayle Solo
    WiiU: KayleSolo
  • TalondelTalondel Registered User regular
    I also always try to keep depression at bay with many of the things you've listed as already doing (watching my sleep patterns, eating well, exercise, minimizing outside stress, etc). But when I'm doing all those things and the depression is still there, especially when it's starting to be bad enough that others have noticed, I will usually seek out some medication to help. From your post it sounds like that's where you're at. Already doing everything that can be done on your own, but still struggling a bit.

    As was already said, statistically there's no significant suicide risk for adults going on SSRIs. Are there other side effects that make you want to stay away from them? Some of the side effects are more difficult to deal with than others, but there are things you can do that will help alleviate a number of them. Working with a good doctor who knows their stuff can be incredibly helpful in finding a medication that is effective for you without the side effects. But you have to be willing to be persistent and let the doctor work with you.

    When I was younger and my depression worsened I would go on medication for a bit, but I'd never stay on them very long because the side effects (usually muscle tremors, increased anxiety, sexual side effects) would eventually be harder to deal with than the depression. But once I was willing to be patient and spend some time working with a good doctor and trying a few different medications I was able to find something that works.

    There is relatively little reason to postpone seeking some help from medications if you need them. Keep in mind that it takes a couple weeks for most meds to start working, so if you're going to start them it's better to do it *before* you absolutely *need* them. As a completely unqualified lay person, it sounds like you could use something to help you get through a tough period and there's no reason to delay.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    You obviously have a lot more going on medically that just "insomnia" but have you tried limiting screen time in the hour or two leading up to bed time? I have weeks where I don't sleep more than 2 or 3 hrs a night because of my mind racing and find that limiting my screens (eInk Nook the exception) can help somewhat.

  • DakataDakata Registered User
    edited January 2012
    Sometimes I find myself jumping on the PC or TV trying to just dull my mind out. I think it may be worsening the effects since I'm stuffing my head with useless information in a critical part of my life where I need to start pulling myself up and going after what I want. I'm going to go workout then go to the Indy Film meeting today.

    Edit: And thank you all for your support. I just don't know what to do, and some of the people I ask just tell me it will wear off.

    Dakata on
    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    Alright, I finally got the chance to set up an appointment with a counselor. The bad news, is that it's on Feb 13th... About 1 and a half weeks away.

    Good news is i fell asleep last night without the use of Tylenol PM.

    And again, thank you all for helping me.

    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    Try the melatonin; it's inexspensive and natural. And don't sweat the week and a half; we're here if you need to chat.

    Steam: kaylesolo1
    3DS: 1521-4165-5907
    PS3: KayleSolo
    Live: Kayle Solo
    WiiU: KayleSolo
  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    I'm struggling, too, and am about to start an on-line Cognitive Behaviour Therapy course, then maybe group CBT. The biggest step is telling someone, talking openly about how you're feeling. The amazing thing about PA is how supportive people are, once we all know, and there's enough of us who've had mental health problems to know what its like.

    I've tried hoping it will wear off, it wasn't a good plan for me, so I've started having help.

    You sound like you're doing the right things to help yourself - eating well, exercising and cutting out caffeine can make a really big difference. Don't be afraid of anti-depressants - your doc will monitor you while you're on them. You could try cutting out TV/PC/gaming for an hour before you go to bed, so your mind has chance to wind down.

    For all the top UK Gaming Bargains, check out SavyGamer

    For paintings in progress, check out canvas and paints

    "The power of the weirdness compels me."
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    Good news: Got an early appointment with a counselor so I guess there has been some relief. Was going to go to a party today, but i went out last night and i need to get some stuff done today. The feeling today is numb. I started reading up on a few subjects that kind of disturb me and clash against one another and had to stop, so now I've just been doing research in the field I'm going after and trying to study and prep myself for this coming week. Splurged yesterday, but got back on my diet today.

    This week has been good.

    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    Alright, Yesterday I went in and had the meeting cut in half because of technical difficulties. I spent an hour filling out paper work twice.

    When I went in I told her some major stressors that happened in the past year, and the that right now I'm coping with depression. She was very nice and took the time with me and wants me to come in friday for a follow up because of the time restraint.

    There were tears, and this is coming from a big guy. Normally, i keep my crying to myself.

    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Tears from a big guy are not really more scandalous than tears from.. well.. anyone else.

    First, I want to congratulate you for recognizing that the first best move was to seek professional help when people began expressing their concern and you realized they were right. You have no idea how many people just can't bring themselves to do this, or perhaps won't even recognize a problem. In itself this is something to be proud of and feel good about.

    If you trust your therapist, don't be afraid to open up and see what comes out. Don't get me wrong, it's scary as hell... and don't make the mistake of thinking that the catharsis will make everything better. It won't. But what follows can be so constructive, and sometimes just the act of letting someone else in can help you deal. I've certainly found that, and people around here (by which I mean the forums at large) can be very supportive if you need an ear.

    You're welcome to contact me if you need to talk sometime; if I'm around I'll listen.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    edited February 2012
    @ceres
    Thank you, I appreciate your help.

    The follow up went rather well, though I was exhausted by lack of sleep. I touched on a few other topics this time about annoyances and some stressors. I also dove deeper into all of the crap I went through last year and how moving away from home into a new environment stressed me out a lot.

    I think i might have to write down problems before i go in there and keep them with me. Sometimes I forget them when I arrive at the center, especially with my sleeping being off.

    Dakata on
    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    That's great that you've found somebody to talk to, and that you're being really active in trying to help yourself. It can be really hard to do that when you're depressed, so it's excellent that you're making progress there. :)

    Another thing you might want to do is to try to realize when you're having anxiety/depression-fueled thoughts. I've found that helpful in managing my own depression and anxiety...rather than succumbing to a string of negative thoughts putting myself down, I'll step back and remind myself that "this is the depression/anxiety talking, and this will pass". It took some practice, but it helps to avoid getting sucked into that negativity and letting it consume you. It helps you keep your head above water. Obviously, moments like that still suck, but it really does help to remind yourself that it's not going to go on forever...and that it's a result of your depression/anxiety, and not rational, level-headed thinking.

  • SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    That's great that you've found somebody to talk to, and that you're being really active in trying to help yourself. It can be really hard to do that when you're depressed, so it's excellent that you're making progress there. :)

    Another thing you might want to do is to try to realize when you're having anxiety/depression-fueled thoughts. I've found that helpful in managing my own depression and anxiety...rather than succumbing to a string of negative thoughts putting myself down, I'll step back and remind myself that "this is the depression/anxiety talking, and this will pass". It took some practice, but it helps to avoid getting sucked into that negativity and letting it consume you. It helps you keep your head above water. Obviously, moments like that still suck, but it really does help to remind yourself that it's not going to go on forever...and that it's a result of your depression/anxiety, and not rational, level-headed thinking.

    That's one of the things they teach you to do in cognitive-behavioural therapy, in fact... identifying, interrupting, and questioning the anxiety/depression thought patterns. It's a great technique.

    OP, once you've had time with the counsellor, if you look into taking any meds at all, rest assured that there's a nice, modern crop of SSRIs out there that have far fewer side effects for most people than the older stuff (Prozac, Paxil, etc.) did. And if you try one that fucks you up at all, you can go back to the doctor and discuss the side effects. It can take a few tries to find one that works for you, but you could also get lucky like I did and have one that works great on the first shot.

    SwashbucklerXX on
    Want to find me on a gaming service? I'm SwashbucklerXX everywhere.
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    edited February 2012
    Some terrible news was broken to me today... Kinda bummed out the entire day.

    I notice that when i get bummed out I turn to funny videos on youtube. I think i need to stop that because it is starting to mess up my work.

    I'm glad though that the Anxiety is going away and the panic attacks haven't hit any, but I'm also going to need to learn how to control my urges to go on the internet to escape.

    Dakata on
    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    Keep going, though, you can get through it.
    There's nothing wrong with anyone crying, its worse for you if you bottle stuff up - it will come out in the end anyway in some way.

    Why not use the internet as a reward for yourself for achieving the things you want to do - even if that thing is just getting on top of your work, getting through the day, or a celebration of staying clam and focussed on something? I reward myself for stuff, even little things, cos sometimes I just need to.

    I want to third the CBT stuff - my psychologist called those negative thoughts "hot thoughts" and taught me how to recognise them and manage them. I used to tell myself I was worthless and a drain on my family just because I wasn't well enough to do something. I said stuff like that a lot to myself - no prizes for guessing how I felt! Now, when I'm not well, I reflect back on what I've managed to do and praise myself for it instead. It helps me stay more positive.

    For all the top UK Gaming Bargains, check out SavyGamer

    For paintings in progress, check out canvas and paints

    "The power of the weirdness compels me."
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Try the melatonin; it's inexspensive and natural. And don't sweat the week and a half; we're here if you need to chat.

    This is an old post but I wanted to point out that it looks like using melatonin on a frequent basis can either worsen depression or interrupt the action of SSRIs or both: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/melatonin-000315.htm

    I noticed this myself a few years ago when I was taking melatonin for my own insomnia, and it turns out that it's been seen in clinical studies.

    There's some contradictory data that suggests the opposite can happen, but it's not clear whether that's due to dosage or schedule or individual variation or placebo effect. So just be cautious with it.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    edited February 2012
    Had a bit of a discovery today.

    I woke up tired as all get out, I could barely get through the day. So i decided, "I need some damn coffee... And strong shit."

    I went over to the cafe and got a "eye opener". After drinking it in a 20 minute time period i started to get really jittery during my class, so much that it inhibited me to remember 5 lines for acting in front of the camera. The prof then told me and my partner to improv and we did DAMN good improvisation. The rest of the day i remained high energy and more social.

    So in conclusion, I now know that I have a bad caffeine addiction. A contributing factor is that the withdraw is making me really low energy. The good that came out of it though, was being able to block a 1:30 second scene in less then 45 minutes and draw up a story board, get a really good workout in and feel more focused, and have a sort of cheery attitude throughout the day.

    The bad news is, I think I might have taken a few people off gaurd, and I might crash and feel worse...

    Counseling,
    Went in and talked about a few things that were starting to eat away at me. She told me two things, that I should be more assertive, and that I might want to take a Philosophy course.

    I think the reason why she might suggest a philosophy course is that I'm always thinking about life and whatnot.

    Dakata on
    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    Dakata wrote:
    Had a bit of a discovery today.

    I woke up tired as all get out, I could barely get through the day. So i decided, "I need some damn coffee... And strong shit."

    I went over to the cafe and got a "eye opener". After drinking it in a 20 minute time period i started to get really jittery during my class, so much that it inhibited me to remember 5 lines for acting in front of the camera. The prof then told me and my partner to improv and we did DAMN good improvisation. The rest of the day i remained high energy and more social.

    So in conclusion, I now know that I have a bad caffeine addiction. A contributing factor is that the withdraw is making me really low energy. The good that came out of it though, was being able to block a 1:30 second scene in less then 45 minutes and draw up a story board, get a really good workout in and feel more focused, and have a sort of cheery attitude throughout the day.

    I've recently had problems with anxiety as well, and I have to tell you: I was a big coffee drinker (seemed like a requisite working in a newsroom; it wasn't) and I noticed that it made things a lot worse. Eventually I cut it out completely (the withdrawals, which lasted a couple of days, at least, sucked), switched to low-caffeine teas, and that helped a lot. I mean, there are a million things going on in your life right now, but I'd consider dropping the caffeine if you can. Not just because it can make you jittery on its own, but also because it's concerning you apart from that.

    Just one thought. Clearly there's no precise science when it comes to dealing with these issues, but even a minor lifestyle change like this can be surprisingly helpful, I've found.

    pygsig.png
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    edited March 2012
    Anyone else feel like they are sometimes detached from their emotions?
    That they put on a scowl unintentionally and go outside. They don't respond to much or feel disconnected with others?

    Maybe my days are just repetitive.

    It's at a point now that I cover myself in the robe of indifference. That There are times when I just say "meh" to everything and it just kills me. I'm so afraid of voicing my own opinion because I'll get ripped by someone, and the one thing I don't need the my profession is a bad reputation. But, keeping myself silent leaves me with the feeling that I'm missing out.

    Dakata on
    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I go through this all the damn time, and I find the post to be a pretty accurate portrayal.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    It's a cycle. I tell my counselor that I get into cycles and start feeling worthless.

    This sums up a bit of it. *bookmarked(

    @ceres Thank you.

    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    Fell into another slump after returning from home from half a spring break. I got a lot on my plate this week and I need to get my act together so I'll just meditate and fall asleep or else tomorrow is going to be a terrible day.

    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • DakataDakata Registered User
    edited May 2012
    I know this is a Necro post, but It's still on topic.

    So I'm back again. I decided to take a break from the forums and get out a little more. That and some of my studies was falling behind due to depression.

    One thing I've noticed is that I always feel awkward when I talk about my problems to someone in person. Going online and having the advantage of being anonymous I guess plays into the whole opening out, but it's not really helping me that much. That's why I left in the first place.

    I've improved a bit and I've been just getting out a little bit more. I've found myself receding at times, which is natural since I'm still trying to find out more about myself.

    I've still been keeping my soda to a minimum. The only time I drink soda is when I'm out with friends, even then it's too sweet so i can only get through maybe one glass. Sometimes I don't bother even ordering a soda, I'll get tea or something else.

    Dakata on
    "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    This is the sort of thing you go to a therapist for, and you tell a therapist. We are still not your therapist, and if you don't have one of those you need to get one. If you have that much trouble talking to a person face to face, one thing you can do is write or type up the things you want to say before you go and bring them with you so you can read them there.

    You mentioned back in February that you had begun to see someone, and I hope you are continuing to do so.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • hardxcore_conservativehardxcore_conservative Registered User
    edited May 2012
    I just want to chime in with a word about medication.

    I've struggled with depression off and on for about as long as I can remember.

    I'd been prescribed medication in the past, but I didn't have the discipline to keep up my doses—I was tempted to go out drinking, smoke weed, and I was ultimately deterred by the stigma attached to antidepressants.

    A couple months ago I fell back into my familiar slump—I felt sad, isolated, tired, disinterested in school, for no particular reason. Sure there were problems, but those didn't account for the weight on my chest. I got back on an antidepressant, but this time I stuck with it. I feel much saner now.

    Hands-down, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I'm not always happy, but I feel like my mood falls within normal ranges. Things that I used to dwell on I can now put a positive spin on, or just brush off. It always felt like there was this gnawing self-doubt in the back of my mind, seeping into everything I did. It's gone now. What's more, I feel like a much more pleasant person to be around, and that in itself improves my mood.

    There are a lot of widely-held misconceptions and stigmas associated with psychopharmacological treatments and mental illness in general; don't let those deter you. Chronic depression is an illness with a biological cause. If you have been diagnosed with it, I would encourage you to try medication the same as you would for bronchitis or any other life-affecting illness.

    EDIT: I read your posts. You say that you're in college, but you don't mention anything about alcohol or drug intake (which is fair, as it can be a sensitive topic). You should bear in mind that drugs and alcohol can influence even healthy peoples' moods, and present an additional dimension to your problem if you are struggling with depression.

    Also, drugs and alcohol can be pretty tempting defense mechanisms. The line between going out drinking with friends and drinking to compensate for depression while hanging out with friends can be ambiguous. You will want to take a moment and carefully consider how much of your social life involves drug or alcohol intake, and then consider whether or not substituting an antidepressant would be a healthier approach.

    As a final word, I want to say that antidepressants aren't a panacea, that you may need to work and be introspective, and that research shows antidepressants are most effective when combined with cognitive-behavioural therapy.

    hardxcore_conservative on
This discussion has been closed.