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depression and shame

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
For as far as I can remember, I have been very susceptible to depression. Usually it's triggered by some kind of stress... but then drags along. After a while, I'm not really upset about whatever stress started it all, but more upset because I am depressed. Then I get more depressed.

I have never seriously seeked help for it. When I'm depressed I don't have the energy or the courage and when I'm not depressed, I don't really want to think about it. Actually, when the depression goes away, it feels like it's gone for good.

Now, after a few months of feeling fine, it's back again. I've been feeling very stressed about moving soon and the stress caused the usual downward spiral into depression.
Problem is, since I'm moving out of town in a few weeks, I don't see any point in seeking professional help now. I can't afford a psychologist or a therapist. My only option would be a psychiatrist. There's only one in town and It would take weeks just to get an appointment. And I know depression isn't gonna be solved with one or two visits to the psychiatrist.
After I move, I will force myself to seek help, even if the depression is gone. I will be in school then so I'll have access to the shool therapists / psychologists / psychiatrists.

Right now I am just trying to get over it but it's not easy. I have very few friends and I am not close to my family. I have been trying to let one of my friend know how I feel but he's not taking the hints. And I can't seem to bring myself to just tell him directly. For some reason, I'm ashamed of how I feel.

If I suffered from some kind of physical illness, I wouldn't have any problem admiting it. But a mental illness is different... it's like having to admit that there's something wrong with ME (not just with my body). It's like it's my fault. I know that if they knew, most people would either avoid me, not take me seriously or pity me.

Rationally, I know it's not my fault and that it's nothing to be ashamed of. But my feelings are just not being very rational right now.

I just needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for listening.
post #2 of 23
I have no advice for you just a big hug -
post #3 of 23
Marie-p - There are many people that feel the same as you are feeling right now. Depression can be triggered by many things. I sufferred in silence for years before I finally had the courage to talk to my Dr about it. He explained that depression is not a mental illness to be ashamed of, but rather a chemical imbalance, much like many other illnesses. He first prescribed some medication, then suggested that I look into getting counselling.

Well, long story short, I saw a counsellor for a while and I'm still taking medication. I feel better now than I've felt in quite a while. I urge you to look into any hotlines in your area that deal with depression. If you are in a college town, I'm sure the campus will have a program as well. Don't wait. Even if you just talk to someone for a few minutes, I'm sure they will be able to offer you some reassurance.

Good luck to you and please keep us posted. We care.
post #4 of 23
It's not your fault, dear. I know how you feel though...I hate letting people know how I feel, it's very difficult. However, in this situation I feel you're right about seeing a doctor or someone who can put it all into perspective for you and help you out. It's hard to ask for help sometimes but in this case it will be sooooo much better in the end if you do.

I'm sorry you've had to go through this and I pray you will get better soon. You've got all of us here to help you and talk to you anytime you need to vent. It's not like you'll ever see us, so you don't have to be embarrassed or ashamed about anything. In fact, just by opening yourself up and telling this I am sure there are several TCS'ers that can identify with what you are going through and it may encourage them to seek help as well.

We're here anytime you need us, girl! Good luck with everything.

--Lacey
post #5 of 23
Don't allow yourself to fall into the stigma of mental illness. I did that, and allowing yourself to feel shame about your depression will get you nowhere. You need to educate yourself about depression.

First, why not pay a visit to your family doctor (if it takes weeks - say it's an emergency) and explain your situation. Explain the problem with anxiety and perhaps they will give you a prescription for something to temporarily calm your nerves.

Unfortunately, many psychiatrists here are booked to the max and often do not accept new clients. I would suggest initially seeking a counselling service (on campus it may be free) that will operate on a sliding scale. You may not have to pay much. From there, they will refer you to a psychiatrist if they think meds are essential.

Good luck, and again, don't feel shame. Depression is a VERY common disorder and happens to people from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Jenn
post #6 of 23
Wouldn't a regular Dr. be able to prescribe something for you? I imagine you could just go to your regular Dr. and they should be able to do something.
post #7 of 23
Actually quite a bit of mental illness does have a physical reason. Not need to be ashamed about it, some people need anti-depressents for a short time and things get better... some of us need to take it perminately. I've taken Prozac since 1989 - 16 years! I consider it as necessary as a diabetic would need insulin.

Please, the stigma that goes with depression is undeserved - please don't let that stop you from getting help.

Remeber, we love and care about you!
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
I have very few friends and I am not close to my family.
You have lots of friends here on TCS and if you ever need to talk or vent we are all here for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
If I suffered from some kind of physical illness, I wouldn't have any problem admiting it. But a mental illness is different... it's like having to admit that there's something wrong with ME (not just with my body). It's like it's my fault. I know that if they knew, most people would either avoid me, not take me seriously or pity me.
Like Talon and RuthiesMom said, depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is not your fault. You have done nothing wrong and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Stress causes all kinds of chemicals to be released into the body, which can cause other problems, like depression.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope the depression goes away quickly. I know how painful it is because I've been there too!
post #9 of 23
I hope that you get some help to feel better before the move - wouldn't it be a relief to feel good while you're moving?! Just the thought of moving depresses me...and I'm serious; I'm not moving yet I'm feeling down myself - I can't concentrate to do any one task, so I bounce from task to task, but nothing is getting done entirely. So, please don't feel alone, there are plenty of us that have different situations going on and I know that you wouldn't judge any one of us harshly because of it.
post #10 of 23
Depression IS a physical illness!! The only difference is that the symptoms feel mental.

As Lacey said, you DO have friends - a lot of them - here on TCS. This place is better than family - you can't choose your family, but we all choose to be here and to be here for YOU when you're hurting and/or need help & advice.
post #11 of 23
I agree, get an appt with your family doctor or gynecologist. They should be able to start you on a basic antidepressant and by the time you move and get in with a psychiatrist, it will be kicking in and working.

Please don't keep suffering in silence. If you have had several bouts of depression, the likelihood is that you will continue to have bouts of depression, and really should be medicated for it. No amount of talk takes it away, although we are glad to offer you support on the board. Let's face it, if you could just "make" it go away, you would already have done so.

I am on a blood pressure pill. Some people can adjust their diet and lower their blood pressure. I couldn't and need medicine. Some people can eat helathy and exercise, and talk to their freinds and get over "depression", others can't and need medications and professional help. There is no shame in it.

But one symptom of depression is the feeling that nothing will ever help, and that can cause you to delay treatment. Something will help. I suggest you call your doctor! (Ask for samples if you don't have insurance, or ask for something like Prozac or Wellbutrin that is available in generic.)
post #12 of 23
You might not think so consiedring my sense of humor but I am under treatment for clinical depression I take 40mg. of generic prozac every morning. If I skip oit for more than a couple of days like if I forget to refill I get depressed anxious and lash out at everyone. You can ask Deb25 about the lashing out...I really unjustly hammered her one day when I first started posting here.
As long as I take my meds I'm pretty much a teddy bear. no meds Grizzly bear on steriods with a sore tooth and a wild hair up my U know where.
What I am trying to say is don't put things off. Get some help as soon as you can. It's not all in your head, it's real and it can KILL!!!

It will probably take a little while for the Doc's to find the right meds for you but stick with it. GOOD LUCK
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Depression IS a physical illness!! The only difference is that the symptoms feel mental.

As Lacey said, you DO have friends - a lot of them - here on TCS. This place is better than family - you can't choose your family, but we all choose to be here and to be here for YOU when you're hurting and/or need help & advice.
Good point, Heidi.

And yes, I'm sure anyone here, myself included, would be willing to lend a shoulder.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
I know that if they knew, most people would either avoid me, not take me seriously or pity me.
Maybe it depends on the people you know, but I really don't think this is true, though I don't doubt at all that it feels 100% that way to you. You would be AMAZED at how many people suffer from depression, and it's becoming so well known that many people who are not at all prone to it don't doubt at all that it's a serious illness that requires treatment. Please do talk to your regular doctor about it. My best friend, my mom, so many people I know have been helped immensely with just a bit of medication. It doesn't sound to me like you have the blues. Sounds like you are prone--like so many others, including a lot of people I love--to true depression.

Please see your doctor and take care of yourself.
post #15 of 23
I have a problem with depression, too. My oldest sister also has a problem with it. It is like an endless cycle of this horrible, negative thinking that is so hard to fight, even with all of the forced positive thinking in the world. I am afraid to go to the doctor for medication because I grew up watching my Mother's dependency on presciption drugs, & endless black depression that continues to this day. I don't want to end up on medication for the rest of my life, not to mention the scary side-effects. I usually self-medicate with alcohol after work & am depressed about that, too, like I am a prisoner of my own bad habits. More negative thinking.
But please don't feel alone, many of us are with you.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone.
I am feeling a little bit better now that I actually had the courage to write this down.

Hopefully tomorow I can work up the courage to make an appointment with my doctor. Another problem is, I have an irrational fear of going to the doctor. It always terrified me. When I was with my boyfriend, I would always have him come with me. Now that I'm by myself I'll just need a bit more courage.
I had actually mentioned depression problems to my doctor before and he gave me some medication. It didn't really help. I'll mention that to him to make sure he gives me something different this time. I actually totally forgot about that until a few minutes ago.

I really think I will need therapy as well. I know my depression is (at least in part) learned. Growing up, my parents kept making me feel like there was something wrong with me. That was their way of making me do what they wanted me to do. They also gave the impression of always being right. It made me feel so helpless and worthless. It's hard to move away from a way of thinking that has been the norm for so long.
I'm trying not to focus on being angry at my parents. There's no point to it now. They do not generally treat me that way anymore (it stopped as soon as I moved out) but I am keeping a safe distance.
post #17 of 23
Well before you spend a pile of money on shrinks & pills, have you tried simple exercise? When i feel like crap its usually cause i haven't gone to the gym awile, & when i return, some sort of chemicals are released & i feel fantastic & renewed. Give it a try if you dont already, you'll be suprised how much it can help. And im sure diet can effect things as well. . . when i worked on the road, a quick burger was easy, then i felt terrible & unmotivated. I get depressed lots, i find working out to benifit greatly.
post #18 of 23
Please please please do something about this! I have bipolar disorder diagnosed 14 years ago and it took a lot of struggling and resistance before I would accept treatment. But in the meantime it took a lot of broken-down relationships, stealing, wild nights drinking and going crazy, and a couple of suicide attempts to make me see the light.

I'm not saying that this will happen with you, I'm just saying that anything that can make you go that crazy IS a physical illness and one that you need help with. There are lots of people on this site who have had experience with this and lots of people out there who can help you. Mental illness unfortunately does still have a social stigma attached in a lot of ways, but also in so many ways it is so much more understood and talked about and there is SO much more help out there you need not suffer in silence. You can pm me if you like to talk about it if you have more personal things to say
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorValeTudo
Well before you spend a pile of money on shrinks & pills, have you tried simple exercise? When i feel like crap its usually cause i haven't gone to the gym awile, & when i return, some sort of chemicals are released & i feel fantastic & renewed. Give it a try if you dont already, you'll be suprised how much it can help. And im sure diet can effect things as well. . . when i worked on the road, a quick burger was easy, then i felt terrible & unmotivated. I get depressed lots, i find working out to benifit greatly.
And that is true, too. Exercise is an AWESOME way to help combat depression - it really helps along with proper medical care.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has replied or sent me a pm. Just knowing that people care makes such a difference.


I have actually worked up the courage to tell my friend. I sent him an email last night. He hasn't replied yet. I know he doesn't check his emails very often these days.

I'll call my dr later today.
I also checked with the University I will be going to next year. They have a counselling program. I am allowed up to 10 sessions with a school counselor a year for free. Then they can refer me to outside help. The school health insurance doesn't seem to cover the cost of a psychologist or counselor. So I might have to go to a psychiatrist instead (which I believe is covered under provincial health plan).
post #21 of 23
You are so not alone. And there are quite a few options out there now for depression. Wellbutrin and zoloft are just a few examples. I would maybe look into zoloft and see if it fits your needs since you do have some anxiety. And theres nothing wrong with you. It is a chemical imbalance, and between counseling on positive ways to deal with negativity that everyone has in their life, an antidepressant will benefit you as well. And some have low side effects. But the doctor will want to constantly have follow ups with you just make sure that you are adjusting okay and everything is working for you. Call your doctor and make an appointment. Tell him whats going on, and then maybe he can recommend another doctor in the area you are moving to that can help you.

Good luck, and keep us posted. I have been there, and its hard to admit it, but eventually you do need to. Especially when you realize that you are missing out on all of the good things in life.
Take care.
post #22 of 23
You've been getting some very good advice here. I just wanted to mention that if the Dr does prescribe medication, it will take a couple of weeks before you'll start to really feel better. Give the medication a chance to work and you'll be very surprised when you realize the clouds are starting to lift.

Excercise is a good idea, but some folks just need more help. Self medicating with alcohol or drugs only masks whatever might be bothering you. As soon as you sober up, your problems are still there.

You are making an important first step. We're all pulling for you!!! Keep us posted as you take your journey.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has replied or sent me a pm. Just knowing that people care makes such a difference.
That´s why I never been TIRED of Say this...
TCS the best place of the world

My best wishes for you don´t give up! Animo!
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