View Full Version : I'm in a funk... How do I make it stop?
10-11-2002, 03:02 PM
Let me begin by apologizing for any typos or gramattical errors I may have in the following post.
I've been feeling, "funky" for a few weeks now. It's hard for me to describe what "funky" means but, basically I'm weepy, I'm tired, I feel run down, I'm anxious, and nervous, and well... I'm depressed. I'm not suicidal. I don't want to hurt myself, I'm not cutting myself and I don't really know how to explain it other than I'm filled with a sense of loneliness and dread. It's like I just know that something terrible is going to happen. It's such a contradiction of emotions I can't explain it without sounding like a lunatic. I've started feeling like I'm an unwelcome guest in my own life. I feel like all of my friends, my family, everyone would just be so much better off if I moved away and never bothered them again. Then I think about how much I will miss everyone if I leave and how much I love them and I start crying all over again. It's like this feeling will never go away and I'm going to go nuts if I don't figure out a way to make it stop.
Logically, I know there is nothing really wrong. I have a job, I have a place to live, I have money in the bank, I'm not sick, I'm not going hungry, everyone and everything that I love is safe and healthy, and everything is fine. Yet, I just can't stop the tears and I certainly can't "talk" myself out of this. Every little thing sets me off. That's also part of my most recent problem. It's like my brain is fighting with itself. My logical side knows that this "funk" is silly. I know that I'm not an uninvited guest in my own home, and the people that have been my friends for years haven't all just suddenly grown tired of me and that even if I were losing my mind my family loves and supports me. I just want to make it stop and I don't know how because knowing the right thing isn't making this feeling go away. My logical side says it will pass, keep a positive attitude and things will be ok. Then the other side of me is afraid because I want to scream and cry, beat my chest in rage and pull my hair out. Part of me wants to sleep until this is all over. And then I will wake up and everything will be fine. Part of me feels guilty for even being depressed, seeing how other people have suffered real losses and real pain and I'm complaining about feeling "funky" and it makes me feel even worse. It's a viscious cycle that I can't seem to break out of.
I know that everyone gets depressed now and then, that everyone has spent some time with "the funk", but my question is how long is too long and what should I do about it?
10-11-2002, 03:23 PM
You ask how long is too long? Well, my answer is: this long has been too long, and seriously you should start doing something about it, MONTY2.
The demons of depression coming nipping at my soul a lot of the time, and right now they're having a party shredding my self-esteem and the confidence that I'm loved in this world. What I have to do -- which I am doing -- is say no more often, and start doing a bit more stuff that is for "me" and not "someone else". Very hard to stop the sudden, silly bout of crying for no real reason, tho'.
If you haven't headed for your doctor before now about this, I'd strongly recommend it. Your doctor may well recommend a therapy, either medication or counselling, which will just give you enough of a boost up, enough of a re-balancing within yourself, that you'll be able to take positive action to correct what may or may not be going wrong in your life. Your body is telling you something, MONTY2. Listen to it.
10-11-2002, 04:09 PM
I'll second going to the doctor. Clinical depression does not require suicidal ideations. (IANAD of any sort, but I do have extensive experience with depressive disorders. Standard disclaimers, etc.)
Two points that got my attention: I feel like all of my friends, my family, everyone would just be so much better off if I moved away and never bothered them again.Replace "moved away" with "died" and that would be suicidal ideation. Close, just reversible. It still makes me worry. Part of me wants to sleep until this is all over. And then I will wake up and everything will be fine. Part of me feels guilty for even being depressed, seeing how other people have suffered real losses and real pain and I'm complaining about feeling "funky" and it makes me feel even worse. It's a viscious cycle that I can't seem to break out of. Increased desire for sleep is another sign of clinical depression. As for the guilt, I'll advise against it... even if this weren't clinical (which it seems to me to be), it's not about what others have gone through. It's about your own personal thresholds. Just because there's someone out there with a better life than mine doesn't mean mine isn't good, so why would someone having gone through something worse than me make my life less bad?
In short, your doctor really can help you out with this one. If you'd like more resources in the meantime, try http://www.ivillage.com/topics/health/0,10707,166183,00.html, http://my.webmd.com/condition_center/dep, and/or http://www.symptoms-of-depression.com/index.php3.
10-11-2002, 04:18 PM
Thank you both. Basically I was looking for someone to tell me I wasn't being silly and it's ok to need a little help, even if nothing it technically wrong.
I've heard people say "get some help" before but it's usually after a terrible loss, a tragedy or some type of trauma, never for ordinary, I can't shake the blues, types of situations.
I'll go to the Dr. on Monday.
10-11-2002, 04:59 PM
Monica - please let us know how it goes with the Dr. No-one should have to face the agony of depression alone.
GPs vary enormously in their awareness of depression - some will just tell you to "get more exercise" while others will automatically prescribe Zoloft or Prozac, based on the (presumably) 2 hours of mental health education they received during their medical degree.
If the first doctor you see brushes it off or doesn't take you seriously, please try to find a better one. Good luck.
10-11-2002, 07:46 PM
Really try to find a good doctor on this one. Where I live they prescribe a LOT of Prozac.
I find that being more active, getting more sun & turning my focus outward, trying to help others in my life helps when I get "The Funk".
Know that anonymous strangers here at the SDMB care.
10-11-2002, 08:01 PM
Monica, I am not a person who gets depressed very often. So maybe I am not the best person to give you advice. I would second (or third) that you should see a doc....if your depression is of an organic origin, they should be able to help you.
I am just going to give you some advice from a different standpoint, from one who doesn't GET depressed very often, okay? So ignore me if this doesn't apply.
When I get depressed, I pull myself out of it by doing something for someone else. I volunteer for extra duty at the things I normally do for the homeless. I offer to sub for someone in the nursery at church. I make cards for people I love who aren't feeling 100%. Stuff like that.
Last time I got majorly depressed, I started the Baby Shower for the Straight Dope soontobe/ justbecame parents. It helped.
I am not suggesting that this is an answer for you, just telling you what helps me.
In any case, I am sending you love and prayers and ::huggles::
10-11-2002, 08:12 PM
Oh, and I forgot my BIG prevention for depression....again, not necessarily a help for you.....LONG HOT BATHS with a good mystery to read.
I'd be a whimpering mess on the floor most of the time if I didn't do that at LEAST a few times a week.
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-11-2002, 08:12 PM
Long walks. A simple program of physical exercise can rapidly help with depression.
You could have Seasonal Affective Disorder. A form of depression acerberated by the lower light levels occuring in Fall & Winter. Add more lights to your living quarters, get brighter bulbs, & consider repainting your walls white, to make the room brighter. Get outside more, & for a quick stop to a dark mood, stare at a lightsource for a few seconds. (Don't try this trick with the Sun, or a laser.)
10-11-2002, 08:19 PM
Sounds like a textbook case of depression to me. Since IANAD, by "textbook" I mean "like mine." I felt worse than you seem to before I realized something was wrong. Good luck. Don't hesitate to let us know how you're feeling.
10-11-2002, 08:47 PM
Scotticher, we must be kindred spirits. I just finished a long hot bath in the company of Lord Peter Wimsey, currently masquerading as Death Bredon.
Monty2, I'll add to the voices of experience telling you to get professional help. I put off getting help for depression for years because there were people in this world who were far worse off than I was. Then I wound up flat on my back in a mental hospital. Logic doesn't work against depression. At times, it can feed it. If you've been feeling down for "a few weeks now", it's time to see what a third party can do. Last April, I went back into therapy for depression and it's done me a lot of good, allowing me to address the underlying causes and feel better about myself than I ever have. I'm not on anti-depressants for now, although I'm starting to change my mind on that since I've been laid off. I am, however, in favour of them because my experience has been that they tend to level things out so you can climb out of your funk.
One word of caution. When I started looking for help, the first 5 therapists I spoke to weren't accepting new patients. Each one of them, however, was able to refer me to someone else, and the one I wound up with has been incredibly helpful.
Good luck, and e-mail me if you need to. You are an important person to me, and your troubles do matter.
10-11-2002, 10:08 PM
Monty2 - I hear you. I'v been going through similar symptoms and problems myself for about a year now. Your post realle resonates as the symptoms and problems you describe are the same things I feel - and have on and off for most of my life. It can be really hard to get out of this kind of emotional pit, but I have found talking about it helps. Post as much as you feel you have to, and we won't think you're silly or try to make you feel bad about being depressed.
It sounds like you have clinical depression. I'll second the advice to seek a therapist - that's the one thing that I've foind has helped me. Regular excercise has also seemed to help me, at least as far as improving mood and getting my sleep patterns back to being regular.
10-11-2002, 11:05 PM
Originally posted by cjhoworth
Scotticher, we must be kindred spirits. I just finished a long hot bath in the company of Lord Peter Wimsey, currently masquerading as Death Bredon.
In more ways than one, I think! And I am heading there myself, only I am in the company of Hugh Corbett at the moment...courtesy of PC Doherty.
Love and best wishes to both CJ and Monica. And also to the rest of you in this thread, and on this board. May you all sleep well and wake up happier than you were yesterday.
::huggles:: to all!
10-11-2002, 11:31 PM
MONTY2, funk is a good word for it. I've been there, and though I've never been actually diagnosed as clinically depressed, I do know what it's like to wake up every morning for weeks and look forward to nothing except going to bed again at night. Ick.
The first thing I wanna tell you is that you shouldn't feel guilty about your funk. Your emotional state is a complex thing, and there's no point in judging it. As a very wise friend of mine once told me, it's your reality, and you have to find a way to live with it or get through it. Guilt doesn't come into the picture.
Secondly, I agree with everyone here who recommends that you see a doctor or a psych. They will hopefully be able to help you figure out what is causing your funkiness - maybe some unresolved stuff deep down in your mind, or maybe a chemical thing in your brain. Be picky, and if the first person you see doesn't seem to be helping after a few appointments, go find someone else. All doctors and psychs are different, and you need to find someone who is on your level and who you can feel comfortable with.
Thirdly, my favourite coping strategy for times when I'm feeling down. Find things that make you happy, and do them! For me, this includes yoga, horseriding, singing, hanging out with a few (carefully chosen) friends, and going to visit the orangutans at the zoo. If I can get my mind out of its miserable rut, it's easier to keep moving upwards from there.
I hope some of this helps. If nothing else, know that there are lots of people out there who've been through the kind of thing you're going through, and that there are lots of people round here who want to help.
10-12-2002, 02:55 AM
I've never gone through major depression, thank heaven, so please listen to the voices of experience elsewhere in this thread.
But, that said, here's another vote for sunshine and exercise, even moderate. I do notice that I feel remarkably better, happier, more cheerful after I walk the dog every afternoon. Try taking a half-hour walk around the neighborhood and see if that helps; you never know. And if your neighborhood is a little shifty (like my old one), go to the park and walk around the park.
Of course, for all I know you exercise every day; again, please pay more attention to the others here who know more than I do about this.
Pulling the Strings
10-12-2002, 03:12 AM
I'll definitely agree w/ the dr. suggestions happening all over. I had what sounds like the same problems a few years back, at 16, and I put it off for a while telling myself 'chin up, you'll feel better' because there was nothing logically wrong. I ended up exploding at my mother one day, and seeing a therapist who didn't help for months. I went to a dr, had a few blood tests done, and found that hypothyroidism was causing all of my problems. I tortured myself for over 6 months, and with a simple blood test found that everything was biological and curable. Best of luck to you! i feel your pain
10-12-2002, 10:12 AM
Been there, done that.
Monty, I remember how hard it was for me to admit I needed help. I thought I was being a wussy - I would think to myself, All I have to do is STOP thinking like this, STOP feeling this way. Well, it's not that simple. Sometimes it's impossible to get out of a funk without someone else's help.
You will be amazed at how great it is to have someone totally supportive and completely unbiased really LISTEN to you. And if you're prescribed medication, that will help too.
Please do update us on how it goes.
10-12-2002, 10:28 AM
My deepest sympathies, as a fellow depressive.
Now down to the advice.
1. Go to a doctor, which you are already doing. Good.
2. Maintain a moderate lifestyle. Excercise enough to build up a sweat three times a week whether you need it or not. Develop healthy eating habits. Get enough sleep at night that you won't be tired the next day. Avoid alcohol; throwing a depressant on top of depression is asking for trouble.
3. Sometimes depressions come on no matter what you do. Wait for them to cycle out and don't do anything self-destructive while you are depressed. Sometimes it just takes time. I know it sucks to hear that when you're in the middle of a crisis, but sometimes it's all that can be offered.
All my best hopes for you.
10-12-2002, 01:04 PM
Man, this post made me cry. I don't want to hijack your thread, but I've been having the same feelings. My grandpa died over the summer and for two months I've been really depressed about that. My grades aren't as good as they should be and this is a really crucial time for school because I'm transfering next fall. Now for the past two weeks I've been getting even more depressed because my grades aren't good and I'm trying to get ready to live over seas in Feb. It seems like it doesn't matter how much I do I'm still behind. I have 16 units and work 20 hours a week (I work all of my hours Mon, Tues, and Wed).
Well, I know how you feel, and I hope you perk up. It's hard sometimes, but I'm sure if you take care of it now it will just be a passing thing.
10-12-2002, 05:07 PM
VenusGirlTrap....I don't want to hijack this thread either, but it sounds like you have a lot of valid reasons to be depressed. Please allow yourself to grieve for your Grandpa on your OWN timeline....grief is different for each of us, and I don't think it is at ALL unreasonible for you to still be depressed about losing him.
The other stuff...well, maybe it is stuff you have some control over, and if so then a good thing to do might be to take one thing at a time...prioritize what you need to do first and see if you can "fix" it and then move on to number two.
I just want to share something with you, okay? Ignore me if you wish.
When I lost my mom, I was devastated. I loved her, she was my rock and I grieved in a way that was so visceral that I couldn't even BEGIN to deal with it. I mean, it permeated my whole being. It wasn't something ( I don't even know how to express this) It just wasn't something I knew, or even FELT...it just....WAS. So sometimes people said to me...."Cheri, I think maybe you need to see a grief counsellor." Now, I have no problem with that, I think counselling is a wonderful thing. BUT...in my situation, I didn't NEED to talk about my grief to a stranger, no matter how good a counsellor they were. I had plenty of loving people in my life who KNEW what a marvelous person my mother was, and how much we were bound together. I had those people to talk to, and I did. I talked and cried until it is a wonder any of them remained my friends. (They DID stay my friends, God Bless Them, and I STILL talk to them when I need to. ) It was just something I had to live with until the grief itself changed into something I could LIVE with. Until I worked through the agony and it changed into something less "visceral". And eventually, it did.
What I guess I am saying is that it appears to me that Monica is experiencing "Clinical" depression, with no real reason that she can put a finger on....which, although I am no expert, seems to me to be a different thing than depression which HAS an identifiable source.
So I guess I don't think I helped either of you much, but I just wanted you to know that if you are depressed and you HAVE a reason to be depressed, maybe you have the means of fixing part of it....and the part of it you CANNOT change, (your grief over your grampa)...well, there is nothing WRONG with being depressed over that. ALLOW yourself to grieve. You will never get over that part unless you allow yourself to live through it. Stuffing it will only make it grow somewhere deep in your soul until it becomes even larger than it is.
You know, I am sending prayers and hugs and positive healing thoughts to both of you. I am holding you in my heart. I know it isn't much, but....it is all I can do.
10-12-2002, 05:36 PM
Seconding what Scotticher said, VenusGirlTrap. Grief has its own, personal, timeframe, and talking about your grief with family and friends is one of the best ways I know to get a handle on it in your own time.
I've found that talking (even typing out the words to dear friends over the Internet) is a very good way to work myself out of a funk. If it lasts too long even with that course of action, I'd go back on the meds. I felt lousy yesterday, walked around in a self-pitying daze for several hours, then started talking.
My own mother's death was only one of the triggers to my depression, but it's a major. But I had depressive episodes ten years ago when it seemed that my job was going nowhere except down the toilet, and it felt like I was superfluous to life.
Recognise the depression. Seek help for it. Listen to what it's telling you about the way your life is, or how you're living it, or what feelings you're bottling up.
10-15-2002, 08:44 AM
I'm sorry that I couldn't post before today. I had no access to a computer over the weekend. Yesterday, I called in sick to work and went to the Dr.'s office. I waited nervously, not knowing what to say, part of me was half expecting the Doc to tell me to go home and stop wasting their time. I almost walked out of the waiting room several times, but I knew that I couldn't just blow this off and pretend that I had gone and that everything was fine.
I spoke to the Doctor about how I was feeling; I told him about the nervousness, the guilt, the weepyness, etc. I filled out a few questionnaires, and then I spoke to a different Doctor. He explained that lots of people get depressed. That it tends to run in families and that from the answers I had given and my score on the test, I was definately suffering from depression/anxiety. He said I should not feel any more guilty for not being able to "shake off" depression than I would feel for not being able to "shake off" high blood pressure or diabetes. He explained that although many people feel embarrassed, there is really no reason to feel that way. Being depressed does not make me crazy, or psycho, or any of the other words people use. Depression is a physical condition that requires medical treatment. I know it sounds silly, but I had never really thought of it that way.
I've started on Zoloft and I will go back and see the Dr. in three weeks to make sure everything is ok. In a few days, I will also start "talk therapy" so I can learn to identify and treat the underlying causes of my depression. The Dr. said that I probably wont need to take meds for a long time, but that until I've got a handle on therapy, it's the best thing for me right now.
Thank you all so much for taking the time out of you lives to respond and encourage me. I'm a stranger to most of you and yet you still care. This board is truly one of the best places on the web.
10-15-2002, 09:03 AM
Good luck to you Monica. Today I am going to HR to find out how (if at all) our insurance program handles therapy. My bouts of depression have been coming more often, staying longer, and running deeper than they have before, and I can't take it anymore. I've been 'living' like this for ten years and it's time to stop.
Don't be worried if the drugs don't do anything. I was on Prozac for about a year and it didn't do anything for me. I'm hoping something else will have an effect.
10-15-2002, 09:11 AM
And I have just made an appointment with a doctor for next Tuesday so I can get on prescription anti-depressants. I'll talk to my therapist tomorrow about which one precisely. As I've said, things have been particularly rough since I got laid off, and there's no doubt in my mind that I'm going to need to be on them for a while.
Monty2, I agree with you completely. I wandered in here for the trivia, and stayed for the community. E-mail me if you need me, and I also run an on-line group for depressed Dopers, although no one's posted since July.
10-15-2002, 02:34 PM
Just a word about the medicine, Monty2, just in case your dr didn't mention it.
It can take about a week (sometimes longer) for the antidepressants to really kick in. Please don't give up on them in a couple days - if you don't see any improvement in two weeks, please talk to your dr and see about using something else.
In the meantime, make sure you surround yourself with people you have no doubt love you. Let them know (if you haven't already) what's going on and that you need their support right now.
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