I’m struggling with severe clinical depression – I want advice and support

I have never opened up all that much about my personal life here, but in my time on the Straight Dope I’ve found the fellow posters here to be the most intelligent, thoughtful, and helpful people I could ever hope to read. So I’m going to submit this as both a way of getting something off my chest, and a hope that I’ll get some advice that can help me.

First: I’m 21 years old and for the past few years have been basically a normal college/rocker guy. I play in a band, have a girlfriend of about 2 years, have some good friends, work at a job that I enjoy – I have it a lot better than a lot of people. I’m very close with both my parents and have great relationships with them.

Now, all of a sudden, my life is turned upside down. It all started about a month ago – the first signs of depression were severe hypochondria. I was constantly convinced that I had a brain tumor, neurological degenerative disease, etc. I’d feel a tingle in my leg or I’d think that my hand was shaking a tiny bit, and I’d think, “Oh shit – I have Parkinson’s.” I’d get a weird taste in my mouth or a headache and I’d think, “that’s it. Brain cancer.” I’d hear a ringing noise, think “why is that ringing noise in my head – I must be going crazy,” then frantically search around the room to find what was making the noise. Of course, it was always a speaker or fan or computer or whatever, and I’d be relieved – for a few minutes, and then I’d be back to worrying again about some other meaningless thing. The hypochondria got so bad that I went to the doctor and asked for a full checkup, physical exam, blood work, everything. Of course, he told me that I was fine, I didn’t have any disease, I was totally healthy, but I just had severe anxiety and hypochondria. He prescribed an SSRI, Lexapro, and Xanax to help me through the panicky times.

The Xanax did help, a little. But as soon as I started taking the Lexapro, I had bad reactions. I started puking all the time and my anxiety got WORSE! I’d be shaking and quivering in my bed, unable to sleep, and often I’d puke. And I was unable to eat anything – I lost a lot of weight, like 10 pounds, over the week. So I stopped taking the Lexapro, and for about a week after that my condition improved. I started feeling a little better, and eating more.

Then more anxiety started to come back. A lot of it had to do with my girlfriend. I’ve been with her two years and am in a totally committed, loving relationship with her. Yet since the severe physical symptoms I described before, I’ve felt distant from her and awkward around her at times, because I feel guilty and horrible about subjecting her to my anxiety. It’s making her sad and frustrated to see the guy she loves going through such a hard time, but it makes her feel even worse that she can’t really help me. By this, I mean that her cuddling of me, touching me, kissing me, etc, to try to comfort me, does not work and I still feel anxiety. I no longer WANT her to cuddle me, or be physically intimate with me – my anxiety has given me an aversion to the physical contact, for some reason. I told her: “look, don’t be mad at yourself because you can’t make me feel better. Nothing can make me feel better. I just have this anxiety, and it comes and goes.” But she’s still sad about it and now she too is kind of depressed because I’m no longer any fun for her to hang out with anymore, and her attempts at comforting me fail. So instead of feeling joyous when she comes to see me, I feel nervous and anxious because I know that I’m going to have to subject her to my anxiety. But if I don’t see her on a regular basis, she’ll grow distant from me, and I don’t want that. So it’s a lose lose situation, and it causes me even more stress.

I’m much more relaxed talking to my parents. They comfort me a lot more than my girlfriend does. And this is not because my girlfriend is doing anything wrong. It’s because my parents have BOTH had severe depression and anxiety in the past, and they are both currently on medication for it. So when they reassure me “everything will be fine, this is just temporary, etc,” it feels good because it’s like I know that they’ve been through it all. My girlfriend has NOT been through it at all, and so when I’m with her, it’s like I’m with someone who’s powerless to understand my pain and to help me.

I’ve been getting other social anxiety too. Last week a friend of mine cooked a giant, delicious dinner for me and three friends at his house. I went over there, and as soon as I walked in, I felt like walking out again – I was so nervous, had such nameless dread, about being around these people, even though these guys are guys that I grew up with and I’ve always been tight as hell with. I took one bite of food, and thought I was going to puke. I walked into the bathroom, with the food still in my mouth, told myself “come on, Adam (might as well use my real name here since I’m revealing so much,) fucking get through this. You can do it. Chew up the rest of your food and get the fuck back out there and be a good guest.” I took a milligram of Xanax, which I had in my pocket, and walked back out there and started eating again. As the Xanax kicked in, I felt myself having a good time, bantering, and eating with great enthusiasm. “Good! I feel better!” I thought. But then later, when the pills had worn off, I felt shitty again.

At work today, two giant tables walked in (I’m a waiter.) Ordinarily I would have thought, “YES! Tips!” In my short time as a waiter I’ve gotten very good at it, and have grown to love the challenge of serving a busy crowd and the satisfaction of getting good tips. Instead, today, I just got a panic attack. I started getting short of breath, and everything felt surreal and somehow “wrong.” I soldiered through it and served everyone, but I felt like shit the whole time, my hands shaking. When it was over, I half-assed my closing duties and clocked out in a hurry.

I’ve found myself getting snippy with people for no reason. My dad, or my girlfriend, or whoever, will ask me reasonable questions, and I’ll snap at them and talk rudely. And I’ll apologize to them after, but the apology feels empty and like it means nothing.

I have had no interest in doing the things I used to love to do. I’ve not had the desire to listen to music, something I’ve always loved so much. I haven’t wanted to PLAY music, even though this has always been the central point of my life. I haven’t been able to relax while reading. I don’t want to go out to the movies, I don’t want to go out with my friends, I don’t want to take my girlfriend out to dinner (something I used to do at least once a week.) I just feel like my life is nothing.

There are ups and downs. Sometimes I feel good. (Usually when I’m on the Xanax.) But everything always has to have this overall feeling of just not being right, of being empty somehow. Last night I pulled out my bass guitar and played that badass bass intro from “One of These Nights” by the Eagles over and over again, but I just felt like it meant nothing, like “why am I doing this?” I laid in bed with my girlfriend and we talked about our high school teachers’ musical tastes and made fun of my emo-kid sister and joked and carried on, but the whole time I was thinking at the back of my mind, “who IS this girl? Do I love her? What IS love? What is the purpose of all this?” Sometimes I’ll be able to laugh, other times I’ll totally be in deep depression. The Xanax always makes me feel a little better, but only for a while, and it doesn’t feel like true happiness.

In one of my hypochondriac moments, I called my mom and was like “I’m afraid that I’m going insane, psychotic, and I’ll have to be put in an institution or something.” And she said, “Adam. Go to Wikipedia and look up “clinical depression.” You’ll see that it’s exactly what you have, not brain cancer or mad cow disease or parkinson’s or schizophrenia.” I went and looked up clinical depression. Sure enough. I had EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM. Reading over the long bullet-point list of all the symptoms was like reading my exact thoughts over the past weeks. I’m talking like 30 or 40 symptoms, and I felt like I’d had every single one of them. So I thought – that’s it. Depression.

My parents and I went to a psychiatrist, and I was prescribed two drugs: Xanax XR, which releases over a long period of time and stays in the system longer than the regular kind, and Zoloft, which is the drug that both my parents are on and they say it’s made their lives a lot better. So now so far I’ve been on these pills for one day, and I have noticed I’m more calm when the Xanax has been working, but I’ve so far felt none of the overall good feelings, content, desire to cuddle with my girlfriend, desire to go out and go to shows or see movies, and enthusiasm about eating (I’ve eaten nothing for the past 2 days) that the Zoloft is supposed to give me. So I’ll give it time, I guess.

So right now it’s just a stressful waiting game. Yesterday I was lying in bed with my girlfriend and “Either Way” by Wilco came on, and the song went, “Maybe the sun will shine today, The clouds will blow away, Maybe I won’t feel so afraid I will try to understand either way.” And I just fucking lost it and burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably, because it was exactly what I was feeling. So I hope those clouds are going to blow away. But the worrying, depressed, hypochondriac side of me has these horrible fears that it’s never going to go away, that I’m going to be stuck in this horrible place forever, and that I’ll never have happiness or love in my life again.

So really, anything you have to say, I’d appreciate so much. If anyone’s been through this and come out on the other side, I want you to give me some reassurance, and some advice on how to deal with the hard times. Again…I respect everyone here so much, and I know that just the act of writing this has made me feel better.

I don’t know you, but I’d give you a really big hug if I met you. Yeah, I’m a dude, but that’s not the issue. You need support. You need clarity, and you need to know that there is a way out of this. You matter, and even people that don’t know you want to see you succeed.

Depression may or may not be the answer. For the longest time, I thought that depression was the thing holding me back. I took Effexor XR, my depression vanished, yet the problems still remained. Turns out that I’m an “Amish ninja” a rare affliction. I kid of course, but sometimes it’s easier to deal with things when it doesn’t have such a clinical air to it.

Being open about your issues is likely to yield helpful answers, but it’s no substitute for professional care. What do you have as far as local health care programs? There is a lot of free help to be had, and many more avenues of inexpensive health care depending on your situation.

People really want to help you, especially once a situation has been identified. I know I’d like to help you. I probably can’t do much physically, but I can at least be there for you electronically. I have your back, at least in cyberspace.

Holy crap! Until this post, we had identical post counts! Weird!

Argent Towers, you deserve a pat on the back for even bringing up this issue in the first place. It’s not easy to discuss or admit to having a psychological disorder, and the fact that you were not only able to seek help with a doctor, but also love and support here, really speaks to your strength.

I have had severe clinical depression and anxiety for the majority of my life, and I know firsthand that it can be a completely miserable and isolating experience. I want you to know that if ever there was a person without hope, it was me. The more therapy and drugs I got, the worse my symptoms seemed to become. Despite the fact that I worked so hard to become mentally healthier, I got more suicidal and finally ended up in the hospital. Though the hospital was my low point, I was miserable for about two years afterward.

I am not going to stand here and tell you ‘‘it gets worse before it gets better,’’ because I don’t believe it should have been that way. I attribute a great deal of my deterioration to the fact that I was in psychodynamic therapy and not cognitive behavioral therapy. If you are not doing CBT, I would advise that you get to a CBT therapist as soon as possible. No existing therapy has so much empirical support as CBT, and I can tell you anecdotally that it changed my world.

I completely understand the way you are feeling about your girlfriend, and your fear of causing her pain because of this thing you can’t control and if you’re anything like me, you end up hating yourself more and more for every depressed moment. You SHOULD be happy, right? You SHOULD be sharing in wonderful happy romantic loving moments with your lady, not moping around.

Let me introduce you to a little friend of mine, Albert Ellis. He calls all the conditions we put on ourselves–how we ought to think, feel, behave, etc-- ‘‘musterbation.’’ Musterbation generally leads to more depression. The more you learn about anxiety and depression, the more you will realize how easily we can get caught up in thought processes and behaviors that make us more and more depressed and anxious. Eventually everything spins out of control.

So three things I want to say about your girlfriend:

  1. Her happiness is not your responsibility. You don’t ‘‘make’’ her depressed. Her own thoughts and behaviors ‘‘make’’ her depressed, much as your own thoughts and behaviors (driven by a chemical imbalance you have no immediate control over) ‘‘make’’ you depressed.
  2. Your happiness is not HER responsibility. You seem to grok this pretty well.
  3. Love will cause people to do amazing, incredible things that you cannot fathom.

The third one is especially important. I have no idea why my husband continued to love me despite the fact that I was a miserable basket case incapable of getting out of bed or bathing or even eating, completely joyless, not going into work or class and basically a walking corpse. I don’t know why he calmly pulled me out of bed and into the kitchen and made me eat, or handled my medications when I was too suicidal to have control of them, or read tomes of boring literature about how to help me.

But, he did. He did this for YEARS, long after everyone else had pretty much given up on me. Because love will do that. It can do that.

So let go of the notion that you might drive her away. She loves you. Her only real issue at the moment is that she has no idea how to help you. There are a ton of resources out there for her, though, to learn how. She just needs a little psychoeducation. Have her google ‘‘Loved Ones With Depression’’ to start.

Throughout my depression I really didn’t have much hope at all. My major depressive episodes lasted months at a time, with maybe three weeks of reprieve. I worked really hard but it didn’t seem to be immediately paying off. I believed I was cursed for a long time.

It’s important for you to understand how completely and utterly hopeless I was–for the first 22 years of my life, all I knew was crushing depression.

The reason you need to understand this is because I am currently so amazingly head-explodingly deeply truly utterly happy and satisfied with my life, that you wouldn’t even recognize me 2 years ago. Since recovering from depression I went back to school, finished my degree, stopped taking psych meds, lost 50 lbs, successfully reconstructed some semblance of a normal sex life, and am currently applying to graduate school masters and Ph.D. programs. And I am blissfully married to that guy that put up with all my shit for years. Two weeks ago I had my final therapy session after 6 years of struggle.

This from the girl who could barely even walk out the door two years ago. This is what I have become.

There is so much hope. There are endless rivers of hope. There are blinding white tunnels of magical wonderful spiritual hope, all waiting for you at the end of this. And if you’re anything like me, you will feel blessed each and every day because you know personally just what a gift it is to be able to feel any positive emotion whatsoever. Just being able to wake up and NOT think, ‘‘I hate myself and want to die’’ is a blessed miracle. What a gift.

I very largely attribute my success to CBT, though goodness knows what other factors might have intervened. CBT is very simple, it keeps you focused on concrete problems in the present. Our thoughts and our behaviors lead to emotions, and vice-versa Just try paying attention to what you say to yourself on a daily basis–you will be SHOCKED. The concept is simple enough. Change your thoughts and behaviors, and it will impact your mood, thus making you less likely to have negative thoughts and self-destructive behaviors, thus ending the cycle.

You will NOT spend a lot of time in a CBT therapist’s office venting your emotions. You will be analytically linking those emotions to thoughts and behaviors, and creating systematic plans to change them.

Personally I feel that ‘‘venting’’ is particularly dangerous for people who have depression. The more you focus on your crappy feelings, the more you will come to believe that your thoughts are absolute truth. Your thoughts are not absolute truth. Depression and anxiety are characterized by irrational thinking. You have to learn not to believe the evil lies that your depression and anxiety tell you. Your depression and anxiety don’t know shit. Trust the scientist in you. Weigh the evidence. Take your depression and anxiety to the GD Forum and scream, ‘‘Cite, motherfucker??!!!’’*

*Oh, fine. The Pit.

Don’t get me wrong-- Having depression is shitty, I might be deliriously happy with my life, but I’ve learned to do so and live side by side with anxiety AND depression. They are always there. I still go off on completely irrational tangents at times. I get caught up in the cycle sometimes. But because of CBT, I have tools I can use to stop the cycle and get back on the right track.

There is hope. There really is. I really feel for you and all you are going through. If you want to talk about this more at length feel free to PM or e-mail me. I want so much for you to understand that this is not a permanent situation, and that there are things you can do to make it better.

And I’ll tack this on: If you’re into that kind of thing, study Buddhism. Zen in particular has made a huge difference for me, and many therapies are modeled off Buddhist principles such as mindfulness and impermanence. Hell, the concept of ‘‘impermanence’’ got me through so many suicidal nights I finally broke down and had the word ‘‘impermanence’’ tattooed on my wrist in Sanskrit.

Best of wishes and tons of olives,

Christy

Adam, it is going to get better and life will be good again.

Zoloft is not a fast acting anti-depressant and it may be a couple of weeks or so before you really start to notice. That is why you also have the Xanax to help ease you through.

I’m twice your age and I have been clinically depressed more than once.

My best advice for you is to keep living your life even if it feels like a sham. So basically you keep doing what you’re doing as hard and as sucky as it is right now. As much as I hate the saying, fake it till you make it is pretty much what you need to do.

It is okay to duck your head under the covers once in a while but staying there will make your recovery drag on.

Listen your doctor’s advice about how long to stay on the meds, too. When life is better, you might wonder why you ever thought you needed those silly little pills. Give yourself a chance to be solidly healthy before you make any big decisions about life, health, relationships, or education.

Take care of yourself and hang on because better days really are coming.

Laura

[QUOTE=Irreverent Tone

]
Adam, it is going to get better and life will be good again.

Zoloft is not a fast acting anti-depressant and it may be a couple of weeks or so before you really start to notice. That is why you also have the Xanax to help ease you through.

I’m twice your age and I have been clinically depressed more than once.

My best advice for you is to keep living your life even if it feels like a sham. So basically you keep doing what you’re doing as hard and as sucky as it is right now. As much as I hate the saying, fake it till you make it is pretty much what you need to do.

It is okay to duck your head under the covers once in a while but staying there will make your recovery drag on.

Listen your doctor’s advice about how long to stay on the meds, too. When life is better, you might wonder why you ever thought you needed those silly little pills. Give yourself a chance to be solidly healthy before you make any big decisions about life, health, relationships, or education.

Take care of yourself and hang on because better days really are coming.

Laura
[/QUOTE]

Oh, to be so concise… :stuck_out_tongue:

I very much enjoyed your ‘not concise’ post. I needed to hear some of what you said.

Argent Towers is most likely asleep now. That is probably a relatively good thing, meaning he’s able to sleep at least.

Happiness is not a given, but it is a goal.

No I’m not asleep yet, though I probably will be within the hour. Thanks so much everyone for all your responses. You have no idea how good it is to hear from people who understand what I’m going through.

Argent, man, I never talk about this here but you could honestly be describing exactly what I went through about four years ago. I mean exactly, down to the girlfriend situation, the hypochondria and the resulting behaviors, the parents, etc.

My advice to you: cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s the most widely supported and empirically supported, as others have said, and over time you can basically make actual changes to your brain chemistry via the therapy. While many doctors are quick to prescribe drugs, you have to understand that the drugs basically have a completely different effect on everyone that takes them, most of them have very unpleasant side effects, and many can and will make your depression and anxiety worse. At the very least, they should be used in conjunction with therapy. Also keep in mind that most of them take weeks to start affecting you, and likewise can take weeks to get off of.

Personally, I’ve never felt as bad as I did when I took Effexor - for a few weeks, it ruined my life. I mean, there’s no other description for it - effexor was like a several-week bad acid trip. I felt like I was dying, felt like I was going crazy, and had horrible “white hot” and “electric shock”-type feelings all over my body. My mom, on the other hand, found effexor to be a miracle pill - after trying almost every other SSRI on the market with no success, effexor was the magic bullet for her depression. That’s just an illustration of how ridiculously differently the SSRI’s can affect different people. Xanax, on the other hand, was great for dealing with my anxiety attacks - I’d only take it when I started to have an attack (xanax is very quick-acting and only lasts for an hour or two, depending on dosage), and it would totally calm me down and end the anxiety attack. Nice!

But it took the therapy to actually get me out of the jungle. I still see a therapist, and frankly, I still deal with a lot of hypochondria. But I have things under control to the point where I can objectively understand what’s going on with me and can see the distinction when I have irrational fears, vs. actually thinking that there’s something wrong with me.

Seek out the therapy , man, and if you must use the medicine, use it in conjunction with the therapy rather than looking to the pill for an answer.

You have your pick of people that will go out of their way in order to help you. You are amongst friends here. The ball is in your court, and I really wish you well.

Seconded. Empirically speaking, the most effective treatment for depression and anxiety is not CBT therapy by itself, nor medication by itself, but the two together.

I already am seeing a therapist (not sure if he’s a CBT therapist, but I think he is because I think he’s mentioned that term before.) I’ve had 2 appointments with him so far (frankly, neither of them made me feel that much better, but I’ll give it time.)

Eh, but you do have a disease: anxiety not really grounded in reality plus hypochondria. And then from what you say you go and get anxious about being anxious, sort of like people who get nervous about getting stage fright, so that before their “performance” they look more like wet rags than actual human beings… and all they have is fear of fear.

IANAD or any of that; when I know I’m being off my rocker (I’m getting angrier or more nervous or whatever than the situation warrants), I’ve learned to sort of take a step back, sometimes saying “excuse me” and taking a deep breath or two before I go on. Everybody gets nervous, everybody has bad days, so most people have no problem with that. And those obnoxious people who do (usually the same ones who will say “don’t cry” to someone who’s crying her heart out at, for example, her husband’s funeral) - well, I have no interest in associating with them any longer than I strictly have to.

You’re not feeling well, so you want to be touched less than when you’re OK - this is perfectly normal. With the exception of maybe wanting one hug when you have a big cold, most people don’t want to be touched at all when they’re any kind of sick.

You know that you’re being anxious about being anxious; the therapist will help you differentiate the “normal” anxiety from the clinical one and learn to cope with it. You already know this won’t be a matter of him kissing you better - it will be work. This puts you ahead of many people, in the learning curve.

Your girlfriend and you will hopefully learn how to deal with this bad time. Same as the diet for someone who’s got the runs should not be the same as for someone whose tummy is normal, the emotional diet you need now is not the same as when you were all right. But this happens also when someone is having finals or a trip coming up. Your relationship would have evolved in any case; this is currently an obstacle but may some day be the start of the more-mature part of your relationship. A long-term relationship is for good and bad, after all, and from the bad sometimes comes the best.

And of course, remember that you can always come here for some virtual hugs. They store well, so use as needed :slight_smile:

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Argent Towers}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Give your medication a chance to start working before you make any judgments about your therapist. But if after a while you aren’t satisfied with the therapy you are getting, it is perfectly all right to find another doctor.

It’s important to know that none of what you are feeling is your fault. It is not a weakness nor a character flaw.

Cut yourself a lot of slack right now. Go easy on yourself.

If you can discipline yourself to do it, some time spent in physical exercise will almost always make you feel a little better. Walking is especially good.

I had my first problems with depression when I was about your age. I had problems with major clinical depression off and on for 27 years before I took my first SSRI – prozac. It allowed me to be me for the first time. That was eighteen years ago.

Sometimes I need to fine tune my medications.

There came a time when I needed to go into the hospital for my own good. Mental hospital units that are associated with regular hospitals are usually very, very hellpful. I won’t hesitate to go again if I needed to.

Help is on the way. It is working its way through your system. You just need time.

We will be around. Feel free to send a private message if you post here and we don’t notice your comments.

We do know how confused and frantic you feel. We know how the anxiety can just sweep over you in waves. You will not drown. You will be okay.

I don’t think I’ve gone through what you have, at least not to the extent, but I’m with you too. I can imagine something like this taking over your life to be uncomfortable at best, and downright scary at worst.

Keep us posted if anything changes/persists. You’re among friends here.

I know others have said this, but you usually have to give anti-depressants a little bit of time to build up in your system before you see the full effect. For the ones I’ve taken, it’s recommended that you take them for 2-3 weeks before any changes become apparent. I don’t suffer from very severe depression (although sometimes it kinda feels like it) so I didn’t notice a 180 when I started taking them, I just kind of realized one day that they seemed to be working. It was a gradual process, I guess.

Depression is a real bummer for you and for everyone who loves you. If you were to have some life threatening disease such as cancer, everyone would send you a casserole and help lift you up. Depression is silent and most people don’t realize that you’re suffering from it. It’s good that you’re talking about it so that people know that you need help.

As others have said, be patient. But also remember that the only person who will be your advocate is you. Sometimes you have to go in and demand a change. If you were in physical pain, the doctor would expect you to come in and ask for a new med. If, after a reasonable amount of time, your meds are doing the trick, then ask for a change. And keep asking until you’re satisfied. There’s no reason that you need to live with anxiety and hopelessness.

Also remember that exercise is a great elixir for many things. If you’re not walking, make it a point to do it. If you’re walking already, step it up to jogging. Physically tiring out your body is so good for sleeping, not to mention your overall health.

If it’s any consolation, I’d send you a casserole.

Everybody else has said it better, but the really, really important thing you have to tell yourself, even if you can’t quite believe it:

You are not alone.

Seriously. Put this on little post-it notes. Print it out in super large print. Heck, make a cat macro out of it if that’s your thing.

I went through what I now call a “Deep Blue Funk” during my senior year of college: I felt very anxious about the future, and I was fighting a losing battle with a sense of worthlessness that I couldn’t get rid of no matter what. The more I thought about it, the deeper my thoughts spiraled into that “I suck, I’ll never amount to anything, I’ll never be happy again” mode.

I’m convinced now that it was nothing short of a miracle that saved me from doing something absolutely stupid with myself–it helped that I was corresponding online with a friend who got me to take a good honest look at my self-destructive thoughts, and I had a huge network of people who were praying for me nonstop. It’s almost funny, looking back at how much I was feeling sorry for myself when in reality I had so much going for me.

As it’s said in Alcoholics Anonymous: Fake It Till You Make It. Try to be aware of your thoughts at all times, and the moment you sense yourself going back into that negative spiral, think happy thoughts, even if you don’t “feel” them. Go outside, take long walks and look at the world around you–especially beautiful things. For every bad thing you think is going against you, come up with a good thing that’s going for you, even if it’s something as mundane as “thank God for blinking”. If you’re up to it, volunteer for something like Habitat for Humanity. If you’re a church-type of person, find a good spiritual support group who can pray for you and be honest with you to help you take inventory of your life (minus the fire and brimstone, natch; you don’t need more guilt right now, trust me). Ask the doctor what foods are good for you, and allow yourself an occasional comfort-food indulgence.

Again, because this bears repeating: You are not alone.

hugs

I sympathize with you, Argent Towers. I have periodic depressive bouts myself (as a symptom of other issues which I prefer not to discuss on a public board), so I know some of where you’re coming from.

Good therapy takes time, effort, and a good therapist-patient fit. I had to go through multiple therapists before I found one that worked well with me. 2 sessions usually isn’t enough to determine if the fit is a good one.

And outside self-therapy also helps; I know all too well that a 1-hour session once a week isn’t enough effort to make major changes in a reasonable time frame.