• August 31, 2016
August 31, 2016, 11:43:01 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please Log In to participate in forums.
News: Talk online about your experiences as an adjunct, visiting assistant professor, postdoc, or other contract faculty member.
 
Pages: 1 ... 326 327 [328]
  Print  
Author Topic: Managing long-term depression and its affect upon work  (Read 3828607 times)
pgher
Senior member
****
Posts: 774


« Reply #4905 on: June 09, 2016, 6:11:36 pm »

Wow, britmom and dr_evil, my thoughts and prayers with you both. I think you're right, latico, that it's the people who have suffered and know what depression is like that give the most help.

I saw my doctor yesterday and I'm starting on Zoloft. I didn't realize how far gone I was until we went through the screening checklist--way more yeses than I would have thought.

Oh, and dr_evil, amen to the good night's sleep. I seem to get sent into a tailspin every time I travel. It always works out that when I'm coming back, I've had a short night. Like last week. I missed about three hours of sleep, didn't catch up on the plane, then by the time I got to my car I was on the verge of collapse. Thankfully, I have a good friend who talked me through it and got me out of that particular valley.
Logged
drbrt
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 3,699


« Reply #4906 on: June 10, 2016, 2:02:36 am »

I am finally tapped in enough to the local network to find a shrink who treats bipolar and doesn't believe in LGBT conversion therapy. I am going to try and call Monday. (I hate phones). I've been suspicious my meds mix isn't quite right for a couple months, and my GP will only write refills for stable treatments.

Wow, britmom and dr_evil, my thoughts and prayers with you both. I think you're right, latico, that it's the people who have suffered and know what depression is like that give the most help.

I saw my doctor yesterday and I'm starting on Zoloft. I didn't realize how far gone I was until we went through the screening checklist--way more yeses than I would have thought.

Oh, and dr_evil, amen to the good night's sleep. I seem to get sent into a tailspin every time I travel. It always works out that when I'm coming back, I've had a short night. Like last week. I missed about three hours of sleep, didn't catch up on the plane, then by the time I got to my car I was on the verge of collapse. Thankfully, I have a good friend who talked me through it and got me out of that particular valley.
This really resonated. I read your post and then looked at an entry checklist myself. I think I've been overestimating my current coping level
Logged

List? I am supposed to have a list? MONDAY IS COMING! ACK!
bud04
I was preparing to prepare but.....
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,840


« Reply #4907 on: June 11, 2016, 6:36:41 pm »

It is good to hear from everyone especially Britmom. It is great you have an understanding Dean.

I hope everyone is well and working to manage the "black dog."

Dr Evil please take care of yourself. Heart procedures are scary.

Drbrt, I like the term"coping level." Mine is less than 0 at the moment and I am missing parts of my life that are so important.
Logged

We ain't all that perceptive. If it's a problem, we go out to the woods and shoot it.
                                           Prytania3
laudity
Member
***
Posts: 111


« Reply #4908 on: June 12, 2016, 2:14:16 pm »

I'm still on medical leave for my physical health issue, and trying to find that balance between gradual re-entry to life and getting the rest I need.

It's a little scary to discover that it's an extremely fine line between "I'm enjoying this enforced rest" and "I'm worthless if I'm not being productive." I can't predict when the worthless thoughts will suddenly emerge. I'm having to develop new strategies that don't involve jumping off the couch to do something as distraction.

Some of the strategies include:
  • addressing the cognitive distortion head-on, with reminders that healing IS my job right now
  • telling myself that I'll be more productive after this time of rest
  • non-physical distraction like netflix, book, computer time
  • limited physical distraction like 10 minutes of tidying my space
  • reach out to a friend. I'm doing a lot of emailing and texting these days - low-key limited interaction is good

Those are the good ones. There are other, not so healthy strategies as well that I won't go into. I'd be open to other suggestions from you wise folk!
Logged
alto_stratus
Middle cloud,
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,625


« Reply #4909 on: June 13, 2016, 11:33:24 am »

Laudity, it may be small comfort, but times when you are forced to slow down can be a good reminder that our value is not just in "what we do," but in who we are.   

I have been treading water the last few weeks, trying to keep my spirits up, in part by not watching the news too much.  I turned it on yesterday and it was just heartbreaking.  I need strength instead of this slippery slope.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 11:39:14 am by alto_stratus » Logged
pgher
Senior member
****
Posts: 774


« Reply #4910 on: June 15, 2016, 9:42:31 am »

Just wanted to check in and say, I'm doing much better now. Not at my goal, but I can see progress. I guess that's all anyone can hope for.
Logged
dr_evil
Completely Imaginary
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 6,519


« Reply #4911 on: July 13, 2016, 7:56:21 pm »

I wanted to provide an update. I'm recovering fairly well from the recent procedure, but still a bit sore.  It was much worse the first couple of days after the surgery.  I'm able to resume most of my normal activities and have returned to cardiac rehab, but I'm not able to do as much as before I stopped.  I'm really frustrated that I'm not able to do as much as I could before all of this.

There have been a lot of ups and downs, good days and bad days. 

Just wanted to check in and say, I'm doing much better now. Not at my goal, but I can see progress. I guess that's all anyone can hope for.

I'm happy for you.  It's hard to feel stuck, so I'm glad you can see improvement.
Logged

Wheeeeee! You go, oh evilicious one.
smallcleanrat
Junior member
**
Posts: 74


« Reply #4912 on: July 15, 2016, 1:22:27 am »

Best wishes for continued recovery, dr_evil and pgher.

I wanted to update too, but it's been hard to gather my thoughts.

I've been off work for about six weeks, and to my dismay the extra rest has not led to any major improvement. I've been pretty strict with myself to sleep, eat, exercise, and do enjoyable activities, so I can't really attribute it to a lack of self-care.

The most debilitating symptom continues to be the foggy brain, with some accompanying nausea, headaches, and lightheadedness or faintness. Some of the fatigue has eased, but my energy levels are nowhere near back to normal.

My primary care physician has firmly decided it's 100% psychiatric and there is nothing more for her to do. The psychiatrist says he can only prescribe more psych meds. I asked if the meds he prescribes target the symptoms I'm experiencing. He says, "No, but I don't know of any meds that do. Trial and error is all I can do for you. But I think you need to be on something."

I was rejected for endocrinology and neurology appointments because of the difficulty of getting proper referrals from the primary care doc. She doesn't think there is a need for anymore exams or test, and that gets reflected in her write-up of the referrals. For the neurology referral, all she wrote under symptoms was ("poor concentration"). Not a word about the headaches, nausea, lightheadedness, infrequent vertigo...

I've got an appointment in a couple of weeks with a different GP, in the hopes that this one will have some new insights. I've also scheduled to see an ENT, since I've been reading that inner ear issues or vestibular disorders can cause light-headedness and even cause the spaced out, brain fog feeling. He's out of network, so the visit will be expensive, but I'm desperate. I also saw an out-of-network TMJ doc who says he's pretty sure I have osteoarthritis in the jaw joint (possible source of headaches?). And an optometrist told me the tear ducts in my eyes are no longer producing sufficient tears. I have no idea if all these issues relate to each other or not.

My biggest concert right now is having no diagnosis and no real treatment plan (other than the psychiatrist suggesting we start running through all the antipsychotics available and see if anything helps), and I am due to start graduate school in a little over two months. I have serious doubts I'll be able to function as a grad student unless the brain fog can be treated. I ought to be reaching out to professors this summer to set up a Fall lab rotation, but I'm too afraid and ashamed to begin, because I don't even know if I'll be fit to start school.

Grad school is the biggest issue on my mind. As posted earlier in this thread, I failed to complete an earlier Ph.D. program several years ago. I've worked hard since then to prepare myself to try again. I was so excited about the program; it's a great fit for my research interests and I felt like my life was finally back on track. It would be humiliating to have to tell my program that I can't do it, even before I've begun. I can't shake the feeling that if I lose this opportunity, there won't be another.
Logged
Socksfornow
New member
*
Posts: 2


« Reply #4913 on: July 31, 2016, 9:51:45 am »

I am an infrequent poster, mostly lurker, socksfornow.

Smallcleanrat: I am sorry your GP is not taking your symptoms seriously.  I hope the shift to the new GP will bring more clarity and a treatment plan that works.  Instead of running through the psychiatry drug options, I wish the  system would let you see all the specialists you have suggested, so that one might put his/her finger on the issue....   I really hope you get referrals ... especially with graduate school coming ....   Is this something you can advocate for yourself about or can someone advocate for you? 

I have a question: in my case, is this depression, or a rational response to life's suckitude? 

I am sad, cry a lot, snappy and irritable, justifiable feelings of worthlessness, trouble with decisions and concentration (have always been this way), difficulty in motivation.  These are long standing symptoms, but my life difficulties have also been long standing. 
My life difficulties include:
developmentally disabled teen  (very difficult to raise with frequent crises); no support system; very snotty young adult child; not being on the same parenting page as spouse therefore marriage is faltering;  I have tenure but career is mediocre and salary is very low; strained relations with family; friends are superficial, though in honesty what else can they be?;  I have nothing to look forward to in the short or long term.   

I have tried seeing a psychiatrist for medications, tried several, could not find one that worked on my symptoms yet had tolerable side effects, so I stopped;  I have not seen a counselor for myself because I am out of time and money with all the appointments and therapies for my child; I exercise about 2X a week and sporadically attempt meditation, that's about it.  I have to force myself to do anything and everything and the effort seems too much burden for no result.

I don't know what else I can do, since I have reached my limits of time and money.  I know this online forum is not a substitute for professional advice, but it's another indicator of my actual life that I am reduced to venting here about my issues.   
I also don't know if I can take any more steps beyond what I am already doing.   The outlook is very bleak right now.   
Logged
alto_stratus
Middle cloud,
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,625


« Reply #4914 on: August 02, 2016, 9:58:03 am »

I don't know what else I can do, since I have reached my limits of time and money.  I know this online forum is not a substitute for professional advice, but it's another indicator of my actual life that I am reduced to venting here about my issues.   
I also don't know if I can take any more steps beyond what I am already doing.   The outlook is very bleak right now.   

Does your employer offer any sort of employee assistance program that might give you further options for support, or a few free counseling appointments? 

You really sound like you're in a tough spot.  It's good to keep a close eye on those symptoms and get help when they are interfering with your ability to live a normal life.  Your public library may have some great resources for those dealing with depression, anxiety, and difficulty making decisions--sometimes a good book can feel like therapy in a pinch, and it's available whenever you are.  Let me know if you need specific titles for things.  Make sure you're eating good meals, and consider taking B and D vitamins with breakfast--it's a small thing, but it can help take the edge off fatigue/aches and improve mood.  You may need to step back and look at your to-do list differently:  what's most important now, what do you really need to do, and what can wait?  Your needs are important, so be sure to take them into account--we aren't as good help to others if we aren't functioning well ourselves. 

Have you talked with your spouse about feeling so run down, physically and emotionally?  Sometimes we assume our partner must know how we feel, and have all the answers, or have no answers--but if your spouse is a compassionate sort, it might help to lay it out there, and to ask how things are going for your spouse, too. 
Logged
dr_evil
Completely Imaginary
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 6,519


« Reply #4915 on: August 02, 2016, 5:17:39 pm »

I don't know what else I can do, since I have reached my limits of time and money.  I know this online forum is not a substitute for professional advice, but it's another indicator of my actual life that I am reduced to venting here about my issues.   
I also don't know if I can take any more steps beyond what I am already doing.   The outlook is very bleak right now.   

Does your employer offer any sort of employee assistance program that might give you further options for support, or a few free counseling appointments? 

I second this recommendation and would also like to ask if you've spoken with your regular doctor.  While psychiatrists can be great because they specialize, I have had better luck seeing a psychologist for therapy and getting medication from my regular doctor.  A good family practice physician can also check on other causes for feeling like you have low energy.

Try to be patient with any medications a doctor might recommend. Unfortunately, they can take quite a while before you notice any difference, but, yes, be sure to mention if any have side-effects.  The most annoying thing can be finding what works for you.

I wish you luck.
Logged

Wheeeeee! You go, oh evilicious one.
Socksfornow
New member
*
Posts: 2


« Reply #4916 on: August 03, 2016, 11:58:23 pm »

Thank you all for the responses and suggestions.  If there are  more to share, please do.

The tip about D and B vitamins is great and easy to implement.  I can start trying that right away.  The idea to see what EAP my University offers is great, though I will have to overcome my slump to follow through which is part of the overall difficulty. 

Spouse and I are barely hanging on, just with the essentials of maintaining jobs, house, and Kid2's endless and fruitless management. We have no bandwidth for each other. That is not going to change for the better in the foreseeable future.

Alto-stratus, if you can share some specific book titles I will find them in my library. 

Thank you all, now I shall retreat back into lurk-dom.
Logged
alto_stratus
Middle cloud,
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,625


« Reply #4917 on: August 04, 2016, 1:14:50 pm »

Thank you all for the responses and suggestions.  If there are  more to share, please do.

The tip about D and B vitamins is great and easy to implement.  I can start trying that right away.  The idea to see what EAP my University offers is great, though I will have to overcome my slump to follow through which is part of the overall difficulty. 

Spouse and I are barely hanging on, just with the essentials of maintaining jobs, house, and Kid2's endless and fruitless management. We have no bandwidth for each other. That is not going to change for the better in the foreseeable future.

Alto-stratus, if you can share some specific book titles I will find them in my library. 

Thank you all, now I shall retreat back into lurk-dom.

If it helps, just commit to us to make a call by the end of the week, and do it. A lot of us use this strategy to get over the hump.
Don't let your brain overthink it.  It will only take 3-5 minutes to do the following:
Step 1) Google employee assistance program for your school.  If they have one, write down the phone number.
Step 2) Pick up the phone and dial.  Tell them: "I'm having a lot of issues with stress and it is really starting to impact me.  Do I have any options through your program for counseling or support?"

I sympathize with how busy you and your spouse are, but still want to throw out the idea that some things might be easier if you work as a team.  Maybe that's what you already are doing, or maybe you're not in a place to make that happen, but just tossing the idea out there.  It's okay to focus on yourself, too, if that's what you need to do now.  I only mention reaching out because when people get depressed, they often pull back from relationships, and having support can make things easier.

Book ideas:
Feeling Good : The New Mood Therapy, David D. Burns

A lot of people come to depression by way of anxiety:
Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Stephen C. Hayes

If you only have short periods of time to read, try searching your library database for:  depression workbook, anxiety workbook.  These might be less overwhelming if you only have 15 minutes at a time.

One thing that really turned the tide for me was understanding Cognitive Distortions.  The way we think about things can increase the likelihood of depression. 
A list of cognitive distortions and fixes by David Burns (who wrote one of the books above):
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:LetjfLZkrokJ:https://www.apsu.edu/sites/apsu.edu/files/counseling/COGNITIVE_0.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 1:20:05 pm by alto_stratus » Logged
greyscale
Monochromatic
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,092


« Reply #4918 on: August 04, 2016, 8:03:12 pm »

Book ideas:
Feeling Good : The New Mood Therapy, David D. Burns

A lot of people come to depression by way of anxiety:
Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Stephen C. Hayes

Those are both excellent book suggestions.
Logged
pgher
Senior member
****
Posts: 774


« Reply #4919 on: August 04, 2016, 9:11:30 pm »


I have a question: in my case, is this depression, or a rational response to life's suckitude? 


I don't have any useful advice beyond what others have said. However, I would like to say that there's not necessarily a distinction between these two options. In my situation, my life really did suck for a while. It was fairly traumatic. Certainly, I needed help to get through the darkest times--a combination of my faith, my friends, counseling, and meds. Even now that the traumatic times have ended, I'm left with the remnants, and I'll never be the same. Fortunately, meds are taking care of my issues.

Some people think that depression is only a chemical imbalance, while others think that it's only being too weak to handle life or some such nonsense. I think it can be a combination--the brain is a growing, dynamic organ that can be dramatically affected by your social and emotional environment.
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 326 327 [328]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.