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Depression - do you tell people or not?

(18 Posts)
Lottapianos Sat 24-Nov-12 16:05:53

Thanks Pilgit, still thinking about it. I hate taking meds, even for a headache. Will try SJW and see how it goes, but will bear ADs in mind if it's not doing what I need it to. Glad you have found a system that works for you

Pilgit Sat 24-Nov-12 10:24:35

Ads can be really useful. Would you question taking drugs to bring blood pressure down? If not why not take ads? I have been on them in various forms for 14 years. I know i will be on th e m for life. But most people are not and they can really back up therapy -it's a 2 pronged approach. As has been said above you may have to try a couple to find the right one. Sjw - its okay but don't assume that because its herbal its safer or will have less side effects, they're just different.

I am very open about my mh issues BUT i am managing it and it is under control and don't give a shit what anyone thinks.

Sorry if this has sounded harsh, i don't mean to. I do understand where you are. You can get through this.

MrsMuddyPuddles Thu 22-Nov-12 20:13:56

Like NanaNina said, it's an over the counter thing but it scares me- if I'm going to messing with my brain, I want it from a source I trust. You could get it from a trained herablist.

Nana here's where I got my info: kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/meds/antidepressants-hale10-02/#StJohnsWort Dr. Hale is a breastfeeding expert, so I just took him at his word as to how SJW works

NanaNina Thu 22-Nov-12 17:41:07

Hi Lotta - I am pretty sure you can get SJW from Holland and Barrett. I've never heard that SJW is a "weak SSRI" but I do know that it can interfere with ADs and you shouldn't take it alongside ADs. What sort of clinician are you Lotta - just me being nosey!

Lottapianos Thu 22-Nov-12 12:46:19

NanaNina, I'm a clinician and tend to take a lot of comfort from using labels because I'm used to doing it at work. My therapist tries to steer me away from labels and more onto how exactly I am feeling, which I can understand. Although finding out that my parents probably have NPD was a huge liberation because it helped me to realise that they were the issue, not me, and that loads of other people have similar issues in their families. Yes I think it is psychodynamic therapy. I do trust her and am happy with how things are going. I had a rotten therapist in the past so Im glad to be seeing someone I can work well with now.

I'm horrified about the comments on the psych ward shock What a bunch of idiots! Like you say, you would think that the one place you could get some support and understanding would be on a psych ward! Well done you for complaining and I'm so glad it was taken seriously.

MrsMuddy, no havent' seen my GP since because I had decided not to go down the medical route. He mentioned SJW in my initial consultation actually but didn't talk about dosage or anything. Should I go back to GP to get prescription for SJW or can I put myself on it?

MrsMuddyPuddles Thu 22-Nov-12 12:40:26

I've actually been quite open about my depression (not posting on FB because my family HAVE been unhelpful about depression in the past, but pretty open with friends and coworkers), and it is amazing how many people open up to me about their mental health histories in return.

Have you seen your GP since deciding not to fill in the prescrition for Seroxat? That's the one I am on and it has been great- there is a reason that this is one of the more popular ones. I would encourage you to talk to your GP before starting to take anything (SJW is a weak SSRI and interfers with a lot of medications) I used to be totally scared of taking ADs but it has really helped me- all my worries seem dampened and I rarely over-react anymore.

NanaNina Thu 22-Nov-12 12:37:36

I am amazed that your therapist has not mentioned PTSD- it's not so much a "label" as a diagnosis and many people with PTSD get treated for depression and anxiety. Do you know what kind of therapist you have (some are psycho-dynamic) which means delving into the past and helping people to cope with buried trauma. This is probably the method your therapist is using. I think it's the only way therapists know how to treat PTSD and that isn't a criticism, it's just the way it is. You could google PTSD and see if you have any of the symptoms (eg flashbacks and nightmares) and then of course you can have mild PTSD moderate or severe, it all depends on individuals.

There used to be a brilliant MNetter on here called Madmouse but sadly she had a "dust up" with MNHQ and is no longer on the MH thread. She posted openly about PTSD (she too was sexually abused in childhood) and she said the only thing that helped her was this EMDR but that's the only reason I know about it.

Thing is with mental health problems, very few people can understand them and I firmly believe that it is only those who have suffered themselves can understand. It's most unlikely you manager will understand, hence the comment about "cheering you you up" - well done for telling her what the problem is, cus sadly there's so much stigma still around MH. Mind I was an inpatient on a psych ward 2 years ago with my 2nd severe episode of depression and one of the nursing assistants told me to "cheer up" - I was so angry and went straight to the ward manager and she really backed me up and was horrified that staff were still saying things like this to patients (I was also told to "pull myself together") and complained about that too. So what hope is there for others to understand mental illness.

Lottapianos Thu 22-Nov-12 12:15:32

Thanks NanaNina. My therapist has never mentioned PTSD or even depression, we tend to just talk about the individual feelings themselves - anger, sadness, loneliness or whatever, rather than using labels. Although I think may be right that I may have PTSD. I am really happy with how my therapy is going (as happy as you can be about the most painful thing ever!) but I will Google EMDR, thanks.

'Of course it is your choice, and a GP will only prescribe if they think there is a clinical need'

Have seen GP already and I scored high on the Generalised Anxiety Scale. He gave me a prescription for Seroxat which I never picked up. I'm going to read more about possible side effects of SJW.

I emailed my senior manager today to tell her what's going on with me. She will become my line manager in a few months (when current line manager leaves) so I thought it best to keep her in the loop. Also, she's a nice person but prone to being a bit insensitive and a bit of a over-bearing mother hen type - she was the one who said 'what can we do to make her cheer up?' in the meeting on Monday. I want her to be a bit more sensitive and leave me alone when I need it so hopefully I will get a positive response from her!

I know that I'm feeling better today but that it will come back at some point and that scares me sad

NanaNina Thu 22-Nov-12 12:07:05

Hi Lotta glad you are coping a bit better today but the trouble with depression is that it ebbs and flows just to cause us a bit more misery! I know a lot of MNs on here ar frightend of ADs and I struggle to understand why. I think there is a myth that ADs make you "zoned out" or change your personality or something. Taking ADs can be a difficult process for some, because it is all trial and error and what works for one person won't for another. Sometimes you have to try one or two but they are safe drugs and won't make you a zombie or not like yourself. They do have side effects as do all drugs (as does SJW) but again these depend on individuals and most are very short lived, and they can take 2 or 3 weeks to kick in, but once they do, you should feel the benefit

I suppose I am so pro ADs because I know how they have helped me and many MNs on here. Of course it is your choice, and a GP will only prescribe if they think there is a clinical need. They have a little tick box list and then decide whether your depression is mild, moderate or severe. Mind I think most GPs will prescibe to anyone who feels the need to take them.

Just wondered if the psychotherapist is working with you on the basis of PTSD, which is of course what you have. I ask this because there is some therapy that I have read about from other MNs that is supposed to be excellent for PTSD. It's called EMDR (you'd have to google it) as I can't remember exactly what the letters stand for, but it is something to do with eye movement. Of course if you have a good re/ship with your therapist you may be satisfied.

Lottapianos Thu 22-Nov-12 11:44:52

Thanks all of you for your replies. It's so true about the stigma of mental health issues. I told my therapist last night that I worry I'm letting everyone at work down by having time off. She asked me if I would feel the same if I had broken my leg. Physical injuries/illnesses seem more 'legitimate' somehow, more likely to be understood and taken seriously by other people.

I'm back at work today - didn't feel good at all this morning but went to my meeting and kept my head down. Feeling a bit more calm and in control now. The awful aching sadness has lifted a bit. I still don't feel like myself but I can cope. I'm looking ahead to the weekend and thinking about stuff I might enjoy doing - I don't feel as excited as I normally would but I don't feel completely flat either.

NanaNina, I do hear what you're saying about ADs. To be honest, the very thought of going on them is making me anxious - I worry about how long they will take to work, what the side effects might be, how will I know what is 'me' and what is the medication if I take them, and I worry about coming off them. I'm thinking of taking St Johns Wort instead - the fact that it's herbal makes it seem less scary somehow. Something mild to 'level me out' a little would be good but I'm scared of meds.

Thanks Smiffle. I'm glad I'm dealing with it now and not in 10 or 20 or 30 years. Or never. It's bloody hard and I'm so angry at my parents for putting me though this. I'm trying to get better at putting myself first and not worry so much about letting people down/what other people think but it's a work in progress smile

FabulousFreaks, how are you feeling today?

NanaNina Wed 21-Nov-12 23:29:30

Oh god FF you are so right. It is so sad that there is still such a stigma about mental illness in this day and age. You are right too that no one can understand the torment of depression unless they have experienced it. You say you are on the precipice at the moment. Do you want to say anything more...........sounds like you could use some empathy yourself.

FabulousFreaks Wed 21-Nov-12 22:02:32

You have been given good advice but isn't it a shame that when soneone has a physical illness you can share it and receive lots of help, understanding and sympathy from everyone but with mental illness we are still standing in the shadows suffering alone. I have been there, on the precipice at the moment and very few people know and those who do, don't really understand it. I wish you much better and hope it gets better for you soon.

Smiffle Wed 21-Nov-12 21:53:19

I know how you feel, I had to be signed off for almost a year in the end, thought it was the end if the world but actually peole were either really kind or pretty disinterested!

Just your line manager should be enough, nobody else's business and them up to you how much you're comfortable sharing.

Probably not much practical use but just wanted to say good for you tackling thibgs and being so brave and honest. Everyone has shite days, your colleagues will get over it, don't worry about trying to deal with anyone else's reactions, you're the most important one here, just concentrate on your treatment and the very best of luck and good wishes to you.

NanaNina Wed 21-Nov-12 20:55:18

Hi Lotta I know the horror of depression and anxiety, as I have it intermittently following a severe episode 2 years ago. I am wondering whether you would re-consider ADs - obviously they are not going to do anything to help the origin of your problems, but you are dealing with that, though of course it will take time. I think ADs might just lift you a little so that you are able to cope better - worth a try maybe?

PackItInNow Wed 21-Nov-12 20:06:36

It's up to you who you tell (preferrably someone you completely trust), but I personally would say anything to anyone. I wouldn't even say to my DH, but I am a very private person and keep myself to myself.

Lottapianos Tue 20-Nov-12 11:22:53

Thanks London. I am usually really good at painting on a smile and giving the impression that all is rosy but I just can't at the moment. I do smoke but not at work - I find that fags help in the short term but leave me feeling really jittery afterwards so trying to avoid at the moment. Some of my job is office based but a lot of it is dealing with the public, where I absolutely have to have my best face on and my mind on the job. I had a day of meetings yesterday and couldn't concentrate on any of it and had to tell myself sternly not to cry several times so I really can't be at work for the next couple of days!

I think I will take your advice and give brief details to the staff I see most of, and the two staff members I supervise. Hopefully they will know to give me some space and they will understand if I don't see myself.

LondonInHighHeeledBoots Tue 20-Nov-12 10:46:33

I would recommend one or two trusted colleagues who work near you as well as your line manager. There is no need to go into detail, just a topline of depression and anxiety, and this will sometimes mean that I just cant cope with people asking me how I am and I might need to just go outside for a few minutes, or just lay-man it up with 'bad time at the moment, don't want people asking how I am' and they can draw the fire so to speak.

I found this was very helpful at work myself - I've not been signed off work for any period of time, but if I'm having a day I can't cope with, I will mention it to the girl who sits next to me, who I am friends with and trust, and she'll be louder to everyone else and I get comfortably ignored all day, and going for a long fag break every now and then helps - even if you don't smoke, just go stand outside alone. Plastic smiles are your friend too, I know how hard they are to stick on or keep on, but if you can plug into music in your office, just plug in and look 'busy' and smile widely at people, and they will assume you're fine and leave you alone.

When you get back if people ask if you're better, just a plastic smile and yes, much thanks will satisfy most people. I hope it gets better for you.

Lottapianos Tue 20-Nov-12 08:43:54

I'm having a bad time at the moment - was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in September. I'm dealing with childhood emotional abuse through weekly psychotherapy. GP offered me ADs but haven't taken them, don't want to.

So far I have only needed half a day off work when it all got too much but I am off today and tomorrow as I just can't cope with work right now. I have told my immediate line manager and she has been extremely supportive. I was in a meeting yesterday (really bad day) and quite a few people asked me if I was ok as I was obviously looking awful. A couple of people went further with 'what can I do to make you smile?' and 'what can we do to cheer her up?' I'm sure they meant well but I just wanted to bellow at them all to fuck off and leave me alone. I know when I go back to work there will be loads of 'are you feeling better?' comments and I'm dreading it already.

I'm thinking of telling a few colleagues what's going on with me - not loads of graphic detail but just enough to they know to back off sometimes and not hassle me with comments about cheering up. Is this a good idea? In my personal life, I have told DP and a few close friends, no-one else. I know a lot of people have no experience of depression and don't get it at all so I'm worried it would do more harm than good. Would be useful to hear other people's thoughts/experiences
Thanks

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