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To think that depression/anxiety makes you stronger?

(80 Posts)
FlowersAndShit Thu 31-Mar-16 08:23:09

I've had to find an inner strength just to keep my head above water recently. It's so hard but I can't give in, because I've tried that route and it just leads to more suffering and helplessness.

I'm trying to very slowly wean myself off my Sertraline. I want to try and cope without these drugs, I've been on and off them since I was 16 (25 now). I've found an inner strength that I never knew that I had. I have to be strong and in control because I'm afraid if I don't, I will lose my mind.

The feedlings of despair and dread, the stomach churning anxiety is there, but I'm trying really hard to be strong.

EnthusiasmDisturbed Thu 31-Mar-16 08:28:31

Some people feel this way some people don't as everyone's experience of depression/anxiety is individual

It's empowering when you do feel you have found an inner strength that you were previously not aware of and to be able to recognise feelings and work with them

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 31-Mar-16 08:37:40

Good for you - I have depression and anxiety and I am feeling like I'm falling apart day to day. So no, I don't think it does make me stronger IME, it makes me feel weak and pathetic.

ToucanPlay Thu 31-Mar-16 08:38:56

No. It makes me feel worthless and weak. For 8 years now.

SirChenjin Thu 31-Mar-16 08:39:24

I'm pleased you feel this way - wish I did! No, it doesn't make me feel stronger, it grinds me down and makes me feel completely inadequate all the bloody time.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 31-Mar-16 08:40:19

And I'm keeping my head above water in that I'm going to work etc but it certainly doesn't feel like I'm strong.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 31-Mar-16 08:42:22

In fact threads like this just remind me how weak assed I am.

FlowersAndShit Thu 31-Mar-16 08:45:24

How do you all cope?

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 31-Mar-16 08:47:19

What you do mean? Day to day?

IslandCanary Thu 31-Mar-16 08:47:41

Yes it can make you stronger. I had social anxiety disorder and GAD for years and had to fight daily just to make it out of the house and lead a normal life.

It makes you stronger if you keep fighting, but not if you give in. It feels like a constant struggle until you get used to all the things you previously avoided. Eventually you build new neural pathways and the anxiety reduces. You stop feeling panicky and start enjoying life.

You can do it! You are doing so well. Keep taking action and hang on tight to your vision of how you would like your life to be.

startingmylifeagain Thu 31-Mar-16 08:58:50

I agree with you OP. I've been on Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 6 years and for the past 6 months I've been weaning myself off them.
It's been bloody horrible at times (I'm talking severe anxiety, fits of crying, anger, normally directed at my poor husband, and feelings of worthlessness) but I have managed to stay drug free for the past few months now and I've managed to come through the bad times, while my brain "re-wires" itself.
The angry , anxious fog I've woken up with every day is starting to lift, and I feel brighter, more positive every day.

It's not all plain sailing as obviously I still suffer with depression, and I won't rule out taking medication again in the future if necessary. But right now I feel like I don't need it, I feel that I'm better off without the drug, and if I feel I can cope without it, then that's great.

I have felt an inner strength like you describe, a kind of pride in myself that I have gone 6 months without the aid of the drug I considered myself dependent on. I hope never to be back on it but realise that the day may come when I might need meds again. For now though, its one day at a time.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 31-Mar-16 09:10:58

I changed meds in January and the new ones don't work. I'm being assessed for therapy but when it comes down to it, I don't have the strength that you all talk about. It's taking every ounce of strength I possess just to exist.

FlowersAndShit Thu 31-Mar-16 09:37:21

Livia It's so hard, I get it, I really do. What sort of things do you do to cope day to day?

Start That's great, well done. How long did it take to come off them? Any withdrawals and how long did they last? I'm not sure if my anxiety/depression is worse because of withdrawals or if the medication was masking it all.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Thu 31-Mar-16 09:44:47

I don't do anything really. I have to get up in the morning and go to work (if I was away from work, my anxiety would be off the scale worrying about what was happening there) then I go home, take my meds and go to bed.

catewood21 Thu 31-Mar-16 09:51:20

the classic thing is people take ads, they kck in and patienr start to feel better, stronger and more empowered , think they don't need the meds any more and slowly but surely sink back to square one

squeezed Thu 31-Mar-16 09:53:20

I think it varies between people. Some people are stronger but I do think that it leaves you with vulnerabilities. Im still managing my anxiety and depression after 24 years. However, the combination of medication and therapy have helped me. I know there will always be the risk of relapse and I know I can't ever be complacent. I see it as being a part of me and not necessarily a negative part. I know what works for me and I hope that it continues to work. I do still remember the incredibly difficult times and wouldn't wish it on anyone. Never give up was my mantra and still is.

megletthesecond Thu 31-Mar-16 09:53:35

I don't know. It's a constant battle tbh. It's drained a lot of areas in my life so I can't accomplish as much as I'd like. Physically I'm stronger because exercise helps keep it at bay.

CigarsofthePharoahs Thu 31-Mar-16 10:15:13

I have to be strong just to get through each day. I feel I use a lot of my strength just to do the very basics, things most people don't even really think about.
Depression hasn't made me stronger, though it has made me aware of how strong I can be. However, I am also aware of just how much it's cost me just to keep going and how much it's prevented me from doing.

mimishimmi Thu 31-Mar-16 10:17:51

It doesn't make me stronger. It possibly hardens me up a little.

Mishaps Thu 31-Mar-16 10:19:59

This idea of inner strength vs anti-ds is a spurious one and is based in the idea that the two are interchangeable. i.e. if you are brilliant enough not to need your anti-ds then what a great prson you are - but that means that the corollary must be true: if you are so weak that you cannot do without anti-ds then you have no inner strength.

It is a route for making people feel bad about themselves, weak and without inner strength and feeling guilty because they "should" be able to manage without them. As I have said on another thread - if you were diabetic would you stop your insulin?

MsMims Thu 31-Mar-16 10:23:24

OP, if you're really struggling at the moment then please reconsider whether this is a good time to withdraw from medication. There's no shame in needing medication to correct a chemical imbalance in your brain, just like there's no shame in medication for diabetes/ heart disease etc.

I eventually had to come off sertraline due to terrible side effects but I wish I hadn't needed to, it did improve my mental health.

crabbiearses Thu 31-Mar-16 10:23:43

Not really, id say i have great inner strength i work in a very intense job where i deal with people at the worse times in their lives yet i still require medication to control my depression and anxiety, i don't think needing ssris means you don't have inner strength.

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Thu 31-Mar-16 10:24:33

I've had type 1 bipolar disorder for all my adult life and long before, and no, it hasn't made me stronger. At times, I've battled it with all I have, but the harder I fight it, the worse it hits.

I will never be able to go unmedicated. Even with the meds, the moods have only lessened slightly in speed of onset and severity. I've damaged relationships, lost jobs, and gone through addiction, all because of being bipolar.

The one thing that has given me a sense of strength I never knew I possessed, is knowing that I'm at significant risk of inheriting a disease that will, should I have it, eventually consume all that I am mentally and physically. By the end, I will be bedridden, tube fed, unable to speak and in advanced stages of dementia. Knowing that could be my future, has driven me to make the most of my life every day, bipolar disorder be damned.

crabbiearses Thu 31-Mar-16 10:25:16

To be honest if you have feelings of despair and stomach churning along with crippling anxiety around taking medication then you don't sound well enough to be trying to stop taking medication.

gingerboy1912 Thu 31-Mar-16 10:30:21

No it hasn't made me stronger but it has made me gives less shits about other people who haven't been there for me when I've been at breaking point. It's also made me prioritise things better. I've been on sertraline and betablockers for several years and have tried to wean off of both at various times very slowly and it hasn't ended well so am still on them. sad

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