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Depressed, lonely and struggling before Xmas

(18 Posts)
StrawberryYogs Sun 19-Dec-10 13:47:06

Dear All, I don't know if this is the right thread to post this. I have been on this Board before in times of stress and it's been so helpful and supportive. I have depression and have been on Citalopram for about 3 years which helped me initially but now I feel in pieces again. The things that caused the depression were a violent partner and a bad marriage and all kinds of family politics plus bringing up a child in the middle of all this, ds now 12 yo. About 18 months ago, with my own strength and from a very minimised position, I got a good job in a charity, divorced my Ex-P, bought him out of the house, remortgaged and felt very proud of myself. But, I was amazed that instead of suddenly becoming a new successful person when I got my freedom, I pretty much collapsed by degrees and have been in decline ever since. I'm terrible living alone. I was always terrified before I pressed all these buttons that one day I'd have problems in my working life and I'd crumble and now that's happening too. By degrees I've been taking work home and struggling to cope with more pressure and some honestly (no exaggeration) difficult situations and people at work. Obviously someone with better mental health would cope, but it's my worse nightmare come true and everything is sliding. House is a mess, no close or wise family can help, I've kept friends at a distance while I licked my own wounds and I really do feel alone. I think I'm going to have to put my hand up at work and say I'm really struggling with depression and personal issues that are now affecting work. I haven't felt happy for over a year and I put a brave face on things, but after what I've been through it's hard for me to talk about personal things to people at work. There have been some big changes at work that have sidelined me a bit and I don't get on with one of my managers which doesn't help with me confiding in her. The thought of going off work with depression is really distressing me, I'm scared it just looks like I can't handle responsibility. I think I'm losing perspective and I can't concentrate or tidy up my house, wash up or get myself out of the hole. The solution may be obvious to someone outside myself, so please speak frankly and advise because I feel lost in my problems on the run up to the Xmas which is a distressing time for me in recent years. Thank you. xx

iamnotreallysure Sun 19-Dec-10 13:56:37


get some RL help from your gp / referral for therapy - you are not perfect but your are pretty brilliant to have achieved so much! Try to focus on your many and superb achievements over the last 18 months.

But sometimes we all can't juggle those balls fast enough....especially at a stressful time of year.

Just remember - brave and courageous people seek help...

I hope this helps.

StrawberryYogs Sun 19-Dec-10 14:46:51

Thanks IANRS, for your thoughts and advice. I think I need to sit down and make a plan and therapy might be part of it, although I've tried that route before and I took the lid off my problems but the therapy stopped suddenly and I couldn't get the lid back on. I'm aware I'm recovering from a violent relationship and I used to attend a support group for this which stopped because of lack of government funding. I think women who've survived violence develop coping mechanisms because they are continually under stress, so postpone dealing with it. I think the feelings I'm having now are years of stress coming to the surface. But I will go and see the Doctor, I think at this time of year I'm not alone in this kind of loneliness and despair.

Keziahhopes Sun 19-Dec-10 16:37:39

As IANRS says, why not go to your gp before you speak with work - as work probably can't give you the help you need. Perhaps ask for a review of medication, ask for specific therapy (know it is not always available and is usally time limited)

Hope you have some holiday soon and that time off work helps you.

It sounds like you have done lots yourself to move forwards.

3seater Sun 19-Dec-10 16:41:53

If you have a supportive GP they may be able to 'reframe' your symptoms on a certificate if you need to take time off of work, for instance you mention stress.

BookcaseFullofBooks Sun 19-Dec-10 16:48:42

You have done so well to get yourself through this, but it sounds like to you need support.

I agree with Iamnotreallysure and Keziah about the counselling. Women's Aid have a survivor's forum here which may help while you are waiting for counselling on the NHS.

I know it's hard but try not to isolate yourself. Do you think you could open up to one of your friends?

iamnotreallysure Sun 19-Dec-10 17:22:03


I understand what you mean about taking the lid off...

It does sound as though you are reaching out before things get too far out of control and that is incredibly positive.

There are many Mnetters with more and better experince of this than me - so always reach out if you need an ear or vent.

good luck with your plan

StrawberryYogs Sun 19-Dec-10 22:52:34

Thanks for all your replies.

Keziah, yes I think I will see the GP before talking to my work and will try to do that this week. I have weighed it up many times about whether to mention I'm depressed or add that I'm on meds to my work - once I've said it, I can't take it back and I don't want to be monitored by managers and it might not go well for me. I don't think I'm at meltdown point, but if it gets to that I will have to say something or it will be so obvious something will happen.

3seater, that's a good idea, it's something I will discuss with my GP, I do need some time off and not just around Xmas, if anything Xmas makes me feel quite desperate.

Bookcase - can't tell you how pleased I am to get that lead - that's a great starting place and the site looks very good. If I go for a therapy, I think it will have to be something other than counselling, unfortunately counselling is dependent on the connection you make with the counsellor and a it's a personal relationship and unfortunately I've had more negative counselling experience than positive. I think I need a different therapy, maybe group therapy. I'll try to open up to friends, I was rejected by family and past friends when I needed a lifeline to leave my Ex-P, so fear of rejection has become an enormous thing for me, but it's a stupid stategy of mine, it's pure fear, I don't like approaching happy shiny people to tell them I'm feeling down and I never seem to be supporting them.

IANRS, thanks again for your care and thoughts.

BookcaseFullofBooks Sun 19-Dec-10 23:09:09

Strawberry, I'm glad you checked out the website and hope it is of help to you x

samlouboo Sun 19-Dec-10 23:31:55

so sorry to hear u feel this way.i was on citalopram for five years and one day i just had a breakdown again and couldnt function,constant crying,suicidal thoughts etc.i changed over to fluoxetine after this and am now happier than i have been in years,its gave me the confidence to meet people,make friends and do daily jobs without falling apart.i really hope u can get through this hun xxx

iamnotreallysure Mon 20-Dec-10 07:02:36


Hope you are well this morning. How are you feeling today? Any snow with you - we hace had more and it is snowing still at the moment.

Do you have much time off over the hols, any plans that will help lift your spirits?

maltesers Mon 20-Dec-10 07:28:24

My understanding and sympathy and thoughts are with you Strawberryyogs. . .I have been through much the same experiences as yourself, and sometimes still feel similar awful, depressed, desparate and tearful....
Suffered here 2x violent partners, family rejecting me through the worst time of my life etc. Am not working , am a SAHM with 10 yrs old, 2x grown up kids left home.
Xmas isnt always a nice time of year. . .shopping for people just makes me feel poor, and hopeless.
Not meaning to depress you further, i am just explaining how similar i do feel.
Its hard for people who havnt suffered the same to understand. I too have found some friends walk away , and for some reason i dont have a big circle of them nowadays either... My DS of 10 yrs has gone skiing with his Dad this xmas so i am feeling pretty down too.
I think you are very bright, intelligent, strong and articulate and incredibly amazingly to get this far, and work. . .etc. I wish i had a job nowadays.
I am here for you to talk to Strawberryyogs. . .anytime and to support you . If you are near i would be happy to chat and meet. . We girls should support each other. We had a brilliant well woman centre here in Salisbury and it helped me a lot. Wish it was still here.
Where about are you ???

StrawberryYogs Mon 20-Dec-10 19:40:08

Samlouboo, how long did it take for you to come off Citalopram and start on the Fluoxetine? I'd like to change but need a quiet changeover period away from the office. In a previous job (temping - thank goodness!) I once had a bad reaction to one tablet of Seroxat a few years back and had the most horrific day at work quivering with fear that I'd lost my sanity and I'd never feel OK again - severe reaction, sweats and shakes etc, etc. But I'm still happy to change medication and thanks for your cheery thoughts.

IANRS & Bookcase, I'm feeling better, the mornings are the worst as anyone who's had depression will tell you. Had a fair day at work, but can't collect my thoughts and focus as well as I'd like to, but a better day than I've had recently. Sometimes I feel a lot of negative thoughts about myself building up. I going to write some achievements and stick them on the wall (in shorthand so my son can't read them!) and remind myself of the good I've done and try not to keep comparing myself with peers. Last working day is Xmas Eve (half day) and then not back until 4 Jan so good time to do some work on myself - such kind thoughts, thanks.

iamnotreallysure Mon 20-Dec-10 19:54:52


Good to hear you are feeling a little more up. I like the idea of posting positives - though I don't know I would write in short hand - I think we all should give ourselves more pats on the back (and our loved ones also) - and this is a good life lesson for your DS. It is not something to hide but celebrate (it also reduced the risk that you add any 'qualification' of what appear to be your considerable achievements). We asked our DC's (aged 9 & 11) to prepare the family lunch today - and then gave lots of praise and thanks to them both for doing so. It was quite sweet (and rather nice) when they returned the compliment and thanked us for making their tea grin

StrawberryYogs Mon 20-Dec-10 20:18:18

Maltesers, I'm in London, thanks for your support and I'd really like to meet up one day when I'm feeling a bit stronger, I'll keep chatting on here with you in the meantime. I attended a domestic violence support group in London which helped me a lot and thanks to the therapist running it, it reprogrammed my thoughts (literally) so I didn't see myself as a failure. What I learned on the groups has stayed with me. But self esteem is something that has to be constantly worked at because it can be damaged quickly but takes a long time to build up. I realise how important it is to be surrounded by positive people and not be full of anger or etc. I'm textbook perfect on how I know I should be, but I still get very sad inside and my mood can go down steeply sometimes and I just want to sleep and sleep. What did they do at the Well Woman Centre, I will have to look up and see if they have similar in London. Sounds like you don't like being alone and I have a huge problem with that too. Work can help when you feel like this. I got back into work through volunteering a couple of days a week and I've always worked in offices before that but stopped when I had my son when I was in the violent relationship. Volunteering is fantastic for experience, whatever it is that you like doing, there's probably a volunteer job for it and who knows where it will lead and people really appreciate the help.

StrawberryYogs Mon 20-Dec-10 20:27:14

I'm feeling a bit better today, except that I have a frozen pipe outside my house and my shower water and sink water haven't gone down the plughole since this morning. I don't quite know what to do about that.

If anyone can offer me any tips about tidying up when not in the mood I'd be very grateful ....

Otherwise, I think I need to do something like write down my achievements and stick them on the wall (in shorthand so my son can't read them!) to remind myself that I am moving, even if it is slowly. The support on here is amazing, it does help.

StrawberryYogs Mon 20-Dec-10 20:32:05

Typical me - I posted twice about writing down my achievements, I'm very forgetful at the moment of things I've just done hope this isn't permanent ...!

BookcaseFullofBooks Mon 20-Dec-10 21:52:01

I'm so glad you're feeling better. Afraid I can't help with the frozen pipe and cleaning (not great at that myself, even when I'm not depressed!).

Excellent idea to write down positive thoughts and achievements. Have you tried cbt? It is a very useful therapy to help people work on the cycle of negative thoughts and behaviours in depression. Here is an online version of it.

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