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Really struggling with depression and don't know what to do.

(11 Posts)
PhishFoodAddiction Thu 06-Jan-11 17:06:25

I've had depression for many years but only sought medical advice after I had dd2.

I've been on and off citalopram for the past 2 years.

Last year (Autumn time) I was feeling amazing, really happy, very close to DH and being a good mum to DDs...so I thought I could come off the tablets. (I'm a bit stupid, I came off them without seeing doc).

Just before Christmas I started to go down again, and now I feel I'm hitting rock bottom again. I almost feel like I'm in a bit of a trance, like a zombie, I feel terrible but at the same time like I don't feel anything (Sorry, it's hard to explain). I'm not a self-harmer but I do sometimes cut myself, I did it today just to feel something sad but DH saw and was really upset with me. (I'm not talking about massive cuts or anything, more like little scratches really).

I feel disconnected from my poor DH, I just don't feel that love or closeness we usually have. I feel as if I can't do anything and would stay in bed all day given the chance. I come on here a lot to try and distract myself, but when I switch off the laptop it all comes flooding back.

I had counselling last year which I thought had really helped, but now I wonder if I didn't have it for long enough. I was offered CBT but couldn't make it to the sessions (v far away from home, I don't drive and have DD1 to take to and from school).

I'm just not sure what to do next. I think I really need to be back on the citalopram, and I've got a month's worth in the house so I could just start taking them- but then I worry that how I feel on the tablets isn't 'real' and I'm fooling myself that I'm happy on them.

Sorry about the long rambling post sad I don't even know what I'm asking really! I guess it's a what would you do? And will I ever be better? Thanks if you made it to the end.

NanaNina Thu 06-Jan-11 17:46:36

Phisfoodadd - so sorry you are feeling so bad - I am just trying to get over a major episode of depression which kept me in hopsital for 3 months, so I know the feeling of just wanting to hide under the duvet.

You say you have been "on and off" citolapram for the past 2 years - and I think it was very unwise to come off them - presumably without a gradual decrease?

I think you need to see the GP again ASAP and tell him/her what happened and how you are feeling now and follow the advice given,
especially about just deciding to come off a drug because you feel better. ADs aren't like headache pills, you sometimes need them long term and if you are coming off you need to do it under a GPs supervision.

Vanillacandle Thu 06-Jan-11 17:55:54

Hi Phish - sorry you're feeling so awful. I think I've come across you on someone else's post before, so if you've already read what I'm going to say or if you already know a lot, I apologise (I'm not patronising you, but sometimes things need to be spelt out in words of one syllable for other people who are new to it all), but I didn't want you to go unanswered.

First of all, my DH has depression so I have had experience of living with the condition for nearly 15 years. The major thing I want to say is not to confuse feelings with depression. The depression refers to levels of chemicals and hormones in your brain which are lower than normal (i.e. depressed), and the tablets you are prescribed merely restore them to their correct level. What you feel when you're on the tablets is therefore "real". It can be really dangerous to stop ADs without going through the doctor, so please don't try that again! After all, if you had diabetes you wouldn't just stop your insulin because you felt OK for a few weeks, would you?

You also need to remember that depression is a long-term condition. Yes, you can learn to live with it rather than suffer from it, control it with ADs and CBT etc, but it is always there, lurking below the surface. You will learn to recognise triggers and deal with them - pre-emptive strikes, if you like - but it will also sometimes hit with no warning. This is where your nearest and dearest come in! You need to be able to tell them that you're not feeling good, and they will also learn from experience how best to handle you while the black cloud has descended. The biggest plus, as with everything in a relationship, is to keep the communication channels open and be as honest as you can, even if you think you sound stupid or weak or unreasonable or irrational or whatever.

By the above, I don't mean to scare you into thinking you will never be better - although you may not be "cured" I promise it will get easier to deal with.

My post seems to be longer than yours! I hope you make it to the end and that it helps a bit. You have plenty of support here as well when you need to sound off.

PhishFoodAddiction Thu 06-Jan-11 18:14:53

Thank you so much for your replies.

Thanks Vanilla, I remember seeing you on another post. I feel a bit daft because I know the 'theory' and what I would advise others in the same situation- I'm just rubbish at putting it into practice!

I know it's silly but I'm really scared of going back to the doctors. I've stopped and started the citalopram a couple of times without seeing the doc, because I can just ring up and get a repeat prescription- they don't seem to question the timescale iyswim. I fear I will get a telling off that I won't be able to handle.

What you say about keeping communication open really makes sense- and it's also what I find hardest to do. DH usually knows when I'm suffering, but I find it hard to talk to him about what's going on, which must be bewildering and horrible for him. I will definitely try harder to keep talking to him.

NanaNina I'm sorry to hear you've been so unwell. I shouldn't have stopped taking the citalopram like I did, I was just at a point where I felt 'better' and the thought of being on them forever overwhelmed me. I'm only on a low dose 20mg so I didn't think it would matter if I just stopped.

I think I'm going to have to steel myself for a trip to the doctor.

Vanillacandle Thu 06-Jan-11 19:58:23

Hi Phish

You've taken the first step in learning how to handle the condition - knowing that there is a difference between your rational mind and the one that seems to be in charge at the moment. I think that you should go back to the doctor and fess up - after all, if you are expecting a telling-off and get one at least you're prepared for it, and if the GP surprises you and doesn't tell you off, it's a bonus. Oh, and please please please don't just stop it again!!

As far as DH is concerned, he will learn over time how to deal with the condition. In the meantime though, it is very scary to watch the person you love suffering when you can't do anything about it. In my case, I was accused of not understanding, which was very hurtful, and nothing I said made any difference. Sometimes I used to find myself in tears with fear and frustration, and oddly enough that was what seemed to snap DH out of his current rant. However, after diagnosis (what a relief that was), he started on the ADs and has been taking them ever since. He has gradually accepted that he is probably on them for life. He now knows when he is heading downwards, and tells me (as if I didn't already know!). I guess what I'm saying is that you need to discuss things with DH from the beginning so he is involved in the management of the condition as well. That way, he won't feel pushed out and excluded. If you both know that you are in this together, it will really help later on, or if you get some bad episodes in the future.

If he wants some support in living with a depressive, you and or he are welcome to send me a personal message. Obviously I really feel for you and what you're going through, but I really understand what it's like for the other half.

Good luck with the doctor - let me know how it goes!

itsonlyajob Thu 06-Jan-11 20:57:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PhishFoodAddiction Thu 06-Jan-11 21:27:31

Thank you both.

I will try and get an appointment tomorrow. Itsonlyajob I've had some counselling already (nhs) and don't know if they will let me have more.

Vanilla- it's good to see things from the other persepctive. I will talk to my DH, I'm sure he would appreciate asking you a few questions if you wouldn't mind, because he doesn't know anyone who's been through the same thing and he doesn't like to talk about me to his family. I will let you know how I get on with the doctor. I'm going to get to bed now, thanks again for your support.

Vanillacandle Fri 07-Jan-11 17:14:19

Hi Phish

How are you feeling today?

DH is welcome to chat - I was just the same and didn't want to talk about my DH to family or friends as I felt I was somehow being disloyal and betraying him, and that people might think less of him (with no justification). He is still the same person, just with a long-term illness now, but there is still a stigma around mental health and depression so even though I am passionate about treating it as any other illness I am mindful of what others may think.

Did you manage to get an appointment?

PhishFoodAddiction Fri 07-Jan-11 17:16:27

I've got an appointment for Thursday, so I'm going to be brave and go for my telling off then!

Had a good talk with DH last night, and came to the conclusion that if I have to be on the tablets forever then so be it. It would be worth it for all of us to have me happy and fully functioning.

Vanillacandle Fri 07-Jan-11 17:32:25

I'm so glad you had a proper conversation with DH about everything smile and hope that it will help re-establish the closeness you felt when you were well. I can't emphasise strongly enough how important it is to have a good support network around you, and having a DH or DW who understands and can keep you on the tightrope and activate the safety net if you fall off it is half the battle.

I'll be thinking of you Thursday and keeping fingers crossed that GP is gentle with you!

Let me know how you get on.

PhishFoodAddiction Thu 13-Jan-11 10:35:54

Just wanted to update you Vanilla, I've just been to the doctors and she was very nice to me <massive sigh of relief> didn't even get a telling off. She's given me some more citalopram and said it seems like I may need to use it longer term as a preventative measure.

Feel massively relieved now I've been and got it over and done with.

I know my DH has got a few questions he would like to ask you, if you don't mind could I PM you later?

Thanks again for your support.

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