Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

Can you be depressed without the lethargy?

(82 Posts)
Arion Thu 17-Mar-16 09:33:28

I'm really struggling at the moment, I was referred for counselling as my anxiety was getting worse. At the introductory session, talking things through opened up unresolved depressive episodes x 2. Had 1st proper session last week, anxiety score has gone right down, depression score has gone up. I don't have the feeling of trying to fight my way through mud like previous times. All the sad has been coming out this week, I'm not sleeping, I can't eat, I am holding onto control and functioning by the tips of my fingers, but I feel really clear headed. I usually bottle everything up and cover it with a layer of food, I don't know what to do with all this emotion. I'm scared it's going to break me, I'm scared of spiralling down into the depression of before, I'm scared of being stopped from ending things if it starts to get bad, and having to go through it again.
I have 2 lovely children and they are what are holding me here, I can't let them see me go down, I don't want to hurt them. I can't see what others see in me though. I've comfort ate from primary school, this is my normal, to feel that the world would be better if I wasn't here, to be waiting for everyone to see me how I do, and hate me. This is what I bury, this is what I cover with food. All this is welling up though and I keep feeling so sad. I've tried talking to friends (which I've never done in the past) but I'm hurting them and worrying them by hurting so much.
I'm on a very low dose of Amytriptaline for anxiety, (10mg) but I've just had 2 months supply to see me through the counselling. On Tuesday I was checking how much you would need to OD, I have enough, but all the information says that this is a really easy drug to OD on, and high risk of death, it's kind of a better be certain than a cry for help type.
I feel really clear headed though, I'm researching this and working out the options with about as much emotion as sorting out a meal plan, or a to-do list. I just want this to end, I'm so tired of not living, of burying everything and just existing. I just want to stop.

Marchate Thu 17-Mar-16 11:02:14

I'm no expert but I think lethargy is one result of depression, not inevitable

Even serious physical conditions affect people differently. We each bring our own personality to illness

Arion Thu 17-Mar-16 16:14:33

Thank you

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Thu 17-Mar-16 18:54:09

I get quite seriously depressed, but have agitated depression where I can't stop moving. Lethargy is just one symptom of depression and there are so many others where you're ticking the boxes.

I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling so bad, but if you're getting to the stage where you're looking into the fatal dose of a drug then you need to be getting to your GP as soon as you can for help before it gets any worse.

AwkwardSquad Thu 17-Mar-16 20:12:52

I've had episodes of agitated depression too. It means I'm severely depressed with a very clean house and plenty of baked goods.

I've been suicidal too. OP, you need to go back to your GP as an urgent appointment or call your mental health crisis line if there is one in your area. Tell them how you're feeling.

It does pass, though. It does get better. But sometimes we need help to get there.

Arion Fri 18-Mar-16 17:08:51

Thank you. I had a session with my counsellor today and I feel much calmer now.

Arion Sat 19-Mar-16 17:41:03

I'm going to keep this thread going I think as a place to document where I am and record things I need to remember. I think when I'm feeling more rational it will be good to post as I can read it when I'm not being rational (even if I think I am).

Had a good day today with Dh and dcs. Dd emotional today, just being an 8 yr old girl. Dh not so sympathetic with her tears / not v patient in listening. I remember thinking that he would not cope / be able to support her if I'm not here. It would be an impact if I die, I need to remember this. They will not be better off, there will be sadness for them. I remember listening to the radio yesterday and Prince Harry was saying how losing his mother at 12 had a really profound effect, and it felt like a kick in the teeth that I was thinking about depriving my two at age 8 and 5.

I need to remember techniques for dealing with whirling thoughts. Chris has said to try and pause them, like a film, don't get caught up in the negative thoughts, try and detach. See what they're trying to do (bring me down, make me feel bad about myself) and try and step back, recognise them for what they are and they will start to lose their power.

I need to not panic if I start to think of taking tablets or ways out, I have never taken an overdose in the past, I have never tried to take my own life, supporting evidence shows these thoughts are like a comfort blanket that I have an escape it its all getting too much rather than an actual intention. I don't want to die, I want the hurt to end, 2 very different things.

I need to be aware that being at home by myself is a trigger for these thoughts and prepare myself.

Marchate Sat 19-Mar-16 17:46:26

That all sounds sensible

Best wishes

Arion Sat 19-Mar-16 17:57:11

Last night was very surreal. I was at a friend's house at a girl's night, I was feeling like I wanted to hide early on as there were people there I didn't know very well. When it thinned out a bit I started to feel better, more normal, more like me.

I remember thinking though about being in the same kitchen 2 days before in such a state, red eyes from crying, not having eaten anything for 24 hours. She provided hugs and listened and fussed until I managed to eat a packet of crisps, it took my nearly a bloody hour to eat one packet. I felt so out of control with my emotions that food was the only thing I could control and also the thought of eating was giving me that internal shudder / sicky feeling like when you've eaten far too much and then smell food cooking.

When it was just the 5 of us, who I knew better, the numbness inside started to ease and the tight feeling relaxed. I think it helped that the two people who I've trusted with how I'm feeling were there. I had a really good time, and it was so strange to be laughing and joking when that morning I'd been so agitated. I got to my counselling and it was such a relief to get there, it felt a safe space for all this emotion. In the morning I'd been shaking, talking to Chris, telling him everything about the week. We'd been sitting there discussing whether I really wanted to die and now, on the same day as I had felt so anxious and agitated and stressed and scared I was having fun with my friends.

I need to remember that my friends see me as I am now, they don't see who I was in the past, they make their decisions about me on what they see now, how I am as a friend, as a mum, as a person. I am surrounded by intelligent, lovely, supportive women and if they see something in me that is good, I need to trust their judgement when all I can see is the bad.

Arion Sat 19-Mar-16 17:57:57

Thank you Marchate, cross posted

Arion Wed 23-Mar-16 12:33:22

Sitting in Asda car park, avoiding home and lunchtime. Struggling again, last week was so much sad, this week I'm just angry at everything.

Dh went through DD's home work with her on Sunday, putting it in her bag Monday am and some questions were wrong so need to go through with her. I was just so angry on the way to work, along the lines of 'how can I leave dcs with him when he can't even get the basics right?' More thoughts along those lines, I am just angry at everyone and I know it's not rational, I am angry at dcs because if they weren't here I wouldn't have to be. I'm angry at my friends for caring, when I don't want to be here and I don't want to hurt anyone. I'm angry at myself for not taking an OD 19 years ago when I had first depression, as everything would be over now.

I'm so tired of this, I want it all to end, I don't want to be 'Mummy', I don't want to be me, I want to crawl into bed and not come out. I'm tired of coping and keeping going so I'm not more of a liability than I am now. I want to walk out in front of a bus to have an accident and some space, but I don't because that would be horrible for the driver.

I'm trying to stop the thoughts from spiralling and remember how my counsellor was holding up his hand in a stop sign and wiggling fingers, don't let the thoughts worry me, pause it like a film, you know what these words are doing, don't let them drag you down.

Buts it's so much, and it's always there, it always has been there since I was little. I'm too much at the moment, the only way I can keep this under control is not eating. The slight hunger is better than the thoughts. All I had yesterday was coffee, I'm avoiding home as Dh is there, if I'm out I can say I've eaten junk and he'll believe me. I take up too much space and energy, I could lose 2 stone and I would only drop into the top end of overweight instead of bottom end of obese. I can hide and avoid food today and tomorrow, but I'll struggle over the weekend when I've got Dh and Dcs around.

I'm holding on to 'normal' better with not eating. I went dancing last night and joined in, enjoyed it, but still tired and thinking too much. I was looking at people last night and this morning wondering if they'd miss me if I wasn't here. Would they be sad, would I just be a passing thought, have I made any impact or would I just slip away into obscurity?

Marchate Wed 23-Mar-16 13:55:48

No-one slips into obscurity. Everyone leaves a trace

Try to eat small things. Even an apple or some raisins. If you collapse you will totally lose control of your choices. I don't think you'd want that?

Did it all start 19 years ago? Did you lose someone close, or was it a build up of events? You didn't give up then. You must hold on. Things will get better

Arion Wed 23-Mar-16 14:08:50

Reactive depression to a termination 19 years ago. Everything that came out had already been there and building since I was at primary school, bullies, parents, hating me, filling the hole inside with food, numbing myself with food, hating myself for how fat I was/am.

I don't know what I want, it's all mixed. I want someone to look after me but I don't feel I deserve it. I want to feel normal, I want to look forward to the day, the future instead of it seeming one long battle. It seems such a long path to normal though.

Thank you for listening

Marchate Wed 23-Mar-16 14:30:19

So the termination was a crisis that added an intolerable burden to a lifetime of bad experiences?

Do you write or draw/paint at all? I find writing helps in bad times. I also read blog posts on and elsewhere. Would anything like that get the feelings out of your head?

Arion Wed 23-Mar-16 14:45:02

I hadn't seen it like that. I get cross with myself that I haven't coped better. It was so long ago, and they seem like such small things when I say them out loud.

I used to draw and write. I have adult colouring, I've been trying not to stop though, as when I stop, I think. I used to cut, 19 yrs ago, but I can't, Dh or Dcs might see, that is tempting me as well. I won't though, I can't do that to them.

Thank you

Marchate Wed 23-Mar-16 15:25:41

Colouring is relaxing, but writing and drawing express who you are. If I were you I would buy a little sketch book and a notebook. Use them to exorcise the pain x

Sometimes when I'm not feeling good I hope against hope that no major crisis happens. Because I can 'deal' with things I'm expecting (on the surface anyway!), but anything new added in will tip me over. I expect that's what happened to you

Write some essays, short stories or a novel... And illustrate them!

Arion Wed 23-Mar-16 18:37:15

I got referred for counselling due to anxiety, it's been gradually getting worse so that before any event, Christmas, dc's birthdays, holidays, I've had nearly a week of waking at 5am with an upset stomach and sickness. As soon as I started with the counsellor the anxiety has gone (Ds's birthday passed with nothing). I had to do something about the anxiety, because I couldn't function, but now it's everything else that's coming out.

I've been pretending everything is fine, apart from when I look in a mirror or see myself in photos. It's been a bit of a shock how near the surface all this crap is. I've got nearly three weeks till my next session with the counsellor, due to him being away and us being away over Easter. I'm scared to really explore what I'm feeling, I'm trying to shut it down and ignore it. I'm worried about spiralling further down. I just want everything to stop for a while, but that's not an option.

Marchate Wed 23-Mar-16 18:46:21

Sadly there is no pause button for life x

Arion Thu 24-Mar-16 18:43:20

This morning was bad again. I've walked and walked today, my Fitbit says over 7 miles today. I walked to the dr's and they made me an emergency appointment for early evening. I started to feel much calmer and managed to eat a sandwich at lunch.

I had the appointment and had quite a high score on the test they give you. Dr has given me a prescription for Sertraline and to come off the Amytriptaline. I feel like a fraud though as I feel so much better now I'm home. I feel calm, I've eaten some tea, and I feel like 'me' again.

Marchate Thu 24-Mar-16 18:50:39

Simply going to the doctor will have taken some of the weight off your mind

Arion Sat 26-Mar-16 22:52:05

That makes sense, thank you. I feel better just having the prescription that I can get if I need it.

So many things going through my head tonight. Dh out with friends so I'm home alone with the kids, too much time on my hands. 2 weeks and 2 days till my next session with counsellor so going to put it all down here then hopefully sleep.

So many little things, so many small snapshots.

Primary school - first one I went to was in the next village along, little school, only 3 year groups and 2 teachers. I can remember the kids leaning on the gate to the playground so I couldn't get in. One of my earliest memories and the start of 'don't show them you're upset' just getting on with it.

Left that school one year early, had one year at my new primary that I remember being ok, then all the children from the first school joined my primary in year 4 and secondary.

Can't remember many specific instances at primary, just hated it, hated being teased and bored with the work, I didn't have to try and I was never pushed.

I remember at secondary being 'asked out' by a boy I liked and it all being a joke because who would want to go out with me? I can remember trying to make friends with one girl and her circle of friends telling me in no uncertain terms that they didn't want to be friends with me. I remember bus journeys on the school bus being called a virgin and a slag in the same breath.

Arion Sat 26-Mar-16 23:04:17

I thought it was school and bullying that I needed to talk to counsellor about but lots with mum comes up that I think, I need to say about that.

Mum was a sulker, if I upset her (which was often) I'd get the bare minimum 'eat your breakfast' 'have you done your homework' but nothing else. Sulks could last for a week, sometimes 2.

I remember at primary school having guitar lessons, mum picking me up and fussing over the guitar. I said she cared more about the guitar than me and she said of course, the guitar cost a lot of money. I think I was year 4 then. Dad found me crying myself to sleep that night and said she was just joking, but it never felt like a joke.

I remember her turning her face away when I tried to kiss her, I asked why once and she said I'd kissed her for too long when I was younger and wouldn't stop, and she couldn't breathe. It felt like a rejection every time though.

I remember her having a cold and being cross at me passing it to her. I hadn't even had a cold but she said I'd probably brought it home and not caught it myself. She did the odd days as supply teacher when I was in primary school and hated being ill as she said the children already had their normal teacher off and they needed the continuity. It always seemed like the kids she taught were so much better than me.

I can remember at secondary school bring home a report card of A's and B's for attainment, with C's and D's for effort. She said she'd rather they were the other way round, that I was trying hard rather than being bright but bone idle and lazy.

I went on an exchange year after A-levels, you needed references from school and parents, there were interviews. They sent mum's reference back and said she needed to re-word it because it was too critical and no one would want to host me. I spent 10 months over there, I came back on a weekday and was really surprised when mum had a day off school to come to the airport to meet me home, I thought she would just wait till she got in from school that day.

Arion Sat 26-Mar-16 23:20:14

Through it all, I had Dad, I was always a daddy's girl. I was/am an only child. He always seemed to care and I can only remember him losing his temper on a couple of occasions. It was always mum who got mad, not Dad.

He drank too much though. We used to go to France in the camper van each year and they'd bring back boxes of wine and different spirits like Cointreau. I can remember an almighty row because mum had finished one bottle of something like Cointreau and had gone to get another bottle from under the stairs, every single bottle they owned had been drunk in secret and put back so mum didn't realise until she found they were all empty.

I can remember him being drunk at a party, and he tried to stick his tongue in my mouth, nothing more than that. I know it happened a second time, but I can't remember when, just that he was drunk. I can remember him telling me I 'was a bit of crumpet, like your mum' and hating it. I didn't want him to see me like that. Again, he was usually drunk when he made comments like that. All growing up he seemed to be on my side, but it then just seemed like a lie, that it was only because I looked like a younger version of mum.

I remember growing up without a lock on my door and getting undressed under my clothes. T-shirt off quick, then nightdress on, then bra off under my nightdress. I didn't want dad to walk in and see me, I didn't want to see something in his eyes that should be there.

I usually eat too much, it blocks down my feelings and makes them all numb, but it also covers me in a layer of fat and makes me feel less attractive. I hoard stuff as well, I feel panicky if I don't have stuff around me, or if I get down below a certain weight. I can see where things came from, but I haven't learnt how to let go, it's still all making an impression on me.

It's all such small stuff as well, but it feels overwhelming. I know my parents didn't set out to hurt me, they did the best with who they were and the issues they have. I'm angry at myself for still being affected.

I'm hoping putting all this down will let me fall asleep now as I'm so tired.

Marchate Sat 26-Mar-16 23:49:46

Arion, your words are very sad and also insightful. May I point out one major mistake you are making?

I'm angry at myself for still being affected

You are directing your anger at the wrong person. I realise you do not want to believe both your parents hurt you very much. Our child-selves want to believe our parents meant no harm. Sadly, if they didn't prevent harm coming to us, as best as they possibly could, they failed us. You have to stop, immediately, taking the blame for your parents' lack of care

Go to the Stately Homes thread in Relationships. The adult children of abusive and toxic parents hang out there. A friendly and supportive gathering

Keep writing, here or privately. I know it helps. Take care

Arion Sun 27-Mar-16 11:03:10

Thank you Marchate, I really appreciate the time you're taking and keep coming back to me. You are very wise and give me lots to think on.

I'm not at the stage where I can be angry at my parents, I don't know when or if that will change. I will check out the stately homes thread, thank you again. flowers

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now