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Are these signs of depression, or is it normal to be like this?(6 Posts)
I've been struggling for years, if I'm honest. I suffer very badly with anxiety/over-thinking and have done since I was a child. I've never done anything about it and I've just managed with it (because I'm from THAT kind of family). It has affected me to the point that I no longer have any friends because I over-think everything everyone says and does and it usually leads me to conclude that I am a bad person, so I find it easier not to deal with people at all.
On the surface I probably appear normal. I have a good marriage, a job I enjoy(ed... but I'll come to that), 2 great kids, a nice life. I use Facebook but I have a policy to only post positive things, so nobody would know how much I find life a struggle. I have deactivated Facebook numerous times because it only worsens my anxiety, but then I feel completely cut off from society and end up reactivating it. Lately I am finding any kind of social interaction harder than usual whether it's on Facebook or in real life. It all seems like such an effort.
I have some new symptoms which I don’t understand. The main one is that I cannot cope with noise of any sort. I hate the TV being on AT ALL and I am constantly turning it down to a level I can tolerate, which is far below a ‘normal’ volume. I just want to escape the house and the noise all the time. I want to sleep a lot – my Fitbit told me some nights I was getting 9-10 hours a night which seemed excessive so I am trying to cut it down. Whether I get 7 or 10 hours sleep I still feel tired, lethargic and unable to concentrate. I am drinking more than I should.
My children are still only small and I love them both immensely but I realise I am not finding much ‘joy’ in motherhood. My youngest (3) is profoundly disabled and can be hard work, I worry all the time about her future. I am tearful when I see other children her age doing what she should be doing; at parties or in the park I usually end up sobbing when I see the others her age all walking and talking. I feel bitter all the time about her circumstances. My oldest daughter (4) is just… amazing… and yet I feel I harangue her all the time about small things that don’t matter.
I have lost interest in everything I used to find joy in. I play lots of instruments but seeing them in my house just reminds me I’m not very good at them, and I’ve put them all away. I was looking forward to getting a piano at Christmas and teaching my daughter, but now I don’t want one at all. Everything I used to do with such enthusiasm – music, crafting, learning French, DDR, circus skills, reading – I no longer find any joy at all in and I am slowly selling or throwing out everything that used to mean so much to me. I don’t want anything of mine in the house. My DH says I will regret it later.
I am continually de-cluttering and have been for several years, but I have got to a point where it’s probably extreme. I’m selling or binning things that I will probably want or need in the future. I am continually nagging my DH and DD1 to get rid of things because I can’t stand all the ‘stuff’, it just feels overwhelming.
I am having a difficult time at work at the moment - there's been some restructuring and redundancies and I'm still not sure where I stand. I don't have great line management (they don't communicate with me), I'm not part of a team, and I feel very much undervalued and ignored. I enjoy what I do but I am no longer enjoying doing it there. Work has always been very important to me but right now I am struggling to concentrate on it, engage, or even set myself objectives never mind deliver them. I sit in an office on my own and don't interact with anyone on most days – I work from home when the kids aren’t at home because I may as well since nobody bothers about me. I have a mid-year-review next week and I haven’t done any preparation for it (we are supposed to write up objectives online, say what we’ve achieved, that kind of thing) because I don’t care and I’m not even bothered who knows it. I’ve always been treated quite poorly at work but remained positive; this is the first time I’ve got to the point of not trying to make things better. I just don’t care.
Based on all the above I think I may have some kind of depression but I can’t go see my GP. My GP is not even sympathetic towards physical problems so I doubt would be sympathetic towards my feelings. I’m famously good at down-playing things (in real life) and would not be able to get across the extent of how I feel. After I had my second daughter we were offered counselling from the unit where she’d been very ill, and we both declined. I now think I had PTSD and PND, and I was seeing a doctor regularly at the time for some physical problems, and she would always ask about my ‘mood’ and I would just lie and get away with it. Now I wish I had spoken up when someone was asking me about it.
I don’t know what I want really – maybe magic pills off the internet! I would just like some advice from anyone who might resonate with the above because I don’t think I can carry on like this and be happy, but maybe it's just normal to go through life like this? Posting here was really difficult and I have never talked about myself this much before and I’m sorry. Thanks so much if you got this far.
TakeItFromMe, I recognise a lot of the feelings you have described, particularly the idea that you are the worst person in the world, the anxiety, the being weighed down with stuff, the lack of interest in hobbies. You certainly not alone. But you have a lot more on your plate than I do, especially caring for your DD2. Your life sounds exhausting and isolating, and it does sound like you are depressed. I don't think it is "normal" to feel as you do, but I definitely think you don't have to feel like this forever.
I am about to go to my GP to ask for help with the anxiety and sleeping (I have the opposite to you, I can't sleep properly). Periodically through my life (maybe 3 times over 22 years) I've suffered from clinical depression and have always found that a course of anti-depressants has brought me back to an even keel that lasts for years. I hate talking to the GP about nebulous head stuff but tell myself that they probably hear a lot worse. None of the GPs at my practice are particularly sympathetic, but because I have a child now my health trumps their indifference - even when I am at a low ebb.
I think you do need to go to the GP and tell them how you are feeling, partly for your family's sake but mainly for your own. You have your amazingly articulate post as a checklist. Don't be sorry to talk about yourself when you've kept it all inside for so long!
Hi OP. Life sounds very stressful for you. Apart from perhaps having a learned habit of 'over-thinking' you sound like you've got an awful lot on your plate. I've got no medical training but have a history of depression/anxiety and the changes you talk about, not enjoying things you used to, sound familiar as symptoms of depression, ditto the long hours sleeping but not feeling you're getting enough, drinking too much etc.
Is there any chance you could register with a different GP or medical practice? I really think that you would benefit from speaking to a health professional about how you are feeling and the symptoms you are experiencing. What are the practice nurses like at your local surgery?
I'm not assuming that medication is the answer (never worked for me but has been very helpful for some friends) but perhaps some couselling or therapy. If it's not possible to speak to someone from the NHS how would you feel about calling a helpline, the Samaritans or maybe other local mental health resources?
Please don't keep everything bottled up, you have a right to feel sad, stressed, overwhelmed, afraid of the future for your children. Please try and talk to someone, and soon. Best wishes.
btw OP, the noise thing - noise drives me demented when I'm feeling particularly stressed out. This used to happen when I was coming down with migraine, noise sounded much louder to me and smells much stronger, to the point where even the smell of a newspaper made my stomach roll. Since I had a child I experience the noise and smell thing pretty much most of the time. I think it's about being in hyper- vigilant mode, like your senses are on super arousal. I've never heard anyone else mention this but I definitely experience these.
Sounds like you have anxiety or depression - either of them can make you stressed out by noise. If you don't like the treatment your GP offers you, you should change your GP (though this may be more easily said than done).
Also, in my area, the mental health team can be approached directly - it is worth "googling" to find out.
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