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What is my problem? My life is great.

(55 Posts)
HormonalHorror Mon 20-Oct-08 17:21:43

I have a lovely, lovely partner, two beautiful boys, a lovely house and family, fulfilling work.

So why:
- do I get the weeps so frequently
- am I so horrible to DP
- do I have to be so controlling
- do I seem to want to destroy everything
- do I lose my temper with my older boy (a gorgeous child)
- can I not be easygoing
- do I find DP's family soooo irritating when they are perfectly nice people, just not my cup of tea
- etc etc etc
- feel so tense all the time
- feel unable to let myself be happy
- wreck everything
- am I so nasty to live with

etc etc etc

I'm feeling ok today which is how I am posting this. I've only thought about it since posting a thread the other day about a disagreement I had with DP. Made me think about how tightly I have to control things. (Having said that I am a messy, sloppy thing, not obsessive about housework etc.)

What is my problem? sad More to the point what can I do to whip myself into shape?

MeMySonAndI Mon 20-Oct-08 17:26:25

I used to ask the same question to myself when I was feeling depressed. It got to a point when I decided to accept that these feeling had nothing to do with my life (I didn't have any motives to be unhappy either). The moment I accepted that, I found it easier to cope with them, I just learned to wait until they passed and then everything was nice and bright again.

What can you do? My main suggestion is, if those feeling are making your life somewhat unbearable when you can't see a reason for it, go to the GP and ask for antidepresants, a couple of months with them can make all the difference

anorak Mon 20-Oct-08 17:26:55

This sounds classic to me, take it from someone who's been there, done that. Your sadness arises from things that have happened to you in the past - things you've coped with well at the time but have hurt you deeply. Now you're in a safe place and your subconscious knows you can begin to express and work through these feelings because you are being loved and cared for. Depression is nothing to do with what's happening to you now.

Treatment for depression will help, I strongly recommend psychotherapy which will help you understand what's causing this and work through it without destroying your current good situation.

Don't even try to 'whip yourself into shape'. You've probably whipped yourself enough in your life - time to start to love yourself enough to allow yourself the treatment you would give anyone else.

HormonalHorror Mon 20-Oct-08 17:30:27

I feel quite strongly that I don't want to take drugs. I feel that if I do that I'm going to be masking part of myself off and that they would decrease the possibility of ever feeling "normal" - how I imagine other people feel - again. Does that make sense?

I have been to see counsellors before and have never found one who I thought was good. I think I am a bit judgmental of them really - blush of course. How do you identify a good one, or even what sort of counselling you need? I'd be open to going all right.

HormonalHorror Mon 20-Oct-08 17:32:23

anorak can I ask what about what I wrote struck a familiar chord with you? I am interested because you immediately write about sadness, which I didn't explicitly refer to, yet I think you might be right. It's odd to hear other people say they have felt the same.

HormonalHorror Mon 20-Oct-08 17:34:09

The other thing is that while I used to be brilliant at putting on a face, it is cracking a little bit now. Not much, but cracking.

twinsetandpearls Mon 20-Oct-08 17:37:18

I used to think this and give myself a hard time for being depressed. I can;t put it better than Anorak

revjustabout Mon 20-Oct-08 17:40:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HormonalHorror Mon 20-Oct-08 17:43:42

Revjustabout - my life is very full but I do like it that way. My work is manageable, I have nice friends, have a nice relationship with my mother (my father is dead), I have lots of sort of extra-curricular activities, hobbies and so on, plus I am very interested in learning so like doing courses etc. One of my children is a new baby but this is not related to him, it's not postnatal depression - it's not new.

lingle Mon 20-Oct-08 19:16:00

re drugs, a psychiatrist friend of mine has just started on them herself and she hesitated a lot too (for several years). She explained to me that some people find anti-depressants numb the bad feelings but numb everything else too. Others are luckier and feel like a burden has slipped from their shoulders. She is lucky enough to be in the second group so has continued the drugs. You can always stop if they don't suit you. good luck.

revjustabout Mon 20-Oct-08 19:35:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anorak Mon 20-Oct-08 21:50:22

Hello again, sorry I'm having internet problems today.

I went through something similar. I had a rotten childhood - my mother was a bullying drunk. I learned to ignore my own needs, she trained me very well and so I picked men who would be emotionally draining to me as well. Deep down I thought fixing other people was my role in life. I ended up dumped with two children and a big pile of debt. I worked like a slave to get out of debt and to support my children, and eventually I could feel, as you put it, my facade cracking. I knew that the time was soon coming when I might no longer be able to cope, and then what would happen to my children? So I went into therapy. As rev said, a psychiatrist is different from a counsellor. A counsellor will listen to you and be sympathetic, but a psychiatrist will follow your lines of thought and help you to uncover the truth underneath everything. You do the work, but the psychiatrist guides you through your own subconscious. Then you find out what motivates your choices so you can make healthier ones in future. And you find out what things in your past are unresolved sadnesses for you, so that you can address them. Sometimes you find that you've felt sad for years over something but that you've never felt that anyone has every really heard you, perhaps you haven't even heard yourself properly. Once these issues come to light and your feelings have been expressed, it's like the burden is lifted off you.

You can't really do this on your own, once it gets to the stage you describe - try as you might it is very difficult to uncover your subconscious wounds on your own.

Another thing I've noticed is that only people who are very good copers normally suffer from this kind of depression. People who are bad copers blow a fuse at the slightest thing, and get all their issues off their chest at the time. Good copers go on for years, smiling through their tears, being strong, and then suddenly one day they just can't do it any more, they have reached their limit. When that happens it can feel bewildering, because you're so used to being a capable sort.

I was lucky in that within a few months of starting my therapy I met my wonderful husband, and he loved me through a few tears, I can tell you. It was only when I found myself in that safe place that I was able to fully express all my sadnesses from the past and find healing inside myself. There were days when I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't speak. Nights when I just cried for hours. And my life at that time was the best it had ever been. My subconscious obviously thought that it was safe to come out smile so there is a point to it all. And you can get better.

I never fall down with depression any more. Rotten things still happen to me sometimes, like they do to everyone, but I don't make dreadful choices any more that guarantee unhappiness. And all the old sadnesses don't come back and haunt me any more. Psychotherapy works.

HormonalHorror Tue 21-Oct-08 09:06:58

Thanks for posting again.

Just after I posted for the last time yesterday I googled psychotherapists in my area, got the website of one of the professional bodies, plucked a name off it and rang for an appointment. I didn't need a referral. There isn't even a wait - I can go on Thursday, and I can take my new baby with me. So this is a start.

I have always ended up frustrated by counsellors before, I end up thinking they don't know what they're talking about, don't get me, are giving stock answers, don't really understand, etc etc. I do take the point about psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counsellors, and so on, all being different and some being more highy trained. I want someone who is highly intelligent and deeply wise! Someone I can trust. I am heartened by your post anorak. Also a bit nervous. I really have no idea what this is all about - in a way I feel it would be easier if I had a trauma from my childhood that I could pinpoint, a situation where I could identify what I had to deal with. (Please understand that I don't mean to say I am wishing for your situation - thank God I did not have abusive parents, or alcoholics, or anything like that.) Am I to search for demons in My Perfect Life? I don't want to start inventing demons just to have something to focus on.

It's so easy to think about on a good day. Four days ago I could not have written any of this stuff.

HormonalHorror Tue 21-Oct-08 09:09:52

It's funny about facades. I am a regular on a couple of other threads here. Not only would most of my RL friends be surprised to read what I have written here, the posters that "know" me on other threads would be surprised too. I appear bright, breezy, capable. Some days perhaps I am even funny grin. What type of loon keeps their facade up even on an anonymous internet forum? My type. hmm

revjustabout Tue 21-Oct-08 09:20:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anorak Tue 21-Oct-08 12:17:32

Please don't worry, HH. You are not going to uncover demons that aren't there. What your therapy will do is to throw light into dark corners so that everything will become clear. It may not be a big issue, but it might be a big issue to you. It may, as your name suggests, be all due to hormones, in which case that's great news as it can then be corrected with hormones.

I believe that everyone would benefit from psychotherapy - in the future it will be seen as a vital part of health care. The most well-balanced people I know are the ones who've had therapy - the most unhappy are the ones who don't believe in it or think it means you're nuts - I always think how much happier their lives would be if they used psychotherapy for the resource it is. No one hesitates to seek treatment for a broken arm, but if you have a broken heart you think you can mend it yourself. Why?

Well done for taking this step. Please let us know how you get on.

Littlefish Tue 21-Oct-08 12:42:55

HH - your list is quite frighteningly similar to my own.

Anorak - I'm really interested in your sentence.. "Another thing I've noticed is that only people who are very good copers normally suffer from this kind of depression."

I am the world's best coper (apart from HH smile). I am unbelievably capable and just take on more and more. Keeping busy distracts me.

I've had several years of counselling which has helped at the time, but doesn't seem to have a long term effect.

Perhaps it's time to look at psychotherapy instead.

Thank you for this thread.

grouchyoscar Tue 21-Oct-08 13:09:23

HH and Littlefish I'm in your boat too.

I have a great life, a lovely husband who I can be awful to, our own house, a lovely son and, well, everything I need TBH

I struggle with an awful past history of toxic parental abuse, low self esteem, dodgy mental health and a chronic illness, but I cope very well with all of them. I've had councelling, CBT etc and...

...I still have dark dark days. At the moment it's feelings of 'I don't do enough' , 'I should get a job' , 'I should do more' , 'I don't know enough' etc etc

I feel very black at the moment. Stress, anxiety, bitten nails and I have an interview tomorrow. Oh Joy

ActingNormal Tue 21-Oct-08 16:37:25

With some people depression might be just because of an imbalance in brain chemicals but I reckon in most people's cases depression is caused by a period/or a lifetime of repressing your true feelings. I felt depressed for years while I was really repressing stuff, then a bit better for a while, then something stressful happened which I 'coped' with incredibly well and was strong for everyone but when the situation calmed down I became horribly depressed again.

I had repressed lots of extreme feelings in order to cope and also I think that my brain/body got used to a high level of stimulation from stress chemicals and then when the real life stress calmed down I couldn't feel any spark about anything and felt the need for more and more stimulation (I used Red Bull but it stopped being effective as I became immune to it). Anti depressants made no difference to me.

Even if you can't remember anything obviously traumatic that happened in your life you may still be in the habit of repressing your feelings because from somewhere/someone you have picked up a habit of thinking something like "you don't moan, you just get on with it with stiff upper lip" or "you are silly if you get upset just because of x when much worse things happen to other people" or "I must stay in control of my feelings or I'll be no use to anyone" or "how I feel is not important to anyone, why would they want to listen to me" or "everyone else's problems are much more important than mine so I must focus on helping them and not myself".

And then there are some people who had traumatic experiences and can't even remember because their brain has blanked it out to help them cope, but as the emotions were never processed they are still inside you destroying your body/mind through depression.

I agree about finding a therapist who has lots of years experience and lots of qualifications. I got mine off the internet too. I had had two counsellors with few qualifications at different times before him and they were a waste of time.

Littlefish Tue 21-Oct-08 17:36:20

Your idea about the body/brain getting used to a high level of stimulation from stress chemicals is a really interesting one ActingNormal.

I know that I can work under immense pressure which would see others fall by the wayside grin. It makes me feel more alive, more needed, more in control, more creative somehow.

I also know that I repressed my feelings throughout an extremely challenging childhood (my mother had severe mental health issues), so your hypothesis makes sense to me.

Littlefish Tue 21-Oct-08 17:37:32

AN- I've also just realised that I recently gave up a perfectly good job and moved to a much higher stress one, just because I was bored and didn't feel needed!

grouchyoscar Tue 21-Oct-08 17:51:27

I constantly feel disregarded and under-valued by all, inc me

And it's all my fault and everyone would be better if I went and hanged myself

But that's a head thought I hear. Is that hearing voices?

Then I realise I am worthwhile and I do a lot and I mean a lot to a lot of people. and other's attitudes are not my fault

Tigger/eyeore/tigger that's me, should I see my GP?

HormonalHorror Tue 21-Oct-08 19:00:15

grouchyoscar I have felt suicidal in the past - during one brief period - and looking back, even though I don't feel 100 per cent ok now, I can see that I was at minus 100 then. I should have gone to a GP. I am lucky that I sort of muddled through but it could have been different.

You should go to your GP.

You must go to your GP.

You must be honest with him/her and say that you have had this thought.

Your GP will listen and act.

You must do this.

Will you?

HormonalHorror Tue 21-Oct-08 19:04:35

ActingNormal I come from a very stiff upper lip family, but with strange contradictions - e.g. my father always told me he loved me, often, all of us, yet other emotions were suppressed, and upset probably was suppressed. I have to think about that but reading that middle paragraph of your post I thought, yes.

grouchyoscar Wed 22-Oct-08 09:46:21

I'm muddling through, I'm still herewink

I will mention it to my GP. I know I need to.

Thanks HH

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