Coping with Anxiety Depression and much more

Hi

My name is Courtney and I recently discovered this online support group and decided to give it a try.

A little bit about me and what I'm going through would be the best way to begin I am guessing.

I am a 23 year old female that lives part-time with her parents and part-time in her own apartment. I finished one year of College before I had to drop out due to how I have been feeling and I also had to quit my job.

I have always suffered from depression and I have always been somewhat of an anxious person but this year has proven to be the worst. It is a living hell. I do not live anymore, I merely exist.

For over 10 months now I have been suffering from severe panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, health anxiety and major depressive disorder. I just finished a 12 week Day Hospital Group Program, I regularly see my doctor and have one-on-one therapy.

It seems like nothing is working or will ever work. I sleep all of the time, if I am not asleep I constantly feel hopeless, worthless, I'm crying, or I'm anxious and afraid of death. One day I want nothing more than to die and the next I am terrified of it. It doesn't make sense to me. I am losing weight, I can't work, I can't go to school, I barely leave my bedroom. My relationships between significant others, friends and family are being jeopardized too. I don't know what to do. These illnesses are affecting my life seriously.

I am at a loss here and I just thought I would reach out and see if there were other people willing to talk about what they're going through with me.

Anyway I have babbled on enough about this.

Courtney

Sweet Courtney, there is so much life has to offer. I know once you are in the pit of depression it is difficult to get back out!
Are you on medication? If you are, maybe it is time to talk to your doctor about changing it? If not maybe it's time to start.
Depression is awful. It robs you of everything you once enjoyed. Each day is a constant struggle and it becomes easier to stay in the pit than to even try and climb out.
You are not going to snap out of it as many people may tell you to do, but you can get out of it.
Therapy is definately a good start.
You must take baby steps.
For instance, do you get a shower and get dressed every day? If not make that your goal for this week.
next add something else to that...
"I'm going to get up, get showered, get dressed and ....????"
Go out for a walk, read a book, go out for coffee, put make up on, anything you used to do that you have not done in a while.
What used to give you joy? What made you happy?
You need to get back to living life my dear.
It takes effort, but it can be done! Trust me!

Here's to taking baby steps! Let me know how things are going! I'm almost always on here!

Jen

I agree with Beautiful Dizzaster too.

Also, if you are on meds now, you might want to ask your doctor to change them. I was on a few meds that just made everything worse. Some of the meds made it REALLY bad.

Another thing you can do is to think of things that make you happy and just do them. For me, if it is sunny outside, I force my way out the door. It may sound trivial but it actually works.

Some people will take a nice soothing bath. That seems to do the trick for them.

The message is: Do something for yourself that makes you feel good when things don't seem that way.

I also HIGHLY suggest that you get a therapist to talk to. The therapist will work with your psychiatrist and help you get to where you need to be much faster. Oh, the doc might get a little offended if you do this. Some doctors think they are the total solution and that is just not so.

Finally, the hospital should have some additional resources for you to look at. They can put you in touch with other services and/or groups that will make this a much easier journey for you.

Just remember: You are not alone. A lot of us are going through and have gone through the same exact thing. :)

You have to hold on, because this phase will pass. Things will begin to fall into place, it just takes time to discover it all.

Some days we just have to try really hard to find something good in each day. What do you like to do? What are things you enjoy? What makes you happy?

Those are the things you need to seek out each and every day.

Sometimes when I feel down I listen to beautiful music with nature sounds while I draw.

Or I will look at a flower, or a butterfly, a leaf, a sun lit pool of water. But I really look at it, closely and think about how beautiful it is and all of it's delicate parts, the shape the design. How truly amazing it is.

I try to keep bright colored pictures around me like on my computer desk top or make my own screen savers. My screen saver at work is all bright flowers and paintings of artists I like.

Sometimes I will just buy a new candle for my room and light it to make my room smell good. Or I will clean with Lavender Fabuloso - OMG does it smell good!

Sometimes just going outside for a few mins in the fresh air and sunshine help.

Sometimes just a piece of dark chocolate does the trick.

They are all things that are small, but they make me happy and cost next to nothing.

Make a list of things that can lift your spirits when you are down and put it somewhere in your room, on the wall or door.

Decorate you happy list and when you are feeling like you have nothing to look forward to, look for something on your happy list!

I'd love to know what you put on your list!

Beautiful Dizzaster,

What great words you have shared. I plan on using some of your advice because I see that it has fit into my world too. Thanks for being a bright spot in a dark world.

CourtneyAnneM,

You seem to be doing a lot of good things that you need to treat your anixety/depression. I would say be honmest and open with your doctor and let them know that your treatment needs to be stepped up or altered to try something new. Take the great advice previously listed and find something that made you smile and do that..... you have to find something that makes you happy.... do one thing a day that makes you happy.

Kepp posting, we want to hear from you.

I have had major depression most of my life and only recently started concously dealing with it but I realize now that when I used to dive into my quilting during certain times it was a way that I was trying to pull myself out of some extremely bad times. One of my therapists recently got me back into doing it. Having a quilt to work on gives me little and big goals. Some days as I work on one I get relaxed enough to think about things without crying that otherwise make me break down to think about. I have always tried to hide from my thoughts and feelings even though I knew that it would not work.

I'm also going through depression and anxiety problems. It has been happening a while but always tryed to ignore, I began to worry when I also quit my college course. I stay in bed all the time and never have the will to get out of the bed and not even put on my make-up (which might sound stupid but I ALWAYS put on my make-up)

I'm am finally getting help about it, but others things help me aswell. I make myself get out of the bed and try my best to get up, do my hair, make-up and get dressed. I go out on walks with my boyfriend we talk about our future together which makes me happy. I light, lightly fragranced candles and even incense which relaxes me and I drink some camomille tea. :) Some days I treat myself by chilling on front of the fire, which a good movie and a tub of Ben and Jerrys. :) Also, try some Rescue Remedy to relax you in anxious situations.The main thing is to stay around positive people. And if you watch t.v don't watch anything to do with horror. I watched Horror movies and Thrillers which made me feel worried and anxious about things and had a lot of horrible dreams stick to the romantic/comedies :)

I hope these things help to keep you feeling even a little bit cheerful as they work for me. :)

I hope that things work out for you Courtney :)

A ♥

You seem like you're doing the right thing for yourself. You have professional help, you seek out more options, you have support from family and friends and now this support group. Do you feel like your doctor and therapist are on the same page as you? Not every professional has the right personality for every patient. If not, find another. What everyone else is saying is true, but I know how hard it is to force yourself to start something you know in your mind you're supposed to enjoy. Keep trying. I know my mom has been instrumental in getting me out. I'll never turn down a free meal and she offers to take me out to eat. I don't want to leave the house, but I want that restaurant. I rationalize it in my mind that I'm coming right back and I don't have to interact with anyone if my mouth is full. What I think I mean is reward yourself for every step, no matter how small. You go out to get the mail, give yourself a cookie. You have half an hour without any errant thoughts? Give yourself a cup of your favorite tea. Reward your smallest accomplishments and set tiny goals for yourself. You'll start seeing that there is hope. Even if you don't get it perfect, like if you go to the mailbox and you have to turn around halfway- you still tried. Give yourself the kudos and know you deserve it.

I'd like to ask about college and whether or not it brought this on. I moved to a city for one. I remember that caused me a whole lot of extra stress! What kind of emotional stress is college causing you? I remember the fear of failure. I'm 30. College was 4 years ago. In a sense I'm still recovering. I have similar experiences to yours and I agree that sometimes dark chocolate saves the day. I have finally recovered to the point where a friend of mine reminds me, that i could be employable. Anxiety doesn't have to run your life. I found many ways of coping with it. Believe me. How are your relationships with your friends affected? I have had depression a long time so in a sense i have few friends. Fortunately I too have a supportive boyfriend and sometimes there is a struggle to not be alone, to let him in. I am really grateful I let him in. I refuse to use the light at the end of the tunnel cliche because sometimes it really does feel like a dark night of the soul. It can really be difficult. I have found a new therapist i'm working with to concoct better strategies. Sometimes its hard to be able to make decisions as to how to behave! Sometimes you need that extra advice so bad. A friend of mine once also said to me, it doesn't matter what time of day you shower, so long as you actually took one!!!! Sometimes I think the world views depression in a negative way, like you did something to earn it when it is merely your brain, stress, reactions, and a mix of body chemicals, sometimes a bad one, that leads to the whole mess. Nobody can just snap out of it either. That's silly when people expect that. Sometimes I'm just depressed and I have trouble formulating the following clown joke in a social situation although I managed this weekend "two cannibals are eating a clown- one looks at the other and says 'do you taste something funny?"