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Not giving up


Ralph

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What a difference a week makes. I am still struggling with suicidal thoughts but no longer going with them. I've realized I can live with untreated ADD for the time it takes me to find a new doctor. It will be a diminished quality of life, but I can bear it. I have an appointment in two months with a doctor at a very well respected institution, but I am trying to find someone else I can see sooner. I would rather have this doctor be my primary care provider though because I agree with their philosophy of spending more time than 15 minutes if needed with a patient.

I'm going to try to be more positive this week. I realize I complain a lot and am generally a negative person. I would like to change that. This week is an experiment to see if that can be changed by consciously choosing to focus on the positives instead of the negatives, which is easier. Will the world actually crumble around me if I stop worrying about it, as I fear may happen? Will I be blindsided by unimagined disasters if I am not constantly scanning for threats? I think I can risk it for a week. Of course if some disaster does happen this week it will be harder for me to see any value in attempting to choose happiness or be positive just through an act of will. It's possible I am just naturally unhappy - isn't that what depression is after all, namely sadness for no reason? Yet some people say happiness is a choice so let's see what happens if I choose happiness. Of course the world isn't all sunshine and roses so I am not going way over into the land of pink clouds and rainbows, just taking a more moderate view than the eeyore-like perspective that I normally have.

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_Is_ that what depression is, sadness for no reason?

Personally, I think it's inordinate sadness, but I do believe there's a damn good reason somewhere, even if we don't understand what it is. Even if it's "only" biochemistry, that's still a reason.

But I think it's more than that (because otherwise talk therapy wouldn't help at all); I think depression is actually a side effect of some other suboptimal coping, such as getting angry at yourself for things that you didn't do and can't change, then feeling depressed because you can't get away from that anger.

I'm really glad you're planning on trying a different doctor. :-)

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Good points malign. I guess there's always a reason somewhere. When I said no reason I meant no reason within life circumstances, so if for example a loved one had just died that would be a reason that would explain my sadness. If the reason is biochemical or sadness is overly intense given the circumstances that would be depression. It's true that talk therapy is predicated on certain insights or changing coping strategies is the key to lifting depression.

Medication has done more for me recently than talk therapy has, so I think I am dealing more of a biochemical component. Right now it's more frustration than sadness, and anxiety about the long term consequences of living my life with no organization, no plans, and no goals.

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It's just that knowing there is a reason has often helped me. Despair says that there's nothing I could possibly fix, so give up, but a reason is something I can do something about. Even if I don't know what it is; then the purpose becomes to find out. In a way, the faith that there's a reason somewhere is enough to keep me from feeling completely helpless.

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I spoke to my therapist who recommended a shrink as well as a primary care physician. Now I have an appointment with a new pdoc in a couple weeks (primary care in two months). Trying to be optimistic while not getting my hopes too high. Two uncertain factors here: Will I get the medicine that is known to work on this condition, and will that medication actually work for me. I know I've got all my hope pinned on both of these being true, which sets me up for frustration and disappointment, even despair, if they don't turn out the way I hoped. I know this is unrealistic but it feels like I am so close to really getting at the root of my mental health problems - so much of what I've learned recently is like solving a puzzle with just a couple pieces not yet in place. I know I will be better off to prepare for the risk that some of the last pieces may not fit, or even be from the same puzzle, but reigning in that enthusiasm is hard when it's rare to even have enthusiasm in the first place.

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