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I have struggled with episodes of major depression since 2003. I have been hospitalized a total of 6 times for severe depression with suicidal ideations. For most of the past 6 years, I have always felt some level or degree of depression, even at my best.

I recently was hospitalized again for severe depression and suicidal ideations. My pdoc did a complete med overhaul and when I was discharged, I felt completely different. I felt human and real for the first time in a long time. I have felt reaaly good the past 2 weeks. Everyone has noticed the difference- even people who DON'T know about my depression. I am sleeping better, waking easier, accomplishing things every day, having lunch with friends, and other things I have not had the energy or desire to do for some time.

So, tonight, I started wondering how long this will last? Is it possible that the depression is really over. That I'm "back to my old self." That I can start a new chapter in my life without worrying when the shoe will drop? Or, should I expect future episodes of severe depression? I know they say that with each episode the chances of having another increases. So, part of me feels like I shouldn't get too comfortable in this new feeling. That I should be realistic and be prepared that the bottom could fall out at any moment.

I am just confused and way over thinking things, I'm sure. Why can't I just be happy in my new skin? Why do I have to question it so much?

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I think those fears are natural considering what you have been through. Maybe a new approach to the fears though, could be a gentle one, saying I've got to be easy on myself here, and not dwell so much on worry. Yes, things could happen, but not necessarily; the unknown is the unknown. I DO know what negative thoughts do to me, so I need to go easy here. See what I mean? The gentle act of not giving in so much to where your mind wants to worry may in fact help you now and in the future. Try facing the unknown with 2 feet on the ground, knowing that the moment you have right now is the only one we really ever truly have, and it's our reactions that make it good bad or neutral (you can tell I've read The Power of Now:p). Cheers, Proverbs. Thanks for sharing your good times with us too.

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I agree with finding. Your questioning of these good times show that you do not take what you have now for granted because you appreciate all that you have done and experienced to reach this point. I think you have a very responsible and caring character. Like myself, finding, and others have done, this may be a great opportunity to find and try different ways to process and perceive the world to develop the skills to address both good and tougher times. This can be done by reading a few self-help books like The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, and Getting Things Done, by David Allen, and the Online Self-Help Book here on MentalHelp.Net. Or you can raise the issue with your pdoc for guidance and advice in developing these skills as well.

Try to use these concerns as the motivation to explore your available options.

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Hi, Proverbs. I think the community’s already given you some great tools. Here’s mine, too:

1. There's an old quote I've always liked, although I can't remember to whom it's attributable:

"Nothing you are afraid to live without can be the source of your success."

It applies to everything--love, money, a new car...

2. Looking from another angle, if you're too afraid of doing something (or not doing something), the fear will goad you into not doing it (or not doing it) just to alleviate that fear.

The point is that you can't live your life in fear. It's usually a dangerous emotion...a carryover from an animal heritage that does us no good now. Most of our fears are not rational, but self-imposed. Who knows why... Maybe we miss being hunted.

Don't EVER be afraid to live, or afraid your old "demons" (so to speak) might come back. If you're too afraid of that, you might subconsciously put into motion a series of events that WILL cause those old symptoms to return, just for the sake of alleviating that fear.

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