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  1. #1

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    Hi everybody,

    I have been feeling very down for about 3 months now... its really bad. Probably worst its ever been in my life.

    For those of you who have not read my other posts:
    I moved from Canada to Australia about 5 years ago to marry my wife (who lived here in Aus.)
    I HAD a good paying job when I first got here... but my depression and physical illness has presented problems over last 2 years.
    I went back to school to get my newest qualifications so I can go back into teaching (I teach I.T.: Computer Networking, hardware and security)... but its expensive and we are living off my wifes 'average' income.
    My health has been getting worse and worse over time... related to my weight mostly I think... I am a very heavy person. I hate decided to have lapband surgery to help but its tough being on the pre-surgery diet (NO sugar or carbs of ANY kind)! I have constant headaches... I am hungry and I just plain feel like crap ! The surgery is also expensive but its a matter of: I have the surgery or I will end up dying. So... we borrowed the money and the surgery is in 2 weeks. In the meantime my Insomnia is really bad... I CANT sleep at night... and while I USED to be able to sleep during the day... I cant seem to get off to sleep anymore... plus my sleep Apnoea continues to be a problem even though I am on CPAP therapy for it.

    I am SO worried that my depression or health will continue to affect the family... that I wont be able to go back to work because I am getting more sick (mentally and physically). I dont even have any friends or family that I can talk to or socialise with to get my mind off things. I am scared. And like I said before I am tired.

    I dont feel like much of a man...I have a hard time facing people. Even my wife.

    I know that people here cant really help me... but it helps to be able to tell somebody... I feel so alone.

  2. #2

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    Regarding the insomnia and headaches..did they begin when you started the pre-surgery diet? I don't know if this is related, but drinking hot tea helps me to adjust to eating less during the day or night.

    Of course, regular exercise can help lessen anxiety, depression, and resulting insomnia if you aren't doing that already. (Of course, there are also anti-anxiety drugs for insomnia that you may have already tried such as Ambien, Ativan, and Klonopin. If you have vague aches and pains, there is also the new antidepressant Cymbalta that is intented to help physical pain symptoms of depression.)

    I would be very optimistic that your sleep apnea and overall sense of well-being would improve after you more easily lose weight after the surgery.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    Hi,

    The insomnia I have had for many years... comes from the PTSD I think... fear of going to sleep... just habit now I guess.

    Headaches started a day or two before the diet was started... thats a week now... nothing helps.

    I have been on medication for the insomnia... Flurazepam and Ativan for about 4 years continuous plus others... nothing works for long. The other med I was on most recently... Stilnox (Ambien)... it caused lucid dreaming and nightmares that were triggers for the PTSD. Had to stop it. Plus it was supposed to only be used for 6 weeks max... I was on that for 4 years. Doc cant use anything stronger because of the risks with the sleep apnoea.

    I look forward to the weight loss... but its slow and can take about 1.5 to 2 years... in the meantime I feel like my wits wont last...

  4. #4

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    From what I have read, depressed patients seem to lose more weight after gastric surgery than non-depressed patients. My guess is that the findings below would apply to lapband surgery as well:

    Our data show a positive correlation between pre-surgical severity of depression as measured by BDI score and the 1-year success at weight loss after RYGBP [a gastric bypass surgery] as measured by %EWL. More depressed individuals tend to lose greater amounts of weight compared with less depressed individuals. Future prospective studies should examine possible mechanisms and effects of depression and other psychiatric disturbances on long-term weight loss after RYGBP.

    --from Depression Score Predicts Weight Loss following Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

    in the meantime I feel like my wits wont last...
    Yes, depression/anxiety seems to have its own timescale for improvement, sometimes requiring "severe patience." In many ways, it's like a new version of Windows that takes much longer than expected to get released...or a startup business that requires a lot of perseverance. However, from what I have read online, depression usually decreases significantly within 1 year of gastric surgery.

    I try to be hopeful about my future ability to "survive and thrive" regardless of circumstances, and the correlation between hopefulness and depression is obvious. For example, my brother is just starting to recover from doing crack for the last month. He probably resorted to the illicit drugs due to a lack of patience/hope regarding his mental problems.

    In another post of yours, you mention destroying things is your form of self-harm. Your recent episode of cutting your wedding band is obviously a good example of your ability to cope wearing thin. So I hope you can just stick it out for the time being and find distractions in TV, activities, etc.

    More than anything, I think you need to give yourself a break since can only do your best, anyway. You seem to be too hard on yourself, which, in turn, leads to more depression and self-destruction.

    Regarding feeling like a burden, are you able to do chores around the house when your wife is at work?
    Last edited by Daniel; December 2nd, 2008 at 11:56 PM.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    The worst part of depression is the feeling of hopelessness, it seems to me. During such challenging times, I try to distract myself with TV, trying new things, listening to new music, etc. since whatever I think is not going to be very positive if I am feeling worse than usual.

    Related points:

    Ruminative self-focus leads to greater negative future thinking in depressed patients, further confirming that rumination exacerbates negative cognitive biases in depression.
    Source: Rumination and future thinking in depression. - PubMed
    Rather than waiting passively for depression or anxiety to change, taking active steps, such as increasing physical activity, can help you gain confidence in your ability to manage your symptoms, Dr. Vickers-Douglas says.
    Source: Exercise eases symptoms of anxiety and depression - Mayo Clinic
    The ideal of male stoicism and the ensuing isolation lie at the root of male depression. Intimacy is its most lasting solution.
    Source: Depression: The Hidden Epidemic - Psychology Today
    It is as if depressed people have a leak in the part of the self that contains a positive, nurturing self-image...

    Creativity is the antithesis of depression. It is a way of saying that what I think and feel matters. . . . Depression is not just an illness, but a failure of creativity. We all face the problem of creating meaning in our lives. When we're depressed, we've lost hope for meaning. We all need to make a deliberate effort to make the self fertile; for the depressive, that effort is essential to life. (page 323)
    http://www.undoingdepression.com/book/excerpts.html
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    Terence Real has a fascinating and very powerful book on what he calls "covert depression" in males:

    Real, Terrence. I Don't Want To Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression. Fireside Books, 1998

  7. #7

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    What sets up depression in men, along with biology, is the code of masculinity. The stoicism that says be alone, be tough, do not feel anything, and do not reach out for help with anything sets so many men up to be so easily triggered to feel like failures and losers. They feel like their life is not getting where they think it ought to be.

    --from an Interview with Terrance Real About Male Depression
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. #8

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    Wow, thanks, Daniel! You are a walking encylopedia of web resources! :o)

    Put me on your mailing list and I'll save hours updating my website... ;o)

  9. #9

    Feeling sad about future prospects...

    Thank you all !

    Daniel, yes I do some work around the house... as much as I can. Sometimes my physical and mental state makes me unable to do much other than sit on the couch... but I try to do something at least.

    I AM very hard on myself... I am a perfectionist ! Something I am working on. Growing up... I had to be a perfectionist... if I did anything wrong it presented a physical danger from my father. I grew up knowing nothing but... so its been slow and difficult to challenge and change.

    My emotional state I am thinking is very much like being in a dentists chair... the drill is whining... they have it on your tooth and you are waiting for the pain... you can feel the vibration through your skull...your fingers digging into the arm of the chair... body tenses up and you start sweating. That’s pretty much how I feel all the time. It takes SO much effort to relax... and being ill physically reduces my willpower and ability to apply effort for long. So I am really looking forward to the benefits of this operation ! I am quite excited about it... because I know that despite my willpower AFTER the surgery I will lose weight regardless ! (there are ways around it but its hard). I will not be able to go eat 2 McDonalds hamburgers or half a bucket of Kentucky Chicken... it just could not happen ! its not physically possible ! So that gives me hope and motivation.

    David, thanks for the book suggestion. I have heard of that book before I think... I think my therapist mentioned it. Will check it out.

    Thanks again everyone !

    K

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