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Try_again

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I am 38 years old and have just been diagnosed with Dysthymia. For the longest time I felt there was something wrong and I couldn't figure it out. I went to church, self-medicated, engaged in very risky behaviour. I have felt very hateful as well as nothing at all and lied about it almost every day. Most of my relationships have been unhealthy and the ones that I should have kept, I trashed. I felt nothing. I had no motivation to do anything. I thought that there was something wrong with me because that is what people told me. I now have no friends. I don't want to deal with things that might go wrong and most of the time they seem to.

In the last four years I have been admitted to a psychiatric hospital twice. The first time it was for drug treatment. I had given up on being responsible because life seemed so worthless. After treatment I tried again. I lasted four years and then I just couldn't take anymore. I felt the most miserable I have ever felt in my life. I wanted to give up, but I just couldn't. It wasn't fear of death.

I had felt I only had two choices. More pain before I ended it all or more pain in living. I felt ashamed of myself and my self respect was almost non-existent. I have managed to build myself up somewhat with help, but I always seem to fall back. I don't think that recovery is a short term thing for me. I have lived with this for so long it has become so much a part of me, but I often get frustrated with myself and others. I just wish I could have found help sooner. It doesn't surprise me that it took so long to discover what I have.

I have seen social workers, other doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and none of them did anything for me except give me medication which at times only made my life worse because of the side effects.

It wasn't until I got hooked on crack and was admitted to the hospital that I found any real help. So now after being admitted for the second time for depression I am working on recovery and I can say that there are still weeks on end where I just don't feel like doing anything. I have no motivation. I just do it because I have to. That's when things start to fall apart again. I know I feel miserable, but I am not sure if it is a medical issue or a psychological one. Perhaps both. I do find that is hard to get help.

I have to say that everything I just said makes me feel pathetic. Asking for help makes me feel pathetic. Whenever someone asks me how I am and I lie about it, it makes me feel pathetic.
What I would like to do is erase all of this and just forget about it, completely. Yet, I know that wouldn't help either.
 
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Retired

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There is nothing to be ashamed of for seeking help; in fact seeking help requires courage.

I do find that is hard to get help

Are you receiving on going therapy at this time?
 

Try_again

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Yes I am receiving therapy, but at this time of the year it is pretty seldom because my doctors are all busy. I won't actually see anyone again for a few weeks yet. Usually I see someone about once a week. Now it's a month and I find it is a little too long. I've noticed in the last couple of weeks I have become very disturbed for lack of a better word. Other people I think are noticing it too. My conversations with others have become pretty ugly lately and it seems to be much harder to control. I think it is part of the reason why I lose friends because I scare them or make them feel uncomfortable just like I am feeling. I know that when I feel better I don't say these things and it is much easier to control. I always feel worse after these types of conversations because I know that it is not the way I really am. It is frustration, anger and depression talking. I think that it might be the weather too. It seems to hit me pretty hard. Perhaps harder than others because I already have a disability. I've just noticed that the last couple of weeks I have changed a lot for the worse.
 

begonia

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Hello, Try Again:
I can relate to a lot of what you say. I too have dysthymia. I think that I'm just starting to realize what that means. I've been to a lot of therapists and have taken medication, but I always kept thinking that I'd be cured. Instead, I think it's better to think of this as a long-term condition and work on a number of different strategies to cope. You said that you're in recovery, do you mean recovery from addiction? I'm a recovering alcoholic (19 years). I've learned a lot of ways not to drink and I feel OK about being an alcoholic and not resentful about being different in that way. So I'm trying to see dysthymia in the same way: something I have to keep working at until the work becomes second nature and I'm no longer resentful.
 

Try_again

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Things are getting very frustrating lately. I have been forgetting things more often, getting frustrated much faster and even misinterpreting things that really in hindsight look impossible to misinterpret. At these moments I feel like I am paying attention, but the results seem to show differently. It's like when someone says,"no", I hear "yes", literally.

I am not the kind of person that is always focused on myself. Generally, I listen well. Except when I am sick. Then my mind starts to wander involuntarily. Which only exacerbates things. I know there is no quick fix to this, if there is any fix at all. It is still frustrating dealing with a hidden illness.

One of the things that is really hard is not giving in when I feel overwhelmed. In fact, sometimes it is hard enough recognizing that I am overwhelmed. Sometimes I feel like a loser when I ask for help because that is how certain people treat me, even some in authority. Yet, I know giving in will only make things worse and consequently it will take longer to heal and will prolong the sickness, the depression, etc. If I give in it will only make the pain worse as I have experienced in the past. Then I get even more down on myself and possibly even start to hurt others because of the way I feel. The feelings are so strong that my thoughts become twisted and destructive.

Lately I have been able to catch myself soon after this begins. Instead of a few months which used to be the case, I now can ask for help sooner only because it has become a habit. This habit has taken me a year to develop as I used to feel extremely ashamed of asking for help and I would put it off as long as I could. I don't want to feel more miserable because there is already enough misery to deal with without my adding to it. However, there is still that problem, hope. It holds no guarantees. It is not a no or a yes, but a maybe. I have never liked that word. :lies:
 

Try_again

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I must say that I don't relate to other people with addictions as I never really did it as much for the high as for how fast it might kill me. When I was younger perhaps, but it turned into a death wish. Everyday I woke up I wish that I hadn't. I didn't want to feel better. I wanted to die. I wasn't really interested in drinking because I hated hangovers, which is why I liked crack so much especially after I heard about sudden heart failure or whatever it's called. The only problem there is it wasn't fast enough or easy enough. It just brought more pain which is not what I wanted. So even if I were suicidal I have finished with that garbage as it just makes me feel worse. That is not what I want. I want to either feel better or NOTHING at all.

However, there are some people that I do care about, but there isn't much I can do for them. They are either feeling the same as I am or worse. I think that they are the only ones in my life who have made me feel somewhat comfortable because I know they suffer as I do and there situations as far as I can see are much worse. As far as everyone else goes, I'd rather not be around most of them. I try to be positive, but I find there are so many distasteful people around me and all they want to do is hurt others. I am listening to people who are always putting down others or whining about something. How are you to stay positive in an environment like that. Sure I can walk away, but it seems to be such a chore finding people who have anything good to say and it just makes me so livid and depressed. It makes me want to hide from the world and never come out.

It doesn't help that I feel the way I do even though I am taking medication that has worked up until about three weeks ago. Ever since then I have been getting progressively worse. At times I have gone past the point of irritation or anger to outright hate. I just want to be by myself and shut the whole world out. At first I was just feeling depressed more often, but it's more irritation lately and it just gets worse with almost every person I talk to.

I am getting therapy, but as I said it's very seldom lately, about once a month. I was seeing someone once a week. I don't know if that has had that much of an effect on me. I can't think clearly and I often find that communication is so much harder. Sometimes I say things that I regret later. I second guess myself. Sometimes I don't make any sense, but I don't realize it until after I have said it. I don't seem to be quick enough at times to even correct myself. People think they understand me, but they really don't because what I said isn't actually what I meant. Unless they rephrase I goes unchecked until I feel that it is just too late to bring it up again or I forget about it. Which is what I did with my medication today. I was so busy and stressed at school I totally forgot that I was supposed to pick it up. I don't usually let this happen because I know how it makes things worse, but when I feel overwhelmed I go into a hyper concentration mode. Actually, It's not really a concentration mode as much as a tuning out mode. I tune out everything around me, like people so I can feel less anxious. I don't even know if what I am saying now makes any sense or not. All I know is I have started to feel worse and worse and I am having trouble being around people and getting things done.

I saw a learning strategist today to try and get help with school and she did help in some small way. She just reminded me of something I had forgotten and it was so simple too. To break down my assignments into smaller tasks. The only problem is I find lately that I have a lot of downtime where I just need to be away from people and I just feel miserable. Isn't it funny. The time of the year when you need the most help is when it's harder to find.
 
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I want to either feel better or NOTHING at all.
makes sense. we can feel so awful that we want to feel nothing. feeling nothing isn't a real option, so the only choice left is to feel better - which isn't a bad thing. the difficulty lies in getting to feeling better and this is something that just takes plain hard work and persistence, and it doesn't happen overnight. as long as you are aware of that, you can then realize that you CAN start to feel better, even if it is only gradual.

However, there are some people that I do care about, but there isn't much I can do for them. They are either feeling the same as I am or worse. I think that they are the only ones in my life who have made me feel somewhat comfortable because I know they suffer as I do and there situations as far as I can see are much worse. As far as everyone else goes, I'd rather not be around most of them. I try to be positive, but I find there are so many distasteful people around me and all they want to do is hurt others. I am listening to people who are always putting down others or whining about something. How are you to stay positive in an environment like that. Sure I can walk away, but it seems to be such a chore finding people who have anything good to say and it just makes me so livid and depressed. It makes me want to hide from the world and never come out.
as you've probably figured out, hiding from the world just makes things worse. isolation never improves our depressed state of mind.

maybe it's time to try and find a different environment? i'm not sure what type of environment you are talking about (home? school? work?) but it sounds like a change would be better than doing nothing about the situation.

It doesn't help that I feel the way I do even though I am taking medication that has worked up until about three weeks ago. Ever since then I have been getting progressively worse. At times I have gone past the point of irritation or anger to outright hate. I just want to be by myself and shut the whole world out. At first I was just feeling depressed more often, but it's more irritation lately and it just gets worse with almost every person I talk to.

I am getting therapy, but as I said it's very seldom lately, about once a month. I was seeing someone once a week. I don't know if that has had that much of an effect on me.
in my personal experience i found weekly sessions helped ground me. the first couple of days after an appointment i would feel better but as the days passed i would gradually feel worse again. if you are down to once a month you are losing some of the positive momentum you gain from your sessions. you may want to consider going back to weekly.

I can't think clearly and I often find that communication is so much harder. Sometimes I say things that I regret later. I second guess myself. Sometimes I don't make any sense, but I don't realize it until after I have said it. I don't seem to be quick enough at times to even correct myself. People think they understand me, but they really don't because what I said isn't actually what I meant. Unless they rephrase I goes unchecked until I feel that it is just too late to bring it up again or I forget about it.
the belief that people don't really understand you may be adding to your feelings of isolation or aloneness. try to be mindful of this kind of thinking. even if people do not really understand you right now, it doesn't mean they never will. you may need to do some work to understand yourself better before you can have others understand you. and this is certainly something that is achievable.

Which is what I did with my medication today. I was so busy and stressed at school I totally forgot that I was supposed to pick it up. I don't usually let this happen because I know how it makes things worse, but when I feel overwhelmed I go into a hyper concentration mode. Actually, It's not really a concentration mode as much as a tuning out mode. I tune out everything around me, like people so I can feel less anxious. I don't even know if what I am saying now makes any sense or not. All I know is I have started to feel worse and worse and I am having trouble being around people and getting things done.
this is a warning flag that maybe you should discuss things with both your doctor and therapist that you are feeling worse. together you can figure out what might be the problem and then the sliding back can be slowed down and stopped.

I saw a learning strategist today to try and get help with school and she did help in some small way. She just reminded me of something I had forgotten and it was so simple too. To break down my assignments into smaller tasks. The only problem is I find lately that I have a lot of downtime where I just need to be away from people and I just feel miserable. Isn't it funny. The time of the year when you need the most help is when it's harder to find.
try to fill this downtime with an activity you used to enjoy. it does not need to involve people but at least choose something to occupy your mind.
 

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