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    "You are much deeper, much broader, much brighter than any idea you could have of yourself."
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solitary man

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Re: Tough Time

This past week has been surreal. My coworker's husband committed suicide a week ago Thurs. morning.

It was not a surprise, considering he was struggling with the thoughts and previous attempts for the last 20 years.

I'm conflicted on what it is I'm suppose to feel. Yes I feel bad for her and would like to help her as much as I can, but at the same time I know what her husband was feeling.

I also see the devastation that the suicide has caused her and her family and friends, and what my family and friends would be going through if I ended it all.

We've spoken about how I've felt in the past, and the first thing she said to me when I called a few days ago was that "I don't want to put my family what he put his through."

On the other hand, all I feel is the vast emptiness and hopelessness that I will never find happiness or fill the hole in my soul no matter what or who I have in my life.

I'm not sure how to process all of this. Do I take this as a death that happened or as a lesson from life to keep going?

This is the second time this year where something of this magnitude has happened. Back in March after store closing, one of the sales manager and I discovered the body of a coworker who had passed away during store hours. We did our best to try to get a pulse, but were unsuccessful. After that whole experience, I still am not sure of what it is I'm suppose to feel either.

I kind of feeling that life is trying to get my attention but I wonder how long will it be or what more has to take place before I understand the message?
 
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Re: Tough Time

solitary man, the hopelessness is what makes everything so incredibly difficult. it's very hard to see beyond it. it's even harder to get beyond it on your own. depression is a struggle. the good news is, you can get well, even though now it may seem impossible. i'm in the middle of recovery right now, and even though i still have my days where it all seems pointless, i am also having days that are better. i've gone from severe depression to mild depression. i know i am improving. it is possible. maybe life is trying to tell you that life is precious and it is worth living. it is tragic that these two people died. it is very sad. maybe life is trying to show you that this isn't really what you want. it's a struggle to get well but it is possible with the right help. have you seen your family doctor? are you getting any kind of professional counseling? i think it would be well worth it for you to consider it, if you haven't gone down this road yet.
 

solitary man

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Re: Tough Time

Yes, I'm currently working with both my family doctor and the psychiatrist he referred me to.

In the past, my sessions were one to two months apart. My last one was in the middle of Aug. and the next one coming up is in the last week of Oct.

After the Oct session, I will in the system (as he called it) so I will be receiving sessions every two weeks. The thing is when I first saw him, he recommended that I see him 4 times a week, which never materialized.

He has recommended that I take anti depressants and anti anxiety meds. Even my family doctor has given me free samples of Effexor.

I'm still undecided or more importantly hesistant about taking drugs.
I know meds has helped a great deal of people but I already see myself as a failure and taking meds just solidifies the fact of my unability to fix my life.

Maybe in the future I will reconsider taking them.
I'm hoping by talking about myself and trusting someone, something that I simply do not know how to do, I will find a way to overcome this.

Thanks for reading.
 

David Baxter

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Re: Tough Time

He has recommended that I take anti depressants and anti anxiety meds. Even my family doctor has given me free samples of Effexor. I'm still undecided or more importantly hesistant about taking drugs. I know meds has helped a great deal of people but I already see myself as a failure and taking meds just solidifies the fact of my unability to fix my life.
If you had a malfunctioning thyroid and your doctor told you to take thyroxin, would you refuse because you felt like a failure? If you had a high blood pressure and your doctor told you to take an anti-hypertensive, would you refuse because you felt like a failure? If you had dianetes and your doctor told you to take insulin, would you refuse because you felt like a failure?

This is no different. Your inability to get past this sense of failure and hoplelessness and pointlessness is probably going to continue until you start to take something to help shift you out of the depression you are in.

You went to an expert for advice. Why do you now refuse to take that advice?
 

solitary man

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Re: Tough Time

If you had a malfunctioning thyroid and your doctor told you to take thyroxin, would you refuse because you felt like a failure? If you had a high blood pressure and your doctor told you to take an anti-hypertensive, would you refuse because you felt like a failure? If you had dianetes and your doctor told you to take insulin, would you refuse because you felt like a failure?

This is no different. Your inability to get past this sense of failure and hoplelessness and pointlessness is probably going to continue until you start to take something to help shift you out of the depression you are in.

You went to an expert for advice. Why do you now refuse to take that advice?

I know, this is the very thing I keep asking myself.
I think it has to do with the infrequent sessions I've had with this psychiatrist that I've hesistated taking anything.

I don't want to be on meds, not knowing how to deal with effects and being left to my own devices without the proper support behind me. Granted, I don't want someone holding my hand...I've never been a big fan of The Beatles.

I'm just trying to figure this out, one day at a time.
 

David Baxter

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Re: Tough Time

I don't mean to sound harsh, solitary man. I'm just trying to be direct.

These are not difficult medications to manage. With something like Effexor, you start off at a minimal dose. If you have any side-effects that aren't showing clear signs of improvement after 5-7 days, your doctor can prescribe something else. With a little trial and error, most patients can find something that works for them without side-effects.

I think the real point of my comments is I don't think you have a single thing to lose by trying the medication.
 
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Re: Tough Time

solitary man, i was very hesitant to take medication myself. i never even would take a tylenol for a simple thing like a headache. it led to things becoming worse for me. i finally took the plunge with them, at a loss for what else to do, and i am glad that i did. if you have problems with side effects you can always go back to your doctor. i was really worried about side effects too but in the end i hardly had any. i was started on a low dose for the first week or so to get my body accustomed and then i went up to the full dose.

i think dr. baxter is right. you don't have anything to lose at this point.
 

^^Phoenix^^

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Re: Tough Time

solitary man, I was also err.... 'ashamed' of taking meds, and really really reluctant. But if your psych suggested them for depression and anxiety it is because you have a 'biological' chemical imbalance. This is just as real as having a broken leg, and nothing to be ashamed of. Its not because you can't handle yourself. The guilt and shame you may be feeling can also be part of your depression/anxiety.

Working through the emotions via introspection and therapy is always a good idea. But the meds allow you (and I know this may sound strange) to think clearly, with out the intense emotions clouding your thought.
 

ThatLady

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Re: Tough Time

Most people are reluctant to take medications. Even newly-diagnosed diabetics cringe at the idea of having to take insulin, or oral medications, for the rest of their lives. Yet, without the medications their quality of life will not be what it could be, and not taking the medications could cost them their lives, literally. It's not their fault, and it's not because they're "weak". They have a disease that needs treatment. They cannot, and should not, ever be blamed for that. The same holds true for mental/emotional diseases.
 

Halo

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Re: Tough Time

SM

I know that when I was first given medication for depression I was very reluctant to take it as well. I actually went on and off it for a period of about 4 years just because I struggled so much with being on it in my own mind. I finally broke down the barrier that I had created in my own head and realized that it was no different than heart medication, or diabetic insulin, or high blood pressure medication. None of those are any more important than my medication for my illness. I have to admit that it took me a while to figure that one out although it was told to me over and over.

I only wish now that I had realized it earlier so I wouldn't have wasted 4 years coming on and off the medication and I could have gained the benefits of being on medication much earlier. Oh well, as they say better late than never :).

Anyway, what I am trying to say is what have you got to lose. There is no shame in taking medication for a legitimate illness that you have. I know that in your own mind that it is hard to accept but you also have to remember that if you are suffering from depression like I was than your mind is probably not thinking clearly to start with.
 

Daniel

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My goodness, even if I was just mildly depressed, I would consider taking Wellbutrin (to activate dopamine). The first day I took it I started running laps.

Anyway, if you want to play the mind over matter game:

Living with electricity and running water is for wimps :) Real men live in the woods and hunt down squirrels.
 

healthbound

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Hi solitary man.

Don't forget that the great thing about trying medications is that you always have the option of stopping them if they aren't working for you :) When I started taking effexor, I just noticed that my brain seemed to work a bit better and I didn't feel as hopelessly consumed by all my thoughts and emotions. That seemed like a good trade off for me, so I've continued with them.

I thought it was interesting when you mentioned not knowing what you were supposed to feel. When I feel like that, it's usually when I'm feeling really overwhelmed. It's kinda like I'm on total-overload and so my body and mind respond with either mental confusion or emotional numbness. I want to make some sense of what's going on, but I don't feel like I can actually grasp it (and actually, that's what the meds help with...They help me feel a little less overwhelmed so I can start figuring out what's going on with me).

I'm glad you are posting here. It's good to hear that you will soon have regular sessions with the psychiatrist too. I imagine it's pretty challenging to work through things when the sessions have been inconsistent?

I know what it's like to be battling thoughts of suicide. I've been considering it for over 2 years. I recently decided that I would follow through (I had never attempted previously), but in the process I was "arrested" and admitted to the hospital. That was 2 weeks ago.

I know it is still an option, but this week, it is not one I'd like to exercise. Being admitted to the hospital was a massive wake up call for me and since then, I've changed some of my daily behaviors that were perpetuating my suicidal ideation and impulsiveness to carry it out. Just by making those changes, I've been feeling dramatically better and feel more connected to life. At this point I'm grateful that I wasn't able to follow through.

You mentioned the discovering a co-worker who had passed away as well as dealing with another co-worker's loss to a suicide. One of the things that has been continually circling my mind is the death of my sister (she took her life and I found it incredibly difficult to deal with). Sometimes I feel really angry because she "got to" take her life and I couldn't. I felt like I had to stay here and take care of the responsibility that I committed to when my son was born. I empathize with her and what she did, but because of my commitment to my son and because I deal with things differently than her, I didn't feel like I could actually follow through (until recently). And like your friend who just lost her husband, I know what it's like to be left behind to deal with something like that. Frankly, it was, and still is, horrific. So, when I became seriously suicidal, I had many thoughts and feelings about it.

Being suicidal brought up all my thoughts and feelings about her death, PLUS now I had guilt, confusion, fear, shame, embarrassment and anger. And, I didn't feel like I could tell anyone. Not only because of the stigma that exists around depression and suicide, but also because I thought it would disturb people and ultimately because it was totally disturbing me. I ended up keeping it a secret for a long long time. And in fact, one of the first places I was able to begin talking about it was here on these boards.

I obviously don't have any answers, but I do know what it's like to be dealing with suicidal ideation while knowing what it's like to lose someone to suicide. And even though I knew what it was like to lose someone that way, it didn't seem to stop me from my own feelings about doing the same thing. In fact, it seemed to make my feelings more intense and more challenging to deal with.

I hope you keep writing and talking about it. I'm sure I sound like a hypocrite because I attempted 2 weeks ago, but I am still here and today, I'm grateful to be alive.

I hope you give yourself an opportunity to try some of the things your doctors are suggesting. Who knows, they might work for you too.
 

solitary man

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No hb, I don't think it makes a hypocrite, you are speaking from your own experience. This is your truth.

Since my last session, I have been thinking of possibly going on meds. Since I don't have a health plan, I will have to find a way to afford the meds. This has also been one of the reasons I've been hesistant on taking them.

On my good days, I can see things a bit more clearly, realizing that there is hope and to learn from the experiences I've had in the past.

At the same time though, the thoughts are still there, telling me that:

*at close to 40, I never have been and never will be loved,
*plus the one chance at love that stared me right in the face, I let slip by because of my fear of letting people see the real me.
*that my life is a failure and at my age I should be successful, both financially and career wise.

Plus what's the big deal with suicide? At least I'll go out on my own terms and there won't be anyone to mourn me.

It's pointless to speak to my family about what I'm going through. After my one attempt, I was told that if I wanted to commit suicide, that I should do it else where and the cause of my depression is because I don't have god in my life.

The funny thing is, most people that know don't believe that I am depressed. There are only a small handful of people who I've shared what I'm going through. One or two of them have abandoned our friendship after 10 years.

I can't blame though, sometimes people don't want to have time for your problems as well as theirs.
 
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At the same time though, the thoughts are still there, telling me that:

*at close to 40, I never have been and never will be loved,
*plus the one chance at love that stared me right in the face, I let slip by because of my fear of letting people see the real me.
*that my life is a failure and at my age I should be successful, both financially and career wise.
i'd like to respond to these thoughts. the first one: you say you have never been loved. what kind of love do you mean? loved by parents, siblings, a life partner, friends?

you believe you never will be loved. one of the things that i am starting to finally learn is that you cannot predict the future. you do not know what is going to happen. how can you be so absolutely 100% certain you will never be loved? i mean really never?

you let your one chance at love slip by, you say. how do you know for sure you won't have another chance? why would you only have one chance in life? i understand you may have difficulty letting go of this particular chance and that you may still miss this person - but i believe there are many possible partners out there, rather than just one. having missed out on this chance doesn't mean you have to miss out on the next.

you say your life is a failure; that you should be successful financially and career wise. how would these things make you any worthier as a human being than you are today?

Plus what's the big deal with suicide? At least I'll go out on my own terms and there won't be anyone to mourn me.
to answer this, i'd like to quote what you said at the start of the thread:
I also see the devastation that the suicide has caused her and her family and friends, and what my family and friends would be going through if I ended it all.
i think this shows that you are loved, by both your family and your friends. you would be mourned and missed. your life is valuable, solitary man. it's worth fighting for.
 

Daniel

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Regarding the cost of meds, some suggestions:

1. You can tell the doc you are paying out of pocket and ask for as many samples (of the same drug) as possible.

2. You can get a free discount drug card:
http://www.needymeds.com/indices/discountcards.tml

3. You may qualify for free meds:
http://www.needymeds.com

4. There are cheap, generic antidepressants. For example, the generic version of Wellbutrin SR (Buproprion SR) is available. (The generic versions of Prozac and Paxil have been out for a while, but Prozac and Paxil have more side effects than the newer antidepressants.)

Regarding romantic love, friendships/socialization is vital but romantic love is not. Most women, for example, rate having lunch with friends as more pleasurable than spending time with their spouse. Also, see:

Money? Love? Kids? So why aren’t we happier?
(the accompanying video is better than the article)
 
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Regarding romantic love, it is overrated since we always become accomadated to whatever we have. Most women, for example, rate having lunch with friends as more pleasurable than spending time with their spouse.

that comment also brings to mind that we cannot make our happiness depend solely on others or external factors. we need to find happiness within. easier said than done, i know. this is also not always an easy one to accept, but hopefully in time you'll see it too.
 

healthbound

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It's pointless to speak to my family about what I'm going through. After my one attempt, I was told that if I wanted to commit suicide, that I should do it else where and the cause of my depression is because I don't have god in my life.
I can relate. It's totally pointless for me to speak to my family about what I'm going through too. They didn't get it before my sister took her life, they didn't get it after she took her life and they certainly don't get it now that I've been contemplating taking my life.

I found this incredibly difficult to accept. I still do. But, I think I am becoming more used to it. The fact is that it really sucks when we need to lean on our family for support and we simply can't. Regardless of the reasons behind it, I feel pretty damn angry about that. It means I have to be creative about finding the support that I need in other ways. Surprisingly though, it does seem to be a bit easier than I anticipated. Recently I've been discovering that if I take a risk and reach out to the appropriate resources, some of them actually respond with genuine support. What an awesome discovery that's been.

Plus, it seems like you're making some connections with people here?
 

solitary man

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Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, the links for the free meds is U.S. only and does not apply to Canadians.

After re-reading some of my previous posts, I find that they may have come across darker than what I've intended, but I find that's it easier writing my feelings here than I do talking with my shrink in person. It's only within the last few years that I've been able to write or speak about the things that I've felt for so long. For a very long time, I have tried not to feel anything, both good or bad and now like a volcano, the lava flow cannot be stopped.


The one comment that my coworker made that has stuck in my mind was "if only her husband could have seen the friends and family that cared for him and turned out for his funeral, maybe he wouldn't have committed suicide."

I know what he felt. Even if people tell you and show you that you are loved, you discredit it and find proof of why it can't be true.

Am I loved by my friends and family, they've stated so many times, but again, until I believe it, I won't feel it. Plus my earliest memory of not feeling loved was about 6 or 7 and it's something you don't get over in a blink of an eye.

There's a line in song by Duncan Sheik: "I want peace, but I don't make it, I want love, but I don't give it, I want hope, but I can't find it."

I know people try to mean well by saying that romantic love is overrated, but never having had the experience, I find it somewhat patronizing.

Yes I know, my happiness could never be found in someone else, I wouldn't want it to.
Nobody deserves that kind of responsibility and those who believe it are destined for great heartache.

Ok, it's not like I'm going around singing Queen's "Someone To Love" but at the same time when I hear people tell me this, as innocent and well meaning as it's intended, it gets distorted because my way of thinking.

What am I such a monster that I'm better off living beneath an opera house and not to concern myself with the hope of ever finding someone to love?:D

And if romantic love was so bad, why are you married/ with a partner?

Don't get me wrong, most of the time I am happy to be alone, and I enjoy doing things by myself, but there are times when loneliness creeps in and I wish I had the experience of having connected with someone deeply.


Believe me, it's not only in this situation that my thinking gets distorted. Working in retail, it used to bother a great deal when a customer complained about the company I work for.
I took the complaint as a personal slight, hearing in my mind that I'm a failure as human being for choosing to work in such a lousy company.

Luckily I'm learning to question this way of thinking. For all I know, the customer was having a bad day and I just happened to be in the line of fire. I can't read minds either....damn.

I've got issues with perfectionism too, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.;)

I know I can't predict the future, but speaking from past experiences, I don't meet a lot of people where I feel I've made a connection with. Plus having never believing that I could be loved, I never learned to recognize the signs.

More likely, purposely ignored the signs, believing that it's nothing more than a crush or that the other person could never possibly have feelings for me.

I've avoided getting too close because I feel that if I got too close to someone, I'll end up needy and clingy like Anna Karenina and at the end of the day, train tracks start looking good.:D

I do see that my way of thinking is like a self fulfilling prophecy. If I continue to see myself as unloveable, how will I ever learn otherwise?

It leaves me amazed how people get together when it comes to relationships. I ask myself if there's something that's fundamentally wrong with me of why I've never been in love.

Ah, this so called human experience is confusing.
 
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you will see yourself as unloveable until you learn to love yourself. at least, i think this is true for me. there are so many things i see wrong with myself, that i disapprove of, that make me want to be different. that's judging me for who i am. that's not accepting myself, flaws and good points and all. i think once i completely (or almost completely :D) can accept myself for who i am, that that is loving myself. then i will truly believe i am loveable. from there, my life could take amazing turns in a positive direction.
 

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