Week 5 & feel so down...

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Just needed a place to vent really. I'm into my fifth week of an awful bout of depression and I just feel so down. I had had a few good days last week and really thought I had turned the corner, then the past couple of days I've been worse than ever. I'm on 150mg of Sertaline and have never been this low for so long before. I don't want to do anything, can't face talking to anyone, not least because I know I'm so miserable. Can't see any light anywhere. Have even stopped wanting to be around my kids because I don't want them seeing me like this. Horrid, isn't it?

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  • Posted

    Hi Kathryn,

    It is horrible, how long have you been on the meds for,perhaps they have not kicked in yet I know they can take a few weeks .Dont beat yourself up take each day as it comes don't count the days or weeks try and think of those good days you had and think they will come back.as regards of your children don't know how old they are but children can be oblivious unless they see you crying and then may ask.This depression and anxiety can make you lethargic just try and do the essentials the rest can wait.If you really see no difference after awhile maybe go back to GP .Keep ranting on here that's what the forum is for and remember you are not alone .let us know how it goes.Take Care

    Joan

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  • Posted

    Sorry you're feeling so bad. Have you been taking the Sertaline for long? Twice in my life I took SSRI anti-depressants, Prozac and Lexapro. A friend suggested it because it had calmed him down. On both occasions my mood level crashed. The first time, overnight, I was apparently so suicidal I had to be put in an ICU unit and given ECT almost immediately. The ECT was then given to treat the effects of the ECT, 66 times in 20 months. Prior to this I was stressed out but certainly not sick. The only thing that changed was the introduction of the drug. This has led to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that haunts me still, 14 years later. The second time I took Lexapro. My doctor insisted I be an in-patient for the drug trial as she was concerned that I might have some side effects. I was low but not sick, and in fact, said I felt I was there under false pretences. After three and a half weeks all was going OK. The drug wasn't doing anything (or so we supposed,) but when I was ready for discharge, again, my mood plummeted. Again I got ECT (20 over seven weeks). BUT, after 2 weeks (6 ECT), after the drug had washed out of my system, my mood rose to the previous discharge level, mild to moderate depression. The doc continued ECT but that's another story. The SSRIs, SNRIs can CAUSE the depression they purport to treat. Just something to keep in mind. BEWARE - if you DO decide to re-think the drugs DO NOT JUST STOP THEM! THE WITHDRAWALS CAN BE DANGEROUS! Work it out with your doctor.
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    • Posted

      Hi Dee 

      I too had ect and got brain damage. 10 years on I will never be able to work again. You say that you were setting up a group. I am looking to campaign for an investigation into ect. I need numbers of people. Did you get anywhere with your group? Thanks

      Sue

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  • Posted

    Please pardon my acronym ignorance but could I ask what ECT is. Is it electroshock treatment?
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  • Posted

    Yes
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  • Posted

    Thanks for the reply deee, I've considered trying that myself. Can you describe how you feel after one or does it take a few series. Do you get a feeling of peace after? Is there any change of mood?
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  • Posted

    Thanks for the comments. Been on higher dose of Sertraline for 5 weeks and was told it could take 6 weeks to kick in, so hanging on in there.
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  • Posted

    Hi pat3692, NO. The only mood change I experienced was that of feelings of dread, that I was being raped, over and over. (I was raped twice, at 13 and 24. I know rape.). I felt utterly helpless, humiliated and violated, and no matter how often I said I wanted it to stop they gave me `long talks' and heavy persuasion. `You know you really want to". I had 66, 2000-2003, then again 20, in 2010. (Some people are not going to like this but you asked, and I'm one of thousands). It was, and still is a nightmare. I'll give you some of the info I have:

    1. Lucy Johnstone, a UK researcher (1999) studied the psychological effects of ECT....participants described a complex range of emotional responses including feelings of humiliation, increased compliance, failure, worthlessness, betrayal, lack of confidence and degradation, and a sense of having been abused and assaulted: Some quotes from her study: (I don't know any of these people, but I have said all of this at times.)

    `It was like I was a non-person and it didn't matter what anybody did to me.’

    'It felt like I had been got at, yes, bashed, abused, as if my brain had been abused. It did feel like an assault.'

    'It was the whole treatment, being carted off I felt like a slave, taken away to this little room and put on a bed. No control, it was awful.'

    `You dread it, your heart starts pumping, here we go again. Horrible, absolutely terrifying... It’s like going to your death, your doom, isn't it.'

    'My memory is terrible, absolutely terrible. I can't even remember Sarah's first steps, and thaI's really hurtful.. .Losing the memory of the kids growing up was awful.'

    'It's a void, I can't describe it ,and there's also a feeling of something fundamental that I don't even know what it is missing...Just like an intrinsic part of me that I feel isn't there and it was once....Part of it feels like there was a real death of something, something died during that time.'

    This treatment causes permanent and at times severe brain damage in over 50% of recipients, 1:2. which is totally unacceptable in any other part of medicine. (check out Dr Harold Sackheim 2007 about the brain damage - quote it if you have to). The shock docs talk about a `small electrical current'...The machines fire 140+ pulses a second for 7.8 seconds at 450 Volts. (Small? A 1000+ pulses per treatment!). 100% of recipients will have some memory loss, tho many won't know it. After all it's GONE. If you have memory loss, you will have cognitive deficits as well. Memory is not an isolated brain function. Cognition is the range of functions that include logical reasoning and abstraction, shifting of mental set, problem-solving, planning and organising. All this for as little as a 16% to 30-45% chance of relief for from one to a few weeks, and a 50+% chance of permanent brain damage. The docs claim 80-90% improvement. They generally ask this the day of, or the next day how you are, and you might feel quite good. The brain injury often creates a lift of mood because the injured brain, among other things, floods itself with endorphins (nature's cocaine). That might last from 2 - 8 hours every day you have ECT. It's a phenomenon called `concussion euphoria' and is a clear sign of brain injury.

    Ask them, for how long? Of course if you do decide to have it, you can end up having it regularly for a very long time as `maintenance' ECT, (like every week/fortnight/month). Because they know it won't last and when your brain starts to get better from the traumatic brain injury it has suffered, the depression is still there. Studies show that `Maintenance' is a slow descent into a form of dementia, that you won't notice. Even if some the memory for the life you've lived, is not all good, you're entitled to it. It is you and you might need it, someday.

    This is the only medical procedure where literally thousands of people world wide have started or joined associations to save others from going through what they went through. NOWHERE ELSE.

    I am an ex-psychiatric nurse (1970s), and lived a very productive, happy life, raised my 2 boys, was a successful sculptor and writer. It took months (and still, 14 years later I keep hearing about other things), to find out that I'd lost nearly all memory of my children's high school years and sporting achievements, (they both became elite athletes). Then gradually I found out that nearly everything else for 13 years was gone, too. I have lost, not only my technical skills as a professional sculptor, but I still can't recognise much of my own work. Following the 2010 ECT (x20), I had to drop out of my final subject for my Professional Writing Degree because I couldn't organise material for a simple presentation. I can no longer write the books, screenplays, plays and short stories that I used to win prizes and publication with. All of that is gone.

    It destroyed my life as I knew it on the 3/4/2000, my past and my future. I live in a unit on the pension now. But, on a more buoyant note, I'm becoming an advocate for people facing what I faced and hopefully, enabling them to make `informed' decisions. In the end it is your choice. I wish you well. deee

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  • Posted

    Hi deee, So sorry about your rapes. I started to say people but I can say animals are even better than these creatures. I hope you got your justice and they are all in jail now and won't be getting out. From your description, I think I get the picture. Sometimes I feel so desperate that I as many people probably would and try anything for relief. The last med I tried was paxil and did nothing for me until the doctor tripled the dose. It finally kicked in and the only way I can describe the feeling was like being a total zombie. I was so far out there...worse than an acid trip I had done before in the 70's. except I felt triple the depression as well. I had my share of abuse....mental and physical but luckily no sexual. But with one ex girlfriend it might as well have been sexual from all of her stalking me for many years and I couldn't prove it. She was a Fed and was able to access everything I did. Ruining potential relationships/friendships etc. When I was a kid I was very small until I hit 14 and sprouted up to finally 5'10" I was pretty amazed though I was pretty good at handling myself for being so small. I was about 50 lbs and played football in the 85 weight class at 10 yrs old and loved it. But unlike your memory loss, mine comes from about 25 to 30 years of heavy drinking. That was my way of handling my depression. I think that is why my tolerance is so high for all of these new type of anti depressants. I was an electronics technician in the communications field and was working in the engineering dept for a major cell phone company before they were bought and restructured the company and right about that time i started flipping out with this ex. and the alcohol was really getting up there. I had to go on disability for physical reasons too with neck, back and knee/joint problems. At my AA meetings there's an older fellow who says "I have 2 brain cells left. One got me here and the other keeps me here." Sorry if that offends you but I try not to beat myself up too much over it because what's done is done. I do try to take advantage over happy moments far and in between. Thanks for sharing your life situations and info on ECT. You seem like a strong willed person. Keep it up and take care.
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  • Posted

    Dee. Just echoing what Pat has said, you sound like a remarkable woman to me given everything you have been through. The fact you are trying to help others is inspirational. ECT sounds like hell on earth from what you describe. I can't believe it is still being used. Stay strong and keep standing up for what you believe, if it prevents even one person experiencing the nightmare you have suffered, it's got to be worth it. xx
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  • Posted

    Thank you both so much for your respect. Sadly, one of the things you lose when you are in the psychiatric system, is respect. And after a while your self-respect goes out the window as well. Pat, I believe you are a very strong person. You are not only confronting your very difficult past and are reaching out to help me. Thank you. I have 2 little grandsons, 3 and nearly 2 who are right into sport already. (Both my boys were elite athletes) And they're good! I told my son they have to be on the `tour', golf or tennis, by they're 16. I want to spend my last years in luxury...well...I think I like your AA man...at least he has 2 neurones, that's got to be a start. By the way, the drugs don't work, it's official, so what you're doing is pulling out your own strength. More than I think you realise. The major one thing that has pulled me from some very dark places is tennis. I was a good player but the brain injury sort of killed it. It's taken me 10 years but I'm back, even through some very hard times and into old age!. I love your stories of, and your justifiable pride in your days playing sport and in your abilities in your work. I hope you can see yourself as not just a depressed man who just hangs in there but can maybe touch some joy in your life. There are quite a few programs around now that might be helpful. I can send you some names and groups. A woman wrote, in a survey, that it wasn't enough to live her life just not wanting to kill herself. I'd like to hear more from you because I think that somewhere in your pain there's more.

    Oh, and not only is Shock still being used, it's escalating. Here in Melbourne Australia the psych docs are pushing, via the parliament for there to be no age restrictions for its use. Somebody, I don't know who yet electroshocked 55 children aged 4 and under. And, believe it or not they want LOBOTOMY back! I look at my littlies and wonder what kind of person could do that. The Nazi docs could and did. Is this what we want to see in our world? Is this a world where the slightest deviation from what some shrink thinks is normal, is a candidate for a drug company pill! A society/culture that attacks its children is a dying or dead culture. It keeps me going, it can make sense of what happened to me and I will not let up until they are stopped. I can't write fiction any more but I can write brochures and put the truth out there. Your encouragement is so helpful. Hopefully a picture of a little old lady with a giant poster on a stick will go viral. I was an actress once so I hope I can remember how to make the best of a photoshoot. I'll try to keep my wrinkly old face behind the poster while my pink fluoro tights hit the airwaves. Thanks again and I hope you find some of that joy. I'll get back with the names of those organisations I mentioned. Bon Chance, Pat and Kathryn, the old girl's still wearing sequins. xxx

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  • Posted

    Thanks deee, It seems to me from your posts that you would have a lot left in your writing carrier . I suggest you keep poking in at that and maybe get a little help along the way if you need some. I like your get up and go spirit. You haven't given up yet. YES, and be careful with some of these quacks that still believe in Lobotomies. You can see what happened with the Kennedy girl who had that done. So keep fighting back. I still believe that both of us still have a good chance to beat this horrible disease....you sound like you're on your way. Fight the fight and take care.
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  • Posted

    Pat, you're inspirational. I'm going to sit right down and write an info brochure re ECT. The REAL story! My sister just told me how to use `pages' (similar to `word') to do it. I have a real problem with being told, as you were too, that we have a `disease'. They have to say that because you don't prescribe drugs or electrocute people for somebody with an emotional/social issue. There's NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that any mental `illness' is caused by some physiological/genetic factor. If it was I'd be off to the neurologist, pronto. They DO know something about the brain.

    There are current studies and movements that are indicating that even something as `severe' as schizophrenia can and is being helped without the drugs that almost paralyse people. A girl I worked with was so shut down by them that there was no way of reaching her. But, I don't think a `blanket' ban on all drugs all the times necessary. Sometimes, in the short, very short term and not too high a dose, can make people reachable. So many ECT survivors say, afterwards that all they needed was someone to listen to them and help them sort out the frequently social/emotional problems that were overwhelming them. Often a few simple things like someone to help find respite care for an elderly or handicapped family member; life skills training, and/or an accountant for a pile of bills, cranky kids and a broken marriage; some grief counselling when a relationship collapses.

    Here are some of the things I've come across. I haven't read them all but you might find something you like. At least you can feel in charge of your future, at least a bit. Of course it won't be easy but it's worth a go. I stayed a `victim' for 13 years. I wish I'd known about some of these. It's too easy to say, `I can't fight this' , so I didn't until just last year. An `epiphany'? My `Road to Damascus'? I don't have a clue but I like myself a whole lot more for trying.

    The `self-help' movement is growing now and people are learning new ways to deal with problems from the past. You're already with AA so you know that peer support can be good for you. Now, and if you're already doing this I apologise, but, as a MOTHER, I'm saying exercise! Exercise! EXERCISE. You've already been an athlete, can you go back to that, in some capacity. I don't include sport when I say` put those childish things behind you.' I think Shakespeare said that but I'll keep it anyway. My ideal `asylum would have everyone on an exercise program designed for them, lots of Art/Music/movies among other things. If I win a lot of money...a pipe dream maybe, but people would GET BETTER! Go for life, Pat xx

    ,

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  • Posted

    deee, thanks for the inspirational compliment. I never knew I had motivational skills...LOL. You do have some good points. I too think many people get help just by getting it off their chest so to speak. I too have that outlet with AA and I have been overwhelmed with things lately but pressure I was pretty much always able to deal with. ie. I had worked years in the communications field working on just about anything electronic that does the task. This included working many years in the oil field going to offshore platforms and rigs. Dealing with most of these oil field personnel, literally will not let you off their facility (call a chopper or boat to send you home) unless their equipment was fixed. I remember being on a satellite platform offshore and didn't know this when i was dropped off there. I searched for the "boss" running the platform and no one was there but me and 1 aircraft radio that they said needed to be fixed. I don't know what the protocol was back then (in the late 70's) but I'm sure policy by now is at least a 2 manned rig. Anyway, I could have easily have been forgotten about out there since I was a contractor and not a regular at that time. So call it luck skill or higher power help, i managed every single time. I also can tell you that I just took a sleep med (ambien) for most people will knock them out. But for me it has changed my mood and i feel so much better and not really sleepy. That's why I do think my problem is a chemical imbalance and why i think I've just got to find the right medication. As far as exercise goes, that I have to be careful about. The scenario with that is.... I just spent 5 months in the slammer for a violation on my probation back when i was still drinking. A little over 2 yrs. ago I had surgery on my knee. I asked the jail doctor if i could have a bottom floor bunk (was a dorm style jail & bathroom water/shower downstairs) and he said no because he wanted me to exercise. with about a month to go on my time, i was going up the stairs and the same knee gave out on me again. So, i am back at the doc for that again to get more surgery. I can do about an hour at Walmart walking around and anything more i will be bed ridden for a day or so. yeah, it's a far cry of how i used to be. i'd love to get out and play some tennis. the crazy part is that they tell me my liver is in good shape. could have been from carrying heavy equipment all the time from work. after 2 years of it (work) is when my neck started giving me problems.

    seems like you do lots of reading. was it you that said you had a phd? i know you said a nurse too. you are definitely very educated. do you still sculpt? what kind of sculpting? i know this is a med thing. i'd like to give you my email address somehow without advertising on here. Anyway, its good night for me. Hope you have one too.

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  • Posted

    Hey Pat, what a life! What a lot to offer! No, I don't have a PHD, yes I do read. Believe me I know about knees. I had one before arthroscopes, not good, but I beat the pro footballer in the next room to be able to lift my leg. You won't believe it but for a day or so I couldn't work out how to raise my own leg! A not uncommon occurrence apparently. Nowadays I travel with Neurophen and have become quite close to a physiotherapist who has moved from the achillies to the shoulder, a high backhand volley, to the hip. I'm too embarrassed to go back. She's worked almost totally around the old body. Because I have a slight achillies problem I'm doing water aerobics. When I got back to tennis I found that I was OK until the 4th set. Since aerobics I'm outlasting quite a few opponents. Without the achillies I'd be walking. I suggested to someone who was really down, go walk - to streets you've never walked down before. On the train to the sea side, the countryside. Spring is coming. My son is living in Wimbledon and spent some time in Cambridge as a break. He was stressed and the change of scenery did him a lot of good. Good luck, keep it going. Depression CAN end and you have a lot to offer. Deee xx
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