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Am I depressed?
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Am I depressed?

Hi.  I want to know what is going on with me.  I am a 21 year old male. when I was a freshman in college, the the first girl I ever really fell in love with broke up with me.  When that happened it seemed as though I went into a major depressive spell.  It seemed like it lasted my entire sophmore year.  IT seemed as tho what got me out of it was moving away for a summer which I did, and worked in North Carolina as an intern.  Things went great there.  IT seemed like because I didnt have the option of thinking about her or seeing her it went away. Me feeling good about my life lasted for about the last year.  Noe tho, it seems I never feel whole or ok with myself without somebody else in my life.  Why did I loose my independence?  I should also add the fact that I smokedweed.  It never used to be excessive but not that I think about it I started smoking more because of my girl friend that dumped me. Im getting my engineering degree and have one year of school left.  For some reason it feels like I am never happy with what I have.  I am a person who over-analyzes everything.  The last year or so of my life I felt like I was happy.  I recently quit smoking weed after smoking since I was about 18.  I never thought that was a problem until I started smoking it daily about 7 months ago.  I think I liked weed so much more so for the fact that it allowed my mind to not think about the bad things in my life.  I have difficulties controlling the thoughts in my head for some reason.  As I said, it seems as though I am never happy with what I have in my life.  It has now been 2 weeks and 5 days since I last smoked and while I feel like my head is a little clearer, I still feel as tho I am depressed.  the week after I stopped smoking I had very bad panic attacks and actually went to the doctor.  He prescribed me zoloft and xanex.  I took the zoloft for 3 days and I think it made the anxiety worse.  I also just couldnt handle the side effects. really bad diareaha, insomnia, no libido, etc.  Recently it feels as tho the depression is lifing a little bit however it still feels as tho I am almost 'stupid'.  No concentration, conecting my thoughts has become difficult, just overall not as smart as I once thought I was.  The anxiety attacks went away just cause I think I realized that it was only an attack and not the end of the world.  I havnt taken a xanex now for a while.  At least a week.  Another thing I should point out is that I have no Work ethic anymore!  This is something that bothers the hell out of me.  In high school, I played football, wrestling,baseball, was a good student, etc.  All things that took work.  Last year I also did well in school.  but as I said, Lately I have not been able to focus on anything.  I have been asking myself question after question...'Am I depressed?  Do I have ADHD?  Do I have OCD?'  I have talked to couselors and what not and for some reason it seems as tho I analyze them analyzing me!  Cognitive therapy I have tried and that doenst work the best either.  I do not want to sound arrogant but it almost feels like my head is to smart for those tricks.   It's as though my mind will not believe it.  I can take myself out of my body and empathize with myself (if that makes sense at all)  I tell myself-what do you have to be depressed about?  You have family that loves you, you are smart, you are almost done with your college degree, you have friends, etc etc.  Why do I feel like nothing is ever good enough????  Like I am missing out on something?  ugh.  And now that I look back at this post I realize how unorganized it is.  It's like my thought process is gone!?  I guess I am afraid that there are things wrong with me but I do not want to take medication.  I have always not wanted to take a pill to make it go away because it is just a quick fix.  But then I ask myself if me smoking weed was my form of takin a pill?  I just dont know ne more. If there is someone who can make sense of any of this, feel free to respond.  I am sure there are things I am leaving out.  OH--last night I began taking St. Johns Wort.  That seems to have lifted the mood a little bit however I still have no desire to work or do anything at my job.  Anybody have any advice?
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Avatar_m_tn
A few things you need to know. I am a former pot smoker and I am a long time sufferer of Cronic (chronic) Depression and anxiety.

If you are suffering from Depression and anxiety dissorder then smoking pot is absolutly the worst thing you can do.

In some people (especially) people that suffer from depression and anxiety, smoking pot will always make things worse. If you want to invite a full blown panic attack then smoking pot is a sure way to do it.

If you want to control your depression then the first step, is that you MUST stop smoking weed. Been there, done that, wrote the book.

It is a scientific FACT that Majaruana exaserbates depression and anxiety in people that have the condition.

Now for individuals that do not suffer from clinical depression or anxiety dissorder, Majauana is usually not a problem. I have some friends that still smoke weed on a regular basis and they are very well adjusted and productive people. BUT... They also do not suffer from Depression and Anxiety disorder.

Next topic: You mentioned that your doctor put you on Zoloft and you stopped it after only 3 days because it made you Anxious? Zoloft (Sertraline) which is an SSRI antidepressant medication takes a minimum of two full weeks in the system before it can produce any kind of response, good or bad.

It may be possible that the very thought taking the Zoloft triggered a panic attack. This is not unusual with a new medication because often times we can psych ourselves into a panic attack because we are unsure of how the drug will effect us.

I'm not saying that Zoloft is even the right med for you. I'm just saying that it would be about 4 to 6 weeks of taking Zoloft before you and your doctor would know if it were right for you.

The fact that your doctor has prescribed an SSRI medication for you probably means that he is convinced that you indeed are suffering from a Clinical Depression.

As for cognative Therapy. Here's the deal with talk therapy; While most often Cognative Therapy (Talk therapy) will not do a thing to stop your direct symptoms of depression, it is a very useful tool to help with coaping skills. It is also helpful to have a therapist like this that you can unload your fears, anxietys, and worries to. Take a look again at the post you had written above...... So you see, you do have issues that will do you good to talk about and unload. That's what talk therapy is for and it really can help in the long run, but it takes time. Don't worry about if you think your therapist is trying to psychoanalize you. That's their job and it's only so they can better understand the root of your problems so they can help you.

It took you a long time to get as low and depressed as you are right now. Expect that it will take a long time for you to feel better too.

You mentioned that your having great difficulty consentrating and that you feel like you have lost your mental edge? This is no supprise at all. Depression is a feirce destroyer of consentration and mental focus. It causes your thoughts to race and your head to feel like a mad swurling Tempist inside.

Simple sadness does not even begin to describe the mental tourture that is clinical depression. It goes WAY beyond that into some very bizzar symptoms that can make everyday a living hell.

You want some advice;
(1.) Listen to your Psychologist and doctor
(2.) Stop smoking weed. It will only serve to hinder your recovery.
(3.) keep up with your regular therapist appointments and use the sessions to unload.
(4.) Take your medication (ZOLOFT) as your doctor has prescribed it. I swear to you if you give it several weeks, it will take the edge off the depression and help with your focus big time.
(5.) Use the Xanax IF NEEDED, BUT take very little and not often. Xanax can be VERY addictive and is not designed to be a long term treatment. Break them in half if you can. The less the better.
(6.) if you can, get a once per month B-12 shot. It's no cure all but I swear it helps with the Focus, energy, and well being. The shots cost about $20 bucks a pop and they are very safe.
(7.) Keep the alcohol to a minimum. Have a couple drinks with friends if you must, but all in moderation.

If you follow the above program, then I have $1000 dollars that says in two months from now you will be living a new life and feel MUCH better.

Your going to have to work at this. It's not just going to go away on it's own. Trust me it never goes away on it's own.

P.S. About the this ex-girlfriend. Dude I know how you feel and it hurts. If I had a nickel for every lost love, I would be a wealthy man. To lose a woman that you love is all part of the Human experience. There is not a Man alive that at some point has not felt the pain of losing a beautiful Woman. You need to now focus on improving yourself and another Woman will come along.

Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
I understand that zoloft takes a while to work.  However I also understand how my body works and when I took the zoloft--It made me want to jump out of my freakin skin--WOW it was no fun.  My body works pretty fast when dealing with stuff I intake.  Being a wrestler I can promise you I am very in tune with my body.  I understand this is mental disorder and not physical and I understand how SSRI AD's work--however the way I was feeling was def not 'deal with able.'  I've been doing a ton of research on this stuff and I'm finding that all the AD's can have the same side effects--even though they effect every person differently.

I think a big thing with this is that I do not know if I have Clinical Depression and Anxiety Disorder.  I have been doing so much research on it and working to Diagnose myself.  I show many of the symptoms but I almost do not want to accept it.  I understand that in life you have to accept some things but I am not 100% srue if I do in fact suffer from clinical depression.  Do you think that this is all going on because I havn't smoked in 2 and a half weeks?  You being someone that used to smoke might have insight into this.  Was it hard for you to quit?  Were you still depressed when you smoked?  I can tell you right now I would give anything to take one hit, just one.  I miss that a ton.  

The question that keeps lingering in my head is 'Why was everything going so good for the last year?'  It felt like I was over the girl thing, hell-I didnt even want a girl in my life!.  I felt like school was going good, life was easy, I was independent and willing to do things on my own.  I was able to smoke weed, not every day but occasionally.  How could you be someone be happy and suffer from clinical depression?  

Another thing I should have said is that I tore my ACL in December.  That was something that for me was a real killer.  I lost the ability to do all the things I loved--athletics. That has been a challenge and a half and I've basically been neglecting that for a couple of weeks also.  I think that was a big reason as to why I began smokin daily.  Helped with the pain and just being alone in general.   I also started another job as an intern again and when that started it seemed that brought on the depression hardcore!  It seemed like there were so many things in my life that I HAVE to do and dont WANT to do.  Maybe I just got a heavy dose of growing up and Adulthood?  I dont know.  I know this job gave me tons and tons of time to just think about myself and my life.  I worked myself into a tornado of depression.  (I have to do time studies and write work instructions--boring boring )  Now I feel lost if I have to anything on my own--anything at all.  It gets to the point where I just get so damn mad that I am dealing with this right now.  I want to be a normal 21 year old college guy.  Why is that so damn hard?  I guess another scary thing is that this is something that only I can deal with on my own.  Feels kind of lonely at times.  You get to the point where it feels like there are so many things coming down on you at once that all you want to do is crawl into a corner and give up.

It scares me to think I have clinical depression.  You are nearly 40 and still have to deal with it.  (I dont mean that in a disrespectful way by any means--In fact I value an opinion like yours, experience is the best form of education). My life is just beginning and it almost feels like I wanna quit.  I have been a person that has always hated medication.  I know it is just a temporary fix.  The ****** part is there is no cure for this, only temp fixes.  I have started taking St johns wort.  Did you ever take that?  It's only been about a day so Idunno if the effects have taken their course yet.  I am not so opposed to trying this because it is an herbal supplement-not so much a medication.  

I appreciate your response greatly.  I will try to stay strong with not smoking and working to get myself out of this.

I think I am going to try to stay away from the AD's right now.  If things dont change when school starts again and I get away from this job I'll have to re-think the AD's.

I dont take the xanex often because I am fully aware of its addictive possibilities.  I def do not want that to happen.  I've never been the biggest drinker--I like smoking to much.  I dont think me drinking to much will be a problem.

When school starts I am going to try to make going to a couselor a regular thing seeing as it is free for me at school.  I am hoping it gets better by then though.  Thanks again for the response!
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Avatar_m_tn
It sounds like you are still functional which is a good sign. There are different levels of clinical depression from Mild, moderate, to severe.

If your condition was at a very severe critical stage then there is no way your last post would be as detatiled as it was. If you can not tolerate taking medication, then you have a good idea about trying the St. Johns Wort. The Wort can sometimes help if the level of your depression is fairly mild.

It will still take awhile before you know if it is helping.

You asked how I was able to stop smoking weed? That was easy because back in 1991 I had my first massive Panic Attack after smoking a joint with a friend. After that experience I never touched it again. Prior to that episode I was probably what you would call a pot head. I easily went thru a half ounce a week just for my own personal smoke.
This was some crazy rare super cronic (chronic) bud that my buddie had and we smoked and I swear to God I got so high that I went into complete Panic mode. Never in my life had I experienced a high like that from weed, and I never wanted to experience it again so quiting was easy. Someday when you get too high and the fear hits you hard core. Trust me you will stop smoking too. So that's my "how I stopped smoking weed story."

About the medication I have to take; Yes it *****. In fact it ***** really bad, but the untreated symptoms of my depression suck MUCH worse. If I could function even halfway without the use of AD medication then I absolutly would not ever take it. Believe it or not there are some people that really do need medication for Severe Depression. I happen to be one of those people. I simply do not respond to any other form of treatment.

I have managed to build a good life dispite this condition. I have a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, a wonderful wife and daughter, a great career, and two new cars in the driveway. All of which I can without a doubt tell you, would never have been possible if not for medication to control the beast of depression.

Am I happy? That's a tough question. Because of my condition I don't think that I can ever be the kind of happy that normal people can be, but I have moments of joy, just not the kind of joy that can be experienced by other people.

At my worst I could not even walk a streight line without falling to the ground. My Depression is so severe that it actually effects my sence of balance. You wanna talk about anxiety..... I could do little besides curl up in a fetal position while my body trembled in fear so terrifiying that Death was a very serious consideration. My consentration level was so destroyed that I could hardly even read a childs book. I didn't eat for several weeks and when I did it was hardly anything. I couldn't sleep hardly a wink because my entire nervious system was in complete meltdown. As a result of all this I had actually convinced myself that I was seriously going insane. Therefore I began to activly and seriously plan out my suicide.

The best way I can describe the actual mental experience is this; Imagine if in just one day, your Mother, Child, and Wife all died in a car accident, then imagine that on that same day you also lost your job and home. Now imagine how emotionally destroyed you would be in that very moment. Now imagine if you felt that exact powerful dispair in your head all the time, yet nothing bad has even happened. That's exactly how it feels to suffer from severe depression. That is why some people actually kill themselves.

All that for a person that has never suffered a single tramatic experience in his life.
I was very lucky to have been treated by one of the best Psychiatrists in the state who came to the conclusion that I was suffering from a severe form of Depression and anxiety that was Bio-chemical in nature. In other words the problem was in my brain.
I was then prescribed an antidepressant medication and in 6 weeks it was like someone had lifted up the blinders and I could see again. Like some heavy mental fever had lifted. The transformation was absolutly mind blowing. Obviously there was something my brain was not able to do without the antidepressant drug.

It's still very hard. I have to stay on top of my condition. I have had the burden of making many med changes thru the years due to resistance build up. But I own it now and it no longer owns me.

You may be ok. Maybe your doctor jumped the gun with prescribing you meds.
Your best bet is to get a second opinion from a Board Certified Psychiatrist.

You may just be suffering from a kind of generalized anxiety. A professional second opinion would be good for you.


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Avatar_m_tn
I just got done working out.  I am amazed at the difference I see in myself.  It is like 2 different people.  Why is there such a drastic difference betweeen me before and after I work out?  I feel like I am normal right now.  God do I miss feeling this good.  It's almost like my mind will listen to me now.  The downside is that I am afraid of the other me.  That brings me down thinking about it no matter how hard I try not to.

I had a massive panic attack like that myself.  It was recent...about a month ago.  It was right after the 4th of July weekend.  My friends and I drank and smoked a ton.  We also smoked Hash.  I would relate that to the 'really good chronic' you were talking about.  Thinking about it now tho we never smoked anything but really good weed. As I look back I realize that I began smoking more almost because I saw this depression coming.  Is that weird?  The fact that I knew I was going to this point and I smoked more to run from it?  

Anyways--I had the panic attack the monday after the 4th at work.  IT was horrible.  IT felt like there were about a million termites inside my chest.  There were about a thousand thought going thu my head but I couldnt focus on a one.  I ended up calling my AUnt and basically crying to her over the phone for about 20 minutes, scared to death that I was about to die or something.  The weird part is that the anxiety only lasted for a couple of weeks.  Then it seemed like I was able to control it.  Does that make sense.  Now whenever I feel it coming...I kind of accept it and saw screw you anxiety.  I mean, my heart still beats hardcore but It does end up going away.  Why can't I relate that to the depression?  Its a pretty crappy combo tho.

For some reason my mind keeps lookin back to the fact that things are telling me I need to grow up and be an independent person.  I thought I was for a while but now am not so sure.  I keep asking myself If I am just going through a phase of life or am I suffering from depression?  I think a huge part of what kills me is that I have a very analytical mind.  I over analyze everything.  People I talk to just tell me to stop thinking about it but telling me to do that is like telling someone with depression like you described not to be depressed.  IT's almost like my mind just wont listen to me when I tell it to stop over analyzing stuff.  I hate it to the fullest.

Another thing that really bugs me is that I am a person that if you were to look at me from another one's point of view.  I am lucky.  I for some reason have the ability to almost counsel myself but my head wont let me belive it.  It's like I find a way to be depressed.  Does that make any sense?   I'm 21, a year away from graduatuing with my engineering degree, have a good family, decent friends.  I hate the fact I feel like this.  It's  as though I am so hard on myself because I feel guilty that a person in my situation feels the way I do.  I try not to think like that but like I said, The person I am when I feel good(like after working out) and the person I am at other times is crazy different.
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Avatar_m_tn
You could just be going thru a stressful period in your life.
18 to 24 years of age can be a real *****.

I used to worry myself sick at that age about my future. How was I going to live, could I make enough money, is this perfect, is that perfect, what's this girl friend doing, and so on. You tend to worry a bit less about that kind of stuff as you get older.

Like I said, your still able to function at a fairly high level, which is a good sign. If you were suffering from a severe Depression then you would not be able to do a lot of the things your doing right now. This is a good sign that indicates that your level of depression is not out of control.

Your working out now which is excellent therapy for anxiety. Your taking a natural antidepressant and talking about your issues. These things will go a long way in helping you.

BTW.... If you can you really need to start getting monthly B-12 shots. I know, your thinking, " I already take vitamins." Not the same thing dude. I've been doing the B-12 shots for a couple months now and I tell you they really do help with the focus and anxiety. It's not a gimmik, they really do help.
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Avatar_m_tn
There are too much talkings above.. didnt read it fully but when I was in SSRIs I had too many problems even after taking it for a month ( you can say I was almost dead ). I think you may need a Tricyclic, Tetracyclic or SNRI type of AD that effects Norepinephrine as well for cognition. NOT A DOCTOR but I kinda like Mirtazapine , its good and had a good time with it and it improved my Cognition. But it causes derealization and I prescribed myself benzos along with an Anti-psychotic that keeps my head cool. Good Luck
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Avatar_m_tn
LOL I know, this thread between us did get seriously long winded.

I actually didn't bother to mention the SNRI, Tricyclic or Tetracyclic AD options to duv05 simply because I figured if SSRI's were too much for him, that the other options would be way too powerful for him.

I now take a Tri-cyclic myself (Nortriptilyne) because SSRI's and SNRI's are like Pez candy for me. They don't work for me anymore. Guess I wore out my welcome with them.

I always kind of considered the Tri and Tetra meds to be the "Big Guns."
No question they work better, but they do have a MUCH higher occurance of side effects. But you never know, if Norephinephierine depletion in the brain is his problem then the Big Guns might be just the ticket for him.

Hard to say unless he tries one, but given that he had a severe allergic reaction to Zoloft, I have to conclude that there is a good chance that he may also have this negative reaction to the SNRI's, Tri and Tetras.  
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Avatar_m_tn
OMG...as I was reading your post, I started to cry because everything you wrote is exactly what I am going though and feel.  Everything from relationships with girls, feeling incomplete to smoking.  I would like to further discuss with you to see if you have any treatment for what you are going through, if not perhaps we can just exchange stories in support of one another.  I know you posted this a few years ago, but if you like, you can contact me at ***@****.  Hope to hear from you=]
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