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Beyond sadness
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Beyond sadness

Please help me.  I am a 53 yr old grandmother of 3 wonderful grandchildren (known as " yaybies" in our home). For the past 6 months, I have had an overwhelming sense of sadness, worthlessness and apathy.  I am educated and come from a family that taught me to "pull myself up by my bootstraps".  I am diabetic, have a heart problem and was recently diagnosed with gastroparesis. Due to the latter, I cannot eat without throwing up most days and always have extreme nausea which medication doesn't help.  
I cannot bootstrap this.  I have tried Zoloft, cymbalta and Prozac. Nothing has helped. I am honestly waiting to die and it doesn't matter to me if I do.  Please help me. I wonder why I am even still alive, as I am of no value to anyone and feel like I'm just a burden anyway.
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Everyone has a place on this Earth and you have done nothing to deserve what you have been through.  Nothing is your fault and I understand that you cannot pull up your boot straps.  I am in the military and the first time I tried to seek help for my PTSD and depression they said the same thing.  I talked to another on here once who had a lot of physical pain which didn't enable her to do a whole lot and she fell into deep depression.  Anti-depressents, even if you do find one that works, only take the edge off.  I also know what it is like to just want to lay down and die.
Do you like to read, or anything?  Pain, both physical and mental, are in your head.  They cause obsessive, overwhelming thoughts and it will send you into deep depression.  I know because this happens to me a lot.
Anyway, what has changed in the last six months?  I know it is hard to pinpoint but when did you notice that perhaps your routine changed, or you started feeling lethargic.
We are all here to help you and you came to the right place.  It will take some reflecting and some cognitive work but I promise that you can pull out of this.
If nothing else just write back and tell me about your yaybies...lol, I looked it up and got a big laugh out of it  :)
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Oh my gosh thank you for responding.  It was just over 8 months ago that I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, which practically incapacitated me.  I can no longer work and don't have the energy to do anything, really.  I wish I had interest in something.  Thank you so much for caring, you have no idea how much your words mean.  Also, I think you said you were in the military.  Thank you sooooo much for your service to our country.
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Btw, I just noticed you're from KY, I live just outside Nashville.  My yaybies are my lifeline.  I have twins (1boy 1 girl) that just turned 5 and a boy who is 4.  The twins live with me and to be honest, I'd probably have offed myself if they didn't.  Grandchildren are my heart.  
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That's great!!!
I am glad that your yaybies are theraeutic for you.  I have talked to a lot of people struggling with depression and the most common occurence for most people who have not been diagnosed with a serious depressive disorder often comes after they retire.  In your case it happened after you were incapacitated with your gastroparesis and that makes sense.  I know that if you think about it it may seem helpless however it doesn't matter how bad your body breaks down, as long as you have cognivitve ability in your mind you still have a chance to find peace and happiness.  One of my favorite examples to use in this situation is a boy named Keenan Cahill.  He is diagnosed with Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome.  Life has dealt him a difficult hand but he makes the best of it.  Look him up on youtube and if you wish read about his illness and if you watch a video of him I promise he will have you laughing.
Check this one out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vrNGEJmWSA
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Thank you again for caring!  Bless Keenan Cahills heart. It makes me feel like a whiner.  I was also reading the addiction forums, as I know I have an issue with my painkillers, but I'm already so screwed up that I'm terrified of taking that on (although I haven't had any for a week now). I did smile for the first time in weeks after watching that video.  Thank you for sharing.
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No worries,
Also whenever you are ready head on over to the addiction forum.  I am on there as well and there are a lot of great people on there who will offer support to you and welcome you in with a bright smile and positivity.  I am glad you came to this site and please stick around,

Larry
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Hi, and welcome to this forum. The people here are just wonderful. So caring and thoughtful.
Bubulous gave you such wonderful advice. It must be great to have grandchildren. I don't have any myself but I share my sisters grandchildren. Ha ha! They are so much fun.
Have you ever tried therapy? If not, I would highly recommend it. Try to find a therapist that does CBT. My daughter does that kind of therapy and it has really helped her depression and anxiety. I see that you've tried 3 different meds. Did your Dr try upping the doses on any of them? Did you give them a full 6 weeks to see if they worked? You might want to think about giving meds another try. Sometimes we have to try several, or a combo, to find what works for us.
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Thank you for responding! This forum is full of wonderful people.  I'm so sorry, I realize now that post was probably confusing.  My depression has gotten far worse over the last six months, but I have battled it for years.  I have tried the antidepressants I mentioned with mixed results.  The Prozac gave me auditory hallucinations, Zoloft worked for a year or so, and cymbalta doesn't do much.  I've never tried therapy, but I am certainly open to it.  Any suggestions on what sort of therapist I should see?  (CBT? I don't know what that is).  

Thank you!
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OMG, I cannot tell you how much CBT did for me.  It is the absolute best thing going today for fighting depression, anxiety, anger...and well a host of many other things.  I can give you some exercises to start with if you wish.
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I would sooooooo appreciate that!
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Ok, I am typing some things to start with:
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Thank you thank you
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Ok the first thing you need to do is get a journal.  It starts with thought stopping and first you have to be able to catch the thoughts as they are happening.  This sounds easy but believe me it isn't.  You can tell what emotions you are having but it is hard to catch the thoughts that are causing those emotions.
Make three columns on the paper.  The first column is for thoughts....
For instance a thought could be "I am too lazy to take a shower."
The nest column is for emotions that stem from that thought....
For instance an emotions that stems from that thought could be sadness.  

(It is not depression.  Depression is a state of mind and it is caused by thoughts and emotions.  A lot of people think that depression causes all of their negative thoughts but all of their negative thoughts actually feed the depression.  It is a vicious cycle.)
The example that I gave for emotion was sadness but there are more emotions going on than that and the better you get at catching them the easier it will be to stop them.
For instance the thought "I am too lazy to take a shower" would actually cause a lot of emotions: sadness, shame, and disgust.
Anyway in the third column write down the behavior that those emotions caused.... In this case all those emotions would cause the behavior of laying in bed and brooding.
The key is to catch a negative thought, stop it, and do the oppoosite of it.  This can be done in a few ways.  A basic way to do it is to yell STOP!!! when you notice one.  The way I like to do it is to put a few rubber bands on my wirst.  I like to use multi colored ones so that I can asign one to different negative thoughts that I might have.  I will let you decide which ones to assign to your but I used...
One for thoughts of wanting to cut myself
I used one for anger
And I used one for insecurity
If I wanted to cut myself I would snap the rubber band and the initial snap would distract me enough that I would be able to redirect my thoughts.
If I was angry it would help to calm me down
If I was insecure it would make me pause for a minute and think about what someone said or what I thought to cause that.
Anyway this takes practice.  It can be redundant but after a while it becomes second nature and you will be able to take them off.  You may have to snap them multiple times in the beginning to get the thought to go away but you snap it as many times as you need to.  It is like when you are a kid and you do something wrong and you get spanked for it...you usually don't do it again.
This is the first step but there are some more.  Let me know how it is going.
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Thank you!  I will start this exercise immediately .  It doesn't sound simple, I hope I can do it lol
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You can do it.  I had to do it because my psychiatrist made me do it.  I thought it was ridiculous at first and I didn't want to do it and really couldn't see any benefit from it because everyday I wrote the same thing.  "I am depressed, this is what I think caused it:"
Eventually I started writing things like "The staff was rude to me this morning.  It made me feel angry.  I shouted and stormed out of the room."  And it grew to where I was able to catch the negative thoughts and pop my rubber bands without losing control of my thoughts and sending my mind into racing thoughts of insecutirty and shame.  I learned to speak my mind and walk away so that I didn't carry around guilt all day that I let someone run all over me.  I did it in a respectful way and there is a way of doing it that doens't leave any room for arguement but we will get into that later.  The next step will be about cognitive distortions after you get good at thought stopping  :)
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Wow, you honestly think I'll get good at it?  Lol I am so thankful that I found this site and the courage to post here.  You have no idea how much it means to people like me to have folks follow up that are cost willing to help.  Thank you, thank you.  I'm still looking for a rubberband to get started.
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