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Anxiety/Depression & Bravery

Sep 19, 2012 - 7 comments
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Anxiety

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Depression



One lesson I've learned is that people dealing with Depression and Anxiety are some of the strongest people in the world! No one in my family has ever dealt with anything like this until my head injury. After my head injury I was scared of everything! I didn't understand why I felt that way. My parents had to get guardianship over me just to get me in the hospital. The Neurologist said I had brain damage from my fall. I have Epilepsy, Migraines, Depression, Severe Anxiety, Phobias, etc.

It took a court order to get me the help I needed. My parents still have guardianship over me so that I can't backout of my appointments out of fear. Yet other people ask for help, are willing to go to appointments, make appointments themselves and go to them on their own. I commend them for their bravery in dealing with conditions that are not easy to face.

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by margypops, Sep 20, 2012
I do also ..I have known folks who have had their lives devastated by depression but have won out in the end by getting tough and fighting ..and yes they have to be brave ..And I commend you for being one of them ..

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by nursegirl6572, Sep 20, 2012
Thank you for this.  I have to agree.  People who have never experienced anxiety or depression just don't understand how hard it is to deal with.

When I have bad days, one thing that helps me get through is reminding myself that MY struggles are NOTHING compared to what some people deal with.  People with terminal cancer,.,.,.people paralyzed after an accident, losing a child, being homeless, etc.  

It really puts things into perspective for me when I'm having a rough time.  I realize that there are so many people that would give their right arm for MY brand of "trouble".  That's not to mininize our battles, just to remind everyone that indeed, it could be way worse.  I know when I remind myself of that, I feel empowered to tackle another day.

Again, thanks for posting this.  It's nice to have that acknowledgement that what we go through is very hard, disabling in some cases.

XOXO

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by TheHealingOfHarms, Sep 21, 2012
I am so surprised to get comments on my journal. Thank you for your comments! Unfortunately I am not one of the brave ones I wrote about, but if there is an end to this battle I fully intend to win (most of the time).

It is tough with my brain injury. I am physically incapable of walking but I will finally be getting Physical Therapy. I have trouble with my words too so I am going back to Speech Therapy which is weird after all these years. I need therapy for the Anxiety and Depression I've acquired. So far that therapy has only been talked about. I am having seizures almost daily. I have other injuries that need to be addressed so I am in a lot of pain. As of yesterday they are saying my stress level has caused some kind of adrenaline related heart problem. I didn't understand what they were talking about. I want to backout of all of this and just stay home in bed where it is safe.

I am not one of the brave ones. I maintain that people dealing with Anxiety and Depression are some of the strongest people in the world. I am not one of them though. I don't know how they deal with all of this. I woke up im the middle of this never have experiencing it before.

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by nursegirl6572, Sep 21, 2012
Well, let me say, for starters, you're dealing with a whole heck of a lot!  I don't think too many people in your shoes would feel all that confident.  I know I wouldn't.  You're a lot stronger than you think or give yourself credit for.  We all are.  Us people with anxiety and depression are our own worst enemies.  We LOVE to be trapped inside a head full of negative thoughts.  Things like...."It will never get better", "I don't deserve to be happy or well", "No one likes me", "I'm a burden on everyone", "No one wants to hear about my troubles".  

Sound at ALL familiar?  I bet it does.  Learning how to change those negative thoughts into more positive ones is NOT easy.  We spend a long time reinforcing those negative thoughts, that we're sold on them.  You would probably laugh if I told you people DO want to hear about your troubles.  Right?  You're saying..."sure, nursegirl".  It's true though.  In the very least, people HERE on MedHelp care and want to hear about you.  So, it's true, but how do you get YOU to believe that?  That's much trickier.

For one, you've got a decent amount of medical issues that need addressed before you could ever be able to fully focus on your emotional health.  Who wouldn't be depressed having seizures every day?  And chronic pain?  Goodness!  You won't be able to get to a better place until some of those issues can at least be improved a little.  If I may ask...what is your medical history?  What kind of brain injury did you sustain and when?

It sounds like your recovery from the brain injury was put on the back burner, for whatever reason.  The treatment you're getting ready to try, PT, SLT, should have been started immediately after the injury, and should have been ongoing on some level until now.  That's another reason you feel so lousy.  You're not physically living up to your potential, which of course, after as brain injury, requires help from a whole lot of people.  The brain has a remarkable ability to heal.  It's a very long and slow process.  While a lot of people with a BI end up with some level of permanent deficit, things like PT/OT/SLP can drastically improve the quality of life.  So, that's awesome.  You're embarking on a new adventure that is undoubtedly going to greatly improve your quality of life.  That is something that needs celebrated.  Give yourself some credit for that!

As you start those therapies, you need to look into starting therapy for the noggin, too.  People with brain injuries will often suffer with some kind of anxiety and depression, depending on where in the brain the injury occured, and how severe it was.  Some of that anxiety/depression is directly related to the insult to the brain.  HOWEVER, a good deal of the depression and anxiety for you folks results from just having to endure a lifetime full of new challenges.  In a sense, you're grieving a loss.  The loss of life as you knew it.  THAT'S where therapy can come into play.  there are TWO types of therapy you would greatly benefit from, IMO.

The first is cognitive therapy, where your brain gets a work out.  A cognitive therapist will evaluate you, determine where your deficits are, and start working with you, to relearn those things.  You'd be amazed at the progress you could make.  The second kind of therapy you need is psychotherapy...preferably CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy.  This will be so helpful as it will allow you to vent, explore your feelings related to all that you have to endure, the loss of physical and cognitive function you've experienced....etc.  CBT will help you undo that cycle of negative thinking I started this post talking about.

So, with a holistic plan...getting an ancillary treatment strategy, with many therapists in place...,you will be on your way to a new and improved you.  Sure, it won't be easy.  Sure, it may even be a little scary.  But boy oh boy will it be worth it.  You ARE one of the brave ones.  Much braver than most of us, as we don't have all the extra hills to climb that you do.  Give yourself some credit.  You're taking the bull by the horns, because somewhere, even if it's deep down, you're brave enough to do what it takes to improve your situation.

I wish you the VERY best doing that.  You have me on the squad, cheering for you...along with all of your other MH friends.

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by TheHealingOfHarms, Sep 23, 2012
I am the reason I didn't recover from my brain injury. After my brain injury, I refused to leave the house, even go to the doctors. I signed myself out of the hospital, went to one appointment with my PCP and stopped everything. I woke up from my brain injury terrified. I couldn't calm down. All I could think to do was hide from the world. I was even afraid of friends.

It was a closed brain injury. It took place a little over a year ago. My parents told me I vomited in their home. I slept for hours waking up for a mere 5 minutes each hour or so. After 3 months I slowly began to stay awake longer until I could be awake an hour or so and sleep a little longer. During this time I had seizures and flashes of light and zigzag lines in my vision and high anxiety. I was sensitive to both light and sound. I also had a lot of muscle twitching.

My PCP had diagnosed me with Post Concussive Syndrome during the one visit I had with him.  My parents had no choice but to take me to court and get guardianship over me. Finally we saw a Neurologist. I started screaming and hitting myself and he said I needed to see a Psychologist about my Anxiety while we proceeded with other appointments.

I constantly feel stressed and overwhelmed. I think that is where the Depression came in. I always felt so guilty. I still feel guilty about what I put my parents through. I am a burden to my parents.

As with many people with Asperger Syndrome I have many obsessive interests. Unfortunately I can neither read about them or talk about them anymore without becoming mentally exhausted. My words become confused. It is difficult for me to talk or write anything.

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by nursegirl6572, Sep 23, 2012
Aw, I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles.  What is important now is that you're moving forward, and taking the control back.  Don't dwell on the past...look ahead to the future.  It will take some time and work, but you'll be amazed at what you can do.

Thoughts and prayers are with you.  Please keep us updated!

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by TheHealingOfHarms, Sep 24, 2012
Thank you. I will try.

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