Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal


Male 43, married 17 yrs, 2 boys 8 & 6.

1995, strange city. Law grad w/MBA. No law work, demeaning temp labor. In 1/2 yr., depressed, got help. Diagnosed low-grade, chronic depressed & moderate+ Adult ADD. The latter (ADD) immediately. Red flag? Ritalin and SSRI. Series of like meds follows. SSRI helps; other (?).

Find work, DC federal litigator.

2000, happy move to Maine. Solo practice & other biz. Wife & I work at home. Huge house, much acreage.

Succession of MDs (either I moved, they're hospitalized for nervous brakedown or changed vocation to community theater, etc.). Latest, maybe 9 mo. (OK, but doesn't "get" me). 80% since '95, some combo of varying meds, this diagnosis; 20% drug-free. Also, 5-10 diff. therapists. Poor results! Since Jan., w/psychologist I finally like & think (thought?) fine match.

Rate long marriage A-, at worst (I'm very flawed, but seemed marital strengths were complimentary). Mostly happy, tho self-assess as discontent by nature; intense; irreverent; introspective; big-hearted; impatient; spending much energy/time/$$ serving others (prof. & otherwise); occasionally irritable; very gentle.

2005. Miserably in Kafkaesque situation. Suddenly strongly opposing separate, like opinions of W, therapist & pharmacologist.

Denial?  But hear my thoughts!

Stressful yr. Still confusingly grieving sudden loss of mom (only close relative) previous yr; using part of inheritance to build distant vacation home (huge, ongoing stressor); ill-advisedly, worked more hours, accepted more vol. responsibilities (leading to less family time, more irritable, W disapproval; etc.); other stressors.  

OCT/NOV. 2005. Therapist suddenly announces I'm hypomaniac; and feels meds contribute. Tells it to MD (w/my OK).  Coincides w/W's therapist of 2x diagnosing me (?!) w/BP; W attends MD session w/me (long planned, for input re. my meds she felt newly ineffective). Pulls out list of "my" symptoms, oddly mirroring perfectly BP criteria (& either twisted or w/very inconsequential evidence, me thinks). Turns out she'd gone to the 'NET, researched, and consciously or not (and she's very sweet, so I can't believe maliciously), chose disparate anecdotes fitting BP profile.

MD immed. caves, and RED FLAGS ALL OVER FOR ME! Insists on changing meds against my strong wishes (after all, denial's one of the hallmarks of having hypomania; twisted logic that!). Marriage collapsing! Formerly loving W, poss. menopausal and also on Zoloft (her first med, by her gyno), wants out ('cause I'm NOW insensitive, ill-tempered, etc.).  Am 100% committed to save union; W has since backed off slightly. We see marriage counselor (MY idea) 1st time today.

Therapist relationship threatened.

Me, I think my cond. 95% situational. My intense research suggests I'm not even *SLIGHTLY* BP or hypomanical (au contraire!), BUT FOR shared symptoms w/ADD.

Two camps are so apart, either I'm right or I've had a total psychotic break w/reality.

11 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
I think I understand what you asking, and of course, I can not make a diagnosis without seeing you in consultation.  Since that is impossible, I suggest you do find a psychiatrist you can trust, on your own,without your wife or anyone else being present to influence the outcome.  Its dangerous when people start researching the internet and become diagnosticians...its easy to make anything fit anything unless you are well trained about the subtle differences.   Be honest with yourself and find out what is going on...be confident about your own mind and intuition and be sure not to be in deniall...if you are not, then you should press your case for this being situational and remediable by some good conjoint work with you and your wife.
Avatar universal
Avatar universal

I'm sorry that you are not feeling well and your world seems to be falling apart.

The key things I noted about your profile:  A law graduate with an MBA, a huge house in Maine with a lot of acreage, an inheritance which is enabling you to build a vacation home, a loving, caring wife. Doesn't sound too bad, now does it?

Call me insensitive, but it sounds to me as if you have a lot of things to be grateful for. A lot more than many people have.

I have found that one of the keys to being happy is to be grateful for the blessings you do have in life. It sounds to me as if you have many.

I hope you feel better soon!
Avatar universal
Regarding the last post.  Thank you.  Genuinely, for taking the time to answer.  I AM grateful for all the blessings I have, so much so that I devote my entire law practice to poverty law, among other things.  BUT that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my wife is leaving me because she feels my personality has changed the last year.  NOR does it change a whit the very real concern I have that a pharmacologist, the person who controls the meds I have come to rely on to keep the horrifying specter of depression at bay, is planning on putting me on a regimin of drugs to treat bi-polar, when all my research suggests I am anything but bi-polar.  HOW can I count my blessings when I may have an adverse reaction to lithium and die, when in fact I believe it is absurd I be on mood stabilizers in the first place?!  If I was any less manic I'd be in a coma.  Sorry if I could not communicate this in the 3000 characters I was allowed in the beginning, but my real question is WHAT DOES one do when a cadre of wife, therapist and MD all want to medicate them for symptoms and underlying pshychosis they simply DO NOT HAVE?  Do I get a second opinion, and if so how?  Am I supposed to walk in another psychiatrist's office and ask for a quick opinion I if I have BP?  Do I agree with this odd, new alliance simply because it is the path of least resistance, when I know in my head and my heart it is the wrong diagnosis, made in a heartbeat for whatever expedient reason it was?  And if I'm right, what does that say about these three people, and their recklessness with what medicines enter my bloodstream?!  And if I'm wrong, how come the total psychosis I must be experiencing to be in such utter denial pretty much feels like any other day in my 43 years?  Hey, if all it took was counting my blessings, there'd be no POSTINGS to begin with.  Mental illness is not a funciton of socio-economic class or marital status.  And if I knew what to do, or had anyone at all to talk to about this who might offer some insight, I wouldn't be posting to some anonymous entity in the first place!  I am really baffled and scared.  So if anyone, no offence, has any real advice to offer, I'd certainly welcome it!
Avatar universal
Hi. Sorry things are not going well for you.  You may find these links helpful:

Avatar universal

my belief is that it is all "life" and that doen't make it "just life". Faith in your own ability to overcome is absolutely crutial. i will not go into toO much detail other than sharing the fact that i come from a family of mental health issues and feel vulnurable to some.

if you are still relatively functional, when overwhelmed the right medication can be a relief, but the right ear is everything! if, on the other hand you feel you have lost the ability to decide for yourself, being too overwhelmed to trust your own best judgement, then you are at the potential disadvantage of letting others diagnose you and treat you... again faith plays its part here! by faith i mean a very broad sense of faith and in no way does it need to be of religious value.

you are going about your life as though you were not accepting change in the tools that are available to you today along with the new traits you have developped along your life. chemically, things are born and die in all organisms as they do just that: "live".

you have a bright pragmatic mind, access to financial resources which means in this country at least it should help you find better access to better care and possibilities, but on the other hand you are overwhelmed by your self-analysis which seems to disconnect you from the less rational aspects of being alive -- things change!!! and just as we are willing to accept it when it takes minimal adaptation and provides perks, we need to accept it when it means work. an ailment is a lack of adaptation to new circumstances.

you wife wanting to leave you, your building projects, your field of work -- all of it are opportunities to face life as honestly as possible. only you have access to those choices, and only you can decide whats next as far as your chemical imballance if that is in fact what needs to be treated. it may really only be life, and these discussions should be of help to you.
Avatar universal
Thank you for the last two posts.  I will check out the links in the first.  And I sense a lot of wisdom in the second, though in my present foggy state of mind will need to read it over a few times to digest its meanings.  But thank you both for taking the trouble to write and care!  RFK
Avatar universal
RFK, I hope that things get better for you, buddy. When it hits, it hits, doesn't it, and it's never too much fun when it does.

I'm 28, personally. Though the stresses of your profession go above and beyond that of most, I probably think that anyone that's gone to school goes through some of what's hitting you, you know?

Five years ago, I was finishing up as a Biz Major. I had always acknowledged God, wanted to do the right thing, respected those less fortunate, etc, but ultimately, the biggest dream was the Lexus and everything else that goes with it, you know what I mean.

I was the baby of my family. I have two older siblings, a 43 yr old sis that lives close by, and my 40 yr old big brother that is a VP of a subsidiary of a major company.

He has the big house, and the stresses that go with it, much like you. He has an absolute heart of gold, loves his family dearly. Unfortunately, his wife started to drink a few years back, and of course she blamed him because he was always out of town, you know. Soon thereafter, the middle daughter ended up getting into some trouble, and before long he just pretty much snapped, packed up the family, and moved across the country for a new start, and that's helped to some degree, but on the same hand we're not always able to escape some of the memories, you know. His wife doesn't drink anymore, though, so the improvements are there, too, slow but sure.

Clearly, in your line of work, especially, one's conscious is bound to enter in. It takes a certain type of personality to be an effective lawyer, RFK, and given what you have accomplished in life, I'm sure you have that. And it sounds like with what you've chosen to do with your education, you've done a wonderful thing there. It's inside of you, in other words, to help others. And so, I would imagine that you're sitting in a spot much like the one I'm still stuck at-how do you provide for a family and give them a good life, yet not do yourself in in the process with the stresses of work. Than, from that point, be it a conscious or subsconscious emotion, one always asks him/herself whether or not they're truly doing something meaningful. Am I doing something good? Am I helping others, etc.

In your case, buddy, that definitely sounds like the case, and so you should have nothing to be ashamed of, first and foremost. Be proud of what you've accomplished. That's bigtime stuff.

But the types of questions that are haunting your mind, RFK, I dare wager they're the same ones that just about EVERYONE in our country are asking themselves right now. We can't hide from it.

Though it's true our own lives should always extend far beyond the overall mood of the nation, politics, etc, we can't help but be swept into some of it, too.

Right now, we've been watching senators dropping f bombs in the senate, a Christian movement that seems to be so self directed in certain capacities that the poor are often left behind in the bigger picture of it, and than you wonder what on earth some have done to the very religion itself, you know?

"Everything" doesn't feel right today, and the majority of the people don't, either.

Now I want to be very clear here, RKF-I'm not a doc, and so the words I'm typing here must never substitute for the advise of your own physician. No diagnosing or treating here. You know what I mean, Mr. Lawyer~.

But if you want my honest opinion as an amateur, my friend, to me it just sounds like you've broken down. You know, sometimes I swear that a single Psychiatrist has never actually been through any of this before, because when I went through some intense anxiety awhile back, I swear that I had "Um all" at one point or the other-ADD, ADHD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Depression, OCD, GAD-you name it, and dependant upon the day, I had it. Some days I couldn't focus on a single thing, other days I could focus but I was having panic attacks, other days I was just simply depressed, and than somedays I was probably fully capable of having had lost it to such an extend that I could've easily climbed up into a tree in a park in the full nude wearing only a Batman mask, you know?

I don't know, buddy-sometimes to me it just feels like it's all the same thing, and more often than not, in my case anyway, the conscious is usually behind it. Especially in your line of work. Clearly you're a good guy. As a lawyer of your stature, you could've been a criminal defense attorney, a real estate lawyer, etc. But look what you went after. You're a good guy deep down, one w/ a conscious.

And believe it or not, that's kind of rare today, isn't it, sadly? Afterall, today it seems like you're either an athiest out having sex with a dozen women a month, or your involved in this other cult like movement. Sadly, it's hard to find God's love anywhere anymore.

You've got Psychiatrists charging $500 an hour pre insurance fees for a five minute office visit to give people Zoloft to dull away the reality of the world we're living in, etc. We've got major corporations raping certain segments of the population, sex offenders stealing kids on a weekly basis, lunatics abroad flying planes into our buildings, and than I think a solid 50% of the population are alcoholic. I went to a Packers game two years ago, a Sunday night game, and I was shocked at everything around me, you know. I think my brother and I and a ten year kid sitting down a couple of rows were the only sober people in the stadium. A couple of flame torches and a golden cow with half naked women laying on the thing, and I would've sworn that I was literally in hell, you know? Trust me, there are many days I've actually wondered whether or not we all ended up in hell somehow along the way, because there is very little that's right with whatever's happened around here lately.

Bottomline, RFK, is that the world's become an unhappy place, and those with a conscious are going to feel hurt themselves because of that. I feel absolutely terrible about what you're going through, you sound like a very nice man. But believe it or not, some of this might just be the result of all of the external forces of today's world a little bit, too, some of which is completely out of our control as individuals.

The only thing that's kept me sane through all of this is God's love, RFK. That's it, the only thing. Some, even in medicine itself, will mock such an approach, but at a personal level, He has done for me what medicine could not do, and I'm still convinced a few in medicine know that He has a role in some of this, too, btw. The entire design of the body itself should offer a clue. If our Endocrinologists would spend their first two years studying the Bible itself, and than go onto the medical education, we'd be a lot further along in several different areas, and I'm not joking about that either.

RFK, Jesus once said that one of the ultimate things we can do to praise Him was to love our enemies, to treat people right, and forgive them of the wrongs that they have committed against us. He also indirectly references our need to assist the poor well over 500 times in the Bible, I've been told.

He also praises the concept of the children of the earth, those like your own, RFK. "We need to maintain a Child like faith," is what He says, something much like that.

I remember when my brother's children were younger. Having been the baby of my own family, I never had the oppurtunity to really understand the perspective. But I remember back to when they were 4 or 5, watching how they had no fear of what may come tomorrow, and they believed that God was love, and that He would always be there to take care of them, you know?

One of the most remarkable characteristics of life to me is the way we seem to enter life as innocent children, and we leave the same way. Afterall, anybody that's ever looked at an 85 year old couple holding hands in a nursing home after 60 years of marriage knows what love really is about, you know. Anyone that's had family in a nursing home knows that there's a lot of pain to be seen in those of types places. But once and a great while you'll also come across that one older senior sitting in his/her wheelchair that stares you in the eyes and it's almost as if you're looking back at a child again. Sure, she may be old and wrinkled, the body has withered away, etc, but the eyes are the same, and it's as if she's showing you, just through that glance alone, that the day comes, after all of this madness, that we will return to innocense, just like we entered.

We're born a child of God, than we have to make our way through all of the hardships and evils of the world, etc, but in the end something magical happens and we return to the way we came in, with all of it's innocense. I'm not so sure there's necessarily any type of science that can explain for something like that, you know? And when things don't add up all the time, and you get the sense that there could be a message in it, I've learned that's usually the time to reflect back on Him, because in such cases it's never too hard to see His message in the things we go through that we don't understand all of the time.

In the meantime, RFK, it sounds to me like your wife is considering leaving you because of the stress you're going through because of your condition. When stress becomes overbearing, a lot of times we want to cut and run at that point. That's kind of our nature, and I would guess that's what she's probably dealing with, RFK.

But in the context of the man you seem to be, I just don't know, something about that just doesn't sound right to me. The concept of it sounds like a big mistake. Anybody that's going through something like you are, somewhere deep down she must understand that the real you is still there inside. She has to know that, RFK. And so in that sense, the issue becomes something entirely different altogether, doesn't it? Does she really want to leave you, or does she want to leave the situation?

If the situation is the real problem, perhaps something can still be done about that. I don't know why that wouldn't be the case.

In the meantime, if God has anything to say about it, you just never know where the real answer might be hiding to save your situation. Remember, God speaks so highly of His children, those with a child like faith. Maybe, just maybe, your little ones might point your family in the right direction in a way that probably can't be understood at this point.

In order to save your marriage, it might not hurt, either, to rid yourself of any unnecessary hardships. If your home is causing you financial stress, you might be able to stay in the area but downgrade a little bit, you know? There's no humility in doing that, and if your wife would understand that you're doing so for the purposes of saving your family, I can't imagine that you'd have anything to feel ashamed of for making that type of decision.

And you live in some beautiful country of there, too, RFK. When was the last time you all took a little trip someplace, went somewhere out of the ordinary. When's the last time you had a weekend where all of you escaped from the ordinary pattern of life and did something compltely different, something the kids would really enjoy for a day or two.

Your heart's in the right place, RFK, and usually when that's the case, you can make it through the thick and thin. Asking Him into your heart and requesting His guidance along the way is something that might really help here,too.

That's exactly what I did a couple of years ago, RFK. And my journey still isn't over, and I still don't have my answer from Him completely. But I will tell you this much-all I did was ask Him into my heart, and told Him that I needed some help in a sincere prayer. He did the rest. And as crazy as that might sound to some, those that have actually done it know exactly what I'm talking about-you're taken to a different place. And it's not all rosey and clear at first. In my case, things went downhill at first, even. But eventually, RFK, certain truths and perspectives come inside that you never would've possibly seen before, those that erase any doubt to speak of that He really is there. I'm far from a master of knowing what it means all of the time, but in a way that cannot really be put into words, a type of perspective comes forth that changes you in a way that winds up allowing you to see things so, so differently, and eventually a set of circumstances are established in life that go beyond any rational explanation. And eventually you meet Him-not with your eyes, not in my case anyway, but from within.  

Hope this helps, RFK. Best to you and your's, my friend.

BTW-maybe you already have big Thanksgiving plans down, but if not, perhaps you'd gain a couple of brownie points if you cater in the meal. For a family of four you'd survive the pocket book hit, you know~. Don't let her think that you're trying to spoil her, if you were to ever do such a thing, just let it be known that you're trying to do your part to say that you understand that she's been through a lot with your situation, but that you're not about to give up on your end of the bargain, either. Show her you're trying your best, you know? Just a suggestion. You know what's best, my friend.
Avatar universal

Your doctor may be crazy but he s probably just incompetent in that he likes to daignose patients with conditions that dont exist and  then drug them for it.

For advice in dealing with your doctor,who is the person statistically most likely to kill you, recommended reading is -

  "how to stop your doctor killing you" by Vernon Coleman

As regards ADD, you may have a behavioural `condition` that has been labelled  as "ADD" but you dont have ADD itself -

ADHD/ADD doesnt exist-

Avatar universal

More damning evidence of adhd `medication`

Thursday, January 5, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

E-mail article     Print view

Reported risks spur new study of ADHD drugs
By Andrew Bridges

The Associated Press

Avatar universal
Hey Guys I Have a question. I went to the Doctor Yesterday to been seen because I have had over 38 kidney stones since August. My doctor Informs be that he got a letter saying I was RED FLAGGED because Of pain Meds. What does All that mean? I have no clue. I am hoping some one out there Knows What it means to have been red flagged at the Doctors and the Pharmacys. thank everyone, I would reallly appericiate a Answer.
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