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Suffering from depression for over 10 years now. Will it ever get better?

For over ten years now I've been plagued by depression, and suicidal thoughts and attempts. I kept it to myself for years. I finally got help a little over a year ago. I was very low at the time. I'm on meds, seeing doctors and counsellors, and my friends and family are trying to be supportive. But its like I'm always stepping on eggshells now. For a bit, things were getting better, but no more. Now I just try and get though each day and its so draining. I'm so tired. I try to do everything to keep myself positive and active, but now that has become somewhat of a mask. People see the mask of the recovery and tell me what a good job I'm doing... but I'm not. Each day I'm a bit more drained, a bit more hopeless. I try to tell them I'm not getting better. I try to tell them I'm getting worse. But all that comes out is the mask of recovery. The feigning of the positive to try and keep myself going. I can't keep this up any longer. I've become an isolated recluse. I don't have the energy to go out, to find work, to do anything really. I feel completely lost . Will it ever get better? Or is this my life now?
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Avatar universal
It's not unusual to have set backs. That does'nt mean things will not get better again.Your family and friends need to understand this. Do your Drs know what's going on? Can you say what meds you're on and if you've had an increase in the last year?
1551327 tn?1514045867
I know that you feel you are getting worse every day but that is not likely the case.  Your mind can only go so far into depression before it bottoms out.  I believe that you are trying your best to come out of this and I understand how hard it is; I have to do it almost every day but at least once a week.
Like I said if you have been depressed for ten years you have likely already bottomes out.  The thing that has gotten worse is your faith and hope.  A ten year series of dissapointments and depression can make it seem like it will take another ten years to get out of it but I will give you some hope.  I stayed constantly depressed for 6 years (witht he exception of little spurts of times when I could put on a smile).  The first time I went to treatment it only took a week and a half to get out of it.  The main things that helped were the meds, the structure of the treatment, and the compassion and the understanding of the therapists and staff there.  The mistake I made then was when I got better I didn't maintain my recovery by doing things I knew would keep me out of depression.  Last year when I got out it was the opposite.  I got out and although I still have some bad days, there are a lot more good than bad days.  No one has great days every day but I promise that if you can hold on and keep fighting it will get better eventually.
I hope this gave you some comfort.  I am bipolar type 1 and I have the unfortunate curse of being able to get further into depression than most people with other mental illnesses.  I wanted to let you know that it can get better really all you have to have is faith that it cannot get worse.  If you believe that than you may believe that if you can figure out how to start coming out of this it will not take as long as you might think.  I pray that you can find some serenity...
Avatar universal
Hello Bubulous
I just wanted to ask, with your particular recovery, what did you need to do to keep from being depressed after your week and half treatment (apart from taking meds)??
1551327 tn?1514045867
The main thing that I messed up with was getting into a relationship right after recovery.  It was suppoed to be a time for my healing but I got lonely and instead of getting myself out there I fell back into a relationship and that is one of the things that landed me back in treatment last year.  This time I have done a lot to keep myself out of depression,
This time I have done a lot better about fighting depression and that is why I have more good days than bad.  If you get some time to do some reading you can check out my posts on what I have learned about fighting depression:

Just some theories and practices that I learned along the way  :)
Avatar universal
Thank you I appreciate this. Also, if its not too personal, I noticed u have had an addiction to opiates? I have a MASSIVE one to codeine the last 15 years on and off.
Can I ask u some questions about it? U don't have to reply...

1. Why did u start to take them? Was it depression? (Me it was psychosomatic headaches and they prescribed codeine at strong dose so I got hooked since i was a child)

2. What's made u decide to stop?

3. Do u think u mite take some one day in future as an inevitable thing or is this a make or break effort to stop and get TOTALLY clean like forever? If so, I envy you! Lol I can't imagine stopping my favourite thing ever. It's hard. There are hard times too like withdrawals etc and pharmacy hassals and come downs but all in all I just can't help loving the feeling. When I'm off them, I feel dead. It's sad I need them so much, but I'm glad ur off them. Well done, very well done. Lola xx
1551327 tn?1514045867
I started because of an accident with an over-heated radiator.  I stayed on them because I could not figure out why I was addicted.  I will first tell you what I learned about my addiction.

Here is the story of my self discovery,
When I first got to treatment I had no diagnoses for any mental problems.  Then I found out I had chemical dependency.   When I was diagnosed with chemical dependency I sit down and started journaling.  I had to get to the bottom of the reason I was susceptible to becoming chemically dependent.  I attached that to the Iraq.  Then I was told I had PTSD.  Again I sit down and started writing.  I had to tie in why I had PTSD and how it was related to the war.  I came to the conclusion that the things I saw in war were internalized and I had no coping skills to deal with that.  Then I went manic and they diagnosed me with bipolar.  Again I sit down and started working on why I was bipolar, when it first began, and how it related to the PTSD and CD.  I came to the conclusion that my childhood was tough and that was the reason that my bipolar became onset.  Iraq was the reason that I fell into manic depression, and the manic depression was the reason I was CD.
That was when I was released and that was good enough to keep me clean for a while and have closure.  Unfortunately that was not the end.  I met a girl and after she moved in with me I started to fall back into depression and when it got to the point where I got suicidal I find myself back in treatment 7 months ago.  I came in with all the knowledge that I had before.  I had the same psychiatrist that I had last year and he had the charts to bring him back up to speed.  We started where I left off last year.  The first thing he taught me was thought stopping.  I was told that feelings cause emotions and emotions cause behavior.  I started working on thought stopping but didn't get anywhere for a while because I stayed in manic depression for three weeks slicing my wrist on the 2nd week.  When I was better and out of the depression I started working again.  I noticed that my hand writing was better when I wasn't depressed and I could concentrate better.  That is how I realized that as I used over time when I tried to stop I couldn't because I was so depressed I couldn't concentrate and figure out why I started using again.
Once I realized this I linked my girlfriend to the depression, but wasn't sure why.  I called and told her to get out of my house and go back to home and she did.  If I know something is a problem I have no regrets in destroying it.  Once she left my doctor told me that I was super codependent.  I denied this for a while but eventually read the book and realized how that was true.  I saw that based on how much flattery I get I would become manic.  Based on how much criticism I took in I would get depressed.  So again I looked back at my life to see how my codependent behavior had caused everything that had happened to me.  I came up with the codependency fed the bipolar and the PTSD which both of caused the addiction.  This was the last thing I learned before I got out this time.  I met a new girl while I was in treatment and she came to pick me up when I got out.  She was the most beautiful girl I had ever met and she loved me dearly.  At a point I broke up with her twice.  As we started falling apart I got more and more unstable and I started cutting (which I realized was the same thing as using as it releases dopamin).  I started texting and calling like crazy crying every day.  I became depressed again and when I came out of it I started writing again.  I realized that every time I lost a woman that I cared about I fell into deep depression.  I had to look back and see how that effected everything else.  I realized that the childhood that I grew up in gave me a distorted view of what love is supposed to be like.  I realized that just like using I needed that instant gratification that she still loved me and it wasn't over.  I realized that after I got as much "high" as I could get from a relationship I got bored with it and started to pull away.  I realized that if I committed myself to the relationship even though I wasn't happy I would use again.  That is when I realized something that is not likely the end of this self discovery but is the foundation for all of this.  I realized I have obsessive compulsive behaviors.  Again I had to look back and see how that has affected my life.

Final synopsis (for now)
The childhood I had caused the PTSD to start.  The PTSD was the cause for the onset of my mental illness.  The onset of my mental illness made me super codependent.  The codependency started the obsessions as a way to escape.  The OCD fed the bipolar and so on, vicious cycle.  The PTSD from my childhood and the codependency made me susceptible to PTSD from Iraq.  The PTSD from Iraq fed the addiction.  Without any more excitement and that adrenalin rush that I got from Iraq I was bored back in America.  The addiction caused loneliness which caused me to get back into another relationship.  The codependency from the relationship and the addiction caused depression.  The depression made it impossible for me to leave the relationship.  Her cheating on me caused the mixed state of mania and manic depression.  The mixed state caused the obsessive tendencies to kick in.  The obsessive behaviors (calling, texting, crying) caused the addiction to climb to a new height and sent me into a very unstable form of psychosis.  The psychosis caused my first suicidal thoughts which lead me into treatment where I became manic.  After I got out of treatment the mania caused the OCD again which lead me to finding a new challenge (woman).  Like I said I like getting them but don't like keeping them around.   It is always a woman, no offense.  Finding this new girl  in treatment this time and falling in love with her caused the mania to come back.  Her ignoring my calls caused the OCD which could have led to relapse had I not realized that the obsessing over her was the same as obsessing over pain pills.  I needed my next fix of her.  I started practicing patience and not obsessing and I have gotten pretty good at it.  I may have thought I learned too much but it is quite the opposite.  During some very deep depression over the last couple of months I have coped by taking a pill but I didn't do that until my family started noticing the cuts on my arms.  I am clean today because although I did take a couple of pills to cope, I never stopped learning and I never gave up.  I bounced back quick and I am stronger today than ever.

1551327 tn?1514045867
I have PTSD from 2 different deployments to 2 different combat zones

I have been diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder which is the hardest depressive disorder to treat with symtoms that include mania and such deep depression that being in it for only minutes I have inflicted harm upon myself by cutting and ore extreme cases suicidal thoughts and attempts.

I have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder which if I let it get out of hand can extremely impact my mood swings by increasing the frequency and severity of my mania and depression as well as my day to day functioning
Relational Problem NOS which from what the psychiatrist says means I have difficulty with maintaining a long lasting relationship/friendship

Anti-Social Personality Disorder which my psychiatrist says for me means ways of thinking, perceiving situations and the ways I relate to others is abnormal and destructive. I have a distorted view of how society is and have a hard time letting small things go that would usually not bother the typical person. I am hyper-sensitive which in my case means that any flattery or critisism is magnified and there are different behaviors and consequences for both. Too much flattery and I can become manic. Little to moderate rudeness or critisism can trigger aggrresiveness and violent outbursts.
I also have pretty severe memory issues and have frequent trouble with focus such as being easily distracted and sometimes presenting anger if distracted while in situations like frantically cleaning and most often when stopped in the middle of a "rant". This one causes me a lot of problems.
When you get clean you may experience some trouble like I do but if we work together I think that we can manage this and we can make it years like everyone else. :)

As far as taking some again one day..... realistically I cannot say.  It may happen because I am not trying to be perfect, no one can.  I only wish to make progress and don't try to be perfect.  Anyone that says that they will never us again has a positive attitude and that is great but they run the risk of beating themselves up if they ever do.  That type of negative thinking could turn a slip up into a relapse.

I can help if you do decide to come off of them someday but that is your decision and I don't judge you for it at all.  That being said the pills do make it harder to fight depression but you can only do one thing at a time.  If you need anything let me know :)
Avatar universal
You definitely need to talk to your doctor about your current feelings.  Sometimes you need to increase the dose of the anti-depressant or add some other medication to it.  For best results consult a psychiatrist.  You may need to change your medication completely.  Don't ever go without consulting a doctor ever again.  Better days are ahead for you.  I was nearly suicidal while I was on an anti-depressant which had helped me before.  But just increasing it completely cured my depression.  Don't give up.  Let me know how you are doing.
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