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Re: difference bet no 'future' and wanting to die?

Posted by Noa on December 16, 1999, at 20:04:54

In reply to Re: difference bet no 'future' and wanting to die?, posted by To Dove on December 15, 1999, at 23:18:07

I don't know if we are all talking about the same type of experience, but I'll throw my two cents in anyway.

Sometimes I go into that numb mode, too. Kind of a robotic existence, with feelings very remote. But it is precarious, and the threat of the intense depressive emotions looms in the corners.

The other thing is that my most recent bout of depression was very severe, and while in it I couldn't imagine a future, but I also wasn't caught in the obsessively suicidal loop that has accompanied other serious bouts, like the one I had this summer. While in those intense loops, I am obsessed with the meaningless of life, any life, but especially mine, and feel intense dread about confronting any new experinces, feel totally unable to face life, but unable to withdraw, either, stuck and unable to escape the intense pain. That is what leads, I think to the conclusion that ending my life would help. But in my most recent bout of depression, the anxiety component, with the obsessive loop about life having no meaning, was absent. Instead, what I experienced was a kind of shut down. Unable to cope with anything, just wanting to withdraw. I would have survived a while just sleeping, I think. And unlike my usual pattern, in this bout, I didn't care about anything, not even eating. Everything slowed down, my thinking, my actions, everything. And I could not imagine a future, but I wasn't particularly suicidal.

This was a departure from the usual pattern of my major depressive episodes, which have always had some suicidal component, which can range from vague and not a real threat to extremely intense and an imminent threat.

Anyway, Dove, I had another thought about what you wrote. It sounds to me like you get partial relief from your depression and you then summon any energy you can find, which, if you are like me, is an extremely limited resource at that stage of the game, to fulfilling the humdrum duties associated with your role as wife and mother, because these are the things associated with day to day "functioning". But the laundry and the vacuuming aren't the things that I can imagine you would find fullfilling. And with just a partial response to ADs, you are not at the point where you can start feeling interested in fostering sources of joy for yourself, either in your relationships or in new endeavors. So you are in limbo.

Perhaps I am off the mark, but these are my impressions.

I agree with others who say you need more relief of your depression. I also think it might help to start thinking about what would possibly bring you some joy, what you remember giving you joy in the past. Think in a brainstorming kind of way, no editing, no limitations based on reality. Just suppose. Suppose away. This might give you a sense of what you can focus more energy on, instead of only focusing it on chores.

My problem is different. When I start to feel better from depression, I start to get interested in anything and everything. My mind starts to go in all different directions. I get ideas of things I would like to do. But inevitably, these ideas either get nipped in the bud because I realize I can't follow through on them, or I commit to something that I can't complete and end up getting overwhelmed, anxious, guilty, ashamed and depressed. Perhaps this is my form of "hypomania" even though by comparison to what is usually consider hypomania, it pales.

Where I am now is feeling a bit better, but extremely fearful of backsliding. I have developed a phobia of my depression. I feel panicky and become hypervigilant about any "sign" that I might be slipping. Then if I do see a "sign", I become panicky and judgmental toward myself. This happened this morning, when I was grumpy about a trivial parking situation at work. I found myself talking my grumpiness as one of those signs, and felt doomed to have a lousy day, and likely to be slipping back into increased depression. I know I need to change this attitude, but my dread of my depression is too intense for me to let go. I am afraid I don't have the resources to cope with yet another episode, that I have run out of fuel and simply won't survive another major episode. My therapist reminds me that I don't have to muster the resources to battle an episode if it happens, that there are resources outside of myself that I can rely on, such as taking time off from work, getting more treatment services or hospitalization. As it turned out today, I was able to be distracted from my grumpiness within about 15 minutes, and ended up having the best day I have had in a while, nothing spectacular, but definitely an improvement over the past few weeks.

Right now I am in touch with how angry I am about/at my depression, and grieving the life I might have had without the depression. I have not focused on this much before. Sometimes I look at people who are not depressed and I can't imagine what it is like to be able to go about one's life without being bogged down by the depression or fear of the depression returning, to pursue one's goals and interests, to have energy and optimism.

Sorry to go on so long, but it is therapeutic to write this. It is also therapeutic to read what others write. Thanks.




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