MDAO Forum

Support for People with Mood Disorders => General Discussion => Topic started by: CanadianEm on November 24, 2014, 02:26:11 pm

Title: Introduction
Post by: CanadianEm on November 24, 2014, 02:26:11 pm
Hi Everyone,

I am very glad to become part of this forum. I have been suffering with severe depression and anxiety since I was 14. I am now 22 and I am still learning on how to cope with this. I am on the anti-depressant Effexor, and have been on that one since I was 18. I have been on many others, however they didn't seem to work the same way this one is. No one else I know has anxiety or depression, so they keep saying I shouldn't be on medication; I don't know if many of you have been in the same situation. I try to explain that I can't come off it, because I know I will like have a big melt down. Where I have done some things that I am not proud off, I'm assuming you will understand what I mean by that.
There are so many things that I could talk about, but I don't know where to start.
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Rich on November 24, 2014, 08:34:57 pm
Hi CanadianEm,
welcome aboard!  I have bipolar II and some occasional anxiety.  Don't listen to people who tell you that you should go of your meds - they are just ignorant and don't know what they are talking about.

Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: LuckyLou on November 25, 2014, 06:57:17 am
HI and Welcome! Like Rich says dont listen to them! Staying on meds is often what helps us be able to cope with this illness. I had my first manic episode when i was your age and wish i gotten help then but i waited and could have saved myself alot of heart ache and regret if i had just admitted i had a problem. It takes a lot of courage especially at your age to reach out. So kudos to you! I hope you find this is a safe place to vent and talk about problems we all face.
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Dragonfly on November 25, 2014, 11:39:33 am
Hi CanadianEm,

Welcome!  I also suffer from Bipolar II. I still get very anxious sometimes but on the whole am doing much better.

As has been said by Rich and LuckyLou just ignore what people say about going off your meds. They don't know what they are talking about and don't walk in your shoes.

This forum is caring, supportive and non-judgemental. I have many friends here. These people have helped me so much.

I have told some people about my mental illness whom I trust. It is amazing how many people then open up and say that they have had similar experiences with anxiety and depression. Some are on meds.

I am so glad that you are acknowledging that you have a mental illness. Especially at your age. I wasn't diagnosed as to suffering from bipolar II until I was 30 yrs. old. I am now 64. At that time there was very minimal information about my mental illness. It has taken some time. Now I am stable on a cocktail of meds. What also helps is support from my family, some friends, health professionals.

Please post if you want. We would like to hear from you. What you say helps us too.

Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: paulm on November 25, 2014, 09:49:53 pm
Hello CanadianEm and welcome to the forum. Depression and anxiety are well documented illnesses. Suicide, which is usually caused by depression, is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 yr olds(behind accidents) . It also ranks about 9th overall as leading cause of death among the general population every year. Only slightly behind auto accidents and in front of kidney disease.

 So depression, anxiety and all mental illness are pretty serious. As too whether we need to take meds or not, that is any individuals choice.  I know a lot of individuals who say they never use any kind of medication, but when they go to the dentist I seldom hear them tell the dentist to go ahead and pull the tooth without freezing or when they have an infection refuse to take antibiotics.

 Having a mental illness isn't a choice that we make. Accepting treatment for any illness, mental or physical is a choice that we can make.  If taking meds means enjoying life and living longer, then it is certainly your right to take meds.

 Having said all of that, just like if I have a kidney or heart disease and have to watch my diet, plus take my medications and try and live a healthy life style, there are things that we can do to help limit the effects of a mental illness. Cognetive Behavioural courses have been proven to help some people reduce or eliminate the amount of meds that they take. Living a healthy life style can be beneficial. That doesn't mean that I'm being critical of anyone's life style, I try too eat healthy and exercise, but that can be hard when I don't get out of bed for a week due to depression. Plus for me, I could be the most fit person in the world and I still need to take my meds.  Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: CanadianEm on November 30, 2014, 08:38:13 am
Thank you all for your advice and help. I already feel so welcome. I have never really been able to talk to anyone about my issues and I already feel so welcome and comfortable.

It was actually interesting my psychiatrist said that she was going to drop me as a patient, because she doesn't need to follow me since I don't have a "severe problem" and that I should just follow up with my family doctor. So I went to my family doctor and we had a great talk, she said she was annoyed my psychiatrist just dropped me, but she said that she was glad as well. Since, my psychiatrist never talked to me about CBT or anything to help with my feelings when they start to become overwhelming. So my family doctor has now referred me to 3 programs, 2 of them are CBT and the other is substance abuse.

The reason why I have been referred to substance abuse is that since I have never had help learning how to deal with feelings, I have become an alcoholic. I drink to forget these feelings and just like make me numb. Definitely not something I am proud off, but I am finally happy that I admitted it and am seeking help.

Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: paulm on December 01, 2014, 10:23:30 pm
Hello CanadianEm. I'm glad that feel welcome and comfortable. I've been around this forum(or it's predecessor) longer than anyone except Peter and probably Rich and for the most part I've always felt safe and comfortable posting about my problems on here. Plus people have been supportive and helpful over the yrs.

 In regards to your pdoc(psychiatrist) dropping you, that's unfortunate fact of life these days, however it sounds like your family doc is on the ball. (I was never that lucky).

 In regards to your substance abuse problem, that happens to a lot of people. While I wouldn't expect you to take pride in that fact, your pdoc should also bear some of the blame. I mean, you went to see a doctor to get better and it doesn't sound like your pdoc did a very good job of getting you well.

 We all bear some responsibility to getting better, however so do our doctors.

 Anyways I wish you luck. I never had a substance abuse problem, but I did plenty of other things that I feel shameful over. Take Care. paul m

Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: CanadianEm on December 02, 2014, 05:12:00 pm
I feel better knowing that people that suffer with mental health issues have also had substance abuse problems. I thought I was the only one out there that not only suffered from depression and anxiety but was trying to deal with it through substance abuse. Which made me feel horrible because I believed that there was something completely wrong with me. When I see my substance abuse counselor, he always says don't forget that you are human, that what you feel is not wrong. Today was the first day I actually broke down and cried because even though I have told him some of the very horrible things I have gone through and have to deal with on a daily basis, he has always said why don't you show any emotion. I always thought that was rude but today I realized that I have always been afraid of showing my emotions to anyone even myself. I never allowed myself to cry or feel happy or anything. And it wasn't until today talking with him that I realized I am human and its ok to have emotions.
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: paulm on December 02, 2014, 11:18:51 pm
Hello CanadianEm I can't speak for anyone else, but for a long time I took so much flack over my mood that I just hid my emotions.

Example. Why aren't you going to school/work/etc today? Which if I was honest and said "I just have no energy, I feel too sad, etc etc" brought up the next area of conflict  Why don't you have any energy, or you have to go , or just shake it off or your just lazy etc.  Those criticism could come from family, friends even doctors.

 So I learned at a young age to lie about how I felt and in the process I started hiding my emotions. When people are constantly judging us or painting us as failures, it's hard to show emotions as we just have too much hurt bundled up inside. (at least for me)

 Good to hear to you are trying to work through everything. There used to be a well used saying kicking around that we used a lot. "You are not alone" took me a long time to realize that was true. You aren't alone either. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: k9sedona on December 06, 2014, 05:57:18 pm
Like so many I too have an alcohol problem/addiction/whatever it is called these days... I can't manage the pain of the "Pit" so I drink which doesn't help of course. But it does give me a couple of precious hours back out in the world. I think I have an apt this week to reassess my meds, which haven't been adjusted in 15-20 years. This time of year is always bad until the snow flies, then the light reflected from the city makes things bright again... Something has to change...
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: CanadianEm on December 08, 2014, 04:04:37 pm
I feel better knowing im not the only one suffering with addiction, I haven't heard of anyone actually having an addiction, people say a lot of people do, but actually being able to talk with someone who has it is different.

k9sedona if you dont mind me asking what do mean by "pit" ive never heard that term before. I don't know about you but with me my meds have to be adjusted every couple of years because they doctors say that your body ends up becoming accustom to them the amount your on, so they have to up them or change them to help better. Personally I tell them don't change them because that means slowly going off one and slowly going on the other and with me that doesn't work. I need to be on this specific amount or higher because, ok this is how the doctor has to tried to explain it to me, its not my serotonin level that needs help, its some other level and the medication I take will only effect the level I need help on if its over the 150mg, so if they want to change and go to another i am sorta screwed because once i reach lower than 150mg i start feeling the same things all over again and then trying to find a new one is so hard. Before they found effexor for me, i had probably tried out 5 others, so i hope you understand.

Hop your appointment goes well. Please update, I would be very interested in knowing. 
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: paulm on December 09, 2014, 10:18:16 pm
Hello CanadianEm. Believe me you are not the only one suffering from an addiction. I forget the exact figures, but something like 20% of people with a mental illness will have a substance abuse problem as well. (source CAMH)  For people with depression it is often higher and for people with bipolar disorder it runs about 50% will have an substance abuse problem.

 I never had an addiction problem, but for many yrs I self treated my social anxiety problems by over drinking at social events.

 In regards to your psychiatric meds losing their effectiveness. That i quite true, however if you were told that it happens every couple of yrs, then you were misinformed. It may occur in 6 mths or it may take a lifetime, and nobody is sure why. So if the medication is working for you, keep on using it.

 The Mayo clinic has a good article on this problem     Take Care. paul m

Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: momfellinglost on December 14, 2014, 10:05:59 am
First let me say sorry for being so late in welcoming you to the board. I think you will find a great bunch of helpful, knowledgeable, and non judgemental people that there ever is any where. Many so called "normal" people could learn al ot from this group of people in how to treat others. Not that the people here are perfect they aren't but they do have so many great quality's that I wish others had. I hope you make your self at home and feel that you can spend so time with others here. They know so much or they know who can help you find what they aren't sure of. Hope you enjoy the board and all the info that is on this site and I would encourage you to check out the whole site with all the info that it has.
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: paulm on December 16, 2014, 10:04:12 pm
Hello Momfeelinglost. Very well put. Take Care. paul m