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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > Clinical Depression and having a relationship      Home login  
Joined: 8/19/2007
Msg: 7
Clinical Depression and having a relationshipPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I understand how you feel. At one point in my life I was having a very rough period, and went in to a counciling service provided by my union. I spoke with this guy for maybe an hour, and what he told me really opened my eyes, and improves my life to this day.
What he told me was that I was going thru was situational, I was taking all these problems and heaping them on my shoulders, and then because of depression, I was looking for more problems...... and then heaping those on.

I do know how you feel. It will be ok..... it sounds like you are a blessing to your parents and b/f.... you have purpose in life and are loved and wanted by them. This is just situational, it will get easier in time.
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 8
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/17/2008 4:45:40 AM
Read message number two again, that poster is a nurse and it is an excellent post.
In fact, a lot of the advice here is good.
I could write a post so long it would be a chore to read....I will resist, and try to limit it.

Yes, I personally, and so many others, worry about how depression can scare off a potential or current mate. Even worse is when one has children and worries that the children notice, are affected by or adapt the behavior.

Medication, which I have been on for eight years, does not make someone "happy."
Proper medication can help someone cope with and survive the down times and accept and relish the good times.
If you have a car accident, a fight with a friend and pressure from your boss at work, I guarantee you will not be doing the "Singing in the Rain" Gene Kelly routine. I don't care if your meds are perfect and Sigmund Freud is your analyst!!!!! You will be angry, feel helpless and down, all the bad stuff. Yet, you with survive, and with less anguish because the medicine gives you that ability should you fight to focus with less of a doomsday view.
And it is a constant fight, that never changes! Finding a love of yourself and self-esteem is always a work in progress.
The whole issue of "control"....the 12 step program is based on the theory that we need to give up the belief that total control in our lives is possible. We need to do constructive things that will lead to happiness.......try to eat right, go to school, get a good job, have friends who are truly nice people........but to feel the need to guarantee results (control) is a recipe for frustration and increase feelings of failure.
When you release the desire to control and be perfect, you release a tremendous burden.
You have a lot on your plate as a young woman with ill parents. But to push your boyfriend away is so destructive. It is creating the result you fear the most!
Keep pressing your doctor to help you find the right medication for you!
Joined: 10/3/2008
Msg: 12
Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/17/2008 9:36:00 AM

my doctor has had me on several types of anti depressants

not surprising, all the big drug companies push & push their drugs..Merck, Pfizer, et al, are the BIGGEST 'drug pushers" in the world..

do you realize that doctors are jsut "guessing" when they prescribe drugs?

try this, or this, AND that, and a little of that.

ALL drugs are toxic at some level, and ALl have side effects, and drug interactons..

"several" at the same time..pretty scary..

they might do tests on one drug at a time, but there's no way they test for all the possible combinations & permutations, the drug interactions of various drugs with one another..not to mention your own unique body biochemistry..your body is not a test-tube in a lab

I'd have to believe you'd be better off without drugs, try exercise, good food, etc.

of course "BIG PHARMA" wants you to believe that their drugs are the only way..

if you are that 'depressed' I don't see how you can even have a b/f; I thought most really depressed people can't even 'function' in the outside world..

I have to work right now because I live at home to help my parents who are financially strapped at the moment,

doesn't taking all those drugs make it alot worse? they are EXPENSIVE..who is paying for all those drugs??
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 13
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/17/2008 10:25:15 AM
Most anti-depressants change a person's libido or sexual functioning in some way. If you go off of them, be very careful to taper it off very slowly so you don't have a crisis. I am very concerned that you are on several drugs as a teenager. I think these drugs are not safe for someone your age. Try taking natural herbs like Valerian, St. John's Wort, vitamins and getting lots of fresh air and sunlight each day.

Sleep, rest, and respite are some of the best ways to increase your libido. You need time to de-stress, and time to simply rest without guilt.

Your depression is not necessarily going to haunt you for life. You are very young. Don't label yourself with something that permanent-sounding, when in reality you are dealing with significant stress in a rather functional way--considering most 19-year-old's would have simply bolted from home by now, rather than working, going to school and caring for disabled family. If you just had school, and had an active, independent social life I think you can imagine that you would be much less stressed.

In my area there are agencies called Independent Living Centers. These agencies provide the funding so that the disabled can hire family members or friends, or other people to care for them. Many of the clients are disabled parents who use the funding to pay their children to help them. Perhaps if you are able to get this funding to pay you for the work you are already doing, you could cut back the hours you are having to work outside the home.

Your depression might be partly that the hard work of caregiving that you do is not being validated as hard WORK, because it is for family.

Also, try to actively get all the help from programs you can, don't be too proud to go to a food bank or to get energy assistance or whatever else is available to your family in your area. Any help you recieve is valid and can ease the pressure on you.

Most 19-year-olds don't have to do one tenth of what you are doing. You should be very proud of yourself. I would love to have a teenager as cabable and motivated as you are!!

At this stage in life, you should be starting to live your own life, figuring out what is important to your own future. Most people aren't caregivers of parents until late in their 30's, when they have at least had a chance to get established on their own. Your chance to fly free and become an independent adult has been thwarted. Of course you are upset by this. This is a time most young people are "rebelling" or getting out of the house, making a life for themselves. Your emotions are telling you this is what you need to be doing.

If you stay, you have to have more independence. Find ways to have more private time away from your parents. Perhaps find some respite care. There is a good agency here that has tons of resources for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's. These same resources could help you. There are good support groups for caregivers, and this might be where you find that you "fit in" and can talk about your issues. They will all understand you very well.

Make sure to PLAN to have some "time off" from being a caregiver. This is essential to your well-being as a person. Plan an evening out with your boyfriend. Have a night you go to a support group for caregivers. Get out and go do something fun once in a while--go bowling or to a movie--whatever.

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You say your mother complains a lot--this means she might benefit from a support group or some other kind of social help for what she is dealing with. Make arrangements for someone to take her.

Your parents don't sound very independent themselves. They could learn to find some more resources for themselves instead of relying on just one daughter to do it all for them. Aren't there any other family members or close friends of the family that could help your parents?? Don't be afraid to ask for help from them and the community. If you go to a church, let them know specific, simple things you might need some help with. Even running a few errands for you, or getting a bag of groceries, cooking a meal, chatting with your parents and checking in on them while you are gone, or someone who would shovel snow or mow the lawn. Be specific. Often people might know you are in distress, and they just don't know how to help or what to offer to do.

You don't have to live with your parents to help them. Perhaps you and your boyfriend can get the resources to move out--even a block away.

Remember this image: when flying, always put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then reach to help the one's next to you. Or you might find that you have passed out before you are able to help anyone else.

Your parents, even in all their distress, surely don't want to feel they are hurting you in any way. And this might make their situation worse--they might feel bad leaning on you--and you feel bad leaning on your boyfriend. But there are so many other resources you can try and you have very good reasons to go there and ask for the help you need to continue to function.

Guilt sounds like it is flying around your home from your mother, to you, to your boyfriend. Guilt can aggravate depression, and also really hurt a relationship. Try to avoid listening to it when it comes up in your home, change the subject, go to another room. Guilt is not a good way to tie someone to you. Replace guilt with love. Remind yourself and reassure them that you are there out of love for your parents, and they need to know they can lighten up on the guilt and they will still get the care they need.
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 16
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/17/2008 12:19:41 PM
Re-reading my post, it may sound as if I was pushing the meds as a cure-all. It is just one part of the solution, and the other posters are right to point out the benefits of exercise and regular therapy with a psychologist. Exercise does wonders for me.

I choose to be on medication, I can tell the difference! But some people just need medication until they learn some coping skills as well, then wean themselves off of it.
Yes, there are side effects. Sometimes, and different ones for different people.
To say that a pill will give you happiness is indeed, a falsehood, just as a pill will not help you lose weight if all you eat is chocolate cake and all you do is watch TV.
But to say DON'T TAKE THE PILLS BECAUSE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES WANT THAT .........anyone who says that does not know what you are going through.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 21
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/17/2008 3:11:07 PM

I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was twelve. I have been with my current boyfriend for almost three years and out relationship has been good. My life has been burdened with sick/disabled parents for the majority of it, and with my depression on top of it, life is getting hard to handle.
According to your profile, you're 22. If that is right, and if you've had depression since you were 12, then you've had constant clinical depression for 10 years. That's chronic. So it isn't going away very quickly. So what is far more important to you, is not healing yet, as that will probably take a long time. What is more important, is to get it under control, to make it manageable.

I'd suggest that you need to focus on the following, in the following order:
1) Getting a sense of your own life. As much as you love your parents, your mother had depression, and your father has trouble getting around. That is a lot to cope with for anyone. But for someone who has been dealing with depression, trying to heal from depression, and that on top, I feel sure that it is too much for you. Simply put, after dealing with your mother, AND your father, you lack the energy to deal with your own problems. You need help.

I would suggest that you tell your therapist that you NEED help to look after your parents, and you need someone to take over some of the work, and the caring, to give you a break. He should be able to arrange cover by a nurse, so that you can have some time to yourself.

2) You are also going to have to learn to stop being the parent. Whether you like it or not, you are NOT their mother. It is the responsibility of the state to look after them, not yours. It sounds harsh, but there are professionals who really do know about looking after the disabled, depressed, and elderly, a lot better than you or I. You need to learn to pass the baton of responsibility from yourself to those who are medically trained and experienced in it, for your parents' welfare, as much as your own. After all, the way you are going, it sounds like you are heading for a breakdown, and if you do have a breakdown, they will have to look after you, because you certainly won't look after yourself then. So you HAVE to start looking out for yourself FIRST, and them AFTER, not before.

3) Medication is often used to stabilise people with clinical depression, so that you feel stable, and then therapy is used for the healing process. It seems to me that this is a good way to do things, as therapy doesn't exactly stabilise your condition, and when someone is ill, first you make them stable, and only then can you begin to treat them. Doctors have a variety of drugs for this purpose. However, they all work on some but not others, and all have side effects which only affect SOME people, and not others. Doctors really don't know which drugs will work on which people, without major side effects. Their current method seems to me, to be to listen to your problems, to recommend a drug, give it 2 month to see how it works on you, as they often take 6 weeks to fully come into effect, and then, if they don't work, or they have unreasonable side effects, you complain, and they either change the dosage, or they change the drug. As there are quite a few drugs, you might as well keep telling your doctor to change your meds, until you can find something that works for you.

Please bear in mind, that even on meds, you still get depressed a lot, still can have moods, and still burst into tears for no reason at all, and even men do this. But the main thing is that if the meds are working, then you are STABLE. Your moods are roughly the SAME levels over a week, and you have the same rough amount of emotional experiences every week, and the rest is roughly the same. It's better to get it under control, than to suddenly get much better, because a quick rise is followed by a quick fall, in everyone, even healthy people. Once you can get your moods under control, THEN you can see about getting better, slowly in a reasonably controlled manner.

4) The right sort of therapy is great, and can really make a difference in your life. The wrong sort of therapy, or the wrong approach, is just not helpful. It sounds to me like your current therapy sessions are just venting. If you want to vent, you can ring the Samaritans for free, most of the day, and you can get 1-2-1 counselling for free, at many mental health centres. Therapy is to get healed. In other words, it's for taking a specific approach to get healed. There are 3 stages in this:

a) Diagnosis: This is the bit when YOU need to figure out what your issues are. Don't worry if you aren't sure. You don't figure it all out in one day. It can take years. The best way, is to spend 5 minutes a day on figuring out what your problems are, and NO MORE, for the rest of the day. Bizarrely enough, 5 minutes a day, for 6 months, does more to figure out what your problems are, than 2 weeks of solid thinking. Also, don't be surprised if once you've found one problem, you find another is beneath it. With chronic depression from childhood, along with the fact that your mother had depression, there is probably a LOT more going on, than most people imagined, including your doctors. So it will take time.

b) Selection of the right treatment: THIS IS VITAL! Even if you know exactly what your problems are, they aren't going to get treated unless you get the right treatment. It would be nice to think that doctors know what treatment works for what problems, but they don't. Even a definition like clinical depression is an incredibly broad description, that covers your symptoms, not the cause of the problem, and consequenctly doesn't really tell a doctor what treatment will work. Often, they don't know, and it's guesswork, like with the meds.

However, what I have learned, is that doctors think in terms of "buzzwords". Use the right buzzwords, that they associate with the treatment you want, and you get it. Don't, and they can just throw anything at you, which is what I think might be happening to you. The main thing is that in reality, it is much easier to think in terms where YOU are the Doctor, and they are the Nurses. YOU figure out what your problems are. YOU figure out what the best treatment would be. YOU then find out what the buzzwords for that treatment is. YOU then tell the doctors you'd like to try that "buzzword", and then they go and get it for you. Yes, it would be nice if THEY were the doctors. But mental health is just nowhere close to where modern physical medicine is at right now, so you are the best to work out, even more than the docs. Sorry.

But once you accept this, and you take charge of your own treatment, you can get more used to this, and after a while, you actually feel like you will be well, because you WILL find out what your problems are, what the most appropriate treatments are, and how to get them. You can feel confident about your own healing, even while you are incredibly depressed.

c) The treatment: Untimately, this is your department. What happens in therapy sessions, doesn't necessarily affect what happens outside. It's what you take with you, that does. You can think of yourself in school. Your sessions are lessons from your teacher. The exams are every moment of your waking life, because that is when you will see the results, or not. Effectively, you have to treat the sessions as though you have homework to put them into practise in every moment you can. Sure, it is painful, and you might not do them very often. But without this homework, it never becomes habitual, and you never change to bring what you've learned into your life. With this homework, you start thinking differently about the world, in a more positive and real manner, and slowly but surely, your life gets better and better.

If you can learn to put what you've learned in each session of therapy, into your life, then it will change those moments in your life, for the better. The more moments you practise what you've learned in therapy, the more moments will be changed for the better. If those moments constitute the majority of your life, then ALL of your life will be changed for the better. Eventually, you apply so many of those things you've learned, in so many moments, that you are mostly happy, and being sad is rare, and depression extremely rare.

However, I do believe that for someone like yourself, if therapy will work, it is going to be things you've learned, that you put into practise, for the rest of your life. That's a big commitment. But it's not a commitment because you are unhappy. It's a commitment to BE HAPPY, EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE. For a little bit of effort every day, that's a pretty decent return, don't you think?

And yes, it is possible, because today I feel about 1,000 times better than I did 2.5 years ago, and I'm still not completely well. But what I have seen, is that there are roads to improvement.

d) Non-treatment: You might be suffering from a chemical imbalance. If that is so, then once you find the right meds, you might not have any lingering problems at all, and therapy might not make any difference. That is more common with bi-polar, what used to be called Manic Depression. You can often get diagnosed with depression, and then it's only much later that the doctors realise that you're manic. However, if it's just a chemical imbalance, then once you find the pills that work, I would imagine that your problems cease. With people who need therapy, the pills don't work completely. So you have a good idea of which one you are, by whether or not some therapies work, and whether or not some pills alleviate your symptoms entirely.

I hope I've elucidated you a little better on things. If you want to know more, just let me know.
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 23
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/17/2008 6:22:55 PM
message 28 says "You are giving sex to a man who does not intend on marrying you.
He is using you.....if he weren't, you would have a ring and a date. "

The OP never said anything about marriage or commitment. She has not even indicated that she wants that! In the opening of this thread, she said it is a good relationship. She is under enough pressure right now and should not be subjected to anyone elses belief system.
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 24
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/17/2008 6:28:01 PM
message 31 (A thoughtful helpful, albeit LONG post!)

said " I hope I've elucidated you a little better on things."

I hope I've WHAT?!

Educated? Clarified? Explained? Where's my dictionary???
Some of us are a bit behind the learning curve.
Joined: 7/13/2008
Msg: 30
Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/19/2008 6:58:43 AM
Read over what "kinda tired " said, OP. Everything he wrote is perfect.

I've had depression for 7 years and learned so much........compassion, strength, critisism, ignorance, advice etc.

Your borfriend sounds wonderful. You are very fortunate to have someone by your side. Confide in him and cry to him. He knows the stresses you have with your parents and you are to be congratulated on your strength.

Here in Australia there is a support organisation called Beyond Blue. They have an unbelievable amount of rersources.

The first doctor I saw regarding my progressive signs and symtoms of possible depression dismissed everything. I insisted on getting a referral to a psychiatrist. My first visit to this psychiatrist was when I leared I really did have clinical depression.

I cried and cried, saying "people just think you're having a bad day and get over it...."

It took months of "trial and error" with medications he prescribed me but I finally found one which is working perfectly. Effexor. Try to get to see a psychiatrist, OP.

I don't know about the way stuff goes where you are, but here in Oz, you just need to see a doctor who will refer you to a specialist.

All the best to you, sweetheart and if you want to contact me, please leave me a message. xxxxx
Joined: 10/3/2008
Msg: 31
Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/19/2008 7:02:25 AM
have to wonder why there is an 'epidemic' of 'depression these days.

a way higher % ge of people are 'depressed' than they were 30, 40 or 50 years ago, etc.

and way higher %ge in N. America than in Asia, Africa, etc.

is it a disease of affluence? too much time on people's hands, so they tend to spend more time worrying & feeling sorry for themselves?

people in many places are too busy just trying to survive, to get 'depressed'..
Joined: 7/13/2008
Msg: 33
Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/19/2008 7:20:47 AM
I know you have. OP, and I wish you all the best.

Take care and message me if you want to, please.

Joined: 5/12/2005
Msg: 37
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/19/2008 10:21:22 AM
Hey this is good news! OP wrote """" I will use to the suggestion of exercise..i work on my feet ( walking, lifting,)....but i find a long walk clears my head even if it is only for 15 minutes.
I dont feel as though my boyfriend is using me, because he is always here for me. If i am upset he doesnt have to ask me, he knows and tells me he loves me everyday. He even admits he does not know what he can do to help me, and i remind him that it isnt his reponsibility. He helps out my dad alot too"""

Good deal. Lots of other good advice: Find a medication that does help, get a counselor or GO TO A GROUP so you can "vent", ASK YOUR BOYFRIEND for more specific helpful help, PREPARE HIM to what your plans, needs, and expectations are. Please don't leave him "wondering" what you need or want. Of course, be thoughtful and polite if want help or don't want to see him. Tell him "I love you, but I am real busy today" or "I have so much to do today, if you could help me do the yard and wash the cars, I'll bake you a cake and pop out of it naked" (ok, that's what I'd want).

TRY YOGA and or other FULL BODY EXERCISE. I don't know, walking just wears me out and my legs are sore. I love stretching and yoga, makes me feel 10 years younger and balanced from head to toe.

And I'm depressed, take prozac (for now) tried others....I "live with it". "Fake it till you make it" I don't let my problems burden others UNNECESSARILY. I try and smile and say please and thank you a lot etc. Remember others may be worse off than you!
Joined: 7/11/2008
Msg: 42
Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/20/2008 5:42:07 AM
I have never understood all the people I hear about taking all the "drugs" to make themselves get better. Half the time from what I see alone, not just on here, is that people put themselves in such shitty conditions to begin with!!!! I am far from perfect but good lord I do not allow myself to be surrounded with such unecessary drama or people that could possibly drag me down. And who wants a shit load of chemicals in their body? Try making some lifestyle changes, starting with diet, exercise and what you do for "fun" and maybe half of these exsisting issues would go away. It is all what is in your mind. Stop running to the doctor for a new set of pills all the time. I do not think it is that there are so many "ignorant posts" as someone said here, everyone has their own opinion and handles things their own way. I am one of those that IS anti drug and believes in handling life issues at hand, not by bottle. Whatever form it comes in.
 Wishes Granted
Joined: 3/6/2008
Msg: 44
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/20/2008 10:21:57 AM
^^OP: There are many agencies out there that can relieve you of some of the burden. Call social services in your area.. discuss what it is you do for your parents and what they rely on you for and they will direct you to the agencies that will help with transportation to medical visits, house cleaning, any equipment they may need, meals on wheels etc.

It's time to look after YOU right now.. Tell your parents you're over-burdened.. I can't understand why they would want you to be stressed and depressed..They should incourage you getting any assistance you can in order to make your life less stressful. No 19 year old should have to do what you're doing all by themselves.

Time to stop being a martyr.. Believe that you are worth more than what you can do for someone else. Be pro-active in getting outside help (social agencies and councilling) You have much to be depressed about..agreed.. but it seems you won't allow anyone to be there for YOU..not even your boyfriend (without feeling guilty).. let them ..
Read "The Secret" and believe ..
You are worth it!

Joined: 4/4/2008
Msg: 47
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 12/21/2008 9:59:59 PM
It is a serious medical problem, especially at an early age.

1. You need a professional help (medication and counselling)
2. Physical exercise will help, too. You won't feel like it, you'll have to force yourself to walk or exercise, it will definitely help.
3. You have to explain to your boy friend what Clinical Depression is and how you feel.
Most people who haven't been exposed to it, simply don't understand, if they see you just crying. Once he knows about it, he may be able to help you and get you through the difficult times. Otherwise, he may just give up.
Joined: 12/26/2008
Msg: 48
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Clinical Depression and having a relationship
Posted: 4/16/2009 12:29:17 PM
I am a substance abuse counselor that also deals with co-occuring disorders. Depression is treatable through medication, but also through counseling. It is a very important component for managing depression issues. Good luck to you!
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