I feel trapped

Shared experiences of life, and the path that has led you to where you are.

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Swip
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:33 am

I feel trapped

Postby Swip » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:34 am

Strap in cause this might be a long one, I'm feeling really desperate and panicked right now.
I'm not sure there was really ever a point when I wasn't depressed but for the last few years it's been an entirely different beast. I was feeling pretty good when I left for college. It was a good school, not a flagship but solid and I was somehow accepted into the honors college (impostor syndrome ahoy, I never felt so out of place). I felt great and confident. It didn't last long.

The first few weeks I only left my room to go to class and get food. Eventually some people from my floor coaxed me into hanging out and I started to make friends but that was a pretty good microcosm of the semester. For a while i did great, for the first time in my life I was even doing all my homework. Then I started sleeping through class. I started sleeping a lot. Like 20 hours some days. I would force myself to wake up and eat and then pass right back out. I failed all my classes and had to come home admitting that I wasn't ready. I haven't been the same since then.

I've been hospitalized 6 times for my mental health, I've tried to kill myself 3 times, I've tried a cocktail of drugs that didn't do anything no matter what the doctor tried. Not even side effects, nothing negative, nothing positive, I might as well have been taking water pills. My experience with therapy has been equally underwhelming. I got along well with my therapist and was comfortable with her but i just don't think it did a whole lot. She was a massive DBT cheerleader and despite how many people swear by it i dont think DBT is right for me.

At this point I just don't know what to do. I will literally die before I step foot in that horrible hospital again. They're incompetent. They've sent me home without treatment plans, they have a rotating door of psychiatrists so no one knows what's going on with anyone's meds, one of the techs said right in front of us that she was scared of schizophrenic people, a tech made a wild and inaccurate extrapolation about something I said and put it in his notes which the entire treatment team took at face value and were reluctant to believe me when I tried to tell them he was reading subtext that just wasn't there, there was a girl there one time who would walk around crying literally all day and the staff acted annoyed with her never once trying to console her that I saw, and another girl told me she was told to quiet down by a nurse while she was having a seizure at night. I haven't experienced any outright abuse there and I like the psychiatrist and psychologist but in every other way the facility is terrible and I will fight the cops before I go back.

Problem with that is i don't live in a large city and there aren't any other options around for inpatient. Okay fine, I've had enough of the inpatient rodeo for one lifetime but like what else can I do? I've essentially given up hope that traditional antidepressants are going to work for me considering I've tried all the ones they're willing to prescribe around here. I'm willing to try another form of therapy but I don't have a lot of confidence in DBT. I'm really disillusioned with the mental health establishment and given how many times they've failed to do their duties, like releasing me after an overdose with no follow up plan, I think that's a fair and rational assessment.

I've been getting increasingly self destructive lately and I don't want it to escalate any more. I feel like if something doesn't get better soon I'm going to die. I'm not currently actively suicidal but I only have so much stamina for this fight. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I just want it to end and if nothing changes I think I don't think I can count on surviving again, if this keeps happening eventually it's going to work. I don't want that, I'm trying really hard to fight it but I'm losing the war. I don't have much left in me to keep doing this.

I feel trapped and out of options. And that's dangerous for me. Any mental health practitioner who works with me is going to have to be able to stomach me questioning and criticizing their theories, models, and treatments because if they can't handle that it'll be a waste of time. I'm analytical, I'm inquisitive, and if I disagree with how they're treating me I'm going to say so. I can't afford not to, at this point it's a matter of life and death. I'm not optimistic about finding someone like that. In my experience medical workers don't like it when you know what's going on. They don't like it when you're on their level. They don't like it when you ask questions or challenge the presumptuous axioms their theories are based on. They dont like smart patients. I'm not a belligerent person. I'm very slow to anger but I have no patience for condescension and that's all they give me. "How dare the lunatic challenge me!?" As if I'm not the one going through this for half of my entire life so far. In fact the one psychologist who has been happy to meet me at my level and take me seriously when I say I know what's going on is the only one to have any lasting impact. Sadly he's the inpatient psychologist so I wont be seeing him ever again if I get my way.

Maybe I'm being too pessimistic and my judgment is clouded by bad experiences but I'm so used to getting a look of "no one told me how to deal with this" when I have any medical or psychological knowledge or when I dare to have my own ideas that don't work with their textbooks. I'm worried I'm coming off a bit arrogant but that's not my intent. In fact my self esteem is pretty much nonexistent. My point is just that a lot of medical professionals seem to love power trips and hate it when you act like an equal. My ex girlfriend was treated like an idiot by a doctor when she tried to discuss pharmacology with him until he learned she's a mathematician. I'm not saying they're all like that, I have complete faith in my cardiac treatment team, but the local medical scene is nose diving in quality lately and mental health seems to be the first department to start giving out completely.

I dont even know what I'm talking about any more. I'm not even sure if I just wanted to vent my pessimism or if I actually expect anyone to have any answers for me. I know there's no magic button to make depression go away. But I can't even take care of myself most days. Even if it just gets moderately better I'll be able to deal with it. Just enough that I can keep a job without having a complete breakdown after a few months. So I can at least pretend to be normal. God I just dont want to die and I dont see any other way out. I'm afraid.

Spleefy
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: I feel trapped

Postby Spleefy » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:17 am

Hi Swip,

I’m sorry that you are in this horrible predicament. I can relate to where you are at the moment because I have been there myself. Your pessimism is not unreasonable—you have been through a tremendous amount of stress and ordeal.

For me, depression was a case of “you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t”.

You do everything you can and try whatever treatment the doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists recommend, only to feel worse each time. And if you don’t do anything about the depression, it just takes over you—piece by piece— until there is nothing but an empty shell or withered image of your former self.

In my experience, depression treatment was very textbooky. Nothing seemed to work. Like you, I felt trapped with few options remaining. I felt disheartened and, out of desperation, I thought that there was only one option left to escape this living hell—death!

Sometimes we need to try to continue to have faith in the treatments that we receive, even if it is beyond our own understanding. But, in saying that, when you’ve been on so many different treatment plans for an extended period of time and none appear to be working, that faith can be replaced with despair.

Then it leads back to the saying: “You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. It is absurd, but seems to be a common predicament with depression.

I think keeping our faith strong is really all we can do.

I do understand how exhausting it is, and the desperation that kicks in when all the mainstream therapies appear to be doing nothing…

Zero.

Zilch.

Nada!

So one day, I got fed up with it all. I was sick and tired of fighting with depression and too crushed in spirit and strength to overcome it.

I asked myself, “how many more years am I meant to endure fighting and trying to overcome depression, when nothing works?" Meanwhile, I was just wasting away inside.

At this point, I thought to myself: I will probably have depression for the rest of my life, so I need to find a way to cohabit with it—even if just for my own sanity.

This decision was a turning point. My focus changed. Instead of fighting depression, I just accepted that it was just a part of me.

I decided to just live life the best I can—despite limitations—with or without depression.

I said to the depression: “alright, here is how it is going to be. You will listen and you will listen good. If you are going to stick around in my life, then you’ll be doing it on MY terms”. After all, it was my life and depression has been hijacking it for over ten years.

I stood for that NO MORE.

So I decided to focus on my health rather than trying to get rid of the depression. This wasn’t a deliberate treatment strategy. I just got tired of focusing on the depression and needed something else to focus my energy on. I decided to choose my health, since it made sense that I needed good health for good outcomes in life.

This switch in focus and thinking was what ultimately helped me to overcome it. Years of therapy and over ten years of severe depression only to overcome it on my own within months. It was ironic.

All I did was just study, exercise, and eat nutritiously. I was also living in a rural area, which made a huge difference. The clean air, friendly community, surrounded by nature, and the quiet life made the process much easier.

The point is, I just kept it simple and kept it real. Focusing on my health rather than the condition was the key.

Where you focus is where you will go.

Think of it like driving a car and you are about to crash into a brick wall. If you want to avoid the wall then you need to look at the direction you want to go and not at the direction you don’t want to go, which is the wall.

Another way to look at it is when we are hard on ourselves, such as telling ourselves we are not deserving or worthy. We can either do that OR we can choose to be loving-kind to ourselves—not in a conceited way, but to treat ourselves with love and respect like we would someone that we love and care about.

It all comes down to where we put our focus.

Improving my health ultimately overrode and removed the condition by default.

What works for one person may not for another. But hopefully it will give you a few more options to experiment with. Sometimes things are a hit and miss. But, as I’m sure you already know, things won’t change overnight. We need to persevere with whatever treatment strategy we implement in order to see change.

I didn’t have a support network or friends at the time—just me, myself, and I—because depression is just so darn lonely and isolating. So it was more circumstantial than it was choice. However, I do strongly believe a support network and good friends is essential, with or without depression.

Keep strong and hold onto faith in that you will get through this, my friend.

“Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen”.—Hebrews 11:1.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

j2415
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:37 am

Re: I feel trapped

Postby j2415 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:22 am

Hi Swip,
I have a friend who went through the difficult journey of depression. Getting up from her bed, brushing her teeth everyday was truly a struggle. Her family and career were affected by this illness. She already gave up hope until she remembered to ask help from a friend. Being surrounded by friends who consistently build her up and pray with her is a great help. I hope you can also find a support group that you can meet in person. Just like my friend, I hope it will help you to feel less lonely.

Thank you for sharing your story. You are not alone, we care for you, so please stay in the forum. I pray that you will experience God’s peace and things will go well with you. Please remain strong and keep going. God bless.


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