am I depressed/anxious - looking to compare notes

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am I depressed/anxious - looking to compare notes

Postby wintersophia » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:20 pm

Hi - this is my first post here.

I've never been officially diagnosed with any mood disorder, but I've been in and out of therapy for various reasons I could never quite explain, and recently I started taking sertraline (Zoloft) and am feeling so much better. I want to recap my experience here and ask for your opinion - what's wrong with me/what's been wrong with me for the last nine or so years (ages 15-24)?

Ages 15-17
Experienced some panic attacks and was constantly stressed. Obsessed with getting good grades so I could get into a good university with a good scholarship. Had to hold my best friend's hand and hug her every morning in school before starting the day to calm myself down. Would sometimes experience manic moments during the 24 hours before my period (unable/no need to sleep/restless/running around/hyper). Occasionally, out-of-the-blue, for brief moments (5-20 minutes) I would feel so overwhelmingly depressed I didn't even know if I had the strength to move my body. Made a promise to kill myself if the moment of severe soul-crushing depression took over more than half of my life. Began feeling uncontrollable anger when offended and got into 2 fights with teachers at the end of my senior year, even though I was the model student/citizen.

Age 17-20
Suddenly realized one afternoon that I had entirely lost my religious faith. It was just gone - poof - good bye. Went to college and realized I had lost the ability to laugh like I used to. I could chuckle, but nothing was truly funny anymore. Turned 18 and began feeling like my life was over or coming to an end. Suddenly realized that most of the world (material things) seemed utterly meaningless to me. Self-esteem took a huge dive and I volunteered more and more so that I would have a reason to not hate myself for existing. Felt lonely all the time, with people or alone. All of the positive feelings were muted. So I would be happy at times, but never for very long and not that happy. Just a small happiness that would evaporate immediately after the stimulus was gone. I experienced explosive outbursts of disproportionate anger whenever I was PMSing - even bad for PMS. During this time I met a guy who was very much a narcissist, didn't realize it at the time and became obsessed with him, entering into a 3-year long on again off again psychologically abusive relationship. I slept very poorly during these years.

Age 21
Feelings started coming back but very slowly. Wasn't sure why. Decided to continue to act positive and pretend to be okay. Decided to stop seeing that awful guy. When I tried to break ties with him I felt so emotionally devastated and out of control of my feelings. I started cutting myself as punishment for not being able to control my feelings and thoughts. Felt like I might end up being a failure in life if I graduated college and couldn't find a job. Was very worried and very scared. Began seeing an awesome therapist who helped me finish breaking ties with the awful guy and coached me through job hunting and getting my physical health on track. I still slept very poorly this year.

Age 21-23
Graduated top of my class and when a professor asked me if I was proud I realized I wasn't. I felt bad, and while I was mildly glad I did so exceptionally well in college I felt like I was still unprepared for the world and I doubted the significance of my education. I had never even thought to be proud of myself until it was suggested to me, even though I had achieved a life-long dream. After graduating, I gave up job hunting because I didn't have the energy, and was planning to start doing temp work when at the last moment a job I had applied to months previously got back to me - I ended up hired at a nice job. I began working and my supervisor was very supportive and motherly to me - I focused all of my energy on doing a good job at work and within two years life really started to feel meaningful again, but it took time. In the meanwhile, I still had many fears and anxieties and stresses that followed me all the way from childhood that I was trying to tackle. And my anger was worse than before. I was okay at work, but I began to be irritable at all other times. My over-the-top angry outbursts (which were so bad several people told me to get help for anger management) became more common, and I began to notice it happening before my period. My sleeping during this time frame was better than college, but still a problem.

Age 24
A little over ambitiously, I began going on adventure trips (hot air balloon rides, a trip to abroad, and a road trip across the US). I had always liked to push myself to explore, but in college traveling and trying new things stopped being fun and I just felt "meh" so for a while I was afraid to try to have fun and get disappointed. While I have enjoyed myself more than I would have previously, my anxiety began to spike again. I also began to feel poorly about myself. I felt guilty all the time, I felt like I was a burden to my family, I questioned whether it was better if I had never been born. I began feeling overwhelmed by emotions again and started cutting again. My co-workers began asking HR to give me a promotion because they thought I was doing such a good job at work, but I felt like a complete failure, overwhelmed, and a sham. I starting thinking about quitting my job and quitting society. I was so stressed I had a lump in my throat that wouldn't go away. And I was guilty for all of my feelings, thoughts, and actions - too guilty too ask anyone for help. But then my anger was still an issue. One day I was so enraged I almost attacked someone. I felt ashamed. I wanted help but felt guilty for wanting help. Finally, one week I was so anxious I was barely sleeping and I felt like I was going to have some sort of break down. I went to see my doctor for a sick visit and asked for medication. We talked for an hour and I ended up on sertraline (Zoloft).

Been on drugs for 6 weeks now, and seeing a new therapist for 4 weeks. I don't feel guilty for existing anymore. All the situations where I would normally be overly angry I just break down and cry instead. I feel SO MUCH LESS FEAR to talk to people about my struggles and to ask for help, and to communicate in general. I feel proud of my work. I'm hardly irritable. I'm sleeping better. Everything is so much better, and so much more normal.

So if anyone out there has taken the time to read this through - or at least give it a good skim read - what has been going on with me? Honestly, I feel like I've had a little bit of lots of things but nothing to qualify for a solid diagnosis, but I want to know other people's thoughts. What do you think?

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Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 2:11 pm

Re: am I depressed/anxious - looking to compare notes

Postby Helloraspberries1 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:28 pm

Hi WinterSophia, welcome to Depression Alliance. I hope you get what your looking for on here and we can be some sort of help.

From reading your story it sounds alot like what other people have gone through on this forum who have likely to of been suffering from either Depression, Anxiety, Mood Disorder or even something else mentally.

It can be hard trying to find root course to any problem which can play on are minds and makes us even receive help which we don't need.

You have already gone and seen professional help and from receiving the help it sounds like it has worked for you.

Alot of people like myself has undergone the same treatment which has lucky worked for us but there is alot of been out there and that's why it's important to keep exploring your options.

A mental illness needs goes away unless you make it go away for good. It starts with making that first step.

I hope things continue to improve for you.

Please keep reaching out on here x

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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:01 pm

Re: am I depressed/anxious - looking to compare notes

Postby Heydad75 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:07 am

Hi WinterSophia,

Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you are very aware of your emotions and experiences. I think that you are on the right track to healing. It looks like your current therapy is working and you are feeling better. I hope that you continue to share your progress with us. I have not personally been in therapy but i know many friends that have. Mental disorder is something that can be treated with positive results.


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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:47 pm

Re: am I depressed/anxious - looking to compare notes

Postby veltins » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:00 pm

You have a really complex situation, I can't relate. The only advice I can give is to get out of drugs quickly, or your depression can easily turn into a schizophrenia. Good luck.

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:47 pm

Re: am I depressed/anxious - looking to compare notes

Postby veltins » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:03 pm

veltins wrote:You have a really complex situation, I can't relate. The only advice I can give is to get out of drugs quickly, or your depression can easily turn into a schizophrenia. Good luck.

Sorry, when I saw "drugs" I thought of illegal drugs. My bad.

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