New and confused - trying to understand and learn

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New and confused - trying to understand and learn

Postby strugglinginlife » Fri May 17, 2019 4:10 pm

Brief intro - I am 44, mom of 3 - youngest still at home.

I was finally diagnosed this morning with moderate Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder, unspecified. I've dealt with depression off and on for 25+ years and the anxiety/panic attacks for the last several years. Other than being diagnosed with Postpartum Depression after my children were born, I have never had an official diagnosis before now.

Now that I have the diagnosis - what does it mean? And how do I thrive, not just survive. Seems strange to ask that, after all I've lived with this for most of my life really, but obviously I've not done a very good job of that all these years or I don't think I would still be struggling so much.

I was given a prescription for both - a once daily for the depression and an as needed for the anxiety. Any other ideas?

I am to have a follow up appointment in 2 weeks and I can ask the doctor then I know but thought maybe someone here could help me understand. (The visit this morning was at a walk-in clinic and not with the doctor I will be seeing in 2 weeks.)

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Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 7:50 pm

Re: New and confused - trying to understand and learn

Postby derkderk » Sun May 19, 2019 4:35 am

I'm in a pretty different category as you described your diagnosis (more severe) but I have some ideas that I've tried.

"light therapy"- I tried the kind requiring a "staring contest" with a lighted panel and I hated it. Later, I got a "light hat" as I call it. Its a hat or visor that has a battery operated Velcroed light that shines in the eyes from ABOVE your view. It uses a selective spectrum of light and is bluish/greenish. It changes the color of things while your wearing it, but you can be free to move around and be active.

Cocoa- It helps depression quite well at times. I don't to make "hot chocolate" so I stir the ground cocoa into Geek yogurt and sugar relieve the bitterness. It can actually be quite tasty. I prefer using the "Fage" brand.

Caffeine- I used to use coffee to get it but I switched to caffeine pills. It had a huge affect on how much I was paying for coffee, and it doesn't give me upset stomach from drinking it as much as I needed

For anxiety- Chamomile tea can be helpful. A very strong cup of it may work better.

(maybe seems odd) Nicotine patches/lozenges- I found articles of studying effects in nicotine dependence using quit smoking products vs. cigarettes. They found that getting addicted to nicotine is quite difficult with quit smoking products due to the much slower and lower increase of nicotine in the brain. I can attest for myself at least, having never smoked nicotine, I use the patches or lozenges with no dependence on using them.

What I call "self awareness" and the modern term being "mindfulness" is very helpful when one's ability gets good. Possibly a simple description of it is that common knowledge of a guy's brain and a woman's brain. Women are naturally more in touch with how she feels, where as guy's usually ignore such things and focus on tangible things outside of himself. Now take that woman's ability and expand it by thinking how some thought made you feel, why did it make you feel that way, what caused it in the first place, how can you be prepared for it happening again, could I control it from happening again, and so forth.

Exercise, or an activity with a group has often been recommended. I've felt that the socializing had the most good creating more self confidence, and the activity sets the groups mentality to work together and share experiences.

Think of a goal to work toward that is of interest, the increase in skill and knowledge is a very nice anti-depressant, and also having anti-anxiety effects from satisfaction of your efforts.

I hope that helps. Typing in various searches like, "ways to be less depressed" can give you pages with possibly helpful ideas.

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Re: New and confused - trying to understand and learn

Postby Starbuck » Sun May 19, 2019 2:00 pm

I think it's important to find out what is causing it, in order to know how best to deal with it.

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Re: New and confused - trying to understand and learn

Postby Spleefy » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:27 am

Hi Strugglinginlife,

The diagnosis is good in that now at least you know exactly what you are dealing with—MDD and anxiety. Now that you know what you are dealing with, you’ll be able to get the help you need to get through it.

You said, “how do I thrive, not just survive?” That is the exact question I asked myself way back when.

I firmly believe that we can thrive, even with depression. I guess, though, that depends on how you define “thrive.” What comes to your mind when you think of “thriving” in life?

You said you don’t think you did a good job because you are still struggling so much. You could look at it that way. Or you could look at it that you have done a good job coping. After all, you are still here, right?

Struggling doesn’t necessarily mean you haven’t done a good job, as you say. But what about the things you have still accomplished despite that struggle? I don’t know what that is, except that you raised 2 children and have another one still at home. I’m sure there are many other accomplishments in your life.

The struggle is real with depression, but depression and anxiety need not be a life sentence.

You said you are confused. I can be a little slow sometimes and misinterpret things, so would you mind expanding on why you are confused or what you are confused about?
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

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Re: New and confused - trying to understand and learn

Postby Oceanforest » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:21 pm

Hi new here 43 diagnosed ptsd and major depressive disorder. It can take time for the right meds to work. I take antidepressants and find they help, it was scary for me at first taking them as i was not a believer in them but i have to admit they have helped. Best thing is to follow their advice and give it some time.
All the best.

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