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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / So confused - previous sufferer of severe depression - old symptoms re-appearing. Please help.

Topic: So confused - previous sufferer of severe depression - old symptoms re-appearing. Please help.

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. amy5678
    amy5678 avatar
    1 posts
    4 January 2014

    Hi, I'm not really sure where this should be posted but this seemed like the most relevant category. 

    In 2009 I was diagnosed with severe depression, I had suffered from most of the symptoms that I described to my psychologist for most of my life growing up before that, but ended up seeking help because of encouragement by the supportive people in my life after I started self-harming and experiencing suicidal episodes. This happened around the same time I realised I was a lesbian, but I don't think the two are that related, because I grew up in an environment very accepting of that and it was never a big problem with the people I cared about. I kept seeing the psychologist over the course of about three years, I believe the last time was in 2012. Despite going, I don't feel I was totally honest with my psychologist and my doctor about the things I was experiencing, for the most part. I told them about the self-harm, and the suicidal feelings, the emptiness and exhaustion and hopelessness and self-loathing on a superficial level (general concerns about my appearance and things) but I didn't tell them about the delusions/other symptoms I was having until very near the end of my treatment because I was so wrapped up in them that they prevented me from doing so.

    I became convinced that I was in some way evil incarnate - it sounds so ridiculous to say but it really scared me at the time. I felt like I was tainting the world by existing, and I don't mean these things in the metaphorical sense, I really believed them. I felt like the reason I had to self-harm and plan my death was that in some way I doomed everyone around me by being in their lives. This only got worse once I sought help because I thought by needing my friends' and family's support, love, and energy that I was draining them like a parasite, and the feeling only strengthened. I also suffer from a chronic physical illness that caused constant intense physical pain and has been very expensive to maintain, which both further increased my feeling of draining the resources of people around me, and drove me to start drinking heavily & using drugs (nothing too serious) at a young age. This feeling of being a burden drove me into a weird cycle where I felt like I couldn't suffer because it would make the people who cared about me suffer - but the fact that I was so awful so as to cause that meant I DESERVED to suffer - because I was evil incarnate. 

    This started to cause some very strange symptoms in me after a while - that I was told by my psychologist could have been symptoms of OCD or some kind of anxiety disorder, but I refused to go into it because of the above thought processes. I started to feel like I had to do things to protect the world from myself - or to keep the truth a secret. Whenever I sent a message or an email I had to read it over and over to make sure I hadn't revealed something incriminating about myself or verbally abused the recipient without realising - behind my own back. I developed strange superstitions - like when I turned my bedside lamp off before bed I had to stare unblinking at the glowing wire inside until the last light had disappeared - otherwise the evil side of me would take over in my sleep. If I blinked I had to turn the lamp on and off and do it again. I randomly fixated on particular objects - rubbish on the floor or my phone or a pencil on a table, and I had to move them because they didn't seem "right" to me and I had to make them "right" to make up for all the disturbances I had caused in the world. If I couldn't get it "right" then I had to hurt myself to make up for it.

    I don't know how I came out - or seemed to come out of this cycle. I went through a period of complete and utter exhaustion and emptiness in 2012, and when that was over, I guess a sense of normality kind of returned. I didn't feel the urge to hurt myself, or to kill myself. I didn't feel intensely sad or hopeless, I didn't feel like I despised myself anymore, I didn't think I was evil. But I guess that idea always kind of stayed with me - because even though I could go back to school, and enjoy things, and work hard and get good grades and so on, I guess I had this conviction in the back of my mind that I was trying to "outrun" that side of me by being normal, but it seemed so harmless to my day to day life in comparison to what I had been suffering from that I didn't really think of it as a big deal. I knew then that the things I had believed were ridiculous, but I still didn't entirely forget them.

    Recently I've been getting some of the weird behaviours back - I have times where I feel like I have to move things or read things I've written over and over. Sometimes in social situations I'll avoid being around people - not because I'm worried they won't like me, but because I'm worried that I'll ruin what they're doing for them with my mere presence. I don't feel depressed, I'm not losing my ability to function or work or interact, but it's starting to scare me a little. It feels like all my old symptoms are getting jumbled up together and slowly coming back one by one and I'm scared which one will be next. I was never diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder or any of the other things I have been told could explain my symptoms - and even though I'm not in any HUGE danger at the moment - I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to seek out professional help to try and help me understand what I WAS going through back then, so maybe I can stop it this time.

    I'm sorry this was so long - it's just a really big complex mess of a mental health history I'm hoping it will be easier to understand with all the pieces to the puzzle (or all the ones I can talk about).

    Can anybody help me? Does anyone have any advice or has been through something similar?

  2. Mbuna
    Mbuna avatar
    95 posts
    4 January 2014 in reply to amy5678

    Amy,

    The problem with Depression and Anxiety is that it can often come back after long periods of being OK. I don't think you are describing anything that many of us have not experienced ourselves. Mine has returned on many occasions. What I have found is that each time it comes back I am better prepared. I know what things i can do to combat it. I find that each time it comes back the episodes are shorter. Not everyone is the same but you have managed to drag yourself out of that hole once. That shows you can do it. If it gets worse, go and see someone. Its not going to hurt. Try and remember what you did last time to lift yourself up. I find exercise helps. I find I am more vulnerable in the mornings. A shower always helps me for some reason. Depression and anxiety are horrible. I would not wish it on anyone. The biggest hurdle is dragging yourself out of that hole. You have done it once and I am sure you can do it again. If you need to seek professional help then make an appointment. Talking about it will help.

  3. bzb
    bzb avatar
    15 posts
    4 January 2014 in reply to amy5678

    Dear Amy,

    Congratulations on making so many changes to your life and moving forward, as it sounds like you had many challenges facing you. 

    If you feel seeking professional advice will help you, then do what you feel. I have had times when I've been doing very well and then certain feelings may re-appear, so I ensure I get professional advice, and then I'm better.

    I agree with Mbuna's post, too.

    Please let us know how you go.

    Take care,

    bzb

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