Feeling Blue

Hang out, sip some ice tea, and shoot the breeze with TR regulars.

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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Yes, but from a realistic standpoint:
your significant other is a huge point of stress.

1. It(your relationship) represents probably the largest emotional and financial investment you have ever made
2. they are people who see you at your worst
3. they are the people whose criticism/disappointment you are going to most deeply feel

To the extent that it(your relationship) is failing/not ideal/is a source of disappointment/ is a reminder of things that cannot be undone....

talking to your wife about depression is probably not a good idea. :wink:

Not saying to not talk at all, just that a disinterested third party (doctor) has a better chance of giving you unbiased advise/help. :wink:
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:08 pm

cphite wrote:
sluggo wrote:
ronch wrote:Just tried to talk to the wife about it. Shouldn't have. Stupid me.

Okay ... just a thought, but if the the person closest to you in your life does not care to hear about your problems, then I think this is something you might want to consider as a potential contributor to your current depressed state.


Don't be too quick to judge the wife. It's often very difficult for people who haven't experienced depression to really understand it; and even if they do think they understand it, they often will try to rationalize it or dismiss it - in many cases in a somewhat misguided attempt to help (ie. if I tell this person to just cheer up they won't be depressed anymore...)

I see your point. Sorry to the OP and the forum if this came off sounding too critical of Ronch's wife. Laying any blame there was not my intent at all. What I hoped to do was to point out the sometimes self-reinforcing nature of what might, at its core, be a very small problem, and how it can snowball into larger consequences if allowed to. And when it's allowed to, its often through the process of shame; many people who don't understand depression want it, and the person with the problem, to simply go away. As the person with the problem, it can be easy in those circumstances to fall into the trap of blaming yourself for your depression.

One of the keys to managing and living with your depression is understanding the triggers that set off a chain (a "snowball") of negative thoughts and behaviors. The chain may start with falling behind in school ("I'm stupid"), or work ("I'm lazy"), or it may start with the wife not wanting to talk about depression ("I'm not worthy of love"). If you can identify those triggers when they happen, and then separate them from the pattern of self-destructive behaviors that sometimes follow, you can do a lot of good work on your depression before you ever go near the Wellbutrin.

Depression clouds judgement. Try not to let your wife's prior disinclination to participate in the analysis process affect your desire to continue the process. She may be just as wary of the whole thing as you are. But I believe if she sees you making a concerted effort to deal with it, she'll come around eventually.

And by the way, take a moment and give yourself some effing props for wanting to deal with it. Well done.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:30 pm

You might also consider shutting off the news for a week or two. Too much of a bad thing can poison the outlook of even the most optimistic among us!

And I also agree with the other who suggest getting help. There's lots of stuff we can't or shouldn't do all by ourselves. It's unfortunate you can't count on your wife, but don't let this stop you.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:46 pm

To be honest, guys, I kinda feel frustrated with my wife as well. She's a supportive wife, to be fair to her. But the thing is, this misery of mine has been slowly building up for the past few months and every time I express sadness she just kinda brushes me off. I actually even told her that I wouldn't approach her anymore but it just makes things worse. Sigh. Women. And so I guess that's one of the reasons why this problem has reached this point. She's more open now, I guess, and I hope it's not too late. She does want to help but I guess she doesn't know exactly how, so I nudged her in the right direction by sending her a link through email. I'm just tired of verbal conversations these days and I've found that typing/writing down what I wanna say is a lot easier than verbal means. I don't know how things will turn out. Just wanna get out of the woods, figuratively. What's more dangerous is the fact that the business I set up happens to be a drug store, so I have easy access to everything, if you know what I mean.

I also found that, although I've expressed my longing for the great outdoors, going out of the house is a huge effort for me. But also, I've found that looking at pictures of nature really soothes my internal circuits so I may want to do more of that.

Thanks, guys.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:05 pm

Best thing to do with your wife is keep trying to explain to her how you feel and what you need. That'll help her be supportive. It will take some effort, but it looks like you're already seeing that effort pay off. Both of you are on the same team and can work together.

From your descriptions, it sounds like you're starting down the right path. You found a road out of the woods and you're taking it. That's an incredible step. Make sure you remain in control through the rest of your journey... and don't cede control to a -- ahem -- substance.

If you like the outdoors, and looking at pictures helps, check out some photography contests, like DPReview's challenges that focus on nature. There are lots of beautiful pics for you to flip through. Also, maybe taking photographs of nature could be the thing to nudge you out of the house. Being a photographer puts you in the middle of the action, but you aren't an active participant, rather you're an observer and recorder.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:37 am

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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:55 pm

Ronch, from what you've said about your home relationships, it seems to me you just might be in a particularly hard stage. Let me sketch the scenario if in case this describes your situation. If not, please skip my unsolicited opinion and listen to the others about seeking professional help, the exercise and outdoor activities are sensible advice.

Your wife sounds pretty normal in her expectations and behaviors given your predicament. The average wife wishes for her husband to show affection and consideration for her womanly virtues on a regular basis and responds with loving respect given the chance. Foisting your personal angst on her absent most of the love and attention you usually provide won't work to elicit the response you want. Unless your wife is the rare saintly kind. From your descriptions I gather she's not, much like my own wife who's been loyal and dutiful all these years and yet someone I haven't yet fully figured out but learned to live with.

So yes Ronch you've got problems. And yet your personal issues likely wouldn't become her deep focus unless and until they impact your capacity to attend to her needs and that part of the household she runs. I suspect she stills expects you to be brimming with extra joss and affection for her own concerns despite your current disposition, right? That and your share of disposable income, helping with the baby, home chores, social obligations, etc. And if you start looking more like a patient than a husband in the long-term, she will likely consult with her parents, siblings, and friends. The advice could be all over the place, so you better be prepared to show her you're still present as student husband in marriage school. Yep, you still have to act mostly as the spouse she wishes you to be, even if you don't feel much like it. But if you can keep it up (with help from others), you'll have the most important person in your life at your side.

Fairness is not the lesson in this situation, which I've seen with many couples. It's about playing to your individual roles which together strengthen the family. But there are still physical and emotional burdens as the roles are never equally received nor rewarded. For unless you have the sweetest baby or your wife is wonder woman, these issues arise naturally and eventually the friction brings subconscious burdens. Which I'm guessing could be the basis for some of the anxiety weighing you down.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:57 pm

I'm in no way qualified to give psychological or medical advice and have no intention to do so.
That being said, I've struggled with clinical depression since I was about 12 years old. Thankfully it's been well managed for a while, but occasionally I've felt just as you describe, sometimes for weeks or more.
I've found that other than getting out of the house especially when you don't feel like it, one of the greatest assets is someone you can consistently and dependably talk to on a personal level. And I don't necessarily mean talking about your situation. I find just the act of talking in an engaging conversation to be a good distraction. A close male friend is a must.
Also, I know some may view religion as a crutch or whatever, but the support and love I found when I started going to church was amazing.

Most importantly, as others have said, please find a good counselor/psychologist in your area and talk to them. They can help you figure things out and find ways of coping and improving your quality of life.

You don't have to go through this on your own.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:24 pm

As humans we sometimes get depressed when we can't see our future clearly or if the future we see is the same as the present. What you need to do is step out of your comfort zone and find new things to do and see. Live an adventurous life. Go hunting, fishing, camping, or anything that makes you physically active or find things that make you mentally active, like board games or brain teasers. I for one cannot say that I have ever been depressed, although I believe I still have many years to come. (Just turned 21 in October) For me, I fear death, I despise death, I DO NOT WANT TO DIE! I think about how death is so cruel every day and how I would just love to survive as long as possible so I can remain close to my loved ones, see technology evolve and experience things I had not had the chance to experience.

I think that if you think about other things to try and actually try them in your free time, you might end up better off than the state you are in now. If you can't draw teach yourself how to and express yourself whenever you have the free time.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:55 pm

Better living through chemistry, Dow Chemical once said.
I feel the OP's pain. If you find yourself thinking those aforementioned extra-dark thoughts more and more often, it's time to talk to a doctor.
I was, I did, and I'm glad I did. For me, it got worse and worse and then I started suffering from insomnia. Now I rarely have those thoughts and I sleep like a baby.
Recognizing that having such thoughts frequently is bad and abnormal is probably the first step.
Maybe it's not the perfect way to go, but it is a way that worked for me - and I would recommend looking into it.
Especially if you find your frame of mind is affecting others (family, spouse) around you.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:02 pm

ronch wrote:To be honest, guys, I kinda feel frustrated with my wife as well. She's a supportive wife, to be fair to her. But the thing is, this misery of mine has been slowly building up for the past few months and every time I express sadness she just kinda brushes me off. I actually even told her that I wouldn't approach her anymore but it just makes things worse. Sigh. Women. And so I guess that's one of the reasons why this problem has reached this point. She's more open now, I guess, and I hope it's not too late. She does want to help but I guess she doesn't know exactly how, so I nudged her in the right direction by sending her a link through email. I'm just tired of verbal conversations these days and I've found that typing/writing down what I wanna say is a lot easier than verbal means. I don't know how things will turn out. Just wanna get out of the woods, figuratively. What's more dangerous is the fact that the business I set up happens to be a drug store, so I have easy access to everything, if you know what I mean.

I also found that, although I've expressed my longing for the great outdoors, going out of the house is a huge effort for me. But also, I've found that looking at pictures of nature really soothes my internal circuits so I may want to do more of that.

Thanks, guys.


Honestly man, the next thing you need to do is go find someone that you can talk to about this. It doesn't sound like your wife is that person right now; maybe she will be at some point, but right now she is not. And as much as folks here might want to help, when you come right down to it there is only so much that you can get from an online conversation.

You've already said that you've thought about harming yourself, in addition to implying that you might abuse your access to a pharmacy, and telling us that you find it difficult to leave the house, etc. These are all red flags and reasons to go and seek professional help.

Clearly you have additional support here on this forum if you need it, but you seriously need to talk to someone who can actually talk to you face to face. I know it's difficult taking that first step - but take it.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:56 pm

cphite wrote:Honestly man, the next thing you need to do is go find someone that you can talk to about this. It doesn't sound like your wife is that person right now; maybe she will be at some point, but right now she is not. And as much as folks here might want to help, when you come right down to it there is only so much that you can get from an online conversation.


This. This. A thousand times this.

I'm single, no kids. My closest confidants are a couple of old university friends, and my sister. My sister has her husband and kids to deal with, so I don't want to burden her too much, and there's only so much I can say to my friends (that's me, not them.)

I've been to see a shrink. It's helped - a lot. Putting things into perspective, understanding alternative viewpoints to my own; also gaining some insight to myself with an Aspergers diagnosis - it's all helped me to reach sturdier ground than I was on a couple of years ago. (There are other matters as well, to do with having to move around a fair bit to areas where I didn't have a support network, and falling into bad eating habits as a consequence, but anyway.)

The hardest step is admitting that there's a problem. You've done that. Talking about it with people, whether it be here or elsewhere, is useful. But I strongly recommend that you see your doctor, get a recommendation for a good psychiatrist, and have a few sessions. It may also be worthwhile to bring your wife along to one after you've been going for a while, to try to nut out the obvious differences in viewpoint around this (but you have to decide whether that's likely to help, or harm, the relationship; I'm of the view that openness and honesty are cornerstones of a committed relationship, but I don't know you, nor your wife. Where I'm coming from is that once you're a little more stable and solid, helping her to understand where you were emotionally may - not necessarily will; you have to judge that, not me - help get that issue out of the way so it doesn't come between you in the future. If you just shrug it off saying "it's in the past", it's far too likely to fester and come up again.)

I recently got into triathlons; that got me back onto my bike regularly (which I'm loving - it had been far too long off it), running (which I'm starting to learn to cope with, if not enjoy) and swimming (which isn't too bad, although I'm not enjoying it when I'm in a race with half metre or more swells, I must admit.) The key for me there is that there are people who implicitly expect me to be there - granted that they don't quiz me if I don't show, but it adds an extra incentive for me to stick to the schedule that simply isn't there with a gym membership.

It's easy to be an armchair quarterback, I know, but I do hope that you're getting some useful suggestions. You may have to force yourself at first, but please, do try to find something that gives you a routine to get out of the house for a bit.

And seriously: good luck. I wish there was more I could do from here in Australia; I can only hope that what you're getting from everybody here is helping you move in the right direction.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:28 pm

To echo the sentiments of many: talk to a doctor or a therapist. It's hard, but it's worth it. At least it was for me. A good doctor/therapist will assess you, talk to you about your options (medicine and otherwise), and in general help you to deal with this.

Best of luck.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:31 pm

Hey guys, thanks for all the responses.

So here I am. My wife's been looking for a doctor for me. She does want to help but she's admitted that she doesn't really know how to deal with me. In my current state, it's difficult to see her in the proper perspective because it's like only 20% of my brain is working normally. I'm glad I can still type things -- I'm having difficulty talking verbally (I tend to either be silent or irritable) and as I may have said earlier, writing things down is my means these days to communicate with people. It's harder than usual but at least I can still pull it off.

My work has been suffering. I've been falling behind on my plans. But work is one of the reasons why I ended up like this in the first place. I have been suffering burnouts and near-burnouts for the past few months, with no time to take a few days off before pushing myself to work again, almost no support system when I feel blue, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, doubt, perhaps some GAD thrown in... I dunno.

Right now I just wanna see a doctor but I don't know who to call, and I don't want people around me knowing about it either. So I guess I have to trust my wife to get a good doctor for me. It's getting harder. Work piling up, I get frustrated about falling behind, which adds fuel to the fire. I wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes to mind is wanting to die. At night I go to bed wishing I wouldn't wake up anymore. Like I said, I just wanna live in la-la land or something (dreams). No troubles, no worries, nothing. Just a timeless, peaceful place.

I have doubts the doctor would be able to pull me back though. I don't know. It's like I won't feel completely ok until I'm out there flying with the birds or something. It's like I wanna reach a higher level that I can't reach while I'm in the physical plane. I know this view/mentality is really crazy... Maybe it does have something to do with my childhood as well. I've had suicidal thoughts since childhood (maybe I was 10 then... maybe even earlier). Not sure why, but perhaps it's because I grew up with a handicap (really bad eyesight) and other kids made fun of me since Kindergarten to college. Maybe all those years of feeling inferior are now coming back to bite me. I don't really know. I can't understand my own mind myself...

Or maybe it has something to do with the books I've been reading too. I read books about people visiting Heaven and all that. Books about ghosts. Books about what happens after this life. Maybe it's the books per se, or maybe the books are only a reflection of what's been going on within me. Perhaps those books are my avenue for feeling better in life.

I really appreciate all your thoughts here, guys. I read them all and I hope to gain something from them. I guess I should have recognized these niggling issues early on so they wouldn't have snowballed to this level. Again, many thanks.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:52 pm

ronch wrote:My work has been suffering. I've been falling behind on my plans. But work is one of the reasons why I ended up like this in the first place. I have been suffering burnouts and near-burnouts for the past few months, with no time to take a few days off before pushing myself to work again, almost no support system when I feel blue, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, doubt, perhaps some GAD thrown in... I dunno.


Are you employed by a company, or self-employed/running your own business? If the former, you may be better off taking sick leave to try to get yourself back into a better space (granted, I'm in Australia, where sick leave forms part of basic workers' rights; I don't know the rules in other countries, so this may not be an option.) You need to talk to your boss/manager about it, even if it's just to say that you're feeling overwhelmed and are struggling to cope; letting it slide is going to make things worse in the long run. (Counterpoint: if the workplace is hostile, you could end up losing your job over this, which may be worse; if your wife is working and her income is enough to support you both for a while, though, it may be worthwhile to just get out from under. Probably won't happen, though; finding good workers, even when there are lots of people looking for work, is hard, so companies do tend to try to help their employees rather than just letting them go because it's "too hard".)

Work piling up, I get frustrated about falling behind, which adds fuel to the fire. I wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes to mind is wanting to die. At night I go to bed wishing I wouldn't wake up anymore. Like I said, I just wanna live in la-la land or something (dreams). No troubles, no worries, nothing. Just a timeless, peaceful place.


What you have right now is a great big tangled ball of problems that looks insurmountable. Look for a thread you can pull. Any thread. Once one thing that you feel is out of control is back under control, it will help you deal with the next thread. And the next. And the next. Talking to your boss might be that first thread. (For me, the first thread I pulled was getting back to a place where I had people I could talk to and trust. The second was getting back to a place where my long term friends lived. The third was the Aspergers. Whichever thread you pull may look insignificant in comparison to that great big tangled ball, but the feeling of relief once one thing is out of the way is a huge boost, and should give you enough energy to start work on the next one.)

I have doubts the doctor would be able to pull me back though. I don't know. It's like I won't feel completely ok until I'm out there flying with the birds or something. It's like I wanna reach a higher level that I can't reach while I'm in the physical plane. I know this view/mentality is really crazy... Maybe it does have something to do with my childhood as well. I've had suicidal thoughts since childhood (maybe I was 10 then... maybe even earlier). Not sure why, but perhaps it's because I grew up with a handicap (really bad eyesight) and other kids made fun of me since Kindergarten to college. Maybe all those years of feeling inferior are now coming back to bite me. I don't really know. I can't understand my own mind myself...


Sounds to me like you really need to speak with a shrink. The doctor should be able to point you in the right direction, even if he/she can't help you directly. Psychologists have experience with asking questions that point you in directions that you may not have considered on your own, and that will help with your understanding of yourself.

Just remember: you can only take one step at a time. Focus on that step; try to not worry about the steps after that one: you can't control it.

Again: good luck.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:32 pm

Patience I would say. Hang in there. Things will slowly but surely start to fall into their place. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Manage your expectations accordingly. It is really hard to do this with this giant monster on your back.

Think of it as this way: it took this amount of time for things to get this worse, and it will take time to fix it.

Having a journal and logging the moods that you have, the possible triggers that make you irritable, what makes you feel more anxious and so forth might be helpful to you and your doctor. Write about possible coping mechanisms that you have found that helped you positively in your mood, etc.

I am quite encouraged that you will see a doctor. You are doing great knowing that you have to find the solution to the problem and trying to engage your wife, although she might be hesitant to give you support, slowly she might come around.Give her some time for her to process this. In these situations, it is not only the afflicted with mental illness the one that suffers, but the loved ones of the afflicted. I myself suffer from time to time with that tug from my mom. Yet, I have learned to cope with it in a healthy way. She also needs time to learn to cope with this. And remember, don't feel guilty nor ashamed of what you are going through. Those that don't recognize this will probably do so because of plain ignorance of their part, and quite frankly, you would be better off from some that would flat out drag you out. Yet, it is important to try to engage said persons and try to bring awareness to this. Bringing awareness to this might make these people be cognizant of red flags that maybe they have ignored in the behaviors of their love ones. An afflicted's loved one awareness and understanding makes the most difference. A person suffering from such a mental illness like depression has a way better chance for a treatable condition if their loved ones have the awareness.

Every step that you take, don't be afraid to make a mistake, but come to the realization that such mistake it is an opportunity for you to cope with your illness. For those around you to help you battle your inner demons, and to "love yourself, and believe in yourself" your axiom. Find a support system, you don't have to battle your inner demons alone. Your wife, your doctor, and your coping mechanisms, etc WILL help you. One day at a time, hang in there!
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:52 pm

Pastors and clergy can also council and only ask for what you can afford for payment. Some have doctorate degrees in psychology. All of them have people skills. They can be a better option than going through your health care provider. Even if you are not a member of their church they will not turn you down, the visits will not get reported back to HR, and you will not have to fill out a stack of questionnaires and insurance forms.

I am just throwing this out in response to the trouble you seem to be having in finding a counseling service.
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Re: Feeling Blue

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:21 pm

I'll echo some of the sentiments here: when I'm feeling down, heading out to nature tends to make me feel better... the smell of fresh air, all things green/blue... it just works. For me. Exercise tends to make me feel better. It may be difficult to push myself to crawl to the gym but once I get a couple of reps done, I feel way better.

It seems that what you have now is a bit deeper than "feeling down", though.. asking someone to help arrange stuff like counselor's/doctor's appointments, meals etc. might help - sounds like you're already doing that.

Worrying about work sucks. Being behind schedule is one of those things that can get the negative feedback ball rolling... that's usually what gets me down, and I've seen something similar in others. I've learned to just not care... I've adopted the attitude that work is not the most important thing, and losing your job is not the end of the world. I will never again let work kill me. I don't know where you are, how the safety net is there, what your financial situation is... so this sort of attitude might not be an option for you.

Reading your description makes it clear that you're feeling something I have never experienced myself. But I've been in a relationship where the other half was, and I felt lost, unable to comprehend the depth of it, and felt like a failure not being able to help. I second the comment about depression being difficult to empathize with if you haven't been there yourself..

BTW, I saw a documentary that talked about the "magic" of vitamins, and they said some people with severe depression got a lot of help from massive megadosing of vitamins (E, B or
C... don't remember which one). Maybe try it..? Those shouldn't be dangerous, even in large quantities (I'm not a real doctor, so take it with a grain of salt..)
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