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depressed by passing of my experiences

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barneygp

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Apr 2, 2015
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Hi, I would really appreciate any help with how I might fix or get to the root of what drives my depression. I'm 48. As planned in Sep 14 I left my stressful job after seeing my daughter off to college and I set off to do solo travelling in Europe for a year. I spent Xmas at my mums (before I was due to continue travelling) and out of the blue I had a panic attack which turned out to be the start of major depression. I'm taking Venlafaxine 300mg. My physical energy is ok and I don't have many self critical thoughts. But I've been tortured by the fact that each one of my experiences is transient - they pass - and because of this I find it difficult to look forward to future (transient) experiences, even with friends and family. This makes me very sad and anxious. I appreciate that saying my experiences are transient is another way of saying I'm alive (because it makes no sense to want permanent experiences). Thanks for reading.
 
FriendsAreFriends

FriendsAreFriends

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Hm... you say you earlier had a stressful job and that you have a daughter. I wonder in your earlier job was left with much time to see her? I guess not having the time for friends and family have left you with a subcountios feeling of sadness??? I am no therapist, but I have a general knowlegde of psychology, and I wonder if this can be the case. Anyway you are the one who know yourself best.

Time is a lack in western society. I hope you embrace the posibilities that lies herein, to recover and enjoy life for a while. After a stressfull job you deserve some time off.

Also you need not always take the role of the strong one.:)


Kenneth.
 
Last edited:

MarlieeB

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:welcome: to the forum.

Maybe because you now have had time to concentrate on yourself some things have hit you that may of happened in your life? That is only a guess and I could be so totally wrong.

Did you start on the 300 mg or was it increased gradually?

Marliee x
 
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barneygp

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Thanks Marliee. Yes, when I look back I can see a lot of the stresses on me. What's puzzling though is why 'my' depression shows itself this way - that I'm sad about my experiences ending.
I was moved onto Venlaxfine 300mg fairly quickly, in steps of 75mg over 4 weeks. I've been on it 11 weeks and don't know if it's working that well or not.
Thanks again.

:welcome: to the forum.

Maybe because you now have had time to concentrate on yourself some things have hit you that may of happened in your life? That is only a guess and I could be so totally wrong.

Did you start on the 300 mg or was it increased gradually?

Marliee x
 
Kerome

Kerome

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Hmm, interesting, I'm not a therapist but I have a few thoughts. I think certainly you leaving your stressful job and the change in your life with your daughter going to university have played a role. You decided to travel and take time out. Your subconscious was released from the tension it was under for a long time, and the release probably manifested as a panic attack and depression.

The other thing is, your internal picture of the immediate future probably changed quite drastically. It's been a theory of mine for a long time that depression has a lot to do with your internal, subconscious picture of the future - your hopes and dreams. It may be that there is a void there, because of the lack of work, lack of a family goal you're working towards. If you can fill that void, set a new long term goal for yourself that is meaningful and you can feel some enthusiasm about, that would probably help a lot.

The focus on the fact that everything is transient is interesting too. It's very existential, this angst. Coming to terms with the temporary nature of experiences is important, and it may be key to realise that even though things are temporary that does not mean they have no value. Memories are left to warm the heart of you and your family and friends, and this creates the ties and the affection that you share. Your present floats on a cloud of good feelings generated in part by the past... Maybe reading some philosophy might help you.
 
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barneygp

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Apr 2, 2015
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Thanks Kerome for your thoughtful reply. It chimes with some of my thinking. I studied philosophy for two years at Uni some time ago and existentialist and buddhist ideas, for some reason, intellectually appealed to me. But it's a very different matter to face and feel some of these ideas e.g. impermanence, no self, choosing meaning....

Hmm, interesting, I'm not a therapist but I have a few thoughts. I think certainly you leaving your stressful job and the change in your life with your daughter going to university have played a role. You decided to travel and take time out. Your subconscious was released from the tension it was under for a long time, and the release probably manifested as a panic attack and depression.

The other thing is, your internal picture of the immediate future probably changed quite drastically. It's been a theory of mine for a long time that depression has a lot to do with your internal, subconscious picture of the future - your hopes and dreams. It may be that there is a void there, because of the lack of work, lack of a family goal you're working towards. If you can fill that void, set a new long term goal for yourself that is meaningful and you can feel some enthusiasm about, that would probably help a lot.

The focus on the fact that everything is transient is interesting too. It's very existential, this angst. Coming to terms with the temporary nature of experiences is important, and it may be key to realise that even though things are temporary that does not mean they have no value. Memories are left to warm the heart of you and your family and friends, and this creates the ties and the affection that you share. Your present floats on a cloud of good feelings generated in part by the past... Maybe reading some philosophy might help you.
 
D

Deliah

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Hello, as you are aware, everything is impermanent. Everything always changes, it's not possible for it to remain the same. It sounds like you are grasping for something to feel stable and certain, but there is nothing like this and we are happier this way when we can accept it, when we no longer attach to things because we are aware of their changing state, of everything changing including ourselves, we can be truly joyful. I've been practicing mindfulness for some time and life is evolving in an amazing way. This is your journey, let yourself live it, let yourself feel vulnerable. Could it be that this realisation is in fact a wonderful gift? We all struggle and suffer, but beautiful gifts can come through this too. Accept the struggle. Explore. love to you D xxx
 
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barneygp

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Thanks for replying Deliah. I've tried to 'be in the now' but it feels to me like I'm stuck in the present, puzzled by a seeming inability to look forward to the future. Before this, my travelling involved solo walking and camping in Europe's mountains. In the mountains I feel connected to everything. There's a good balance between enjoying what was going on whilst looking forward to the next day. I usually don't take many photos and didn't feel strongly about setting down memories to enjoy later. There's something uncomfortable for me about 'being in the now'.

Be in the now. This is where happy lies! xx
 
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Deliah

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Do you think the meds you are taking are not really helping you? Are you are GP Barney, I ask because of your name. Maybe they have dulled down your natural curiosity? There are other ways. D x
 
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barneygp

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I'm not a GP - these are the first letters of my middle and last name.
The one sign that my doctor took as evidence that the antidepressant is working is improvement in my sleep. I have also been referred for CBT.
On the one hand, it's been suggested that, in part, I'm having a 'spiritual awakening', on the other hand, doctor says my brain is physically ill and needs meds. I'm normally reluctant to use meds.

Do you think the meds you are taking are not really helping you? Are you are GP Barney, I ask because of your name. Maybe they have dulled down your natural curiosity? There are other ways. D x
 
pepecat

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On the one hand, it's been suggested that, in part, I'm having a 'spiritual awakening', on the other hand, doctor says my brain is physically ill and needs meds. I'm normally reluctant to use meds.
What do you think is true for you at the moment?
I had a severe bout of depression a few years back and I think over the following years (and whilst having therapy), I came to see that it was something more than physical.
(I don't really go for the chemical imbalance idea behind depression anyway, but that's a whole other debate).
Meds worked for me for a while and I got a a certain point of 'better' and then didn't get any further, and more / different meds didn't help. What (for me) was most useful, was therapy, and, as part of that, figuring out what I needed to stay 'sane', what I value in life, what's important to me..... all that 'existential' stuff that sounds similar to what you're going through. I think often we can have a spiritual / psychical / existential crisis of sorts, which manifests in what the medical profession call depression, and thus they treat as if it were a medical thing.

Coming to terms with the fact that experiences are transitory - that WE are transitory in the great scheme of things - can be deeply uncomfortable. It's as if our entire foundations have been shaken and we're suddenly standing on very insecure ground wondering what the heck is going to happen next. It leaves us wondering which way is up and what this (life) means and what our place in it all is. Often we may not even realise that that is what's happening - I think for me I thought the outward appearance of that (depression) was what it was, and it wasn't until I had therapy that I realised there was a lot more going on and there was stuff from my past kicking up as well, which basically led my 'inner self' to go 'Aaaaaarrrrghhhhhhh', and manifest as depression.

Have you ever been referred for or considered any sort of therapy?
 
B

barneygp

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Apr 2, 2015
Messages
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Thanks pepecat. Good to hear that you benefited from therapy. I have been referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - it seems to be the go-to therapy for most med staff where I live. Was yours a particular type of therapy?

Most people I speak to about feeling distressed about the transitory nature of our experiences look at me as if I'm self-indulgent. I appreciate that it's to do with my reaction to this feature of the 'world'. Why I feel this way is a puzzle.

I've also got myself in a muddle thinking about time and being in the present. 28 years ago I came across this William James quote which I liked for some unknown reason:
'Let any one try, I will not say to arrest, but to notice or attend to, the present moment of time. One of the most baffling experiences occurs. Where is it, this present? It has melted in our grasp, fled ere we could touch it, gone in the instant of becoming.'

Thanks again.

What do you think is true for you at the moment?
I had a severe bout of depression a few years back and I think over the following years (and whilst having therapy), I came to see that it was something more than physical.
(I don't really go for the chemical imbalance idea behind depression anyway, but that's a whole other debate).
Meds worked for me for a while and I got a a certain point of 'better' and then didn't get any further, and more / different meds didn't help. What (for me) was most useful, was therapy, and, as part of that, figuring out what I needed to stay 'sane', what I value in life, what's important to me..... all that 'existential' stuff that sounds similar to what you're going through. I think often we can have a spiritual / psychical / existential crisis of sorts, which manifests in what the medical profession call depression, and thus they treat as if it were a medical thing.

Coming to terms with the fact that experiences are transitory - that WE are transitory in the great scheme of things - can be deeply uncomfortable. It's as if our entire foundations have been shaken and we're suddenly standing on very insecure ground wondering what the heck is going to happen next. It leaves us wondering which way is up and what this (life) means and what our place in it all is. Often we may not even realise that that is what's happening - I think for me I thought the outward appearance of that (depression) was what it was, and it wasn't until I had therapy that I realised there was a lot more going on and there was stuff from my past kicking up as well, which basically led my 'inner self' to go 'Aaaaaarrrrghhhhhhh', and manifest as depression.

Have you ever been referred for or considered any sort of therapy?
 
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