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Feeling like treatment is useless.

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Khthonios

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Conneticut
Hi, I am just looking to ask a question I dont feel it would be fair to burden family with. And don't feel a therapist can answer honestly.

What if you've tried everything and ultimately you still feel like the overriding emotion in my life is pain.

I know that in reality its impossible to have tried "everything" but please if you can just answer this hypothetical. You don't have to worry about me hurting myself l, I have four wonderful children who I refuse to be responsible for hurting.

Here is my question:
Having tried a dozen different medication combination. Many therapist and psychiatrists. Lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, light therapy, etc. What if this is just me and no amount of intervention can change it.

I've been depressed since I was a teenager. I'm 33 now. The past 2 years or so it has become severe. I've made sure everyone in the house was asleep and laid on the bathroom floor begging God to stop my heart because I know it's not right for me to do it.

I can smile for my kids, support my wife, and i can experience joy when i force myself to do something fun.

But the moment I'm alone and things are quiet I'm where I've always been. In pain, with no real hope it will stop.

I've had some relief from cannabis, but I'm aware that just masks my symptoms. Just hides the pain. I've stopped taking it.

My overarching driving force is the knowledge that life is temporary. That one day this pain will end. I can be a good father and husband and member of my community until then. In 50ish years my time will run out, and the pain will be gone.

This is obviously an awful way to live, but it is how I get through my days. After years of finding new ways to hope, I've run out of hope. I think that is ultimately why my depression took such a severe turn a couple years back.

I feel like all my past hope was a lie, and accepting that is what allows me to go on. I'm afraid if I find a way to hope for a happy life the inevitable destruction of that illusion will only make harder for me to fulfill my obligations as a father.

I have a life better than most in many ways. I'm financially secure. My kids have many awesome experiences. I have a nice home, with a beautiful view off my deck. And I'm a pretty intelligent guy, and a good parent and husband.

These things make me happy but they don't stop the debilitating pain I fight every day. I have been blessed with a wonderful family and life, and all I can drive myself forward with is the determination to be the best I can for those I love until the end.

I feel like a fundamentally broken and damaged person. Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this. Writing this all down is like pushing the pain away. It always comes back but the relief is wonderful. Until now I've been writing letters to my wife but saving them to a hidden folder on my pc I know she'll never find. I hope its not selfish to expose others here to it.
 
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Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
605
Location
London, ON
For what it's worth, I've made it to 52 wondering that same thing daily.

It gets complicated.

Here's a question - do you think part of your hopelessness is because you have all these things that should, on the surface, make for a wonderful life, and you feel guilt/depression because it doesn't seem to help? Like, are you feeling bad because you feel guilty for feeling bad?

Depression and anxiety are horrible, because they are subtle and sneaky, and seem to actively work to prevent you from seeing life differently. They blind us to a lot of things, they narrow down our viewpoints.

sometimes, the trick is to try to see yourself from the outside, and see if there's an angle or cause you just can't normally see. Try to give yourself a paradigm shift as to how you see the illness and it's effects. Try to trust your intuition about some of your depression causes. Mindfulness practise can help a lot in seeing yourself a bit more clearly.
 
K

Khthonios

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Conneticut
Thank you so much for the reply. I'll take the time to digest and respond later. It helps to know someone understands at least some of what I feel.

All my therapists try to treat me as if I'm afflicted with this horrible disease we have to treat and cure or put in remission.

More and more I come to realize that I am the disease, or perhaps just a different species that doesn't have the same capability they expect.

I can stretch and morph into something else for a while but my natural state is debilitating pain. Changing it takes constant incredible effort, which doesn't get easier with time. I just get more and more exhausted the longer I pick up the burden and carry it.

I make my way through the day using up the willpower I have and now at night I no longer try to maintain the facade. I let it go and allow myself to burn to the ground so that the next day I'll have recovered enough strength to start again.

Well that ended up being another monologue of self pity. Sorry about that. I will take the time to digest and respond to the thoughtful questions you took the time to put to me.

Again thank you for that.
 
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Nukelavee

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Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
605
Location
London, ON
Don't worry about self-pity, or writing it out. It can help to actually try to lay it out in a way that makes sense to others. It helps us organize our own thoughts and feelings, and sometimes, we learn something about how we see things compared to how they are.

Take all teh time you need to think on stuff. don't be hard on yourself for not being able to instantly get past this - it's hard, and it takes time.
 
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ramboghettouk

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Founding Member
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Jan 7, 2008
Messages
15,905
Location
london
i'm more now into accepting myself as i am warts and all than changing myself, i may have something wrong with me but it's nothing those mental health staff can fix, if anything they're well meaning attempts just make things worse
 
K

Khthonios

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Conneticut
For what it's worth, I've made it to 52 wondering that same thing daily.

It gets complicated.

Here's a question - do you think part of your hopelessness is because you have all these things that should, on the surface, make for a wonderful life, and you feel guilt/depression because it doesn't seem to help? Like, are you feeling bad because you feel guilty for feeling bad?

Depression and anxiety are horrible, because they are subtle and sneaky, and seem to actively work to prevent you from seeing life differently. They blind us to a lot of things, they narrow down our viewpoints.

sometimes, the trick is to try to see yourself from the outside, and see if there's an angle or cause you just can't normally see. Try to give yourself a paradigm shift as to how you see the illness and it's effects. Try to trust your intuition about some of your depression causes. Mindfulness practise can help a lot in seeing yourself a bit more clearly.
As far as feeling guilty for not enjoying the good things in my life, there may be some level of that. Really though I think what contributes to my hopeless is if financial security and a loving family doesn't make me happy what will?

And it's not as if I don't feel joy. I smile and laugh and often it is genuine. It just feels like someone turns the volume down during the happy moments of my life, and cranks it all the way up when I'm in despair. Sometimes during happy moment (and this is a recent thing) I'll realize that the price I'll pay for this moment of levity is a harder crash when the bottom falls out.

As far as perspective goes during a recent really bad time I spent a lot of time thinking through my life and trying to sort the way I see things from how they really are or could be. The result was losing my grip on reality.

I started to have this awful feeling that nothing was real. That I didnt truly have control of even my own mind and that "me" the part of me that was truly myself, my soul if you will, was either an illusion or just a passenger in a mind that wasn't mine, or wasn't controlled by me.

I'm not sure that makes any sense. I guess that's a short version of the problem: nothing made sense.
 
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Nukelavee

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Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
605
Location
London, ON
That unreal feeling sounds like dissociation. It's usually a defensive reaction to something overwhelming. I mean, it's not a great mechanism, it's flawed, but that's more or less the basis.

I get it. A lot. i find the way to deal with it is to try to physically anchor myself, via touch or activity, something that makes me more aware of my physical self.

The great thing about depression is you don't need a concrete reason to feel bad, it will make a reason up for you to allow you to justify the mood. That's what depression does, it steals our happiness, or capacity for happiness, regardless of reality.

I understand some of your issue - I mean, I own my home, no mortgage, I have zero debt, I'm healthy. My mood is still pretty bleak most of the time. I even have HUGE tub of LEGO.

I mean, what the hell, right?

I need more coffee - I'll revisit this when I feel a bit sharper.
 
A

Almost always in love

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Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Messages
65
Location
Scandinavia
You are not at all alone feeling like this Khthonios.
And you are lucky, you can put these things into words. I think you would benefit talking to your wife about these things - and she would understand, because you can describe things really well.
Speaking from experience - being married myself - it might even bring the two of your closer together, than you can ever have imagined was possible.

But its a long road. Takes a long time to work with these things and sometimes it will feel like you are getting nowhere.
But it will change over time. You just have to reach out and let people know how you feel and talk to somebody you can trust.

Writing on this forum is a good start. And if you browse around a little, you will find more people in same shoes as you.

But you have to take the leap in real life as well. When you are ready, reach out to your loved ones.
You have everything to gain from it.

And you really are very good at writing about these feelings you have.
It will help you and others a lot.
 
K

Khthonios

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Conneticut
My wife knows, and after 11 years of marriage I fear she has run out of sympathy. My parents don't but I don't really feel comfortable talking to them about it.

I believe my father suffers from something very similar. Unfortunately his father also had severe mental illness. He (my grandfather) ended up addicted to prescription drugs, to the point they almost killed him multiple times. My father believes that was ultimately the cause of the death of his mother in her early 50s

Long story short my parents have a very suspicious view of mental health pharmaceuticals. On the other hand my grandfather is still alive where I learned later in life that sat least four of my male ancestors that would be about his age now killed themselves.

I kind of wish I could find a way to get my family history studied by someone who might could glean something worthwhile from all this misery. I personally have never heard of such a strong heredity element to severe depression. Especially one that only seems to present so strongly in males

Maybe I should try talking to my Dad after all I know recently he said he was finally able to forgive his father for the all the pain he put my dad and grandmother through.

He mentioned a conversation where when he was picking his dad up from the hospital for an antidepressant overdose (again) and he angrily asked him why he put his family through such pain. My grandfather responded "you don't know what it is like to live like I do every day. I do this because if I dont I can't function at all"

My father said to me that after thinking about that for years he realized that it was true, he didn't know, and looking back he feels differently, more empathetic, about how my grandfather went through life.

Thank you guys. It feels good to get all this out. My last therapist was a very sweet older women who couldn't remember half of what I told her and gave me a new diagnosis each week.

I should probably try therapy again but it's so much effort to find the courage to make an appointment, and this far has been completely useless.

Typing I can get my thoughts together, speaking is much harder. Especially when it feels like in many cases the listener is just waiting for enough key words to fit a template that they have studied.

Thank you for reading
 
K

Khthonios

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Conneticut
I just reread most of my long rambling post and apologize for the terrible grammar. I'm going to blame the phone. I can't stand typing out long messages on a phone screen. The fact that I seem to have posted a novelette speaks to the fact that the responses I've gotten here really mean a lot to me.

Again thank you all
 
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Nukelavee

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Messages
605
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London, ON
Try to talk to your dad about it. He might have some insight.

You're not alone.
 
K

Khthonios

Member
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Feb 13, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Conneticut
Well i did speak to my Dad today... for two hours. That's not uncommon actually he's the kind of guy who can just go and go. I often reject the calls which isn't fair, but sometimes I feel like i just can't deal with it. I don't think he has many people to talk to. My Mother is there but I know it's hard to have social conversations with people who have been there through everything you want to talk about.

I tried to steer the conversation towards mental health a bit. I did tell him i've been on Welbutrin (didn't mention the other 7 prescription meds) for years. He pretty much took it in stride. It's not really something i've hidden from my parents, they know i bring pill bottles with me when i visit. I've never said what it's for though. I guess that's a start.

Today has been a good day, grading on my personal curb. I attribute much of that to the outlet i've found here. Again, thank you. I think the most helpful aspect is getting a response from people who aren't trying to fix me. I know there are things i can and must do to make my life better, and i do appreciate the suggestions. I don't think i would've returned my Dad's call had i not been prompted to here, and feels good to know speaking with me makes him happy. With the therapists i've seen the focus has always been trying to diagnose me before they even know me. If fixing my life were as simple as the methods in a psychology text book I would've done it myself.

On the off chance it may help someone i'm going to share something that has helped me cope through some of my darkest times. It's kind of embarrassing but what the hell, i'm anonymous right? I've found some comfort listening to music by an artist called NF. He is a Christian and that certainly influences his work, but it's not religious music. He speaks about a lot of the things i feel, and doesn't end with some band-aid solution to fix any of it. It's about the pain of mental health, the desire for relief, and the struggle to find it. One of his album's is called Therapy Session, which is where i'd start. Just a warning it's very sad depressing music. For me that's what i needed, to hear something that resonated with me and know i wasn't alone.

I'm going to go ahead and post this before i delete the last paragraph. Only because I stumbled upon it by shear luck and it's partly responsible for me still being here. There's got to be at least one other person out there that needs it. Maybe they will read this.
 
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Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
605
Location
London, ON
I think what makes places or groups like this site work, is how we try to relate to each other through common experiences.

One of the most powerful breakthroughs I had was at the beginning of a CBT course, as a group. We all introduced ourselves, and went over how we feel and our lives. Realizing that most of us had similar behaviours and ideas about ourselves, teh constant theme of alienation and wearing a mask... and we always think we are the only one.

And we aren't. It's just so hard to realize we aren't alone that we stop considering it. And when we share, sometimes we supply that one insight, or explanation, that clicks for somebody else.

Also - it's amazing how much music, pop music, is about emotional stress and pain, and is the artist pushing back the dark with it.

I'm glad today went well for you.
 
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ramboghettouk

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Founding Member
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Jan 7, 2008
Messages
15,905
Location
london
question is what do you expect treatment to achieve? i guess
 
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