Recently Diagnosed...

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2013
Recently Diagnosed...
7
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 8:53am

I started seeing a Psychiatrist at the beginning of the year due to my depressed feelings.  They have intensified during the past three years.  Anyway, in the process of being diagnosed, also discovered my anxiety issues, which were hindering me.  I am working on trying to get to some kind of normal place.  I was so tired of feeling hollow, although it had become somewhat normal. I am looking for some interaction with other affected people, as I feel like I am completely alone with this.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Wed, 07-17-2013 - 4:40am

I don't have bipolar either, but someone close to me does.  That person experiences a few days of mania where there's trouble sleeping, high energy, reckless behaviour, and so on, followed by a few weeks of depression.  As I understand that's generally how the cycle goes, but I hope someone with more experience can chime in on this.

For me it's different, too.  My depression is a sense of flat separateness, like I'm on the outside looking in, watching something that leaves me completely emotionless.  I also experience a lot of negative emotions -- unhealthy anger and self-loathing, for example.  That's part of the borderline more than the depression.  It took me ages to be diagnosed with borderline, and I still feel like a weirdo.  I meet so few people with the same diagnosis, or at least who are willing to admit they have the same diagnosis, that I feel like there is no one who can relate.  It's tough to find a therapist, then, too, because not many of them seem to have a very strong background with borderline.

In a nutshell, anyway, I don't think anyone's depression is ever exactly alike.  We all have different experiences that have shaped us and respond to experiences in different ways, and there may be other things that come into play, like comorbid diagnoses or family situations or who knows what else.  And when it comes right down to it, normal is just a setting on the dryer.  ;)

Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Mon, 07-01-2013 - 10:41am

Thank you for sharing.  That is good that you job is going well.  I think that many of us on this board can relate to feeling sad all the time.  Medications helps somewhat, but I know that I personally still struggle with the sadness too.  

There is a difference between diagnosed with major depression vs. bipolar depression.  I do not have bipolar depression either, so I cannot speak about how it feels.  I believe that bipolar depression can have episodes of mania.  Anyone reading this, please jump in and correct me at any time, as I am not a doctor.  I am familiar with major depression disorder.

Please continue to post.  I hope that some of your questions have been answered.  I also hope that you feel welcomed here on iVillage :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2013
Thu, 06-27-2013 - 9:13pm

I see.  I don't think I have either the time or resources to make it to a counselor.  I am a single mom and I'm just spread so thin and everything is on me.  I moved to this area about five years ago and while everyone seems friendly enough, I really don't have any close friends here.  I used to think it was the place and to a point it is...a very rural community where families have lived here for generations.  I have a great job, and I don't really have any problems there, except I feel a bit like I'm performing in the since that I am friendly and talkative.  Well, at least I think that.  People at work tell me how quiet I am.  When I go home, I'm just exhausted.  I have two children, and they are getting older.  My son is almost 20 and my daughter is just entering her teenage years.  I am not close to my parents, and they live several states away, so I don't see them very often anyway.  I was sad for so long that I don't remember not being sad, although I think it has always been with me to some extent and just intensified when I moved here and then again when I changed careers about three years ago.  I did not realize the whole anxiety thing.  In fact, when my doctor asked me if I thought my depression or my axiety was worse, I didn't know what he was talking about.

After I started the medication, I slowly settled to a place where I'm not so sad anymore.  Bui then, my zero to sixty temper seems to have subsided and my constant worrying has ceased.  Little things don't send me over the edge anymore.  My insomnia has improved greatly, but now it is the medication that has me exhausted all the time.  I've been gaining weight because I'm too tired to go to the gym or even go out for a walk.

I guess my depression is just a constant sadness, a constant exhaustion...a feeling of being hollow inside.  I don't know if I'm typical.  I read things and don't really think it is the same...I suppose a lot of what I read is about manic depression.  I know that's not my case, but I was just about at the end of my rope at any case.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Tue, 06-25-2013 - 9:30pm

Welcome to the board!  My name is Rhae and I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety as well.  You are derfinitely not alone!  I hope to see more of your posts here.

Like Heidi said, a psychiatrist usually doesn't provide any sort of talk therapy -- their appointments are generally med checks.  Counsellors can provide all sorts of different types of therapy, depending on your diagnosis.  I would definitely as your psychiatrist to refer you to someone (or several someones, so you can find the right fit).  Just remember that it can take time to find the right therapist.  I saw over a dozen different people (at which point I lost count) before I finally found someone I liked back in 2004.  I had a dry spell after I aged out of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, but for the last three years I've been fortunate enough to have a great mental health team supporting me including two great therapists, a wonderful psych, and a very supportive GP.

How is your family-and-friends situation?  Do you have supportive people around you, or people you feel could be supportive?

Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Tue, 06-25-2013 - 11:03am

The reason I asked if you were seeing a counselor is because the majority of psychiatrists" simple spend about 15 minutes with the patient, every few months, and prescribe medication.  A counselor is not able to prescribe medication, but often does some type of talk therapy.  Let me share the actual definition of the difference between the two, so maybe that will help:

___________________________________________________________________________________

The following definitions of mental health professionals are taken from the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs - Division of Registration.

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers, have a master's degree in social work (MSW) and additional supervised experiences. Social Workers are trained in psychotherapy and social work techniques. Generally, social work professionals provide counseling to individuals, couples, families and groups directed toward specific goals. Social workers who work in private agencies or independent practice must hold state licenses from the Board of Registration of Social Workers.

Psychologists may have a Ph.D., Psy.D. or Ed.D degree, all of which are doctoral level credentials. Psychologists have received extensive training in research or in clinical psychology, with additional supervised experiences after they receive their degree. Psychologists may also have training in psychological and/or neuropsychological testing. Psychologists are licensed and their professional conduct is monitored by the Board of Registration of Psychologists.

Psychiatric Nurse Mental Health Clinical Specialists (CSs) are Registered Nurses with additional special education in mental health care. These advanced practice nurses may offer mental health care, which includes evaluative, diagnostic, consultative and therapeutic procedures as well as prescribing medications. Psychiatric Nurse Mental Health Clinical Specialists must hold a master's degree in mental health nursing, meet the Board of Registration in Nursing criteria for advanced practice and receive its authorization. These advanced practice nurses are also certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The Board of Registration in Nursing licenses Registered Nurses.

Psychiatrists (M.D., D.O.) are licensed medical doctors who have chosen psychiatry as their residency, or specialization. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication and often practice some form of psychotherapy. Psychiatrists may be Board certified in psychiatry and/or child psychiatry. Licensing is provided by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine and professional conduct is monitored by the American Psychiatric Association, as well as by the state Board of Medicine.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors, or L.M.H.C.s, hold a master's degree from a graduate program in the field. They may render mental health care services to individuals, families or groups. L.M.H.C.s use therapeutic techniques to define goals and develop treatment plans aimed toward prevention, treatment and resolution of mental and emotional dysfunction. Mental Health Counselors are licensed by the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professionals, which also monitors professional conduct

________________________________________________________________________________

Does that help or make sense?  Please feel free to ask questions :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2013
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 11:08pm

I am not seeing a counselor.  Actually, I suppose I'm confused that you would ask that because I thought the Psychiatrist was covering everything.  Actually, I started seeing him at the beginning of the year, in January, and he did not prescribe any medications until sometime in April.  He started me off with 25 mg of Zoloft and slowly worked me up to 100 mg.  He also had me take an MMPI (I think that's right).  I have to say that I have had trouble sleeping for years.  I've been prescribed Ambien, among other things, but none of them really helped long term.  The Zoloft has been a blessing in that I can finally sleep through the night, every night.  The downside is that I am tired all the time.  

I suppose I am rambling, but just trying to give you a little background.  I am doing much better, and I'm more aware of symptoms now, which is also a big help.  The anxiety was a surprise, as I did not think I had a problem with that.  Just knowing that I'm not lazy, or anti-social helps...there is so much I'm figuring out about myself these days.    

Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 3:34pm

Welcome to iVillage!!  I am glad you found us and thank you for posting.  I hope you will find some support and understanding on our board.  I can tell you, you are definetly not alone!!

Since you are new to the diagnosis, do you have any questions?  I would think you are on medication, as you mentioned you saw a psychiatrist.  Has the psychiatrist encouraged you to go to a counselor, as well as the psychiatrist?

Again, welcome and please ask any questions or share any thoughts.  I hope you will feel welcomed here! Smile

Attachment: