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Author Topic: How do you handle a setback?  (Read 511 times)

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Offline AncientMelody

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How do you handle a setback?
« on: January 10, 2014, 09:49:39 AM »
So, I started Lexapro November 20th, and within three weeks of therapy (one week at therapeutic dose) my depressive symptoms had almost fully lifted. I was managing anxiety still on a daily basis, but I was really starting to feel so much better. Suicidal thoughts had essentially disappeared.  Just earlier this week were amazing.....I was noticing my anxiety really lifting too.

And now: I feel like I've been set back weeks. Stressing over side effect issues (details under med section) and dealing with hormone fluctuations really have been stressing me out and I felt so out of control last night. And the depressed mood is back, thoughts of self harm are back. Guilt is back (guilt at being short tempered with my kids, guilt because my neighbor is dealing with anxiety AND grief over loss of a child last year. I almost feel like, who am I to be having a hard time, here he's really had a loss).

I just feel like I made SO MUCH progress. And it just feels lost. Please remind me this is a temporary setback, that I can get back to where I was. I feel almost more sad now because I have realized how good I COULD get to feeling, that it hurts to lose it again.
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Offline Doxie Lover

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 10:05:39 AM »
AncientMelody,

This is just a setback.  You may need adjustment to your medication.  I have adjusted my medication several times in the course of my life with anxiety.  And sometimes, taking medication causes a whole new set of worries.  I think addressing any concerns about side effects with the doctor might help. 

I get to a point where I find I'm in a good place and then wham!...anxiety and panic resurface.  Then I go through all the stress, sleeplessness, shaking, etc. until I can overcome it again.  Then I'm good for awhile again until the next stressor that brings my anxiety back.  So I think setbacks are kind of the norm.  I don't believe I've met anyone on here who has completely overcome anxiety. 

So hang in there...
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Offline howifeel

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 02:26:51 AM »
Setbacks are common. Brief read on this site. Doesn't address setbacks but explains the healing process and stages of change.

http://cvillenami.org/support-group/stages-of-emotional-responses

Common family reactions to mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis

http://www.ouhsc.edu/Safeprogram/HandOut-T.pdf

Brief. Hope it helps.
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Offline LynnC

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 06:46:59 AM »
Ancient melody what dose of lex are you on? I've been on 10mg (8 weeks titrating up and 2 weeks on 10mg). I'm still not feeling anywhere where I should be. I know I need to give it time but it's difficult especially trying to raise kids! I feel like I have little setbacks often and they scare me.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 12:53:02 PM »
Lynn, message me and I'll follow back on your questions before long.

I've had enough syicidal thoughts this weekend that I've seriously considered going to the hospital. The only reasons I haven't are because I know that this setback is largely hormonally driven so the worst should pass in a few days, I hope. That and I have a good schedule at work tomorrow and don't want to give up a good work day which could potentially help me feel
Somewhat better...
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Offline Doxie Lover

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 11:41:17 PM »
AncientMelody,

I hope your feelings will pass in a few days as you said, but if not, please do get help.  Do you have family members or friends you can turn to?
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 12:09:58 PM »
My husband has been amazingly supportive, he's really been helping me through this. My mom has offered to come help with the kids before, but she's a caregiver for a gentleman with lung disease so she'd really have to organize arrangements to do so, and if I was home I'd still feel the need to be with them...I couldn't really fully disengage.

The suicidal thoughts are nearly gone, so that's a plus. I'm just trying to ride out the storm. I know the worst of it is hormonal, I get heightened anxiety and irritability every single time around this month. The difference is I've never had such severe depressive symptoms. Ever. And even knowing that it "Should" clear up in a few days, I feel like I've lost ground in my treatment. Haven't touched meditation. my house is a mess. Loss of appetite, trouble sleeping.  It's like I'm almost back to square one even though I'm on the lexapro. And that scares me.

Anyway, I did put in a followup call to my psychiatrist office, we'll see how things go in a few days once this hormonal shift passes. I'm hoping the birth control pills reign things in, if not I may indeed need a med adjustment :/

Work has been busy today, which at least gives me a sense of purpose and was helping keep my mind off things for awhile.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 04:50:13 PM »
update: My psychiatrist put me in for an appointment for tomorrow morning. We'll see what we do from here
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Offline Doxie Lover

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 06:55:40 PM »
update: My psychiatrist put me in for an appointment for tomorrow morning. We'll see what we do from here

That's fantastic!  Hope the doc can help with something for you to ride out the storm.  I'm having a hard time lately as well, and also can't eat or sleep.  It's such a nuisance having anxiety.  It's also great that you have a support system.  I have friends who are there for me...but not anyone on a day to day basis.  It's hard going through it alone.   :dazed:
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 03:46:23 PM »
I'm sorry that you don't have anyone at home to help support you. That can be tough.

Psychiatrist appointment went well. She spent forty minutes with me which I thought was really nice. We spoke briefly about med adjustment but opted not to do so at this time. One problem that I realized as I was talking to her is that I've never treated the depressive symptoms as their own seperate entity. I've always considered them in the context of my anxiety, because they didn't start until the anxiety got severe. And then the depressive symptoms were the first to lift when I started the Lexapro. I prepare myself to cope with days of worsened anxiety, but not depression. And in a sense even though chronically management of the two is very similar, I just have to adjust my mindset a little in dealing when the depression arises.

She loaned me a CD with some recommended meditations, as well as the "Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Depression"

I'm not 100% back to where I was last week, but I really did feel better just talking to her. She's actually just about five years older than myself, with small children also so she's very approachable to me, which is important with my personality  ;D I see her back for my previously scheduled appointment in two weeks.
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Offline maple

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 09:27:47 AM »
It seems to me that in reading your last response, you would find counseling very helpful.  I know the last therapist you saw was not a good fit, but judging by your statement "I really did feel better just talking to her"; finding a therapist you connected with could be incredibly rewarding.  You can also see from previous statements that when you are feeling really bad that your are also stuck in classic negative, ruminative thinking ("I feel like I've lost ground in my treatment. Haven't touched meditation. my house is a mess. Loss of appetite, trouble sleeping.  It's like I'm almost back to square one"), and a good therapist will work with you to provide you with tools to break (or at least lessen) those engrained negative thought patterns

I know that it took me a few false starts with different therapists, and some were just awful.  However, I've been seeing someone for the past few months who has helped me come a long way.  She is multi-modal: we do CBT, relaxation, hypnosis, problem solving, and sometimes just plain old talk therapy.  If you can't find someone near you, it's great that you have a self-help book.  The important part is really making the commitment to work on yourself, and to be gentle and kind to yourself when you have a setback.  Its much harder than it sounds, but you sound like your eager to do the work to get better. 
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 08:40:39 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts maple. Yes, I go back and forth a bit on whether I want to pursue finding another therapist right now. I know sometimes it can take a few tries before finding a good fit. One of the challenges is finding the time to get these appointments in the schedule.....I have two upcoming psychiatry appointments, one in two weeks, one in four. And my daughter's well-child check the week between those.  So while I know my next psychiatry appointment certainly won't be a long  one like the last, if she continues to be receptive to talking through the meditation, acceptance, etc with me herself I may continue as is. But I'll keep my options open and consider trying again. Thanks!
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Offline Doxie Lover

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Re: How do you handle a setback?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2014, 10:04:02 PM »
I'm sorry that you don't have anyone at home to help support you. That can be tough.

Psychiatrist appointment went well. She spent forty minutes with me which I thought was really nice. We spoke briefly about med adjustment but opted not to do so at this time. One problem that I realized as I was talking to her is that I've never treated the depressive symptoms as their own seperate entity. I've always considered them in the context of my anxiety, because they didn't start until the anxiety got severe. And then the depressive symptoms were the first to lift when I started the Lexapro. I prepare myself to cope with days of worsened anxiety, but not depression. And in a sense even though chronically management of the two is very similar, I just have to adjust my mindset a little in dealing when the depression arises.

She loaned me a CD with some recommended meditations, as well as the "Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Depression"

I'm not 100% back to where I was last week, but I really did feel better just talking to her. She's actually just about five years older than myself, with small children also so she's very approachable to me, which is important with my personality  ;D I see her back for my previously scheduled appointment in two weeks.

I'm glad too that you have a therapist.  I'd like to go to one but since I'm not working yet, I don't have private health insurance in order to see a therapist.  Even with the new Obamacare, there are limitations for mental health.  The government will spends zillions giving you medication, but there's no money set aside for therapy.  So the only way one can afford it is if you have private (through work) health insurance. 

Anyway, I agree with you too about the depression.  Depression and anxiety are often linked and I have the same problem as you.  How is the CD?  For other meditations and positive affirmations, I really like Louise Hay.  I try to listen to meditation CDs at least 5 times a week, especially when I'm going through anxiety.  It helps a bit, but is not enough in itself.
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