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Author Topic: Is this really Depression?  (Read 574 times)

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Offline psychopika

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Is this really Depression?
« on: March 24, 2014, 07:27:39 AM »
Hi guys,

After bothering tons of doctors and psychologists with my never-ending hypochondria and generalized anxiety, they finally decided that in the past 2 months my symptoms indicate that I am becoming depressed. However I find it hard to accept their diagnosis, so I'm wondering if you might help me, tell me if this is what depression really feels like.

These "depression symptoms" started almost 2 months ago, at the beginning of February, after 3 months of intense horrible debilitating everyday anxiety. At first I would get them on and off, some bad days and some good days - lately it's been every single day.

I feel a sort of dizziness, like I'm drugged or something and I feel my eyes are heavy and don't focus well. I have to squint to feel like I'm actually focusing and my eyes often stare blankly when I relax. I find it hard to read and to think, my brain feels foggy and my eyes feel so tired, feel like closing them all the time. I'm also fatigued and sleepy, especially after 8pm (I used to have trouble falling & staying asleep just a month before these symptoms and used to go to bed at 3am, now it's hard to keep awake at 9pm!). I also have trouble waking up in the morning, feel sleepy and dizzy and want to just stay in bed. Sometimes when I wake up during the night ((I do that at least 1-2 times) I feel dizzy as well.

I don't know it's so bizarre, like I'm trapped behind a glass wall or something. I have brain fog. My eyes are heavy and my eyebrows hurt from squinting. I feel tension in my neck and in my throat. I feel pressure behind my nose and sometimes in my ears. It's horrible, I FEEL like I can't focus well, but when I need to drive, work, think - I can do it. Others wouldn't guess what I'm actually feeling like. However I'm sleepy and drowsy, yawn a lot... feel tired but physically I'm apt, I can climb stairs, or scrub the bathtub whatever.

I have no motivation to do anything anymore and would much rather stay at home. I also don't like to meet people or go out because I feel so lost and out of it. I have crying fits with feelings of despair and anger fits with shouting and screaming. I would crawl on the floor and feel like hitting stuff and hitting myself too. This happens maybe once twice a week but they're intense, like my neighbours can hear me and I don't even care.

However I still have a sense of humour, when a subject interests me I feel more alive and energetic, it's just that most times nothing interests me. Every effort I would rather avoid. Going out, cleaning my closet, meeting friends, driving, finding a computer game, working... I just feel weak physically when I think about doing them, about getting up. What I would do is sit and talk about my symptoms and my feelings ALL DAY. No one wants to listen though. I just wanna stay at home alone and do nothing.

I have trouble paying attention to anything outside of myself.

Does this sounds like depression? Do you guys experience the dizziness / brain fog / sleepiness / lack of focus as part of it? The symptoms feel very physical, like I'm not generating them with my mind, but I could be wrong.

My doctors pegged me as depressed. What do you think? Please, any help I would appreciate.
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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Is this really Depression?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 07:36:55 AM »
With the so called experts you have to watch what you say to them at times. The fact that you mentioned you have no desire to do anything at all is one of the first signs of depression that they look for. Now what could be happening, just my own guess, is that your anxiety is making you feel down. It is stopping you from doing things. Things you would love to do. If the anxiety lifted, so would your whole mood. A lot of Shrinks think that anxiety and depression go hand in hand. That you can't have one without the other. But I seriously believe that anxiety can make you feel down. Not because you are depressed. Because you really want to do so much with your life. But your anxiety symptoms are stopping you. So it can come across as similar to depression. Once they hear certain things been mentioned to them they jump straight away to depression. Symptoms of anxiety and depression can overlap each other as well. It is your body and your mind. You are the only one who really knows if you are depressed or not. If you don't think you are then stick to your guns.
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The Lovable Irish Rogue

Offline psychopika

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Re: Is this really Depression?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 08:36:34 AM »
With the so called experts you have to watch what you say to them at times. The fact that you mentioned you have no desire to do anything at all is one of the first signs of depression that they look for. Now what could be happening, just my own guess, is that your anxiety is making you feel down. It is stopping you from doing things. Things you would love to do. If the anxiety lifted, so would your whole mood. A lot of Shrinks think that anxiety and depression go hand in hand. That you can't have one without the other. But I seriously believe that anxiety can make you feel down. Not because you are depressed. Because you really want to do so much with your life. But your anxiety symptoms are stopping you. So it can come across as similar to depression. Once they hear certain things been mentioned to them they jump straight away to depression. Symptoms of anxiety and depression can overlap each other as well. It is your body and your mind. You are the only one who really knows if you are depressed or not. If you don't think you are then stick to your guns.

I do think you are right - you actually understand me perfectly. This is exactly how I feel, I am disappointed and disillusioned about my anxiety and my (probably) anxiety-driven symptoms and I just don't feel like doing anything any more. I feel a sense of tiredness, of boredom, of weakness and anger and frustrated impatience at the thought of taking healthy steps towards recovery. And by these steps I mean going out, meeting people, working on projects, take care of my home... I feel very trapped.

Any of my symptoms sound like derealization? I've read about that and maybe that's kind of what it feels like? That would be an anxiety symptom.
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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Is this really Depression?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2014, 10:31:38 AM »
Derealization is a spaced out kind of feeling. Dream like. It can make you feel at a distance from things. Some times as if nothing is real. Can be frightening to some people. But it tends to just vanish over time. It is another very common symptom of anxiety.
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Offline psychopika

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Re: Is this really Depression?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2014, 10:43:04 AM »
Derealization is a spaced out kind of feeling. Dream like. It can make you feel at a distance from things. Some times as if nothing is real. Can be frightening to some people. But it tends to just vanish over time. It is another very common symptom of anxiety.

Oh yes, I've had that too once in a while. I once had it when I came back after a 2-week trip through Europe and I got home and when I was in my room I felt like I was a giant, like my head would hit the ceiling and the floor seemed so far away down. Very creepy. But I suppose the sleepiness, dizziness and lack of focus is not related to derealization.
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Offline Drewdude

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Re: Is this really Depression?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 05:59:47 AM »
Hey I have a similar thing to this.  Loads of HA built up my anxiety and stress from work made things even worse.  In the Autumn i started doing a mindfullness course.  (Finding peace in a frantic world book) It really really helped me.  Thing is, i now have this wierd mix between anxiety and depression.  I feel pretty confident that i can contain the HA but it does keep cropping up but i tend to get really down and depressed feeling.  I do however still laugh and hang out with friends and live normally, its just things dont seem to inspire me as much as they did and things seem a bit hopeless.  I keep thinking that things have lost thier attraction and everything is the same old.  nothing new or exciting.  I've been having trouble with work and i;'ve been looking for new jobs, but they all mean relocating and leaving my home and it scares me and makes me feel more anxious and down.  I keep thinking summer will make me feel better or maybe i just need a holiday, but its awful.  Its not everyday but once or twice a week and then after feeling down it takes me a while to get strong again.

I think it could be mild depression or perhaps even my HA making me think its depression.  Whatever it is i think it must be anxiety related.  Any ideas?
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Offline Myocdragon

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Re: Is this really Depression?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 11:39:00 AM »
I agree with the above comments. I was recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder, Generalized anxiety, and OCD. My psychiatrist said that he felt my MDD was a direct result of my GAD and OCD. Prolonged, intense anxiety can definitely cause depression. And like it was previously said, loss of interest and motivation are indicators.

I will say that the sooner you get treatment for the depression, the better. Remember that it's temporary and also that recovery is slow and not a straight line. You won't wake up one day feeling better and then you're finishedwith the depression. Sometimes you'll feel clear headed and "normal" and the next morning you'll feel bad again. But very slowly the rays of sunshine will peak through the clouds more and more.

Treatment and patience. Hang in there.
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I'm not crazy, I've just lost my mind

Offline zoleexl

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Re: Is this really Depression?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 05:50:52 PM »
Szia, psychopika :)

So, you said you had 3 months of hard-time anxiety? Can you relate that period of anxiety to something in your life? Like a stressful period, traumatising events, etc. Did the anxiety subside after 3 months? If yes, what made it to disappear? Was that anxiety related to medical (thyroid, etc.)
problems or mental problems? Did you take any medication? What were the symptoms of the anxiety period? 

Now, depression... I have been diagnosed with depression, but I still don't know if I have it and I'm confused about what depression really is (a mental and emotional state which involves lack of emotions and lack of motivation or sadness). According to the book 'The Emotional Life of The Brain' by Richard J. Davidson and Sharon Begley (megtalálod magyarul az ncore-on), people with depression can feel joy and can react positively to good things, but the positive emotional state generated by these positive stimuli is not sustained for a period as long as in healthy people. In other words, they can feel happy for a short period of time only. When i was diagnosed with depression i felt tired, sensitive to heat, i had a bigger need to sleep, drowsy, sleepy all day, tired after waking up, headaches, brain-fog,  procrastinated very much and i was more impulsive. At first, i went to a check if my internal organs were OK. After the tests, the results showed that everything was OK (checked for thyroids, testosterone, glucose levels, calcium, magnesium, etc.), except a liver ensime which was way too high, so maybe that caused the tiredness. After this, i went to a psychiatrist, she prescribed Sertraline (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, SSRI). I did not feel any difference or effect (nor negative, nor positive), only a few sexual side effects. After (or simultaneously, i don't remember) with the treatment with sertraline, I was prescribed Elontril (Bupropion) whis is a dopamine-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Again, no effects, but after a while i became more energic and my need for sleep and day-time tiredness subsided. I don't know which medication helped, or what helped but since then i have not experienced that lethargic, zombie-like feeling. Maybe it was that liver problem i don't know.
At the beginning of your post, you mentioned hypochondria. What makes you think you have hypochondria? Do you perceive any symptoms related to you (running nose if you have a cold, fast heartbeat, negative thoughts, etc.) very sensitively? For example, if you wake up from a nightmare, and you feel your heart pounding very hard what is your reaction? Do you try breathing slowly and think of something nice or you think that 'OMG I'm having a panic/heart attack and I should call the ambulance'? I ask this because people react differently to the stimuli coming from their body parts. Some people are more aware and sensitive of them (more likely to be hypochondriacs) and some of them don't even notice.

Maybe the anxiety exhausted you, hence the depression-like symptoms. Have you checked your cortisol (stress hormone) levels?
Since when do you have anxiety? Again, i recommend that book, what i liked about it that it described the experiments made by the author to find the pathways in the brain which activate when negative or positive emotions arise, so it has a scientific base to it, it's not a crappy self-help book. Also, it says that a trait (aggression, shyness, confidence) is the result of BOTH genetical and nurturing / environmental factors.

I hope you will get better, be patient. :)
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