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Thread: Deep Depression

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Deep Depression

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    Just wanted to get some feedback from you ladies. I've been talking with my best friend but even she's getting tired of my calls.

    I fear I'm in a deep depression. I've never felt so sad and alone before. It's an effort just to get to work everyday; forget about doing the dishes or cleaning (doesn't look like Hoarders yet!). Moved here to CO about 8 months ago from Seattle - had visited CO a couple times and fell in love with the sun and scenery. Part of the issue is that right after I moved here, I met a guy and we started dating. I fell head over heels - he's quite eccentric and doesn't behave like a "normal" boyfriend would. I've become codependent on him for my happiness and know it's SO unhealthy, but I can't seem to meet any women my age here. I just want to have a girls' night out or hang out at a friend's, but know no one. Moved here literally not knowing a soul. My coworkers are nice, but all of them are married/paired and don't do anything outside of work. I feel great when I'm with my guy, but know in my heart we're not meant to be long-term, and am more than depressed when we're not together. Ending things has me terrified, as he's the only one I have for company.

    I want to move back to Seattle - all of my friends live there. I've left there 3x and moved back 3x. This would be the 4th. I keep leaving because of the gray - it really depresses me, but I'm far more depressed here with the sun shining in my face and the panoramic mountains in the background. It's more or less my security blanket, and it's very possible that if I move back, I'll still be sad, but think that the familiarity and my friends around would comfort me. I'm so at unease here - my heart hurts, I cry all the time, and can't summon up an ounce of energy to go do things - unless it's with the boyfriend, then I'm happy as a clam.

    I am seeing a therapist about my relationship, and she's trying to encourage me to get out and do things on my own. It's just feels so insurmountable right now.

    Thanks for reading my post, and if anyone's ever been to this dark place before, I'd love to hear your coping mechanisms.
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  2. #2
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    This sounds like a pretty fixable situational depression. This kind is lots easier to fix that the kind induced by trauma, PTSD or biochemical mayhem.
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  3. #3
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    Nov 2007
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    I'm sorry to hear your heart /soul is hurting, VeganBike.

    I don't know about you, but I tell people (because it's true), living here out in the prairies has not been an easy adjustment. Yes, we get lots of sun year round, even if it gets very cold in the winter with snow. Overall the vibe where I am is quite different from either Vancouver or Toronto --still more conservative than either city even with a smallish rag tag of people who are creative, forward thinking outliers. It IS so different here with the shadow of oil and gas industry over the politics, the economy, etc. People are afraid to speak out long and hard, and loud.

    I know what you mean not wanting to clean up at home, etc. (But I know some of it is just me --lazy, not interested in housework. Have been like this for um..decades.) Cycling and doing art are my solace, balm and has been the best way to learn and enjoy the area where I live. I still hardly know anyone close enough to do stuff. Only 1 person and she still doesn't know much about me. But she will in time. Meanwhile dearie and I try to coordinate our lives together across 2 provinces. Thank goodness for Internet, visits and long stays.

    As mentioned in previous threads over the years, it can become harder to make new, lasting friends as one gets older and relocates homes in various regions/cities.

    Does your boyfriend know how sad you are? But doesn't sound as if he will help you. Does he feel the same ...it won't be long-term either? Because if he doesn't know, it takes a lot of energy to hide this from him. Your worry about this is sucking some energy out of you.

    People say well, get involved in stuff, volunteer. True, that's what I did in the other cities where I lived. At this time, I'm only a participant in cycling events here and there which is good enough for me. I will always cycle, but right now if I get involved in "something" it will be totally different than cycling. There are other personal interests I haven't explored enough/grown in skills that lie latent at this point in my life. This is why I do art on the side. Have been dissatisfied with the quality of evening art courses locally. So right now, not sure what to do. (I didn't have this problem in Vancouver and Toronto....they have some long standing educational programs with excellent curriculum.)

    I figure if I do a lot of stuff on my own, I might as well do stuff that I'm passionate and happiest at the activities. It doesn't solve expanding social circles matters, but at least I use my own personal time that's productive...for me.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-26-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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  4. #4
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    To be honest I don't know much about clinical depression, but my gut feeling is that feeling at home with friends and good social relationships is a lot more important to daily wellbeing than climate and weather, even if the climate is "grey and depressing".
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

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  5. #5
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    Some people do have real seasonal affective disorder, which is a type of major depressive disorder. Social isolation is a prime symptom of depression, though. Vegan, it's good you are getting therapy, I am wondering what type of therapy your counselor is using? A lot of times people who are depressed respond very well to CBT, as it deals with the negative patterns of thinking that maintain those feelings. Some of the other things I often recommend to adults are yoga and acupuncture. If you can find a Mindfulness Stress Reduction class, that also teaches coping skills that are great for anyone, really, but often give people a sense of peace. This class is often given through hospitals/community education agencies.
    Something else that helps to give structure to your day is volunteering. Not something that is a huge commitment, but a lot of the time, helping others helps you take the focus off of your thoughts that are maintaining the depressive feelings.
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  6. #6
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    (((((((VBC))))))))

    That's an awful choice to have to make. Lack of sunlight IS extremely unhealthy for body and emotions. But so is lack of friends. I'm not going to offer any trite, happy-face suggestions for "meeting people," for all the reasons you already know - you've probably already done several of them; your therapist has probably already made the suggestions; "meeting people" is not the same as building a deep support network, which takes years; and most importantly, making yourself vulnerable to people in the way that's needed to build a support network is about the last thing a depressed person is capable of doing.

    Is going back to Seattle at least temporarily - and buying a light box and some full spectrum bulbs to get you through the day the day - an option? That would both get you away from the BF and into the arms of your friends at the same time. You could take some time to recharge and investigate new places to live, with your new understanding that you need to better investigate the social scene and the character of the people in any place you're thinking about moving.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
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    The light box really does work. I have a close friend who has been using one for years.
    You know, the advice Oakleaf gave about understanding the character of the people/social scene of a prospective place to live is something that we all need to pay attention to. I saw this so much when I lived in AZ. People are often lured by the weather, and think that starting over in a place with endless summer will fix everything and anything. Then, eventually, the same issues start popping up and they are in a place with no family or social support from friends. I am not speaking specifically to Vegan Bike Chic here, but more as a general thought, because I have seen this so many times, it really resonated with me. I've lived in 4 states and the differences in the "character" of each place are enormous. There are some places that I just could not live, even though the environment would be perfect for my outdoor pursuits.
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  8. #8
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    I'm in a similar situation, having been transferred to a different city for work. What I find is, the workplace is rarely the best place to meet friends, volunteering for events put on by clubs is a better place to meet people than by actually doing club events, and yes, being out in the sunlight exercising helps. So does working with my hands - sewing, gardening, etc. There is some evidence that the parts of the brain that experience satisfaction are connected with the parts that activate the hands, and possibly this is why depression levels have been climbing as our lives have gotten easier and we have fewer and fewer things to do at home to feed and clothe ourselves.
    You might also want to get your vitamin B12 levels checked. Depression is one of the symptoms of a deficiency in B12.
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  9. #9
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    Then, eventually, the same issues start popping up and they are in a place with no family or social support from friends. I am not speaking specifically to Vegan Bike Chic here, but more as a general thought, because I have seen this so many times, it really resonated with me. I've lived in 4 states and the differences in the "character" of each place are enormous. There are some places that I just could not live, even though the environment would be perfect for my outdoor pursuits.
    Sometimes people do have the luxury of staying in the area where they love and others, like me, need a job. Which was why I accepted the job offer and relocated. I work for a good employer which at this stage in my career, is key since I have 11 more yrs. before 65. It gets harder and harder to get these types of on-target job opportunities as one gets older especially at mid-life, towards tail end of a career.

    What has helped me enormously is my partner who lived here for 2 years who helped familiarize me with the quirky dynamics of this place (getting better, but to me, unbelievably slow to change). I relocated at a critical point in my life and very serious: my sister just unexpectedly died, my father is dying from cancer, I was moving from a city I loved (Vancouver's rain didn't pull me down in the dumps as much as others), and my partner wasn't going to be around all the time. There was a huge part of me that was in shock and grieving in multiple ways. I didn't want to socialize much with anyone new for quite awhile. I am grateful that I work for a good employer. I work for government which gives a person closer spectator/sideline knowledge of what is happening in the city, which engages a newcomer, like me, to the city more quickly.

    I knew how different the province is where I am before I moved.

    What has been interesting, Crankin, is the regional differences across large countries like Canada and the U.S. I agree that just moving somewhere far, does not solve underlying, long-standing problems.

    I agree nuliajuk, that for some people doing regular activities that one loves outdoors and with one's hands, redirects oneself in a different direction and for me, therapeutic.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-27-2013 at 07:14 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    This sounds like a pretty fixable situational depression. This kind is lots easier to fix that the kind induced by trauma, PTSD or biochemical mayhem.
    I have to wonder if this depression is situational, rather than one caused by biological mayhem. From the sound of it, VBC has been depressed for a while and in a number of situations. Maybe there's something more going on than just a lack of friends and rainy weather.

    VBC, have you talked to your therapist about taking an antidepressant? In the very least, it might be helpful in getting you to a better place as far as building some social connections. It takes a while--depression or not--to feel at home in a new place. Also, are you getting regular exercise and are you doing it in a group setting?
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  11. #11
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    Speaking of PTSD, as a cancer survivor, it would be unusual for you NOT to have post-traumatic issues. The only difference between intensive medical treatment and what's commonly defined as torture is that it's supposed to be "good for you," which carries its own psychological burdens because of your having put yourself voluntarily into the doctors' hands. I hope your therapist is sensitive to that aspect of your situation, as well.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
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    Firstly, I'd like to offer my sympathies because I have recently been touched by severe depression. Not myself but watching someone I love suffer with it is heart breaking. Because of its fallout, I've started counselling as well as taking a very low dose of antidepressants. It's so low I didn't think it had any effect but I believe it is helping me in my situation.

    I also concur that it is probably good if your counsellor practised CBT. And taking some omega 3 with high EPA and I'm sure yoga would be very helpful.

    If you think you are codependent on your boyfriend, it probably is a good thing to work on that. A friend was in a similar situation have said that the book "Codependent No More" was helpful.

    I hope you can get some help of some sort to help you feel better.
    Last edited by badger; 04-27-2013 at 12:28 PM.

  13. #13
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    You know VeganBike, you might be more naturally socialable than I. Which might be why you'll like to have some 1-2 good female friends locally, sooner rather than later. I was never quite a girls' night out joiner. Friendships for me have been/continue to be one to one, because each good female friend in my life are each quite different in orientation, shared activities and from different spheres in life.

    It's not that I've given up, but I know good friendships take time and can't be forced.

    For awhile I flagellated myself why on earth did I make the decision to relocate where I am now. Then I sat back and realized: I should take advantage of my experience of living and cycling in 3 different regions of Canada ...and offer that knowledge/experience to others. It is one of the reasons why I blog: though life right now isn't a cakewalk, I want to share the very best that I know and have seen.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  14. #14
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    When I made the comment about people relocating to the Sunbelt and taking their problems with them, I would say that most of these people moved by choice, not because they had to take a job there. They decided life would be "happier" in a place with endless summer and then found a job and moved. It would be fine for awhile, but then marital, children, emotional and social issues seemed to come out at about the 9 month to one year mark.
    This is just an observation, as I especially saw it as a teacher, with kids moving in from other places. It takes work to integrate yourself into a community. I am a very social person and when I moved back to Massachusetts, it took a lot of work. Most people here stick with friends they've had for years and/or their families. It was worth it, though.
    Making friends in AZ was easy, as everyone was new and mostly friendly. However, I have lived in a place I despised (Miami), so I understand the feeling of not fitting in.
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  15. #15
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    What does help, especially if one doesn't know anyone well in a newish city/city that's hard to like, is regular contact with loved ones/a friend. The Internet makes it even cheaper these days. I know it's not the same as person in the same physical spot where you are, but if it means providing a sense of personal continuity and equilibrium, keeping relationships meaningful and engaged, then do so. As long as it's a 2-way street/dialogue, giving back to and for with the other person.

    Where I am, there a lot of defectors from Ontario, other provinces and some from British Columbia like myself..simply because of a job offer. Calgary is the fastest growing large city in Canada at this time. However that may be slowing down a tad.

    The problem is that people are friendly, interested but their commitment to the place/city is not quite there.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

 

 

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