need help for severe depression - page 2

I am an RN that lives for my career. I am now faced with the probability of losing the career I wanted for so long & worked so hard for.Severe depression has officially taken over. This past year has... Read More

  1. by   HillaryC
    I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. Any one of those stressors could be enough to precipipate clinical depression, let alone all of those together. I agree with those that recommended trying other antidepressants. I've been on antidepressants for 12 years nonstop (since I was 15), and there were times that I had to try out different ones (I've been on 9 total) before I found one that worked well for me. Everyone responds differently to antidepressants, but if I could plug one, it would be Lexapro I also did great on Celexa, but it has more side effects (otherwise, it's essentially the same active ingredient as Lexapro). I did horribly on Wellbutrin (it made me violent!), but others swear by it. It's a sucky process, but you probably just need to keep looking for the right one for you.

    At the same time, it's really important to have a good therapist. All the studies have shown the best outcomes come with a combination of drug and talk therapies.

    One last thing -- there are many well-meaning people who haven't experienced true clinical depression who will say things that may make you feel even worse. Like I said, they mean well, but just don't know just how powerful clinical depression is. They don't understand that in your depression, just thinking of all the things you have to be greatful for will not make you feel better -- and can even make you feel worse. Even worse are those that have no compassion for depression and think you should "snap out of it" -- please don't let them get to you!

    My thoughts are with you. Please know that you really can feel better with the right treatment. Please hang in there!

    Hillary

    Quote from needs help
    I am an RN that lives for my career. I am now faced with the probability of losing the career I wanted for so long & worked so hard for.Severe depression has officially taken over. This past year has been really awful. it started with a severe fatal stoke in the family,then I had 3 herniated disks in my cervical spine and ended up with fusion, then an emergency quadruple bypass on my father in law (where I ended up the main caregiver), My son (19) had recurring bouts of undiagnosed pancreatitis followed by gallbladder surgery, I had a car wreck that left me with a herniatd disk in my lumbar spine and will probable not be able to return to my job. top that off with a disabled spouse for the last 6years. so my income was the only one. now that doesn't exist.I don't know what to do anymore. i can't seem to get anything done, nor do i want to.antidepressants don't seem to be helping now.anyone have any ideas???
  2. by   HillaryC
    I just wanted to add that some people need higher doses of antidepressants than are commonly used. Back when I was on Prozac, I was up to 100mg/day (I think they claim there's no added benefit after 60?). When I was on Celexa, I needed 60mg/day (I think 40 is supposed to be max?). On Lexapro, I take 30mg/day, even though they swear 10mg is sufficient. Whenever I've tried to wean myself down to the max recommended dose (with Dr's permission, of course), I notice the difference immediately.

    Take care,
    Hillary
  3. by   ZZTopRN
    Quote from Dixielee
    We all have crisis in our lives. You just have to learn to rise above and get on with life. You are only 38 years old according to your profile. You have many, many good years left. I have never suffered from clinical depression, so I do not have a personal understanding of how debilitating it can be. But I have suffered adversity, as most of us have. If you think you are the only one, the you just aren't paying attention. Have you seen the guy who had to cut off his own arm because it was caught under a boulder while hiking? I can't remember his name, but I saw him on a talk show and he has written a book. He was thanking God for his affliction because it made him more aware of the fragility of life, and helped him lead a fuller, more "aware" life.

    You mentioned a family member having a fatal stroke. As we get older, more and more precious members of our families are going to die. My sister was killed by a cougar last year and we found her body, that was not exactly a part of my life I would like to relive, but life goes on. That is a fact of life, as a nurse you should understand that clearly. As far as your FIL having bypass surgery, did he die? Most folks who have bypass surgery return to normal, active lives, my husband did. How is your son doing now after surgery? If he is 19, he was probably healthy enough to get thru things well. As far as your back surgery goes...there are many nursing jobs that are not quite as demanding physically as others. Search them out.

    Maybe your primary problem stems from your opening sentence, saying you are an RN who lives for her career. Nursing is a job. We are numbers on a schedule to management. If you happen to be able to find some enjoyment and fullfillment in your job, then that is a bonus. That is what keeps us going. But as far as living for it.....there are too many other things to live for. Live for your family, your grandchildren, yourself, the ability to travel and enjoy nature. Live for God, make yourself available to others who may need encouragement. Live for the sake of being able to see the sunrise every morning. Live to hear a baby coo. Live for puppy kisses. Live because that is why we are on the earth, but for Heaven's sake....don't live for nursing!
    "You just have to learn rise above and to get on with your llife." Not very kind words and very uninformed about depression. VERY, VERY, uninformed about depression. Yes, we all have tragedies and hardships in our lives, BUT as humans we react differently. Certainly finding your sister dead was a horrible thing. I had an 18-year-old child burned to death while he was in college. It was a very painful period for me, but facing it day by day, I got through it. However, there have been times many years after that I have been severely depressed for much less reasons than his death. Depression is one of the most painful diseases one can have, so think before you speak. Also you have to know that there are people that are "wired" in their brains in different ways. Some people haven't a clue what depression is, no matter what adversity strikes them. Ever heard about chemical imbalance? Why don't you so inform yourself on the nature of depression instead of giving such supportive advice. "Live to hear baby coo, live for puppy kisses. How cruel and uninformed you are to dismiss the very serious and painful disease depression is. More than anything, you sound like a martyr.

    mv
  4. by   doobiedo
    Please consult a therapist, psychiatrist or whomever can help you. Try a different antidepressant if needed . I needed to try a few different ones myself. You have reasons to feel the way you do. Don't bne embarassed to seek help.

    Anyone who feels you just need 'to pick yourself up by the bootstraps" smelll the roses, etc obviously does not know much about depression....you can't just make a choice to get on with life.....it is not that simple unfortunately.
    Take care
  5. by   lsyorke
    Needs Help, sounds like you've had a horrible year. Give yourself permission to just feel bad! Sometimes we're so busy looking for the cure and we don't just take the time to feel the grief. The human body is an amazing machine and sometimes it just needs a break. You've been everyone elses caregiver and home and at work, time to be your own for a while! Do what you want to do, even it that means staying in bed for a whole day without guilt! Or spend the day reading a good book and forget about the laundry. You have good reason to be depressed, you've been maxed out for a while. The tincture of time may be the answer!
  6. by   mattsmom81
    "Sometimes we're so busy looking for the cure and we don't just take the time to feel the grief. "

    So very very true. We become like 'rats on a wheel' running and running...faking it til we make it...and the stuff WILL eventually catch up with us and then we collapse. With nurses especially...we care for everyone else and neglect ourselves.

    Great response Isyorke.

    HUGS to the OP and please care for yourself...its OK to ask for help.
  7. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from HillaryC
    -- there are many well-meaning people who haven't experienced true clinical depression who will say things that may make you feel even worse. Like I said, they mean well, but just don't know just how powerful clinical depression is. They don't understand that in your depression, just thinking of all the things you have to be greatful for will not make you feel better -- and can even make you feel worse. Even worse are those that have no compassion for depression and think you should "snap out of it" -- please don't let them get to you!
    Hillary
    My brother committed suicide. No one knew he was depressed. I felt absolutely horrible, b/c it was 4 mos. after I graduated nursing school, in which psych. was in the last semester. I did not see the signs. Still, people's remarks (including my mother) were "What was HE so depressed about? Were things THAT bad?" (obviously they were). Unfortunately, no one can say such things about your situation (although they may). Regardless, everyone handles things in different ways.

    I was depressed about a yr after, for at least a year. I saw a psychiatrist, who did not help at all, and put me on Paxil (not a good choice). I then saw a psychotherapist (MSW). She was great. She got me to look at myself from an outside perspective. She actually got me to laugh at myself, for the irrational thoughts I had.

    When I was seeing her, the main reason I felt depressed was because of nursing. My career was not where I envisioned it being, and this was consuming my entire life. Needless to say, I didn't tell my parents about my problems, as I could see them becoming frustrated with my moods (that I tried so hard to hide from them). My therapist said to me, you need to define yourself in other ways, not just as a nurse. Take up a hobby, do something. Then I discussed our plans to get pregnant. And she said to me, "I'm not supposed to give you this kind of advice, but here goes...Maybe you should have a baby". She felt I needed some more definition. Well, I guess it worked!! I'm not saying I've never felt down after that (nor am I suggesting you do the same :chuckle ), but there's more to life than being a nurse. (BTW my brother was a cop, and I wonder if he felt this way about his career).

    The bottom line is you are not alone. Even if you did not have all of these terribly tragic events in your life, you may still be depressed. If you believe that it is a chemical thing, then you need to get help. I was against the medicine thing at first, but if you're sick, you take medicine (or get help, or both).
  8. by   renerian
    You sound like your doing better than you were some time ago. Glad to see that.

    I really don't think people with major depression can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, move on or get over it. I have had some bad times and have sought counseling and medication therapy. Twice actually. Both short term and it got me over the hump so I could cope better with loss and learn to redefine my life.

    Sometimes it takes several tries to find the right therapist for you.

    renerian
    Last edit by renerian on Jan 11, '05
  9. by   chadash
    Please keep us updated on how you are doing.
  10. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from needs help
    I am an RN that lives for my career. I am now faced with the probability of losing the career I wanted for so long & worked so hard for.Severe depression has officially taken over. This past year has been really awful. it started with a severe fatal stoke in the family,then I had 3 herniated disks in my cervical spine and ended up with fusion, then an emergency quadruple bypass on my father in law (where I ended up the main caregiver), My son (19) had recurring bouts of undiagnosed pancreatitis followed by gallbladder surgery, I had a car wreck that left me with a herniatd disk in my lumbar spine and will probable not be able to return to my job. top that off with a disabled spouse for the last 6years. so my income was the only one. now that doesn't exist.I don't know what to do anymore. i can't seem to get anything done, nor do i want to.antidepressants don't seem to be helping now.anyone have any ideas???
    I think Dixielee's response was unnecessarily harsh. If all that happened in my life in one short year, I'd probably be depressed too.

    Counseling might help in addition to the antidepressants. I also strongly believe that one of the factors in depression is the inability to exercise.

    In any case, please know that people care about what happens to you and we're all rooting for you. You might need help today, but we realize it could be any of us tomorrow.

    ~Take care.
  11. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from Dixielee
    We all have crisis in our lives. You just have to learn to rise above and get on with life. You are only 38 years old according to your profile. You have many, many good years left. I have never suffered from clinical depression, so I do not have a personal understanding of how debilitating it can be. But I have suffered adversity, as most of us have. If you think you are the only one, the you just aren't paying attention. Have you seen the guy who had to cut off his own arm because it was caught under a boulder while hiking? I can't remember his name, but I saw him on a talk show and he has written a book. He was thanking God for his affliction because it made him more aware of the fragility of life, and helped him lead a fuller, more "aware" life.

    You mentioned a family member having a fatal stroke. As we get older, more and more precious members of our families are going to die. My sister was killed by a cougar last year and we found her body, that was not exactly a part of my life I would like to relive, but life goes on. That is a fact of life, as a nurse you should understand that clearly. As far as your FIL having bypass surgery, did he die? Most folks who have bypass surgery return to normal, active lives, my husband did. How is your son doing now after surgery? If he is 19, he was probably healthy enough to get thru things well. As far as your back surgery goes...there are many nursing jobs that are not quite as demanding physically as others. Search them out.

    Maybe your primary problem stems from your opening sentence, saying you are an RN who lives for her career. Nursing is a job. We are numbers on a schedule to management. If you happen to be able to find some enjoyment and fullfillment in your job, then that is a bonus. That is what keeps us going. But as far as living for it.....there are too many other things to live for. Live for your family, your grandchildren, yourself, the ability to travel and enjoy nature. Live for God, make yourself available to others who may need encouragement. Live for the sake of being able to see the sunrise every morning. Live to hear a baby coo. Live for puppy kisses. Live because that is why we are on the earth, but for Heaven's sake....don't live for nursing!
    You sound exactly like what you hoped you wouldn't. People and attitudes like yours are exactly why so many people suffer in silence.
  12. by   CHATSDALE
    if you had a broken leg you would not be expected to 'snap out of it and go dancing' do the the same with a problem that other people cannot see...get help....use a med...if you were not depressed before this series of horrid events you may not need the med on a long term basis...but it you do, remember the advise you have received here...no shame in taking meds for a condition...you would not look down on someone with diabetes for taking insulin every day...God bless you...i know that you will come out the other side with a good life and the will to go on
  13. by   DutchgirlRN
    You can't snap out of depression anymore than you can snap out of diabetes. You cannot talk yourself out of depression, you can not get up and pull yourself out of it. If someone has never suffered from depression they have no basis on which to judge their advice. Friends can offer advice, they can comfort you but only seriously take advice from someone who has been in your shoes.

    I've been where you are. Take it from someone who knows, anti-depressants + talk therapy is the only good plan for depression. Find a highly-recommended psychiatrist.

    Do not take to heart what "D" has posted. She has, by her own admission, never been clinically depressed and I would agree that her post seems cold hearted. I'm sure she didn't mean to come across that way. Some people just believe in closing their eyes and going on and not looking back. Were all made different and there's no shame in that. I was so depressed + had PTSD and I had to quit my job. I couldn't go to work much less get out of the bed for days at a time. When I did go to a psychiatrist I was a new person within a month and back to work. That's been 7 years ago and I still see him once a month for talk therapy. God Bless and please keep us updated.
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Jan 11, '05

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