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Geek

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  1. Thanks for your thoughts, dances. I took a slightly modified version of that post to my appointment yesterday. I handed the note to her and proceeded to sink into the couch, hide behind my hands and stare at the floor/her shoes for the rest of the session. She was great. She didn’t belittle me or tease me. She took me very seriously but was warm and affirming. She says it’s okay and normal and good to feel that way. She says it would be strange not to feel attached and stuff after I have shared so many intimate details. She says just because it’s her job to be there for me doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. She says that her approach to therapy is that it’s the relationship that heals. She’s showing me that, I guess, not all relationships are harmful? Or something like that. And that if something happens and she hurts me it’s okay to talk about it. She explained why the doctor she saw wanted her to take that medication and it is for something that is uncomfortable but she says unlikely to cause her to leave anytime remotely soon. I’m completely freaked out about having shared all that with her. I told her at the end I felt like I should be apologizing to her. She was, again, understanding and said that would be consistent with the kinds of things I tend to apologize for. I guess we’ll see if she sticks around or if I’ve scared her off by being too intense or something.
  2. I have been seeing my current tdoc for about 2.5 years. I have the best connection with her I've ever had with a therapist and as a result I've disclosed more than ever to her. I've become quite attached to her and it's terrifying me. A while ago, my tdoc disclosed to me that a doctor was pushing her to try a specific medication and she was appalled by his methods (she shared specifics, but they're not important here). This was shared as a way to connect/commiserate with a poor experience I'd had with a new doctor, so I'm not concerned about her having self-disclosed to me. She actually rarely discloses much personal information. Recently I have been finding myself worrying about why a doctor would be pushing that med. Is she really sick? Is she going to be okay? Most importantly/selfishly, is she going to leave me because of her illness? That's what it boils down to, really, I guess. I'm scared she's going to leave me. I'm scared I'm too needy and too negative and not making progress and that she'll fire me out of frustration. I'm scared she'll get sick and stop working. I'm scared she'll forget about me. I'm scared she doesn't care. I'm terrified that I'm having all these feelings about her. I got attached. Which is dumb, because I don't know the real her. But I've let her know the real me. Now she can hurt me. This was such a bad idea. Clearly I should end things. Immediately. Except... I also don't want to. I like having someone to talk to, pretending that someone in Real Life cares about me, if only for an hour a week. I haven't seen tdoc since Dec. 18 (though we have texted intermittently), and I won't see her again until Jan. 8. The insecurity feelings are more pronounced when it's been a while since I saw her. I don't get what I want (need?) from her by text message or phone call, I guess (and feel really bad for taking her time during her vacations, because she certainly deserves a break from me). Part of me is tense and anxious and sometimes even starting to have trouble breathing from not seeing her. Part of me says to cancel the appointment and just end things because this is not a good kind of attachment and will only lead to pain. She will leave me, everybody does, and with this level of attachment it will be that much more heartwrenching when it happens. I feel like a pushmi-pullyu (from Dr. Dolittle).
  3. Last week my pdoc said she wants to have me re-try Lexapro. After trying other meds, Lexapro helped me get through college in 2009-2012, but it stopped working and I came off it about six months after graduating. I tried Viibryd next, to no avail. Shortly after that my GP referred me to my pdoc who I've been with ever since. The list of meds I've tried is in my signature and profile. It's long, and covers pretty much every class of traditional anti-depressants, various mood stabilizers and several AAPs. I've done TMS and ECT. I have ADHD so I take a stimulant (Vyvanse these days, though I've tried several including Strattera). I have insomnia so I take trazodone for sleep. I take an L-methylfolate supplement daily. I fear my pdoc, in wanting to return to a med that helped (but not completely) but pooped out, is giving up. Are there other non-traditional/off-label anti-depressants? In early summer pdoc tried me on Mirapex (no response). I've also tried buprenorphine (made me very ill). Ketamine by IV was great, but the effects don't last. Ketamine shots (IM) don't seem to touch the depression. I've received both by participating in a medical study (testing to see if response to IV-ketamine could be maintained by IM-ketamine... not in me, it seems). I don't have the money to get ketamine infusions (which aren't covered by insurance). Oh, and yes, I am in regular (weekly) talk therapy. I've done CBT and DBT based programs as well, group and individual settings.
  4. Loneliness and isolation. I feel very alone and helpless to change it. Depression makes it hard to get out of the house, and I feel like I have nothing (positive) to say so I really struggle to make friends or connect with people beyond a very superficial level. Not having friends or a partner or a family makes me feel alone and isolated and feeds the depression and the negative voices in my head. Vicious circle.
  5. I feel awful. I was in a car accident two weeks ago. Totaled my car and broke my right/dominant wrist. Insurance won't cover me to drive with a cast on my arm/hand, so I can't get a rental car. I've been taking transit to get to work. I feel very alone and like I'm a burden on my friends, which is only made worse by this injury and my lack of a transportation. My friends live far away (roughly 30 minutes drive, 2.5 hours by transit), and are too busy to come see me. It's fine, I guess. I'm not much fun to hang out with, I don't have much (positive) to say, so I mostly listen to others talk. My tdoc cancelled my appointment this week because she was sick and then couldn't fit me in later in the week, so it's been almost two weeks since I talked to her. She feels like the only person who cares about me these days because she doesn't change the subject or get uncomfortably silent when I say how I'm feeling. I suck at the phone though, so I haven't called her. I just beat myself up for being alone and only being cared about by people who I pay to care. IV-ketamine banished my depression entirely for about 6 weeks. It was magical. I have never been a not-depressed adult. I've been sliding downhill for about 6 weeks though and it's worse since the car accident. I'm suicidal again and entertaining regular thoughts of self-harm as well. More IV-ketamine is not an option, for financial reasons (I got it because I'm in a medical trial), and IM-ketamine (which I'm getting through the trial) doesn't seem to have the same effect. I feel pretty hopeless.
  6. I can relate, definitely. Depression makes me extra sensitive to feelings of rejection and being a burden on others. It's awful. Group therapy helped me feel less alone/different. Talking with other people who have the same struggles (and accomplishments) helped me feel less isolated. Is that an option for you? Maybe there is a DBSA in your town?
  7. Lexapro and Vyvanse got me through college. ECT helped, but only when I was getting it 2+ times/week. Then I tried IV-ketamine. It didn't work right away, but within a week the whole world was different. Suddenly I understood how normal people feel. There was no trace of depression and my anxiety and social anxiety were reduced too. I've never experienced anything like it. It was amazing. The effects lasted about 6 weeks and I've been going downhill ever since. IM-ketamine doesn't have the same effect.
  8. Chantho, that sounds awful and scary. Tantrums in a 2 or 3 year old are different from meltdowns in an older (and bigger) child. The violence is scary. When your son is calm, sit him down one-on-one and talk about what happened this morning. Tell him very seriously that it is never okay to hurt someone, even when he is very angry. Write up some basic rules with him, and the consequences for breaking them. Do it together. What comes to mind for me with the consequences you mentioned is they are long-term consequences. You might find that immediate consequences are more effective. Kids' memories are short. It is hard, at the age of 6, to remember on Sunday what you did or how you felt on Wednesday. The consequence for raging about wanting his brother's pop tarts? Maybe it is that he gets no pop tarts (in general, he can either have his own or none - raging means he loses the privilege of choosing), and has to live with being hungry until the next meal (missing one meal once in a while will not hurt him). When he is raging, don't try to talk to him - he can't process your words. Do your best to remain absolutely calm. Don't yell, threaten, cry or plead with him. Just wait him out. If he stops, ask him if he's ready to talk. When he is, you can help him figure out what he was feeling ("you sure seemed mad that you couldn't have T's pop tarts"). Then you can talk about safe/acceptable things to do when he is angry or sad or whatever (kicking a soccer ball against the side of the house, punching a pillow, etc). Get him to help you think of these things, come up with 2 or 3 together. Then you can tell him that it's okay to be angry, but it is never okay to hit/kick/bite/spit/throw things/whatever. Since he knows that (from your talk you had while he was calm), there are consequences. No screen time, no sweets, other toys get taken away, no playdates or maybe he has to stay alone in his room after school tonight. Throwing things could mean losing access to that item or one of greater value. Write down the date, the "infraction", and the consequence. Put it on the fridge so he can see it. If you have to remind him of the consequence always be sure to remind him what he did to earn it, and how long it will last (eg. "no, you cannot have dessert because you stabbed me with a pencil. It is never okay to hurt somebody, so you don't get dessert for two nights."). As soon as you notice T is winding up his brother, put a stop to it and remove him from the situation if possible (e.g. "that's enough, T, you're being mean. Go to your room until you can be kind."). Have a conversation with T at a calm time about how you expect him to behave and what his consequences will be, just like with his brother. Being explicit is important. Above all, be calm and stand your ground. Talk to your husband and make sure that you always present a united front to the boys and discuss your disagreements in private. Posting their infractions and consequences on the fridge helps everyone know what's going on. The first place to start to get help might be with his pediatrician (who can probably be visited for a lower copay). Perhaps the doc can help you and your son with coping strategies. Perhaps having another (respected) adult tell your son this is not okay behaviour will help (but I doubt it, given his age). Is there a medical school near you or a university with a psychology program? Those might also be places to look for sliding scale assessments and therapists.
  9. Cheese, this is not likely an ad from CB, it is adware/malware on your phone/kindle. Fortunately you figured out that it is malicious! It may have been downloaded in a software bundle. Fortunately it's pretty easy to fix. See if you can follow the instructions here on how to remove the malware from your devices. https://forums.androidcentral.com/ambassador-guides-tips-how-tos/630081-guide-malware-adware-popup-removal.html This article can tell you more about it too. Note that not all malware/adware/virus scanners identify this as an issue. https://appuals.com/fix-system-heavily-damaged-four-virus/
  10. Sexist Boss

    I was recently in a car accident and broke my right wrist. I am right-handed, so as you can imagine it's making things a bit of a challenge. I'm in a short arm cast that immobilizes my wrist and thumb. My boss, the VP of the company, called me into his office to discuss a new task. He started by saying he was really sorry I was hurt, especially with it being my right hand, but at least I'm not a guy because that would be so much worse, har har. I'm used to locker room type talk. I work for a company with around 48 employees only 5 of whom are women and I am the only one in a technical role. The guys are crude and rude and gross. Whatever. But it's one thing to get that kind of talk from the blue collar guys on the shop floor and completely different to get that from the VP of the company. I didn't know how to respond. I half-laughed with him and then quickly changed the subject. I wish I were strong enough and sure enough to call him out on it. But he's my boss, and my work visa is up for renewal, and he's got too much power. This is why there are so few female engineers.
  11. Thought stopping is a good theory but it’s practice is outdated. As jt said, it requires a huge amount of energy and attention. It also doesn’t work very well, tends to lead to an increase in the frequency of the thought you’re trying to stop. Weird, right? I’ve had better luck with acceptance and redirecting. Don’t be afraid to offend your tdoc! You are partners working toward a common goal. It is always okay to ask questions about treatments/approaches of ANY doctor. If she’s worth her salt, she’ll be fine with exploring alternate paths or explaining why she thinks this is best. If she (or any other doctor) expects you to take her word as gospel to be followed unquestioningly this is a good time to run far away.
  12. @thunder, I think your feelings are pretty normal. My therapist went away for a month and wasn’t available by phone/text during that period. I struggled with that, though it is very rare for me to reach out between sessions. There’s definitely a comfort to knowing she’s there and would respond if I reached out. I am potentially moving out of the country in a few months and though she has said she would help me through the transition, including seeing me by Skype or something, I am anxious to leave her. Do you have anything to remind you of him? My tdoc gave me an acorn from a bowl she has in her office, but I also carry one of her business cards in my wallet. The physical touchstone seems to help me. I hold it when I’m having a hard time and think about what she would say. In some ways I think one of the (perhaps intermediary) goals of therapy is to be able to have conversations with your therapist all in your head. Don’t stop! It’s great that you have internalized him so well. Our relationships with our therapists are deep, intimate and real. That means you’re going to need to grieve the loss of it. He was (and is) an important part of your life and your journey with MI. I hope your move goes well.
  13. Considering TMS therapy ?

    I think that approach makes a lot of sense. That's how I did it too. I hope the TMS helps!
  14. Considering TMS therapy ?

    For me, the ECT helped while I was getting treatments 2-3 times a week. As we tapered off to once a week treatments, the effect seemed to taper down too. Eventually the costs (the bills, and the time off work) seemed greater than the benefit... but I plummeted when we stopped completely. The doctors wanted me to try a course of bilateral ECT where I did a few weeks of 2-3 sessions/week, but I couldn't take more time off work. I had some memory loss. I mostly don't remember stuff that happened shortly before or during the period I was receiving treatment. I saw movies with friends... no memory of them (which makes sequels a little confusing). My best friend came from out of state to visit... which I only know because I have dated photos of the weekend he was here. I have vague memories of my parents visiting for a weekend. The memory loss was worst when I was getting multiple treatments a week. During that period I stayed with friends. After a while, we tapered down to once a week maintenance treatments, at which point I was well enough to move back home (where I live(d) alone with just my dog to look after me). I worked 4 days a week for 3 months, getting ECT on Fridays. I kept copious notes of what I was working on, my reasoning for decisions, and so on. My work did not know I was getting ECT, just that I was getting "medical treatment" for a chronic illness. I had a lot of feedback that they were happy with my work and I received a substantial raise about 3 months after returning to work full time. These days, I have occasional moments where it's obvious I'm missing something, but they're unusual and minor. Example: Recently, I was unloading the dishwasher at my friends' house, where I lived for 5 years. I couldn't remember where a couple of lesser-used items lived - plates, cutlery, etc. were fine, but somehow I couldn't remember where to put the box grater and the pie server. Weird, right? But nothing I couldn't brush off. They showed me, we laughed, and I moved on. Things that were "big", I held onto. My memories of my childhood, for example, are as clear as ever... I remember why I am estranged from my mother, why I made choices like where to go to school, what to study, where to work, where to live. ECT is a big, scary decision. I totally get that. My pdoc pushed it for a year before I gave in (shortly after TMS failed), and I was terrified. My brain/intellect is a prized possession to me. But depression was fogging it up, making it harder to think and harder to remember stuff as it was. The losses from ECT were not insignificant... but they were minor and worth it, in the end, even though it was not a cure for me. If I someday have the financial resources to be able to try a round or two of bilateral ECT, I will. Remember, the effects are cumulative. If it starts to be too much you can just stop going, or try spacing out the treatments. Studies show that while there is a cognitive impact, function generally returns in the months after you stop the treatments.
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