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  1. Capt. Duff, sorry you're going through a rough patch. I recommend reading Jerod's blog, Whale Shit on the Bottom of the Ocean, on the crazymeds site. I am more or less in remission from MD. Still have ADD, but that's a cakewalk. So that period of my life is over for the time being. To answer your question, for a sample of one (me), there is an end to it. How long and what did it take? 20 years, major depressive spirals precipitated by the stress of living trapped with a psychopath. And BOY were they major. Crushing months and years, with brief periods of emergence into grey. I stayed on meds. I got rid of toxic people around me (divorced ). I got a dog, which forced me to get off my a** and walk three times a day. Took pride in how great my dog looked. New England is depressed as he**. It's either in a major recession or recovering prior to plunging into the next. Sort of like BP2. Therefore, I moved six states away. Over here, in a ten mile square area, the annual "jobs created" numbers exceed three times the "jobs created" numbers in the entire state I moved from. And the state I moved from fudges its numbers badly, as well as being mired in corruption in every other respect. Because there is stability and prosperity here, there is a different energy in the air. People walk differently here. All of that rubs off. But I get ahead of myself. I humbly moved in with a former colleague, a misogynistic old coot who was simultaneously a livesaver and snarky about temporary assistance. He told me when I begged for help that I had three months before he went into meltdown. It wasn't a piece of cake for me, either. He's obsessive compulsive about order. My attitude towards housekeeping is, "it'll still be there tomorrow". Thanks to being ADD, natch, if I've seen it twice in disarray, that becomes the new baseline. No funny stuff going on - he's like a brother. Plus, he made it very clear that he was not in the least interested about " creating community". OTOH, no way of knowing if this was simply a natural aversion to being forced into proximity with a lunatic. This I understand -- I treasure my alone time, and even in college fought tooth and nail to have a single room. Despite his personal aversion to sharing his space, he did his utmost to be the by-the-book good friend, for which I will eternally be grateful. I did my best in the only household area in which I excel -- good cooking. We were both enormously relieved when I moved out. Looked like he** for work. Shamelessly used both my old contacts and his current ones. Unbelievably, I found a good job in three months by the most tenuous of connections: I went to a homeowners' association meeting of his homeowners' association with him with the intention of shamelessly networking. One of the people there gave my resume to her HR contact. Her HR contact responded to my sincere thank you email by telling me he had nothing, but had forwarded it to several of his HR colleagues in the area. I was so floored by the unanticipated gesture of kindness that I called him to thank him in person. He made a phone call. I got a phone call from one of his colleagues at another firm. I interviewed and got an offer. All I needed was one. It has been hell what with the debt etc., and I won't be in the black for at least several years, but I have now had this job for eight months and it is looking good. All I really need to remember is "work like hell, don't sweat the small stuff, smile like Barbie". I don't care if I am pegged as a grinning idiot by people who don't know my work. The ones who reluctantly judge me by what I produce are the only ones who count. When I was back in New England, I could scarcely get out of bed, and each successive moment was a sentence. I still have my dog and he still looks good. My life now: I work like he** and I have a place where I can lock the door and nobody can get in. It's a funny thing: if you work like he** you get good at what you do and, however reluctantly, people get the understanding that you're good via the grapevine. I don't answer the phone. I do not open the mail. I pay my bills online. I have minimized my sources of stress, and have no need for social interaction at present. Casual conversations while dogwalking and at work suffice. At work, I study hard to take the course of least resistance in every conversation. I don't care if I'm boring. All I care about is minimizing my sources of stress, and building habits of mind that cannot coexist with depression. One of my colleagues plagiarized my work in public, with me in the audience. I screwed up my courage enough to emerge from grinning idiot catatonia, and did the company thing. I sent my work -- the source document -- to my boss, along with a copy of her work, into which she had dropped mine in its entirety under her byline. This being the company recourse -- managerial informings and permission askings-- I let it go. I would previously have agonized over something like this for weeks. Let it be known that this person has since treated me very, very well -- which is sufficient for my needs. My needs are to be left alone, collect my paycheck, and have a place where I can walk the dog and lock my door. Emerging from depression took three years of concerted effort, with meds, shrinks, a dog, and everything else. Jerod Poore -- the originator of this site -- says you have to be prepared for two years to emerge, during which you will spend everything you own. Got the T-shirt. My life challenge now, as it is for everybody who emerges from depression: or bipolar: or BPD -- choose your poison -- is to relearn neurotypical thinking. The aftermath of mental illness is...umm...mental, and of long duration. I estimate it will take several years. Likely longer than getting into the black. So, for me at least, and for the time being, there is an end to it. There were substantial costs -- I deliberately left everything toxic behind. My thirteen year old was collateral damage - my psychopathic ex-husband has destroyed him. Nothing I could do about it. There is nothing you can do to protect you and yours from a determined psychopath. There were no "powers of positive thinking" or "affirmations" in this story. It was a slow, ugly, deliberate slog with no evidence that anything would be better after this absolute last expenditure of effort. However, the way I saw it, I was choosing to either die in New England surrounded by the toxic waste, or die away from the toxic waste. My last degree of freedom was to decide the place of my death. I am as surprised as you would be, in my shoes, to notice I am still alive. Best to you. It is very, very hard.
  2. I think HOT TROPICAL colors as sweaters are set off wonderfully by black skirts. Navy and hot pink. Black and lime, turquoise, fuchsia.
  3. I found this article very readable: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6092501387.html Also, Googling on glutamate and depression brings up documentation over the past several years pointing to the glutamate connection as well. As always, the Northern Europeans are light years ahead of the Americans on clinical research. What good does it do for a country, winning Noble prizes and such, if we can't even manage bringing a known MDD remedy to market in synch with other countries?
  4. Sorree I'm so late to the party. I too have MDD. And ADD. And was going through a crappy divorce for three years. And my brain reacts to norepinephrine. Hence, the only things that have worked for me are Serzone, Nortriptylene (sp?) and Cymbalta. Cymbalta was the only thing that worked for me after Serzone got taken off the market. And it worked IMMEDIATELY, like all those things which act on norepinephrine. I, too was comatose. But this was a lot better than being a slave to downward spiraling thoughts and not being able to sleep. Not talking manic here. Just talking being comatose with despair. So burdened with despair that sleep eludes you. It was actually a relief to simply veg out and be comatose and passive, watching Animal Planet, and otherwise sleeping eighteen hours a day. When it came time to rejoin the human race, I went on Wellbutrin. It has an activating effect for people who are sensitive to norepinephrine (per pdoc). The combination of the Cymbalta knockout and Wellbutrin activation was just right, and I more or less rejoined the human race, except for this remaining pervasive sense of fragility. I am still easily overwhelmed. I got a dog. Made things better -- at least I am out walking him. I moved away from CT with the dog -- even better. (Sure wish I could get intelligent again like I used to be. And stop being overwhelmed.) I think the tiredness from Cymbalta may be an indication that you're one of the people it works for. I have spoken to other Cymbalta people who were knocked out on it, whose Pdocs also supplemented with Wellbutrin after awhile, and who now function more or less OK on it.
  5. Yay! Finally something I can contribute! MDD/ADD here. Serious crashes for a year when I crash. Through trial and error, it looked like the neurotonin activators were the effective ones for me. I went off Serzone after it was taken off the Euro market, did Zoloft for awhile as a crash preventative but it DID nothing positive for me. Then. New Pdoc. New drug, Cymbalta. Cymbalta knocked my legs out from under me, but it did work on neurotonin. Actually, at the time it was quite pleasant sleeping 16 hours a day and vegging the rest of the time. After 3 months of this, I said it was getting old, and pdoc prescribed Wellbutrin in concert with the Cymbalta. IT WORKED WITHIN THREE DAYS. I COULD GET UP OFF MY HEINIE AND TAKE 3 MILE WALKS WITH THE DOG AGAIN. If neurotonin is your thing, Wellbutrin may be helpful for you as it was for me. I hope it is. Good luck. You helped me feel productive today!
  6. Tik, don't you think it was a tad early after a couple of hours to be referring to him (even in your mind) as 'my new boyfriend or whatever?' Heaven knows we don't see much of it these days, but back in the day, a gentleman would have felt 'ungentlemanly' for not escorting a lady someplace else after dark. The problem becomes, just how far does gentlemanly responsibility go?' Ideally, there would have been somebody else at the second bar to escort you home. There wasn't. So he extricated himself as gracefully as he could, and is now wondering why you don't understand the 'old culture' rules of gentlemanliness -- because he escorts you someplace after dark means nothing other than that he has manners.
  7. I pray that there is a God. If there is not, then I am truly crazy. Frequently, battling to proclaim faith in the face of the abyss of depression and despair is the only pure thing in my existence. It's like, I have this blackness, and the peace of death is so alluring... but that's what the Dark Side wants me to feel. The Dark Side wants me to curse God and go gently into that good night. I feel like the act of staying here and enduring the minutes which drag on like hours, with nothing in the future but more prostrating minutes which drag on like hours, is in itself a valuable proclamation. It is thumbing my nose at the Dark Side, it is choosing to stay here and endure with no reason to stay here and endure except that I am stubborn as all heck. I agree with my entire soul with my esteemed colleague on this thread who said "No merciful deity would put me through the things I've been through and then condemn me for taking my own life before something else terrible happens". The same esteemed colleague wrote a beautiful image, about no merciful deity would refuse the comfort of His love to those of us broken souls who can no longer endure under any circumstances. I refuse to abjure God. At the same time, it is a mighty trial to maintain a wholesome belief in His kindness and mercy. I have cried out to Him during the the night and during the morning, at mid-day and all the times in between. I have to believe that if He were not there, this blackness and weight would be even worse. On the other hand, if it were worse, it would crush the breath out of my lungs without my having to do anything to reject the gift of life. I pray so many nights that I would be spared the burden of waking up again. Whoever up there in the Great Casino has been laying bets on me, I am sorry, I did my best, but I failed. I give up. I embrace the reality of being a broken soul. You won. But I still won't abjure God. I don't recognize him as merciful and loving, perhaps He gave me this kind of life so that I could soak up ten lifetimes worth of pain in one, perhaps He gave me this kind of life so that I could soak up the pain which would otherwise be meted out to my children. See what straws I'm willing to grab for, in desperation that this blackness has an honorable purpose, that it has not been visited upon me -- and upon the rest of us who suffer -- for nothing? How stupidly and fiercely I wish to dignify this pain -- and therefore this life, for it has never been defined by anything other than pain -- in order that my life would have some bit of meaning before it is extinguished!
  8. I'd much rather have the raw, unvarnished truth. It makes my life so much more interesting as I spend months justifying why he doesn't call, why he stands me up, why he ignores my birthday. Not to mention one way transmissions of witty cards, newsy emails, and occasional stop-bys, but only when I look sensational. Much better for the imagination and to the development of a much more comfortable delusional reality to get the truth and then make believe I didn't hear it, don't you think? (BTW - the above is meant as a rueful joke on myself. A little bit of parody, but enough truth to make it sting somewhat).
  9. Jem, course I do! Thanks for the tip about 'should's. I ...ummm...should have known this by now, and am generally careful about nagging, as I detest it when people do it to me! I think it all comes down to the seductive aura of memory.. Haven't seen him for about a month and find myself thinking about him a lot with little if any rationale. A turn of phrase, a particular type of pronation seen in a stranger jogging-with-dog, a profile.. with you, the qualities that led to reverie were your (admitted - THAT was not projection!) smartness and your quality of sweetness and compassion. The rest was reverie. But I'm very, very, very fond of him. Not an insult that you were in the same thought bubble!
  10. Yikes, Jem! I apologize wholeheartedly - of COURSE I didn't know that you'd already gone the meds route. I may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I'd have to be an absolute mudrock dodo to have suggested that you try 'em when you have already! Mostly I hang out on Depression when I'm depressed. If you wrote about your meds there I likely would have known. Otherwise I just surf and pick topics that you've commented on that also sound insightful to me. My meds history is not interesting to me, and (sorry) other people's meds histories are therefore unlikely to catch my attention. Second, I apologize for having given the impression that you are a play by play replay of my sweetheart. Mostly, the thing that made me respond to your post was the sad way you said that your sweethearts keep leaving you --in fear? So, while I started out thinking about the compassion and fundamental sweetness, super writing ability, and PTSD that you both share, after a few paragraphs I just started thinking about him and how odd it is that we are together and the other things about HIM I find interesting and captivating. I guess the major point is that I'm not that unusual of a depressive, and I have not run away from my guy shrieking and screaming. Far from it, have been with him for four years, and the next steps are really up to him. Personally, I would be devastated if he were to just take off suddenly one night. It appears that I really stepped on your toes about dogs and kids - although I would not presume to guess how you feel about them, if I were a betting person I would have bet that you like them as well. Note that I did say about my guy that he likes them, they in turn are drawn to him, but he has opted out of the genetic lottery. For which I am profoundly grateful, since I've no taste for re-enlisting. Perhaps I'm wrong, I frequently am, but I think my greatest crime is that I did not know your meds history. Now I do. My secondary crime is that I sort of caught the end of your kite tail, and from thinking about the things that you seem to me to have in common, all good things, and all things for which a (hot? sophisticated? petite and thin? -- OK, the hot and sophisticated are stretches, but one can dream) woman would be very happy to stick around. I then got distracted in just thinking about him and the things I like so well about him. Course you're not a carbon copy!! Again, sorry for not knowing your meds history better. Am glad you are working it through. Please don't bite my head off. I was not criticizing you. Peace.
  11. Jem, please excuse if this is going to sound arrogant or otherwise dismissive. I agree that in the face of crippling anxiety ( and that is what you are describing when you allude to your crippling self awareness, being ready at any moment to jump out of your skin), meds are the only way to go, IMHO. You are fascinating, as others have said, and I eagerly look for your posts for that reason - they take me outside of myself and allow me to enjoy your terrific intelligence by proxy. But meds ARE the only way to go. Don't knock 'em on principle if you haven't given them a judicious try. Your anxiety is a barrier to authentic reaction and conversation with people. Folks can tell where you're coming from, even if they're not as smart as you. They can sense if you're 'dumbing down' for them, and it is instinctively aversive. It comes across as lying, and they consequently feel insulted. Get the meds. You'll still have plenty of stuff to write about - you are a great writer. I would imagine you enjoy writing, as your posts are imaginative, well crafted, and insightful. Sans crippling anxiety, however, your writing will graduate to the aftermath. To the higher and more interesting levels of damage it has wrought. In any case, it doesn't necessarily follow that everybody will dump you just because you are hyper-anxious and hyper-intelligent. I am the female in a more-or-less couple whose male half sounds very, very much like you. We have been together for almost four years, through all kinds of dislocation - geographic, emotional, life circumstance. However, once I move back and we can theoretically live together, I have mixed feelings. His anxiety makes him phobic after he drops his guard and engages in moments of real intimacy (no, I don't mean mere sex, although it comes through there as well). It is uncomfortable for ME to keep conversations to his comfort level, or to live with no conversation at all. In order for us to have an opportunity for a fulfilling shared life, he will need to do the work of exorcising his demons beforehand. How is he like you? He is frightfully smart, and hates people. And is terrified of closeness, making plans for the future, and has a hardwired escape compulsion if we have been together for longer than twelve hours. He'll soldier through it, but it is obvious that he is nearly hyperventilating and under extreme stress. He actually gets ill - temperature, stomach cramps, the whole kaboodle. He will then go through a period of the next twelve hours in bed, dead asleep, and upon rising will smoke up a pot storm. About the morning of the third day he will begin to recover. He is way underemployed as a bartender, golf coach and (his) landscaping business, which is of course seasonal. During the warm season (April - October), between running the biz, playing tournaments to keep up ranking, and teaching, he works 90 hours per week. He likes the structure. It occupies him to the point that he has no time to cater to the demons. (This is likely not you!, but is part of the reason why he is so enchanting for me.) He is an unrepentant male chauvinist pig, and totally genuine. Heaven is season tickets to the equivalent of the fifty yard line for the football, baseball, basketball teams and to whatever is the equivalent of the Nascar grand slam tour. He likes guy things - anything involving a moving ball, loud noises, hunting or steak and potatos. He is remarkably vain for somebody who hates people. He knows every sports score and its provenance since prehistory. He is crazy about dogs and kids, and has a goofy ease with them which make them love him instantly in return. He never, ever, ever wanted to have children nor can he imagine himself ever wanting to have children - he is terrified of something dark within him. I have witnessed his flashes of anger. I can understand why he took himself out of the genetic lottery. After we have been together for a couple - three days, he will go into escape/withdrawal mode, and I will not hear from him for months. Occasionally I'll call him and kid him about "Veronica" (the imaginary other woman/women - to which he'll reply that he misses me terribly and she ain't gettin' any either). He is staunchly and rabidly monogamous, but does love women - notices how they dress, which colors look great with which color eyes and which build, understands and appreciates the difference between "fashion" and elegance. I have mixed feelings about how to handle moving back to his area after my business here is over. Clearly, living with somebody who could easily go out for a pack of cigarettes or to walk the dog and never come back at any time is no way to live. We are a massively unlikely as-it-were couple. I am massively overeducated and he is a college dropout and the original jock. I am fourteen years older than he is. Although I am dead, dumb and numb with depression (medicated, but this kind of thing has lasting and debilitating consequence), I am lastingly and forever fond of him. Why? His compassion. His rock solid sweetness. His absolute and genuine "guyness". His terrifying intelligence which, although we are so different, makes me laugh all the time because his humor is so sly. His fundamentally sensual nature - although he is, most of the time, phobic about intimacy. His loyalty. Strange way to describe somebody who you know could disappear in terror any night while going out to buy a pack of cigarettes (or whatever - he doesn't smoke, I do, but I can't imagine asking him to go out to get me a pack of cigarettes). But there you are. We are all complex creatures. He is basically a sweet Catholic boy, and his sweetness is so very, very attractive. He was sexually abused by some male known to his family from the time he was ten until he was physically big enough to stop it. He still won't talk about it, to me or to anybody. It is impossible that his father and mother did not know, how can you not tell when a child changes so incredibly over such a short period of time, but the fiercely held fiction is that they did not. If they did not "know", they should have known, and they failed to protect him. In any case, the consequence is that he hates himself. He is terrified of intimacy. He hates people. He has attempted in every way to kill the residual damage - cocaine, alcohol - and is now, since I've known him, resigned to a life which is an acute torment. He still drinks beer. You can't be a guy jock Nascar football baseball basketball junkie and not. I say go for it. Have never seen him drunk, and when we're together he drinks like me. Like, not very much at all. I can't fix him. I do know, from experience, that the only way to get rid of life shattering exogenous damage is to talk about it. Over, and over, and over, and over again, until the damage becomes just another fact to observe. With other people who have been through the same kind of thing and can understand. (E.g., not with me. I am neither his shrink nor his mommy). I have encouraged him to join a group or to seek therapy, but he claims that if he starts examining this part of his life, it will wreck every relationship he has with every woman in his life. This I do not understand, but as I said I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. In the meantime, I can see and comprehend his sweetness, his compassion, his intelligence, his humor, and I love him for these qualities. However, I can see even now that the rest of it would not make good daily fare. Jem, go for it. Go for the meds. If only from the standpoint of science. Test out the hypothesis. None of us can really ever imagine ourselves as being any different than we are now, but it has happened billions of times to people before- and after- having children. Meds are a similar phenomenon. Bless you and your fundamentally sweet nature.
  12. You asked if anybody else had made terrible relationship decisions due to being MI? I'll volunteer. I divorced my first husband because he was ALWAYS angry at me. Seven years of it put me into a major depressive spiral, suicidal ideation included. I filed. A year after the memorandum of decision was rendered, I was still in a major depression, only partly treated with medication. I married the most wonderful man in the world. (ding-a-ling-a-ling!) According to him. He was/is a con man, a control freak, and looking for a safe harbor while he got his financial footing back under himself. Natch, the financial problems were undisclosed. His bankruptcy filing (subsequent to our marriage) revealed that he had taken money from two girlfriends, the minor son of one of the girlfriends, his sister, his brother, accountant, attorney, and several other personal friends. All of the 'loans' were written off - these folks became unsecured creditors. Not to mention twenty two credit cards charged to the max, and the institutions holding mortgages to his investment properties, the most expensive of which he claimed as a personal residence. I am convinced that had I not been MI, I would not have found his line so compelling - would have seen it for what it was. So yes - big time - I am convinced that being MI destroyed my judgment in this rather large decision. During our marriage, guess how much he contributed financially to the household. Guess what? When I refused to get off his back about that little fact (it is very stressful supporting the entire family, esp. when you would NEVER have set yourself up for that level of stress willingly) he became enraged and violent! THIS divorce has gone on forever, and I can't wait till it's over. I'm getting the hell out of this region. Never want to see him or speak to him again. Unfortunately, he kidnapped our twelve year old. He'll likely get custody - after all, said twelve year old has been living with the most wonderful superdad in the world for the past two years, and in the provinces here, status quo rules. Too bad. I love the child, but I have done what I can. Sooner or later he'll wake up and smell the coffee and, no matter how much a prisoner his father attempts to make him, he will run away. Repeatedly. At some point the courts become reluctant to intervene when kids walk with their feet. Jesus. I don't think I will ever recover.
  13. Vanessa, how are you doing? How is Cymbalta working for you? It has been a lifesaver for me. First three-four weeks I took it I was totally sedated. Slept 18 hours a day, sat like a lump in my chair pretending to watch Animal Planet the other 6. It was a welcome relief from the raging blackness I had been under before. Actually made four phone calls a week about finding a job, after dreading each call for at least a day. Went to shrink once a week. The shrink visit was the major structural focus in my life. After four weeks of sleeping 18 hrs / day, I asked shrink to tweak that neurotonin some more - Serzone had worked in the past, Cymbalta was working now, but it was too sedating to have a life with. He prescribed Wellbutrin, and within a week I was activated enough to sleep only twelve hours a day. Close enough for government work - I call it a success. On twelve hours awake, you can have a small life. Cymbalta and Wellbutrin helped me to get a little bit of a life again. I was able to find a little job, and have held onto it for seven months. I don't feel uncomfortable around those I work with - not the heavy weight of "Omigosh, they can look at me and tell that I'm crazy". The crazier I have become, the more respect I have for others' capability. These are normal, regular people, the kinds I used to run circles around. The kinds I used to manage, who came to me with technical questions when they couldn't solve it themselves. The kinds who used to laugh at my jokes and brown-nose me lazily and good-naturedly. Now, I'm awestruck with how easily this stuff comes to them, and am unable to march in step with them! Jemini, if you're reading this, take hope! Depression kills brain cells! Now I'm just a regular Joe, although somewhat quieter than the others. This makes the others think I am also a prude, a Pollyanna, a tee-totaller and a complete goody two-shoes. Some stereotyping, eh? derived from simple self-containment!! I swear, I used to be really, really, really smart. I believe depression kills brains cells in the billions. How else to explain? In any case, Cymbalta worked for me, I have great faith in it. I am glad it started working for you, and would love to hear how you are doing.
  14. Space, Your writing uses the same phrases and echoes the same feelings we have all had when we're in the pit. Any one of us could have written that. Please allow us to give you the dignity of acknowledging your pain from the standpoint of actually knowing what you are going through. It always meant more to me to have acknowledgement from people who understood, rather than lollipop talk and weasel words from civilians. What meds are you taking? This trip, after four months of failed combinations, it was Cymbalta and Wellbutrin that did it for me. Along with Concerta to keep me awake at work on those days that I have to sit at a desk. Works like a charm. I used to fall asleep in meetings - honest to God. Now, same meetings, no sleepies. Prai - ze Jay-zus for Concerta! Oh. I'm officially in remission. But - I still don't take out my garbage, do my laundry or clean up my clutter. Too busy sitting and enjoying watching the dog sleep and enjoying not feeling the blackness choke the life out of me. Activities, a social life, a clean apartment, and too many clean clothes to choose from are causes of stress and to be avoided.
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