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Tiptoeing past the abyss...


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Gah.

Not in good shape here. No meds for awhile, feel the clouds descending. It's that empty empty feeling, that feeling that there's nothing under my feet, and if I don't occupy myself with something, anything, I'm going to fall in. I'm slipping already.

Horrible Christmas, realized not even Dad wants to spend time with me. Travelled all that way to sit by myself. It's okay, I can tell myself I have other friends, that my own family not caring isn't a reflection on me, but I can't quite believe it right now.

I can't organize anything, I can't get anything done. I go thru the motions,and thankfully no one says anything when I show up at work at 1pm in the afternoon. But every day the piles on my desk get higher, more and more opportunities pass by, nothing gets done. 

I hate knowing I have potential but not being able to do anything about it. I don't like wasting my life away.

I have a nice therapist who doesn't do the meds thingy, and he's given me the number of one who does. But he's never in, and I'm so sick of the fucking merry-go-round of docs here who ask no questions, explain nothing, and throw meds.

I'm scared to try meds again. I'm sad that things are slipping through my fingers. I'm sad to watch it all happen. And I'm scared out of my mind of being ignored.

Will someone please say something? I'm at the end of my rope here.

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Hi Lily,

(why do I sudddenly think of a broadway musical? Hi Lilly, Hi Lily, Hi lo !) ;)

Sorry things seem to be unwinding a bit.  You recognize that what you have been doing isnt' working.  Trying to find docs in a foreign land must be difficult.

The med mix wasn't working, but being off them is worse.  You need to go hunt down that potential doc and get your foot in the door. If you don't have a therapist then please start with that as well.  Having someone to talk can help lift a lot off your shoulders. And the science says having both meds and talk therapy works better than either alone.

Best,

A.M.

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Sure, I can talk and talk and talk you to boredom death!

We tend to be negative about ourselves. The belief that people do not want to be around us not only is usually a false delusion, but a self-fulfilling prophesy- we MAKE it true by our beliefs and behaviors.

No meds? Meds give us a catch, or at least something under the tightrope to fall on. They prevent and heal falls. It sounds to me like you need to be super-aggressive and make getting on meds a top priority. When they start working in your body you'll be yourself again, but without those terrible symptoms. You'll have light and it will really shine in your life.

My old DX was double depression, before the freaks noticed the hallucinations and weird manic behaviors (only took 2 hospitalizations and both parents being BP).

I wonder if your depression cycles between dark depression, sucky but not AS BAD depression, "normal", and then further falls...

You need a pdoc who will see you, take your feelings and symptoms seriously, and help save you from this beast. If possible, enlist the aid of your current therapist or someone else you trust to help you get the help you need. My parents were the ones who got me help (well, being 7 and BP I wasn't going to get help for myself).

Is a leave from work possible? I got fired for my leave, so if you go this route be prepared for this possibility. People don't like nut cases.

lots of prayers sent your way--- loon

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Hi Lily:

  You are such a dear, and you are not alone. So many people are hitting the skids as my good friend calls it.

  Talk to your t-doc again. STRESS that it is important that you get some meds - for now. The t-doc can maybe get those guys to return your calls. It's going to be ok. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other.

  And you have that wonderul kitty to help you. Mine sits on my chest every night for about 20 minutes. I know he is there to comfort me. Animals are the best when we feel this way.

  Hang in there Lily, this is all temporary.

Breeze

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Hello Lily,

Terribly sorry to hear that you are so down; I can relate in that I don't think that I can make it another day at my job.  I lived outside of Tokyo (Sagamihara) for a couple of years and without making a sweeping statement, I can tell you that the therapy I encountered there was useless.  Not informing the patient of their own illness is part of the Japanese culture.  A friend of mine in Sagamihara told me that her aunt had cancer, but that I was not to talk to her about it because the doctors had not told her.  Even after chemotherapy!

Is it possible to enlist a native friend who can help you through the medical maze?

It is quite easy to have a total breakdown when you are alone in a different culture, at least it was for me.

Ganbatte ne!

Kevin

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No breakdown!  Lily, honey, you need to have some meds, just to lift the black cloud a little bit.  I don't necessarily think that they're the only route to take, but they help clear away the fog so that you can THINK.

How awful that a therapist doesn't believe in meds.  For someone with (I'm assuming) a chronic depressive disorder?  He may not believe in them, but I'm with Breeze:  call his office and ask if he can help you see someone who can prescribe.

Lily, the older meds were awful (some of them), but the newer ones can be really good for depression.  I'm not saying that what I take works for everyone, but there HAS to be a med that will get your brain cooties to line up and march in the right direction.  Cymbalta happened to be the one for me, but maybe for you it would be something else.

Here's something to take to the pdoc (if he's Japanese, and I'm assuming he is).  Each ethnic group reacts to things differently.  So what works on his Japanese patients will not necessarily work on you.  He has to think outside the box a little.  Maybe he could talk to an American colleague and get some input.  I was thinking about this this morning because I was reading about Glaucoma.  (African-Americans and Japanese people have the highest rates of Glaucoma, and nobody knows why.) 

Anyway, I'm all for therapy, but I wonder how effective your guy is if he's letting you walk around feeling like this.  Are you honest with him about how you feel?  If you are, and he's letting you be this depressed, than he's a dick-head.  My GP was INSTANTLY concerned when I told him about my depression.  And he wouldn't let me out of his office until I convinced him that I wasn't suicidal and would try some meds.

Of course, the cultural thing about not naming your illness is a real door-opener.....sigh

Honey baby, write again and tell us what you're going to do for yourself.  Get a colleague or friend to help if the phoning is too much to handle.

Or else I'll have to fly to Japan after I straighten out Rein's pdoc in Norway.....

auntie olga

the yenta for everyone

"You cry, we fly"

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Hi Lily,

I've never been to Japan, but is there any chance of finding an American trained doc--like one who mostly sees expats?

The cultural differences must be so hard to deal with. It's hard enough slipping into the abyss in the States and dealing with finding a pdoc. I can only try to imagine how hard it is for you in Japan.

I'm tortured by procrastinating, avoiding things that need doing, getting anxious about this, and then getting depressed about it all. It's really a cycle that is hard to break free from. Are you in any state to try setting a simple daily goal for yourself? If you accomplish the simple goal, it can be a helpful boost.

We're all out here for you so keep writing.

--Weasel

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Hi you guys,

Thank god you wrote! I was really afraid I'd be ignored here too, even though I know people here to be good and supportive.

My t? p? ack, can't remember what doc is what. the guy I go to for therapy is American, and very kind, but we work on 'other' stuff, like my dad ignoring me and me having to let go of the idea that I'll get affection from him even though he means...ack, can't go there now.

the able-to-prescribe-meds doc lived and worked in the US for awhile. He NEVER fucking answers his phone, and so I get to play phone-tag, asking when I can get in, waiting to hear back.

therapy-doc says that med-prescribing doc is nice and friendly, but he seemed like a jerk on the phone when I finally did get to talk to him (his first question: how long has it been since I've seen you? WE HAVEN'T MET YET, NIMROD). and i feel like this is my last option! i've fucking run the gauntlet of gp's here, who get paid by the sheer number of patients they see and ask no questions and do no follow up. horrible!

i had a rude therapy-and-prescribe-meds doc (American), and i don't know where else to turn. I'm not suicidal, which seems to be the default setting here--people may or may not jump if you are, but if you aren't, then it's just pick-yerself-up-and-stop-bitchin medical care.

It's 10:30am and I can't seem to put myself together to go to work. the whole idea of showering/dressing/hauling myself in to work just seems undoable. i can't stop crying.

AM, Loon, Rabbit, Breeze, 2Utopian, Olga, Weaseltine, THANK YOU for not leaving me alone. Just knowing there are people out there helps so much. My fat cat stayed near me all night last night, something he doesn't usually do.

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Hi, Lily, my friend.  Sorry to hear you're feeling down these days. 

You are a terrific person, and your Dad is a jackass, as I opined before.  Honestly, if he doesn't appreciate you, he has a screw loose.  I'm sure it must hurt like hell though.

I am wishing you peace and healing.

I will come back and read all these posts later and hopefully have more to say... Right now I can't seem to concentrate on details, but I want you to know that I care.

This pain will eventually pass, and you will come out on the other side.

Your friend,

Lib

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Gah.

Not in good shape here. No meds for awhile, feel the clouds descending. It's that empty empty feeling, that feeling that there's nothing under my feet, and if I don't occupy myself with something, anything, I'm going to fall in. I'm slipping already.

Horrible Christmas, realized not even Dad wants to spend time with me. Travelled all that way to sit by myself. It's okay, I can tell myself I have other friends, that my own family not caring isn't a reflection on me, but I can't quite believe it right now.

I can't organize anything, I can't get anything done. I go thru the motions,and thankfully no one says anything when I show up at work at 1pm in the afternoon. But every day the piles on my desk get higher, more and more opportunities pass by, nothing gets done. 

I hate knowing I have potential but not being able to do anything about it. I don't like wasting my life away.

I have a nice therapist who doesn't do the meds thingy, and he's given me the number of one who does. But he's never in, and I'm so sick of the fucking merry-go-round of docs here who ask no questions, explain nothing, and throw meds.

I'm scared to try meds again. I'm sad that things are slipping through my fingers. I'm sad to watch it all happen. And I'm scared out of my mind of being ignored.

Will someone please say something? I'm at the end of my rope here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Lily,

I hope you got my PM, but in the event you did not, I decided to put my vacation off a day or two anyway, since I'm sick and can't go nowheres.

Listen: You may be teetering around the abyss, and be afraid. But remember, there are people in there to catch you, should you fall. Our dearest Cerberus, Innkeeper of the Abyss, takes his job very seriously. I know, having been an occupant. He will see to it that you have a comfy spot and hopefully all of the books haven't been stolen out of the library.

I know I got frisked pretty good when I checked out...oh, wait...that was a dream...dammmit.

Hang in there sweetie, we love you. 4-real.

I remember when I finally stopped crying after almost 3 years straight after my beloved crossed over to the "otherside". What a relief. Thanks to Cymbalta. Been having a rough patch lately myself, but at least the tears aren't flowing on a daily basis, so hang in there.

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I have a nice therapist who doesn't do the meds thingy, and he's given me the number of one who does. But he's never in, and I'm so sick of the fucking merry-go-round of docs here who ask no questions, explain nothing, and throw meds.

I'm scared to try meds again. I'm sad that things are slipping through my fingers. I'm sad to watch it all happen. And I'm scared out of my mind of being ignored.

Will someone please say something? I'm at the end of my rope here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Can your t-doc (non-med prescribing) call the p-doc and discuss your case with him?  At least then the pdoc would have an idea of where to start when prescribing meds.  Meds will help you to be able to see past the depression and let the therapy work to bring you back to where you want to be in life.

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hi, could you contact your consulate in japan? ask them if they are aware of any english speaking doctors who could help you?

meds can suck, i wholly agree, but seroquel is saving my life. so some meds can help you. i don't know your med history either.

i am currently having a good couple of days and am waiting for the other foot to fall.

you aren't alone. you DO know that don't you?

i have been to japan and ate as much sushi as i could afford. my god, the prices! no beer, thanks. i'll just have a cup of tapwater. yike!

grouse.

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Lily -

There's always another psychiatrist to try; you might just have to travel a little farther, or in a different direction, than the current one.  I think Grouse's suggestion about contacting the consulate is excellent.

And for heaven's sake, don't tumble into the Abyss.  Edward makes all the new arrivals play canasta with him for hours...

LasiognathusSaccostoma.jpg

Edward

Cerberus

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Cerberus~ I'm so glad your picture is back!  The three-headed dog was kinda scary, and not nearly so handsome as your endearing self...

Lily~ Run, do not walk, from the edge of the abyss.  I learned the hard way that Edward can be quite the sore loser, particularly with canasta.

Family issues can be so hard to deal with.  The most important thing you must know through all of this is that you cannot change anyone else's behavior.  I forget this a lot.  But, when I'm in "the zone" and I remember that I can't fix my sister's problems or get my mom to stop being so stubborn, it helps me a lot.

You've gotten some great suggestions about the pdoc issue.  (The med-prescribing doctor is the pdoc, the therapist is the tdoc.)  Definitely use the consolate/embassy resources.  Not that I've ever lived in a foreign country, but the United States Embassy (as well as the Canadian and British ones) can be a poweful ally.  Diplomats and their families need pdocs, too, so I'm sure there are resources out there.  For you, obviously, English-speaking isn't so much the issue.  (For those who don't know, Lily works as a Japanese-English translator.)  You need a doctor who understands American culture.  Maybe you can find a pdoc who will be willing to communicate with your tdoc.  That way, your tdoc can help you understand what's going on with your meds and diagnosis even if the pdoc is being unclear.  Definitely contact the pdoc your tdoc recommended.  Maybe he's just used to a certain way of acting on the phone, and is much more personable at an actual appointment.

In the meantime, use this place to vent.  Tell us what's going on and how you're feeling.  We're here for you whenever you need us.  PM me anytime.  I'm always listening.

Love,

CS

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I'm going to enthusiastically agree to the idea of contacting the US Embassy?Consulate for some help. When I lived in Southeast Asia the Embassy had a small department for citizen's services where they had suggestions for a variety of doctors (and things you should go back to the US for right away like pregnancy), and useful information like that. They also had a library with copies of that day's major newspapers (NY Times and such), and an assortment of new, used to be new, and older books. It was a joy to visit periodically.

I do hope you get some help -- I'm grateful I never needed mental health care overseas. Well, I probably should have, but I didn't recognize I needed it.

Meanwhile, hold on! Don't do anything harmful to yourself, or you'll find yourself in a hospital there and that doesn't sound like fun.

Fiona

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Hi Lily, This sucks. I have been where you are (figuratively, not literally) and there's nothing worse than knowing you need help and not being able to get it. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. I think the best advice is to ask the tdoc to call the pdoc (assuming the tdoc knows how bad you really feel). You need to get some help. You DESERVE to get some help. Hang tight. Millie

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Lily, how are things going?  Are you doing any better?  Have you contacted a pdoc yet?  Please keep us posted.  We're worried about you.

Love,

CS

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Couldn't have said it better myself!

What did your friend cook for supper?

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