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Never Going To Be Myself Again...


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This is one of the worst parts of depression/anxiety for me.

That feeling...like you've lost your self and personality almost completely.  Hell, I'm not even sure it's only depression any more, it could be something else.  A year of going through this has profoundly changed me, so I expect to feel somewhat different.  But will I regain control of myself and personality, will I ever be able to have just an instant where I can belly laugh without being caught in ruminations?   I've gone through this before and emerged, but it feels a bit worse with every relapse.  More and more I just feel like I'm going crazy or something.   

Just thinking out loud, I like this forums for it.

I know some of you have had this experience as well?

Edited by BrianOCD
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Yeah...I have. Basically from age 15 to 18 nothing was working, doctors weren't helping, and my parents were constantly on high alert to avert a catastrophe. It seemed like the problems kept morphing and returning. Hospital for mania. Partial for depression, hospital for mania, ECT for (mixed) depression. Went thru three docs...one put me on dangerous amounts of drugs, one was pretty conservative and helped for a little but then didn't have the psychopharmacology skill when things spiraled, and one who told me I relied to much on medicine at the same time he was keeping me on lithium, a benzo, an antidepressant, a typical AP, two atypical APs and a beta blocker. I was so fucking finished...ready to leave college three quarters of the way thru my first semester or to do something even worse. This created panic spells on top of my signature mixed depressive episodes, especially hellish because I could never calm down even when I wanted to give in and cry. I thought my life would never go anywhere. And then I found the right doc, and then the right tdoc who led me to the right dean to help with school which lowered my anxiety which slowed my mood swings which eventually slowly morphed to semi-stability. And now that I have all that in place, I've been crisis free for like 2 years. All I'm saying in that ramble is sometimes you just gotta hold on for that one break, because I went from thinking my life was a waste to now planning for Grad school. I think lots of us can identify with the bottomless pit...but with the ebbs and flows of mental illness, many can also identify with how they conquered it and that there is good with the bad

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33 minutes ago, Iceberg said:

Yeah...I have. Basically from age 15 to 18 nothing was working, doctors weren't helping, and my parents were constantly on high alert to avert a catastrophe. It seemed like the problems kept morphing and returning. Hospital for mania. Partial for depression, hospital for mania, ECT for (mixed) depression. Went thru three docs...one put me on dangerous amounts of drugs, one was pretty conservative and helped for a little but then didn't have the psychopharmacology skill when things spiraled, and one who told me I relied to much on medicine at the same time he was keeping me on lithium, a benzo, an antidepressant, a typical AP, two atypical APs and a beta blocker. I was so fucking finished...ready to leave college three quarters of the way thru my first semester or to do something even worse. This created panic spells on top of my signature mixed depressive episodes, especially hellish because I could never calm down even when I wanted to give in and cry. I thought my life would never go anywhere. And then I found the right doc, and then the right tdoc who led me to the right dean to help with school which lowered my anxiety which slowed my mood swings which eventually slowly morphed to semi-stability. And now that I have all that in place, I've been crisis free for like 2 years. All I'm saying in that ramble is sometimes you just gotta hold on for that one break, because I went from thinking my life was a waste to now planning for Grad school. I think lots of us can identify with the bottomless pit...but with the ebbs and flows of mental illness, many can also identify with how they conquered it and that there is good with the bad

That's good you have a positive outcome.

I'm wondering if I will.  It's funny that when you're in the pit you're almost positive you're all alone in it, nobody has ever felt this terrible, and that you will never ever come out of it.

My normal self is so much more carefree and optimistic, but seems so far far away.  I'd like to reconstruct this but how do I do this when my mind is working against it.  

I find myself not knowing what to do with myself a lot too, which is very disturbing.  Very Restless and unsure what to do next.  Like what I enjoyed before this is different somehow, just not engaging me.

 I've tried to get more activities, schedule, but it's very difficult.

Edited by BrianOCD
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I have a similar experience. I also describe it as feeling like I've lost the person I used to be. I'm still in the middle of this, so I don't know how it works out in the end. A year ago I had a few days of positive effects early on a med and I felt far more like myself than I had expected was possible, so the potential is there. I hope it works out for both of us.

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I lost about three years of my life to depression and incorrect medications in the early 2000’s. There is no coherent narrative for those years. I was a shell, a ghost of myself, a needle hovering above a record, unable to drop.

But I got better. I don’t think I’m the person I would have been if that had never happened, but I recognize myself; but life changes who you are without mental illness. You grow and you evolve. There is no such thing as “same.”

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On 10/19/2018 at 7:30 PM, Gearhead said:

I lost about three years of my life to depression and incorrect medications in the early 2000’s. There is no coherent narrative for those years. I was a shell, a ghost of myself, a needle hovering above a record, unable to drop.

But I got better. I don’t think I’m the person I would have been if that had never happened, but I recognize myself; but life changes who you are without mental illness. You grow and you evolve. There is no such thing as “same.”

@Gearhead you articulate this so very well. I've had times also where I had "no coherent narrative" for at least a year. It really is the most alienating, frightening feeling...watching yourself completely lose your mind, yourself, in slow motion. Indeed, a shell, ghost of myself. Inhuman. Unable to connect to anything familiar, complete loss of identity. Free falling into a black hole. You become your illness and symptoms. I think I've blocked out much of those times, although I do have some written journal entries that are very difficult for me to read.

Sounds cliché, but I've managed to always pull out of my worst periods. I become more self-aware and resilient each time, because of it. I thought I was completely destroyed. But pulled through (somehow), I get up, and I rebuild myself again and again... I meticulously try to keep my supports in place, monitor my symptoms, triggers, etc. Are you able to remember or document your "better times" where you were doing well?  Yes it's arduous. It takes a long time. Unfortunately, you can't put a timeframe on it, you'll reach the surface when you reach the surface. It's a long wait, and desperate feeling to remember past emotions like joy, connection, purpose.....but just go easy on yourself and wait it out. Hang on to that sliver of hope.

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