View Full Version : What's the way out?


Zahra
02-06-07, 12:37 PM
What a waste of a life I am... So much damned potential. I can't even find myself a job. I can't take a crappy job, because I'll hate myself for it (I hate myself just thinking about it) - that's all that I can do?? I don't have the courage to apply for a job that I actually want.

I had an awesome job opportunity, through family/friends, and I didn't even screw it up! I did well enough on the interviews (all 3 of them - 3 rounds of interviews, 7 people, 48 hours in a take-home prove-youre-good-enough project) that they didn't even say they are waiting to make a decision - supposedly, I'm waiting for the next step in the process.

It has been 2 weeks since the last interview - no word from them yet - and 2.5 months since the first interview. They haven't even asked for my references, which I know they'll need for a background check. Come on! This is so unfair. This is totally my dream job, and they led me on enough to make me believe it, to get me excited, to get me to want it. And now I don't even get the shock of the rejection. They've just forgotten about me. My follow-up letter last week (I'm still interested!) went unanswered.

Now I feel like a fool having waited for 2+ months and verged so many of my hopes on their promises.

The worst part is, now I have to look for another job. Except I can't, because it's hard, and I can't. I don't have the experience in the industry that I want to work in, and that's the one I've got my heart fixed on now (ever since I thought I'd get that job, I've been studying and I know that's what I really want to do) - there's no way I'll get another opening. And I can't open myself up to more humiliation and rejection.

So all I really want to do is curl up and sleep forever. Except I can't sleep. I should take a shower. I should go to my dentist appointment. I don't even want to read or watch TV.

I am seeing a therapist, but she's not so great. There's a therapist that I worked with before, she's awesome & I know could help me, but she's a lot more expensive - another thing that I won't get because I wont' get the job.

Zahra
02-06-07, 10:52 PM
I got a kick of positive energy today, I thought - let me get a job! Then I just remembered. They need 3 references. There's no way I'm going to let my past bosses be harrassed by staffing agencies for the sake of a temporary secretarial job. Too embarrassing! To list the manager of a huge department where I had my (very promising) college internship, some five years ago? No way. No way. See, there's no easy solution.

sloppitty-sue
02-07-07, 12:13 PM
Hi Zahra,

I don't want you to be ignored (and/or FEEL that way). I very much can empathize with what you are going thru right now. I am feeling very hopeless right now, too. And I just haven't got the energy to post that much right this minute. But I DID want to just give you a "Shout Out" girl - because I WILL have more to say to you when I get myself in a better spot (later today hopefully).

Hang in there! You obviously got A LOT going for you - so there's a lot to work with. Ya know? :-)

More later,
Sue

Zahra
02-07-07, 01:09 PM
Thank you, Sue.

Today is a MUCH better day. It's weird how much my moods oscillate. It really makes me consider exercise as a mood stabilizer.

I don't mind being ignored here - just vent feels good.

oddjobace
02-19-07, 06:59 PM
It has been 2 weeks since the last interview - no word from them yet - and 2.5 months since the first interview. They haven't even asked for my references, which I know they'll need for a background check. Come on! This is so unfair. This is totally my dream job, and they led me on enough to make me believe it, to get me excited, to get me to want it. And now I don't even get the shock of the rejection. They've just forgotten about me. My follow-up letter last week (I'm still interested!) went unanswered.

Now I feel like a fool having waited for 2+ months and verged so many of my hopes on their promises.


If you think your chances of getting this job are most likely over, than you have nothing to lose.

Get yourself all dress up, make some copies of your references and politely and professionally, confront them. You have nothing to lose.

Go in there and tell them you are going to give them one more chance to consider you as a condidate for this job, resale yourself again. (smile and keep a straight face)

I would say, if they choose not to offer you the job this may be end of any chance for a great partnership. Make them a deal they can't refuse.

Say to them "Businesses have to make tough decisions all the time, if you miss out on hiring me, you may be making a big mistake." And mean it.

Persistance will pay off or they will tell you to go away. ( if it fails, you'll be in the same position you are now, but you'll have learned a lot more.

You can if you believe you can.

FrazzleDazzle
02-19-07, 10:09 PM
Or, like my job, if it is with a large company, there are hoops THEY have to go through. Re-approval of the position, wage negotiants, background checks, preparing workstation and equipment, etc. The job I have now was not finalized until 3 months from my first interview. Large corps can move like turtles. You did the right thing by touching base once, to let them know you would be a great person for the position. Maybe give that perfect job a bit more time? I was just a nervous wreck that three months until they got all of their "ducks in a row." Be encouraged! :-)

Zahra
02-20-07, 02:44 AM
Thank you for your support.


I followed up once more, and this time, I was assured that I'll get the job - as soon as they iron out the bureacractic hurdles. Just like 1kid2dogs said. I feel a lot better now. Just staying optimistic.

FrazzleDazzle
02-20-07, 06:53 PM
I'm glad, Zahra, that they gave you some reassurance. They can't say too much until it's a done deal, either. I'm sure you will hear something soon. Till then, you might try tickling through the want ads, just to reassure/remind yourself that you are very marketable for lots of things, and then they will call very soon. You know how that goes?!

oddjobace
02-20-07, 08:52 PM
Or, like my job, if it is with a large company, there are hoops THEY have to go through. Re-approval of the position, wage negotiants, background checks, preparing workstation and equipment, etc. The job I have now was not finalized until 3 months from my first interview. Large corps can move like turtles. You did the right thing by touching base once, to let them know you would be a great person for the position. Maybe give that perfect job a bit more time? I was just a nervous wreck that three months until they got all of their "ducks in a row." Be encouraged! :-)
This is a good point too. I guess I read it as they were sort've giving you the cold shoulder about it.

I agree, big companies move very slow. I've actually had the situation where they were so in need of me to be hired and so busy, they couldn't even make time to hire me. It is a good sign, many times when they are this busy. Lots of opportunity.

I made four contacts over a period of a period of 8 months before they hired me.

P.S. The name ODDJOBACE is actually pronounced ODD....JOBACE. Not ODDJOB....ACE.

piglet
03-11-07, 05:30 PM
Zahra, hang in there. Maybe it's due to my "less than responsible" way with money, but I think the Adderall and counseling is a tremendous investment in yourself, and it's a good use of a credit card at this key time of your life. When else are you gonna need that boost more than now? And it will help you have yourself in a good, constructive and powerful place to start your new and improved job/career.
I am the sort who will do things today and pay for them tomorrow, if they're good investments in life; years from now, my kids will remember the cool little overnight trips to nearby attractions, and staying in a motel and hanging out in the jacuzzi until they close it, and cuddling on the bed and watching cartoons until we drop off, but no one's ever gonna say "Remember that month in '06 that we paid alll the bills in full?"
It might be a time of your life to focus on your wellbeing, and perhaps a little debt in order to gain ground in your psyche is a real reasonable tradeoff. Just a thought.

FrazzleDazzle
03-11-07, 05:50 PM
Zahra, have you heard anything yet?

(((HUGS)))

Imnapl
03-11-07, 11:38 PM
years from now, my kids will remember the cool little overnight trips to nearby attractions, and staying in a motel and hanging out in the jacuzzi until they close it, and cuddling on the bed and watching cartoons until we drop off, but no one's ever gonna say "Remember that month in '06 that we paid alll the bills in full?"That's a keeper, Piglet.

Zahra
03-18-07, 03:14 PM
Zahra, hang in there. Maybe it's due to my "less than responsible" way with money, but I think the Adderall and counseling is a tremendous investment in yourself, and it's a good use of a credit card at this key time of your life. When else are you gonna need that boost more than now? And it will help you have yourself in a good, constructive and powerful place to start your new and improved job/career.
I agree. I do! Whenever I think rationally. It's only hard in the first hour in the morning before I take the meds and late at night, when they wear off. I've stopped seeing my therapist, because I wasn't finding it helpful. Meds are my lifesaver though. I'll take it one step further and get medication for depression, in addition to for ADD, I think I need it.

Overall though, I'm staying positive.

1kid2dogs - That job is still keeping me hanging, if you can believe it! The guy whose spot I interviewed for hasn't left yet, and no one know when he will. However, I've got another interview coming up (although not in my preferred field), and I'm totally inspired to gear up a new job search.

Zahra
04-04-07, 01:16 PM
First I was going to post a new thread, but look - I already have one for all-purpose complaining.

Last night, I was going to sleep and actually visualizing putting a knift to my throat. Pushing until I broke an artery. I know how wrong this is! I haven't had suicidal thoughts for 2 months now. I was resolved to be happy; I'd chosen to live. Yet I couldn't rid my head of that image.

I've registered for a professional exam; I'm supposed to be devoting all my time to studying now. I thought procrastination was my worst problem, but then it occurred to me - what if I just can't do it? What if I'm stupid? I'm 25, that's well past the optimal age for learning. I was trying to understand a section yesterday, closed my eyes and attempted to memorize, and it wasn't sticking. Not like before.

I used to be good at studying. Then I got stupider and stupider. And now I can't do it. All my plans - study, take exams, switch professions, learn a ton - none of that is possible if my brain is dumb. *****.

When I was facing being kicked out of college, I did say that I would kill myself before living with the shame of being a college drop-out. It wasn't an active desire to die, I just couldn't face the prospect of not being able to finish college. It represented overwhelming failure. That had to do more with procrastination and personal issues. Now, to be faced with the idea of a fundamental limitation of my mind - it's so frightening.

I look at a sentence, and I just don't get it. It doesn't click. It doesn't stick. This is not the way it was supposed to work. If I don't pass these exams, I don't know what I'll do with myself. It'll mean there's no hope for me. No hope of gainful, satisfying employment. I'd have to stop my lofty aspirations, and settle. Not my previous career direction (I HATE it so much now), but something that doesn't require learning anything new. Office assistants can make a living too.

I don't know how I'll be able to make peace with accepting this. That's the ONE thing I ever had - faith in my own intellectual abilities. I can learn and understand anything. *cries* I'm stupid now. How did this happen????

Imnapl
04-04-07, 10:55 PM
Zahra, don't give up hope. I dropped out of university in my early twenties and was a much better student at forty - before diagnosis and meds. I know lots of people who went back to school in their thirties and others who have been forced to learn a new profession. Lots of seniors go back to school for the fun of it.

VisualImagery
04-04-07, 11:26 PM
Life-long learning-I got a masters at 48, there is no optimal age to learn! I honestly believe your depression is the problem, not your mental abilities! Depression affects cognitive performance-I can't do well when very depressed-but, I am very intelligent. That masters? 4.0 and I used to think I was dumb. You are smart and intellectual. You are battling a disease that is affecting your abilties, that can be treated and will get better.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, get help now! Go to the ER immediately, you life is the most important thing.

I have depression-a recurrence just recently, it makes everything hard. That could be what you think is procrastination. Those negative thoughts are depression. I know, I am fighting them like a herd of ninjas of doubt in my ability to get another job.

You are smart, you are valuable, you can do this. You are sick, when you are sick, things don't go well-no matter how hard you try and want them too. Spend your time getting better. Take care of you.

You put a lot of pressure on yourself and have high expectations, I do too, that is not always good, you can expect too much and the pressure can be self induced stress. I am working on these things right now.

Perhaps your meds need adjustment. At 2 months you could be feel just enough better that suicidal thoughts are coming back-antidepressants come with warnings to watch for suicidal thoughts-This is not you, you need medical help and support-and that is not weakness.

Hugs and hugs and more hugs. I know how hard this is, I have walked before and am walking again down this path. I have this theory that keeps me going on bad days-don't let the bast*rds win. The bast*ards are what ever takes you down, events, people, thoughts, whatever is you biggest enemy emotionally.

Please, please, please don't give up! Things can and do get better-even if you can see no light now, there is light, there is hope, that is why I am responding. People here have given me hope and helped me through some very dark times-the times will pass and you will get strong and well again.

Now I need to listen to my own words and remember them.

ME, here if you need me.

Zahra
04-05-07, 02:14 AM
Also, I'm fat. It started with the mirror. I wanted a mirror in my room, so badly that I reorganized, moved all the furniture, and kept the place sparkling for a week. However, I was not prepared for how awful I looked in a full-length mirror. Just... ugh. I don't understand it. I used to really like my body. Mirrors help my self-esteem, inspire me to daily upkeep and exercise. What happened to me?

I still looked good with clothes on (especially if you add high heels to the equations), but underneath... my stomach was soft and rounded and I had, horror of horrors, lovehandles. Rounded fleshy parts on the back of my hips. The entire effect less than inspiring. Yet I was. I exercised for a few days, weighed and measured myself. It makes no sense! According to the numbers, I'm smaller than I've ever been. At 5'6, I weigh 125. This morning I measured 25.5 waist and 37 hips. So how can I look so ugly as a result? My rational mind tells me it isn't possible.

Yesterday I broke with the studying and spent 12 consecutive hours playing a computer game. Today, despondent, I ate so much, I got nauseous. Food does bring comfort. I do hate being fat, but if I'm still fat when I'm skinny - what can I do about that? The lovehandles - the curse of middle age. I'm old now. My body will only get uglier. I'm going to get bulgy and saggy, and I'll get wrinkles. I keep saying how I'm going to turn my life around soon, but in reality, I'm past my prime. Dulling brain, ageing body, wrinkling face, graying hair. Soon I won't be able to have children. If I do pull my life together and suppose, unbelievable as it is, I'll develop a relationship being one-night stands and actually want to have children, chances are, it will be too late.

I had to get that out.

VisualImagery, I read what you said and I appreciate it. I'll read it again tomorrow morning. It will be another day. I promise to take my vitamins tomorrow and drink coffee, not sleep too late and not eat too much. Tomorrow. Tonight, I still have about 20 minutes that I'm allowed to wallow.

I wonder, maybe I should get laid. Perhaps it will help my mood and self-esteem. It's been a really long time. On the other hand, I've probably gotten terrible at that too, so it's better not to. Keep at least some delusions.

I hate evenings. There's some monster that wakes up around midnight and starts whispering foul things in my head. One night, I was saying such mean things, calling myself dirty, shameful names (and not in a good way), I made myself cry. That was a shocker. I felt sorry for myself for insulting myself! How ludicrious. I swear, it's not me, it's the monster. If I could just go to bed early it would help so much. Yet at eleven, I'm reluctant, and then it's too late; the beast wakes up and takes over, and I'm left helplessly hating myself.

VisualImagery
04-05-07, 12:12 PM
Z-

You are at the lower end of the weight scale for your height! I am 5'7 and should weigh about 140 at my age. I lost too much weight from being sick and the depression and am trying to gain some. I think you might just need to walk and get some exercise to tone those muscles. You have a lovely figure from the data-guys like a little meat on the bones-super skinny is going out of style-plus you have bigger boobs with a little more weight! That is worth it!!!! :D Could you have an eating disorder? 125lbs at 5'6" is not fat in any manner.

Please make a doctor appointment, this is my non-medical opinion, it sounds like you really need some help-right now. Are you hearing voices at night? Sounds to me like you are severely depressed and need more or different medication-you are seeing a doctor, specifically a psychiatrist, and on medication, right? If not, do it immediately. You don't have to suffer.

The things you share here need to be shared with a psychiatrist and counselor. that is the way to get your life turned around.

Take care and please get help! Life is precious.

Zahra
04-05-07, 02:52 PM
Alright then, I have a few questions. (Although I think I know what you're going to say...) I don't take anti-depressants right now, I was considering it, but then things got better. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist at a state hospital at the end of the month, which is when I find out whether I'm eligible for Medicaid. I thought I'd be alright by then, but it's hitting me hard now, for some reason.

"Depression affects cognitive performance." I need it now! I can't to wait. This is my chance to turn my life around for the better. I know a psychiatric nurse practioner I could see on a fairly short notice (a week). If I need to. I'll just ask my parents for money. If it's necessary. I'm very very reluctant to see the nurse. I was so together last time. I'm profoundly ashamed that I'm still stuck in this place! Months and months, each time, I sit up straight and say confidently that things have been getting better and that they will get better, and then it gets bad again.

And if you're right and if it's depression that's to blame for my "denseness," then I have to do something about it, I can't just ignore it. I feel so helpless. How could I come to this?! I had such a good life and a bright exciting future to look forward to. I don't want anyone to see me like this. I don't want to be like this. I want it to be over.

I wish it were warmer. We had a couple of lovely sunny days and they did so much for me.

...

You just witnessed a nervous breakdown. Each sentence was interrupted by a 10 minute spasm of crying. After the last, I couldn't stop. I found a bottle of vodka. Took a shot. Somehow, it helped immediately. Like the way hiccups stop suddenly. I'm breathing now.

Perhaps expressing how I feel is dangerous. Too many good reasons to be unhappy. Too many reasons too good. I have to sacrifice something. Pride might be it. VisualImagery, when I first read your latest post, my first response was to deny that I'm suffering. I'm not suffering! I'm just moping. I'm finding excuses for laziness. The attack though, that scared me. But I don't want humiliation. I don't want to tell them. I don't want to crawl back to a therapist I didn't like that much to begin with. I don't want to admit my weakness. I'm better than this. I'll compromise. Oh god I don't want to. Maybe I can just drink more instead. Buy a wobble board.

Question is - should I make an appointment to see the nurse practitioner? I'll ask for more of my ADD meds and a fast-acting anti-depressant. I heard Wellbutrin is powerful.

VisualImagery
04-05-07, 06:31 PM
Yes make an appointment, tell them how bad you feel and they will get you in much sooner-my doc always does when I go downhill. They know this stuff can't wait. If you are miserable, you are suffering. a synonym for feeling like crap and so on. I am on Wellbutrin and it really helps me. It might take time to find the right depression med-and all of them take time to work, that is the drawback, but stimulants actually work with depression meds-used in treatment resistant depression. So ADDers with depression on stims are getting a little extra help!

Take care.

spaceboy
04-22-07, 03:16 PM
I feel the same way, i didn't even have the energy to reply

auntchris
04-22-07, 06:15 PM
I know when I began straterra everyone and myself noticed a big difference in my depression and change of attitude. Straterra is not a stimulant. I also take Celexa it is the same make up as Lexepro according to my psychiartist. I read an artic le recently that said straterra helps the celexa work better.

Celexa is an antidepressant that has the least amout of side effect. VI can take Wellburtin, I cant. Any one with Seizure disorder or Epilepsy should not take that med. There are also others out there. Talk to you dr. see if they will try you on the ,lowest dose. If it doesnt work, then try another. Find the right med is all trial and error.
Tell them you need to see them as soon as possible. and talk to the nurse. Sometime they can get you in sooner.

QueensU_girl
04-22-07, 09:48 PM
The only backdoor I know of for getting into a new field of work is: volunteering.

auntchris
04-22-07, 11:37 PM
queenU-girl,

Sometimes a person cant do volunteer because they are not at that point in their life, and the depression is to hard to lift.

I was taught that one has to deal with the problem and go through it inorder to be what one might call in remission from the depression. Could you give more information on what you mean.

acceptance
04-23-07, 03:33 AM
First I was going to post a new thread, but look - I already have one for all-purpose complaining.

Last night, I was going to sleep and actually visualizing putting a knift to my throat. Pushing until I broke an artery. I know how wrong this is! I haven't had suicidal thoughts for 2 months now. I was resolved to be happy; I'd chosen to live. Yet I couldn't rid my head of that image.

I've registered for a professional exam; I'm supposed to be devoting all my time to studying now. I thought procrastination was my worst problem, but then it occurred to me - what if I just can't do it? What if I'm stupid? I'm 25, that's well past the optimal age for learning. I was trying to understand a section yesterday, closed my eyes and attempted to memorize, and it wasn't sticking. Not like before.

I used to be good at studying. Then I got stupider and stupider. And now I can't do it. All my plans - study, take exams, switch professions, learn a ton - none of that is possible if my brain is dumb. *****.

When I was facing being kicked out of college, I did say that I would kill myself before living with the shame of being a college drop-out. It wasn't an active desire to die, I just couldn't face the prospect of not being able to finish college. It represented overwhelming failure. That had to do more with procrastination and personal issues. Now, to be faced with the idea of a fundamental limitation of my mind - it's so frightening.

I look at a sentence, and I just don't get it. It doesn't click. It doesn't stick. This is not the way it was supposed to work. If I don't pass these exams, I don't know what I'll do with myself. It'll mean there's no hope for me. No hope of gainful, satisfying employment. I'd have to stop my lofty aspirations, and settle. Not my previous career direction (I HATE it so much now), but something that doesn't require learning anything new. Office assistants can make a living too.

I don't know how I'll be able to make peace with accepting this. That's the ONE thing I ever had - faith in my own intellectual abilities. I can learn and understand anything. *cries* I'm stupid now. How did this happen????you CAN DO anything you want,its a matter of time which path u choose,and hey I know!!!! Get up there girl and go go go.Now i need to self stimulate my selfworth:) ;) :confused: :eyebrow: :faint: :foot: :rolleyes: :cool:

Imnapl
04-23-07, 08:10 PM
queenU-girl,

Sometimes a person cant do volunteer because they are not at that point in their life, and the depression is to hard to lift.

I was taught that one has to deal with the problem and go through it inorder to be what one might call in remission from the depression. Could you give more information on what you mean.Auntchris, QueensU_girl was commenting on what you need to do if you don't have working experience in a job you want. Volunteering in a job can be used as a reference when you don't have a work reference. Capiche? ;)

Zahra
04-24-07, 01:10 PM
SUNLIGHT. Thank god it's summer. This should go on the official list of anti-depressant treatment - sunlight on bare skin.

My Medicaid card came in yesterday ~w00t~

Volunteer positions are as difficult to get (if not harder) in companies like Microsoft or Pfizer or Goldman Sachs. To hell with it all. I decided not to care.

I wake up in the morning and crawl out under the sun. Just 15 minutes, and I'm not sleepy anymore and happy instead. I read books, non-stop. I buy books, non-stop. I eat grapefruit.

I got a tax refund. My credit card limit went up. Apparently making only minimum payments for a year counts as good behavior *suppresses giggle*

I'll be seeing a psychiatrist this week, but I don't think I want anti-depressants. I hate the word "depression," that's what I realized. I hate how that locks you into a sort of world. I'm not going to judge and diagnoze my every action and motivation or dismotivation. I'm just going to live a quiet life in the sun.

teentitans
04-25-07, 12:23 PM
hi, this is an interesting topic. let me share to you my sources of depressions, and how i cope them up, and please let me know if i have done the good things.

when i entered college, i have to be in a school i do not really wanted. my parents enrolled me in a military school for girls (http://www.military-school.org/A_Typical_Cadet/learnvalues.asp) after having a bad record in high school. just being a wild student, not totally, a bad influence. so, i only stayed there for a semester and i frankly told them, i won't go back, if they will force me, i will never show up. the continuous battle with my parents just make me sick. it creates a horrible thoughts and mental depression as im always being compared and its like all the things i do creates a problem to the family.

depression, drives one person crazy. its a mental torture actually. during those times of depression, a person needs support from the family and loyal friends and more understanding.


i talked to my brother after all the realization and asked him if he can send me to a normal school wherein i will be the one to choose my course. i did better, and i gain my self confidence again.i graduated in college even without much approval from my parents. :) just the way it is..

another source of depression was with my previous job. i worked with a company and had a relationship with an officemate. everything was fine for more than a year, but afterwards, i can now believed that its not good to mix personal relationship with work/ business if you do not want to have pressure, conflict with your loved one. we had a huge conflict, even turned out reporting to the authorities sort of thing, we exchanged ill words, and even the families become involved. some of the officemates took side on him, and some took side of me. i did not know how i survived, but, what he did was really a disgrace. on those occasions, i was so stressed out, that even when im asleep, i would be startled at the middle of the night, waking up, crying, or anxious about what the bad news would welcome me in the morning, i had a trauma.really a bad experience. its true that time heals the wounds. but i will never forgive nor forget i guess.

sees
05-02-07, 06:09 PM
In my experience, the serotonin inhibitor merely amplified other drugs, and provided a most unrealistic state of mind. Welbutrin was a 'wild' trip. I personally won't ever try that again. I have a fetish for sunlight, exercise, and most importantly the (local) beach, which are among the most effective activities/experiences that ward off depression. But that's just me.

I rarely comment on personal experiences, but the words in the posts (out of this thread, too) of yours, Zahra, are 'too' accurately descript of my situation, perception, et cetera. Lyke whoa.

Zahra
05-11-07, 12:52 PM
What an experience it's been! I do feel that I'm firmly on the other side of it now, and have gained valuable insights. A recent article in the New York Times chronicles a man's attempt to stop taking Effexor and asks this question, "Is depression a chemical imbalance or just unhappiness due to circumstances? Does it really need medication to 'cure' it?" I think it's a mix of both. Weaker brain chemistry is more susceptible to adverse external circumstances, and then it turns into a feedback loop - prolonged unhappiness and stress lead to physical changes structures in the brain. ADD in particular makes one prone to downward negative cycles. Some people are simply prone to depression. That's a fact to face and deal with.

One positive consequence of such a "diagnosis" is when you are forced to take preventative measures, your quality of life improves. I've heard the same said by people who have genital herpes: they get outbreaks only when their immune system is weakened, so herpes actually changed their lifestyle for the better - they takes extra care of their health, eat right, exercise, stay stress-free, etc.

So here are some of the things I've tried, coping techniques, what I've learned about myself and life, central issues and questions - a glimpse of my journey.

1) Sunlight. The biggest change came with the spring and the warm sun. I would rate this as the best, best treatment for depression or anything else troubling you - sunlight on bare skin. Unforunately, it isn't always possible; I was lucky enough to catch a few sunny days in April and live in a stand-alone house with a private backyard. Perhaps tanning salons would work as an alternative on cloudy days or in the winter.

Upon waking up around noon, I'd crawl outside, strip off all my clothes and lounge. However lethargic and sleepy at first, about 10 minutes of direct sunlight on my body (as much of it as possible, nude really is preferred), I felt happier, more awake and energetic. It's something I looked forward to going to bed at night and waking up in the morning. In a few days, I was motivated to do some stretching and exercises instead of just laying down. Sunscreen was necessary on the face and shoulders, especially after the first day, but I feel like it detracted from the enjoyment - it doesn't let the skin warm up as well or absorb the light (which is I guess the point of sunscreen). Yes, there's significant danger, but let me put it this way - skin cancer will take a lot longer to kill you than suicide. Pick your priorities.

2) Choose to live. I contemplated suicide several times, with each successive 'crisis' more acute. There were still doubts and hesitations and things I'd miss about life, but the self-loathing got overwhelming at times. Sweep all that away. Irrelevant. Suicide isn't the right thing to do, it isn't the strong thing to do, it won't make things right. If you have any doubts at all, tell yourself, "I'm going to live." Say it, "I'm going to live." There's nothing more important than that. That's your job. Not being responsible, successful, happy, no, your job is to live. Just by being alive, you're succeding. Congratulations :)

The key realization came during an 'episode.' I was walking down the street, crying, and my father drove up, insisting I would catch a cold without a jacket. I got in the car and told him very frankly how I felt. I was so tired. I didn't want to do it anymore. I was useless. His answer was, "We love you not because you're useful. We just do. Because you're our daughter." It was so simple. When they get old and infirm, I'll take care of them, but I need to be alive for that.

3) Pick your priorities. Being alive is your first priority, and you can do that however you like, everything else comes second. I've dropped all of my responsibilities, obligations, and connections. I haven't talked to my friends in almost a year. I gave up all pretenses of looking for a job. Trying to study triggered negative episodes, so I stopped trying. What did I do instead? I bought books, read books, browsed the Internet, played computer games, watched TV. I'm very lucky that I had the luxury to do that.

I have no guilt over being a parasite on my parents (so to speak). People go through so much trouble to conceive children, and are happy just to have that child, with no expectations beyond that. Think of children who are born severely handicapped or retarded. Their parents expend tremedous amounts of money, time, and energy on these children, and take care of them for the rest of their lives. With love and gratitude to God. I'll pretend I was born handicapped. Yet instead of costly medical treatments, all it takes to keep me healthy and happy is shopping on the Internet. Now, isn't that worth it?

You have choices. Nothing is as important as your survival.

4) Medicine and lifestyle. If you have access to medication that can help you, TAKE it. When we feel bad, we often get this perverse desire to hurt ourselves further. When we're sad, we'll resist something that might make us feel good. Don't resist.

I did a ton of research. I really got sick of the word "depression" and ultimately decided to ignore it. A useful site I found was www.psycheducation.org (http://www.psycheducation.org), which talks about bipolar disorders - they are much more common than you think, mascarading as a score of other mood disorders. The most important thing I got out of it was to regulate my cycle - go to bed early, sleep when it's dark, wake up early, stay awake when it's light. Hard to adhere to, but critical. (I even kept a chart of my daily well-being for a few days, then I decided to embrace being irresponsible and disorganized, which was the right thing to do for me at that point.)

I take omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil capsules) and St. John's wort; I do believe they have effect. Mild, but it's there. St. John's wort wears off after about 4 hours, so I'll take 2 more capsules for a mood boost. The effect has become more noticeable as I've felt better.

I exercise, with dumbbells for 10-20 minutes a day (sorry, that's the best I can do, I hate aerobic exericise). It's supposed to be a mood booster, but I can't tell. Makes a difference in how I feel physically, but not mentally/emotionally.

Dark chocolate does. I've made a point of buying a bunch and eating a piece whenever I feel grumpy. Good medicine. Don't resist.

I bought a wobble board (last week). I kinda dig it. It does help me focus and calm; I like memorizing formula sheets when I'm balancing.

I bought nootropics. Tried once, got an upset stomach, that was a few days ago, haven't attempted since. I think Adderall is more powerful. I was driven to nootropics because I resisted taking the proper dose of Adderall, and the 1/2 dose would bring on anxiety/jitteriness, so I wouldn't like it, and so on. (Again proves the wisdom of not resisting what you know is good for you and taking the proper dose.) I may give nootropics a chance again, later.

I think I'm out of words for one day.