View Full Version : Trying to stave off depression


SparklySarah
06-10-08, 01:01 AM
Hi all,

Just a quick intro; I've suffered with depression on and off for most of my life and was diagnosed with ADHD (PI) at the end of March this year. I'm currently not receiving any treatment for it as my diagnosis came through 1 day before I left the UK to go to Japan for a year, so I'm in the position of having a diagnosis but not knowing exactly what to do about it.

I've been feeling pretty rotten the past couple of days as I've had some problems with a tooth and had to go to the dentist yesterday, which resulted in said tooth being extracted. For some reason, this has really upset me - I can guess as to why - having to have a tooth out isn't pleasant at the best of times but when you're away from home it's a lot less fun, no family to look after you etc., plus the pain factor and not being to eat properly doesn't help.

However, I think the main reason is that I've always been really proud of my teeth. I'm fairly self conscious about myself and my looks but my teeth are the one aspect of myself I've always been comfortable with and proud of, and have received many compliments on. Losing them is something I worry about (and even have nightmares about) and now I have lost one...I guess it's like a bad dream coming true.

Reading this back I know how vain it sounds but it's really not about that...I guess it's feeling like I'm changed because I look different and that it's a sign I'm getting older (something else I'm worried about!). It's probably also compounded with a bit of homesickness and the fact that I don't have a job or anything here as yet so I feel really in limbo.

Anyway, I keep telling myself that, at the end of the day, it IS just a tooth and not an eye or a limb and that, hopefully, once my dentist has made me a bridge or whatever, I'll look just fine (I'm scared to smile at the moment because it's noticeable when I do), and at least it was a tooth fairly near the back and not one of my front teeth, AND that there are bigger things going on in the world - but I'm still getting depressed feelings about the whole thing and really don't want them to escalate, especially when I'm away from home. It also doesn't help that I need to go back to the dentist today for a follow up and possibly some more work too.

I guess that's the one thing I've noticed about depression, the smallest thing can set it off and it doesn't matter what else is going on in the world..I guess depression is really illogical like that.

So, I guess my main reason for posting is to ask if anyone has any advice on how I could nip this in the bud or "talk myself out of it" (to use a phrase I'm not too fond of)?

Thanks,
Sx

Maurice
06-10-08, 02:58 AM
SparklySarah, I have had to deal with depression most of my life. Like right now I am taking 60mg. of Prozac daily. From what you said I did not get the impression that you do not take medication for your depression, do you? I feel the exact same way you do about my teeth. I had a back molar that had cracked and half gone and I talked my dentist into building it back up with that white stuff they use for some fillings nowadays. I can understand that , I would probably feel the same way. Also I also feel the same way about getting older, and I do not even feel close to my age, going by years. It totally flips me out that according to my birthdate I am 51, that is over half of a century!! I feel like I am in my thirtys or so, not even to my 40s yet. At any rate if I were in your shoes I would do two very important things as soon as possible. Number one find a doctor to give you something to help you with your depression. Also I was just diagnosed with ADD at the end of last month. And I am very very happy finally for the very first time. I do not EVER remember feeling this good and "NORMAL." That Adderall XR my doctor gave me helped me at least, if not more than my Prozac did as far as my depression goes. It is difficult to put into words how I feel now that I have been on that Adderall XR and had it titrated to 25mg. twice a day. I just went from 40mg. a day up to 50mg. a day, today,well Monday June 9th. Man I have heard people talk about "chemical imbalances" before and if that is what it was I am finally "balanced" between my Prozac and my Adderall. See if you can get your doctor in the UK to either fax or at least mail them to a doctor once you find one and tell the doctor just like you wrote here about how you are feeling and that you just got diagnosed with ADHD [PI] but you had to leave so quickly for your trip to Japan that you did not have time to get you medication. All you have to do is sign a release for whatever doctor you find and have them send it to your regular doctor that diagnosed the ADHD[PI]. That is the best I can tell you and it is exactly what I would do if I was in your present situation. Best of luck to you and I would like to hear how things turn out for you. Maurice

Mary
06-10-08, 12:41 PM
Hugs Sarah, Is there any way possible to get counseling while there?

Are you there on a job,..or for school?

Maybe ask someone you trust... to recommend a counselor?

Just a few ideas..

SparklySarah
06-11-08, 12:54 AM
Thanks both for your replies :) it means a lot.

Just a quick post as I don't feel up to posting much. I was feeling better this morning until the subject of mental illness came up with a housemate and he proceeded to go on about how he didn't believe that mental illness was ever (or rarely) caused by a chemical/brain/physiological cause, that external influences (i.e. parents) are usually the cause, that doctors have ulterior motives for diagnosing mental illnesses (i.e. money, being pushed by drug companies etc)...which I really disagree strongly with and has triggered me again somewhat....I keep going hot and cold and bursting into tears when I'm alone. He did say that he isn't of the Scientology belief that depression etc. can be treated with vitamins which I guess is something....but still.

I kept up the discussion as I didn't want to run away from it...but I'm now doing the old "I should have said this..." etc. It didn't really end badly but I'm upset at even the implication that my parents are responsible for me feeling like this because they most definitely are NOT; they have been nothing but loving and supportive. I had a safe and happy upbringing, yet I remember having feelings of depression as young as about 3 years old - I most definitely didn't have anything to "be depressed about".

Re: counselling - I'm not affliliated with any school or company (i'm here on a working holiday). A problem would be finding an English speaking counsellor. There is free phone counselling in English here so I may give that a try.

I'm reluctant to go onto medication as my periods of depression normally (thankfully) only last 1-2 weeks max which is the amount of time most drugs need to start working. ADHD isn't really very well recognized here, particularly in adults, so I'm not sure about going to a doctor for that. I'm also reluctant to start a new medication while being away from home in case I have any odd side effects etc.

I was recommended Concerta with my diagnosis but it requires ECG monitoring etc as it apparently has some cardio vascular contraindications.

I just wish I could get rid of this feeling.

SparklySarah
06-11-08, 12:54 AM
Oh and thanks for the hugs :) and I guess that lost post was longer than I thought it would be...

Mary
06-11-08, 01:06 AM
You're welcome... I guess.. from what I can tell.. the phone counseling sounds like the best route for now.

I'm so sorry your housemate made you feel upset tonight. I can't imagine a year away... especially as you had just gotten your diagnosis.

I'm glad you're here on the forum.

SparklySarah
06-11-08, 09:35 AM
You're welcome... I guess.. from what I can tell.. the phone counseling sounds like the best route for now.

I'm so sorry your housemate made you feel upset tonight. I can't imagine a year away... especially as you had just gotten your diagnosis.

I'm glad you're here on the forum.

Thanks Mary, that means a lot :)

Yeah, it definitely didn't coincide well, but I try to see the reason in everything so I'll try to make of this what I can.

I did a few productive things today at least - I managed to clean my room which I'd been putting off. I know many here will realise that's no mean feat. I also went for a walk in a shrine nearby which was really calming - quiet forest etc. I just got in; it was so nice (unexpectedly so) to come in to a room with space on the floor and a made bed!

dyingInside
06-11-08, 10:45 AM
I've been fighting depression for years. Medication is useful but shouldn't be the only treatment. Don't obsess too much on stuff like the tooth. Depressed people do too much self-obsessing sometimes and I've been guilty of it too. Since you are in Japan maybe you can get out and see the sights a little more? Wait you just said that you went to a shrine, that is good. Maybe start small and work up to hiking Mt. Fuji? Participating in martial arts classes might be a good idea (if you can afford it). Getting outside and getting exercise are really important, it's also crucial to have a social network of people who depend on you for something and who you can also lean on.

SparklySarah
06-16-08, 11:12 PM
Thanks DI - I definintely tend to forget how great exercise can be. I've been out and about quite a bit over the last few days. I walked several miles yesterday which was fun.

I'm feeling better than I was when I first posted but I've still got some things to work on. I think one thing that got to me was being annoyed at myself for not being able to debate properly. If something "hits home" I tend to get really fired up and unable to stay calm and rationally talk things out, which I absolutely hate. It's like my brain stops and my emotions take over. I really hope that I can do something to change that as I spend days afterwards ruminating on it, and won't think of something useful that I could have said until several days later, which is no use by then!

My "tooth" is healing up. I wasn't obsessing over it per se (I know what you mean though) but it was impossible to ignore as I could feel constantly that it wasn't there which felt horrible and I still feel self conscious when I smile or laugh etc. I'm getting used to it now though.