• May 26, 2016
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Author Topic: Managing long-term depression and its affect upon work  (Read 3683857 times)
alleyoxenfree
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« Reply #4890 on: May 23, 2016, 5:11:55 pm »


My current symptoms (which were on-and-off for a year, but have been constant for the last six months):

1) Persistent and profound fatigue unaffected by sleep, food, or exercise. Mentally, I never feel alert; I am often inexplicably drowsy. Physically, I feel very weak, as though I haven't eaten in a day or two.

2) Horrific brain fog. It honestly feels like I've suffered some kind of brain damage. It's that zombie-type feeling that often accompanies a bad head cold, except without the congestion. I never feel fully awake; I always feel detached from my surroundings; short-term memory and concentration (previously quite strong) are terrible.

3) Frequent feelings of pressure in my head.

4) Frequent feelings of being too warm (even though there is no fever).


Re: gluten-free, and speaking only for myself, I used to be almost addicted to carbs of all kinds. In fact, I'm convinced that there is something addicting in gluten to me. Going gluten-free has made me feel much more alert. Maybe that's also because I sleep better and concentrate better. I've also focused on nutrition, eating more protein and more fiber (vegies, fruits), so I eat, get nicely full and I'm done. I don't feel the need to keep snacking. Eating glutenish foods, I never felt full, even with a big plate of paste or multiple slices of toast. I still eat rice, potatoes, some gluten-free bread (although less and less, just isn't appealing), some gluten-free crackers. Most gluten-free baked goods aren't very appealing and I've lost the taste for that kind of sweet.

Reading up on this, I also learned that low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) can cause a host of problems, including fogginess and fatigue. IIRC, it's related to malabsorption. You might research it.

I don't know about the other symptoms you describe above but excess fluid in the skull can lead to the feeling of pressure. See a neuro-ophthamologist. If you have excess weight, my understanding is that this can increase fluid and pressure. Losing even 10-15 pounds can improve the symptom.

Going gluten-free helps most people shed a few pounds because you change the mix of foods you eat. In fact, not eating enough good fats can lead to brain fog like you describe. Look at neurotransmitters and brain fog.
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fleabite
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« Reply #4891 on: May 24, 2016, 10:41:01 pm »

I'm checking in here because I've been struggling lately, really since my wife's diagnosis ~5 yrs ago. There was a major shift about 3 yrs ago, and it has been basically a slow decline since then. Twice I've done a few months of Zoloft to help me adjust to my new life, but I don't want to keep doing that. I mean, if the core problem is external, should I really be taking an anti-depressant to tolerate it? I think also that a part of me doesn't want to be happy, because that would mean accepting my life as it is, and it kinda sucks.

A part of my challenge is that I really need (emotional) rest of some sort, but there is no place in my life that is restful. Work is stressful, home life is full of responsibilities and challenges, even church is more work than rest.

pgher,

Does your wife have times during the day when she is cognitively sharp, even if physically disabled? If so, I wonder if the two of you could strategize and come up with an hour or two of work per day that she could do to carry some of the household burdens. For example, even if she is not able to shop or cook, perhaps she could be the one responsible for coming up with each week's worth of menus and the shopping list, with alternate items included in case certain produce doesn't look good or the like. (If she is not able to manipulate a pen easily, voice recognition software is available.) Are there church duties that she could handle by phone so that Sundays would be more restful for you?

I am sorry that life is so difficult for you, and I hope you can find some moments to relax.
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pgher
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« Reply #4892 on: Yesterday at 09:34:54 am »

I'm checking in here because I've been struggling lately, really since my wife's diagnosis ~5 yrs ago. There was a major shift about 3 yrs ago, and it has been basically a slow decline since then. Twice I've done a few months of Zoloft to help me adjust to my new life, but I don't want to keep doing that. I mean, if the core problem is external, should I really be taking an anti-depressant to tolerate it? I think also that a part of me doesn't want to be happy, because that would mean accepting my life as it is, and it kinda sucks.

A part of my challenge is that I really need (emotional) rest of some sort, but there is no place in my life that is restful. Work is stressful, home life is full of responsibilities and challenges, even church is more work than rest.

pgher,

Does your wife have times during the day when she is cognitively sharp, even if physically disabled? If so, I wonder if the two of you could strategize and come up with an hour or two of work per day that she could do to carry some of the household burdens. For example, even if she is not able to shop or cook, perhaps she could be the one responsible for coming up with each week's worth of menus and the shopping list, with alternate items included in case certain produce doesn't look good or the like. (If she is not able to manipulate a pen easily, voice recognition software is available.) Are there church duties that she could handle by phone so that Sundays would be more restful for you?

I am sorry that life is so difficult for you, and I hope you can find some moments to relax.

We have tried some of those things, and they all end in tears. Although she has less-foggy times of the day (mid-day is best), her "executive function" (what she needs to be able to plan menus etc.) is no good. My teenage kids have been helping with some of these items, with varying levels of success.

I took the other advice here and have made an appointment with my doctor to discuss a long-term strategy. I have resisted a long-term prescription for Zoloft because I didn't believe that my problem was chemical, but rather situational. I think what has happened, though, is the accumulated trauma of the last few years has altered my brain chemistry. Kind of like PTSD, though obviously not as severe.
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alto_stratus
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« Reply #4893 on: Yesterday at 01:08:15 pm »

Thinking of you, Pgher.  Does your doctor share ideas for additional support that might be available to you?  It might be worth exploring any options that seemed less appealing a few years ago.
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alleyoxenfree
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« Reply #4894 on: Yesterday at 08:26:36 pm »

I'm checking in here because I've been struggling lately, really since my wife's diagnosis ~5 yrs ago. There was a major shift about 3 yrs ago, and it has been basically a slow decline since then. Twice I've done a few months of Zoloft to help me adjust to my new life, but I don't want to keep doing that. I mean, if the core problem is external, should I really be taking an anti-depressant to tolerate it? I think also that a part of me doesn't want to be happy, because that would mean accepting my life as it is, and it kinda sucks.

A part of my challenge is that I really need (emotional) rest of some sort, but there is no place in my life that is restful. Work is stressful, home life is full of responsibilities and challenges, even church is more work than rest.

pgher,

Does your wife have times during the day when she is cognitively sharp, even if physically disabled? If so, I wonder if the two of you could strategize and come up with an hour or two of work per day that she could do to carry some of the household burdens. For example, even if she is not able to shop or cook, perhaps she could be the one responsible for coming up with each week's worth of menus and the shopping list, with alternate items included in case certain produce doesn't look good or the like. (If she is not able to manipulate a pen easily, voice recognition software is available.) Are there church duties that she could handle by phone so that Sundays would be more restful for you?

I am sorry that life is so difficult for you, and I hope you can find some moments to relax.

We have tried some of those things, and they all end in tears. Although she has less-foggy times of the day (mid-day is best), her "executive function" (what she needs to be able to plan menus etc.) is no good. My teenage kids have been helping with some of these items, with varying levels of success.

I took the other advice here and have made an appointment with my doctor to discuss a long-term strategy. I have resisted a long-term prescription for Zoloft because I didn't believe that my problem was chemical, but rather situational. I think what has happened, though, is the accumulated trauma of the last few years has altered my brain chemistry. Kind of like PTSD, though obviously not as severe.

Is a meal delivery service an option for you? Even a few days a week?

Or could you simplify and do just soup and salad every dinner, sandwiches and fruit every lunch?

Is there anyone else at church facing a health challenge who could meet you Sunday afternoons for a cook-fest with your teens helping, making a big lasagna, homemade soup, and a few other things to freeze for the week? Sometimes it's much easier to make a large portion and split it, or to combine all the peeling and chopping duties. Also the moral support can be advantageous.
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pgher
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« Reply #4895 on: Yesterday at 10:13:06 pm »

Meal delivery service isn't an option here. We should probably simplify, but one of our problems is just getting the whole family to agree on a set of meals that is acceptable. I would be happy to have something simple every night, or to make a casserole on Sunday and eat on it most of the week, but others in my family are not. It doesn't help that my daughter is vegetarian now.

I appreciate the sentiment, but really, the meals and the housework and the yardwork and that sort of thing are just symptoms. Until recently, I thought that if I could just fix the logistics of my life, I would feel better, but that's not happening.

I wasn't able to get an appointment with my doctor for a couple weeks. I have in the past gone to a counselor, which helped a little but not a whole lot. Have others had any luck with counseling? I'm thinking particularly of people like bms2000 who started down the path to depression because of grief or other trauma. I think I could get back in to see my counselor any time I want, but I don't know if it would do any good.
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alleyoxenfree
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Posts: 6,002

Countin' all these posts as publications


« Reply #4896 on: Yesterday at 11:01:00 pm »

Meal delivery service isn't an option here. We should probably simplify, but one of our problems is just getting the whole family to agree on a set of meals that is acceptable. I would be happy to have something simple every night, or to make a casserole on Sunday and eat on it most of the week, but others in my family are not. It doesn't help that my daughter is vegetarian now.

I appreciate the sentiment, but really, the meals and the housework and the yardwork and that sort of thing are just symptoms. Until recently, I thought that if I could just fix the logistics of my life, I would feel better, but that's not happening.

I wasn't able to get an appointment with my doctor for a couple weeks. I have in the past gone to a counselor, which helped a little but not a whole lot. Have others had any luck with counseling? I'm thinking particularly of people like bms2000 who started down the path to depression because of grief or other trauma. I think I could get back in to see my counselor any time I want, but I don't know if it would do any good.

I am so sorry to hear you're going through this. Your weariness comes through loud and clear. Yes, I would go to counseling and talk specifically about boundaries. As in, kids, your parents are both going through X and here's what we're eating. Or kids, you're in charge of Tuesday night and grilled cheese sandwiches are fine.

Maybe it's just me but this is what my parents did when my mother went back to work. It was, kids, we are a family economy and you're now in charge of X (chores plus cooking). To be fair, we did get a raise in our allowances because it was either that or hire a housekeeper. But the boundary was, mom cannot do this anymore, dad is doing all he can, and either you want to be paid more to do more than the usual chores or we hire help. Then the housekeeper will have money and you won't. We voted for the money and did the work!

Also, it was, here's what's for dinner. My mother was famous for saying, "I am not a short order cook." My father made dinner one night a week, which was usually pancakes or sometimes spaghetti. Dinner was often tuna sandwiches and tomato soup.

Stop letting these kids terrorize you! (I say, in your defense) You cannot be everything to everyone. You will actually be doing them a favor to a) learn to cook and b) learn that the world doesn't revolve around their tastes. Sometimes in a family, it's all hands on deck. This is one of those times. Get a good counselor to help you manage everyone else's expectations and set boundaries so you can survive. Put on your own oxygen mask first, so to speak.

[end rant]
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