• July 23, 2016
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News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
 
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Author Topic: Managing long-term depression and its affect upon work  (Read 3749340 times)
pgher
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Posts: 758


« Reply #4905 on: June 09, 2016, 6:11:36 pm »

Wow, britmom and dr_evil, my thoughts and prayers with you both. I think you're right, latico, that it's the people who have suffered and know what depression is like that give the most help.

I saw my doctor yesterday and I'm starting on Zoloft. I didn't realize how far gone I was until we went through the screening checklist--way more yeses than I would have thought.

Oh, and dr_evil, amen to the good night's sleep. I seem to get sent into a tailspin every time I travel. It always works out that when I'm coming back, I've had a short night. Like last week. I missed about three hours of sleep, didn't catch up on the plane, then by the time I got to my car I was on the verge of collapse. Thankfully, I have a good friend who talked me through it and got me out of that particular valley.
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drbrt
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« Reply #4906 on: June 10, 2016, 2:02:36 am »

I am finally tapped in enough to the local network to find a shrink who treats bipolar and doesn't believe in LGBT conversion therapy. I am going to try and call Monday. (I hate phones). I've been suspicious my meds mix isn't quite right for a couple months, and my GP will only write refills for stable treatments.

Wow, britmom and dr_evil, my thoughts and prayers with you both. I think you're right, latico, that it's the people who have suffered and know what depression is like that give the most help.

I saw my doctor yesterday and I'm starting on Zoloft. I didn't realize how far gone I was until we went through the screening checklist--way more yeses than I would have thought.

Oh, and dr_evil, amen to the good night's sleep. I seem to get sent into a tailspin every time I travel. It always works out that when I'm coming back, I've had a short night. Like last week. I missed about three hours of sleep, didn't catch up on the plane, then by the time I got to my car I was on the verge of collapse. Thankfully, I have a good friend who talked me through it and got me out of that particular valley.
This really resonated. I read your post and then looked at an entry checklist myself. I think I've been overestimating my current coping level
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List? I am supposed to have a list? MONDAY IS COMING! ACK!
bud04
I was preparing to prepare but.....
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Posts: 4,840


« Reply #4907 on: June 11, 2016, 6:36:41 pm »

It is good to hear from everyone especially Britmom. It is great you have an understanding Dean.

I hope everyone is well and working to manage the "black dog."

Dr Evil please take care of yourself. Heart procedures are scary.

Drbrt, I like the term"coping level." Mine is less than 0 at the moment and I am missing parts of my life that are so important.
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We ain't all that perceptive. If it's a problem, we go out to the woods and shoot it.
                                           Prytania3
laudity
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« Reply #4908 on: June 12, 2016, 2:14:16 pm »

I'm still on medical leave for my physical health issue, and trying to find that balance between gradual re-entry to life and getting the rest I need.

It's a little scary to discover that it's an extremely fine line between "I'm enjoying this enforced rest" and "I'm worthless if I'm not being productive." I can't predict when the worthless thoughts will suddenly emerge. I'm having to develop new strategies that don't involve jumping off the couch to do something as distraction.

Some of the strategies include:
  • addressing the cognitive distortion head-on, with reminders that healing IS my job right now
  • telling myself that I'll be more productive after this time of rest
  • non-physical distraction like netflix, book, computer time
  • limited physical distraction like 10 minutes of tidying my space
  • reach out to a friend. I'm doing a lot of emailing and texting these days - low-key limited interaction is good

Those are the good ones. There are other, not so healthy strategies as well that I won't go into. I'd be open to other suggestions from you wise folk!
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alto_stratus
Middle cloud,
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« Reply #4909 on: June 13, 2016, 11:33:24 am »

Laudity, it may be small comfort, but times when you are forced to slow down can be a good reminder that our value is not just in "what we do," but in who we are.   

I have been treading water the last few weeks, trying to keep my spirits up, in part by not watching the news too much.  I turned it on yesterday and it was just heartbreaking.  I need strength instead of this slippery slope.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 11:39:14 am by alto_stratus » Logged
pgher
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Posts: 758


« Reply #4910 on: June 15, 2016, 9:42:31 am »

Just wanted to check in and say, I'm doing much better now. Not at my goal, but I can see progress. I guess that's all anyone can hope for.
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dr_evil
Completely Imaginary
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« Reply #4911 on: July 13, 2016, 7:56:21 pm »

I wanted to provide an update. I'm recovering fairly well from the recent procedure, but still a bit sore.  It was much worse the first couple of days after the surgery.  I'm able to resume most of my normal activities and have returned to cardiac rehab, but I'm not able to do as much as before I stopped.  I'm really frustrated that I'm not able to do as much as I could before all of this.

There have been a lot of ups and downs, good days and bad days. 

Just wanted to check in and say, I'm doing much better now. Not at my goal, but I can see progress. I guess that's all anyone can hope for.

I'm happy for you.  It's hard to feel stuck, so I'm glad you can see improvement.
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Wheeeeee! You go, oh evilicious one.
smallcleanrat
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Posts: 74


« Reply #4912 on: July 15, 2016, 1:22:27 am »

Best wishes for continued recovery, dr_evil and pgher.

I wanted to update too, but it's been hard to gather my thoughts.

I've been off work for about six weeks, and to my dismay the extra rest has not led to any major improvement. I've been pretty strict with myself to sleep, eat, exercise, and do enjoyable activities, so I can't really attribute it to a lack of self-care.

The most debilitating symptom continues to be the foggy brain, with some accompanying nausea, headaches, and lightheadedness or faintness. Some of the fatigue has eased, but my energy levels are nowhere near back to normal.

My primary care physician has firmly decided it's 100% psychiatric and there is nothing more for her to do. The psychiatrist says he can only prescribe more psych meds. I asked if the meds he prescribes target the symptoms I'm experiencing. He says, "No, but I don't know of any meds that do. Trial and error is all I can do for you. But I think you need to be on something."

I was rejected for endocrinology and neurology appointments because of the difficulty of getting proper referrals from the primary care doc. She doesn't think there is a need for anymore exams or test, and that gets reflected in her write-up of the referrals. For the neurology referral, all she wrote under symptoms was ("poor concentration"). Not a word about the headaches, nausea, lightheadedness, infrequent vertigo...

I've got an appointment in a couple of weeks with a different GP, in the hopes that this one will have some new insights. I've also scheduled to see an ENT, since I've been reading that inner ear issues or vestibular disorders can cause light-headedness and even cause the spaced out, brain fog feeling. He's out of network, so the visit will be expensive, but I'm desperate. I also saw an out-of-network TMJ doc who says he's pretty sure I have osteoarthritis in the jaw joint (possible source of headaches?). And an optometrist told me the tear ducts in my eyes are no longer producing sufficient tears. I have no idea if all these issues relate to each other or not.

My biggest concert right now is having no diagnosis and no real treatment plan (other than the psychiatrist suggesting we start running through all the antipsychotics available and see if anything helps), and I am due to start graduate school in a little over two months. I have serious doubts I'll be able to function as a grad student unless the brain fog can be treated. I ought to be reaching out to professors this summer to set up a Fall lab rotation, but I'm too afraid and ashamed to begin, because I don't even know if I'll be fit to start school.

Grad school is the biggest issue on my mind. As posted earlier in this thread, I failed to complete an earlier Ph.D. program several years ago. I've worked hard since then to prepare myself to try again. I was so excited about the program; it's a great fit for my research interests and I felt like my life was finally back on track. It would be humiliating to have to tell my program that I can't do it, even before I've begun. I can't shake the feeling that if I lose this opportunity, there won't be another.
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