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Old 07-31-17, 08:04 PM   #1
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So after over 20 years with serious depression and no official help, to try and help myself and keep myself here for my children, I reached out to about seeing a psychologist (between a slight breakdown).

So I don't have a meeting set up yet, but I'm nervous about it all - I'll be honest and say that reading through some of the threads in this section didn't help too much. When I was 19 or 20 I had a panic attack at work and went directly to see my doctor. When I got up to leave he added for me to stop going out and taking drugs - I had never taken anything illegal in my life up to that point, and was left speechless and have never really trust medical professionals since.

I'm quite a private person but won't have a problem opening up with my history for this. What I don't feel I'll accept is the words coming back. I know what's happened and how it's affected me, and despite wanting a person to listen maybe all I want is coping mechanisms.

Will medications give me the balance I crave in my mood swings (extreme lows, very occasional highs)? I know it's trial and error in what works.

Am I being unrealistic in thinking a therapist isn't really for me even though I know I need help? Will the therapist guide the direction of all? I wouldn't know where to start.

Another part I'm concerned about (please forgive me if I'm not supposed to reference sex in this part of the forum): so many possible medications but is sex life likely to be affected? In my relationship we argue a lot now but both agree that the sex side is great so I'd like that to remain as we don't have much keeping us going... (we know we need to work on ourselves - started off great communication, now terrible, but both being highly sexed helps at the moment).
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Old 08-02-17, 10:07 AM   #2
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Will medications give me the balance I crave in my mood swings (extreme lows, very occasional highs)? I know it's trial and error in what works.
You won't know until you try. Medication works wonders for a lot of people, certainly helps my father in a very visible way. It doesn't affect everyone in the same manner though and in some cases, like my own, it doesn't work at all.

But there's really few reasons not to try. Chances are it will help, then you are ahead. If it doesn't helkp, you are back where you are now and you don't lose anything. Worst case scenario is that it won't help and you will also experience some negative side effects. As scary as that may be, you just report these to the shrink and stop taking said medicine.

BE WARNED though - check not just the label on the medicine, but also the active component. Shrinks can be lazy or cynical and take you off a drug only to assign you to a different brand name, but the actual drug stays the same. Happened to me once.

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Am I being unrealistic in thinking a therapist isn't really for me even though I know I need help? Will the therapist guide the direction of all?
Really depends on the individual therapist. Therapists aren't different to say roofers, or veterinarians or investment bankers. It is a job like any other. There's good dedicated professionals as well as incompentent or dishonest morons.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking of psychologists as some sort of magical group of people who can read your mind and understand everyone they meet. It is a very normal job performed by your average people. No need to be afraid of them (or trust them more than any other doctor)

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Another part I'm concerned about (please forgive me if I'm not supposed to reference sex in this part of the forum): so many possible medications but is sex life likely to be affected?
It *might* be affected, but might not. Again I need to stress that antidepressant medication produce different effects for different people. I know that sometimes people's libido is affected, or sometimes men experience erectile dysfunction.

But these are the undesirable side effects, if you experience them you just tell your psychologist about this and ask to be assigned a different antidepressant.

Final note: No medicine worked for me and a few gave me bad side effects, but despite this I would still advise you and everyone esle to give it a try. It is better to know you tried everything, then remain second-guessing this for the rest of your life.

Last edited by TimeTourist; 08-02-17 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 08-02-17, 11:59 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for the reply and thoughts.

I appreciate that therapists are normal people [hopefully] doing their job as required. I think I'm more concerned about paying a lot of money for "x" amount of sessions and not taking anything productive from it all - I mean if I don't have any particular desire to take on board advice or change habits etc.

Of medications I think I've heard too many horror stories, of how they change the way the mind works, ability to think and what's going on in the head. Read the other day of the guy that killed people in the Batman cinema screening, of the anti-depressant he was prescribed - with other things in my head at times it worries me what could come with these.

If they can help me sleep, cut out the permanent unhappiness and emptiness inside, and sort out the concentration levels, what a difference it would make. Almost three hours at work today and I've done work that I should be able to do in ten minutes

I'm open to trying at least, that's something!
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Old 08-02-17, 01:24 PM   #4
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I think I'm more concerned about paying a lot of money for "x" amount of sessions and not taking anything productive from it all - I mean if I don't have any particular desire to take on board advice or change habits etc.
Now that's different and understandable. There's no guarantees it will help, but given how destructive depression is for your overall life, I'd say its worth the risk to have a shot at getting rid of depression.

I have no idea how medical sevices operate in your country, but perhaps you could try first going to the regular Luxmed/Medicover/Whatever that your employer provides you with. Even if psychiatric care is not fully paid for by the employer (usually the case), you will likely still get some 20% or something off just due to being registered at said health corporation by your employer. Plus private healthcare companies usually have much better quality staff working then than will state-operated healthcare.
Oh and if you want to go for the meds not for "counseling/therapy", then make sure to get yourself to a psychiatrist and not a psychologist. Similar name, but its a different profession and its the psychiatrist who is the drug expert.


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Of medications I think I've heard too many horror stories, of how they change the way the mind works, ability to think and what's going on in the head. Read the other day of the guy that killed people in the Batman cinema screening, of the anti-depressant he was prescribed - with other things in my head at times it worries me what could come with these.
There's certainly risks and medication should change "the way the mind works", that's the whole purpose behind it. However the extreme side effects are rare. Most common are things like insomnia, loss of apetite, loss of sex drive etc

The batman theatre killer was taking meds because he was deeply depressed and I strongly suspect that said depression was the cause of his suicide-murder spree.
Speaking from my personal experience, I was one of the rare people who did experience "homicidal ideation" as a side effect of one of the antidepressants, but even with that I was really far from actually killing anyone. All I did was stop taking that stuff and telling my shrink how bad it was.

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If they can help me sleep, cut out the permanent unhappiness and emptiness inside, and sort out the concentration levels, what a difference it would make. Almost three hours at work today and I've done work that I should be able to do in ten minutes
They can help, but its not guaranteed. And sometimes there's a tradeoff, for example you will trade depression for insomnia etc. But you don't know what will happen unless you try.
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Old 08-02-17, 02:31 PM   #5
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Damn, that's something I didn't realize - psychiatrists and psychologists. I have been waiting to see a psychologist (no meeting set as yet). So that means they won't prescribe medications to help, just therapy? Maybe I wasn't understanding from other threads here, as I thought people were seeing psychologists and being put on whatever meds, changing meds etc.

I'm confused now (live and work in Spanish language here so this is partly why) if I need to look for a psychiatrist instead - yes, I do feel that medications will help more, but I guess there's some balance with therapy. So a psychiatrist does therapy also??

There are three levels of healthcare here (Peru). The lowest is terrible in most respects. The second is mostly worker level, opt-in to pay small part of salary and employer equals the amount, the care is for the most part decent, just slow for many areas. Private is always best if we can afford it. I can for a bit, I don't know how long though. I don't feel I can use the second level as my abusive ex's sister works there and I know well she (illegally) goes into the files of people for personal use - I can't have this stuff in the hands of my ex and know it would 100% go to her.

I noted the article about that killer, as apparently the medication he was given may well have tipped him over the edge. I have in the past (not recently, but maybe 15 years ago or less) had voices in my head - for several years I had incredible urges from those voices on a daily basis to do things that were not conventional to whatever situation. No difference between male or female, known people or strangers, to punch them, kiss them, whatever. I never acted on them but it was difficult, and I would later self-abuse instead. A couple of episodes of hallucinations too.

This is why I worry about medications, even though I have a lot of self control. I guess a first ever (after over 20 years) proper diagnosis will go a long way to solutions or controlling. So I need to be sure if psychologist or psychiatrist I guess!

Oh, and I have depression and insomnia too so I'm not too worried about that

Thank you - I really appreciate your insights to all.
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Old 08-02-17, 03:46 PM   #6
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I'm confused now (live and work in Spanish language here so this is partly why) if I need to look for a psychiatrist instead - yes, I do feel that medications will help more, but I guess there's some balance with therapy. So a psychiatrist does therapy also??
A psychologist is someone who specializes in counseling, therapy etc and uses drugs as additional assets. Some psychologists may not even have the necessary licence to prescribe antidepressants, just do therapy. But in that case if the psychologist works in a medical corporation and realizes you need antidepressants, he will refer you to a colleague who has the necessary licence within the corporation.

A psychiatrist is a more... how to put it... "hard science" guy and something of a specialist in medical pharmaceutics, dealing with drugs for mental ilness. He almost always just prescribes drugs and rarely if ever does therapy. He may refer you to a fellow psychologist if he thinks you also need therapy/counseling etc.

That's roughly how it works in central Europe. I assume its not too different in Peru, but I don't know 100% as I am not familiar with Peru.

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There are three levels of healthcare here (Peru). The lowest is terrible in most respects. The second is mostly worker level, opt-in to pay small part of salary and employer equals the amount, the care is for the most part decent, just slow for many areas. Private is always best if we can afford it. I can for a bit, I don't know how long though.
Ah ok, its different here. We have state healthcare for everyone, which is for the overwhelming majority of popular ilnessess free, but also slow, very bad quality and doctors approach you as a number on a spreadsheet file that needs to be "processed". Of course there's exceptions to that, but in general people just want to get done with you as soon as possible. Which may be ok if you came with measels or a cold, but fails entirely with long term stuff like depression.

Private healthcare is better, and if you work in a big corporation, then your emplyer always has a contract with some medical corporation (like Luxmed) to provide free or discounted (depends on the ilness) medical care for the employees.

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I don't feel I can use the second level as my abusive ex's sister works there and I know well she (illegally) goes into the files of people for personal use - I can't have this stuff in the hands of my ex and know it would 100% go to her.
That just sucks. Can't you report him to the police or some regulatory state department that's responsible for that in Peru?

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I noted the article about that killer, as apparently the medication he was given may well have tipped him over the edge.
Well we can never be sure. But in my opinion, Americans always tend to blame the medication rather than the underlying ilness that the medication was supposed to treat. I think its because its easier to sue a pharmaceutics company responsible for the medication than to sue the Gods or whatever power you believe is responsible for the mental ilness.

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I have in the past (not recently, but maybe 15 years ago or less) had voices in my head - for several years I had incredible urges from those voices on a daily basis to do things that were not conventional to whatever situation. No difference between male or female, known people or strangers, to punch them, kiss them, whatever. I never acted on them but it was difficult, and I would later self-abuse instead.
That doesn't sound like depression, rather like what shrinks call "intrusive thoughts" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrusive_thought ), which occur most often as a result of an ilness known as OCD ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsess...er#Compulsions)

You can have both depression and OCD at the same time, in fact OCD often causes depression. Hallucinations combined with hearing voices could point to something even more complex, say schizophrenia.

Eitehr way, that's just me thinking out loud, I'm no mental health professional. Yet given the symptoms you describe, it seems rather serious and I think you should certainly go see a mental health professional. Psychologist or psychiatrist both can help. If one thinks the other will be useful he will refer you to him/her.

With things like hallucinations combined with depression, I think its not worth taking chances. It sounds serious and your kids need you.

Last edited by TimeTourist; 08-02-17 at 03:49 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-02-17, 06:22 PM   #7
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Thanks, TimeTourist. I think here it's likely the psychologist will prescribe whatever necessary, though you make me worry a touch about the level of expertise!!

My ex is the mother (so she not he) of two of my children. She became violent after we finished, and she's been sentenced twice with fines for it (four fines and never paid anything of them) - it was the most hurtful thing I've ever had for her to do that (shouting, threatening, more) all the time before the children. I'm not convinced we have here any protection to see how they work - I only pay for this option because it covers my kids too.

Of course I cannot expect you to know of my history in just a few passes here, I sure appreciate the time taken to read though :). The depression I've had from roughly 14 years old and now 37, never any diagnosis or treatment. The voices I think may have been around ages of 17 to 23 or 24. Suicidal periods twice within those years and three times since - the latest this year. I am unsure if I'm hearing things again recently (100% I'm sure not like before) perhaps due to elevated stresses I don't know. The first link you shared sounds very familiar (uncomfortably so) for all until the religious part. I knew of OCD but never heard of this intrusive thoughts. Only other parts I can remember doing were repeating sounds and slight outbursts with profanities, like a nervous tic or tourettes but I never thought I had that anytime. Sounds more like your links.

This is an eye opener... And yes, my kids need me hence why I am looking for help :)
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Old 08-03-17, 02:51 PM   #8
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Thanks, TimeTourist. I think here it's likely the psychologist will prescribe whatever necessary, though you make me worry a touch about the level of expertise!!
Well, psychologists are people too and they can make mistakes, just as any other profession. There's good and bad people doing that job.

Do the same as you would do with any other doctor - do not assume the worst, stay open minded, but do not give 100% unconditional trust either.

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My ex is the mother (so she not he) of two of my children.
Sorry for the gender mixup on my part.

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The depression I've had from roughly 14 years old and now 37, never any diagnosis or treatment. The voices I think may have been around ages of 17 to 23 or 24.
Ok, so if you haven't had voices or hallucinations for over 10 years now, then I think we can safely assume its not schizophrenia or anything like it. But don't take my word for it, I'm not a professional.

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Suicidal periods twice within those years and three times since - the latest this year.
Now a recent suicidal period is something to worry about. If you are ok talking about this, what was the period exactly like? Were you thinking about suicide? Or actively planning it? Did you attempt suicide?

If its OCD, then it might be even more good to start taking medication. Medication usually reports higher success rates when treating OCD than treating clinical depression.
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Old 08-03-17, 05:13 PM   #9
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No worries on the gender, I guess it's perhaps natural to assume when there's violence in or around a relationship that the one one the receiving end may be female.

I don't know if or which other things like schizophrenia and the like can go and come back, I don't know enough about them. I'd love to know what it was back then, and how it fits or relates to all else. I don't know who could say now, though I was impressed (for lack of a better word in my head now) with the note about intrusive thoughts, I don't think I'd ever have picked that link between all. Guess we are like jigsaws all with different components.

Mmmm being suicidal. I don't mind talking about it, though I'm not sure if I know how to, if that makes sense. The periods of around 23-24 and early 30s I was actively planning, this time no - somehow incapable and I'm quite sure I know why.

The last seven years, a divorce (betrayals on her part - although she was the one that saved me at 23-24); two kids with the next when I should never have been in a relation that quickly (she's the abusive one, uses the kids against me and actively looks to destroy my life, narcissistic bitch...); current partner that is incapable of understanding and listening, fights for almost no reason at all. I live for my kids but they deserve better than I can manage for them.

So I've six relying on me and so much stress and depression that I can't work properly. Commission based work (basically sales but I'm known as an expert in what I do... when I can) means my boss doesn't pass me much work because I'm struggling in the personal and concentration - the ex tried to get me fired and also police had to remove her from the office, crazy. So income goes down and the pressures of those dependents increase. See the circle and build up?

I don't know how to describe it. Guilty, incapable of functioning, a heavy weight inside the head and from there to the stomach a dull pain and cramps, barely eating, permanent headaches, almost no sleep, constantly needing to do things and awake 20+ hours without being productive. An emptiness; like everybody else is going by doing everything fast and I'm barely moving.

I have it in my mind that the kids being young (1, 3, 4 plus partner's 7 year old), it would affect them less than in any other period when they are bigger. What stops me is that I need for them to know the truth of me. Something they will never know if left with their mother (my elder two). I've wanted to write all the history down, give copies (and so much evidence) to two old friends far away with instructions to give to my little ones when they are adults. I need them to understand, and until I ensure that part I remain here, but I'm here in pain, waiting for the next problems invented by the ex, fights with the current, personal health. I honestly don't want to be here; I've been sick for too long now.

Sorry, too much there. These periods feel more difficult each time.
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Old 08-08-17, 02:13 PM   #10
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So I've six relying on me and so much stress and depression that I can't work properly
Tough spot to be in. Kudos to you for staying with the kids and keeping the family afloat. Too few men do that in case of a divorce. You have my respect.

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Sorry, too much there. These periods feel more difficult each time.
Best wishes, I hope all ends well.
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