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Depression and Anxiety
At age 31 I had a heart attach. Healed pretty well and spent the next 5 years fairly normal. about 5 years after that I had a TIA that was misdiognosed. That left me struggling to speak. Aphasia I think is what it is called when you can't find the right words to come out of your mouth. It gradually got better and I could talk fairly normal. Occassionally I couldn't find the right word. Then another 5 years goes by and I have massive stroke. Falling down, can't talk right, go directly to the hospital in an ambulance stroke. They found an extrememly rare tumor on a heart valve. Then had open heart surgery to remove the tumor and fix a couple issues with my heart why they were in there.
Physically, I'm doing quite well. Can get winded easily. But I excercise and try and stay active. I've been battling what appears sever depression. Lack of worth, I can't focus, can't seem to find any joy in life. I'm trying to get in to a phsychiatrist that seems much more difficult than it should be. I've been reading about battling depression and read about connecting to people, and people with similar problems I am struggling with.
My depression comes with anxiety. Not as bad as waiting for surgery where I was having extreme panic attacks. I've never had anxiety or depression before this last stroke. Over a year and it's massive ups and downs in mood. It's making my job nearly impossible. Which in the current climate I'm working from home. But, just returning from work, I'm sure my performance will begin to show as I can't focus well.
My family doctor has tried a coupel depression medications. They seem to make my anxiety worse. To the point I have to hide in my bedroom and decompress. Sounds and visuals can escalate my anxiety. Just looking for potential online support or ideas. I've tried everything I can think of from reading. Exercise, try a new hobby, all of those things.
AHAASAKatie, October 22, 2020 10:21am EST
You have been through a great deal and I not surprised that you are having issues with anxiety and depression. That is actually one of the MOST common discussions that we have in the communities. I can share the information we have on Stress Management. I also think there are a few options like yoga, meditation and/or therapy that can help.
Finding the right anti-anxiety medication can take a while as well. It really is a matter of trial and error until your doctor finds the right drug that works with your body chemistry.
Please know that you are not alone and that we are here to help you through this time.
JeffB, October 22, 2020 9:46pm EST
I feel you, dude. After my heart attack, I lost some key-parts of my identity, and I had to reinvent myself from the ground up. Of course, I was one of the "lucky" ones, and it came with the body slams of depression and anxiety. Therapy helped. I can't stress that enough. But not all at once. It took me a long time. But eventually, I got back up and found new self-worth in different ways. It was not easy at all, but it was worth it.
Of course, 2020 came and I fell into an even darker pit than ever due to the isolation of life. I'm home like 90% of my time now. This is anything but normal for me and, at one point, I started self "medicating" for awhile. Which, of course, made things worse. I do not recommend that at all. Ever.
The only thing that has made things better for me, then and now, has been to set short next day and next week's goals. Not beat myself up for an emotional stall out. Show myself the same compassion that I would a close friend of mine. Nix the negative self talk when I hear it in my head. Make better choices than the previous day. Keep moving. Always moving.
If you need a shoulder, we are all here to help, listen, understand. But I can't recommend a therapist more highly than I am right now. That is the course of action that, much like a chiropractor, has cracked my brain and emotional self back into shape over time.
I wish you the best. You have the strength in you already. You just need a little light to see it is my guess.
MattP, January 26, 2021 5:16pm EST
Hi DavidP and JeffB,
DavidP, if you're having trouble getting a psychiarist appointment, try asking your family doctor or neurologist to prescribe a good stable antidepressant/antianxiety drug like Wellbutrin, at least for the short term.Therapy, maybe cognitive-behavioral therapy, can really help in the long term. If you can't find a therapist who will see you in person, or if pandemic restrictions make that unsafe, look up therapists in your area who will do remote FaceTme or Zoom visits with you. They're almost as good as sitting right there with you, since it's conversation, after all.
I'm looking into MDMA and psylocybin therapy trials for PTSD. There aren't any I can get to right now, but you can look for yourself at https://maps.org/participate/participate-in-research/mdma.
Good luck and better health, my friends.
JeffB, January 26, 2021 5:27pm EST
I was able to get a therapist. I also try not to take medicine unless I have to for life-saving reasons so my preference is nothing more than I have to. As far as MDMA, that is still extremely experimental. Even though Michael Pollan published a great book on it. I hope there are more tools for these conditions but I will leave that to my Dr's to recommend.