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Ovalbug
10-12-17, 03:20 PM
I'll try to keep this brief to save a very long post, so forgive bullet points.

Family history of depression including parent, grand parent, sibling.

Suffered from early teens.

Either overwhelming sadness resulting in being able to enjoy anything, or look forward to anything - Christmas, holidays, special events etc.

Or...

Varying levels of social anxiety - not being able to answer the phone or the answer the door, or just hating every second of being at an event unless I'm in a bubble of people I know and trust. Recent Christmas party in work despite my trying my best was hell.

Everyone else seems to be having fun and being relaxed, yet I just want to die, hide and run away.

Married, two kids. Wife supportive but not much help.

Tried Fluoxetine, Citalopram, Venlafaxine, Sertraline and Mirtazapine.

Mirtazapine helped a little with anxiety but didn't touch the depression, plus left me an exhausted, angry and irritable zombie and a nightmare for my kids and wife to live with.

The others had a mild impart on both depression and anxiety with the best probably fluoxetine, however they all give me terrible sexual side effects. Inability to get or feel aroused, achieve orgasm or generally feel/enjoy anything. Like there was a disconnected link in my brain.

I totally get that this is a result of almost all AD medicines.

Here's the problems though.... Sex and sexual enjoyment is absolutely, totally and utterly fundamental to my well being. It;s the one thing in my life I cling on to for some kind of pleasure and release. It's my only 'thing' and to take this away is as bad as the depression.

I'm not one of those people who enjoys sex every few days or once or twice a week - whether with my wife or more often on my own, it's a daily feature of my life and when this was taken away, I fell apart.

I've tried 3 different GPS and none of them are interested, taking the view that "It's just one of those things you'll have to put up with".

Not me.

I've given up taking the SSRI SNRIs etc, etc as they all have the same effect.

What absolutely boils my pi$$ and bounces my valves is that the internet is riddled with happy Americans and Canadians who enjoy Wellbutrin (Bupropion) without sexual side effects, yet it's not available in the UK for depression due to cost.

I've asked for it each and every time and been turned down as they can't and won't prescribe it off label.

I'm at the point of considering buying it off some dodgy Turkish website just to see if it works, but surely that's not the way we treat depression in the UK?

I'm at my whits end, utterly fed up and feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

To those of you who are not sexual beings, or have sexual pleasure as high on their personality make up as me, this post probably will not resonate, but I pray there might be someone out these that can relate to my plight and advise on a route to success.

For the record, achieving and maintaining an erection is not a problem and never has been. The issue is that it might as well belong to someone else, as I can't feel anything and just end up enormously frustrated, unfulfilled and ultimately massively depressed again. i.e viagra is not the answer. A non-sexual side effects inducing AD is the answer, but I'm denied access in the UK.

I've worn out the internet looking for solutions and can only find multiple threads and articles from other Brits who also cannot get access to Wellbutrin.

Best way I can describe it is like amputating the legs of a ballet dancer to treat chronic hip pain. Great, the hip pain is treated, but....

Suzi
10-12-17, 04:09 PM
Ok, I'm not sure where I'm headed with this response, so bear with me?

I get that sex and sexual activity is incredibly important to you, and I'm sure there are solutions which I'll head to in a bit, but is it not more important to be stable mentally before having sex?
There are far more anti d's than the ones you have mentioned and there are many, many more combinations available which might help? If your GP isn't able to suggest something more helpful than "live with it" then maybe you could be referred to a psych for more help? Or the CMHT?

Ovalbug
10-12-17, 06:00 PM
Ok, I'm not sure where I'm headed with this response, so bear with me?

I get that sex and sexual activity is incredibly important to you, and I'm sure there are solutions which I'll head to in a bit, but is it not more important to be stable mentally before having sex?
There are far more anti d's than the ones you have mentioned and there are many, many more combinations available which might help? If your GP isn't able to suggest something more helpful than "live with it" then maybe you could be referred to a psych for more help? Or the CMHT?

I'd love to be mentally stable, but whenever I've got near that state, I've then suffered the sexual side effects that then makes me miserable, frustrated and withdrawn - the ballet dancer without legs' scenario. My self esteem plummets, the one thing in life I enjoy is taken away and I just spiral into misery again. I was on fluoxetine for 6 years. It was miserable.

My GP(s) seem to want to keep trying SSRI/SNRI drugs, one after the other, each time causing me a new set of side effects then withdrawal symptoms, only to be be faced with the common denominator of the sexual side effects.

They want to keep trying, yet don't seem to realise that all SSRI/SNRI drugs have that risk - every medical website there is acknowledge that one of the side effects of SSRI/SNRIs is sexual problems - not all suffer, but many do and I'm one of them, big time.

Why keep trying the same type of drugs by various different names when the key fundamental way they work causes that effect with me. I'm allergic to all nuts. It's like the Doctor is insistent to keep trying me on different types of nut in case I'm not allergic to one of them - give up already, I'm allergic to nuts!!

Forgive me - I'm just so frustrated.

I appreciate that there are lots and lots of drugs available, but the only one I can find that doesn't have any reports of sexual side effets is Wellbutrin.

Unless anyone else can point me towards another?

magie06
10-12-17, 07:17 PM
Can I just say welcome to DWD.

Suzi
10-12-17, 10:23 PM
We aren't qualified to suggest medication to you I'm afraid. All we can do is talk about our own experiences... Have you had counselling? There has to be other options. I really think you should ask for more help and support with other options.

Paula
11-12-17, 11:26 AM
Hi and welcome. Have you talked to your doctor about treating your depression with talking therapies? ADs are not the only form of treatment ....

Ovalbug
11-12-17, 06:52 PM
Hi and welcome. Have you talked to your doctor about treating your depression with talking therapies? ADs are not the only form of treatment ....

Thanks for the replies.

I've had a course of counselling sessions last year that helped sort a few back ground issues, but the medical/chemical imbalance exists irrespective and has done for the last 25 years or so.

I went to the Doctors again this afternoon after a very rough weekend and she has agreed to refer me to a consultant psych specialist to see what's what.

This is a source of some hope - of what I'm not sure, but it's a step in the right direction.

ElizabethJane1
11-12-17, 07:28 PM
Dear Ovalbug I understand exactly from where you are coming from. The 'sex' part kept me alive in the days of deepest and darkest depression. It got me into some trouble too. It is a long time ago. I had all the talking therapies too and it was a combination of medication and 'talking' therapies that got me well. I had inpatient treatment too. I can't offer solutions and was offered seroxat and a lengthy period on dothiepin which was very helpful at the time. 'Feeling' nothing is a feature of depression and to be denied the erotic part of your make -up must be a bitter pill.
I am now on a cocktail of lithium and mirtazapine - prescribed by a psychiatrist but after a lengthy uphill battle.
I'm all for the consultation with the psychiatrist and hopefully you will be able to find something that deals with the depression but does not flatten everything else as well.

Suzi
11-12-17, 08:48 PM
Well done for going back to speak to your GP and I'm glad you're going to get that referral too.

Ovalbug
11-12-17, 09:28 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Would anyone who has had a psych referral be able to guide me through what to expect?

Suzi
12-12-17, 10:42 AM
The first session is normally really general - just a who are you, why are you there, background kind of session. But prepare to be exhausted afterwards and always make sure you plan something to be kind to yourself too.

Ovalbug
13-12-17, 09:22 PM
Is it more of a counselling session? Should I try and self diagnose from all my research or just let them probe and find stuff out rather than influence their opinion?

Paula
13-12-17, 09:57 PM
dont Try to self diagnose, thatís never a good thing for any illness. I dont know exactly how things will be done as it changes from doctor/therapist to doctor/therapist. I suggest go in with an open mind but also with an idea of what youíre looking for out of this treatment. And see how it goes

Ovalbug
13-12-17, 10:44 PM
dont Try to self diagnose, that’s never a good thing for any illness. I dont know exactly how things will be done as it changes from doctor/therapist to doctor/therapist. I suggest go in with an open mind but also with an idea of what you’re looking for out of this treatment. And see how it goes

Thanks - I guess the end game is a treatment that combats the depression, social anxiety and that doesn't cause sexual dysfunction.

Suzi
14-12-17, 10:20 AM
I hope you find it and that this is the start of that.

Ovalbug
16-12-17, 02:18 PM
Anyone have any idea how long it typically takes to get an appointment after a psych referral?

I'm really low at the moment and feeling a little desperate for help.

Paula
16-12-17, 02:40 PM
It varies from area to area - do you have the number of the unit that youíve been referred to so you can ask them how long 8ts likely to be? In the meantime, there are crisis helplines you can call and weíve listed the details. In the UK and Ireland http://www.dealingwithdepression.co.uk/showthread.php?14278-Samaritans-UK-amp-Ireland and worldwide helplines are http://www.dealingwithdepression.co.uk/showthread.php?14280-Mental-Health-Helpliness-Worldwide

Ovalbug
16-12-17, 03:32 PM
Thanks Paula - All my GP said was that I'll get a letter, "probably after Christmas". That's all I have to cling to. My wife is very supportive, but I just hate feeling this miserable, helpless, joyless and generally "what's the point in living". I' totally conscious of it and have complete self awareness, but just not the power to do anything about it.

Knitting fog.

Suzi
16-12-17, 04:16 PM
Also if you are at danger of hurting yourself then you can always go to A+E and ask to speak to the on duty psych nurse/team.... (bear)

magie06
16-12-17, 04:30 PM
It's very difficult to find motivation to do anything when all you can see is black fog. Take things easy, be kind to yourself and even take a walk if you feel like you can do no more. A walk can release the feel good hormone and can really help.

Ovalbug
18-12-17, 10:41 PM
Does anyone else find that in a really busy and demanding job that they don't have time to feel depressed?
Like it's just go-go-go none stop with no time to reflect or stop and look around?
One meeting after another, a report, some analysis, another meeting, a long drive etc, etc.

It's only when I get home, sit down and to try and relax, especially at weekends that it suddenly hits me and I feel empty, weighed down and without a purpose.

In fact weekends have become the worst, which depresses me even more as that's exactly the time I should be feeling happier and more relaxed.

Without sounding all 'victim' or 'woe is me', weekends highlight how empty my life is - no friends, no party invites, no trips out or things to look forward to, no reason to get out of bed.

I know this sounds all of my own making, but when you've got social anxiety and zero motivation to get out of bed - it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Or is it just me?

Suzi
18-12-17, 11:33 PM
Definitely not just you... Is there anyway that you can find a way of meeting new people and putting more structure to your weekends? I know it's tough, I really do..

Ovalbug
20-12-17, 08:39 PM
Definitely not just you... Is there anyway that you can find a way of meeting new people and putting more structure to your weekends? I know it's tough, I really do..

Easier said than done I guess - it's the sort of thing I'd need to be in the right frame of mind/confidence to be able to do - catch-22.

Please can I share another self observation to see if this is just another common symptom of genera depression or whether this points to a specific element of the illness?

I find that my emotional coping capacity is tiny. The best way I can explain that is to imagine everyone has a coping tank in their brain which deals with problems, challenges and issues on a day to day basis. Depending on how life is going, a well person might have an emotional tank that is say 20-50% full on any given day, meaning that if a 45% (pretty big) problem comes along, they have the capacity to deal with it. it might make them sad, fed up, cross etc within the boundaries of 'normal', but fundamentally, they did not reach the maximum capacity of their coping tank and they function normally.

I feel I'm living with my coping tank 95% full at all times, where only the slightest problem, hinderacne, thwart, rejection or any other element of life that doesn't got to plan, even if it's only a 6% sized issue that should just be brushed off, tips me over the edge and I simply can't cope - I shut down, fall off the cliff of misery and just want to give up on everything - total and complete "what's the point of even trying" state of mind. Often with considerable frustration, anger and despair.

An example. Despite feeling very low, I managed to muster every ounce of will, enthusiasm and energy I could to drag myself off the sofa and force myself to mow the lawns. I mapped it all out in my head, worked out how long it would take, where are the keys to the shed were, which lawn I'd cut first, where my ear defenders are (it's a noisy petrol one) etc, all in an effort to make sure I was in no way thwarted. So in a 'Hail Mary' burst of 'come on, lets fight this', I get my coat and shoes on, grasp the keys to the shed and went for it..... come on, you can do this.....

Only to find that the mower had run out of petrol which would require me to nip round the corner and fill up the can from the petrol station. This was a 6% problem. BOOM.

Gave up, downed tools, walked away in total despair and went to bed, sleeping for the rest of the day to try and bury my frustration and despair. All whilst knowing full well what that must sound/read like to a rational NT person, yet not being able to do anything about it.

Ring true with anyone?

S deleted
20-12-17, 09:24 PM
Oh you have no idea just how many times I’ve sat in the middle of a room in tears because it is too messy to deal with and I don’t know where to start. Then there is the over planning just like your lawnmower procedure because you just know that the simplest think can throw you out for the rest of the day, or week or even longer sometimes. Then the pity party that follows after the epic fail to carry out a simple everyday task making you the worst person on the planet in that precise moment. I can totally relate to what your saying.

Paula
20-12-17, 09:29 PM
Oh yes, I know that particular party well. Total meltdown after spilling nail varnish, screaming at my family because they didnít worry about something Iíd told them not to worry about. Pretty much every day Iím close to my limit of emotional tolerance.

Arty
21-12-17, 07:56 AM
Yes, when we are in a very anxious/depressed state the slightest thing can cause a retreat to our cave. It is definitely part of the illness. Do you keep a journal? It may be helpful to note down the things you have achieved, however small (eg making a cup of tea) Self-compassion is something that is initially hard because we are often so critical of ourselves. It is important to be kind, giving ourselves small treats. If you haven’t come across Dr Cantopher’s book ‘Depressive illness:Curse of the Strong’ it may be worth a look, it was a turning point for me.

Suzi
21-12-17, 03:48 PM
I get it too....

Ovalbug
21-12-17, 10:26 PM
Thanks all - at least I know it's part of the problem. There's DIY jobs round the house that need doing - the bit of silicone needed round the bath, the little chunk of plaster missing by the bathroom window etc - can I face them? No chance. They're a one way ticket to a 3 day downward spiral.

I really hope that the psych referral comes through quickly as I finished from work today and can already feel myself slipping.

Yesterday was a bit of a bummer. I had a rare day off, and in a fit of trying to 'force myself well', vacuumed the house, put the bins out, and by some miracle managed to complete our annual treat to M&S food hall for some Christmas dinner treats. Despite being mentally exhausted after all that, I managed to make dinner for when my wife returned. Big deal you may scoff - I get it, but I work far longer hours than my wife and sadly she does the lions share of domestic chores like that, and I wanted to do it as a treat and not to be seen as moping on the sofa all day whilst she worked.

Sadly, my wife had had a rough day and was exhausted when she got home, so had no real energy or enthusiasm to show the gratitude and appreciation that my selfish, pathetic and desperate need for validation craved. She was pleased, but only mildly so. What did I do? Spiralled into despair and went straight to bed after loading the dish washer - couldn't face another minute of the day. Not blaming her for anything, just not able to rationalise the situation.

It's like I'm constantly clutching at straws, trying to seek out even a whiff of enjoyment or satisfaction from something - ANYTHING, but when this doesn't come, I mentally collapse.

How rubbish.

Suzi
21-12-17, 11:36 PM
Not rubbish at all - but I am sure that your wife was really touched, pleased and thankful that you did all that yesterday.

magie06
22-12-17, 06:20 PM
How are things today?

Ovalbug
22-12-17, 08:54 PM
How are things today?

Not too bad thanks - I had to collect my daughter from school at midday as they broke up early which got me out the house. My wife was very supportive when she came home and I've been amusing myself with some old youtube videos and eating too much pre-Christmas food.

Two things have kept me afloat today - firstly, I received my psych letter confirming my appointment for Friday 5th January, which I'm quite impressed with - let's see what they have to say.

Secondly, I've been procrastinating for months regarding getting some cosmetic dentistry to re-align my front teeth, which due to over crowding are starting to bother me in that they're beginning to look noticeably off kilter and I've caught a few customers recently looking at them which doesn't help my confidence. So this morning I bit the bullet and paid my deposit. A lot of money but a worth while investment I think on many fronts.

Instead of sulking off to bed early tonight with the kids, I've 'booked' some 'us' time with my wife to watch something funny on TV for an hour before bed to lift my spirits. I guess I just need to try and keep positive momentum going and avoid any bumps in the road or triggers that might set me off.

Delicate, but coping.

magie06
22-12-17, 10:16 PM
That's very good news. You've done amazingly well today. You should be very proud of yourself.

Paula
23-12-17, 09:46 AM
Well done, hunni, you did good yesterday :)

Suzi
23-12-17, 02:22 PM
That's such a positive post! Hoorah!

magie06
24-12-17, 05:06 PM
Just popping in to say hello. (hi)

Ovalbug
28-12-17, 04:52 PM
Hanging in there. Not massively down, but not up, either. No drive or enthusiasm to do anything, not keen on leaving the house and very vulnerable to triggers. My wife has gone back to work and I feel very lonely when she's gone, even through I have the kids to look after - a stress in itself.

Another question to the floor - is a symptom of depression always finding fault with something or someone. i.e you fevelop and mindset that is based around, if I could just solve/fix this/that, then everything would be okay? But then should that go away, another thing would come along that would be the source of the depression and so on.

A person I know who doesn't now about my condition told me once that I have a "destructive pursuit of perfection", and whilst he doesn't realise it, those words resonated with me hugely. My personality? My depression? Or an unfortunate combination of both?

Anyone else always trying to fix something/change something as the source of their depression?

I (just about) have enough common sense/self awareness to realise that if this is indeed a symptom of depression, that I need to solve the depression, not fix my perceived issues.

Anyone been through that journey?

Ovalbug
28-12-17, 04:54 PM
Sorry for all the typos - annoying there isn't an edit function.

"Develop a mindset"
"Person I know"

Arty
28-12-17, 04:59 PM
Yes, I think the quest for perfection and wanting something/things fixed is definitely part of anxiety/depression! I think seeing the psychiatrist will really help (in my case, this is true) Also, loneliness is also part of the condition.

Ovalbug
28-12-17, 05:07 PM
Yes, I think the quest for perfection and wanting something/things fixed is definitely part of anxiety/depression! I think seeing the psychiatrist will really help (in my case, this is true) Also, loneliness is also part of the condition.

Please could you tell me what happened during your psych meeting and what the outcome was?

I tend to over simplify things and can;t see past a conversation going along the lines of...

What's up?

Long term clinical depression, PTSD, social anxiety.

What have you tried so far?

I list all the drugs tried and their intolerable side effects - all SSRIs + Mitrazapine, (plus months of talking therapy).

He/she says, "yes, they're common side effects of these drugs".

I say - "yes I know, I've 'finished the internet' looking for an answer - please can I try Wellbutrin as it looks to work well, with no sexual side effects"

He/she says "I wouldn't recommend that for you, as you have significant anxiety which will be exasperated with Bupropion..."


I'm just frightened that there isn't a solution available.

Arty
28-12-17, 05:30 PM
Ok.. I saw my psych. for quite a few appts during which I told him in detail my symptoms (2 nervous breakdowns within 18 months) I was already on Citalopram & Mirtazapine but was in a very bad way. He changed my meds over a number of weeks. I totally understand how desperate you are and how right now you think that there won’t be a solution (I felt the same!) Psychiatrists have a lot of experience and are far better than GPs with Mental health (stating the obvious) Until you see him/her please try to be kind to yourself and rest as much as possible.

Ovalbug
28-12-17, 06:22 PM
One thing i struggle to do is isolate exactly what anxiety is.... here is a list of some of the negative emotions I feel and frequency I feel them - perhaps someone could point to which ones are official anxiety?

Generally sad and un-motivated - Every day.
Not wanted to answer the telephone or front door - 95% of the time.
Hating crowded social situations - weddings, parties etc - 99% (unless I know and am comfortable with most of the people there).
Sudden raised heart rate and tingling in my palms, as if looking over the edge of a building from a great height - few times a week.
Not being able to sleep, heart rate at 120 bbm all night, no sleep, nauseous with fear, loose teeth, bleeding gums, trembling - once last year, for 3 weeks.
Torment, frustration and a sense of being held back / thwarted - most days.
Despair and helplessness with thoughts of suicide - sometimes every day for a week, other times a couple of weeks without.
Lonely (in my soul) - most days.
Inability to relax and just enjoy something for what it is, without micro-analysing it or knowing that it'll soon be over and my problems / sadness / frustrations are still waiting for me as soon as said event are over - all adult life.
Inability to relax and let go - all adult life.
Seeking validation and approval for all that I do - all adult life.
Scanning every situation for threats/triggers and steering to avoid - all adult life.
Dark thoughts about seeking revenge on those that have crossed me in life, school bullies etc - all adult life.

Anxiety?

Ovalbug
28-12-17, 06:26 PM
Oh, missed one.... feeling near the end of my rope and close to losing my temper and feeling irritable - most adult life - I guess part of scanning for threats and constantly feeling on the defensive or under attack from everyone.

Suzi
28-12-17, 08:20 PM
Going by my husband's symptoms most of those can be attributed to anxiety and the low mood etc to depression - however they both fuel each other which makes it difficult to deal with.

Arty
31-12-17, 07:08 PM
Hi, How are you doing? hi)

Ovalbug
31-12-17, 07:18 PM
Hi, How are you doing? hi)

Not bad today, thanks for asking.

I'm in a fairly upbeat mood as I've avoided all possible triggers. Yesterday was a really bad though so its very hit and miss, day by day. I pulled it round yesterday by forcing myself to the supermarket to help my wife with the weekly shop in the afternoon after sulking in bed 'till gone 11am. Whilst there I bought fresh ingredients to make a curry, so when I got home I could focus on something positive, with some help from a few bottles of beer.

I think my position is one of huge vulnerability and fragility, where it takes very little indeed to tip me over the edge and for me to then spiral into despair.

I can't help but ponder what the outcome of the psych evaluation will be - one assumes a different medication other than typical front line SSRIs?

I feel like I'm tip toeing round life and walking on my own personal egg shells.

Paula
31-12-17, 07:49 PM
Iíd definitely say go in with an open mind - psychiatrists can give options for treatment that a GP canít and Iíve certainly been surprised by suggestions from my pdoc in the past

Arty
31-12-17, 07:52 PM
Well done for making the curry. Keep on being kind to yourself, take each day hour by hour. Happy New Year!

Suzi
31-12-17, 08:28 PM
Completely agree. Try not to pre judge what you're expecting - go with an open mind.
We're having curry tonight too! Happy Curry night! Happy new year!

Ovalbug
05-01-18, 09:10 PM
This morning I had my appointment which turned out to be an initial clinical assessment, before being referred to a psychiatrist. I was with the chap for about 45 mins where we covered pretty much every angle of my mental state, both current and historic.

I tried not to self diagnose or put words in his mouth, nor was he willing to hint at any diagnosis, other than he said that much of what I had spoken about was covered under the broad spectrum of depression.

I guess my next session with the psychiatrist will be more conclusive - anyone able to comment on what the psych session will cover that wasn't covered today?

We spoke about drugs I'd tried at which point I respectfully said that my own research has pointed towards Wellbutrin (Bupropion) being a potentially suitable drug, to which he admitted that it was a common one they try off-label under secondary care - there is hope!

I've been back in work this week, so too busy to feel down during the day, therefore it's taken longer to kick in of an evening as my body and brain slows down away from work.

I explained today when quizzed about how I feel less depressed in work that it's a bit like an airline pilot coming into land a plane in a thunder storm, with high winds and poor visibility - the pilot is too busy and focused to feel anything other than to 100% concentrate and perform on the task in hand - only once the plane is at the gate and the engines are shut down can he or she then reflect on how they are feeling.

Hope that makes sense?

Paula
05-01-18, 09:22 PM
Completely makes sense. As to what the next appointment will be like, that varies from doctor to doctor in my experience. Just try to remember that theyíre qualified and experienced in their field so their diagnosis and opinion on treatment is vital but you also should be able to have a say in what happens going forward

ElizabethJane1
05-01-18, 09:30 PM
When I used to see Dr J he would let me ramble on for most of the session and write stuff down as we talked. He would somehow tie everything up towards the end of the session including medication or future visits. He was rather special and excellent in his field. I don't think I will have someone who is quite so brilliant again.
I hope that whatever your psychiatrist says to you works for you

Suzi
05-01-18, 10:59 PM
Sounds like a good session and you sound fairly comfortable about it...

Ovalbug
05-01-18, 11:31 PM
Is there any chance that a psyh will prescribe continuous all expenses paid holidays to Orlando?

I'm sitting here now on the sofa and can just start to feel a little anxiety/sadness creeping in and the pressure of "It's the weekend, this is where you're supposed to enjoy time away from work as part of your work life balance - this is supposed to be the good bit..." yet knowing thi sis unlikely to materialise, nor do I have the energy/will to make something happen.

Another description I conjured up today that might resonate with others is that when I'm in what is a traditional 'happy place', what ever that may be - Christmas morning watching the kids open their presents, a summer afternoon BBQ with family, relaxing by the pool on holiday etc.... in that whilst you might be smiling, whilst you might be going through the motions of being happy, that beneath the mask, you know that deep down inside, something's just not right. That you can't fully relax, you can't let go, you can't give in and be happy, as if doing so is to somehow release control, somehow saying everything's ok, when it's bloody well not... that no matter how 'nice' this event is, you can't just enjoy it for what it is as you know that soon enough, it'll be over and everything will still be awful again afterwards?

Or is that just me being a miserable sod?

He asked me how long ago it was when I was happy/content for any length of time and my answer shocked me. I was 7 years old.

Sorry for venting.

Arty
06-01-18, 08:43 AM
Hi there,
Well done for attending the appointment and it sounds like it went well.
Reading your last comment, it sounds like you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Also, please don’t apologise for letting your thoughts and feelings out on here as you are amongst friends. You are doing brilliantly maintaining your job and it is great that you are very much involved in family life. It is vey good that you reaching out for help. Your description of putting on a front will resonate with many of the people on here. Living with a mental health condition is incredibly exhausting so it is really important for you to be kind to yourself. Keep on chatting to us as we want to listen (nod)

Suzi
06-01-18, 12:55 PM
Is there any chance that a psyh will prescribe continuous all expenses paid holidays to Orlando? Not sure there's enough room in the NHS budget for that, but wouldn't it be awesome?


I'm sitting here now on the sofa and can just start to feel a little anxiety/sadness creeping in and the pressure of "It's the weekend, this is where you're supposed to enjoy time away from work as part of your work life balance - this is supposed to be the good bit..." yet knowing thi sis unlikely to materialise, nor do I have the energy/will to make something happen.

Another description I conjured up today that might resonate with others is that when I'm in what is a traditional 'happy place', what ever that may be - Christmas morning watching the kids open their presents, a summer afternoon BBQ with family, relaxing by the pool on holiday etc.... in that whilst you might be smiling, whilst you might be going through the motions of being happy, that beneath the mask, you know that deep down inside, something's just not right. That you can't fully relax, you can't let go, you can't give in and be happy, as if doing so is to somehow release control, somehow saying everything's ok, when it's bloody well not... that no matter how 'nice' this event is, you can't just enjoy it for what it is as you know that soon enough, it'll be over and everything will still be awful again afterwards?

Or is that just me being a miserable sod?

He asked me how long ago it was when I was happy/content for any length of time and my answer shocked me. I was 7 years old.

Sorry for venting.
Never be sorry for venting. It's better to get it out of your head here than leaving it to fester...

So what things are you doing this weekend?Who are you spending time with?

Ovalbug
06-01-18, 01:41 PM
So what things are you doing this weekend?Who are you spending time with?

That's part of my problem I think, or a symptom of it.

I'm not doing anything and will sit on the sofa until I go to bed on Sunday night for work next morning. That is my life. I'll be in the house whilst my wife and kids potter about, but essentially nothing will happen.

I don't have any friends and as my work role is field based, the couple of colleagues I get on well with live hundreds of miles away, not that I'd really want to socialise with them.

My role in life appears to be to get up early, work flat out all day as the main bread winner, get home any time between 6 - 8 pm depending on where I've been in the country that day, flop on the sofa fatigued, then repeat.

We don't go out anywhere and don't do anything.

There is no fun, no reward, no interest. I am bored to the point of tearing my hair out like a bear locked in a cage rocking back and forth.

The concept of doing this until I retire and then die makes me want to vomit with fear.

The natural reaction would be "Well go out and do stuff with my family....." not so easy.

I have two pre-teen children, one with special needs, the other who is not interested in going out and about, plus on the very odd occasion we do manage to get them out, they fight, argue, moan and complain and make it an utter misery for us all - there is literally no point in going out, other than to end up stressed to bursting and the kids arguing. Plus, they never want to do anything, go anywhere, or on miracle that we can get them both to want to go somewhere on the same day, they never want to do the same thing. As I say, the one with special needs amplifies this situation enormously. We are not the typical, happy-go-lucky family.

As for family, we only really have my mum and Dad who are now elderly and have very limited capacity to help/cope with the kids, especially due to the special needs element so we can't just drop them off with the grand parents for the day whilst we swan off to have a nice time - it just isn't that kind of dynamic. There is no other avenue for support, and the special needs is not severe enough to warrant official assistance.

What are my hobbies?

I love watching boxing on TV - big deal. I get an hour of TV to look forward to every few months if there's a big fight on. Hardly a social life or 'recreational distraction'.
I love classic cars and in days gone by have often had an old classic in the garage to tinker with, but financially that is not something we can support anymore so my avenue is watching car shows on Discovery to at least watch other people having fun with cars, or I'll watch bits and pieces on youtube - but I've pretty much 'finished the internet' now and have exhausted any potential avenue for enjoyment. It's like being a tap dancer with no shoes - you can only watch so many other people tap dancing. Plus, I don;t have the mental capacity to even think about tinkering with a car - as soon as I dropped a spanner on the floor, I'd collapse in a heap of despair, thwart and frustration, such is my inability to cope.

Plus, my social anxiety makes the concept of 'take up a new hobby and go out and meet people' an impossible proposition.

I have only just got out of bed having stayed there as long as possible. If I'm in bed, I'm at least cosy and comfortable and not reminded of how bored and miserable I'm feeling.

Even this 'victim' T shirt is starting to annoy me.....

#braindump

Suzi
06-01-18, 09:05 PM
Thing is, things will only stay the same unless you make a definite change.
I have 3 children each with special needs of one description or another and physical disabilities myself and my husband with depression, social anxiety, panic attacks etc... We've found that actually we need to suggest places to go or things to do and rotate it so that everyone gets to have something they prefer etc... Things like cinema at the weekend - they do cheap childrens shows which are more relaxed. What about going for a walk in the woods? You can download things like nature spotting bingo type sheets or maybe go on a dinosaur hunt or something?

Ovalbug
06-01-18, 09:52 PM
Thing is, things will only stay the same unless you make a definite change.
I have 3 children each with special needs of one description or another and physical disabilities myself and my husband with depression, social anxiety, panic attacks etc... We've found that actually we need to suggest places to go or things to do and rotate it so that everyone gets to have something they prefer etc... Things like cinema at the weekend - they do cheap childrens shows which are more relaxed. What about going for a walk in the woods? You can download things like nature spotting bingo type sheets or maybe go on a dinosaur hunt or something?

I know - we just need to get the kids to stop arguing, bickering etc.

My parents treated us to a week in Majorca last year which we really needed, yet the kids made it a real challenge to the point we both agreed that we'd not bother again, even if we could afford it. It's not that they're ungrateful, they both appreciate things in their own way, it's just that they can't occupy the same space without the whole sharing, taking it in turns, he said, she said nonsense that starts up. They're both so utterly strong willed and hell bent determined, they simply will not back down to each other no matter what we do. We've been out before and threatened to cancel the trip, turn the car round and go home if they don't stop bickering, and they'll continue so we have to follow through with the threat. Next time we remind them of the threat and what happened last time, and they still carry on, so we turn round and go home again with at least one of them in tears. It's no fun for anyone. We have never been out as a family and come back all in agreement that we had a nice trip out.

But, that all assumes I'm up to it, which to be honest I'm not at the moment. Not only lacking any motivation to move, but then even if I can drag myself off the sofa or out of bed, I'm already at the end of my tether before we start, so as soon as the kids begin to even think about creating, I can't cope and spiral. I had to walk out of Lego Land on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

I'm a terrible parent. Or at least not in a fit state to be a good parent. It makes me so sad.

Suzi
06-01-18, 11:46 PM
My kids argue and bicker all the time, it's just something I think most siblings do.
Maybe you need to tell them that it's not about them, you're going out and whether they like it or not! Maybe build in little treats along the way?

Lego Land is a nightmare place!
Are you based near me? Have you tried things like Alice Holt?

Paula
07-01-18, 11:57 AM
Iím with Suzi, my kids would go at each other non stop - and I remember me and my brother doing the same. Thatís normal. To help, we had a two screen DVD player in the car and/or got them to put their earphones in and listen to their own music for the journey

Suzi
07-01-18, 01:06 PM
Marc's car stereo takes a usb so we made up an album as such of various bits of music. We made sure that there was at least a few songs that each person would like and no track was to be skipped. It has been brilliant actually - everyone's favourites, but also some that each person really isn't keen on..

Counting motorbikes?
When I went shopping game?
There are hundreds of things you can do to break up the fighting and the monotony of the car journey.... Maybe trying to smaller trips out, rather than big things like lego land and just be together?

Ovalbug
07-01-18, 01:44 PM
Thanks all, I appreciate the support.

Without rambling, there are a few main issues that make is difficult.

My son has autism, so just going somewhere like a normal family isn't an option - it takes military precision organisation, planning a full cooperation from everyone to still be left with a 50% chance of meltdown. Plus he REALLY doesn't want to go places, no matter how tempting and it's a battle to get him to want to leave the house. To hot, too cold, too much walking, who will be there, who won't be there, what food and drink will be there, what if this, what of that.....

My daughter in pre-teen and not interested in going out with her family. She has her own anxiety issues and is currently working with CAMHS due to self harming and has meltdowns of her own and also doesn't want to do anything. She's 'happy' in her room on her ipod or whatever and is nigh on impossible to coax out and about.

They simply don't want to go out and do stuff - we try suggesting walks in the woods, this and that just to get moans, complaints and every excuse under the sun not to go.

But, aside from all that - which would be challenging enough when NT, I'm not NT, and am in the pits of depression, which means I simply cannot cope or deal with any of that ^^. I just can't. If I could, I'd consider myself just down in the dumps, but ultimately able to rise above it and function. I can't rise above it and function. It's just too much to deal with. Hence dark thoughts of suicide when I'm at my lowest.

On top of all that, outside of my depression, I've got issues of my own to try and deal with, which I can't cope with due to my depression, before I even think about solving other problems.

I'm not trying to put obstacles in the way and find reasons why I can't just put a false smile on and jump in the car, but explain why it's a mountain just too big to climb at the moment.

My wife is also suffering from depression and is undergoing very traumatic counselling for issues gone by so her coping capacity is minimal at best.

Naturally all this puts a huge strain on our marriage, to add to the list.

Suzi
07-01-18, 03:53 PM
Fair enough. Then what about doing things at home as a family? Playing a game or something?

Ovalbug
13-01-18, 04:19 PM
Quick update - got my letter through to see the psychiatrist for March 27th. Disappointed it's going to take that long as I'm still struggling, but it is what it is.
Letter says to bring along my medication.... I don't have any which is why I need to see him.

Paula
13-01-18, 08:17 PM
Why arenít you on any meds?

Suzi
13-01-18, 09:12 PM
No meds at all?

Ovalbug
14-01-18, 11:21 AM
Nope = no meds at all - which is the crux of the problem.

My med history to date goes like this...

Citalopram - left me like a zombie. No emotion whatsoever. No personality. Dead, but biologically alive - tried for a few months, but terrible.
Fluoxetine - kind of helped with depression about 50% but not the anxiety and gave me terrible, intolerable sexual side effects - used for a few years but was affecting my marriage and the side effects causing all sorts of other issues leaving me miserable and depressed.
Mirtazapine - Great for anxiety, but no use for depression, also made me very angry, irritable and horrible to live with, whist still being depressed.
Venlafaxine - Terrible allergic reaction to this so couldn't continue beyond one pill. Was almost for calling an ambulance. Like a junkie going cold turkey.
Sertraline - Sexual side effects kicked in before anything else and even worse than fluoxetine so knocked it on the head shortly after.

I've been off the meds and trying to cope for 6 months now, spiralling out of control, hence I had to relent and go and see the Doctor - hence I'm now in the system waiting for further treatment without meds.

My GP admitted that I clearly am one of those people that does suffer the sexual side effects of SSRI/SNRIs, therefore there's no point trying another half a dozen varieties of the same type - they just don't work with me.

One might argue, well surely not being depressed is better than having to live with sexual side effects? Maybe for some, not for me.

Without getting into too much detail as we've all got imaginations - the side effects aren't something that Viagra could help with, that isn't the 'problem'. The issue is that all sensation, feeling, enjoyment is missing. That then results is no end game or enjoyment overall. This is tormenting, frustrating and such an issue to me and my marraige that it makes me depressed, angry and utterly miserable - catch 22. Why such a big deal for me - we're back to the tap dancer who has their feet amputated to cure their sore hips scenario.

Effectively I've not found a drug(s) that treats my depression and anxiety without intolerable sexual side effects..... which isn;t actually true - I've found a drug that 'might' do all that as it has for many other around the world - Wellbutrin (Bupropion), but as we know, not available in the UK via GPs and must be prescribed via secondary care, which is where I am now... with my fingers and toes crossed.

I'm aware that even if my psych agrees this is something to try, that it might not work for me and have an open mind about other possibilities.

But no, no meds at the moment, hence I'm in such a state.

Suzi
14-01-18, 08:59 PM
Can you call and see if there is a cancellation?

Ovalbug
14-01-18, 10:16 PM
Can you call and see if there is a cancellation?

I could, but unfortunately the nature of my work means I can't drop everything to attend a last minute appointment.
I work all over the country and plan my diary a good few months in advance.
The type of work I do means I can't cancel or rearrange appointments - with multi-million pound contracts involving numerous stakeholders, cancelling or calling in sick just isn't an option - I'm lucky in that the appointment date I've been given falls between existing engagements so I think I'll quit whilst I'm ahead.
I've been med free for over 6 months now, albeit it really struggling; I'll struggle on a few more weeks I guess.

Suzi
14-01-18, 10:57 PM
Fair enough.

Ovalbug
22-05-18, 10:00 PM
Just thought I'd update this as I had my much anticipated psych evaluation today.

We went through all the predictable stuff, discussed meds, history, how I’m feeling now etc and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about the suggestions/findings.

I hope they are not just based on my 45 mins of blabbering and more on previous notes/GP feedback etc.

In a nut shell they feel it’s a personality disorder rather than typical depression and that my best course of action is CBT.

That is not to suggest that medication will not help, but that it should not be the primary source of treatment.

It was also said that the challenge is that my way of thinking is possibly too heavily embedded to be significantly changed to achieve the desired result, but that pills might help the worst of it.

My enquiry into meds available in the USA and other countries led nowhere – i.e “not on the list = not happening”. Bupropion / Wellbutrin is not on the list.

I've been provided a list of their recommended/suggested ADs in their order of preference as Sertraline, Clomipramine, Trazoddone and Amitriptyline. But cited that all will likely carry undesirable side effects and sexual dysfunction. My research suggests that these are all available under primary care, so not the ‘special draw’ access I was hoping for at referral.

If I’m honest, I feel disappointed and somewhat let down/dismissed as a lost cause – i.e “Sorry, you’re just a stress head, but here’s some techniques to help you chill out and a selection of pills that might help”

I don’t know where to go from here, but there was no suggestion of follow up or after care and I feel the ball is very much in my court.

Thing is, despite trying to have an open mind, I can’t see CBT helping me overcome my zero coping mechanism issues and wanting to run away and cry at the slightest hurdle, nor my utter lethargy and lack of enjoyment of everyday life. It ‘feels’ clinical/chemical, not the result of a mind set that mood diaries and relaxation techniques could address, however that statement is based on my own ignorant perception.

Dunno – feel a bit abandoned and unsure of what to do next.

Perhaps it was unwise of me to put so much faith in secondary care.

Suzi
22-05-18, 10:30 PM
I'm glad you've had your assessment. I'm surprised for CBT rather than ACT or DBT... They might also be avenues to explore...

Paula
22-05-18, 10:42 PM
Iím on amitryptaline and have take clomipromine in the past (which I was put on when in a psych hospital). Ami works differently from other ADs and is not usually the first one thatís tried and clomipramine is a 1950s drug that is very rarely used. What Iím trying to say is that I dont think you have been abandoned at all, and theyíre thinking out of the box as far as meds go - so maybe thatís the case with other treatments itms?

Ovalbug
22-05-18, 10:45 PM
I'm glad you've had your assessment. I'm surprised for CBT rather than ACT or DBT... They might also be avenues to explore...

Problem is, I'm not convinced as my periods of very low mood, despair and contemplation of suicide suggests something more heavy duty than therapy is required.

I'm also disappointed in the rather generic offering of ADs and am not sure what to do.

I was expecting to be taken under someone's wing and guided through a journey of specialist care, rather than just casually dismissed with a suggestion that I might want to try this or that.

I feel let down and on my own to sort myself out.

Ovalbug
22-05-18, 11:35 PM
I’m on amitryptaline and have take clomipromine in the past (which I was put on when in a psych hospital). Ami works differently from other ADs and is not usually the first one that’s tried and clomipramine is a 1950s drug that is very rarely used. What I’m trying to say is that I dont think you have been abandoned at all, and they’re thinking out of the box as far as meds go - so maybe that’s the case with other treatments itms?

Thanks - the list of side effects in the common or very common list makes grim reading, with sexual dysfunction near the top of the list in most cases.

I'm shocked that the ball has been left in my court. I'm almost coping at the moment, but being told to go and consider my options and click on a website for CBT self referral and chose from a menu of drugs is more than I can cope with. I feel lost and scared. Maybe I put too much of a brave face on it today and they thought I'm okay - despite me stating I'm not and need help.

It's like I've just been dismissed back to my GP and it's up to me to sort myself out. I'm more often than not incapable of sorting myself out, let along conjuring up the courage and fight to go and see a Doctor.

"So what pills have you decided to try next....?"

Suzi
23-05-18, 07:53 AM
I'm sure it's not that simple at all! They wouldn't have referred back to your GP if they didn't think that was the most appropriate course of action for you..

Ovalbug
23-05-18, 08:10 AM
I'm sure it's not that simple at all! They wouldn't have referred back to your GP if they didn't think that was the most appropriate course of action for you..

But my GP will ask me which AD from the four suggested do I want to try next - answer, none of them really as they all carry well published sexual dysfunction.

Some say sexual dysfunction is better than depression and worth putting up with - maybe for some, not for me. It caused/worsened my depression and feelings of low self esteem/worthlessness. I'm not going there again and my marriage is under enough strain as it is.

I'll put myself on the waiting list for CBT and see what happens, although I can't help feeling it's not the correct route - I just don't get how mind training will lift the invisible heavy blanket that encases me.

Paula
23-05-18, 09:05 AM
Just because something is on the list of potential side effects does not mean youíre going to suffer from them. People react differently to each one. As for the ball in your court, most people like to have a say in what happens next .....

OldMike
23-05-18, 09:36 AM
But my GP will ask me which AD from the four suggested do I want to try next - answer, none of them really as they all carry well published sexual dysfunction.

Some say sexual dysfunction is better than depression and worth putting up with - maybe for some, not for me. It caused/worsened my depression and feelings of low self esteem/worthlessness. I'm not going there again and my marriage is under enough strain as it is.

I'll put myself on the waiting list for CBT and see what happens, although I can't help feeling it's not the correct route - I just don't get how mind training will lift the invisible heavy blanket that encases me.

Sexual dysfunction seems quite a common side effect with AD and for some one my age who lives alone the fact I'm pretty much none functioning in that department doesn't seem to matter. But you being much younger and in a relationship I can see how it would adversely affect you. I'm no doctor but have you asked your GP if there are any AD's which don't affect you so much in that department?

Suzi
23-05-18, 11:37 AM
My husband didn't think that his last lot of therapy was going to help. He went along purely and simply to "cross it off the list and say I've tried it" and actually it's been a massive help. Don't write it off before you've even got there - but things like therapy only help if you're prepared to work hard at it.

Ovalbug
23-05-18, 08:23 PM
Sexual dysfunction seems quite a common side effect with AD and for some one my age who lives alone the fact I'm pretty much none functioning in that department doesn't seem to matter. But you being much younger and in a relationship I can see how it would adversely affect you. I'm no doctor but have you asked your GP if there are any AD's which don't affect you so much in that department?

It's massively important to me and one of the few thing I can get any kind of pleasure from - I cannot allow that to be removed.

The only one (available in the UK) that is known not to provoke dysfunction is Mirtazapine, which I was on for 6 months. Great for anxiety, did nothing at all for depression and actually made me angry and irritable all the time. No fun for anyone.

I get that different people react to different meds in different ways - it's just that all those I've tried so far had the same dysfunctional effect, as effectively they impact serotonin levels, which is the proximate cause for the dysfunction.

The fact that Sertraline was top of their recommended list, and a quick Google search, along with all the data from NICE confirms that sexual dysfunction is right at the top of the 'most wanted list' tells me they're not taking me seriously, or simply don't have anywhere else to go with the meds.

I'll give it some thought and maybe try it, but I can't help anticipating that it will cause issues.


My husband didn't think that his last lot of therapy was going to help. He went along purely and simply to "cross it off the list and say I've tried it" and actually it's been a massive help. Don't write it off before you've even got there - but things like therapy only help if you're prepared to work hard at it.

I will keep an open mind and try.

Suzi
23-05-18, 09:22 PM
They do have other options, but it's often best to try the more tried and tested ones....
Also most other people would rather not have the depression rather than sex tbh..

Ovalbug
24-05-18, 10:10 PM
They do have other options, but it's often best to try the more tried and tested ones....
Also most other people would rather not have the depression rather than sex tbh..

I'm going to give the CBT a go and have sel referred this morning.
I've done some more research and have bought into the diagnosis some more when I discovered the definitions for anxious personality disorder which describe me to a tee.
I believe the depression is a symptom of the personality disorder, rather than the issue itself and the CBT is more likely to address this root cause.
As for depression or sexuality - neither are an acceptable compromise or outcome for me, but appreciate others have different outlooks and views.

Suzi
25-05-18, 09:40 AM
Really glad you're feeling more positive about the CBT. Hope that the referral comes through fast.