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Experiencing true depression

cameraphonecameraphone Registered User Posts: 378 Member
edited January 2016 in College Life
I thought I might ask a source where quality answers are more likely to appear.

Last semester around late October/early November, I fell into a depressive bout and I'm not completely certain what might be causing it. I started just feeling extremely run down, no motivation to get anything done, and sleeping upwards of 10 to 16 hours per day, getting homework done in just the nick of time. It has progressed into this semester and unfortunately it's quite a bit more severe. Nothing seems fun anymore. I can't find reason to go on. I feel fine for short stints at a time during the day, but there's periods during the day and mostly at night that I just feel completely worthless--that there's no solution to improving my life at this point and maybe life would just be better without me. I binge eat and sleep excessive amounts still.

I don't want to feel that way, but sometimes it's just incredibly hard to move past it. I do see a psychiatrist, but she's not very "good" to say the least. She's provided by my university but when I tell her all this, she just tells me that I should take X pill and be in therapy, but the pill isn't that helpful and that I'd probably be better off with just therapy and exercise. I question why she even took the job as a psychiatrist if the only thing she says she "does" is prescribe but she downplays medication. I don't take the medication because I just don't feel convinced she cares about my well-being in that regard.

I've begun to work on the exercising portion by refusing the bus and instead walking to class every day. I wanted to schedule an appointment at my university's counseling center, but there's at least a 3-week backlog before I could be seen, and the psychology clinic won't even schedule me an appointment until I complete a phone interview 1 to 2 weeks from now. The counseling center only provides 6 free visits before you either have to pay or start therapy somewhere else. The psychology clinic is not free. I'm not sure if I can use insurance benefits for that, but my insurance copay is pretty high at $50 for a general visit.

I'm feeling a little "stuck" to say the least. How do I build a support network in my situation? What do I even do? My family isn't very helpful as they don't know how to handle mental health situations--they've never had to deal with it, so they're a little limited in what they can do to help. And most importantly, the reason I bring this here is that I just cannot bring myself to do anything school-related. Homework assignments are not being done, studying isn't taking place; this just isn't who I know myself to be. I don't want to have to drop out because I'm relatively close to being done (done with my major already, but graduating next spring).

I just wish life had a pause button so that I could take a step back for a while.
Post edited by MaineLonghorn on

Replies to: Experiencing true depression

  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,619 Senior Member
    Please accept some help! I'm sure the counseling center will not make you wait if it's so serious that you are thinking harmful thoughts. Can you at least give the medicine a chance to help?

    You have been going through a lot of things, from roommate issues to health problems, lately.

    If you need to take some time off and take a medical leave, then you could deal with some of these things and then come back and finish school.
  • cameraphonecameraphone Registered User Posts: 378 Member
    @mommdc, I was a tad bit annoyed when I called the counseling center to try and schedule an appointment but they said the process was that I had to come in during walk-in hours for an intake interview no matter what. I called Friday morning but couldn't make their walk-in hours (12 to 3) because I have back-to-back classes and lab until 5 on Fridays.

    I suppose I could give medication a try--I have the one that is supposed to work the fastest and have less side effects, but one of the main warnings on it is the risk of seizures. I have a family history of seizures but I've never had one myself. I have no one to watch over me to make sure I don't have one. I could ask for something else, but I might have to wait until my next psychiatrist appointment at the end of February to do that I think.
  • SpringAwake15SpringAwake15 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    Are there private practitioners around? You may still need to pay a copay, but there may be less of a wait time.
  • cameraphonecameraphone Registered User Posts: 378 Member
    @SpringAwake15, without a doubt, there are private practitioners around. But that goes back to my concern about copay. My parents' insurance changed this year. Our general copay used to be manageable at $30, but it's nearly doubled this year to $50 which is a lot more than I care to pay for help that might not pan out.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,737 Senior Member
    I don't take the medication because I just don't feel convinced she cares about my well-being in that regard.

    Well of course they don't help- you're not taking them!

    Anti-depressants can take a long time to work. They're not like antibiotics where you're feeling better in a few days. That's just not how it works.

    I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder nearly ten years ago and have been on and off meds ever since. The meds can be a lifesaver (they certainly were for me), but they only work if you take them.
    I could ask for something else, but I might have to wait until my next psychiatrist appointment at the end of February to do that I think.

    No- you can call their office and tell them about your concerns and your psychiatrist can switch your meds if need be.

    You have been getting the same advice on here for months and months. I'm not sure what else you want us to say.
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,329 Senior Member
    ^^^^

    I'm no expert, but I'm fairly sure that true depression can't be "cured" by saying "**** it all."

    A bad mood? Sure. But depression? Nope.

    Please take my advice as both a mom and an educator: if you're depressed, really depressed, then you can't "cure" it on your own-- no more than you could cure Mono or remove a tumor through will power.

    Your mental health is of parmount importance. So if the only way to get to that intake interview is to skip a class, then choose the class in which you have the highest grade and the fewest absences, and get to that interview.

    If you had a fever of 102 and were dizzy, you would treat this as real medical issue and get help, right? OK, this is a real medical issue, and you've told us you have the symptoms. Your mental health is every bit as important to your well being as your physical health.

    If you're having "dangerous thoughts" then this is an emergency. TODAY-- right now-- I want you to make your RA aware of the situation. Email or print up your OP and get it to an adult. NOW. Right now. Call your parents if you need to, get on a bus and go home, do what you need to do to get the help you need.

    Seven years ago I woke up with a big lump in my breast. Wishing it away, hoping it away, none of that worked. Our bodies simply don't work that way. Seeing the appropriate medical professionals is what you do when your body is exhibiting signs of a problem.

    OK, get off the computer, and deal with the signs that there's a problem. Two hours from when you read this, I want you to post that you've taken some steps to let someone else know there's a problem, OK?
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,619 Senior Member
    You have come so far, achieved alot and overcome so much.

    4.0 gpa and AA in math from CC I believe. That enabled you to get a full tuition scholarship from your college.

    You are almost done with school!

    You have had some setbacks with health problems, the anxiety attacks and such.

    This is an illness and you need help to treat it so you can get better.

    So go get help!
  • GuppieGuppie Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    Please talk to your parents for further support. You need to see a psychologist (in parallel with psychiatrist ) to receive therapy. Meds will I hope help, but therapy is important. I would like to think your parent would do anything (paying for therapy even insurance may not cover) to help you. Many go through what you go through. You are not alone and there is a help.
  • cameo43cameo43 Registered User Posts: 1,481 Senior Member
    Guppie is correct. It sounds as though your psychiatrist just focuses on psychopharmacology... Prescribing and managing meds. Not all psychiatrists practice therapy. A good social worker could make a huge difference for you. Have you discussed your medication concerns with your doctor? That is important too. There are many antidepressants available and if your family has a history of seizure disorders, then that med may not be the best choice for you. In any case, it is true that these meds take time to work. You will not see an immediate change. The sooner you start, the better. If you are having frequent suicidal thoughts, and you do not feel safe, call the crisis line in your location. There is a crisis team at the hospital and they can do an assessment and get you the help you need.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 36,472 Super Moderator
    MODERATOR'S NOTE: The posters on this website have given the OP a lot of excellent advice, for months now. It is up to the OP to get help - there is nothing else we can do. It's not fair to other users - the OP asks for advice, ignores it, and then states how bad everything is.

    OP, please take the advice that has been given you and get help. All THREE of my children have been diagnosed with mental illness of varying severity. Medicine and therapy has helped all of them.

    If you don't want to contact a crisis line, I suggest that you call your local chapter of NAMI - they might be able to recommend other actions you can take.

This discussion has been closed.