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Navigating Deep Depression, Agoraphobia & Deteriorating Health

Community Member

My purpose in creating this thread is to discover a safe space where I can freely express my inner struggles, while also seeking ways to alleviate the ongoing psychological and physical distress I experience. This perspective may resonate more with individuals who tend to retreat in response to extroverted expressions. However, I wholeheartedly welcome those who can relate to such profound emotions.

My primary intention is not merely seeking sympathy or commiseration; instead, my goal is to uplift myself from the deep hole I currently find myself in. My struggles with morbid obesity and experiencing signs of a looming heart attack have been daunting. I even had a mild one before, but I resisted seeking medical help due to feeling misunderstood. Being reduced to just a panic disorder in the community's eyes, with multiple diagnoses, hasn't been beneficial for me, and it only adds to my depression.

Today's industry and its clinical approaches haven't resonated with me, as I've operated differently for many decades. I prefer not to adhere to any particular narrative or advocate specific ways of survival in this confining world. My aim isn't to tell others what to do, but rather to explore and influence my own path. Perhaps, this thread will serve as an outlet for this purpose if it endures, or if I choose to continue sharing.

Lately, the cycles of despair have been getting longer, and I find myself wrestling with a tight chest every night, both psychologically and physically deteriorating. Despite having plenty of support, I struggle to find conventional methods that truly resonate with me.

I hope to write about the various strategies I plan to adopt, as I embark on the journey to overcome this latest extreme cycle. At times, even simple tasks like mowing my own front lawn feel challenging, and I no longer concern myself with the notions of right or wrong. Perhaps, the government could provide assistance, but I fear it might only lead to further disempowerment or unwanted confrontations.
Admittedly, I write better in the mornings, and I am uncertain if this format suits me well. Nevertheless, this seems to be my only outlet to reach out and express myself.

21 Replies 21

Community Member

SLEEP: Last night, I managed to get into bed by 11 PM, which is a significant improvement compared to 12 or 1 AM. I often wake up at odd hours like 2 AM when I do manage to go to bed earlier, around 8 to 9 PM. When that happens, it's a clear sign I am out of sync. Thankfully, I've been doing just enough during the day to nod off in my bedroom recliner around 10 PM. Sometimes earlier when I have kept my activity spread out during the day.
My Deteriorating Health: As I approach my mid-fifties, I find myself dealing with a significantly declined cognitive state compared to others my age. Recent reports have detailed some of my more compulsive issues, including ASD, ADHD, MDD, further complicated by C-PTSD. Note* The "D ‘disorder’" in autism is often misrepresented and misunderstood by those who do not have it or by those creating entertainment / drama content, as well as individuals caught up in role obsession. The only D worth considering here is the damage that comes with long term & deep states of depression.


It’s true enough that the cross over in complex and multiple diagnoses are not considered anywhere near enough by those in the health profession dealing at a generic level, and even less by those whom are labeled. Yet for me, the nature of any disorder within any diagnosis, is more plagued by the very system that defines, maintains and administers such a curriculum.


There is a LOT in the last paragraph for me that I would struggle to convey with respect to its impact on how people are dealt with and viewed. How that in turn adds more so to my deep depression than text books would otherwise indicate. I see a reality where the community services of today have become more like chimney stacks and conveyor belts, where people are commodified more than assisted. The complacency within such an overwhelmed mechanism combined with role obsession be just another filtered phrase that points towards an obscured reality that factors into another dynamic of said depression.


Deep stuff, I know, but for me, it's very relevant in my quest to overcome a failing heart with a psyche that lacks integrity. Just to be clear, for me, I perceive more disorder in society than I do in any of the labels assigned to me. Now, I'll go for a walk and see if I can alleviate any of this pressure in my chest. Thanks for the space. 


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Ponder,


It's nice to meet you here. I hope you are able to find this a safe space to express and explore, as it sounds like you've struggled to find that space elsewhere.


I'm sorry to hear you had a significant physical health issue misrepresented as a mental health problem. That is really disappointing and unfortunately happens too often.


You mentioned struggling to find methods of support that truly resonate with you. Do you have any thoughts about what could help, and if there's anything specifically you'd like us to help you with? I understand this is probably a bit new and uncertain, so please don't feel any pressure to respond if you don't know just yet.


I read your last post about diagnoses and 'disorder'. It's certainly a lot to consider and I'm glad you have had the space here to think about what the true issues are, beyond the diagnostic 'disorder'.



Community Member

Hello James. Thanks for your question and also the acknowledgment regarding stigma. Just having space in which to write about my own efforts and the choices I make in navigating my depression, agoraphobia, & deteriorating health should suffice.


I don't thrive in ingroup dynamics, but I do understand and respect how it provides a sense of belonging for others. Truth is such a hard task where distrust reigns. What resonsates with me, is knowing what works but having the desire to do those things, where the doing makes life worth living. Just not to the tune of some one else's ideals. I tend to find my own path in my own unique way. I am not new or uncertain in the way you asume however know you meant well. 

I welcome any more feedback if I manage to keep writing as I seek to make better choices. Again, I know what to do with regards to my health. Finding the desire is where many of us are found to be lacking. Being perceived as lazy does not help. There is much shame and blame, and a lot of assuming when it comes to the likes of me. That said, I would only dare to speak for myself, and again, I am very wary of group dynamics and peer pressure. I find such things just as disabling.


That said, I have here for others as much as I am for myself but only in as much as my abilty to muse the way I do. Hense the tact in allowing people space to do as they do. I'm byproduct that has been around a very long time and been playing this game for well over fifty years. If I'm found to be stepping on toes, I'll move along as I usauly do. So far so good ... I hope. I don't write to be popular but just to share my own truth without overly investing or claming it to be.  


Community Member

FINDING WILL / WILSON: Consider this space a representation of a washed-up volley ball in the movie ‘Cast Away’ 2000 Tom Hanks. I am not on a deserted island but on a public forum with guidelines and an array of open doors. Right now my ability to connect is compromised but I’m experienced enough to use this space and share my inner thoughts within the limits set by the rules.
Whilst it would be good to have no boundaries, I can see how the character Chuck ends up creating his own, having afforded himself a space in which to stabilize.

I perceive Chuck using that washed up volley ball like how I tend to create my own threads. Thankfully over the years my yelling and screaming are much less damaging. Yet such was part of the process and I’m thankful I found online spaces that allowed me to express.

Unfortunately, I feel in recent years such freedoms have regressed. Dysfunction has spiralled and I’m not talking about my own. More and more of us find ourselves deserted on said islands. I see it in my own family spread across three generations. I think I am well placed to outline such a perspective as we all still live together.

When faced with a world deeply entrenched in depression, the situation becomes more than just about one's personal struggles; the external environment profoundly influences us. The pervasive sense of division accentuates an irony, resulting in a world burdened by unprecedented levels of distrust. So, the question arises: what can one do in such circumstances? The latter part of that equation propagating outside our front door.

All good! This is why I now prefer to talk with Wilson regardless of how many open doors there be. Only just yesterday I found myself texting back an apology to one of my only friends. I apologised for my pessimistic view in light of my declining health and inability to change a degrading world. Thankfully they understand and is why they like me and I them. ← [10-year relationship] For all my faults I’m still with my wife some 30+ years later and in touch with all my kids. Some still living with us + their kids. Kind of makes you wonder where the real dysfunction is? More meaning we all get along just fine. Most reported challenges are about broken relations.

For me it all comes down to that which propagates out my front door. Alas, enough said as I don’t want to be labelled an enemy of the state. We live in complex times, homelessness on the rise and division in every corner. Until next post.


Community Member

Hi Ponder,


Thanks so much for posting on here. You are an excellent writer, and I'm sure many will benefit from reading about your experiences. I hope you also find some solace on this forum. Thank you again for sharing.



Community Member

Hi, Yggdrasil … You are very kind. TY. Your handle reminds me of the movie 'The Fountain 2006' with Hugh Jackman among others. Whilst the tree depicted in that film is commonly referred to as the Tree of Life, there are at times an ash-like look where I see elements that tend towards The Cosmic Tree – aka – World Tree. Of course, each to their own on that train of thought.


Whilst I am on that track and relevant to this thread, I now contemplate a more personal perspective. Separate from the focus on romantic attachment as ‘played out’ by two binary genders, my connection to this world yearns more to fade out. I’ve done more than enough laps around said tree that my unending version of events culminates in the film’s credits. More so to exist solely as the space in between.

Forgive me as I lose the plot or write as randomly as I do. Your username has certainly sparked all manner of images, concepts, and thoughts. My mind often wanders at a moment's notice. Not long after waking up and staring at a blank screen, while settling my mind for my morning post, my phone rang, and suddenly I ended up with two dozen tabs spread across my browser.

That’s the first time for me that a username has ever ignited so much thought in such a meaningful way. That’s an awesome username. I’m so glad you popped in.


Community Member

‘Oppressively Isolated’ is a phrase that occurs to me as I contemplate not only my approach, but also that of a collective that lives deep within the confines of my mind. I choose my words carefully here as I do not wish to impose my point of view as doing so just plays into an already growing problem. This concern is even more crucial to me as I know my position is in conflict with that which imprisons.


So far, seventy-eight words or four hundred and seven characters including spaces not a bad effort where automatons of today excessively speak with the use of memes, or quick to dismiss with ‘Too Long; Didn’t Read’. Yet on the other side of the scale, a direction towards an intellectual, philosophical and logical long drawn out take incites more a reaction than any kind of authentic solution. When not texting in abbreviated sentences, pretentious emails, or caught up in ego-centric argument, the world outside my mind seems to be in more chaos than mine.


So it is that I now define my own narrative in a way that empowers myself without the desire to subscribe and follow along whilst swallowed by my couch.  It’s not easy to detach from the pervasive influence of a world engulfed in expressed conflict and divisive conveyances. Today I show myself more respect in the choices I make to better navigate deep depression, agoraphobia, and deteriorating health. 


Time to get on my bike! 


Community Member

You know something? It's a rare occasion when I can truly enjoy the sun in my backyard. It doesn't matter that I have high fences and screens; there always seems to be a window somewhere, peeking into my yard. The houses are so close together that it feels like everyone can hear their neighbors passing wind. I was born in a town so small that you could say I was raised under a tree. Alas now I find myself planting pots to survive this concrete world.

I’ve only just skimmed the surface of how far my depression goes. Despite that, I've managed to force myself out of the house a few times recently. In the last two days, I've been busy refurbishing an expensive rebounder I imported from the states a few years back. It's called a 'Cellerciser,' and even though it's built to last a lifetime, I'm meticulously cleaning the springs and connector plugs before oiling them so that the only sound I make will be that of my socks.

My next plan is to pull a walking pad, also known as an under-desk treadmill, out of my hat. I sold my previous one, unfortunately, due to limited space, but this time I'll ensure to get a foldable model that can be easily tucked away. Amidst all the self-talk lately, I'm quietly setting intentions to address my physical needs. I'm taking things a bit slower than usual, mainly because I have a monumental task ahead, and I want to avoid rushing into it without proper consideration. As someone who has become more introverted lately (for lack of a more fitting term), this is not my typical approach when it comes to managing the cycles of ups and downs.

These waves of emotions have been a lifelong journey, and I find myself at a crossroads where I must accept the reality of aging and be mindful of my body's vulnerability to injuries, as I tend to push myself too hard and injure myself. On a side note, I must acknowledge that PTSD is a relevant factor when it comes to exercise, and it's a topic deserving its own discussion, especially in complex chronic cases. Considering these revelations, I believe meditation will have to be a tool I reintroduce into my life.

I’m also procrastinating as I prepare my tools. Once I’ve cleaned and lubed my rebounder … I’ll have my starting block!


Community Member


Less polished and more fragmented but writing is helping. TY. Here we go again ... a couple of days ago, I came to a realization and decided to cancel some additional NDIS community access supports. I noticed that I had been pushing myself too hard, just like how I've been using exclamation marks of late.

About the latter, I find such a form of expression overused and akin to plastic surgery. Yet I am just as prone to excessively using them when my energy returns. I don't expect I will get much support when I talk about such things given the popularized use of bubbly expression. I tend to surmise a silent majority deeply depressed due to an overwhelming algorithm that projects all manner of shadows on a cave wall. Yet I am not convinced that the world is any more real outside the cave as conveyed by Plato himself.

I don't have much time this morning, and to be honest, I'm somewhat more out of sync than yesterday. My hygiene could be much better, so I will most likely hose myself today. Given I am in suburbia living in a box, that's sarcasm to be sure yet close enough to the mark. I need to go to the chemist and get some drops for my eye.

Thanks for letting these posts through. I've been doing my best to keep them within the rules while struggling with all manner of painful thoughts. I do enjoy writing and hope to express more about just how isolated I feel. I'm also doing what I can not to give in to strong idealizations. I know that's a very sensitive topic but want to let you know I am once again being gentle on that approach. Yet if we have to live in fear of even just the topic of expression, then that only adds to further isolation. The point is a lot of what holds me back is quite challenging to that which is projected on our cave walls.

Basically, I think I will have to be my own teacher, dragging myself up to the surface. And even then, I expect there will be another level of transition that will be met with resistance, with more questions about where that conflict comes from; outside and/or within?