Hi Just joined. Here's my intro ....
My name is Mark. I am 44 years old and originally from the UK. I have recently moved to Perth after living 15 years in Sydney. I use to be a corporate high flying project manager. And now I am not. In 2006 and had a motorbike accident in the UK which broke my leg and started a chain of circumstances which lead to me being diagnosed with major depression. After a period of denial and some extensive psychological testing I finally accepted I had depression and started taking a low dose of anti-depressants. I didnt like the side effects and hated the stigma of taking the drugs. After 8 weeks I took myself off of them and reverted to natural remedies of St Johns Wart, omega 3 and exercise. One day the black fog in my mind lifted and I thought the whole episode was behind me and I could move on with my life.
I went back to my job thinking I could pick up from where I left off. But I wasnt the same person. My memory, my cognitive functions, my intellect where a faction of what they were. So now after a couple of disastrous work contracts and a couple of failed business attempts my career is in ruins and I need to reinvent myself. I also have to accept that I have never beaten the depression I have just managed it. And managed it badly. I would say I have mild to moderate depression now but I miss having the fully functioning brain I use to have.
So following doctors advise, tomorrow I start again on anti-depressants but this time it will a higher dosage and a sustained period of at least 9 months on them. I want my brain working again.
I hope I can give and receive support during this time
Welcome, and thanks for your introduction.
Depression is one of those things where once we've got it we become a little more prone to it's side effects in the long run. It is treatable but I like to see treatment as something long term, the quick fixes don't tend to have much impact. It's kind of like dieting, you can choose to go on a diet for 6 weeks, struggle from withdrawals of all the foods you used to enjoy, and then give up only to regain the lost weight. Or you can change your lifestyle so that long term you eat healthy, exercise regularly, sleep well, and take time for yourself, therefore slowly losing the weight but keeping it off for good.
The medications often have impactful side effects but I've found these subside after a couple of months. They can also take some time to start having an affect, and doses may need to be reviewed at intervals. In addition to medication are you also seeing a therapist? In my experience looking after yourself when you're experiencing depression is better done with a combination of treatments. Individual therapy, group supports or group therapy, and a healthy lifestyle approach.
You may have read them already, but if not, Beyondblue have a range of resources available to download online that have a lot of information on depression.
Working can be a challenge at times, especially due to poor concentration, and poor brain function. It's important to keep the brain healthy. Mindfulness is a good technique to practice, you can google this and there are plenty of apps and cds available. I like that you're taking the view of reinventing yourself. What sort of career do you think you would be interested in? I'm in this process at the moment. Late last year I left my job as a Senior Training Manager for a Cosmetic company. I have been quite daunted by the thought of returning to work ever since. Having said that having a mental illness has really helped me to find my true self and recognise my values. I've started writing a novel, I'm currently designing my own website, and I'm thinking about studying Social Work or counselling.
Anyway, it was lovely to read that despite your troubles you are still wanting to contribute to the forums. I have no doubt you'll be great at this:) Look forward to reading more of your posts.
dear Mark, thanks for posting on this site,sometimes it takes a person awhile to gain the strength to do this, because their natural thoughts are that they will be judged and perhaps criticised, but that doesn't happen on this site because the Moderators who screen all posts wouldn't allow this to ever happen.
When someone takes the herbal St. Johns Wart, there is an anticipation that your mood will lift so sometimes psychologically we begin to feel better, and this can last for a few days, but this herbal treatment is really only for a mild depression, but it's no good and won't have any effect on you if you are clinically depressed.
This what I had copied and pasted so the rest of my post has not gone through, which I will try and do so when I can recall my thoughts, so I will try this again. Geoff.
dear Mark, I will have another go and try and remember what I previously said.
When we have depression our mood changes, our 'friends' change and our circumstances change, we can't help this it's just part of what this illness does to us.
We could the top boss of any large company, but when we get this illness we are no longer boss of anything, because we are consumed by depression, it's not our fault, or in particular situations nobody else's fault, it just happens.
This is in contrast to a family member or a pet that has passed away, but we still end up with the same result, depression.
There are plenty of sites that you may learn from and perhaps click under 'resources'' at the top of this page and order the printed material from BB, it's all free and it will explain so much for you all about the pro's and con's of this illness.
It's an illness that can confuse all of us just as it does for our psych, but there is a solution that is somehow hidden within us.
This is nothing like what I originally said, but I hope that you can reply back to us. Geoff.
Your feelings about once being the "high flyer" in your career, is not unlike the feelings we get upon retirement. I've been retired for only 9 months and at 57 then, it all came quickly.
I can recall about one month after ending my employment (my own business) I went for a walk and spoke to myself. My work (private investigator) was unique in its art form and I had trained many a person into my field. I reached the peak of my profession. My work obviously became part of my personality.
So I had to remind myself that I was also a poet, a father, an uncle, a good neighbour, a master of my dog, a motorcyclist, a good Samaritan, a friend to a few etc. And as my illnesses both physical and mental had 100% effect on me retiring I had to overcome the hurdle of low self esteem, for never again would I work.
All of us here have had to face the prospect of depression tagging along behind us for the rest of our lives. Many of us I assume have gone off medications or reduced them thinking we have "mended ourselves". The best gauge of our state is from our partner IMO. That roller coaster of ups and downs isnt uniform in its curves. It's unpredictability is its evil.
On the bright side those with MI can be creative, artistic and to left field which can be ones saviour. With or without this uniqueness we have to make the best of a bad thing. Once you have accepted your predicament and have stabilised on the right medication you will feel better. Then your challenges are less. Like accepting the naivity of friends and family to your plight. It's why we are posting here....among our own.
AG was correct when she said its harder to find the positives as the negatives take over when depressed. Hang in there. Not all "high flyers" remain so high...due to no fault of their own.