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OT... depression help?

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  • OT... depression help?

    This is not directly riding related, but from some of the posts I've read on here in the past, I think there are some people here who could offer me some words of encouragement or advice...

    I am having a hard time lately with depression. (It has to do with horses in that it has become hard to drag myself to the barn and ride). I had a short term relationship with a guy who was kind of messed up, and it sent me into a tailspin. I am doing all the things I think I am supposed to do--seeing a therapist, trying to stick to my routine, going on antidepressants--but it's been a month and it's still really hard to get up in the morning.

    This is the third time this has happened to me, and it's really scary. My friends don't really understand, my self-esteem is plummeting... I'm finding it hard to be with people but also hard to be alone.

    does anyone here have experiences they can share? i feel like my light has gone out.... i know i will get through this, but it's really hard right now.

    i know i'm a mess when i don't even want to see my horse, and i dread my lessons because I am riding terribly.

    I'm sorry if this is inappropriate to post here, I just have the feeling that there are many wise and kind people here who might understand.


  • #2
    This is not directly riding related, but from some of the posts I've read on here in the past, I think there are some people here who could offer me some words of encouragement or advice...

    I am having a hard time lately with depression. (It has to do with horses in that it has become hard to drag myself to the barn and ride). I had a short term relationship with a guy who was kind of messed up, and it sent me into a tailspin. I am doing all the things I think I am supposed to do--seeing a therapist, trying to stick to my routine, going on antidepressants--but it's been a month and it's still really hard to get up in the morning.

    This is the third time this has happened to me, and it's really scary. My friends don't really understand, my self-esteem is plummeting... I'm finding it hard to be with people but also hard to be alone.

    does anyone here have experiences they can share? i feel like my light has gone out.... i know i will get through this, but it's really hard right now.

    i know i'm a mess when i don't even want to see my horse, and i dread my lessons because I am riding terribly.

    I'm sorry if this is inappropriate to post here, I just have the feeling that there are many wise and kind people here who might understand.



    • #3
      I've never dealt with depression or anything like that, but maybe it would be easier to get up in the morning and start the day if you set some sort of goals for yourself that you can work towards. I've also heard that jogging/exercising is good for people with stress because it releases endorphins I think. What kind of music do you listen to? I think sometimes if you listen to people sing about being depressed or angry, they will put you in that mood as well sometimes. Maybe you could try listening to "happy music" with a more upbeat tune.

      Anyway, I hope you start to feel better soon! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


      • #4
        An antidepressant that works for some people won't work for others. If the one you are on isn't working, go back and have them try something else. You may have to try several to find one that works for you.

        Keep talking to your therapist, he/she is the one who can help you the most. You can deal with depression, but it takes time and effort. It is not surprising that you are still feeling depressed after only a month.

        It's hard for we who are on the outside to give you any kind of concrete advice, because we don't know your situation. I have dealt with depression all my life, and a large part of that time I didn't even know that was what was wrong with me. You have taken a giant step already in identifying the problem.

        Just keep trying, look at the positive things and please don't be too hard on yourself, you will feel better in time, especially since you are getting the help that you need.
        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
        Desmond Tutu


        • #5
          I haven't dealt with depression personally, but I have several very close friends who have struggled with it... it's something that's very difficult for others to understand, I think.

          One of my friends did start taking antidepressants, and then stopped because he didn't think they were helping. He started again later, and stuck with it a little longer, and they did start to help. So maybe it just takes some time for them to kick in.

          Maybe a slight change in your routine would help? I know it's almost impossible to have time for anything else outside of horses, but the suggestion of exercise is a good one. Of course, it's hard enough to motivate to go to a gym when you do feel upbeat and energized, [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] so that might be even harder to do in your case.

          It does sound like you are doing the right things... it might just take some time to find the right combination of things that works for you.

          I'm sure there are others who have some more personal experiences that they can share. I just didn't want you to feel lonely without many replies to your post! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


          • #6
            ....it is very effective for my depression. It essentially stabilizes my moods. No drastic swings on way or another (except when horse shows roll around and I VERY excited!!!).

            Anyway, I found it extremely helpful. I jump out of bed at 5am to clean stalls before work! Ask your doctor. What may be right for some isn't always for others. I honestly have had great success with it though! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]


            • #7
              thanks for your replies... it does help to hear that there are others out there who have felt similar, (even if they are only your friends, erin...)


              • #8
                In your heart you know what it is that is bothering you. You may not have the courage or the insight yet to verbalize it, but with any recovery, acceptance is the first step. I'm convinced that depression is something that most definitely can be beaten, but you've got to want to get better and you have to take responsibility for your recovery. No one can do it for you.

                Don't blame your relationship for your depression now, unless there is something you need to say to him in order to let it go. Sometimes things you think are neatly sewn up and put away are actually what need to be addressed most.

                Live for small goals. Set the smallest goals for yourself. If it's 5 minutes of inspiration at first, then make that your goal. Do something for others that will give yourself a sense of accomplishment. Go volunteer at an AIDS or cancer hospice. Go volunteer at a local handicapped riding program. Do something to force yourself to interact and to take your mind off of things.

                Dwelling on things over which we have no control can drive us beserk. It's so not worth it. At the end of the day we put ourselves to bed and raise ourselves in the morning. We have to take charge of our lives and our health and happiness.

                Best luck,

                When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


                • #9
                  ... Depression is just like any other condition - it can be chronic, depending on the sort, and sometimes people who are prone to it must take special care to be certain that their head, emotions and feelings are always (for the most part) in the right place, and take steps to correct it when it is not.

                  It sounds like you're doing all of those things. It's great that you are seeing a therapist, and also good that you are taking medication. However, if it's been 4 weeks on the meds, and you haven't seen much improvement yet, you may consider telling your doctor, and possibly altering your prescription.

                  I have found that the best thing to do during a low period is spend time with the people who understand and are patient with you. People who don't have problems with depression don't always understand, and you mention that your friends don't "get it." That's not uncommon. And it's not their fault. They're very lucky if depression has never touched their lives.

                  That said, you need to find some peers who can understand you (aside from any at this board). Find an anonymous support group in your hometown if you don't have a friend or two who's "been there, done that."

                  Also, I would suggest looking deep into your mood right now and finding something ... anything ... that gives you a bit of pleasure. If it's not the horses, that's okay. Maybe it's a book, movies, or even the silliest TV show. You need something to look forward to every day, even if you have to force yourself. It's likely that you still feel numb and a bit purposeless. That's completely normal. Once your meds get into your system, you'll see a difference, bit by bit.

                  I'm not sure your age or stage of life, so I can't tell if you work or go to school. But maintaining normalcy in those realms can be a challenge, as well.

                  Obviously, this is something I know a lot about. I've been through it for my own set of circumstances. One of the things I work for in my adult life, during my free time, is greater Depression Awareness. I know, it's oh-so-very Tipper Gore, but when I went through it myself, there was a lot of shame and second-guessing ... and it kept me from getting the help I needed right away. I wasted so much time worrying about the fact that I was "defective" or "weak" instead of getting right to the point and addressing the causes and effects. That's why I'm so open about it today. I'm a grown up, I'm actually a really strong woman professionally and personally, but I will always ... ALWAYS ... have to stop and check my head and make sure I'm on the right track. Like some people check their blood pressure.

                  Life is hard sometimes ... for everyone. I just want to say keep at it, day by day, and continue to watch your progress and consult your doctor and pretty soon I'm willing to bet that you'll see a difference. And, hopefully pretty soon, you'll feel stronger, and going to the barn will become a pleasant high-point in your life again.

                  Best of luck to you! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                  • #10
                    Besides going to therapy and taking your meds, you need to turn the focus outward. Volunteering is a great way to do that. Helping others has always been one of the best ways to help yourself.
                    'Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.'
                    - Pablo Picasso


                    • #11
                      I, too, meant to include a paragraph in my post about forgiving yourself for not feeling fantastic right now. Life is hard. When I was depressed the smallest, simplest things were so overwhelming to me. It literally took me 30 minutes each morning to get out of my apartment and I would have 3-4 anxiety attacks during that time span. When I started letting go of the control that I so desperately craved (and even now people who know me say, "my God, you were REALLY intense back then!") things got much better.

                      Depression is chronic for some. I'm thankful that I'm not one of them. And that's totally by choice. Sometimes I feel blue, and think "God, what if I get depressed again?" and I immediately say, "you know, tomorrow is a brand new day ... quit taking yourself and things so seriously and enjoy the day that you've lived today."

                      It's sappy and new-agey and such, but I swear, it works. I used to be a big antagonist of all of the positive thinkers. I thought, "they're so brainwashed." But I've now come to realize that I still hadn't gained enough strength then to be really honest with myself and identify why I was masochistically denying myself the happiness that I so desperately wanted. It was very much a subconcious thing. I didn't want to be happy because I secretly felt like I didn't deserve to be happy. That wasn't true.

                      Now, Wellbutrin not only helped me quit smoking, it did wonders for my mental state. I took it 5 months then transitioned to an anti-anxiety medication which I took for 2 years and then stopped taking 2 years ago.

                      Turning 30 was also the best thing that ever happened to me. I know it's just a number, but I swear, on my 30th birthday I peered through my sunburned corneas at Mass. General's ER in Boston (long story, freak tanning bed incident) and said goodbye to the boy I left in his 20's. I don't have time for bullshit, nor do I want to mire myself down in it anymore than I have to.

                      I really do wish you the best. It's hard, but keep talking about it and don't you EVER be ashamed to admit that you're depressed. You cannot help it and no one holds you responsible for it. But do really think about things and identify what you honestly consider your "cores." Live your life in a such a way as to grow your core. When you do that you will be happy, and it will last!


                      p.s. I also subscribe to www.beliefnet.com and get their "Daily Buddhist Wisdom" quotes. So inspirational!
                      When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


                      • #12
                        I def. def. know what you are going through! If you'd email me crazymisspriss@hotmail.com I'd love to talk---I know exactly where you are....

                        Disgruntled College Students Clique ROCKS!!!!!
                        Proud Bubblehead for 8 years
                        "Who can say when your heart sighs, only time" --Enya


                        • #13
                          Rockstarr and Robby (and everyone else)--

                          Thanks for your replies. This isn't the first time this has happened to me. I am trying to set small goals for each day, and be happy that I can complete them. I know that it will pass,and that I will be stronger for it, it just sucks for now. I feel like I am no fun to be with, that I can't think of anything to do....

                          It is hard to face this stuff. You're right, Robby... I know it has nothing to do with the relationship that ended, but what the relationship represented.... I am 33, and have a great job, many friends, and a great horse, but have had trouble with intimate relationships all my life. I am sad and embarrassed about that... I feel like it's something everyone else somehow knows how to do but I don't. I have to get to my "core," you're right, but right now I don't feel much like I have one. I am trying to be patient and kind to myself, and beleive that a core will emerge...

                          thanks again for your support. i think you guys are great.


                          • #14
                            I know what you are going through. The very best thing you can do is be around POSITIVE people. When I started hangin out with my brother again and seeing my friend, Brian (who is VERY positive) I felt awesome. I know how you feel about the guy things too. I spent 4 years in a long distance relationship and then after that dated two guys (not at once) who treated me like T-total CRAP. Now with my new guy I feel so much better. Get out, go to clubs and hang out with positive people.

                            You can make it babe! If I can do it, so can you!!!!!! Be thankful you have your horse. My self esteem was ROCK BOTTOM and now it is climbing back up because I stopped seeing negative people. Well I'm about to go with my honey.......

                            http://www.dmtc.com/dmtc98/Pedigree/ you can look up you Thoroughbred's Pedigree with photos 9 Genrations back!
                            Men come and go, but my horse will always love me!
                            "Common sense is so rare nowadays, it should be classified as a super power."-Craig Bear Laubscher


                            • #15
                              I'm 30 so I'm right there with ya. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                              I thought it was a pain in the keister when I had other people's weddings to go to every weekend. Now, it's other people's baby showers.

                              I tell people, who pester me with annoying questions that are none of their business:

                              "I'm skipping my first bad-marriage and inevitable divorce. But thanks for asking!"

                              But I agree with Robby ... something clicked in me this year when I turned dirty ... I mean, thirty. You'll start to click again, too. Don't worry about not being fun to be around. You can't be "on" all the time. Now is the time to be selfish. Especially about your own mental and emotional health. Everyone else can stick it if they don't like it.

                              You're the most important person in this whole equation, and sometimes it's hard to remember that. Regarding finding the right person, some people get it done early in life. I know I'm much more complicated than that. So I'm taking my time. Screw the social mores and other people's timelines, that's what I'm sayin'.

                              And, like some others, my email is in my profile. You're welcome to contact me any time you'd like! In fact, anyone who ever struggles with this kind of situation is welcome, as well. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                              • #16
                                rockstarr--you're my hero today!
                                i may take you up on that email offer...
                                (btw, great picture in your profile...)


                                • #17
                                  I think we all, to varying degrees, go through periods in our life when the shit hits the fan and we become enveloped in an emotional torpor.

                                  There's usually a trigger (in your case the end of a relationship), but it's not uncommon to succumb to, and become overwhelmed by, a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness; to be crippled by the memory of all the pain that you've ever experienced.

                                  For me, at a time when I should have exhalted in the excitement of an engagement to my soul-mate, a successful academic career, a carefree existence in the city, I slept -- for three months. At a time when I should have looked forward to the future, I felt paralyzed by my past. I never did seek therapy, though probably should have, and it's thankfully never recurred since.

                                  What helped me immeasurably was Hans' daily mantra that things would get better and the realization that I didn't have to control the entirety of the universe. Like Robby, I am actually thankful for that three-month period as it enabled me to psychically clean house - and let go of an imperfect childhood. I dealt with my 'core'.

                                  At the very least, sadalter, know that you are not alone and that I am not the only one on this BB who'd offer a helping hand, shoulder to cry on, or an ear to gab into.

                                  Continue with your therapy, speak to your doctor about other possible meds., set yourself up for small daily victories; and please do not isolate yourself from your friends and family.

                                  Take care of yourself.


                                  • #18
                                    I know this month has FELT like forever, but from my external experience, it seems that often the drugs take longer than that (6 weeks) to kick in. Or maybe one of the other drugs will work better for you.

                                    As for riding, you don't need to tell all to your trainer if you don't want to, but you might mention that you're feeling discouraged and untalented and unconfident, and ask if maybe she can have you work on some exercises you're good at. I know that sometimes going back a step helps me remember how far I've come.

                                    Take care of yourself. Maybe try to find some really good rollicking novels to pass some of the time - when I was sick and every minute was a torment, Harry Potter and some old juvenile/young adult horsey novels helped brighten my perspective.
                                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                                    • #19
                                      What's great about this board is all the differing perspectives you get. I guess mine is a little different from others, in that when I'm really, really depressed there is *nothing* in life I look forward to, and just going through the motions of a day-to-day routine can be hard. What I've found is that finding an anti-depressant that works is a bit of trial and error. Zoloft made me happy, but also made me not care about anything important. Celexa was good for my mind, but I gained 30 pounds on it, and THAT depressed me even more! I'm taking Wellbutrin now, and it seems to ward off the depression while still allowing for normal emotions.

                                      I guess I don't have any great advice here, but I know when I'm depressed the idea of never waking up again doesn't seem so bad. What keeps me going is thinking of the people and animals who care about me, remembering that I do make a difference in their lives. Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm not good enough for my horse, that I don't deserve her, that I'm short-changing her by my limitations, but then I think "Heck, she doesn't give a hoot such things. She loves me because I know just where to scratch her ears and I keep they hay coming." Similarly, when I feel like no one cares about me, I come home to my meowing cat and remember that at least SOMEONE missed me that day.

                                      One thing I like to tell myself is "Well, things could be worse. And if they couldn't be worse, then they can only get better." I know this isn't the happiest of thoughts, and a bit trite, but just keeping it in mind seems to keep the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel shining for me.

                                      Hang in there, and e-mail me any time you want.
                                      Jill [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                                      Proud member of the bull snap haters clique!


                                      • #20
                                        I am on Prozac and it does wonders for my mood, keeps me eating (sometimes too much) and makes me pleasant to be around. Not to mention it allows me to get up and go to class. Most anti-depressants take weeks to kick-in and if you miss doses or take a week/month off because you feel better you will relapse into the old ways. Continue doing what you are doing, take to heart some of the suggestions here and never never never think that its not worth working through the hard parts. IT WILL GET BETTER - it may take time but DO NOT GIVE UP!!! find little things that make you happy and focus on that part of your life not the negative parts.
                                        Best of luck -
                                        I can also be a sounding board if you would like - my email is in my profile as well.
                                        - - - - - -
                                        \"I found my inner bitch and ran with her.\" ~ Courtney Love