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Medical Dealing with depression.

  1. Apr 25, 2013 #1

    It seems like there's a long history of threads in the academic forums where people address their emotional issues alongside their academic queries. I'd like to keep this a general/health topic without straying much into academics.

    I have some questions for those of you who have been treated for depression. How long have you been receiving treatment, what kind, and were you able to lead a high functioning life after hitting rock bottom? Did your emotional problems close the doors you wanted to get through professionally? I have been avoiding telling anyone (educators) about my situation out of fear of being stigmatized.

    A few months ago I made a thread in the academic forum about my situation. I'm a 26-year old with a long history of (unaddressed, mistaken for shyness) social phobia. I'm just now completing my bachelors degree that I've wanted since I was a teenager, after having gone through much bureaucratic troubles just to get into physics(had to get a 2 year degree in a field I wasn't interested in, then spend 2 years at a distance university in a bachelors I didn't want until the Bologne process came along and allowed me to enroll in physics at another university. I did ok in my sophomore and junior years).

    I tried to get into grad school this senior year but during the course I developed symptoms of pretty severe depression (probably triggered by a break up which confirmed suspicions of my own insecurities, realizing I pretty much didn't like myself) so saw a GP in January about it. I was put on a SSRI (prozac for those in the US). After a month I felt slightly differently and was a bit more productive, made advances in my senior project and ultimately finished it on a decent note despite being a nervous wreck during my talk/defense. But feelings of inadequacy both on a personal and academic level were still part of my daily experience. I got waitlisted at a very good university but ultimately was let go. I decided to keep my head up and try again next for year but...

    My productivity has gone down. I had my first final yesterday which I studied for satisfactorily for months but will be lucky if I pull anything much beyond a bare passing grade because I was tired during the exam and just couldn't do it fast enough. I know I would've completed it in less time had I memorized a few solutions (it was essentially a regurgitation of past hw's/exams) but I've always studied the "honest" way. I could've chosen to not study at all and memorize answers on the last day and would've probably done better than what I did which I fear reeks of an indifferent student.

    Now I'm concerned that I'm irreversibly staining my grades which weren't spectacular to begin with and am ultimately closing more doors to graduate studies. I don't really have any other ambitions or hobbies in life and really can't relate to anybody, now I'm afraid of going back into the job market and spending the rest of my life as a perpetually bitter person. I'm trying to think of positive things while I spam my CV to places I'd like to work, but it is getting continually harder to conceive of a better future.

    Anyway I should really get back to studying now and not bring more problems upon myself, but I really needed to let this out. I don't want to concern my family anymore because they have their own problems and have already done what they can for me. I'm seeing my GP again in a few weeks and will have to tell her how I've been doing with the meds, perhaps I may have to change them and/or go into therapy of some sort.

    Thanks in advance for any helpful replies.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2013 #2
    I feel like I should reply to this, but I never received treatment for my depression, and I hit pretty close to rock bottom for a number of years. I clawed my way back. It sucked. I'm still not 100%, although I'm quite pleased with how far I've come. The hardest thing is reclaiming my self-esteem. I got so used to thinking of myself as a trainwrecked idiot that it's become a reflex. I don't so much doubt my abilities, as I don't feel like a social equal among my peers. People, mostly, project a bit of ego. I think it's probably healthy. I can't do it. I'm that self-loathing guy. It's kind of amusing until you realise that it's all I have, and then it's just pathetic.

    So I don't know. I think it's important to have some self-confidence. To actually have it. To own yourself. Warts and all, whatever, you're as much of a person as anyone else, and probably more than many. Have high standards, but don't be too hard on yourself. We all falter. Keep aiming high because aiming low is for suckers. I hope you can sort a few things out for yourself, depression is a hell of a thing and it will consume you if you let it.

    One small piece of advice that I feel I have the authority to give. Take some joy in the small things. Fresh air, sunny days, an elegant piece of prose in your favourite novel, the journey of a bug across the back step. Life is pretty amazing if you take the time to notice. You know, one thing I try to do at work (I work in retail, well, I do for one more week, I just, finally, got a new, real job!) is say hi to all the old people that come in. A lot of them are very quiet and they have the look of someone who doesn't expect to be greeted. So I greet them, enthusiastically, and 8/10 times, their eyes light up and they break into a smile and greet me back, and it's a great moment. I wish it worked as well with people of the opposite gender and my own age, but I'll take what I can get huh :P Anyway, it's one of the small things that I take a bit of pleasure in, and it makes me feel better about the world.

    Perhaps (and I haven't done this) doing some volunteer work would be beneficial. I think there is much perspective to be gained from helping people less fortunate than yourself. I always say that I will and I never do, so take this how you will, but I can see the wisdom in it.
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