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Question
Posted by: Marie | 2010/04/12

Advice from ANYONE is most welcome! (am at end of my rope!)

I have suffered from Dysthemic depression my whole life. )Was sexually molested by my late father when I was still in nappies till I ran away from home at the age of 14.) NEVER went back home again...
I managed to find work, often worked 3 decent, honourable jobs per day and life was GOOD. Eventually I married (turned out to be a verbally abusive man) and had three children - all adult now - doing their own thing.
My father died in 2008 and as my mother was no longer coping on her own, I felt compelled to bring her to live in my small apartment with me. (She knew all those years that my father abused me but she never did anything to stop it. I have never managed to find out why as she says it is in the past and she never wants to speak about it again. Thinks it is something he did, not because he as a bas person, but because he somehow ''lost his way.'')
I have been a chronic insomniac since my school going years. Things were great while on prescribed sleeping pills but four years ago I decided to go off them. From that time, I *never* sleep more than twenty minutes to perhaps an hour per night. Often I do not sleep at all. I am exhausted beyond words!!!!!!
Years ago when I still had a medical aid I was under the care of psychiatrists who tried every known A/D ever manufactured. The side effects were horrendous so they kept on changing to other brands. Finally, feeling totally deflated, I just gave up, hoping that any of these med''s would help me so I have just been struggling through day by day on my own.
My question is this - if anyone perhaps has a reasonable suggestion: Is there ANY combination of A/D''s I could go on to stop my 24/7 suicidal thoughts? (The only reason I have not done this yet is because my conscience bothers me too much that I just cannot leave an 89 year old very frail woman to her own devices!)
The last Psych Dr I went to put me onto Remeron (saying it is very calming and will help me sleep) plus a low dose, 3x daily of Klonopin to calm my excessively high anxiety until such time as he would decide to wean me off the Klonopin.)
I was on that combo for three years. Within a month I had gained 27 kilo''s and a few months after that, I was 47 kilo''s heavier!
I still did not sleep - just felt so hung over every day that I could barely put my own shoes on let alone bath, feed and take care of my mother.
The company I worked for closed due to the recession so I am now living on my mothers pension from my late father. It has been tough going.
Is there ANYWHERE in JHB I can go to where perhaps I can out of sheer helplessness go back onto perhaps a new or different type of A/D and where I will have to only pay a minimum amount of money?
Has anyone been able to qualify to go to TARA or a similar place like this? I went to the JHB Gen last year. A primary Dr first took my history and he actually sent me home with a packet of the B-group vitamins, saying he thought I was low on those.
I went back a 2nd and 3rd time until I finally ended up in the psychiatry dept and was put onto Prozac and Lthium which due to past, painful experience I KNOW, is like putting gasoline to fire. I came home and wanted to jump out the 5th floor window I was so hyped up. I am terrified of going back to the JHB as no one there seems to have the time to REALLY listen or take notes on which med''s one has been on, for how long and what the side effects were.

APOLOGIES for the long post!!!!! I am just hoping that someone who might end up on this site can point me in a direction where I might actually get some meaningful help. Without that, after all these long and painful years, struggling to cope - my only other way out is to just call it quits and end my own life.

Blessings to anyone who might take the time to offer me some suggestions.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Try contacting SADAG, the Anxiety/Depression Support Group ( number on this page ) who may b able to help with support groups, and advice on finding a more competent shrink. See if they can suggest a way for you to see someone offering CBT ( Cognitive Behaviour Therap ) which is a talking therapy, free of side-effects !)which could help you to change the negative habits of thought you have understandably fallen into, and to help you find a happier way of living

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Beenthere | 2010/04/13

Please buy a book by Joyce Meyer - beauty for ashes! i recommend it to anyone that has been abused! it will be worth it! I promise.

Reply to Beenthere
Posted by: anon | 2010/04/13

Hi Marie
It was my experience that taking Remeron leads to excessive weight gain in a short period of time. Rather ask your Pysch for a better alternative.

Reply to anon
Posted by: Happiness | 2010/04/12

Hi Marie

Firstly I respect you for being sane after what happened to you during your child hood! A strong person you are indeed.

I agree with Liza, exercise can knock you out. I find that when I''ve pushed myself at the gym doing cardio and resistance training I sleep like a baby!

Reply to Happiness
Posted by: Liza | 2010/04/12

Sounds to me like you have gotten into the bad habit of not sleeping. I also used to have a bad sleeping habit like that. With the help of Zopiclone and changing my daily routine, I''ve been able to break the habit and sleep well at night again. I still sometimes use one Zopiclone at night if my thoughts are racing and my relaxation exercises don''t want to work.

Go and look up " Progressive muscle relaxation"  in Wikipedia. This method of relaxation has helped me tremendously. Lying down, I start with my toes, clench each muscle group and then relax to the rhythm of peaceful music (I like Gregorian Masters of Chant). I usually do 10 iterations per muscle group. Then move up with the muscle groups being clenched until you get to your head (and try and clench your scalp too!) then move back down to your toes. Finish off with 10 iterations of trying to clench every muscle in your body at the same time and then relaxing.

Once that is done and I still can''t fall asleep, I start meditating. I imagine that I''m walking along a deserted beach. I try to imagine feeling the wind and sun on my face, the feel of the sand on my bare feet, the sound of the waves lapping at the shore. Just remember that this takes PRACTICE to work. At first you will have difficulty imagining all that at the same time. As you practice more, it will become easier and become more effective too. I can now lull myself to sleep within 15 minutes of starting to meditate. Even though the statistical average is that people fall asleep within 7 minutes - my average used to be over an hour! And then I would only sleep for an hour before waking up again.

What I''ve noticed with my relaxation exercises is that the meditation helps me to fall asleep quicker and the Progressive Relaxation helps me to stay asleep for longer.

As for your daily routine - include 30 minutes of exercise that has you sweating and breathing hard. Also try to do things at exactly the same time each day. The most important being to go to bed to sleep at the same time each night. Do the same things before you try to go to sleep - e.g. starting at 20h00, ensure the house is locked up, 20h10, have a relaxing bath until 20h40, do the nightly facial routine, read for about 30 minutes and then go to sleep at 21h30. That way, even if you go to sleep later or earlier, but still follow the same routine in the same sequence before you go to bed, you will teach your body to go to sleep after following this routine. This also takes practice to become a good habit, but once it has, you will find yourself sleeping much better.

Hope this helps. Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: XXX | 2010/04/12

I will leave the official response to Cybershrink as he is the expert.However,all I want to say is that it is not worth contemplating suicide,you have a lot to live for,just work through these issues and you will come out a better person.
The abuse you experienced has put you in a bad place BUT prove to yourself that you are a better person.Perhaps join a gym and get a bit more fit and healthy.
All the best

Reply to XXX
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/04/12

Try contacting SADAG, the Anxiety/Depression Support Group ( number on this page ) who may b able to help with support groups, and advice on finding a more competent shrink. See if they can suggest a way for you to see someone offering CBT ( Cognitive Behaviour Therap ) which is a talking therapy, free of side-effects !)which could help you to change the negative habits of thought you have understandably fallen into, and to help you find a happier way of living

Reply to cybershrink

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