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PEEJMA SparkPoints: (41,414)
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5/15/13 3:13 P

Yea, Thena! I am so glad you went to the doc with such thorough information and now you have started your meds. When you're depressed, it's hard to do anything, but you have really advocated for yourself! I hope the medication works for you and that you start to feel like the self you remember soon. :)

5/14/13 6:08 P

After reading your post (and I am no doctor), I can't believe that you weren't originally diagnosed with depression. I mean, at least that is what it sounds like to me. After you mentioned you had an underactive thyroid (I have that too), I was pretty sure that you had it.

I am glad that you did get back to the doctor's. I do hope that the medication does help and I don't know what your eating habits are but cutting down on sugar and caffeine does help and getting out there and exercising will help, even if it's just a five-minute walk.

Keep us all updated on you are doing! It will get better; it may take some time, but it will get better.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,314
5/14/13 11:17 A

Depression can be crippling and I am so glad you saw your doctor....maybe ask your doctor about eating turkey, tuna, or chicken, low fat cheese, fish, lots of veggies, especially brocolli, spinach, romaine. Add flaxseeds to your oatmeal, salads, veggies, they stablize blood sugar and can improve mood.

Concentrated sources of sugar, like soda, candy, fruit juice, jam, and syrups, can cause radical spikes (and drops) in your blood sugar, which ultimately leave you feeling grumpy and tired. So can refined starches, such as white bread, crackers, bagels, and rice...include leafy greens, fortified breakfast cereals, sunflower seeds, soybeans, beets, and oranges as all of these are rich in folic acid which helps moods. Oats, barley, and certain fruits and veggies that are high in fiber can help mood too!

Omega 3's help alleviate depression Nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds,flax seeds, black olives, eggs like EB, wild salmon, sardines

Has your endocrinoligist checked your vitamin B (especially folic acid) and D levels as low levels B and D in the blood are related to depression, low magnesium can cause tiredness and so can dehydration sugar can cause depression too!
I take C0Q10 for energy as recommended by my endo...maybe ask your doctor about it.

Processed foods can sabotage energy..try some red peppers dipped in salsa....Oatmeal, the old fashioned type provides energy because of the B vitamins...Seeds like chia and flax have all important proteins, and has an energy time~released affect on our bodies

Eat an orange is fights fitigue.

Hope you will share these ideas with your doctor as these recommendations are not intended as medical advice as individual advice from your personal medical professional is best.

Apples, eggs and blueberries, strawberries and avocados are energy boosters too.

HAPPYMENOW58 Posts: 2,264
5/14/13 5:44 A

Hi Thena...Glad you went to the Dr....Hopefully, you will feel better soon....Keep us posted. Don't give up .......I see a silver lining coming.......Keep sparking...I will be thinking about you and praying for you... emoticon

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,941)
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5/14/13 1:06 A

Thank you for updating us, and thank you to your Dr for LISTENING!!

It sounds like your Dr is a caring woman!

Keep in touch and let us know how you are going.


ATHENA-NADINE SparkPoints: (20,812)
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5/14/13 12:04 A

Thank you all so much for the support and encouragement! You're all so great. I've been meaning to update this but things have been really busy and I got sidetracked.

I saw my doctor last Thursday. I took my original post, added some things to it that I thought were also Important, cleaned it up a but and gave it to her. After she read it and we spoke for a while about my life and childhood, and I agreed that I've gotten as far as I can on my own, she started me on Lexapro. I have an appointment to go back after I've been taking it for two weeks and then we will discuss how I'm feeling and therapy options.

Obviously everything isn't fixed already, just like that, but I'm hopeful of the future.

PEEJMA SparkPoints: (41,414)
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5/10/13 3:21 P

I wish you success in dealing with this! I have had three major depressive episodes and also have panic and OCD. I wonder a bit if the compulsive spending might be an OCD thing coupled with your crippling depression. I just want to assure you that--if you are brave enough to take the steps to get treated, which you are - you will eventually find yourself again. You will feel better and rediscover the joy you once had. I have been taking one kind of med or another for more than 20 years for my fun mental health issues, and though I have hard times occasionally, I have been well most of the time, with a good career, a great husband, and two happy kids. One of the best things you can do to make yourself feel better is to exercise! It is almost as good as medication. Just commit to a walk at first-even it's slow and for only 10 minutes. Consistent exercise has been key to managing my mental and physical health. I wish you every success and hope you rediscover your happiness. :)

CHIGIRL410 SparkPoints: (8,784)
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5/10/13 1:26 P

Good luck with the doctor. So many people struggle with depression at different times of their lives. Some estimates are that 40% of women will have a depressive episode in their lives. Episodes could last a very long time.

Until you have your appointment, I suggest taking some actions of the can't hurt might help variety. A book called the Depression Cure by a U Kansas psych professor Stephen Ilardi recommends 6 steps: taking omega-3 supplements, exercise, sunlight, sleep, social connection, and stopping rumination. I checked my copy out of my local library, but you can find a lot on the internet. Here's more description:

You can also probably find a support group in your area --- google depression support group, or search There are also other resources like computer games about depression that simulate someone else's depression, and sometimes gives you more perspective. There are even comics about what it's like to be depressed that resonate with many people. Reading them may make people feel less alone. Here's one that just came out this week:

Or you could find a book group or any other way of connecting with people. Or volunteer somewhere.

Personally I have had depression since age 17 on and off, with the type of vegetative symptoms that you describe. I had great luck with the drug Wellbutrin. It helped me lose weight, get more energy, more concentration, more libido, and I had almost no bad side-effects. Sometimes I would still have funks, but they were much easier to deal with. I really miss it. (I'm off it because we're trying to conceive. I gained like 15 pounds after stopping it.)

Best of luck. Remember that you're not alone.

Edited by: CHIGIRL410 at: 5/10/2013 (13:33)
CLF748 SparkPoints: (2,188)
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5/9/13 2:52 P

First - you should feel very proud of yourself for recognizing this issue and making addressing it a priority. Putting yourself first can sometimes make people feel guilty because they think in turn, they are putting others second, third, etc. However, putting yourself first in reality puts your entire family first (as one cohesive unit). So - I commend you for being in tune with your body and mind, being a great wife, and a great mom. Bravo!!!

Don't downplay - even if you print your post out and bring to DR with you. The downside of appts in my experience is by the time you go, sometimes, you are having a better moment or day and things don't really get said that need to be said. Kind of like bringing a car in that only rattles some of the time. The mechanic can't fix what he can't find. Do you keep a journal? If so, bring it. Perhaps highlights some key recorded feelings as examples.

Thank you for sharing your post and I hope it served as a bit of relief to get you through the weekend.

HAPPYMENOW58 Posts: 2,264
5/7/13 4:21 A

THena...I read your glad you got an appointment.....You will be in my thoughts and prayers.....You are going to come out of this...I just know it! Let us know how it is all going...Keep sparking, reading, trying.... emoticon emoticon

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,867)
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5/6/13 10:02 P

Good for you! I am proud of you for making the appointment.
Way to go!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,941)
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5/6/13 5:15 P

That's good - let us know how you get on!
Kris xx

ATHENA-NADINE SparkPoints: (20,812)
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5/6/13 12:26 P

I have an appointment with my GP on Thursday. Her special interests are in women's health and behavioral health. It's a place to start. :)

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,941)
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5/5/13 5:58 P

Let us know how you get on at your appointment - we will hold you accountable too emoticon

Kris xxx

ATSESSION SparkPoints: (15,388)
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5/5/13 12:33 P

Dear Thena,
I read your whole post as well and all of these good people have given you wonderful suggestions and i hope you follow through. We will all have you in our hearts and minds tomorrow as you take a step to reclaim yourself. It wont be easy.......but it will be worth it! Blessings

ATHENA-NADINE SparkPoints: (20,812)
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5/5/13 11:17 A

Thank you all for your input and support. I appreciate it so much. I've made sure that all the people closest to me know that I am calling the doctor to make an appointment on Monday. Even though putting all this out there like this will ensure I don't forget about it, I didn't want to be able to talk myself out of it like I have so many times before. Whether it's depression or something else, I k ow something needs to be done about it.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,941)
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5/5/13 1:24 A

I read your post in it's entirety, and you know what??? In my unqualified opinion, it certainly looks like you are suffering from depression!! I actually wonder at the qualifications of the person you saw a few years ago?

Anyway, that aside, I STRONGLY suggest you make an appointment with you Dr ASAP. If it would make it easier for you, print off your post, and take this with you. It would save a lot of time, and can aide his/her diagnosis considerably. It may be that there is something medical aggravating this (you have already indicated a thyroid issue). It may be that you need some meds and/or Therapy - with someone who is properly qualified. It may also be that you might need referring to a Psychiatrist to accurately diagnose the type of depression - it isn't a one-size-fits-all with treatment. The thing that I picked up on was your spending, which can be problematic for a particular type of mental health issue.

IF finances are an issue, please say, because I can give you loads of links for ways to access medication and therapy for free or very low cost.

There are some things that you can do in the meantime which can help you. One is to ensure that you eat good nutrition that includes fruit and veges, quality protein (not processed meats) and healthy fats (nuts, fish, avocado, olive oil). The good nutrition provides the nutrients that your body needs to help overcome this, and along with exercise, also helps you with your weight issues.

Another thing that you can do is to go for some regular walks outside. Take your children with you for exploring ones, or on your own to help clear your head out. The exercise and the sun are very good for helping to fight depression.

As someone has has suffered from major depression, I can assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but you need to make that call to your Dr. It isn't something that you can sweep under the carpet and pretend doesn't exist - it won't go away by itself. You don't have to be crying all the time and withdrawing into a corner, hiding yourself away. Many people are clinically depressed, and others wouldn't have a clue.

BIG hugs, and take care,
Kris xxxx

ANA3VAS Posts: 14
5/5/13 12:33 A

Yes, I read the whole thing. Your story seemed too familiar to mine to the point i was making sure I didn't write it during one of those episodes i had gone through. I too went to the doctor for help , medication nor therapy helped. I joined the ymca. They have daycare and activities for my kids. I go on the bicycles, zumba classes, weights all causing me sweat and slowly began losing weight. I began feeling better and giving me something new to do like a job. just a suggestion hope you try.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,109)
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5/4/13 5:11 P


Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor. I agree. Put a big sign on the frig that says,"call doctor first thing monday morning". Talking to your doctor is the first step towards getting the help you need. You know something is wrong, now you need to take steps towards getting better.

Your doctor can refer you to a good therapist who can help you work through any issues you're having. Your doctor could also prescribe medication. Don't discount the drugs. they can help too.

One simple thing you can do right now is take a walk. Walking is not only great cardiovascular exercise, it's a great way to reduce your stress. Studies have shown that a regular exercise program could help decrease some of the depression you're feeling. And you don't have to do too much to start. You can start with a daily walk.

Take baby steps literally and figuratively. And you might consider blogging or writing your feelings. You don't have to blog here on Spark. You could write your feelings out in a note book. I find writing helps me to think more clearly. Some days it just helps to let out all those emotions on to paper.

The weekend is almost over. Monday will be here soon and you can talk with your doctor.

Try to stay positive !

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,867)
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5/4/13 4:20 P

Hi Thena.

Go get an 8.5" x 11" piece of plain white paper (from a copy or fax machine, etc), kids construction paper, etc.. Get the largest Sharpie marker you have and write in big print, "Call Dr. on Monday!!" then tape it where you will be SURE to see it - wherever that is. Come Monday, see it and make that call.

I don't have a lot of experience or wisdom to offer you on this, but even I can tell you need to get qualified help. God bless you for realizing it and wanting to tackle it - that's a good thing!

You've suffered (and your family, too, I might add) far too long. Please address this. You & your family are worth the effort and deserve no less. If one of your kids had a shoulder injury (for example), you wouldn't let it fester for years and years - you'd address it.
Well, same thing applies w/ what's bothering / ailing you.

You sound very wise; you know this affects more people than just you.
You all deserve to have a healthy Thena in your life.

Hang in there this weekend and please don't delay seeking help from a qualified professional.
You're in my thoughts and prayers!

ATHENA-NADINE SparkPoints: (20,812)
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5/4/13 1:57 P

This is very difficult for me to talk about but I feel like I have to. I'm sorry for the length, but I don't think I can explain this in a paragraph or two. I think I may be depressed and I think I have been this way for years. I've ignored it, I've tried to fix everything myself, but nothing sticks. I fall right back into the same patterns within a few days or a week or two.

So what's wrong?

I'm not unhappy. At least, I don't feel unhappy in a general sense. I have a wonderful stand and two wonderful children and my life is good. My husband is supportive, never really complains, and does his best to help me in any way he can. He loves me dearly and I love him. I am fortunate in that I don't have many of the stresses that so many others deal with on a daily basis. We have enough money (we should have a good deal more than enough, if I'm being honest). We have enough of everything. I am often told my life is the envy of others and I am grateful every day for everything I have.


No one outside of my home knows how badly I struggle every day.

I made a conscious choice to stay home with my children before my first was born. I spoke about it with my husband, and it was a mutual decision. I was thrilled about it and still love doing it. My children are 5 1/2 and 7 now. I have no desire to go back to work. I had my children in my mid-30s and was so used to being part of the business world. Obviously there was going to be an adjustment period and even some feelings of depression because of the change. I have dealt with such feelings multiple times in my life for various reasons (moving across the country when I didn't know anyone, ending a 10+ year relationship, just to name a couple), but they always passed within weeks or a month or so, as I adjusted to the new direction my life was taking. And a sense of excitement, contentment, or accomplishment always helped temper such things as well.


It started late in my pregnancy with my first child. I started feeling like I was getting depressed, but it was mild and I wasn't sure if it was just tiredness from my pregnancy. So I ignored it for the most part. However, once my son was born I often found myself taking him out and spending money. It was usually baby things, like baby clothes or toys or books, but we didn't need most of it. When he grew into a new clothing size, I too often overspent.

This was something that was not normal for me AT ALL, but I was a brand new mother and I really didn't think about it. In hindsight, I think I may have been suffering from post partum depression and was expressing it with compulsive spending. I didn't feel depressed, or overwhelmed, and I had no negative feelings about my son. The spending was my only symptom and since I believed myself to be perfectly content, I ignored it. But it didn't stop and I increased our debt, which was previously minimal, by $50,000 that year.

I got pregnant with our daughter when my son was 11 months old. It was not a surprise, as my husband and I had mutually decided to start trying for our second child to try to have them about two years apart. They are 19 1/2 months apart.

When I was around six months pregnant I began feeling depressed again and this time I spoke to my husband about it. I decided to go see someone. I expressed my concerns about my mental state, with a list of things I was beginning to have increasing difficulties with. It was becoming difficult for me to motivate myself to clean the house, to cook, to groom myself, to maintain my friendships, to do anything really, except take care of my child. That was the only thing that wasn't slipping through the cracks. I was told I didn't seem depressed in my tone or body language and because I maintained that I had a good life, was not unhappy as a new mother, had no negative thoughts about my son or my marriage, and was not suicidal.

Fast forward to today. It has been almost six years since then and nothing has really changed. If anything, I'd have to say that things have gradually gotten worse over the years. My husband works in the mortgage industry and things became financially difficult for a couple of years when the market crashed. Honestly, we likely would have been ordered for it and able to weather it if it hadn't been for my continual unnecessary spending. We ended up losing our home to foreclosure and having to file for bankruptcy three years ago. And things have only gotten steadily worse with me since. Oh, I get up and make the kids breakfast, get my son ready for school, drop him off, and take my daughter to her dance classes and to preschool. I do homework with my son in the evenings. They're always clean and well fed and are generally happy. They are doing well in school and in other areas outside of the home. That said, they spend a lot of time at home entertaining themselves and I rarely take them to the park or anywhere else just for fun anymore.

I spend most days sitting in my chair, not really doing anything. I'm always tired and get cluster headaches fairly often.

My house ends up being a huge mess because I just can't seem to bring myself to maintain it. Then it gets out if control and the thought of cleaning it is just too much. It goes like this for a while until I force myself to clean because I feel guilty. I hate this so much. I hate that I need at least a day or two of notice before anyone can come over.

My husband wants so badly to help, so he usually cleans up everything without saying a word after working all day, but I know he has to be screaming at me inside sometimes.

I've lost my sex drive almost completely.

I feel very alone because I am unable to move myself to make new friends or to maintain the few friendships I have left. I rarely speak to anyone except my husband and kids anymore, though I really want friends. I used to have friends--I was always very social, so this is very difficult for me. But I feel like I don't even know how to make friends anymore. I can never seem to make myself care enough to make the effort to reach out to anyone.

Too often, I have no desire to cook for myself or my family. I've lost count of how many times my husband has asked me what's for dinner and I've just looked at him blankly. I've been doing better because I hate that my children have been eating out so much, but it's an almost constant battle to force myself. I was raised and taught how to cook by a chef. Cooking and baking were always two of my favorite things, thngs that always brought me joy. But it all seems like too much trouble most of the time now.

I've gained 60 pounds.

I stopped reading for over five years. I can't stress how odd a thing this is. I have been a voracious reader my entire life, often going through 5-6 books a week (I read fast). But I just...stopped. I've been trying to read more again, but it also often seems like too much.

I've become extremely forgetful. I was always the type who didn't have to write anything down. I never forgot anything I needed to do and I always got everything done. Now I forget most things, even when I out them in my calendars. I forget appointments, and every day things like packing a snack or drink for my son for his afternoon snack break. I forget to send papers back to school. I forget to return phone calls.

There are so many more little things I could list, but I'm sure you all get the idea.

I've been to the doctor for my tiredness and headaches. I am currently healthy and no medical reason has been found. I have an under-active thyroid and I see my endocrinologist every six months to make sure everything is in order. My thyroid medication is working and my adrenal functions are good. My estrogen levels are fine, as are all other hormone levels. I had an MRI done for my headaches and it was clean. The only other physical issue I have is seasonal allergies. I quit smoking in 2010, I rarely drink, I don't do drugs.

Can postpartum depression even last this long? Can it turn into clinical depression if left untreated?

I don't like the person I've become. I don't know this person. I'm not the person I've always been or want to be. I've tried to force myself to change things, but it never lasts. Most of the time I feel like I'm cut off from the rest of the world, alone even in the middle of a crowd of people I know. I've been this way for so long that I can't help but think that nothing can fix it now.

I would call my doctor today to make an appointment to discuss all of this, but they aren't open now. Hopefully, I won't forget by Monday. I'm hoping that by posting this it will keep it at the front of my mind. I've been thinking about this for weeks, trying to get my thoughts in order so I can explain what's going on with me in a way that will actually explain what I'm going through. Too often, I tend to downplay these things when asked.

If you've read all of this, thank you. I know it was a lot. I don't know what I'm asking for in posting this; I only know I felt like I had to.

Edited by: ATHENA-NADINE at: 5/4/2013 (13:59)
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