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Topic : Giving and Receiving Support

Number of Replies: 843
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:08:39 am
Author : dataimport
What is the best way to support those you love who are coping with depression or grieving a loss? Post your tips and share support with others.

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December 11, 2007, 2:56 pm CST

complicated grief

Quote From: hisbestfriend

I am engaged to a wonderful man who lost his wife to cancer over 10 years ago during the Christmas holidays.  We love each other very much and have a very open and honest relationship. 

 

He is unable to celebrate this holiday and other significant days and I feel for him and understand to the extent that I am able, but how do I get through it with my own happiness about the season without making it harder for him? 

 

I have 2 older children and would like to keep our own traditions going and involve him in them.  He has done very well on other significant days in the past to keep his emotions in check and I didn't realize how hard it was for him until last night when we had planned on shopping for our families and he became very "hard" all of a sudden.  I didn't realize the impact of it until we came back home and I brought it up so that we could get it out in the open and to let him know that I can deal with it as long as I know what is happening. 

 

He was very open with me about his feelings and letting me see his vulnerability and even though I haven't been through it myself, I am very touched by the love and devotion he felt towards her.  It's one of the reasons for my attraction to him in the first place. 

 

My concern is adding to his already fragile state.  Ultimately, this season for me is about keeping up "traditions" with my own children and extended family, but just as importantly, for my fiancee and I to create our own nice memories of the season and based on our conversation last night, I don't see how that will happen with the grief he is still experiencing.  Any advice or experience with this from anyone here is very much appreciated.

 

Thank you

You're not making Christmas hard for your Fiance...he is, but not deliberately.  Complicated grief is difficult to live with. Ten years is a long time, but to him, his loss could seem like yesterday.

He wants to move on with his life or he would not be with you. Guilt for wanting to love and laugh again might be keeping him down. He might feel like he's betraying his deceased wife and won't give himself permission to completely move on with his life.

There are many things that can be catalysts to his grief. Sometimes they can't be separated. Complicated grief can cause depression, sadness, anger/rage, hostility, resentment, severe remorse, helplessness, and turning off memories is impossible.

Perhaps he doesn't know how to manage being a survivor, and he might need grief counselling.

Just be happy around him and maybe it will rub off.    

 
December 15, 2007, 8:19 am CST

I'd love to make some friends too

Quote From: eday1987

Hey how are you doing today? I really want to say this with great sicerity that you are an overcomer and strong. I believe it is so because for starters that you took on a very difficul task of counseling your mom on the account that she was very abusive to you. I know that is something hard to deal with, espicially on a child. Evanthough you went through abuse and enternal conflict in your life, remember that you have overcame  and what courage it took what it continues to take. My gift to you is this the past  is over , and what we have is right now.  your husband is right the movie in your head you should find something that is good.... good thoughts.And  you should close your eyes and say out loud 'I FORGIVE MYSELF AND IM NO ONES VICTIM"  I hope you can leave a email or comment to let me know hows it working for you. take.

By the way.. Happiness is for real but it has to start within.

yours truly,

Eric Day  

Hi,

    I too suffer depression and I have epilepsy and a bone disease and spinal injury and just find it so hard to get out to make friends.  I really really hope I get a reply in here, I don't really know what i'm doing though,

 

This is the first time I have really tried to reply to anyone, I have put in posts but must put them in wrong because no one has answered them.

 

I would dearly love to join in here and get to know some people.

 

Depression is a really bad set back for me, as it makes you feel so alone and seperate from everyone else and it's so hard to explain to people.  If you tell someone you have depression the conversation stops and they either ignore it or find an excuse to go, it's sad really because i'm no different to anyone else, I want to be accepted like the next person.

 

I hope I hear from someone.

 

Take care all and have a wonderful christmas and a happy new year

 

Shelley, from Australia

 
December 16, 2007, 8:23 pm CST

It's none of their business

Quote From: shelleyb2

Hi,

     Now, I'm not going to complain, but, how on earth do you tell people you suffer with depression???  The conversation just comes to a hault.  I have a spinal injury, grand mal epilepsy and I can't walk on my own, these things are talked about, but my main issue is my depression because of all my illnesses as I have many to do with a thyroid disease that has caused my spinal problems.  No one understands depression and i'm sure they think you come from another planet or that they might catch it, honestly, I don't know.....

 

My depression is an illness like any other illness, of course my situation makes it worse some days, but I do have a chemical depression of which I take medication for, but some people I have told about it say to me, 'oh, I wouldn't take tablets for it, it just makes it worse' or 'wow, why don't you just cheer up, lets go out one night, that will make you feel better', they just do not understand and that makes you feel more and more alone.

 

Shelleyb2

 

AND, I volunteer and help others with depression online and I love it, but the people we see every day are the ones that just don't understand, perfect strangers do.

Dear Shelly ,

 

  You actually owe no one an explanation. It is your business. Unfortunately people with depression have always and  are still discriminated against. It is ignorance that drives their comments. Only approximately 49 % of people suffering depression have any biochemical imbalance which is why the medication actually does help them. The remainder will try various antidepressants/antipsychotics (shrinks call mood stabilizers) and anticonvulsants to find they only get worse. That is because they don't need medication rather they need to consult a psychologist and get to the root of their problem/s and learn life strategies/tools to cope with or overcome certain lifestyle or psychological situations. The problem is that GPs and psychiatrists tell them that all depression is a biochemical imbalance and it is simply not true.

 

  Because you suffer from epilepsy your depression would very likely be biochemical due to the interruption to normal neurotransmission by the seizure activity. This happens even when you are not displaying any seizure-like symptoms as there are often small electrical seizures occuring intermittently. It has been proven that people who suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy have a higher than average incidence of moderate to severe depression. 

 

 

  If you would like more information on anything I've mentioned just post questions. I will provide references for the same. I am writing a book for laypeople and professionals on depression. I have done a great deal of research and I am still finding more new information. I have more access to information than the general public as I work for the health department .

 

  I was lucky to escape with my life and my mind after ten years of psychiatric treatment .I was unfortunately given Zoloft by my GP in 1996 for 'mild' depression and became suicidal within 7 days. The medication was not stopped but doubled , others added and then I was hospitalised and given ECT. This beautiful scenario continued for another nine years and after countless cocktails of medications , a hundred rounds of ECT

and I ended up obese, with hypothyroidism (from the meds) and unable to string a sentence together.     

 

   Finally in the middle of a holiday in 2004  I decided to tip the Clozapine down the toilet and begin weaning all of the other meds slowly. I lost 40kg in 8 mths, regained insight and clarity of thought and set about writing a page long list of goals. The doctors scoffed at me telling me I was being 'too ambitious'. I made them eat those words. By July 2006 I was off all medication. The psychiatrist tried to tell me that there was a 70% chance of 'relapse'. I laughed and said ,"relapse of what ?". I had been given the diagnoses of depression , psychotic depression ; bipolar disorder , schizophrenia;major depression and schizoaffective disorder with borderline personality and obsessional traits ! I'm sure that if I had continued to go along with what they were telling me they could have completely exhausted the DSMIV of  all possible diagnoses. All they were seeing as symptoms were the effects of the drugs they were feeding me. No one out of six psychiatrists who treated me had the brains to consider stopping all medications to see what was really going on underneath the confusing mask of medication.

 

 

   All of that aside I do understand what it feels like to be depressed and lose your independence ( on more than one level). Try to consult a psychologist also rather than just treating the symptoms with medication. Your depression is multi faceted. You are likely to be greiving for the loss of your health , mobility and independance on top of the biochemical disturbance. A good psychologist will help to learn to deal with how all of this is affecting you and develop some strategies to deal with ongoing problems and any new ones that appear. I'm sorry to say psychiatrists are rarely prepared to talk to you about anything more than how to adjust the medications. They don't offer you practical strategies like a psychologist. The role of psychiatrists has deteriorated to psychopharmacology. Freud and Jung would turning in their graves.

 

 

  I live in Sydney and I am a paediatric critical care nurse. If would like to email me personally just let me know or if not that's ok too.Take care and remember that being comfortable with who you are is far more important than what other people think.

 

Cheers,  Donna.

 
December 17, 2007, 9:56 am CST

Giving and Receiving Support

Quote From: twox2mns0

You're not making Christmas hard for your Fiance...he is, but not deliberately.  Complicated grief is difficult to live with. Ten years is a long time, but to him, his loss could seem like yesterday.

He wants to move on with his life or he would not be with you. Guilt for wanting to love and laugh again might be keeping him down. He might feel like he's betraying his deceased wife and won't give himself permission to completely move on with his life.

There are many things that can be catalysts to his grief. Sometimes they can't be separated. Complicated grief can cause depression, sadness, anger/rage, hostility, resentment, severe remorse, helplessness, and turning off memories is impossible.

Perhaps he doesn't know how to manage being a survivor, and he might need grief counselling.

Just be happy around him and maybe it will rub off.    

Thank you so much for your encouraging words.  Grief counseling definately sounds like something he needs, although a family member suggested that to him soon after his wife passed away and he thought they were wrong, so I don't want to be the one to "rock the boat" sort of speak. 

 

He did manage to go out shopping for specific items over the past 3 days, once by himself, so I know he is trying very hard and that's something he hasn't done for years.

 

Thanks

 
January 4, 2008, 6:21 pm CST

No support out there for people like me.

  I feel so lost and angry at the lack of acknowledgement and any support for people who have been grossly mistreated by the mental health system. After being medicated for 'mild' depression with Zoloft in 1996 I inexplicably became suicidal. However, instead of this being recognised for the adverse reaction it was, my doctor doubled the dose and added an antipsychotic followed by a six week admission to a psych ward with weeks of ECT.

  You would think that according to the stories pedalled by pharmaceutical companies ,mental health leaflets and psychiatrists that this 'wonderful and necessary'' intervention would have had me thinking clearly and suddenly happy and functioning again. That was far from the case and would be for another 9 yrs until I weaned myself off all medications and commenced cognitive behavioural therapy I was suddenly cured. The shrinks (five of them) were treating the symptoms produced by the medications. No amount of different medications or ECT was ever going to change it. I was labelled' treatment resistant'. Probably because the treatment was and had always been inappropriate.

  In short I lost a great amount of my long -term memory ( due to ECT) , lost ten years of my life ; lost my child bearing years; lost the opportunity to ever own a home (too old to start paying a mortagage now) lost the opportunity to advance my career and lost all but 3 friends ( two live in another state). I can't even get income protection insurance because I was treated for depression. They will only agree to insure me if I see their shrink and agree to be medicated for an illness I don't have with the drugs that nearly took my life.

  I am sick of seeing sanitised stories about psychiatric treatment. Meds only work for  about 49% of people taking them. That leaves 51% who don't improve or get even worse or suicide. In Australia if you were to try and post this message on any message board for mental health support it will not be posted. It will be censored by moderators who won't print anything that doesn't project a squeaky clean  and flawless image  of  psychiatric treatment. There is so little scientific evidence to support anything psychiatry says or does. If you sign a consent for surgery you do so with full knowledge of the risks involved. You don't  get that with psychiatric treatment. It is not truly informed consent that you give. There is absolutely no balanced information distributed to patients.

  However, despite what happened to me I am constantly told by others that  'I have no right to feel angry. I should be grateful just to have recovered. I should just try to forget it and move on.'  That would be easier if people didn't ask why I'm not married , why I don't have children ; why I didn't buy a home and what did I do over the last 11 years. People approach me and start talking to me claiming they know me from a decade ago. Due to the ECT I cannot remember who they are , how they know me and what they know about me. It's rather embarassing to say you can't remember who they are even after they tell you their name. Also when it comes to explaining why you gave up work for 2 1/2 yrs and they say ," Oh, did you have a job in a different industry, have children or travel?"  When the real answer is ,"No I was locked up in a psych ward drugged to the eyeballs , having my memories erased with ECT and dangerously obese with parkinsonian symptoms ( from meds)."

  People like myself are made to feel that it's not the fault of the psychiatric fraternity that  our lives were ruined. Not to mention you cannot  even sue them for compensation as the statute of limitations is only  3 yrs here. Nobody successfully sues a doctor here without becoming bankrupt themselves. So how can I get justice ? Even acknowledgement or an apology for mistreating me would be suffice. But instead they want me to forgive them and thank them for their efforts ! Would you ?

 
January 8, 2008, 5:08 am CST

Homeless again, this time want to die....

We are being evicted and we even pay our rent on time every month. This isn't the issure. It's that my husband always has to get involved with lawsuits about something or cause some kind of problem. We are being harassed by the management of the apts we live in because we filed a lawsuit of discrimination against the apts because the trash compactor isn't handicapped accessible. Can you believe this one. We are fighting it but my husband is disabled and a few years ago was arrested for things we thought were dismissed but were ajudicated withheld, now they feel we should be evicted because even though we were approved for rental ten months ago they are saying he wasn't honest on his application. The office staff said go back two years and we are approved. Now because the city is after them they want to throw us out. The stuff won't even show up on the website after july 29th cause they were mistomeaners. This place is in such bad condition and we still pay our rent, now to the courts this month. They filed the eviction so we can't even find another place to live because of that now. They are harassing us and no one can do anything for us. I sure hope the judge sees it our way or I have no way out except one. I don't like what I will have to do but I just can't take it anymore, I have a peptic ulcer now and I am so depressed I want to die. I am in pain all the time and hate my life. What next?
 
January 9, 2008, 4:35 am CST

Zoloft

Quote From: foxylass

  I feel so lost and angry at the lack of acknowledgement and any support for people who have been grossly mistreated by the mental health system. After being medicated for 'mild' depression with Zoloft in 1996 I inexplicably became suicidal. However, instead of this being recognised for the adverse reaction it was, my doctor doubled the dose and added an antipsychotic followed by a six week admission to a psych ward with weeks of ECT.

  You would think that according to the stories pedalled by pharmaceutical companies ,mental health leaflets and psychiatrists that this 'wonderful and necessary'' intervention would have had me thinking clearly and suddenly happy and functioning again. That was far from the case and would be for another 9 yrs until I weaned myself off all medications and commenced cognitive behavioural therapy I was suddenly cured. The shrinks (five of them) were treating the symptoms produced by the medications. No amount of different medications or ECT was ever going to change it. I was labelled' treatment resistant'. Probably because the treatment was and had always been inappropriate.

  In short I lost a great amount of my long -term memory ( due to ECT) , lost ten years of my life ; lost my child bearing years; lost the opportunity to ever own a home (too old to start paying a mortagage now) lost the opportunity to advance my career and lost all but 3 friends ( two live in another state). I can't even get income protection insurance because I was treated for depression. They will only agree to insure me if I see their shrink and agree to be medicated for an illness I don't have with the drugs that nearly took my life.

  I am sick of seeing sanitised stories about psychiatric treatment. Meds only work for  about 49% of people taking them. That leaves 51% who don't improve or get even worse or suicide. In Australia if you were to try and post this message on any message board for mental health support it will not be posted. It will be censored by moderators who won't print anything that doesn't project a squeaky clean  and flawless image  of  psychiatric treatment. There is so little scientific evidence to support anything psychiatry says or does. If you sign a consent for surgery you do so with full knowledge of the risks involved. You don't  get that with psychiatric treatment. It is not truly informed consent that you give. There is absolutely no balanced information distributed to patients.

  However, despite what happened to me I am constantly told by others that  'I have no right to feel angry. I should be grateful just to have recovered. I should just try to forget it and move on.'  That would be easier if people didn't ask why I'm not married , why I don't have children ; why I didn't buy a home and what did I do over the last 11 years. People approach me and start talking to me claiming they know me from a decade ago. Due to the ECT I cannot remember who they are , how they know me and what they know about me. It's rather embarassing to say you can't remember who they are even after they tell you their name. Also when it comes to explaining why you gave up work for 2 1/2 yrs and they say ," Oh, did you have a job in a different industry, have children or travel?"  When the real answer is ,"No I was locked up in a psych ward drugged to the eyeballs , having my memories erased with ECT and dangerously obese with parkinsonian symptoms ( from meds)."

  People like myself are made to feel that it's not the fault of the psychiatric fraternity that  our lives were ruined. Not to mention you cannot  even sue them for compensation as the statute of limitations is only  3 yrs here. Nobody successfully sues a doctor here without becoming bankrupt themselves. So how can I get justice ? Even acknowledgement or an apology for mistreating me would be suffice. But instead they want me to forgive them and thank them for their efforts ! Would you ?

I'm not too sure if any of my words would do you any good, but still.....I'm very sorry. And I really hope you can find it within yourself to start looking at the future, no matter how troubling it may be. You've 'survived' 11 years of mistreatement, that makes you a very strong person to me! And I know people around you make that worse, people can be so insensitive....as long as it does not happen to them.

Holding ''them' responsible is very difficult; as soon as you point the finger at one of them, they will point at someone else. It's the same here (Holland)....we know now they already knew what Zoloft did to people when they started giving it here....me, and many others, suffered from the same symptoms as you did. Since I wasn't depressed but Bipolair I even had a more severe reaction, but I was lucky....I'm okay. But no one ever came forward either, no one ever apologized.....I even think you can still get Zoloft here....they say the risks are minimized.....

 

To answer your question......would you? I'm sorry, but I don't think I can answer that question, I honostly would not know. I'm tempted to answer 'no', but experience has taught me that keeping anger inside of me makes the situation worse for me.....I try to get rid of anger as soon as I can :) But in this case....boy, I think that would be a very hard job.  

 

I hope the new year will bring you some better things, I hope it will bring you the strength to let the grip they've got on your life go. They don't deserve to be in your attention span.

 

All my best,

 
January 22, 2008, 8:01 am CST

Chantix

My brother-in-law began taking Chantix 11-07,started losing weight,tingling in fingers and toes,drepressed,with anxious feelings about his health.  He went back to physician and was taken off his celibrex. Was told he was just having panic attacks,was not taken off his Chantix.  This man was a very happily married my of 40 years with Grandchildren. He had not ,had anything happen to him to which he would have had a reason for what occurred.  On 1-3-08 he got ready for work,kissed his wife goodbye,finished loading his vending van with frozen food and walked into his garage and shot himself with a 20 gauge shotgun.  You have to understand, this is the most traumatic,horrific thing that has ever happen in all of our lives !!!  I need help trying to help my sister get through this,as she found her husband when she came home for lunch. I"m not sure how or what to do.  I am so afraid for her.  PLEASE HELP US ! ! !
 
January 22, 2008, 11:09 am CST

from my own experience

Quote From: lulu_marie

My brother-in-law began taking Chantix 11-07,started losing weight,tingling in fingers and toes,drepressed,with anxious feelings about his health.  He went back to physician and was taken off his celibrex. Was told he was just having panic attacks,was not taken off his Chantix.  This man was a very happily married my of 40 years with Grandchildren. He had not ,had anything happen to him to which he would have had a reason for what occurred.  On 1-3-08 he got ready for work,kissed his wife goodbye,finished loading his vending van with frozen food and walked into his garage and shot himself with a 20 gauge shotgun.  You have to understand, this is the most traumatic,horrific thing that has ever happen in all of our lives !!!  I need help trying to help my sister get through this,as she found her husband when she came home for lunch. I"m not sure how or what to do.  I am so afraid for her.  PLEASE HELP US ! ! !

I have been dealing with anxiety mixing with attention defesit disorder and it makes my brain puzzled and makes me frustraighted. So maybee your brother in law was very puzzled and frustraighted inside. I think alot of times suicides feal trapped and that there is no escape. I believe sister should understand that it was not her fault and that God knows what was wrong with him and that he made a mistake i believe God will forgive him and i think she should find the strength to forgive him. Your brief storey helped me out because i have been thinking about commiting suicide but i always have to keep in mind when you end your own life it affects everyone around you and that keeps me from ever following through. If she wants to know why she should talk to other people who have had a suicide in there family. I know several and if she wants some advice from them i'll have the write something in the message board.

 

 
January 22, 2008, 11:09 am CST

from my own experience

Quote From: lulu_marie

My brother-in-law began taking Chantix 11-07,started losing weight,tingling in fingers and toes,drepressed,with anxious feelings about his health.  He went back to physician and was taken off his celibrex. Was told he was just having panic attacks,was not taken off his Chantix.  This man was a very happily married my of 40 years with Grandchildren. He had not ,had anything happen to him to which he would have had a reason for what occurred.  On 1-3-08 he got ready for work,kissed his wife goodbye,finished loading his vending van with frozen food and walked into his garage and shot himself with a 20 gauge shotgun.  You have to understand, this is the most traumatic,horrific thing that has ever happen in all of our lives !!!  I need help trying to help my sister get through this,as she found her husband when she came home for lunch. I"m not sure how or what to do.  I am so afraid for her.  PLEASE HELP US ! ! !

I have been dealing with anxiety mixing with attention defesit disorder and it makes my brain puzzled and makes me frustraighted. So maybee your brother in law was very puzzled and frustraighted inside. I think alot of times suicides feal trapped and that there is no escape. I believe sister should understand that it was not her fault and that God knows what was wrong with him and that he made a mistake i believe God will forgive him and i think she should find the strength to forgive him. Your brief storey helped me out because i have been thinking about commiting suicide but i always have to keep in mind when you end your own life it affects everyone around you and that keeps me from ever following through. If she wants to know why she should talk to other people who have had a suicide in there family. I know several and if she wants some advice from them i'll have the write something in the message board.

 

 
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