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“King Solomon once searched for a cure against depression. He assembled his wise men together. They meditated for a long time and gave him the following advice: Make yourself a ring and have thereon engraved the words “This too shall pass”. The King carried out the advice. He had the ring made and wore it constantly. Every time he felt sad and depressed, he looked at the ring, whereon his mood would change and he would feel cheerful.” (The Story of King Solomon)

This is a very personal post today. I want to share one of the darkest periods of my 34 years of life so far. It was the time when I was studying and when I suffered from a clinical depression or major depressive disorder. It was an extremely difficult and numbing time but it taught me a lot and I came out of it pretty strong.

My intent is to show what I have learned from it, how I came out of it and to inspire people who think they are in a hopeless situation right now.

The Event

I started university when I was 18 years old, right after school. When I just turned 19 I suffered a strange event right after a tennis match. It started with sight-problems, I lost the ability to see at the focus point of my sight, I could see everything around it, but the very point I was looking at in the center became blank. Then I lost the ability to speak the words that I wanted to speak, I still could think them, but when I opened my mouth it was pretty weird stuff. My friends around me laughed at first and I got pretty uneasy … If you are 19 years old, if you are any age and something like this hits you, it scares the hell out of you. Besides of that I got a tickling feeling in my left arm and leg. I lay down for a while and it lessened in degree. I could see and speak again the next day. Yet the creepy tickling stayed for a while and altogether I felt pretty disturbed …

Until today I’m not quite sure what it was exactly and doctors could not find too much. I think it was a circulatory disorder in the brain or even a minor stroke. Even when I am writing about this today, I still have a very strange feeling and body-sensations about it.

Unfortunately that event was the starting point downhill. I searched for answers to this really unpleasant experience. As a 19 year old you really are not very easy about your body breaking down like this without any warning. My mind went desperately looking for answers. So I went to my doctor in the hope of competent help and some reasonable explanations. I could not have gotten more disappointed with the approach of my doc, even the other one in the medical office did some very nice measuring of blood pressure and telling me some easy-going story. In my state of anxiety and uncertainty I really was not happy with that kind of treatment. I mean I lost the ability to see and speak for half a day. I don’t think this is properly examined by measuring blood pressure?!? Still I needed explanations why my body ceased to obey my orders so completely. The doc transferred me to a physicist who tried all kind of equipment on my cardiovascular system. Nice move! … but really not so helpful for my psyche at this time. At this point I wanted to have my neurological functions checked out and also to see if there is any brain damage, because I felt worse with time. My parents also seemed unable to help in any way. So it begins to dawn in me that there really is nobody there who understands anything, including me …

The Aftermath

My psychological situation got worse, I felt hopeless, misunderstood and very ill. Looking back now I see that out of the hopeless situation I developed my anxiety and fear of being seriously neurological ill into a depressed condition. After my condition went really downhill then, I lost more control over myself and my environment. It seemed to me that I became unable to help me in any way and the people around me were even more incapable to help. Because I felt so much wrong and stupidly treated by any doc and they seemed to be looking in wrong places, I became convinced that I’m lost with some kind of brain disorder, possibly a tumor or any similar thing that is going to kill me in the end. I really lost any trust in doctors and what was even more devastating was to see that even all other people around me, my family and friends could not help either. That was frustrating and adding to my depression.

My thoughts went in circles without finding any solution out of it. This is very typical in developing a depressive disorder. It is learned helplessness, the mind struggles to find answers but can’t and then thoughts and emotions repeat until it gets out of control:

Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation. (Wikipedia)

Additionally the problem for me was that it all was about my mind, I was convinced that there is something seriously physically wrong in my head. If you recognize such a pattern of repeating thoughts in you, the best way is to make a clear decision and then act directly from there. Or to let it go completely and turn your attention to something else, if that is an option. It is important to get competent treatment for depression, it is a serious illness. Seek for competent people, the internet may be helpful here.

Clinical Depression

At this point I already had developed a clinical depression. Whether the initial event had any impact on this or it was just my feeling of being lost by the bad treatment I got, I don’t really know. And I’m convinced today that the treatment was bad. If I get a 19 year old patient who lost sight and speech for half a day, I take any neurological and psychological problem into account. In case that you don’t know the condition of a clinical depression or major depressive disorder, there is a biochemical disorder in the brain where the neurotransmitters have been implicated. It is not to be confused with a temporary sadness or feeling down which can usually be changed by changing something in the outside world.

My energy went to the floor. I was just not able to lighten up any more. Laughing and smiling was just a mechanical act. The ability to think more deeply was gone. All in all it was the worst condition I could imagine. Thoughts of suicide really went through my head, because life at this level was really totally meaningless. It was a burden, nothing more.

If you know someone or expect someone to have a depression, the worst thing you can do is try to lighten the person up or even worse: try to motivate them by saying something like “Come on, it’s not that bad!” etc. The person is just not able to lighten up, there is only emptiness. I felt like the inner animating me was gone. Another friend I had suffering from depression said “Life feels like standing on the fast line with cars passing by and you are not part of it.” The best thing you can do is be understanding, try to really understand and then let impulses emerge from the person.

It got so strange that I totally lost the ability to recognize the meaning things in my environment had to me. My consciousness was dull and confused: I really lost touch with reality at this point. I could not differentiate between the meaning of a chair standing in front of me and a person. What meaning does the chair have anyway? Have you ever asked yourself that question? ;)

Somehow I still managed (on my own demand, my doc did not made any effort) to get myself transferred to a psychiatrist who diagnosed depressive syndrome and prescribed antidepressants, which showed no effect until at least 6 month or so. I also managed to persuade the psychiatrist to make a magnetic resonance tomography to finally check if my brain is still all right. That was very important, relieving to me, when I finally got proof that I’m not terminally ill but it is mainly a psychic condition.

Coming back to life

This process was approximately a year. It went sideward from here for about another half a year and then slowly upwards. I continued my studies of computer-science but was really not in the best condition to get something done. Before the event I got a 1.0 in my last test, now I was struggling to get 3.0. My whole studies were deeply influenced by my depression. When I started studying I was totally looking forward to discover and learn, now that was not present anymore. It was disappointing and yet interesting to see how my friends behaved. Some behaved nearly destructive by calling me dumb (in a depressions your cognitive functions are slowed down massively). Others were supportive and I value that very much until today.

In the end I did not finish my studies which went not so well as I imagined when I began, but started a venture about a new passion that developed slowly at this time: a business in online gaming.

The whole thing took about 8 years until I was completely free again from any depressive signs. To describe the condition again very precise: my consciousness was numbed. When I started to write my personal journal, which marked a turning point in my life back in 2005, I can remember asking the question to myself: how do I know, that I am 100 percent conscious again, at the level I was before the depression? I could not answer that question at this moment, but worked towards this goal.

What I have learned from all of that

1. Responsibility. Besides of that I learned something very profound a very hard way: I alone am completely responsible for my life. Nobody else, there is no safety net. My parents, doctors and everybody I encountered was no real changer. Basically I had to do it all by myself. I learned that I am responsible.

I belief that everything that happens in life has a seed of positive change, we just have to look for it. Besides I nearly lost at least 5 years of my life in my twenties, I am pretty grateful for what happened and what I could experience and learn from that early on. It matured me incredibly. And learning to take full responsibility for myself was really extremely useful.

2. This too shall pass. I also learned that I can handle such a difficult and almost hopeless situation and come out of it to build a successful company and fulfill important goals within 2 years by the willingness for personal growth. It clearly shows that there is always a tomorrow. And however hopeless a situation may seem, hang in there! The situation will change, even by smallest steps first. Then you will become able to improve it again. You will get through it, there is a light at the horizon, even if you can’t see it now – it is there waiting for you!

3. To grow consciousness is the most important thing. Looking backwards today on what I have written in my journal 3 years ago, still under slight influence of the fading depression, I am amazed about my questioning about consciousness. The numb feeling was really a very low level of consciousness. It was like consciousness pulled back and needed to be encouraged to show and eventually flower back again.

Secondly the feeling of losing the inner me in my deepest depression is also amazing. As far as I understand spirituality today, the delusion of the illusion of the ego (as the me) is the goal and byproduct of awakening, which is the growth of consciousness.

Today I am completely free from any depressive moods and I think I am a very happy and conscious person. I missed a lot because of it, but I learned a lot from it. It was an extreme experience I really wish no one to have. But nevertheless I am thankful for what it has taught me and I used this awareness. Thanks for reading.

109 comments

  1. Comment by Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Map

    Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Map Reply October 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    What a life story!! I’m so glad to learn that you emerge a much stronger person.

    I am just wondering whether you know what triggered your condition. Also, how did you take charge of yourself? Was it from the assistance of your psychiatrist or psychologist? Did you read books or just sheer determination to pull through in the end.

    Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Map´s last blog post: How Would You Cross The River?

  2. Comment by Stacey / CreateaBalance

    Stacey / CreateaBalance Reply October 3, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing your personal story. I know others will benefit from learning about your journey. Sharing our stories reminds us that we are not alone. It is uplifting. And I appreciate your courage to share. I know I will share this post with others!

    Stacey / CreateaBalance´s last blog post: Yes, Oprah Really Did Call Me

  3. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply October 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Stacy, I hope so, yes it is really something I would have needed back then. I found a lot of support later using the internet mainly. The internet is a great medium for connecting about special topics. :)

  4. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply October 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Evelyn, to answer what triggered the condition: I think the first event was a purely physiological phenomenon. I think it was a minor stronke or at least a circulatory disorder in the brain.

    The more important trigger was the helplessness to deal with the situation and to get help from other people. It is a typical way to develop a depression (s. also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness ). The problem was that there was no explanation for what happened (loss of sight and speach) and no attempt to take it serious from the outside. I became convinced that I am physical ill in the brain. So with the initial event my psyche developed the condition then.

    As I wrote: I was the only one who put things into the right direction. I told my doc that I want to go to a psychiatrist, I told the psiachatrist that I want to have a tomography. All these things were necessary for me to heal. I somehow was still able to do these right things and I learned responsibility in an extreme way.

    The docs (4 of them) had no real impact at all. I totally lost faith in docs that way. If I go to a hospital or even a check-up, I know that I am responsible for to whom I go and what happens. I think I am a kind of tyrann for any doc today, because I want to know every detail :)

    So yes, in the end it was pure determination to live.

  5. Comment by Psiplex

    Psiplex Reply October 4, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Deep honor and respect for your courage and forthrightness in sharing. Humbled to read your steadfast belief in completing your journey. Perhaps the goodness that was commuted in relating your triumph will bless us in ways we will soon enjoy having the light of your victory to split our own darkness. Sending respect light and love along with deep thanks.

    One Love

  6. Comment by Kim

    Kim Reply October 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I fairly understand your experience, I can’t say I went through the exact same thing but me too had health problems which doctors couldn’t exactly point out what it was then I was mentally and emotionally going crazy…and physically. I did not admit the fact that I was depressed because of all these events but after I admitted it and tried to come back up in my life..I did. Took couple of months. A lot of self growth books, healthy diet, change of lifestyle, positive thoughts, and more but consider my age, I have experienced and grown a lot… :) Keep the blogs coming. i love it.

  7. Comment by Davina

    Davina Reply October 4, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Myrko. At the end of your post you wrote, “Thank you for reading”. I have to say Thank You for writing! I have a lot of respect for your courage and perseverance. Depression is an ugly word and rightfully so! The statement your friend made, “Life feels like standing on the fast line with cars passing by and you are not part of it,” is so true. I’ve felt like that before. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. I believe this will send some hope to a lot of people.

  8. Comment by Brian

    Brian Reply October 5, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Myrko,

    Wow, you went through quite a bit my friend. It is uplifting to see that you grew from your depression. Learning from troubled times makes us stronger. I will take your three lesson learned to heart.

    Thanks for posting this…

    Brian

  9. Comment by Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D.

    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. Reply October 6, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Myrko,

    Thank you so much for the courage to tell us about a very painful, but powerful time in your life.

    Your story resonated with me on several levels.

    1. We must never forget that only we are responsible for our lives.

    Even though we are not medical doctors or psychiatrists, we are the only ones who can measure the severity and intensity of our body and mind sensations. For this reason we must educate ourselves so that we can be activate participants in our diagnosis and treatment.

    I’ve experienced driving anxiety twice in my life that was so bad that I spent hours planning my route before going anywhere, trying to avoid the freeway mainly. When on the freeway I started to feel lightheaded and felt like all the traffic around me was going to fast. Living in a car culture in So. California, this dictated the course of life for over a year.

    To make matters worse, I was also anxious when I was a passenger in a car as well.

    My first visit to a doctor convinced me that she wasn’t going to be any help. She prescribed a medication that had a warning: Do not operate heavy equipment or vehicles while taking this medication.

    So, like you, I was on my own to find a proper diagnosis and solution.

    2. Everything that happens has a seed of positive change.

    It’s the efforts we put forth to rise above and work through our problems that strengthens us.

    It sure is hard to see it this way when you’re in the throes of pain, anxiety, depression of any other debilitating condition. But it’s true nonetheless.

    Thanks again for your self-disclosure. It means a lot as part of my own self-growth.

    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D.´s last blog post: One Small Thing, One Monumental Moment

  10. Comment by Aaron Gaul

    Aaron Gaul Reply October 8, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you for your moving story from the heart. I believed that depression stretches your consciousness allowing for a greater capacity for compassion and understanding. Although, at the time of depression, like stress, your experience of the world becomes a very narrow or flat.

    Aaron

  11. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply October 8, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Thanks all for the kind comments on this post.

    Kim, I learned that there are many people with similar stories. It is really amazing how many people shared similar personal stories with me. After all, depression is not uncommon: “Approximately 18.8 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, have a depressive disorder.” – http://www.depression-guide.com/depression-statistics.htm

    Davina, depression seems still to be unterrated. First there is the possible misconception that it is the same thing as a bad mood. Secondly it is just, that you cannot possibly imagine the state if you was never in it. It is very, very without meaning, energy and joy. In that way it is almost like the experience of spirituality, I had a hard time explaining that, too – although that’s on the opposite side of the spectrum of consciousness and very positive and energizing :)

    Brian, it is a fact the we learn the most from negative experiences (or failures). You can learn from positive experiences, but learning from negatives ones comes more naturally it seems. Unfortunately ;)

    Flora, I like to add to the note about responsibility for ourselves: the whole experience, which took several years, really removed the belief that there is someone taking care of me, other than me. To say that you are the only person who is responsible to help you is a pretty harsh statement, but in the end it is true. It may be nice or we are lucky if there are people in our lives that do and CAN take care, but you can’t count on it. The only person you must count on is yourself. That’s what I learned in this situation.

    Aaron, I am certainly thankful for the lessons it taught me. It really helped me to mature. Maybe it even had a spiritual component to it, which at this time I could not discover.

  12. Comment by Juan Camargo

    Juan Camargo Reply January 31, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    hello I read your story and It feels like i can relate a little. My name Is Juan and I am 29 years old. About 7 months ago I began to be in a depressive state. I would wake up early morning thinking i was going crazy with anxiety. I couldn’t control it since then I feel a pressure in my head and I am tired most of the time. I am going to the gym and I am going to a psychiatrist that works with homeopathy and doing neurofeedback which is a treatment that supposedly regulates brian waves. I feel like I have lost myself or that I am going crazy. I am a bit scared of antidepresants an thier side effects. I feel like i am looking for answers and nothing works. I want to believe this will pass but is hard to see. I want to learn and move on with my life ( plus I am recently engaged) but sometime I feel like there is no answer and i am afraid of loosing more. I am fighting with every single fiber that i have but I feel very discouraged. Reading your story makes me want to keep fighting but i feel like fighting a ghost or that i am completely lost. thanks

  13. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply February 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Hi Juan, I can feel what you are saying, especially if ou say “I want to believe this will pass but is hard to see.” I know this state well and one thing is for sure: “This too shall pass.” Even if you really don’t feel anything of an improvement or change, this is typical in a real depressive state: the inability to feel deeply. It helps to keep going from a pure rational perspective. Your state will improve gradually. In my case it took about 2-3 years until for my standards I was “working” and another 3-4 years to get to where I want life to be, from a purely internal perspective.

    What also helped me tremendously was to look what this is teaching me? What is there to learn. I know that it is hard if you are in the depressive state, because nothing makes sense or gets you going. That’s ok for the moment. It will and has to change – it’s the nature of things, they change from good to bad and vice versa.
    So as I wrote in the post, I learned to get totally self-responsible and self-determined. There are benefits in even such hard times. Especially in hard times. What is there to learn? A new experience, new insights and new ways to master the task of life. How can you take that little opportunity and build on it?

    It’s also good to know what triggered the depression. I learned that it can be triggered biologically, but it seems to me that it is mostly triggered psychologically. Depression often seems to be learned helplessness – a situation where you can’t get control over (as you think) and feel helpless. In my case it was the assumed terminal illness approaching in my brain, and nobody did anything about it – I was clearly helpless. I had to convince myself, that this terminal illness is not real and that symptoms have other, controllable reasons. Anxiety attacks and so on – for me – were only by-products then. From the day on I had the results of the computer tomography I got back on track. So it helps to find reasons of this learned helplessness and change them.

    I used some anti-depressiva but it took at least 3-6 month to feel any small effect. In general I believe they are helpful, but it is much more important how you manage and fight within yourself. I never look for an outside fix, the “fix” comes from within.

    So also if you (or anybody with a depressive disorder) don’t feel like it, hang in there because change has to happen and you can benefit from this experience on many levels.

    Of course I can only talk from an experience I had and mastered myself, it’s not any professional advice. But if you (anybody) want to tell or ask anything, don’t hesitate.

  14. Comment by weakened

    weakened Reply March 1, 2009 at 3:34 am

    Your story brought tears to my eyes, I completly related to the things you were saying (especially about the mind going in circles, not finding any answers but just delving deeper and deeper into repititive thinking) I think your right in saying it wasnt what happened to you that day which caused your depression, but your thoughts of helpness’s and lonliness which came afterwards scared then caused your depression. the things you have said you have leanred is basically what i have learnt from my expereince but you put it into a clear sentence! Do you still get the feeling that your depression is lerking in the back of your mind but your mind is ignoring it but it is tempting to try to search it out again? because that is what feel like now. I have heard depression can begin again when more stressful situations arise. I was just wondering whether you have any adivce on how you deal with stressful experiences without delving slowly into depression?
    Would really appreciate your advice as am trying REALLY hard to stay “stronger” and the more adivce the better!

  15. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply March 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Weakened, hello :)

    No, I don’t have this feeling about an depression in the background any more. But I had it for years. I finally overcame it about 3 years ago completely. It was a long process of improving gradually.

    It is ok to have this feeling now, since it is there. There is now need to beat you up for it, but you need to keep the will to improve and you can know, that it is possible and will happen. One thing that I realised: the state of depression is completely unnatural. I mean in the most positive and inspiring way, because we are not meant to be depressed. It is changable, you must always believe in this, even if you don’t feel it at the moment.

    There is a reason for a depression and it can be found. Once you have found it you can eliminate it, or accept and reinterprete it if it is really not to eliminate. Reinterpreting it then can become an empowering source.

    I think the depression is also a very valuable thing to grow from. When things become stressful again, that’s basically a challenge and chance to grow, to master yourself and life and find the love for it inside. Maybe it helped me also to develop my Inside-Out approach to life and to find the energy and power there. That’s a chance for sure.

  16. Comment by Anon y mouse

    Anon y mouse Reply April 6, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Hi there Myrko,

    Thank you for taking time to write this article, I have found it very useful.

    I’m 27 but a recent set of life circumstances has meant that I chose to quit my (very well paying) job because it was the only thing keeping me in another unacceptable situation where I was living.

    I have worked pretty much since since I was at college and all during university so I’ve suddenly inherited this enormous “time vacuum” that I’m finding hard to fill.

    Part of me feels that now is the perfect time to do something else, develop my website or make other changes but I do rather get the feeling of being *stuck* because I can’t see it leading anywhere.

    @Juan: I agree with you about the antidepressants, but I would also consider getting advice from a trained professional if you feel /really/ bad.

    I am definitely not an expect on medications, but have been on them a few times.
    The side effects are a bit crappy from even the more selective medications (Though these have to be considered alongside the benefits).

    Also, they are sometimes necessary (Some people can get /really/ low) but only really intended as a stop gap (6 months – year) to make you strong enough to make the changes that you’ve felt unable to because you’ve felt so low.

    Furthermore, it is very easy when you are on them to forget what it was like off them and coming off them needs to be done real careful and under advice

    I’ve been off perscribed antidepressants for almost a year now, but I’m going to try something herbal like St. Johns Wort as I’ve read a lot of people who say it has helped them.

    Thank you again Myrko I find your blog very helpful.

  17. Comment by Nena

    Nena Reply May 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Hi,

    I like all your blogs. I am new here. I am not even start write any thing yet. You are so lucky that this depression happened to you when you were young. Like you said, it changed you to be mature and to love your self and other more. It made you know the meaning of how to live your life. It prospers you for better your insight. I went to the same thing as you did. Mine, started when I was 44 years old. Well the truth is, the depression had been started since I was seven years old, and it still going until now (if I am not in the present moment). At age 44, because of depressing all my life, I got brain deseace calls Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis, and Schizophrenia. Now, I still live with anxieties, and some time, paranoid. I used these negative experiences to benefit others. I have to be gentle with my self a lot. If I can choose for these things to happen to me, I want to choose when I was young at your age or earlier. Then I can uses these negative experience to benefit others more. At age 38, I started practicing meditation. I started very seriously to cope with my depression, because I went to see many counselors, It still not help me. I thought wtih meditation I could find my sub-conscious mind to understand why I was the way I was. But, I feel that my meditation teacher play with my head that was why I lost myself, when he visited me, and after he left I became Psychosis. The reason I said that because my 14 years old boy told me that the Monk (teacher) spent time with him and send some kind of Energy toward him. My son came to me and told me about it. Normally, my son, since he was a little boy until now, he does not like to talk to me or tell me any thing if some friends hurt him or hit him. I went to ask the Monk, why he did that to my son about sending the energy? He was very mad at my question. His face turned red. And he did not talk to me. He walked away from me. The monk came visit me from another town. I let him sleep in my house. Before he came visit me, he wanted me to recruit follower for him. But, I am an introvert person. I like to teach and educate my self before I outreached others. I shared with only the person who is really interested to learn about meditation, and buddhism. I choose who is seriously want to know themselve. I think that if that person not ready, it is like to bring a horse to drink water in the river. A traveler can bring his horse to water, because he thinks that the horse is thirsty. But if the horse does not want a drink, he just starring at the river. That how I see about recruiting a person who is not ready.

    I have to apologize for my writing. I am still practice how to write. I will start out by writing my feeling on the internet here. I also lost my memories since 2004 when I started my illness. My memories starts getting better little by little since 2008.
    Well I have to go for now. Thank you for sharing your blog. It made me have a chance to share my struggle with others.

  18. Comment by mercury

    mercury Reply May 18, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Hi there,

    I chanced upon your website purely because I was searching for inspirational buddha quotes to send to my boyfriend who I suspect is clinically depressed. He was once a successful theatre manager. Two years ago, he was given a bursary to pursue a Master degree. He completed it last December. Since January this year, he has been looking for a job but has not been successful. He intends to teach theatre at universities but there has not been much positions open. He blames the market, the government, commercialism and is always angry at people and their incompetence. He cannot be travelling on a crowded train as he will burst in anger. He has his good days where he is putting on a face and bad cloud days where he breaks things and is rude but once he calms down he seems ok again.

    I have been patient with him for almost five months now and I’m at my wit’s end. I tell him that I am here for him. I am committed to be with him. However, it has been difficult. It might seem foolish to stay with him but I know he needs me. I just want to be able to see him smile, be happy and grateful about life. We only have one life so why not make it a good one.

    Recently, he has requested that he needs some time to be away from
    everything but I can call him anytime. I know he has to take responsibility and help himself. However, what can partners to help someone who is clinically depressed?

  19. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply May 20, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Mercury, I’m no psychiatrist nor a psychologist, so I can only tell you from my perspective that that does not sound like a depression. Depression is characterized by low energy and more passive states. Not really anger which is (still) a more energetic state. It may come out of frustration here, which is still better than depression (since frustration usually “believes” in a possibility of improvement).
    Instead of into anger he could focus his energy into something that brings him forward in any way. Maybe you can help him here if you like.

    To answer your question – although I don’t think this is related to your situation – I think it can still be important for others: If you deal with a clinical depressed person, you have to realize that it is a actual brain dysfunction where the chemistry is out of balance. You can’t talk such a person into feeling better. This will usually frustrate him/her more. The best thing for me was someone who was understanding and who was not trying to improve me directly. It has to come indirectly out of making a real effort to understand and accept. Improvement usually takes time. As I said it’s important to remove the reason for the depression as the person sees it. Can be done by re-interpreting or as in my case by simple getting facts that prove that the reason is wrong (As I thought I may be terminally ill).
    In general I think it is important to get GOOD professional help and maybe slight supporting medication. It’s hard enough to find good professional help, so as a supporter I would focus here to find a REALLY competent professional source for clinic depressive people. That could be a psychologist or psychiatrist. Move away fast from your house doctor, because those docs usually don’t know enough about depression (as I found out myself).

  20. Comment by andrea

    andrea Reply November 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    hi my name is andrea i can relate exactly to you i have been living in this numb low concious state for over a year and complete exhaustion i to think i a am suffering from a severe physical condition i have had numerous tests including a ct brain scan all normal yet i still noy convinced i didnt know depression could make a person feel so ill, i also suffer from blurred vision because my mind is so dull im currently taking 20 mg cipralex but no relief i dont know what to do i feel like i cant get better i dont know were to start, andrea

  21. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply November 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    It’s normal that you have the feeling that it wont get better in a depression. But it will, and I want you to know that, even if you don’t feel it. But you can be sure and you can see it in my example. I know it’s pretty hard but you need to have some patience with it, while you improve slowly. There will be some time when you notice very small improvements and then you will notice them more, eventually you know that your depression will be gone. You must fight for this but be patient as well, never giving up.
    You got the ct scan and you know you are fine. The symptoms are probably completely from the depression, it’s stronger than some physical conditions.
    My advice is:
    1. You know that it will get better, even if you still don’t feel it.
    2. Get the best possible psychological help
    3. Use anti-depressants (the effects of those also take time, you won’t notice too much first)

  22. Comment by Jamie

    Jamie Reply July 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I could have written this story myself!!!! CRAZY!!! Thank you for sharing!! They still cannot explain what happend to me either when I lost my sight directly in front of me. It scared the life out of me and messed me up from there on out.

  23. Comment by leesah

    leesah Reply December 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    your story is an inspiration and I hope to be back there some day right now im in the middle of it all and also have a family to look after. this makes is so much worse as nobody understands and with young children its even harder, you have to force every day things to happen and at times you wish you could just hide away from it all but you are forced to get up and at least try to make it seem like things are ok in life. in the end life is just hard right now and im hoping ‘this shall come to pass’ as everybody says!

  24. Comment by leesah

    leesah Reply December 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I also experienced the sight thing too, i just wonder if it has any link at all as the drs could not find anything.

  25. Comment by textbook rental

    textbook rental Reply December 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I myself have battled with anxiety and no doctor until recently figured it out, Every other doc was putting me on depression pills and that wasn’t the issue, the issue was i couldn’t function or sit still for more than five minutes. I would get this feeling like i had to do this or that and it became really bad when i was unemployed. IF it wasn’t for my current doctor listening to me and trying something completely different did I start to get better. And the meds I take don’t turn me into a bowl of slush or lose motivation.

  26. Comment by Love

    Love Reply August 19, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Hi Myrko,
    While reading what you were saying,I felt like it was my story.
    I felt exactly same when Depression started.And I also went from regular doctor to eye doctor to neurologist and finally I went to psychiatrist.
    I am also taking antidepressants. It’s almost 4 years now.
    I am not having real normal life because of this depression.
    How did you come out of Depression?
    What did you do for that?
    Please tell me in details whatever you did.
    I want to stop taking those tablets.

  27. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply August 20, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Love, while I’m no doctor I can of course only tell you what worked for me.

    1. It takes some time, but improvements come.
    2. I tried to find things that I still love to do and focussed there. No pressure but going with the flow. I went to where my heart was taking me and found some enjoyment in those things again.
    3. I tried to educate myself and connect with other people having had a major depressive disorder. Same as you did here.
    4. Keep the pills since they have an impact. It improves slowly but steadily.
    5. Get a good psychologist (and psychiatrist too!) – I had no psychotherapy, but I think this would help too, finding someone who knows more about it and does not come from the medical but more psychological field.

    I hope this helps. I wish you all the best and most importantly, never lose your faith and believe that you will be fine again!

  28. Pingback: Depression Exists – it really does | depressionexists

  29. Comment by Kevin

    Kevin Reply September 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Myrko,

    Your story sounds similar to what I experienced since returning from combat. I fell into a deep pit of darkness and despair which nearly destroyed me. Ultimately, I had to become responsible for myself, because as you eloquently stated, there is no safety net. People mean well but until they experience clinical depression they really have no idea what it’s like. I’m glad to say that I have regained my joy and happiness. Keep up the good work!!

    Kevin

  30. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply September 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Kevin, I’m really happy for you. I know how dark and hopeless a clinical depression can feel. And I think when we realize the triggers (as the thinking loops without solutions) we can now avoid it for ourself and possibly help others. I wish you a happy and fulfilled life!

  31. Comment by Mariam

    Mariam Reply October 10, 2012 at 5:15 am

    hi :) i’m 18 now too and i really loved your story and i’ve been feeling this numbness for over a month now and it’s very frustrating as i don’t have any energy to do anything in my life even things that could make me happy or being around people who i live and who care about me , all i need is to be left alone in my dark room for days with no one beside me ,, i just feel completely numb :( and sometimes it actually makes me feel good to want nothing in my life and to do nothing in my life but it makes the people around me uncomfortable when they’re with me because i’m not the same old me anymore .. i’m not sure if that’s the clinical depression you’re talking about but that’s just how i feel
    thank you and wish you all the luck and happiness in your life :)

  32. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply October 10, 2012 at 6:18 am

    @Mariam: Maybe have a talk with a good psychologist. Spend some time or ask around to find someone good who you can trust. Keep in mind though, that you are always the one responsible and in control of yourself.

  33. Comment by Melissa

    Melissa Reply November 6, 2012 at 3:47 am

    well, talk about some sort of fate! i’m 20 now, but i got diagnosed with depression when i was 18. i just started to get help in may of this year. earlier today i was sort of getting into that helplessness mood and then i stumbled across this post. i felt frustrated that i missed the end of my teenage years and will more than likely lose a few adult ones…but knowing someone else went through it eases my mind. if you can do it, i can do it! i keep feeling that no one can help me, but you’re right: only we can help ourselves.

    so thank you for this post :) i’m glad i wound up here!

  34. Comment by Myrko

    Myrko Reply November 6, 2012 at 4:55 am

    @Melissa: yes I think the core message here is twofold: 1) this too shall pass and 2) you are in charge (responsible). I’m sure you will come out of it soon, it sounds like you are on your way.

    Regarding regret of having “lost” some years of your life: I look at it as “What did it gave me? What did I learned and got insights to, that other people didn’t get”. That’s empowering and you can actually feel some kind of thankfulness for the experience. It certainly deepened my view of my life and gave me gratitude and also drive to live my life fully!

  35. Comment by happiernow

    happiernow Reply February 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    This is very helpful, thank you. I have experienced depression before and come out of it, and am just beginning, I think, to dig myself out again. Reading this has really helped to encourage me. I’ve copied down several quotes from on here as I’ve found them so helpful.

    Reading the description of what happened to you, and some others on here, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it was an extreme form of migraine? (Which surely the doctor’s should have picked up on – but doctors don’t know everything, and migraines do vary a lot.) I get loss of central vision with migraines, (with other visual disturbances too – coloured wavy lines) and although I’ve never had speech issues, I did read recently about someone who had a very similar experience with not being able to say the words they wanted – I think that’s a rare thing to happen with migraines though. I don’t think it lasted as long as your experience though. I just thought it worth mentioning, as migraines, for people who don’t know about them, can be very scary, and it might ease someone else’s worries.

  36. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply February 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks @happiernow. I personally never had migraine before and afterwards. So I guess it was something else for me. My best guess is a hypertensive crisis.

  37. Comment by Dan

    Dan Reply February 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Really inspiring story Myrko, Thanks for sharing! It really clicked with me your prognosis of ‘thinking loops without solutions,’ that’s always seems to get me, whenever I feel helpless to affect my desired outcome then I get depressed. Do you manage to keep yourself completely out of depression nowadays? I seem to fall into a weekend of depression once every fortnight at the moment, I keep telling myself that each episode has a lesson to teach me and usually I have to take action to change something in my life but I would prefer to find a way to avoid falling into these episodes.

  38. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply February 18, 2013 at 7:38 am

    @Dan, yes thankfully I’m completely free of depression for over… 13 years now. For me it was a special event that drew me into depression. So I also learned what kind of thinking-patterns (the helpless loop) can produce this kind of depression and try to actively avoid them.

  39. Comment by Dan Willer

    Dan Willer Reply February 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing Myrko, got back on the bandwagon today and made some changes inspired by your story. Hopefully this time it will be lasting :). Cheers!

  40. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply February 19, 2013 at 4:37 am

    That’s great to hear, Dan!

  41. Comment by oleg

    oleg Reply March 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    hey Myrko, thank you for this story. Going through something like this right now and the description of cars passing and you are not a part of it is very accurate. Im hopeful i’ll get out of this soon and be useful for the society again.

  42. Comment by jw

    jw Reply March 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Myrko, I went through almost a similar story… perhaps we should be also of same age.. for me the onslaught happened at 21 in 1996. Started with what Doctor’s say was a panic attack, and had an experience when i felt that I had absolutely no control over my thoughts… as if my mind and body were detached.. Went through terrible times for years without knowing that I was in depression (almost 10 years) and then accidentally found out while consulting an ENT for recurring head ache that I was clinically depressed. Hm.. i was kept away from knowing due to the learned helplessness. I went to take on medication and still on ‘em. i tried to wean off 2 years back switching to 5HTP, however the depression set back in again with the same intensity after a 5 to 6 months period.

    I felt, that I lost many of my good years at the prime stage of my life… but yeah! this may have been for a reason. The things i learned became my priced possession and formula for the success i am experiencing now. Perhaps if I was just normal, the thirst to know life deeper would have never occurred. I want to come out of this completely, and right now searching on how to come out of medications through lifestyle changes… When you said you are out of it, is it without any medical support?

  43. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply March 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    @jw: I took some anti-depressants after the diagnosis. When it got better I quit using them after about 6-12 months. While they helped, I felt my inner work, looking for a conscious way to improve my life and finding new challenges in my passions (starting a new internet startup) where the things that made me overcome the depression completely. It was a new life with real possibilities and personal growth, and ultimately the path which lead me to open this website.

  44. Comment by Ronda

    Ronda Reply March 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for relaying your experiences. It’s so good to know that it’s a human condition and not just a “me” condition. Not to mention that you wrote it so eloquently and down-to-earth :) I am recovering from my 2nd bout of depression and I feel as if I have buried myself over again. I feel as if I’m coming back to life…which is surreal, miraculous, and stupefying. I relate to everything you are saying, and kudos for being such a strong, relatable, and insightful individual. Cheers to you!! (And me…and everyone else lol)

  45. Comment by Niko

    Niko Reply May 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Dear Myrko,

    This was a beautiful and motivating story! (too bad I look at motivation just as the red colored letters “m-o-t-i-v-a-t-i-o-n” of how depressed and empty I am right now (and btw I don’t know why they’re red colored :P) )
    But I still appreciate it very much as I simulate some artificial kind of motivation :)

    Also, I want to ask you two questions:

    1.Do all of the things that you watch/listen/do at your depressive/anxious stage really become instinctively unpleasant and place themselves in your memory as “ugly and bad”. Or are you able to enjoy the old type of activities/games/shows/music/etc when you come back from depression?

    2.Do you still use antidepressants? Are they for life? And if not, how long did you take them?
    (btw I am one of those who doesn’t look at “lowered sex drive” as a side effect, but as a benefit! A lifesaver! How about that one? Is that one really true?)

    3.Is not enjoying music at all a valid indicator of depression? I ask because I’m such a musically driven type of person and there are soooo many days lately when any kind of music in general feels like a pure meaningless noise to me…

  46. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply May 15, 2013 at 7:19 am

    @Niko:

    1. No, many of my memories back to this time have a positive touch to them. So it’s not just negative. I remember for instance making new friends I still have today. Those are just good memories. Of course I also remember tougher times. But I remember them just for what they were. So my memories are not clouded by the depressive state I was in 15 years ago. They are just normal memories.

    2. No I don’t take antidepressants for 14 years now. So as soon as I came out of the depressive state I stopped using them. I have to add that they weren’t very strong medications.
    Lowered sex drive probably just comes along with lower energy and emotion, from what I can remember. But it’s admirable to have an empowering perspective on that!

    3. Yes I think this is just the same symptom as when other experiences doesn’t seem too meaningful.

    All in all I would remind you of what I said in the beginning of the post: This too shall pass. Never forget that.
    Get good help with a psychological trained person and probably some medication that fits when your doc/therapist things it makes sense.
    I also found it valuable to look for what you learn from the depression that makes you stronger. I learned personal responsibility. It was a life empowering experience for me in the end. I came out stronger. There is a good side to everything.

    I wish you all the best!

  47. Comment by Niko

    Niko Reply May 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you so much for the answers Myrko! You are very kind!

    I completely agree with all that you’ve said. I am glad that all the answers are as I expected them to be!
    I am so glad that you learned a lot from your depression, and came back from it, I am sure I will learn from my depression too and I already have learned a lot.

    And yes just as you said “this too shall pass”, that is exactly what’s always on my mind at my toughest moments.
    There’s no “giving up” word in my dictionary so I am sure it’s just a matter of time :)

  48. Comment by Bilal Khan

    Bilal Khan Reply May 23, 2013 at 6:51 am

    This not a big deal, i i’ve had several episodes of depression in my life and came out of them which lasted for months together….

    but presently i am going through worst phase of my life, i am in clinical depression from last 2 and half years now, i’ve struggled a lot in my life i am a 36 year old guy, i started my career in 2002 on zero by 2009 i had achieved a good position in business. but in 2010 the people with whom i was associated in business deceived me and i suffered loses and lost my office showroom construction business, and was thrown out of a company for which i used to work as consultant,
    meanwhile i fell in love with a young girl and remained with her while i was concentrating on her my business was going down and down. finally in 2011 on one night when i was with my beloved girl a thought came to my mind that what i am going to offer to my beloved i have nothing i’ve lost every thing.

    and this was the point clinical depression started takeing toll on my life. i started to get panic attacks couldnt find any thing new to start with i used to get solace with my girl, so most of the times i used to be in her company to escape my sorrows and worries. then she started to remain ill i used to concentrate more on her, day by day i was sinking and sinking makeing nothing, one more bad thing happened i met a serious accident broke my rib and my car got totally damaged, this resulted in more severe problem i came under debt from bank and could not pay my credit card bills.

    worst was yet to come, as i was on antidepressants one among was TRAZODONE i suffered 40 hour priapism by takeing it… weathered with pain, which resulted in penile tissue damage and i lost my man hood… no erection.

    few days after it my pregnant wife gave birth to a baby boy who died at birth. now i am in deep deep clinical depression still i try to lay my hands on new ventures BUT SUCCESS IS NO WHERE in this situation of depression and despair i am trying to establish a new business, struggling makeing nothing for me my wife life has become hell i most of the times think to quit…

    still i try to struggle success is no where . my life is miserable nothing is working for me I am stuck in depression in panic despair. I don’t know when will I come out of this situation and come in a business which I enjoy to do and enjoy my life again…

    i have desire to come to life again…

  49. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply May 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    @Bilal Khan, a tough story of course and thanks for being so open and sharing it. It’s always important to realize that although we may have a difficult history, the power to create our future is always now, and always new.

    You are not your past. And your past does not equal your future.

    Your past mistakes or experiences are only stepping stones and something that you learned.

    I always find it useful to ask the question: What did I really learn from the past? How did my story shaped me and made me stronger and unique? I personally learned to take full responsibility for my life and to get in charge, take control over my life.

    Use these experiences to grow stronger. Find a vision for yourself to fuel your desire and come to life again, starting now.

  50. Comment by Carlos H

    Carlos H Reply May 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    how do you know if you have severe depression at not some other condition ? Everyone sypmtoms seem to be different for each individual. I have severe insomnia and nervousness plus panic attacks. I also have lack of focus and concentration, weight loss, lack of motivation, sadness and crying when I think of my condition. Also inability to enjoy any activities : watching TV, . listening to music, eating , exercising, and all the other things that normal people do. When I read about people being depressed and carrying with things like having sex, getting married, raising families etc. I ask myself are you really depressed. I cannot do all the thgings I sed to do before because I suffer greatly. What did you experience during your depression? Any of these kinds of symptoms?

  51. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply May 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    @Carlos H, back then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. THe main symptoms were: absolute low energy, no motivation or enjoyment of anything, feeling numb and empty, loss of understanding the meaning when it was at its peak.

  52. Comment by Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Reply June 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Wow! Maybe the longest blog post I’ve ever read, without any distractions. Very inspiring for me, because in spite of all these troubles, lost years and depression you had you were able to take control of your life and make it even better. That’s what I appreciate. Personal experience and real examples. It rocks ;)

  53. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply June 4, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Thanks Jim, makes me happy to know.

  54. Comment by AYESHA HASHMI

    AYESHA HASHMI Reply June 5, 2013 at 11:13 am

    i am under depression.i tried hurting myself.

    • Comment by Myrko Thum

      Myrko Thum Reply June 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Try to find psychological help near you now, that’s the best advice I can give you. And never give up, because “this too shall pass”.

  55. Comment by AYESHA HASHMI

    AYESHA HASHMI Reply June 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    ohhh i am so glad to receive ur response.this has healed me half the way i guess.i am smiling as i got someone who understood me.now i think i vil come out of this depression soon.i am under depression since 5 years.sometimes i just forget every problem and live daily routine.and some times suicidal tendency.now feeling better seeing ur response.

  56. Comment by AYESHA HASHMI

    AYESHA HASHMI Reply June 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    and i checked ur facebook page .very nice posts.now i am developing a positive attitude towards life.not running away from problems to get rid of them but to solve them quick and easy and finally getting rid of them forever :) ..u r very nice person.may u enter paradise.i am a student 20 year old girl studying engineering.i think now i will have better results if i continue seeing ur positive posts on life and problems and self development on facebook. . excellent job.pat on ur back. :))).keep smiling dearest.

  57. Comment by Stew

    Stew Reply June 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Hey that is some stuff you pulled yourself through!. Reading this gives me hope, as I have been challenged by DEPRESSION!! And it aint pretty when your on the DOWN SIDE :( BUT reading through your post gives me STRENGHT to CARRY ON!!. Particularly the King Solomon quote. I like that!!. Thank you.

  58. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply June 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Happy to hear that Stew! Good luck to you!

  59. Comment by Alicia

    Alicia Reply June 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Myrko,

    Thanks so much for your post! I feel like I can relate to so much of it. I’m almost 25, and over the past few months, I’ve been suffering from the many symptoms of depression including: feeling numb, lack of interest in activities that I used to love, no desire to communicate or spend time with people, insomnia, and so much more. During this time, my focus, ability to work, and memory have also deteriorated. Some days I think that I cant even write a couple of sentences or think of the right words to say. I’ve been trying to find answers to why this is happening and am convinced that something is wrong with my brain or I have dementia or some other incurable disease. Maybe this is learned helplessness? The doctors that I’ve seen are all telling me that it’s just depression since the MRIs and blood tests have all been normal. Because of that, I started taking antidepressants a couple of weeks ago, but have seen no improvements. I’m really concerned that I’ll never be myself again and will never be able to function like I used to. Your post has shown me that this too can pass. I really hope that it will because I miss my former life so much! How do you recommend that I get started on pulling myself back together other than what I’m already doing?

  60. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply June 9, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    @Alicia, first of all, you need to give yourself some time. The antidepressants didn’t work very fast for me neither.

    Start a psychological counseling with someone who is really good with depression, and has a record of getting people out fast.

    What may help you is improving your consciousness, maybe read The Power of Now.
    Also, if you find something that remotely interests you, try to slowly exploring this.

    Try to move your body: do sports you like (or enjoyed earlier), or start running, swimming, any aerobic exercise is great.

    Also try to meet other people who know depression.

    Good luck to you! This too shall pass.

  61. Comment by Kerrie

    Kerrie Reply June 23, 2013 at 5:37 am

    The symptoms you described at the tennis match sound like a classic migraine. I have experienced the same thing many times.

  62. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply June 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I never had migraine before or after this moment, so I doubt that it was the case for me.

  63. Comment by MM

    MM Reply June 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Hi. I am writing from the other side–the partner of a depressed person and am hoping your candid honest nature will help guide me with some advice of what to do. I desperately want to do the right thing. I dated a man for 2.5 years. He is not the best with being emotional –and I would even guess that perhaps his previous marriage and its failure, the meeting me a year later and being presented with love, vulnerability, and trust brought out his depression and had him “deal” with things from the latter relationship he could not deal with when he realized he had trouble falling in love again, believing in love, etc. with me. Our relationship, he has acknowledged, is amazing. An amazing connection–there is nothing fundamentally wrong with US. So, in one way I feel responsible and like my presence now causes great anxiety.
    About six months ago, he started slipping into a deeper depression. All they symptoms your story discusses, his echos. I did what I could. I took misdirected anger and didn’t take it personal. I sent links and gave him books to help him. I tried to take him on walks, go to comedy plays, etc. so he didn’t stay home isolated and so I took the role of the date planner off his shoulders. I even bought his weekly groceries once to lighten his daily tasks which had become daunting for him. He said he was glad for me, would be here for me in the same way, etc. I read books on depression, articles and played my role the best I could. I know I can not save him but I surely wasnt going to leave him. I watched him change as you can imagine. From calm, caring, with a strong work ethic and nature to a raging angry lunatic. He hated the things he once loved the most (being close to me, camping, etc) and slowly his work ethic began to die. He cut out everything–pleasures, hobbies, friends and then finally, me.
    He said the typical he had to do this alone, etc. However I knew the isolation wasnt the answer and felt truly the depression, not him, ended this relationship. It was literally overnight.
    I tried to at first do the typical beg and pleading. I then gave him space. For two months now I have contacted him once a week…and even a three week break at another point. Each time I call or visit him briefly he is worse than he was before. The break up and doing it on his own doesnt seem to have helped him. I am distraught that no one in his family is doing anything more. . . he has gone from “I am depressed and am going to beat this.” to” The depression is beating me.” to “I don’t want your help. I dont want any help. This is who I am now. I am an empty shell of a person and that other guy is never coming back” mindset. This of course, for me, is heartbreaking and troublesome. He has also changed from viewing me as a person he talked to about the issues, etc to an enemy. If I try to discuss his depression, I have set him in a “trap.” He has told me to not worry about him, forget him, let it go. He doesnt want help, blah, blah. I cant imagine for the sake of his daughter who is his world, that this is the man he wants to be. He seems too deep in now to even be able to see himself as the other man as a possibility. This to me is my largest concern. I dont think he was sharing with anyone else the intensity of his depression as he was with me and I feel responsible to help him but don’t know what to do if he views me as another complication, another thing he has to deal with when he already can’t deal. I admit I am not an angel. I went through an angry period, I didn’t always handle him well but I know the old him knows my intentions have always been good. I have always, as he once admitted not so long ago, been good to him. I got him to agree to meet me face to face recently. He is worse. Shaking constantly, his eyes are gone–his soul is no longer in there and he is so irritated by things that shouldnt irritate any reasonable person. Ie: me parking in the wrong spot to meet him. He is so out of character seeing him left me depressed for days. I couldnt believe how much worse he had gotten and his complete disconnect from himself scared me. He says he is this new person now and he doesnt give a damn. I am also unsure of how I went from his saving grace to an enemy in a matter of months. But he clearly views me as an annoyance and has even screamed at me that he wants to be alone. Even if I wait three weeks with no contact to just check in. However he always calls me back. Always agrees to meet if I ask. And this last meeting, he gave me a very long (several minutes) tight tight hug. I felt his pain when he hugged me. I know he is dying inside and can’t find a way out, doesnt know who to trust, doesnt feel worthwhile and thinks this is the final ‘him.” He has told me he has moments of clarity where he feels he ruined everything leaving me, thinks of is depression in a different light and what he used to be, but that fades quickly and the darkness consumes him.
    His uncle killed himself when he was about his age and his increasing decrease in getting better or showing any improvement is horrific to witness. I worry. I can’t do anything. He seems paraonid to me and for some reason I think he thinks I am against him. At this point, I am well aware without HIM there is no US. . . and futhermore, he may never return to the man he was. I couldnt date him right now due to his personality change, etc if he wanted to so my drive is not to get him back into a relationship with me. My drive is to get HIM back to himself . I care about him deeply as a person and think I am the only person in his life with this type of status due to his already personal introverted personality (even prior to depression).
    So, what do I do? Do I throw my hands up and walk away? Do I stop making weekly contact even if it’s a text to say I care? Do I sit down with him and say you have to do more, we have to get a brain scan, we need to do something? Are the facts that he always calls back, etc good signs or he just appeasing me?
    He has been on medication which I convinced him to do three months ago. It seems to make him worse. I have seen no improvements. He also says he is worse now then he was yesterday, last week, etc.
    The last contact I had with him, I got that huge hug. I asked him to see a comedy show with me but he declined. He did say he wished he could go, he wanted to go, but he just couldnt do it. I at times wish I wasn’t his ex, and had only been his friend for years, so he trusted my intentions more to help him.
    If something happened to him, and I didnt do everything I could, I would never forgive myself. Will leaving him alone help? It doesnt seem to have helped so far the past two months–he just seems more isolated, more exhausted, more skinny, and more dark–he has totally given up on himself.
    Thanks for any help. He means the world to me and he is too wonderful to die to this disease. I want to inspire him to get back up and fight–but perhaps I should walk. I really am torn….to pieces.

  64. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply June 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    As I already said I’m no psychiatrist so I can only say what I would do:

    I would make sure that he is getting professional and regular/repeating help from a good psychologist.
    Then I would make sure that he gets the right medication (the antidepressants I took, took a while (3-6 month) until I noticed a difference).
    And if someone is in depression it helps to show understanding. No comedy shows, that doesn’t work at this point at all.

    For me it was most important to know and remove the cause of my depression. Then things got better. So what’s the cause here? Can it be resolved/removed?

    Hope that helps a bit.

  65. Comment by MM

    MM Reply June 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks for your fast reply and help. Actually comedy shows are things he requested to lighten his mood when we went out. . . but the point is I do the best I can with what I have. I am worried for his life at this point. He should be in a hospital and it sounds as if he has lost his will to even live. I will continue to support his medication and encourage him to seek more help. Thanks for your answer and sharing your story.

  66. Comment by Angel

    Angel Reply June 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Hello Myrko, thanks for sharing your personal story. Just reading these stories reminds me that I am not alone and that there are worst cases than mine. I am currently under depression but aside from the other stories, my is a little different because I fight it everyday, no medication, no doctors. I went under depression before and it took me a few years to came out of it. Then again circumstances in life took me to a new drespession stage; however, knowing that I was able to come out of my first depression I said to myself just like king Solomon “This too shall pass”. In order to fight depression I normally enroll in several activities: I act, I dance, I run, I excersice, I hike, I swim and I get together with friends and family. Whatever that takes my mind away from problems. I also take new challenges that will make me feel good about myself. I try to do home renovation also as that too makes me feel happy. Sometimes shopping will do the trink. I keep myself busy most of the time and when I am I don’t feel depress a bit. As a matter of fact I feel that I won depression. But then again, when I have extra time and I think too much I get depress. That happens rarely but when it does it is usually at night leaving me with insomnia. Is been over a year and depression is not gone so I wonder, how much time? I know last time it took a little over a year so I wonder why I am not cure and wonder for a second if I will ever be, then again I remember what happen before and how I came out of it and when I look back and see that it was not as difficult as I thought and thus I know “This too shall pass”. Thanks again for taking the time to help others, sometimes we just need to be heard and understand in order to feel better. Hope I can too help anyone that need ideas of how to overcome depression even though I am not totally cure. Best of Luck Myrko!

  67. Comment by Mike

    Mike Reply June 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you soooooo much for your heartening story! It really does make a huge difference to peoples lives!!! Amazing …..:)

  68. Comment by Anita

    Anita Reply July 8, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I read and I cry.. I want to be there at the end. I have 3 episodes of depression behind me and everytime I have a relaps. I work alot on myself but its getting me nowhere. Drugs only makes me sick, my body screams no drugs. Not sure what to do anymore. I feel sorry for my husband who has to put up with me. Does it have anything with unhappines?

  69. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply July 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I think it’s important to keep the belief that you can improve. Expect to improve – even if you’re not feeling it yet. You’re not helpless and there is always hope. Unhappiness is a symptom, nothing more. But I think to focus your mind on what could be good in your life, even right now, is more helpful than thinking about unhappiness.

  70. Comment by Leigh

    Leigh Reply July 17, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Hi Myrko,
    Your story resonates with me with deep within.
    Your story is what I am dealing with and have been struggling to see how to combat this debilitating illness and way of life…..
    My conscious state and the numbness I experience has just left me incapable to operate or even know who I am any more…. I don’t recall what it feels like anymore to have a genuine feeling of excitiment, happiness & positive thought of my life. At least for the last 6 years. Along with the voices, self judgement and hopeless.

    I ask as a desperate individual wanting to get my life back how u worked to overcome this depression with development, medication and speaking with a professional?

  71. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply July 17, 2013 at 9:19 am

    @Leigh yes, this pretty much sums up what I would advice. Slowly find something again that could excite you sometime and also proactively deal with depression by having a trained/experienced psychologist. And also use some medication, it helps especially when there is not much more that seems to make progress.
    Diving into personal and spiritual development helped me a lot, yes. This is also connected with the idea of taking responsibility, because it empowers you to help you from within.

  72. Comment by Ajeet

    Ajeet Reply July 21, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Hi Myrko,
    While reading your story my eyes filled with tears, I really admire you for your courage. My brother is going through same phase. He has lost interest in life, loneliness has eaten him, and often talks about suicide and when i ask whats the problem with him he just don’t reply. And what I could merely do is to motivate him , come on days will pass and you will feel better. He do take too much of alcohol once in week to show his frustration and talk about suicide at that time, and when he is out of that hangover he don’t talk with any1 for few days. I took him to the psychologist but that didn’t worked. i also took him to hypnotherapist and tried hypnotism with him but that relived him for 1 month or so. He is in this state for more than 2 years. I could see despair in his eyes but i am helpless now. Recently our family forced him to marry thinking that it will shed his loneliness and would create some interest in life but it worsen the things. In one of his letter he wrote to father (nearly 3 years ago) that he has some terminal mental problem and this fact he came to know by reading article in newspaper which showed similar symptoms that he has.. and I think this triggered depression in him… ……… pls could you give any suggestion for improving his condition

  73. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply July 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Ajeet: What helped me a lot is to first remove the reason of my depression. So in my case that meant to know that there is no terminal illness, my brain is functioning ok and I had the brain-scan, which was the most important thing for me and a turning point in my depression!

    So maybe it could help to start there.

    Otherwise as already said: good psychologist, medication, showing understanding, not pushing.
    As soon as it is getting a little better let new interests and passions develop very slowly…

  74. Comment by LK

    LK Reply August 6, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I feel ur pain. I became so depressed @ one point, where I wanted it to be the 80’s again, and actually started to think it was still the 80’s, just things like cars and fashion were what changed, but mindsets and everything else were still there in my head.

  75. Comment by Jamie

    Jamie Reply August 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Myrko, I’m gonna bookmark this page in some hope it will help me. I feel I can relate to your comments esp the unconscious/conscious feeling, the indescribable feeling of not really “being” if you were. I’m currently in a psychiatric hospital on antidepressants and being treated for a benign brain tumour but it’s the disturbing feeling of the “old” me being dead and this new “something” that’s taken over my existence that is freaking me out. I know I used to be an outgoing, confident guy, had/has a job, a wife, family, life but somehow I can’t get back or don’t want back. My memory and perception of reality has gone, iI feel I’m being set up, almost like I’m the character
    In someone’s sick little game. The inevitable feeling of not actually “being” or wanting to be I know is always just moments away. It’s almost like “ok I’m gonna be positive” but it’s a false positive that only results in me being brought back to the reality that somehow I’m not even really “here”

  76. Comment by Robyn

    Robyn Reply August 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am now just started treatment for depression and PTSD. I have lost four years of my life and because of this I was dismissed from my doctorate program. I want to feel relieve and I to hope this shall pass. Thank you again

  77. Comment by lauren

    lauren Reply August 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing you story Myrko!

  78. Comment by jessica

    jessica Reply August 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I went to the hospital for the exact same things you experienced. Got a CT scan. Everything checked out fine, but unfortunately my health anxiety only got worse as did my psychological state. I’ve had anxiety in the past, but this was way different. I made it worse by looking up every possible condition and being in complete panic mode for such a long time. I feel into a deep depression. My mind shattered. I kept telling people I had brain damage because that’s exactly what it felt like. Like I was completely outside myself, no longer felt like the same person at all. Stopped eating, couldn’t feel any emotions at all except for ugly ones, fear, anger, regret. Couldn’t concentrate on anything or make even the simplest decision. I felt like I had died and was in mourning for my loss of self except that I couldn’t even cry. I couldn’t even sleep to escape the nightmare. Previous to this experience I had been so in love with my husband who I’ve been with for nearly 20 years. He was now like a stranger to me and I a stranger to myself. My mind played so many tricks on me during this time, and still is somewhat.

    It has now been nearly 7 months since the onset of my problems. I have recovered most of my intellect. (There were a couple months in there where I could barely communicate.) I can at least cuddle up to my husband and feel comforted now. I know that I still care deeply about him. – Even my dreams remind of this. However, joy and love have not returned, for him or for myself. And I guess that really brings me to my most lingering problem…loss of self. Throughout my life I have had many issues, bullied in school, rocky home life, anxiety issues. But through it all I had never even questioned my own ego, my own desire for self preservation and that feeling of loving myself simply because I am me…had never wavered. Until depression. I’m still waiting for that day when I wake up and snap back to myself. And love myself again with confidence.

    You said that you lost your sense of self. Did it ever come back? Every now and then I think I feel a glimmer. I still get almost flashbacks of how the old Jessica would have reacted in certain situations. Trying to act or think like I remember being upsets me further and makes me feel like a fraud.

  79. Comment by L

    L Reply August 30, 2013 at 3:16 am

    One thing I notice about depressed people, and myself is that we are so self focused. We’re not observing anything but ourselves. And all of our concentration seems to channel toward ourselves, we should try to focus on the external things. I’m realzing personally I’m in my head so much to where my mind feels like a seperate world from everyone and everything else. Focus on logic, and the events currently going on around you. Don’t let the emotions control you, and how you behave. Understand the way you’re feeling, observe it, but don’t follow the irrational feelings follow your good judgement and logic. I’m learning that now and it’s helping, along with anti-depressants.

  80. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply August 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    @jessica, yes, my sense of self came back completely. As you said you have a glimmering of it already.
    If you don’t know it, maybe you also want to take a look into The Power of Now from Eckhart Tolle, which is a good read regarding the sense of self, ego and the real self.

    I think it’s important to see what depression has taught you and how you can become stronger eventually with this experience. This worked for me.

  81. Comment by jessica

    jessica Reply August 31, 2013 at 12:06 am

    @Myrko Thum: Thanks so much for answering. I really need the encouragement when almost everything I read is doom and gloom. I do feel as though I am waking up little by little. I hope I learn from this how to never let it happen again but also if I do end up back on this road that it’s possible to recover.

  82. Comment by Ashlie

    Ashlie Reply September 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Myrko,
    I originally had depression when I was 10 after my dad left. I started seeing a therapist but I never really felt like she was helping, just trying to force me into seeing my father (which made my sick to my stomach). Anyway I was in a very, very bad state. Not leaving the bed to even shower and not able to eat (I was SO afraid of being sick to my stomach). After sixth grade I felt pretty great and seventh and eighth grades I was happiest. When I started high school everything changed. My school had over 3,000 students and no one really cared about you. When I had a panic attack I had to sit there in front of other people until I could get picked up. I even got yelled at by a teacher. Anyway my mom took me back to a different psychologist and then a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with panic disorder/generalized anxiety disorder. Eventually I had to leave school and do home hospital because school made me so anxious. The same thing happened after a few months my sophomore year. My mom and I decided public school wasn’t working and we found a charter school where classes were three days a week and the other two days were online. There were also only 200 kids in the entire high school. It was the BEST decision I ever made. Everyone was so nice and I did things I never thought I could do. My senior year I was president of leadership and editor of the yearbook and had an internship with the speech pathologist. At the end of that year things kind of went downhill and I was barely able to graduate. That was about 3 months ago. The first two or three weeks after graduation were perfect and I felt better than I had in a long time. But since then I haven’t felt well at all. I basically stay home and watch t.v. all day because I feel unable to do anything. I don’t have friends anymore and the only person I really talk to is my mom. Lately I’ve been feeling depressed again and it really scares me. I’m still seeing my therapist and psychiatrist and I’ve taken Zoloft since I was 10. Right now I’m waiting for an appointment with the psychiatrist because obviously something is not right. I just feel really hopeless and like I keep getting beaten down every time I start to feel better. I feel like I’m never going to be completely happy and have zero feelings of depression or anxiety. Your post and replies to others really helped me and it sounds like you are truly happy and don’t have feelings of depression like creeping up on you at all? I just need to know that its possible to truly recover and be happy. Thanks for sharing your story (:

  83. Comment by Will

    Will Reply September 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you,I’m 51 years old sitting on my couch trying to find an answer. I want to commend you for answering all of us .I Visited a social worker the other day wanted to know what life exp. I’ve had that maybe might have caused me to feel this way. I responded by telling her where do I begin,I could write a book but I never used those as an excuse in the past to move foward in life. I stated I can’t seem to move foward in a fog ,can’t concentrate ,no feelings .Married an angel my high school sweetheart a Godsend have 2 beautiful girls .Progressed bought a house put my girls thru college,My cable/home phone just turned off ,borrowed money from family just to survive,Can’t take it anymore financial pressure all consuming .Fear of losing everything ,love my wife and girls more than words can explain .I’ve been trying to will myself to work everyday only to find myself driving in circles (was self employed)Feel like I can’t go on but realize it wouldn’t be fair to my wife or girls. Can’t see the light don’t know what to do .Could my past be catching with me .I just want to live the rest of my life with my wife and girls be happy .Lost my father when was young,Mom remarried (achohlic step father)lost twin at 15 yrs old to —— lost an older brother 50yrs old to achohlic, beat breast cancer with my wife 5 years now thank you God. Business shut down had to let younger brother off. I can go on and on but as I stated never prevented me from moving foward in life and then it debilitated me never had these feelings can’t understand. Was I kidding myself trying to live life trying to make everything ok trying not to cause any waves trying to please and help all I could. It’s very hard for me seeing my wife trying to see this thru feel hopeless ,weak,what a failure .Never had these feelings in the past despite my past exp. Don’t know what to do

  84. Comment by Mack

    Mack Reply November 19, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Myrko, I too had a learned helpless behavior where I certain I had breast cancer. As I am a male and no de could tell me why my breast had swollen and was hot finally I got breast exam no cancer but I had worries for so long my mind was in circles then I thought I had Lymphoma for the months this went on finally I went to see a Psychatrist and Psycologist they both diagnosed MDD or clinical Depression I have this disorder going through it now. I was on low dose of zoloft for 7 months I never felt good on them but they made me feel not as worry I guess they made me not care. I weaned myself about a month ago. And stared to feel better. I mean I get prleriosa of time wher I’ll feel also like myself then I’ll go back into MDD the 10 good say then 5 days. During all of this there was no joy I buying a new home got a new job dream job actually and still no joy excitement some here and there I guess I asking did your coing out if clinical depression happen in windows or shirt spans if time until you were better?

  85. Comment by Erik lensherr

    Erik lensherr Reply November 19, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Diagnosed with MDD or Clinical Depression after along period of think I had various types of cancer and the dr. Not know or proving I was ok. I went on to see Psychatrist and Psycologist both whom diagnosed Clinical depression I took low dose if zoloft which has helped some when it did I weaned off and am doing the same but there are time when I almost feel normal but then I feel depressed loss of joy loss of love of music sex doesn’t feel right nothing brings joy or excitement again I have like 10 good day then 4 bad days I was wondering was coming out of your depression similar like windows of good days then bad?

  86. Comment by Alexa

    Alexa Reply December 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    It is so eerie how similar we are. I started experiencing the numbing feeling when I started college also. I am 20 now and I had been taking antidepressants on and off which isn’t good. But I experience the same thing with the forgetting words and I have no concentration. I oftentimes want to curl into a ball and not wake up. But then I have a desire deep inside to live life it’s just that I don’t know how. I wish that you still looked at this blog so we could talk personally.

  87. Comment by Wan Muhammad Zulfikri

    Wan Muhammad Zulfikri Reply January 12, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Myrko, you’re truly a survivor.

    I think I have mild depression once in a while but I had never been clinically diagnosed on it. In my country, Malaysia, these kinds of ‘illness’ has no place in it and people don’t know how to handle it clinically and rely on supports from others. Somehow I see people around me as wearing masks and hiding the side of them which yearns for help.

    Anyway, being depressed somehow can trick the one’s who experienced into thinking that there’s no way to rise up again. In the end, it’s about their responsibility to rise up and fight back whatever ‘illness’ they are experiencing.

  88. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply January 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Yes that’s what I learned Wan — responsibility for yourself — no matter how bad your situation may look like.

    And I mean this in the most empowering way possible. Because the moment you realise that you are responsible, is also the moment of your true move to power.

  89. Comment by Wan Muhammad Zulfikri

    Wan Muhammad Zulfikri Reply January 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    @Myrko Thum:

    Truth be told – I still have the clinging belief that sometimes I’m trapped by own emotions. Sitting in that cage of negativity and thinking that the key to get out of it – responsibility – wouldn’t work.

    I know that it’s all about responsibility but there will always be doubts clinging somewhere; doubts that maybe they’ll come a day that I can’t be responsible any more towards myself.

    Do you sometimes have any doubts such as thinking that you’ll be back the way you were in your past?

    It’s okay if you don’t answer this, Myrko because sometimes people don’t want to relive their past but looking at this post, I think you are way stronger than most people.

    And in the end, I’m still a person who wants to strengthen myself through personal development because it’s my key to free my thoughts from following the dangerous loop of not believing in myself.

  90. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply January 13, 2014 at 6:07 am

    @Wan: At some point everyone has some doubts. For this particular doubt about my depression, I’m in the “fortunate” situation that it got triggered by an external event and by what happened afterwards. Since I never had this event again, AND I learned a lot about handling such a situation in case it would ever reappear, I almost have no doubt at all about staying without depression today.

    Sometimes it’s difficult to be absolute certain about yourself. So what I learned here is to trick yourself a little and “fake it ’til you make it”. That’s just a trick for your mind so that’s not getting in your way. Sooner or later, you don’t need that anymore.

    Worked for me. :)

  91. Comment by bwhitty

    bwhitty Reply January 21, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I am here, like others, in search of answers and an improved life. I came off antidepressants in August of last year because I felt that I had slayed the dragon but it has reappeared. As the founder of a start-up internet company I am needed but I want to avoid all issues by staying in bed. Problems seem to be heightened and, at times, I think I just need to put the company on pause until I have taken care of myself. I am reluctant to wait in line for psychological help. I’d rather try and slay the dragon myself but realize that it is a monumental task – better to tackle tomorrow. Interested in your thoughts.

  92. Comment by Grego

    Grego Reply February 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    RESPECT

    Myrko you are a true human being !

    How proud of yourself can you be ?

    This is really a great way to share with others the personal development. After 5 years I might say this is the RIGHT place to read.

    I am so impatient to follow your system.

    Strange sensation that I will consult, for the first time, a psychiatrist for bipolar evaluation in a few days.. So reassured to see it is possible to go through all of this.

    Just afraid about medicines and strongly believe our mind is the best medicine if we know how to use it.. but without external help not so easy to avoid our own traps…

    Cheers

    Long life to your Passion to share with everyone.

    A deep thank you Mister Thum

  93. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply February 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you Grego! Looking forward working with you in The System.

    Sometimes our brain needs a little medicine, as in my case here this was a good thing 15 years ago. It wasn’t any especially heavy or dangerous stuff, just basic and natural. But when you’re in depression, it can help.
    With any psychiatrist, as with anyone you chose to help you, just make sure to select the best you can get.

  94. Comment by NADA

    NADA Reply May 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Myrko,

    It is releaving to read your story since the same happened to me when I was 15 and ended after almost 10 years of struggle, fighting not to sink deaper and deaper, especially that I had to complete high school and college, you know…
    The first time I had that strange feeling of emptiness and helplessness was one summer evening after having excellent grades at school and everything was all right, with loving and caring parents, nice holiday…. In one minute in that evening I watched the street from the window and suddenly all the movement of people and vehicle stopped before my eyes, All was like a painted picture, like if the outside was no longer alive, they all were there but frozen. From that instant on, I had anxiety and panic attack, frightening existential thoughts that lasted with me for 10 years . These tormenting thoughts were not mine but I couldn’t chase them. That night was the first night I wake up very early in the morning- around 5 AM-with the same terrifying and speedy thoughts, extreme anxiety, and panic attack but everything was inside me no one could notice this extreme pain within me. I was no more the same person, happy person, smiling when waking up and ready to consume the beautiful day. That’s how I was. A few days later, I felt I couldn’t handle such a horrifying situation without telling one of my parents, it was meaningless but I was like trapped and caught, no exit possibility. I knew it. I am not myself any more, someone took my inner-self and let me in a scary emptiness, alone, helpless in a dark wind. That’s exactly how I felt. I was like dead. Each time I was next to my Mum I wished I could go back into her womb, that’s the only secure place I felt existing in this world, but of course, it is never possible. The insecurity feeling was killing me, each atom of me, I felt it. I was like dying slowly. But the hardest thing about this all is that I couldn’t understand the origin of this phenomenon, my parent couldn’t explain to me, this was not a usual state.My family doctor sent me to a psychiatrist that just listened to me but didn’t comfort me or say that this is just clinical depression and it will pass away. He just gave me tranquilizers, antidepressants and anxiolitic, no exchange of ideas…I just hoped if it were a physical illness no matter dangerous it would have been but not that HORROR.!!! You see!!!
    So, my situation got worse, I lost my usual energy, it was “ZERO” like I don’t have back bones, exhausted physically and psychologically, I could not think, I couldn’t perceive life anymore as I did , I couldn’t have my usual sweet teenager girl daydreams!! That was the worst. I was in the same time empty, extremely stressed and seeing just into me not outside. I disappeared as person. Hopefully, I could sleep at least thanks to the medication, I could have rest, the antidepressants helped me concentrate in my studies and all my family supported me especially my Mum who is very tender, understanding and giving. She knows that I am a good daughter, I studied very hard, very disciplined and kind, I did my best to be ideal but it was my destiny and she understood that. I succeeded at high school miraculously!! My major was mathematics which was very hard especially here in Morocco, but each 4-6weeks I had a big panic attack that resulted from the every-day cumulated stress of constant bad thoughts that I could not stop once awake, then i had to talk to my psychiatrist which relieved me.
    All the high school time was like that. I got my degree but I felt no happiness apart from feeling free from the burden of the high school degree I needed for higher education. I was accepted in one of the best business schools in Morocco but I suffered extremely during the 4 years of study. Only 20% of my brain was studying and the rest was frozen, trapped, It no longer belonged to me. My success was a miracle again thanks god but with a lot of pain since once I told some friend in the first year of college about my depression, she told all people in the school and I felt like naked, especially that I am not sure about what she exactly reported, so people thought I was not normal and It had many consequences. Here in Morocco going to see a psychiatrist means you are crazy, you see….Since this happened in my first year of college, I was so ashamed because of people opinion, so my lowered self-esteem prevented me from having a good network, which necessitates to be very open. I feared people, I found them hostile and then lived almost alone. This was hard since I was not studying in my parents’ town, I could go home only once per month. After getting my bachelor degree, I had no energy to look for a job, since we need to be energized, look enthusiastic, apply to many companies, talk a lot, be concentrated, master the subject of discussion…this seemed overwhelming to me at that time. I decided to continue a master degree in finance after a year-off in order to overcome this lack of motivation for work since I didn’t want to meet people from my business school, hoping things will go better in the future. Indeed, I met very nice people at my new university, we shared wonderful time, the study system was flexible in time so I made it. About 25 years old I felt alive again and more connected to life. I can feel joy now.
    Many thanks to you. Wish you all the best.

    • Comment by Myrko Thum

      Myrko Thum Reply May 7, 2014 at 5:22 am

      Thanks for that comment, Nada. Indeed I’m surprised as well that many people share a similar story of being lost then then fighting their way back up. You are on the right track now. Keep going forward! :)

  95. Comment by Waldemar

    Waldemar Reply May 14, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Hi,
    Just in case you are still curious about the incident that likely triggered your depression… it sounds a lot like a transient ischemic attack or mini-stroke.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transient_ischemic_attack
    http://www.circulationfoundation.org.uk/help-advice/carotid/transient-ischaemic-attack-tia/

    I’m sorry you couldn’t get all the information you needed back then on why this happened to you or why you were receiving a treatment that seemed so inappropriate. In TIAs the loss of blood flow does not last enough to cause permanent damage to the central nervous systems. Depending on the affected artery and the extension of the blockage the symptoms may vary… doctors do study all the pathways, nuclei, gyri, ganglia and arteries within the CNS to great detail and can infer the affected areas in such events based on the symptoms. Sometimes physicians feel that is not necessary to explain all the systems that got involved in these kind of events (because of their complexity, the time it takes or seems irrelevant for the patients to know) and feel that is better just to make sure it won’t happen again to a greater extent. Just to justify the doctors, high blood pressure is a leading cause in TIAs and the whole cardiovascular inspection made sense to discard major risk factors for eventually having a stroke or a silent stroke… to them your fears for a tumor being the cause of the symptoms didn’t match.

    On the mini stroke, to me the occlusion occurred distal in your right middle cerebral artery (arises from the right internal carotid), affecting the right internal capsule (part of the somatosensory pathway) explaining the tickling and lost of sensation on the left side of the body (contralateral paresthesia) or… the affected area was the medial lemniscus right before it connects to the thalamus if no motor functions (weakness or loss of control) were present in the event. You described receptive aphasia (fluent speech that makes no sense to those hearing it), caused by an affected Wernicke’s area in the superior temporal gyrus (if you are left-handed it is more likely you have it on your right hemisphere as well). The middle cerebral arteries provide irrigation to the macular tracts, which can explain the lost of central vision.

    There are some studies linking depression and transient ischemic attacks, some silent strokes may cause change of mood and personality as well. I don’t know, probably some other thing could have triggered this depression later if not a TIA, sometimes is not the event itself but what it means to us (the complex cognitive process rather than a chemical imbalance), scenarios like these where we are forced to face our mortality or when some bubble we live in gets burst… some people say is an evolutionary mechanism from our subconscious mind, telling us changes need to be made in order to keep going.

  96. Comment by Maarten

    Maarten Reply May 20, 2014 at 4:03 am

    I thoroughly sympathised reading your story. To say I empathised would be a blatant lie, ’cause that capability has left me 6 months ago now.

    After years and years of social phobia, my mother who got depressed, my brother who got suicidally depressed and me struggling to find my way from 22-24 years old, I finally started to believe I had found myself. I (am?) used to be this cynical yet empathetic person. People liked me, but people grew tiring for me as well. I care d about people but I also wanted to distance myself from them.
    And sad tunes were my engine that steered me through life. I was so emotional, yet so alive.

    Now it’s like my brain has broken down. While people might think I’m doing well now, ’cause I don’t fear social gatherings anymore and I smile a lot and make stupid jokes, IT IS NOT ME. I have lost myself completely and am so so dead in side. Music doesn’t have that profound effect on me anymore. I don’t care as much about others as I used to and just don’t care enough about things I should care about.

    It is the worst. I don’t even know if I’m depressed, but I’m so numb. I am completely devoid of euphoria or weltschmerz. I’d want to be miserable instead of this any day.

    • Comment by Myrko Thum

      Myrko Thum Reply May 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Hey Maarten, if that’s an enduring state you find yourself in, please consider finding a good psychologist or psychiatrist near you. Depression can be healed with medium medication and with competent people who care.

  97. Comment by Laura W

    Laura W Reply June 29, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for this. I’ve spent the last 4 years living at home with my mum. My depression began in 2004 (10 years ago). I’d come top of my second year at university after some stressful life events. When I returned back at university I couldn’t focus at all and objects felt different, I had awful anxiety. I got through it with a first (after a repeat year) and was invited to X (world leading university). Unfortunately the professor who invited me hadn’t told any of his colleagues how ill I was – he did discuss the depression with me and befriend me.

    It all catapulted out of control and I dealt with it in the end by sending angry email to all my tutors. I couldn’t express myself in words to their faces and felt withdrawn and misunderstood. Obviously I got into trouble for this.

    You are right about responsibility. I was very needy and almost became entirely reliant on his approval. I looked up to him I guess. Took me about 5 years to come to terms with it and the sense of loss because I loved my studies (I passed the masters but not well).

    I don’t agree with him befriending me when I was ill and not telling people (owed me a duty of care) – but you are right I was most responsible for myself. I have to acknowledge that so I never get involved with something like that again.

    I am fit and healthy again now and about to submit a new thesis at a different world leading university.

  98. Comment by Jim

    Jim Reply July 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Mykro,

    I disagree with who is to blame, responsibility, etc.

    Ex:

    Email is down (can’t to your work) – blame others, not responsible

    take any job to get income – blame others, employees do not see ” I ll take any job” as having interest, wanting to work for them.

    working at a job that you dislike, are bored ,not much room to grow elsewhere – same as above

    …and many more

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  100. Comment by Tim

    Tim Reply October 1, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Sorry you had such bad medical advice but what you described as the start of your problems actually sounds exactly like a SEVERE Migraine – please read the rest of this and see what you think

    I have had the centre of my vision dissappear exactly as you describe, and the tingling. I also had no ‘headache’ per se – just a strange feeling in my head

    I have experienced only twice in my life, and both times it’s been when I’m under immense pressure and expectations.

    To quote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine

    “Some people lose part of their field of vision known as hemianopsia while others experience blurring.[20]”

    “Often a feeling of pins-and-needles begins on one side in the hand and arm and spreads to the nose-mouth area on the same side.[20] Numbness usually occurs after the tingling has passed with a loss of position sense.[20]”

    “Other symptoms of the aura phase can include speech or language disturbances”

    So really sorry to tell you what you’ve experienced probably was never dangerous or a reason to worry

    I originally also wondered if I was ‘going mad’ – and unrelated to this made myself depressed through intensely thinking over and over how to fix something

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