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Needed: One Pair Of Big Girl Pants ASAP

I am one of those adults who had to emotionally take care of myself throughout my life due to mediocre parenting. Mom and Dad weren't hugely abusive, but they didn't seem to give a fuck about my brother and I. I'm coming out of a month where I went off my meds and I think I had a hypomanic episode followed by a giant crash. While I am now back on my meds and working with my therapist and pdoc, I am craving someone in my life who would take care of me emotionally. Someone who would understand where I was coming from and why I feel the way I do. The thing is, I do live in reality and know that's not possible for the immediate foreseeable future, if ever. What can I do to self-soothe and give myself that pampered feeling? How do I find someone who gets me? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 21, 2014 - 13 answers

Have you ever managed to break a long-term cycle of self-sabotage?

or repeated mistakes? If you have any insight or personal experience please give it. I'm starting to suspect that I may never make any progress because it keeps happening again and again and the consequences are only getting worse. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by hejrat on Jul 21, 2014 - 17 answers

Time away

Hi- are there ranches that exist to help people that are grieving with their sadness and anxiety? This is on top of battling major depression. [more inside]
posted by timpanogos on Jul 19, 2014 - 7 answers

Avoiding postpartum mental illness?

What can I do to minimize my risk of postpartum mental illness? If I can't completely prevent it, I'd at least like to catch and treat it as early as possible. [more inside]
posted by Metroid Baby on Jul 17, 2014 - 23 answers

What can I do for the next 5-6 weeks?

I chose not to go on vacation with my family (to their native country that I've been to before) to take summer classes instead. My summer session 2 class filled up and I got screwed out of a seat. Now, I'm stuck here (NYC) with nothing to do for the rest of the summer. Help me not lose my mind and fill this time up. [more inside]
posted by DayTripper on Jul 16, 2014 - 22 answers

helping others while maintaining my own sanity

I have a friend who is having a horrible life right now and I want to be supportive but I am also having a horrible life right now. How can I help but not put my own mental health at risk? [more inside]
posted by kanata on Jul 11, 2014 - 16 answers

Sudden anxiety attack, can't focus

For no apparent reason, I am suddenly super stressed out and completely unable to concentrate on anything... [more inside]
posted by myitkyina on Jul 5, 2014 - 11 answers

How do I get my intelligence and identity back after depression?

Hi. I am currently 21 years old, female, and I think I was depressed for a long time, sometimes I think most of my life. I think I'm just starting to get out of it though, and I'm having a lot of realizations lately. I have had a lot of good days where I feel somewhat like myself again but have had bad days too. I really want to continue having good days but I'm struggling. I need help. [more inside]
posted by anon1129 on Jun 30, 2014 - 10 answers

not technically depressed but is this as good as it gets?

I believe that popular wisdom holds that contentment or real inner peace is the goal for those who have been depressed and who have pulled out of the hole. But what about people who have been unhappy since childhood, for example. One popularly cited data point for whether someone has diagosable depression is they lose interest in what they've loved doing, and this notion assumes that they've had a chance to develop hobbies or friendships at some point until they became depressed. So short of having had hobbies or friends to return to, at what point do people "stop being depressed"? (I know that there are manuals that professionals use to tally up symptoms, but I am asking not about technical definitions of depressed versus not; I'm asking about the experience. Has anyone experienced a bright line shift in their thinking?) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 30, 2014 - 15 answers

I would really appreciate some career and life advice

At the moment, I'm feeling at a loose end and really direction-less. I don't know what I want to do with my life and it's making me feel really depressed. I have no short or long term goals. I'm in the process of being referred for CBT and have taken up running to treat the depression. [more inside]
posted by fallingleaves on Jun 29, 2014 - 7 answers

I'm ready. How do I turn my life around?

I'm 27, male. I have struggled as long as I can remember with depression. I naturally turned to drugs and alcohol, and after a few years of abuse.. most recently with lots of cocaine and occasionally speed.. I'm ready to quit everything. Cigarettes included. I have realized that everything I touch turns to shit... and I want to be a better man. My relationships have failed, I'm hurting myself and everyone I love, and I feel like worthless garbage. But I have hope. I want to clean up my act. I am terrified of going to AA, and I like therapy. Groups are much harder for me. I recently began to exercise. I want to keep going but I have very little in the way of controlling my impulses. How do I keep my momentum?
posted by nurgle on Jun 27, 2014 - 20 answers

How do severe depression and (inattentive)ADHD mix?

I know that ADHD and depression often occur together, understandably. But how does each change the way that the other displays? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 25, 2014 - 4 answers

What do I do in Bangkok when I can't really DO anything?

I am in Bangkok for another week and a half. I've been here 18 days already and have been confined to my hotel recovering from surgery. It was fine, but boring, but now my fiance has had to return to the US ahead of me, and I find myself wondering if I can keep it together and maybe even have some fun while here. I've been cleared to leave the hotel as of today, but can't go far. I'm also having anxiety and some post-surgical depression (that's a thing, right?) that's making me wonder what I can do in this situation to stay sane? [more inside]
posted by polywomp on Jun 23, 2014 - 16 answers

How do I get my hope back?

My question is this: how do I get my hope back, and how do I reject my apparent acceptance of my current state? (Way too many details inside. Huge wall of text. Apologies in advance.) [more inside]
posted by xyzzy on Jun 23, 2014 - 20 answers

Chronic Unhappiness

I was curious as to what others have done to find happiness once they have come to a complete system halt? Without going into too much detail, the last two years have been not very much fun. I finished my degree, but nothing really makes me very happy these days. I keep myself busy with volunteer work and I read a lot, but this has not resulted in any lasting happiness.
posted by nidora on Jun 22, 2014 - 25 answers

Dealing with parental pressures to find a job

I recently graduated, but I'm already feeling pressure to find a job now or else be bombarded with my mom's criticism. How should I deal with this until I get work? [more inside]
posted by bluekazoo on Jun 18, 2014 - 22 answers

Finding it difficult to imagine ending cycles of self-sabotage

I keep falling into cycles of self-sabotage, with a few complicating factors. Recent academic news feels like its biggest manifestation - advice on this, and the possibility of moving past this when i go into employment. Apologies for the long read. [more inside]
posted by lethologues on Jun 17, 2014 - 3 answers

Life After Depression?

My depression medication is working, I feel better than I can remember ever feeling... and I have no clue how to deal with it! Once your brain chemistry is taken care of, what comes after? [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jun 16, 2014 - 6 answers

The only thing standing in the way.. is myself.

How do I get motivated to change and make life better for myself? [more inside]
posted by MeaninglessMisfortune on Jun 15, 2014 - 7 answers

How do you get out of a funk?

I'm in a funk. I (logically) know that I have a good life, but I'm really depressed right now and I can't seem to be able to bounce back. I have eliminated all distractions from my life, and that means that I have more time to be depressed. The only thing that provides me real joy is food, and so not only I'm getting fatter, but I'm getting more depressed because of that too. I just sit around and eat all day (which is not good!). I need to get out of this funk, please help. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 13, 2014 - 36 answers

Lamictal - therapeutic dosage for depression/bipolar?

Okay, so I don't really have bipolar but I was prescribed Lamictal off-label for depression since the SSRI's were giving me all kinds of side effects (none on Lamictal, yay!) I'm on 150 mg right now, and I am doing a lot better. I do, however, still go into these dark moods every once in a while. I heard that the therapeutic dose is closer to 200mg, and am debating asking my psychiatrist to bump me up. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by CottonCandyCapers on Jun 13, 2014 - 15 answers

How do decent human beings live with pedophilia?

I'm obviously not talking about people who act on it. But we don't choose our fetishes, and I've read a few tortured anonymous accounts of people who don't want to molest children and will never act on it, but nevertheless suffer with that compulsion. So I'm wondering what resources they use to cope. [more inside]
posted by Because on Jun 12, 2014 - 15 answers

How can I keep going forward during a series of crises?

My life has been a bit hard for a while now. It has been ruthless #@$* for a few months. I need some strategies to force myself to keep going. Lots of moaning follows. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 10, 2014 - 30 answers

How to conquer activity withdrawal depression?

I get depressed when I can't surf. Sometimes it's just a day or two because of work, sometimes its weeks because of an injury or a bout of bad weather. The closest I can find to this on Google are runners who get depressed when they can't run. I realize this is a very first world problem. I'm not going to kill myself and the depression lifts as soon as I can surf again. I can perform my job without getting fired. I have mentioned my depression to my other surfer friends and, while they all itch to surf, they don't seem to get depressed. I would love to get thoughts on: 1. Non-chemical solutions to not being depressed on days without surf 2. Deeper questions as to why my happiness is so linked to this activity [more inside]
posted by puertosurf on Jun 9, 2014 - 10 answers

Best therapists in the Milwaukee or Appleton areas ?

Trying to help a friend find a therapist. He's been seeing a counselor at our university, but the student counseling center is closing for the summer. [more inside]
posted by switcheroo on Jun 9, 2014 - 1 answer

How can I spend more time around dogs?

I enjoy dogs but am very busy. Where can I go spend a few hours with dogs? I think it may improve my mood. [more inside]
posted by Jewel98 on Jun 7, 2014 - 11 answers

Seeking New Identity

Somedays I feel like I don't know who I am anymore due to complicated life decisions. How do people find a personal identity with ongoing depression/mental heath problems? [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Jun 5, 2014 - 10 answers

Need help sorting out a very complicated friendship

Just over a year ago, I met this guy, let's call him A, via email. He got in touch with me requesting some of my tutoring services and asked if I were willing to teach him via Skype. This tutoring relationship collapsed after a few months due to a number of factors but he insisted we stay in touch on a more personal level. I quickly learned that he'd gone through a lot in life: abuse, estranged family, homelessness. I wanted to learn about his life and be there for him because it became apparent that he didn't have any fixtures of support in his life whatsoever. The nature of our friendship became more and more intense. All-night phone calls became the norm and it began to have a significant effect on my ability to function in my already hectic life. After several months of this, all of the following have happened: I told him that I felt our friendship was dysfunctional and that we should cease contact, he told me that he couldn't live without me and said he was in love with me. And then made a last-minute trip to visit me. I'm so confused and lost as to how to handle this situation and desperately need perspective. Big ol' wall of text inside. [more inside]
posted by csjc on Jun 4, 2014 - 42 answers

so sleepy

How long should I tolerate the grogginess of an anti depressant? [more inside]
posted by kanata on Jun 3, 2014 - 17 answers

I started taking a Ssri (Zoloft) and I need serious reassurance

I've been on 50mg/Zoloft per day for the last 10 days for severe anxiety and some depression. To say it's been a rough ride is an understatement – and I really need to hear success stories and make a decision on how bad the side effects get before it gets better. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 2, 2014 - 21 answers

Medication until I can get my life on track. Good idea?

Is it possible for me to go on anti-depressants and then go off them? [more inside]
posted by morning_television on May 31, 2014 - 20 answers

People that picked themselves up after long-term depression?

Just need to hear some stories of people that managed to turn things around after a long-term depression. Explanation below. [more inside]
posted by ahtlast93 on May 30, 2014 - 18 answers

How should I prepare to return to work after medical leave?

After being off work for medical reasons for more than a year, I'm tentatively looking to return to work within the next 3 months. If you have been in a similar situation, what worked well for you, and what would you do differently? [more inside]
posted by spiraldown on May 26, 2014 - 5 answers

Time off for depression - what to do with myself?

How would you use two weeks off work to hack your depression/relax/chill out? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 23, 2014 - 34 answers

Should I quit my temp job or am I just being fussy?

Last week, after 5 months of unemployment and desperation I managed to get a minimum wage temp job through an agency. On my first day I was incredibly excited to have finally found a job, but quickly realised that I hate it. It's a data entry position, inputting handwritten inventory data into a database. Basically the job is incredibly tedious, there is no variety, I'm doing exactly the same repetitive task for 7.5 hours a day. I'm basically working by myself in an office with other people and can't really talk to anyone because it distracts me. I can't really leave to take a break because the office door is locked and someone has to let me in every time. They are nice to me though and tell me to take regular breaks but there is nowhere to go. [more inside]
posted by fallingleaves on May 18, 2014 - 29 answers

What are some of your experiences with Fluoxetine (Prozac)?

I just started taking a 20mg dose of Prozac (generic, Fluoxetine) about ten days ago, and am experiencing a lot of side effects, but no real improvement in my depression and anxiety. What are some of your experiences with this medication, especially in terms of side effects and effectiveness? [more inside]
posted by summertimesadness1988 on May 17, 2014 - 18 answers

suicidal ex speaks incoherently, needlessly names me- do I warn his dad?

My suicidal ex bumped into A, an acquaintance of mine, a few days ago and, according to A who later contacted me to warn me about it, he talked strangely, incoherently, in an evidently sick way and mentioned my complete name several times for no apparent reason. As when I last heard him (to tell him to stop calling me), three weeks before this, he seemed to be in a fairly good mental state, I am now debating calling his family to let them know about it. Should I do it or would it be out of place and maybe even open up a can of worms I've barely managed to close? [more inside]
posted by opalshards on May 12, 2014 - 23 answers

How do you do an intervention for depression and/or hoarding?

My sister recently did something completely out of character - she failed to pay taxes on a family property which led to it being sold at auction. She never told anyone about this, she lied for at least two years, and it affected everyone in the family. I think this is a cry for help. I know I could reach out to her and ask but I think she needs something more dramatic to make her realize that she has hurt a lot of people (including herself) with her behavior and actions. I think an intervention is appropriate but I don't know the best way to do it. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 11, 2014 - 16 answers

When no sex feels like I am not desirable

I need help. I am seeking therapy for this issue, but it will take about six weeks before I can get in. My partner (m 36) and I (f 34) are not having sex. It has been about four months. He is dealing with depression and anxiety issues and is on medication for this. This has been pretty hard for me since we greatly enjoyed such an active sex life prior to this. He attributes our sexual issues to his diagnosis and medication. In my head I believe what he tells me, but this is triggering past issues for me that are getting in the way of me believing what he says. The fact that he masturbates at least once a day is hard for me to handle. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 10, 2014 - 30 answers

Is there any way to help my friend?

Someone who's been a good friend of mine for nearly a decade is going through a long rough patch (a rough field?). Is there anything concrete that I can offer her? [more inside]
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper on May 9, 2014 - 7 answers

Psychiatrist/therapist recommendations in Chicago

A friend is currently in a crisis of depression and anxiety and feels like her current therapist is not meeting her needs. Recommendations in the Chicago area are welcome. [more inside]
posted by pullayup on May 8, 2014 - 4 answers

He sad, we sad.

I think my spouse has chronic depression and it is badly effecting our relationship. He has agreed to attend a couples counselling session tomorrow but is very reluctant to admit to depression. I've never done couples counselling. How do I raise the issue of his depression in the session? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 30, 2014 - 17 answers

I just can't talk to people, and I'm so depressed.

9.5/10 times, I struggle with talking to people, even my own friends and family. Even my own parents sometimes. As a result my life is a life of constant pain and loneliness, even when I am with my friends and family. I can't hold conversations because my mind is too blank to start one or add anything other than "yeah, uh-huh" to a preexisting conversation. Talking to people one on one is a constant nightmare because I am incapable of holding up my part of the conversation or starting one. As a result, I always feel very uncomfortable around one on one conversations and always fear being caught in one. [more inside]
posted by ggp88 on Apr 27, 2014 - 31 answers

How do you calm down and focus? Strategies for coping with anxiety.

Do you suffer from anxiety or severe depression? What are some coping strategies you have developed that help you overcome and push forward? When medicine and therapy alone aren't enough, how have you stiffened up the sinews, summoned up the blood and conquered? [more inside]
posted by Driven on Apr 24, 2014 - 19 answers

How to Handle People When You Cannot Handle People

Seeking coping strategies for dealing with the public on small and large scales during a major depressive episode. My old ways of dealing with a deep low like this are not compatible with the life I've built since the last time this happened, and I would like to keep that life together. [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak on Apr 21, 2014 - 14 answers

Starting online dating when you're still a bit a broken inside

I'm 30, male, British. Over the last few weeks I've felt the clouds of my latest depression begin to part and some sunlight poke through. I'm contemplating trying online dating again. How can I take advantage of this improvement whilst being careful not to over-tax myself and do an emotional crash-and-burn? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 20, 2014 - 12 answers

Returning to writing and painting after a long depression

I am a writer (poetry, fiction, essays) and painter (mostly abstract art done in acrylics). I am normally quite prolific, but I have been dealing with a ferocious depression for months now and pretty much stopped creating altogether. However, I am feeling hopeful that the end of the yuckiness is in sight, and I'd like to get back to work. Yesterday I went to a cafe to write and sent out some submissions but really didn't know where to begin with writing. I made a list of potential projects, but none of them really grabbed me, and I didn't either feel any great ideas or the patience to sit with them until I got an idea. A similar thing happened when I was thinking about painting. So, does anybody have any tips for getting back into creative work after a long time away with something as crippling as depression can be?
posted by mermaidcafe on Apr 20, 2014 - 10 answers

Sibling in a downward spiral and no idea what to do

My brother is a senior in high school, and after a lifetime of excellent academic performance, seems to be having a nervous breakdown. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 18, 2014 - 35 answers

Competitive people pleaser seeks self-identity.

I have a deeply ingrained habit of being both a people pleaser and caring a lot about accomplishments, winning prizes, receiving accolades, getting praise and recognition from others. However, so much so that it clouds what I really want to do in terms of my career. Was this you? Did you recover from it? How did you sort it out? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 15, 2014 - 9 answers

School is Depressing

Every semester my motivation follows the same pattern. I excel in courses for the first month or so of classes, then my motivation sharply drops off. What are some workarounds and strategies to give a more consistent performance? [more inside]
posted by Trifling on Apr 13, 2014 - 9 answers

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