Thank you for your reply.
I can imagine how sad
and anxious this situation must seem to you.
It sounds like you have had symptoms of depression. You were diagnosed as having SAD. So, you live in north Alaska?
You also stated you have genetic vulnerability to depression and had a very traumatic childhood.
You went through a lot. You survived from the abuse. I can see you are resilient and also have lots of courage to work on the trauma.
You have a good marriage and have raised four precious, healthy and happy children.
You think you have had depression for years, which you didn’t tell others. Your doctor diagnosed you as having SAD.
Are these medications helping your condition? It may not a good idea for you to drink alcohol as you are taking these medications. Did you ask your doctor about drinking alcohol? If these medications are not helping you, you may need to tell your doctor.
Yes, drinking alcohol may worsen your depression and anxiety. It’s common for people with depression and anxiety to drink alcohol to excess.
Taking vitamins and weekly counseling are good for your depression.
Do you have any medical condition?
Let me explain: Depression can disrupt the nerve impulses that carry a constant stream of orders from the brain to the muscles. When the depressed brain slows down, so do the signals to all parts of body. Depression affects MEMORY, problem-solving ability, language, perception and is accompanied by nervous tension, anxiety, and profound fatigue. It can generate pain and aches. Medical reasons for Depression may include thyroid hormone abnormality, Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Chronic pain, Stroke
’s disease to name a few. Malnutrition/brain damage can dull mood further. Excessive alcohol use may aggravate depression. Some medication can cause or contribute to depression. Your doctor should know all the medication that you are taking.
First, I would advise you to get a physical check-up from your primary care doctor to detect and rule out any medical condition that may cause or contribute to your feelings of sadness and anxiety.
If you are physically fine, I would advise you to try stress
reduction and relaxation techniques. A heart-healthy diet like Omega 3 fatty acid may improve your brain functioning and mood. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. Hydrate yourself during daytime.
Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This may help improve your mood. Yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy may be helpful to improve your mood.
In addition, I would advise you to see a psychologist specializing in Cognitive-behavior therapy for a few months. A combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are considered to be effective to treat Depression and anxiety. Cognitive-behvaior therapy (CBT) will work for depression and anxiety.
You may ask your doctor for a psychologist that you can work with weekly. Or you may call your insurance company and get a list of providers (licensed psychologists) in your area.
Or, you can search a licensed psychologist on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to (http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ppc/prof_search.php?iorb=4764) and enter your zip code in Alaska and optional category of specialty such as Depression. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy and Depression. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that you want to work with – Male or female? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So you can see it as an informational meeting. You can ask any question and negotiate psychotherapy fee.
Regarding pharmacological treatment for depression, a number of antidepressant medications are available to treat depression. Finding the right medication for you will likely take some trial and error. It is necessary for you and your doctor to work together to find the right medication for you.
Additionally, you may benefit from having a support group for women in your area. To find a group therapy or a support group for yourself, contact a local hospital or a clinic by asking if they offer a group for men. If you like to find a support group online, check Mental Health America website section (http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/find_support_group) - Find a group in your area.
Other recommendations are:
Avoid excess use of alcohol and drugs.
Try to have pleasurable activities with friends and family.
Choose to listen to sounds that have positive effects on your mood.
I hope you get well with all available help.
Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,