Thank you for waiting. I had to be away from my computer all day due to other duties.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. So, you have no passion for life and feel sad
and hopeless often. It sounds like anti-depressants have not been helpful to you much. You have had counseling on and off since adolescence.
Your feelings of hopelessness and low self-confidence may have to do with depression. I also wonder if you feel lonely at times.
Are you interested in living with someone?
I can see you have intellect and ability to reflect and think.
You've tried to learn about positive thinking. But, it sounds like you have difficulty maintaining positive view of self, others and life.
You had a good family. You have no abuse or addiction to alcohol and drugs.
You may be genetically vulnerable to depression as you've felt sad and anxious since 7th grade.
I understand it's difficult for you to talk about your negative feelings with even your close friends at times.
I think you shouldn't be alone and think of yourself and life alone as you may be vulnerable to depressive thinking.
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 see a psychotherapist to express and process your feelings and thoughts and get advice and support WEEKLY. 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/psychotherapist that you can work with weekly.
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 and optional category of specialty such as Depression. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy or Psychodynamic
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. You can tell psychotherapists how much you can afford monthly.
If you have no health insurance or seek a low fee counseling, you may call The United Way toll free # XXXXX (Dial 2-1-1)to find the community mental health centers in your area in which you can get counseling even without health insurance.
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 men in your area. To find a group therapy or a support group for self, 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.
The website Daily Strength (www.dailystrength) offers an online support group including depression and anxiety.
Also, 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.
In addition, yoga, biofeedback, acupuncture, and massage therapy may be helpful to improve your mood and feel better.
Other recommendations are:
Avoid use of alcohol and drugs.
Sleep in complete darkness and try to be out in bright light during the day.
Spend time in nature weekly
Always plan and TRY to have pleasurable activities with friends and family weekly.
Choose to listen to sounds that have positive effects on your mood.
Set limits on the amount of time you spend on the internet to avoid information overload.
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,