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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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Hi. I am a very driven and ambitious professional but a few

Resolved Question:

Hi. I am a very driven and ambitious professional but a few months ago I had a stroke, and although Im doing all good now, recently I have lost my drive, cant see goals or ambition anymore. Things feel more and more futile. I dont know if its linked to the stroke but I just wondered if anyone had any general advice for me to stop me from spiraling into despair? Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rossi :

Hi,

Customer:

Hi :)

Dr. Rossi :

Strokes are associated with depression. Do you know what is behind the loss of your drive?

Dr. Rossi :

Do you fear your health would suffer further, do you feel less capable, etc?

Customer:

No, not at all. I had 5 weeks off work while in hospital and recovering and came back feeling really inspired, creative and driven by the "big picture" but that seems to become less and less each day and this week has been a struggle really.

Dr. Rossi :

Could it be that you've already accomplished quite a lot and after the stroke you realized that you want to enjoy yourself more without pushing your limits? What thoughts do you catch yourself thinking about?

Customer:

thats interesting, I have accomplished a lot for my age. Always have got to everything too early I feel. Straight after I was ill I did think maybe its time to give it all up and have a simpler life, be closer to people and things like that. This week when feeling its all being a bit futile, I was even thinking,"im ready to die now if it happens."

Dr. Rossi :

You've mentioned the word "despair." It's a very strong word. What do you connect the despair to? Is it just a feeling of gloom that arises or is it based on specific fears ex: fear of incompetence, fear of not having enought time to do all of the things you want to do or, is this despair changes in your mood?

Dr. Rossi :

Because you said yoi're ready to die if it happens

Customer:

Despair as in... I dont know what things are for any more, whats the point, whats the bigger picture? ect. Feel lost. It feels dangerous. Never been like this before. It feels destructive.

Dr. Rossi :

What areas do you feel that you're a failure in? Who's standards have you failed ?Perhaps it was the realization that instead of not having things to do (which you can always find things to do,) you figured out that you've done a lot and why bother doing more hence forth? Or, you thought that there are things that you want to do for yourself now not for others and not for jobs/titles/societal approaval?

Customer:

yes, I think that is part of it. The work/status/title doesnt seem satisfying. It making a real difference to real people which matters and I know that this is too big for just one person to achieve. I have been thinking that maybe i should be closer to my family to support them and that a personal relationship would make a big difference to me, but again big changes which I am not in control of really.

Dr. Rossi :

The reason I mentioned depression, is because there is a correlation b/w individuals who had suffered from a stroke and having become depressed after it. Was that something that anyone had mentioned to you? Are you recovering at the speed you thought you would? "Things feel more and more futile." Feeling this way does sound like some depression. What are you in control of now/today?

Customer:

I think my recovery from the stroke has been really great. No mobility issues, only minor things i notice afterwards and back to work after 5 weeks etc. It did change my personality a bit and made me drop a lot of my barriers, but thats not such a bad thing. I was treated for depression when I was a teenager but these days Im much more eucated in things like that and in control. I guess thats why the feelings of recent have shocked me enough to ask for some advice, because usually I feel more in control of my moods.

Dr. Rossi :

You were wondering about how to stop from spiriling out of control or into a more gloomy place? There are different things depending on what you feel comfortable w/doing. Largely, you'd be examining the thoughts you hold and/or ruminate over during the day. You would challenge these and then reframe them to neutral or positive ones. Staying connected w/ family and friends and doing those things that you enjoy or had always wanted to try/do would also be helpful. Ones mood can be affected by brain chemistry not only by external events or one's cognitions.

Dr. Rossi :

Is it right to say that you feel as though another person is emerging out now?

Dr. Rossi :

A person within you that in the past you may have censored or repressed that person's desires?

Customer:

Only a little. Someone at work said something very interesting to me this week... that since I have been ill, I look, 'more vulnerable.'

Dr. Rossi :

What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of despair?

Dr. Rossi :

As in association?

Customer:

fear

Dr. Rossi :

Of....?

Dr. Rossi :

you said failure? What else?

Customer:

fear of uselessness

Dr. Rossi :

Of being able to do things for self, others/both or something totally different?

Customer:

ive recently been fearing being alone too, which is very not like me.

Dr. Rossi :

Do you have anyone in your life?

Customer:

useless as in theres no point to things.

Dr. Rossi :

Because....? Try to say what come to mind right away? There is no point to things because.....

Customer:

I am single. No relationship on the way.

Customer:

noone cares, nothing changes, things just fester

Dr. Rossi :

No point because you're no longer interested in things? That can be anhedonia. Or, no point because : I'm vulnerable, and I don't want others to know that about me..

Dr. Rossi :

Do you really believe that no one not even a single person cares? And even if that may be so, do you know why you stopped caring about yourself (you're a person)

Customer:

I think I do believe that. That sentence touched a nerve too and made my eyes well with tears.

Dr. Rossi :

Do you think that no one would care for someone who is vulnerable or ill? Would you care for someone like that even if that someone is YOU?

Customer:

I hate feeling such a mess and weak having thoughts like that though

Dr. Rossi :

Thoughts are self generated. They arise because for some reason now you're allowing them to flood your mind.

Dr. Rossi :

It is as though you feel less than...

Dr. Rossi :

Less than before the stroke?

Customer:

yea, before, I felt powerful and dynamic and driven. I felt that way when I returned to work too, but in the last month its been slipping away. It a disconcerting feeling.

Dr. Rossi :

Fearing that it would be harder to find a partner? From everything so far, depression is quite likely affecting your mood, your thoughts and how you're dealing with these. Once we're out of the chat mode, you may find some info on the net about the link b/w stroke and changes in mood/personality under research. Why not allow yourself the time you need to recover and feel better? It is though you're in marathon w/ yourself to prove yourself. Possibly deriving a sense of self worth based on what you do rather than who you are? Because you think/fear others judge you based on that?

Customer:

Thank you so much for your time and advice. Its a weird time for me and its good to hear an outside opinion. thank you

Dr. Rossi :

I think that sometimes people distract themselves by doing things or keeping busy. Yet, quietitide, time for meditation and reflection can be as positive. What about maybe letting your physician know about this change in your mood? Are there support groups in you area? It is good to stay connected w/ others. You never know how much you can influence/help others

Dr. Rossi :

Right now your mood is taking over you. You can take charge of the mood by perhaps making a short list of what things you'd want to try to get a hold of this despair and down spiral.

Customer:

Yes, thats good, thank you. Definately worth looking into, not that I have the most reliable working paterns to always be able to attend things but would be a new approach for me and one that now I feel able to try, where as before I would have said, "no way." hehe.

Customer:

Thank you

Dr. Rossi :

You welcome. There are even online free support groups

Dr. Rossi :

You're doing this for you! Why not right?

Customer:

oooooo, Ill have a good look and find something that jumps out and seems interesting, thats what I need, to find some interest again.

Dr. Rossi :

And interest in yourself as well.

Customer:

Thank you again. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Customer:

Thanks!

Dr. Rossi :

Take care

Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience: PsyD, LPC, CHt
Dr. Rossi and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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