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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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why do I always feel unhappy on my birthday?

Customer Question

why do I always feel unhappy on my birthday?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Jean replied 2 years ago.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, I'm available to assist you. Welcome!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I'm sorry you were unhappy on your birthday, a day that you would hope would be special.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Happy Birthday!

Customer:

Thank you. I'm not sure why I felt like it, I thought those low feelings were behind me.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You may have been reminded of how you felt on previous birthdays- sort of a pattern.

Customer:

Maybe, I don't know. My husband is away with work at the moment and I really laid into him when he phoned me. I spent the day with just my two young children. I'm used to being alone so it's strange. I have a loving family.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Laid into him for something re: your birthday? You said you had been feeling better overall- that's great! You must be very glad for that. Maybe you will need to plan a celebration, on a day you decide- and make it what you want it to be.

Customer:

I didn't get a card from him, not a big deal really but it crushed me. He had taken us out for a meal and bought me presents before he went away. I am not interested in a party or anything, I never make a big issue out of my birthday.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

If you are starting to feel less anxious and depressed being alone may not be quite as satisfying- you desire more. Has your husband noticed a change in your mood for the better? Even good changes can throw you and your family off- if you were used to feeling a bit low. Sometimes the words or card mean the most- has the most meaning.

Customer:

My husband is a bit miffed to be honest as I am a lot more independant, I am less clingy and do my own thing more.

Customer:

he is in the armed forces so he is away a lot

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes, it's a change in you- good, of course, but may throw him off. I don't care what our age, we like kind words, someone to be thinking of us, celebrating us. That's great you are feeling better- take the edge of of the depression and anxiety, allow things to "roll off your back", Yes the armed forces take our men away- big commitment.

Customer:

My worry is also that Christmas is usually awful for me and I get really low. Obviously this was when I was not medicated. I have been looking forward to this christmas as the improved me but now I am concerned I might react the same way

Customer:

I have no concern about my increasing age. I just feel empty when the focus is on me.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Now that you are feeling better you may feel a bit lonely, more of a desire to get out, experience things. Each day, each week, each big event can get better- that will take time for you to adjust to the "enjoyment" of those things. Continue to look forward to the holiday- celebrate just feeling better-

Customer:

I never really thought of it that way. I have been depressed for so many years that I didn't realise quite how low I was before I got better. I suppose the depression had become part of my personalty. Although I feel happy I am unsure of how to react to it.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Are you uncomfortable when the focus is on you? Now that you are feeling better, may notice those things more- attention on you, maybe enjoy it a bit more. You have needs and it's natural you would want those needs met. The new and improved you may have to tell your husband what would be most helpful to you- men like specific information so they can give you what you want- otherwise they make guesses. I think you hit it right on- unsure how to react to this improved mood. That is an adjustment- throws you off.

Customer:

I hid away for a long time and am now out and about more, meeting up for coffee with friends. He is not my whole focus anymore (obviously apart from my children)

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Or you may be a bit apprehensive to "trust" the improvement, waiting for the down mood to return- just because that is what you are accustomed to. Also include your husband in this- the you getting used to the change, he is experiencing that too, I would imagine. That is great to feel like getting out more- but again- new feeling-new experience.

Customer:

I still get a bit overwhelmed by things. I have started doting over my children as though they are newborns again. I feel all loved up with them instead of anxious about how well I was doing

Customer:

I am scared of going back to how I was. I want my life to stay happy. I also worry that my husband found me being depressed as 'normal' and his feelings for esentially a new person

Jean N/20pluscounts :

That's a good feeling- to want to love and be with your children, because it feels so good, vs. anxious about being a "good" mother. We as moms are hard on our self when it comes to that anyway. You may have to let your husband know you are wanting to do more because you are feeling better, vs. him starting to think you like him less- keeping the lines of communication open- allow him to share your good changes. This is exciting for you- a new chapter.

Customer:

Yes I know, what a mess I am to find a good thing frightening!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Even as simple as telling your husband you are thrown off yourself with this change- I'm so glad that you found relief- that's a difficult way to live- so critical of self.

Customer:

I lived like it for years 'managing' it by keeping a routine and staying solely absorbed in my own family. I shut everyone except them out

Jean N/20pluscounts :

This is an adjustment for the whole family- a great change- but yes an adjustment. In addition to the medication have you had counseling? It may be time to expand your wings a bit- that's new and scary too.

Customer:

No I have not had counselling. It's something I am on and off about. I am almost scared to talk about my feelings honestly

Customer:

I don't know why I am this way, nothing particularly bad has ever happened to me. nothing worse than anyone else

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I think with depression and anxiety one "survives" it- can be a struggle just getting through the morning, afternoon... routine can help manage. Yes- opening up and sharing emotions- that's new territory and can be intimidating. Something to consider to start identifying your emotions is journal writing.

Customer:

I wrote journals for this reason and lied in them, to myself can you believe it! I don't like to see my true feelings in writing I feel weak somehow

Customer:

If I look too closely at myself I don't like it. I hide myself from myself. Although I'm glad I went to the doctor and get medicated I was crying my eyes out mainly at opening upo and being honest, this is my worry about counseling.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

In the journal writing making a point to identify emotions (honest emotions :) ) as you write- the more you do this the more able you will be to identify, and be more aware of your feelings. In a sense you have to get to know you- especially as you are now. Feeling better- a good time to take care of yourself to continue to feel better, nurture yourself. One can have a perfectly wonderful life and still feel anxious and depressed- it comes uninvited. Wow- yes time to be more honest with yourself- it takes strength to make an honest inventory of emotions. You sharing today took guts- it's a start- and you are okay that you shared.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes- it may be the "ball" of pain- I see that in counseling- so much that the person just cries.

Customer:

I am crying my eyes out now. It is an automatic reaction when I open up honestly. It's not even because I'm sad! do you think counseling is a good move for me then?

Jean N/20pluscounts :

One can feel quite vulnerable opening up- especially when for so long you held back. Sometimes that is where the depression comes from- repressing so much. I think when you feel a bit more ready counseling can be a gift to yourself.

Customer:

Yes I think I need to get a bit stronger first so I don't just ball my eyes out! I have an apointment with my doctor next monday for more Citalopram, I will mention counseling to her. Do you think this is all a normal progression for me then, I am not still too depressed?!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Crying can be cleansing- thank you for allowing me to be part of this- it can be healing- a relief to let it out. You are letting out years of "stuff" when you cry- not even sure what it is exactly- the "ball" of stuff. I think this is a normal progression- yes- I think you are headed in the right direction. Talk to the dr. not uncommon to have to increase dose if you still feel down- they usually gradually increase, start you off on a lower dose.

Customer:

ok I will do. Thank you for your help, I do feel better for opening up. I am a troubled little soul! Could be much worse though so must look on the bright side! I will let you go now. I feel relief from understanding that I need to get to know the new me and so therefore must my husband. Silly of me really to think the tablets will do it all!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

This is normal for you to be thrown off by the changes, even the good ones, maybe not sure you can trust it will continue. This is the first day of the rest of your life- today is a gift- a "present" so to say. One day at a time is a good motto- enjoy today that is all we have.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

The tablets give you a boost to do the hard work!!

Customer:

Many thanks for your help. Have a good day :)

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are a good soul who is troubled- many are. You take good care of yourself and best wishes on your journey to healing. You are welcome- you have a good day too.

Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Jean and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jean replied 2 years ago.
Penny,
Here is a book that you may find helpful/interesting. The Feel Good Factory on Beating the Blues Life-healing, mind mending, soul soothing, ideas to heal a troubled mind. author is The Feel Good Factory, with Elizabeth Wilson, contributor.
Thank you so much for the bonus!! I do appreciate it. Let me know if I can assist you again. You can request me by putting my name ahead of your question: Jean N/20pluscounts

The best to you,
Jean

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Jean
Jean
Psychotherapist
332 Satisfied Customers
Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)