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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5454
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Advice please?

Customer Question

Hello, I am 55 yrs old and my mental health has been declining for three years. I've had a professional career for 25 yrs but have been unemployed for the last year. I have developed an inability to think clearly, I have frequent buzzing in my head, my communication skills have slowed unless I focus really hard, and I have constant thoughts of failure that extend into worse scenario's. My health deteriorates with every alimony check I write, that further solidifies my inability to support my own retirement. Sort of like I'm anticipating reaching the end of my savings and then there's nothing left to.....anyway, my head doesn't seem to be able to handle all this. What can I do to at least get my head back on track so I can think my way out of this life situation I am in? I have never taken drugs except for ambien, of which I take half of a 5mg tablet per night. I exercise maybe twice each week in the winter (stationary bike), and 5 times per week in the summer. Thanks in advance. Also, I've been diagnosed with Meniers disease (SP?) from an audiologist; however, I dont believe what I am experiencing is associated with Meniers since I've had Meniers for a long time and this buzzing is fairly recent.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you could be depressed. You mentioned that you have seen a therapist for a few sessions so at some point, you should have had an evaluation to determine what your diagnosis is. If you did not or the therapist did not tell you what their impressions were, you may want to consider seeing another therapist. An evaluation would investigate all of your symptoms and determine what diagnosis they might fit, including depression. Finding a therapist that you feel can help you sometimes takes a few tries (just like finding a doctor can). But another perspective can help. And you may have a better and more positive experience.

You may also want to try learning more about depression to see if your symptoms fit what you are feeling. Sometimes you may have symptoms that you don't realize you have. Seeing what symptoms indicate depression may help you pinpoint what you are experiencing.

Here is a resource to help you get started:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm

You also mentioned that you have Meniere’s disease which could also impact how you are feeling, along with the stress of paying alimony and keeping up with your bills. With no outlet for your stress, you may be reacting by becoming depressed.

If you find that you have depression, there are medications that can help. Also, along with therapy, self help is a good option to helping you feel better. I'm not sure how much support you have right now, but online support groups can help you feel less alone and provide a way for you to talk about your experiences and feel better. Here are more resources to help you:

http://psychcentral.com/resources/Depression/Support_Groups/

http://depression.supportgroups.com/

http://www.nami.org/

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Kate,


Thank you for your response. I've done a bit of research, in addition to what my therapist has suggested. Clearly I have a depression situation and I am attempting to get a quick remedy for it. I've been interviewing for executive management positions and it looks like I'll be receiving an offer in 10 days, however, the after effects of my brain power is a chink in my armor I don't want to expose...therefore I'm looking for the quickest remedy possible. I'm open to drugs but only as a very last resort. Is it true that endorphin's help depression? Are they only generated thru exercise?

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
I understand. You can always use some short term solutions then address the depression with therapy and self help. Here are some ways to release endorphins:

Exercise very hard.

Laugh and/or cry. Crying especially helps many of the harmful body chemicals out of your system.

Go out into the sun

Eat chocolate- even just a piece of dark chocolate can help boost your endorphins and make you feel better

Listen to classical music which gets in touch with your "feel good" centers of your brain. If you don't like classical, turn up some of your favorite music

Do other things you find pleasurable such as eating at a very good restaurant. Things that bring you pleasure can release endorphins.

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

By short term solutions, do you mean pharma assistance? How rapidly do these take effect? and are they temporary? Still requiring the underlying nature of the depression to be addressed? Thx.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Short term solutions like releasing endorphins, talking to someone (a friend or on line support, just the act of talking can help) and you could consider medications. Most take about 6 weeks to become fully effective, depending on your body chemistry. But they may begin to take the edge off sooner than that, depending on your react to them. Talk with your doctor about your options. It is important that you take medication that is safe for you and matches your body chemistry so it is most effective. Here is a resource to help you with what kinds of medications are available (there are many) and the side effects:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/medications_depression.htm

Kate




May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5454
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
I haven't heard back from you. I hope you are happy with the service you received today. If so, please consider a positive rating so I am reimbursed for my work. Thank you!

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Kate,


I hope you saw my rating from earlier. I clicked on the highest rating....you offered great advice. Thanks.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Yes I did. And thank you, I really appreciate it!

Take care,

Kate

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