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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5100
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I think I am suffering from major depression. How can I overcome

Resolved Question:

I think I am suffering from major depression. How can I overcome this?

I am a victim of sexual abuse during my childhood, and I am a survivor
of rape as an adult.
The rape ended in a trial and a conviction. I gave it my all to achieve this
result. The prosecution was extremely supportive but my family expressed
no interest which did not surprise me considering what they allowed in my earlier years. I am not stymied by their rejection. It has empowered me. I know they are the ones who are wrong for defending a child molester in the family.
I am not burdened by the rape because I spoke up and protected myself
but the I am experiencing severe depression from two sources:

1. Intrusive flashes, memories which indicate the sexual abuse began earlier than the age of seven. Sometimes these images leave me disoriented, it feels as if those things are happening now. I can see myself, and hear myself, I can feel the fear as I see images in my mind of those things happening to me. This is normally followed by significant emotional pain and the inability to function, overall. I am confined to bed. I experience insomnia. My entire self is disturbed. I feel anger, anxiety, fear, loss, so much loss and deep sadness. I generally do not feel hungry or I will go in the opposite direction I will feel a need to eat even though I am full. I have learned to rely on fruit during these periods. I constantly search out ways to cope and overcome this period, but the emotional pain this time was so bad I could not function for three weeks. I slept. I could not cry. I could not take care of myself. 2. The second source for my distress comes from my abusive spouse. I have failed myself horribly here because he was a very kind person before our marriage. Once we were married, he slowly revealed himself as an enemy, someone set on breaking me down. I have long tried to understand why he would do this but even so I am the only one who can rescue myself so I
constantly try to lift myself up and out of this circumstance. My greatest challenge is the severe depression. It's excruciating. It feels as if it is killing me.
I keep telling myself don't give up fight for your life. I feel as if I am in a life and death battle. I feel as if the depression has gained so much strength from these images, it will take all my strength to overcome this. Is this major depression?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concerns

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that you experienced this much trauma in your life, but you appear to have great strength and desire to not let these experiences define you, which is very admirable

Customer:

Thank you.

DoctorZ :

At this point I am leaning more towards a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis over a possible Major Depressive Disorder diagnosis. Many of the symptoms are similar for both diagnoses, but your past trauma and the intrusive flashes/memories are more indicative of a PTSD diagnosis.

DoctorZ :

I do not believe if you mentioned if you have ever sought out therapy or possibly psychotropic medication?

Customer:

No. Never.

DoctorZ :

Would you be open to therapy or medications, or possibly both?

Customer:

I am very concerned because of severity of the depression. I suffered this type of

Customer:

situation in the past but only during extremely difficult periods in my marriage.

DoctorZ :

I understand and most likely the difficult periods retrauamtized you, which is why you had an increase in the severity of your symptoms.

DoctorZ :

Well medications can help lessen the severity and duration of the symptoms, while therapy will help you in the long term by providing you with techniques to manage these symptoms

Customer:

I am open to therapy but I am not sure about medications. I had a very close friend who

Customer:

died even though the medications were meant to stop this kind of thinking, she felt suicidal often.

DoctorZ :

I understand, and you definitely do not have to go on medications. I just wanted to mention it as an option

Customer:

Okay.

DoctorZ :

I think Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would be best for you, if you did seek out therapy.

Customer:

Ok. I have been reading about that. I am eager to overcome my situation so I

Customer:

constantly look for ways to improve.

DoctorZ :

Most individuals with depressive symptoms like you are experiencing have negative thoughts and according to CBT theory, the negative thoughts increase the severity of your symptoms. So CBT is designed to change that automatic negative thinking to be more positive and thus lessen the severity of your symptoms.

DoctorZ :

So this link may help you too, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more positive and plausible). This will help you change you way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Customer:

Okay.

DoctorZ :

I also think this book may help you too

Customer:

It's the molestation that haunts me. The rape not so much because I stood up for myself and got a conviction. I exposed him and he was punished. Doing this helped me more than I can express.

DoctorZ :

I understood that, but the book does have sections discussing techniques for childhood sexual abuse and I thought that applied to you, which is why I recommended it

Customer:

Okay. Thanks I will purchase it.

DoctorZ :

But I do think that you would get value from therapy too. It may take some time, but it will be worth it. Eventually you will notice that your thought pattern is changing to be more positive and that your symptoms are not as severe

Customer:

Do you offer therapy online? And what is the cost?

DoctorZ :

Now medications are designed for a faster effect then therapy, but they do not get at the cause, which is why I always recommend either just therapy, or therapy and medications, never just medications

DoctorZ :

I do not offer therapy online actually, some therapist do though. I think they mostly use skype for instance and they usually do at a reduced rate

Customer:

I understand, that's a very caring approach.

DoctorZ :

This is still a new form of giving therapy, so I am not sure about its effectiveness at this time

Customer:

It's also very practical for those in distress.

DoctorZ :

I agree it is, and I am sure with the advent of technologies it will be more widely used and even taught for psychologist students at school

Customer:

I do not know any therapist in NY.

Customer:

I have viewed many profiles but I do not know what to make of them. I will go a little deeper.

DoctorZ :

Well i can look some up for you if you would like

Customer:

Ok.

DoctorZ :

And I can give you a few options from what I see

DoctorZ :

What is your zip code?

Customer:

Ok. I am looking at the pdf and it looks very helpful.

Customer:

10001

DoctorZ :

Thanks it works really well usually, so just give it time

DoctorZ :

okay give me a coiple minutes to find you some therapists

Customer:

Okay.

DoctorZ :

I think these therapists would be very helpful for you. They have specialties in PTSD and CBT

Customer:

Okay. I will take a look.

DoctorZ :

Actually I went to school in NYC, I went to John Jay College of Criminal Justice near Columbus Circle

Customer:

Great school.

DoctorZ :

I thought so too :)

Customer:

I never considered the solution you provided, of course that's why you are the expert. So you have given me some really good resources that I can do something with tonight. This will get me to the next step.

Customer:

This recent episode was very painful. I wasn't sure if I would pull through but I did, I prayed and read the bible a lot to help shape my thoughts, to give me hope.

DoctorZ :

These techniques in the link and in the book will help you right now, but therapy will be the best bet for the long run

Customer:

Then tonight I was reading an article by Dr. George Simon and saw a link to speak to an expert. I was trying to see how i could better protect myself from my husband's psychological violence, but it lead me to this site and I found a way to help heal my core issues.

Customer:

which of will in turn give me strength to escape. So thank you very much. I am satisfied with your response.

DoctorZ :

Okay, I am happy to help

DoctorZ :

If you need anything else please dont hesitate to contact me

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service tonight

Customer:

You have, and my last concern is you do not think the emotional pain is connected to

Customer:

major depression?

DoctorZ :

I think it is more PTSD related, but depressive symptoms are a major component of PTSD.

Customer:

I often feel as if the emotional pain is coming from body, my response to stress.

DoctorZ :

Can you give me an example?

Customer:

Okay, that makes sense. Well, thank you very much. I'll say goodbye now. Many thanks.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5100
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, it was no longer safe for me to chat. I had to close the web page. It was not an issue at your end. Thank you very much for your help. I will check back in to ask another question as I improve.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
I understand. I am here if you need anything and I will make sure to respond to any future questions as promptly as I can. Good night and I hope everything works out well.

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