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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I was diagnosed with chronic depression about 15 years ago.

Resolved Question:

I was diagnosed with chronic depression about 15 years ago. Seems I've had it since my teen years. I've been off medication about three years. Several kinds were tried being the last one Effexor XR. Effexor helped but I still didn't feel happy and normal. I feel like life is a constant struggle. I have to push myself to go to work. On my off days, I have a hard time getting dressed and going out, it's a major chore getting ready and going out. Lots of times, I stay home and stay in my pjs for days. Is there anything that will help me to feel alive, energetic, happy, and excited about getting up and enjoying life again. I haven't really felt excited about life since I was a kid. Back then, I couldn't wait to wake up and start my day. I'm miserable and want to look forward to each new day again. I have an appointment to see a doctor at the mental health clinic in three weeks. Thanks, Angie
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

It IS possible that you have treatment resistant depression. But let's make sure that you've had the right therapy. First of all is this depression you've had for so long or dysthymia?

Was there abuse and or molestation in your childhood or youth? Dysfunction and/or alcohol?

What are your personal relationships like? How about romantic relationships?

Now, what type of therapy have you had? What were the outcomes? What might have been done better in therapy?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Let's go forward from the answers to these questions.

I'm going to be going into session with therapy clients soon, so if I can't answer before that, would later in the evening or tomorrow be okay for me to respond?

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
answering later will be ok. I had no history of abuse in my childhood or life. I was adopted as an infant at three months old. I grew up in a happy, secure environment with attentive, loving parents although they were a bit over protective. My childhood was happy and I was an energetic, (described as hyperactive) child. I started feeling depressed and sad around 13 or 14 years old. Not sure what dysthymia is? I was told I have chronic depression. It seems that none of the meds really worked, Effexor XR maybe took the edge off but not enough to make me feel normal enough. I feel detached from people although I am very loving,and affectionate, I come across in dating relationships as aloof or reserved in the beginning. I have dated and been in relationships but they don't last past six months. I was in a five year relationship and lived with him for three of those years. He was an alcoholic same as my second husband. My second marriage of 16 years failed mostly because of his drinking and narcissitic behavorior patterns. I've been divorced for 8 years. The past two and a half years I've been single since the five year long realtionship has been like a revolving door of boyfriends. Either, they are not what I was looking for or a few ended it. I'm exciting in the beginning but I guess I get blah and boring after a while due to my stoic, unhappy state of mind. I'm easily bored and life just seems so unexciting. My second marriage was very dsyfunctional as was the five year long relationship. I recently moved back to my hometown and am living with my elderly parents. They are in good health at this time but I came home to spend time with them and to be available should they become dependent on someone to care for them. I have old friends here, people I grew up with, went to school with, and knew after my first divorce in my early twenties. The first marriage failed due to immaturity, being so young(we married at 18), and infidielty at my fault. I just went through a breakup this past week with a man I've dated for two and a half months. He was polite, sweet, and attentive and I thought things were going well enough. I was happy with him. He broke up with me last Sunday. He was dealing with a sick brother in the hospital who past away this Monday. He was very worried and upset about his brother for the past three weeks. He saw into his ex girlfriend of six months at the hospital sat. He told me he has feelings for her and believes he loves her. Said although I'm a wonderful lady and he likes me alot ,that it isn't fair to not explore his feelings for her to see if what they have is real before he continues looking for love elsewhere. I had talk therapy and meds for about ten years before I stopped. I hope this info helps and is the info you need. Thank you, Angie
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** the added information. It helps a lot. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how overwhelming this situation must be for you. On the surface it seems as though you should have had nothing to be depressed about yet you have NEVER been able to shake this depression.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. I need you to pay special attention to something you said: as soon as you hit puberty or close to it, you started feeling a sadness you didn't understand and have never understood: "I feel detached from people although I am very loving,and affectionate".

The reason that you don't understand your feelings and never have is because they are feelings that are carryovers from your infancy! Your depression is a developmental feature of your life you have never been able to address because it occurred before you were cognitively formed enough to give it words and expression. The trauma and lack of bonding in your early infancy did not just disappear simply because you weren't verbal.

The current thinking is that personality forms at around 2-3 years old. Before then, if is IN FORMATION! You are still responding to infant trauma and lack of attachment and bonding. And so you feel detached from people and the world. So what to do?

I rarely recommend hypnotherapy. But here I'm going to! Why? Because it might help you actually work on and address these severe pre-verbal stage symptoms. But recognize that I'm not talking about hypnotism; rather hypnotherapy with a psychologist or psychotherapist. Now here's the important statement about hypnotherapy: hypnotherapy can help with identification of subconscious problems and that's why I'm thinking of it. HOWEVER, there are good and honest hypnotherapists and there are other types. Your only way of assessing is two ways: first, make sure he or she is a licensed psychologist. Don't let anyone tell you they are a licensed hypnotherapist. There is no licensure in most states that I know of. It's all a "self-licensing" which is not good enough. So you want to know his or her license number as a psychologist and call the state licensing board to make sure there have been no complaints filed.

Now Angie, I know what I've been telling you above is rather shocking and bizarre to you. YOu've been told you're depressed, pure and simple. Well, you ARE depressed, but it's not pure and simple! So take some time and go to the library and read about adoption and attachment. And read online. Here for example, is a site with some forums that may or may not be relevant to you:

Okay, Angie. I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, ***** *****

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
for Mark Thank you for your insight. I'm a little baffled by this new information. So, those first three and half months of my life in one foster home could be the cause of my troubles? The lifelong love and affection I received from my adoptive parents and the attachment I formed with them didn't fix it? Can you give me more info. I am very connected to my chidren and grandchildren and parents but I do feel I'm alone and apart.Kind of like on the outside looking in at times. Does that make sense? Thank you for helping. Angie
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.
Angie, yes. That is what I'm saying. But it's not just the 3.5 months. You assume the trauma ended the day you got home. But it didn't. It was a strange place. Hmm:

I don't know how much to go into this because it might be too therapeutic and you are on your own; we're not doing therapy here. So be careful with this:

But imagine, spend some time in meditative imagery, imagining a baby and what it was like the first 3.5 months and then the uncertainty, unsafeness, etc. of a new place, new sounds. The strangeness.

This is not a one time recommendation. But again, it could be powerful and so be careful.

So, yes, I am saying that we have many forces in our lives that make us feel certain ways and they are not rational because they are...not from our rational parts of life. So what good is this?

Well, I wrote some ways to deal with it above and with therapy perhaps. But most important may be to not be so upset that you feel this way. To accept that this part of who you are and your unique way of looking at the world. To integrate it.

I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, ***** *****

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