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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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I'm at my "witts - end". i'm 60 year old male, widowed,

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i'm at my "witts - end". i'm 60 year old male, widowed, retired. live alone with my dog. i have suffered from depression, anxiety and related disorders for thirty years. iv'e taken every drug; talk therapy; emdr; ect; ces; nothing has really helped other than tranquilzers to calm me down. i don't enjoy anything . i'm fatigued most of the day. i often feel like giving up. i v'e tried every thing dr's and therapist suggested, i.e. exercize, voluteering, etc. i force my self to do these and not only do they not help they tend to make me more anxious and depressed. i v'e been to many, many psychiatrists and therapists. what other options do i have. thanks

Dr. L :


Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

I can understand your total frustration after having tried many, many different remedies to address your depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

zonindallas :

can we swith to the other format. thanks

Dr. L :

You would rather do Q & A?

zonindallas :

yes, please.

Dr. L :

I will do that immediately...

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

well, i would refer to my original situation and question.

Hello again...
I would like to ask a few questions so I get a better fix on what has happened.

How long ago did your wife die?
How did the two of you cope with your symptoms and treatment?
Do you have children? If yes, are you involved with them?

When I read what you posted it seems that life has little meaning for this true? Is this new since your wife died?

Have any of the therapies you tried...medication...emdr...psychotherapy...have ANY positive impact?

I will await your reply.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

my wife died in 1996. we had been separated for 3 years. we weren't even good roommates. had no contact. however, i was devistated when she got ill and eventually died . i sobbed for months which was not typical of me.
she was not very compassionate about my condition. she often used the phraze "self- fullfilling proficy and that i was bring on my condition.

we had no children.

not new since wife died.

xanax and clonopin have helped with anxiety. but, it seems that most doc's have become conservative about prescribing benzo's. and i am vigilant about not taking more than reccommended dose. emdr didn't help; i think talk therapy has not helped much other than making me aware that i was passive/aggressive in relationships. at times it has helped me reframe how i think but, i just don't seem to internalise those thoughts. and, it gave me a venue to express my feelings.

iv'e rethought your question about condition being new since wife died. i would mostly say yes. i don't recall having intense feelings life was meaningless an future hopeless.

What do you make of your reaction to your wife's death? Was it regret that you were feeling? Lost time? Was it pent up emotions from years and years of not expressing your emotions?

The EMDR would not have worked unless you had experienced trauma of some sort...
Yes...physicians are really cautious about any med that can become habit forming...there is a HUGE push to restrict usage.

So...if I read you correctly...therapy has been a mixed experience...somewhat helpful...somewhat not. What that suggests to me is that the skill level of the therapist is a critical piece. Some just have more experience, more skill, more insight.

Then again..there is write that you don't seem to internalize new thoughts...any idea why you can't? Part of that again, could be about the skill of the therapist. Part could be your own resistance to changing and seeing life differently.

You do acknowledge passive/aggressive....I'm wondering how you think that applies to your willingness to really let someone like a therapist help you grow and change?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

all of the above. i still obess about all the years i tried to make relationship work; all the years i stayed in meaningless relationship. the only thing iv'e come away with through therapy was that deb was my first love and i grieved for that specialness and; i was just not strong enough nor prepared to leave.

iv'e had some major traumas as a child, adolescent. i was verbally, emotionly, physically, and sexully abused by cathoilic nuns and priests. i was also physically abused by 2 brothers, one 4 years older, one 4 years younger. my prevolent and long lasting was being suffocated with a pillow by my older brother. this might happen daily, some times weekly. it started as far back as i can remember (age 3 or 4). when my brother was in high school and away at college it didn't happen very often but, i do have a memory of us at a lake when i was 18 and he 22. i have recently started recalling other things he did; like get me in choke holds and made me yell "give or uncle". also, locked me in closets and tell me the boogy man was in there. he loved to tell me it was time for my daily torture. through therapy i realized he could have killed me. emdr didn't help with this.

in 2005, i litigated against the priest and church. in compiling my interogatories; i compiled that i had seen over 40 therapists and 12 psychiatrist. obviously some for not very long but, i times i was so depressed and anxious and suicidal i was seeing 3 therapists at same time period and they not knowing.

i'm not sure about not internalizing. i work hard at therapy. i do every thing they tell me ; i journal; read books; listen to tapes; open up.

I am so very, very sorry for all that you endured as a child and young man! I am sad that the EMDR did not you know it is the foremost treatment for PTSD.

As to your wife...yes...lots of regrets there for sure.

In a way...I wonder if you've had too much therapy? Too many different therapists with different viewpoints, different skill sets, and different ideas about how to help you.

If going to therapy has been a big part of your life...let's call it a "routine"...then you may have developed a mindset that only by going to therapy will you ever be "well" or "okay". Do you see my point here? I wonder if you feel that you have the capacity to live a healthy, happy life all on your own...without such help. What I am suggesting is that maybe therapy has become a habit...and that you don't have the confidence to go it alone.

I know that what I am suggesting is rather odd...but as a clinical psychologist of 30 years I have a deep appreciation for what therapy can and cannot do.

Let me know what you think of this idea...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i assume your idea - " is that i go it alone . iv'e thought of that and at times have gone alone especially during and after a bad bout of depression/anxiety in college. i was reasonably happy as a child (even though i never felt safe at home or at school). my first major depression was in college. i didn't really know what was going on; didn't seek treatment; didn't know how or where to get help. once i finished college i felt a great weight off my back. the rest of the '70's i was fairly happy. it seems like a lot of mental issues started to happen once deb and i became a couple in 1980.. i think right now therapy is helping me and validating what iv'e been through. plus, at times i feel so down, hopeless and, at times suicidal that my therapist is the only one who helps me feel grounded if only for a short while.

I appreciate your thoughtful reply. If you feel that this therapist is a real aide to your mental health..then by all means stay in therapy and keep striving for a resolution to the issues. Absolutely...if this is your life-line then keep it.

Part of what you experienced as a child was an inability to feel emotionally and physically safe because of the "torture" you experienced at the hands of your brothers and the abuse from the religious figures. From what you wrote...there was little to no safety for you in your life....either physically nor emotionally. You lived in fear day in and day out. And...yes...when you were in college you had no way to understand all of these things because they had become routine for you and you lacked the insight to see them for what they were...abuse and torture.

I would like to suggest some reading for you. I'm not sure you have explored brain chemistry very much...but I do think it will be beneficial for you to understand a bit more about how the impact of abuse and trauma impacted your thinking and your feeling.
The Whole Brain Child by David Siegel
Secrets, Lies and Betrayals by Maggie Scarf
Also see the work of Bessel Van der Kolk...he is a world renown trauma therapist and has some important things to say about the brain.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you. i am willing to give emdr another try. my therapist is not trained in emdr and i think he wasn't sure who is in my city. how might i go about finding a trained therapist.

EMDR has a does NOT all trained therapists in a particular city..but it will give you a way to contact those that are trained in your location. Please look for the therapist with the highest level of training - Ph.D. - and who has been in practice for a good long period. In addition, pick someone who has the highest level of EMDR training (there are multiple levels) and make sure they have practiced EMDR for a lengthy period. These things make a HUGE difference.

I wish you good luck. I suggest at least 3 sessions of EMDR as a minimum. I am trained in this therapy and so am speaking from clinical experience.
Dr. L and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i want to try light therapy to help with mood and sleep cycle. light boxes or bulbs are alot cheaper than they were years ago especially on can you recommend how many lumens and whatever else i should look for in a light therapy devise. thanks

Here is an article by the world-famous Mayo Clinic that will answer your questions and, in addition, provide some important factors to consider. According to this article, it is really best to be using a light box under the direction of a physician.

I have had clients use light boxes and they have reported very good results. This is particularly true for people who work in windowless offices or in those with very low light.

Let me know what you think after reading the article.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks for your response. was there a link for the mayo article. p.s. just curious. why the need for dr. supervision.

Oh my...I'm sorry I forgot to put the link in...

The supervision by a physician is to ensure that you follow best practices in using the light box and you don't harm your eyes.