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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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I have been battling severe depression for about 9 years

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I have been battling severe depression for about 9 years now. I have tried every antidepressant on the market and seem to get nowhere. I am currently on Cymbalta, which helps with my fibromyalgia pain, but does nothing for my depression or anxiety. I feel I must stay on Cymbalta to keep the pain at bay.
I am currently taking Cymbalta, Wellbrutrin, and Abilify to treat my depression and anxiety and Klonapin when needed. I do not feel any better on this combination and have been on it for at least 5 months. My doctor is not very motivating and seems to have given up on me. I know there has to be a combination that could help me deal with my depression and anxiety, but i don't know what it is.
I have no interest in ANYTHING. I have no motivation to do anything. I used to enjoy music but have even lost interest in that. I am married and have 2 children that are being affected by this. I am not giving up due to my children and would appreciate any help that you may provide.
pennyrayasMFT :

Hello there I would love to help. I am really sorry about your depression. It looks like you are trying to manage it will many different medications, and most have not worked for you. I am wondering if you have participated in therapy. If you have can you tell me when and what was your experience of therapy? Usually for the treatment of Depression medication and therapy work very well together. I also have a question about what was happening in your life 9 years ago. Can you tell me about some of the stressors, changes in your life? I also wonder if you have a support system.


Thank you for your concern and wanting to help. Actually as I thought back, I have had depression for longer than 9 years, it has been about 14. I believe it started when I was diagnosised with Fibromyalgia. I have always been very active, an avid runner since 5th grade through college. The fibromyalgia took that joy away from me and I stayed in severe pain, was stiff and sore all over. That is when I started trying antidepressants. I have not had much luck with them, I feel like maybe there is a combination that might help me. I have also had to watch my Dad, who was my hero and best friend, suffer from Alzheimer's for 12 years; with the last 5 years of this being bedridden and suffering. He passed away on December 9, 2012. My heart is still broken but at least I know he is in a better place and not suffering. Since then I stay in the bed most of the day. I have no interest, no motivation to get out of bed.

I am also on disability which makes me feel worthless. I worked for a bank for 17 years and did really well with the company. I rose to the top pretty quick and always enjoyed my jobs. I have a brokers license, my insurance license and a college degree. What a waste. I have a sleep disorder called severe Hypersomnia and through the Mayo clinic they found that the cause of it was coming from the firbromyalgia. I don't go through regular sleep cycles, I stay in stage 2 all night and have for the past 7 years. So I do not get the restoritive sleep that comes with stages 3 and 4 and REM sleep. I am on 80 mg of Adderall a day just to stay awake and function throughout the day. Without Adderall I would sleep for days and still feel tired. I have mild sleep apnea and use a cpap.


We struggle financially due to me having to quit my job at the bank and go on disability. My short term memory is gone due to my sleep disorder. I get very aggrevated about not being able to remember things. We live check to check and barely scape by. I have always had enough money to pay the bills and have money left over, but since 2008, we struggle each month.

I do not feel like I have a good support system. I have been depressed for so long, it seems everyone is used to it and just ignores my symptoms.

I have tried therapy and to be honest it did not help me much. I have not been to therapy in a long time because we cannot afford it. I feel like I have hit rock bottom and if it was not for me having 2 awesome daughters, I would not be here. I have lost all hope of being happy again until I saw your website, thinking maybe a new person and a new prespective may help.

I feel guilty because I am the cause of the financial troubles due to me not being able to work. I feel like my kids suffer from this as well as my husband.

I grew up in a terrific family, the best I could ever have had, and I cannot give that to my family. I was always positive and upbeat. I was a dreamer and made many dreams into goals and made them come true. Now I have no dreams or interest. I don't talk to my husband much lately because he works late and when he gets home I just want to go to bed. We have been married for 19 years.

I do still go to church and believe in God. That is one thing that has helped. But after church I am back to my same old self. I feel selfish for being this way, but I don't know how to get out of this rut.

I have to stay on cymbalta because it helps so very much with the fibromyalgia pain. I am just looking for another type of medication to try with it to see if it would help get me going again. I don't know what else could be mixed with it to help get me out of this hole of depression I am in.

I feel like such a disappointment and life holds no joy for me except my daughters and even they get upset that I stay in bed so much.

I would appreciate any suggestions or help you can offer. I am at rock bottom and need help very badly.

Thank You

Penny Rayas, MFT and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Thanks so much for letting me know your history. I wonder if you can find a Fibromyalgia support the group in your area. I have worked with many clients who have Fibromyalgia and they have faced very similar challenges. I have heard from my clients that the pain of Fibromyalgia takes every ounce of energy they have. Pain can cause depression. I think it will be very hard to control your depression when the pain is not treated. I would ask my doctor to refer me to a pain clinic. I am sorry if I assume something that is not right but most of my clients tell me that the pain is a central force to their depression. I am glad that you have two wonderful daughters. I am sure you are a great mother because great children are raised to be great. Please do not feel guilty because I think you are very brave and they are lucky to have such a brave mother. You are so brave to have taken care of your father even thought you were afflicted with such a disease. I am sorry about your loss. It takes a long time to get over the loss of a parent. I can sympathize with you as I lost my loving father and took care of him also. I really understand your depression and I think you appear to be doing really well under the circumstances.

I suggest a grief support group to help you cope with the loss of your father. I also suggest a ritual that has meaning to you, to help you heal from the pain and loss. I had an altar with my father’s picture, a candle and wrote letters often. I would write and letter and put it in a balloon and let the balloon goes up to the sky imagining that your father reads it. Spending time with family that knew him talking about him and the stories will make you feel better. Please

reach out to your friends and family. People do not know how to react in a time of loss. They do not know if they should live you alone or talk to you because they do not know how to deal with death. I am sure you can find a support group online. Maybe you can include your children to the ritual that you do for yourself. They probably need to grief also.

Please do not feel guilty that you are not working and for being in SSI, see this as a time to heal. I understand that life has taken away this part of you that you valued and I am sure you were great at your job. You job now is to take care of yourself and to give yourself the care that you gave others.

I read your story and think you are a survivor and you have overcome so much in your life. I have a feeling that your spiritual belief is what makes you survive. Maybe this is the time to be the closest to God and develop your relationship with him even more. I have a hard time to understand why you feel like a disappointment because what I read is the story of a great woman who is very strong.

Intuitively I have a feeling that the solution is in your faith. I believe that you will find the meaning behind all this. Maybe you will become someone who helps others once you get over this hurdle. Maybe you will help others who are going through the pain of losing someone they love. Maybe you will be an advocate for people who have fibromyalgia. Please talk to your priest, or other official who can help. Pastoral counseling is usually free and an option. I suggest that every morning when you get up who keep a journal where you write 5 things that you are thankful for.

When you are in pain your mind produces negative thoughts do to low serotonin. Please take those thoughts and change them to positive ones. For instance if you mind says “ I am a disappointment to myself” Make an affirmation such as I am a great person and everyone loves me including I love myself. Please write 3 things you love about yourself. Such as I am loyal person, I have faith, I am loving.

Let me know if this works. Thanks for giving me the oportunity to work with you

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your kind and supportive words. I think you have hit the nail on the head. Fibromyalgia does cause depression and I feel that I have to learn to live with this as there is no cure for Fibromyalgia. I do not blame God or anyone for me having this disease, it is just in the cards. I am thankful that it is not fatal and that makes it easier to live with. I want to be here for my children and family.

I am a survivor. My Dad taught me that among so many valuable life lessons. He taught me to never give up and I will keep on going using the techniques and other suggestions you have given me.

I love the suggestion of sending letters to my Dad. That is really sweet and I feel like I would get a lot off of my mind.

I thank you so very much for your help and I will do what you have recommended. You have been great and I appreciate your help. You hit on all the subjects that are causing me trouble and I needed to hear that. You are very good at your job and I am thankful that I got you.



Thanks so much for working with me. I really enjoyed getting to know you and working with you. If you would like to talk to me again please ask for Penny and I will respond in the future.

I believe God works in mysterious ways to send us the help we need.

Please remember to accept my the answer so I can get paid.

Thanks so much.

Penny Rayas MFT