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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am 41 and feel like I have been depressed for a good 20

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Hi,
I am 41 and feel like I have been depressed for a good 20 years. I have brief periods of productivity but always go back to depressed sate. I am a nurse and was diagnosed with lyme disease last year after having it for 3 years undiagnosed and it has really done a number on me psychologically as well. I have not been able to work at the level I was and feel like I now live in a depersonalized state. I don't feel completley here in reality. My father also just died which put me into a furthor depressed state. I am not suicidal. I don't care enough or have the energy to do anything like that. I am completley apathetic and feel like I live in a dream world. I live in fantansy of what I could have been and am completley crippled emotionally. I never do anything anymore. I do have family that is supportive but it doesn't help. Only slightly. I do not have a husband or kids and feel like my life has been wasted. How do I break free from this cycle and start living. I have tried antidepressants in past and they made me worse. Thanks
Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are feeling this way currently, it sounds like you may suffer from a subtype of a depressive disorder called Dysthymia, which is a more long term type of depressive disorder characterized by apathy, depersonalization (emotional numbness), and lack of suicidal gestures and ideations typically

Dr. Z :

So you have used the antidepressants, but they have not helped you in the long term. While antidepressants are very effective, they do not cure depressive disorder, they only lessen the symptoms. The cure is in the form of therapy.

Dr. Z :

The best and most evidence based therapy to date to effectively treat Depressive Disorder is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen. So I would strongly urge you to seek out a CBT therapist/psychologist in your area, or I can help you find one if you like too. But I would also like to show you some quality techniques that may be able to help you

Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, 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 objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Dr. Z :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen depressive symptoms. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with severe depression have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your symptoms better.

Dr. Z :

Individuals with a depressive disorder also may have low self-confidence, so this technique will help you replace any self-critical thoughts that you may have with more positive self-beliefs.

Dr. Z :

In addition these books can be very helpful as well for you.

Dr. Z :

In addition, there are some natural supplements that may be able to help too if you would like to try them or you are more than welcome to try the antidepressants again in combination with these CBT techniques, as that can be very effective. The natural supplements I wanted to recommend are St. Johns Wort and Omega-3 (Fish Oil).

Customer:

Hi, thanks for the tips, i feel like i need professional help. Can you help me find therapist?

Dr. Z :

Of course, what is your zip code?

Customer:

30534

Dr. Z :

Okay give me a couple minutes to compile a list for you

Customer:

thanks, ***** ***** like i really need to do something about this.

Dr. Z :

I understand and therapy will definitely help you. You may want to consider going back on an effective antidepressant while in therapy as studies show that the combination of the medication and CBT therapy is very effective for treating depression. But here is a list of therapists that specialize in treating depression and using CBT as well

Dr. Z :

Is there anything else I can assist you with tonight?

Customer:

Thank you for your help.

Customer:

thank you for your help, I will contact one of the therapists.

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you