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Depression and SAD getting in the way..........kind of long post

Ok, i havent felt like this since before my hubby and i moved from our apt to our great house:)
i now have a different job with a set schedule and a mind engaging envt. I have a dog (always wanted one), a cat (had while at the apt) and 2 birds. I love my life and feel satisified......
I havent had a "wave" of depression since before getting our house. I know that having my little "zoo" has helped .............but i fear that i may need to go on meds......i know i shouldnt care if they help me feel better but i do.....I dont know if its a stigma stuck in my head about it or what.....
I really care what i eat and def dont want to exercise! I do walk my dog b/c i feel guilty if i dont and always feel better after ward.
So, boiling this down.............opnions please
Do i eat what i want until i feel better - im hoping the end of this week, i will be my "old" self this week
Do i talk to my PCP about a referral to a therapist? I have been to one before and it helped, but money is really tight right now.......
Any advice is great:) Just looking for any insight.....
Oh, FYI : My hubby is a GREAT listener and who i talk to at length, but sometimes i need outside perspective ;) Thanks!

Mon. Mar 6, 7:39pm

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Have you tried getting a little "full spectrum light" for yourself to help get enough light? Maybe put it by your computer, or if you like to read, use it while reading-- maybe it might help to lift your spirits a bit?

My hubby tends to get "down" during the winter months as well...

Do you and your hubby do any outdoor activities? i.e. hiking, nature walks, etc.? I understand that the days are still cold, but if there's a way that while you are at work you can take a break from the office and go outside and get even 10-15 minutes of sunshine (when there is sun) or just plain daylight, I hear it is supposed to help!

Monday, March 06, 2006, 8:00 PM

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thanks! OP here........kind of letting it all out here......

I have heard that it helps too! :)
I have been thinking of getting a full spectrum light for some time now...........and delay it, then i feel better and dont get it. Around in circle.LOL
I am also using food as a emotional crutch, when im feeling down, which sucks . I normally eat pretty good, with only a "slip up" about once a week, usually a Skinny Cow or a few cookies here and there.
I kind of feel like im "rebelling" against something or someone........which is odd, since no one cares what or when i eat except me. Am i rebelling against myself? How weird is that???
Sorry, guess im venting....

Monday, March 06, 2006, 9:09 PM

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I am SO with you. I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Depression. I bought a light on ebay last fall and use it every day. I have it right here by the computer so every time I log on I am getting sunshine/vitamin d. Here is the catch, even though I feel SO much better emotionally, I am still having problems with my weight. Did you know one of the symptoms of SAD is craving carbohydrates???? I am doing my best to fight it, but I have hope that when the weather turns nicer I will be able to burn off more of this weight and this problem with emotional eating.
Start a group just for people with SAD. I will join!!!!!

Monday, March 06, 2006, 9:28 PM

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One more thing. Money is tight here, too. We were able to use FLEX money to pay for my light. I just needed the Dr. to confirm that she had diagnosed me with SAD. It was a 200 some dollars but WORTH IT!!!!!

Monday, March 06, 2006, 9:29 PM

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My take on it (from my own experience) is that depression starts a spiral of self-destructive behavior because deep down you feel like you don't 'deserve' to be happy, healthy, smart, or pretty. You feel that you are completely worthless and unloveable. So you 'punish' yourself and then feel even worse, and this only reinforces all the negative feelings your are having, so in a wierd way it was somehow 'right', and repeat.....

It can be extremly hard to break out of this. Animals really do help - they force us to consider the needs of someone outside of ourselves whose love is unwaving and trusting. Husbands are awesome too, but sometimes, even though we should - we don't listen to them when they tell us what a wonderful, loving person we are. We see them as slightly 'tainted' by their association with us and perhaps a bit too biased. This is where a good couselor can really help.

Exercise helps immesurably, so does fresh air (even if it's frigid fresh air). Depression does tend to be seasonal, so the suggestion of a full spectrum light is definitely worth looking into. I have a lunch buddy who I eat with and then walk with for 20 minutes - I can't describe what a wonderful thing this is. Sometimes we chat, sometimes we are just quiet. However, hiking is my saving grace - looking out on those mountain peaks and valleys somehow lifts me in a way that nothing else can. As long as i get my bi-weekly dose and have that to look forward to I can make it. Gardening is something I have discovered recently that also lifts my spirits. It will definitely do when I can't make it out into the hills.

If you are having difficultly breaking out of your depression, then do consider seeing a therapist. Let them know that you have reservations about meds (some of which are quite addictive) and if they prescribe them to you make sure you and your therapist have a plan for their eventual discontinuation. Quitting anti-depressants cold-turkey can leave you in pretty bad shape. However sometimes it's hard to deal with the root of the problem when all you can see is the symptoms. Relieving the symptoms for a period of time may be the break you need to help you find and deal with the root cause of your depression.

Monday, March 06, 2006, 9:54 PM

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(previous poster) - sorry didn't see your last post about the light. That's excellent! It's great to hear that it is very helpful for you!

Best wishes and keep us updated on your situation :-)

Monday, March 06, 2006, 9:57 PM

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one more thing..........

I am the 9:28 and 9:29 poster - I just remembered something. When I was being diagnosed, my Dr. said if the light didn't work, she would consider putting me on a very light dose of anti-depressants, but only AFTER I had my thyroid checked. I am not a dr. or nurse, so I don't completely understand all of that, but before you do anything, take that into consideration and maybe visit with your Dr. about your thyroid. Hope this helps!!!!!

Monday, March 06, 2006, 11:21 PM

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To the last poster-- did they think it would be low (hypo) or high (hyper) thyroid? I'm just curious, as my OB/GYN had checked my thyroid at one point and I was told that mine was a little low. I tend to "gain a little weight and then "settle" at that point and not move (up or down)...

I'm wondering what your doc said about the thyroid affecting your moods?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 12:52 AM

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I don't think she ever said if it would be high or low. I just know that she didn't think it was my thyroid, because I truly only struggle with emotions and moods January through the end of March. She made it seem like if I was struggling throughout the year it could be my thyroid. She is very cautious and didn't want to stick me on meds without checking everything out. Sorry if that doesn't help.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 9:15 AM

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No, that's okay, I'm glad to hear your doc is thorough! I just need to get my butt into the doc and have them do some more testing on me--My brother's a doc and he keeps asking me about it (i had slightly low thyroid), so I just need to be more pro-active...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 11:51 AM

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OP here............

Thank you ALL so much for the advice.hints :)
I can belive how supportive you all are:)
I truly exprected a few "snap out of it" type responses! Thanks so much. I have to wait a bit to see the Dr. , since i just started a job a fw months ago, and wont have Insurance for a little while longer. I will ask my Dr, about my thyroid as well.
To the 9:28 and 9:54 poster and- i appreciate a "from your own expreience" post and such a thoughtful response:)
I keep having a feeling that "at the end of this week" it will get better. How odd......
I have been really placating my emotions with food- and i am just "letting it ride" right now.... I havent been this "down and heavy" since about 6 months ago...and i forgot how much it sucks! I know i have been pushing this feeling away for some time now, my old therapist told me this was a coping mechanism and it was ok to do, if it allowed me to mantally cope after a preiod when i feelt good and safe.
Thanks again everyone, for making me feel supported :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 9:40 PM

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