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Depression OR Anger?

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Becky and Karen,

Other signs are excessive sleeping, no interest in anything going on around you, lack of caring, not responding, not opening mail, not paying bills or even caring if they get paid, avoiding people. We've been through this with our son. Depression is markedly different than sadness, coping or anger. You can be depressed and have sadness, coping problems and anger, of course, but I think some of the more severe elements above and the ones Becky mentioned need to be present for real down-and-out clinical depression.

These comments are made from personal experience only and learning from many pychiatrists and psychologists for the past 16 years, and NOT because I am medically qualified in any way to give an opinion.


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We can go on and on and on about the symptoms of depression.

I ain't an expert on depression 'cause I have it. I've just been schooled EXTENSIVELY in what to look for so I can nip it in the bud when it starts to rear it's ugly head.

Peggy's right. The symptoms are endless. When I had it big time I was borderline suicidal. I was tested and scored for that. Although I had a very keen sense that I was put on earth for NO REASON (thus, the borderline suicidal party) I got up every morning, got dressed, went to work, and did a damn good job at a very difficult and stressful job. So I was functioning. When no one was looking I went into a dark file room and bawled my *ss off for 15 minutes. I was angry and snapped at people. I hated anyone who had chlidren that they gave birth to (this is after a bunch of miscarriages and five years of failed IF treatment). I slept just fine. I didn't drink, and before that I was quite the partier. So I didn't have alot of the classic symptoms, but plenty of others.

I'm just saying, like Fay said, if you have a sense that something is not right with yourself, and you have ANY symptom of depression, GO GET CHECKED OUT.

Been there, done that. not an expert, but have it drilled into my noggin. No one with lung cancer is an expert at that, but if you had a friend with just one symptom of it, you'd want them to go get it checked out.


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WOW...I am so glad that I posted my original question and I am overwhelmed at the responses, both posted and PM'd to me.

If I sit and think hard about what my strengths and my weaknesses are...I would have to admit that my biggest personal weakness is that I ask for advice, and then don't seem to listen to the answers, because I have already determined what they will be and what will work for me...so...that said; I decided to try a different approach. What an eyeopener. Some of the advice that I received that really stuck out in my head were...

1. Seek out a confidant and blow off steam / vent.

2. Scream REALLY LOUD while you are alone / driving.

3. Make time for myself, nails or new hairdo

4. ASK for help

So...I did these things.

I stopped by my sister's house on the way home from work and really enjoyed an hour of "in-law bashing" and venting.

I cranked up the stereo in the car and SCREAMED the words to a few of my favorite songs and then threw in a few extra "throat-burning" screams for good measure.

I took a long lunch and became a blonde (okay, just high-lights) for the spring.

But the one thing that really helped...I ASKED for help (something I hadn't done before...I guess it was easier to be hurt that they couldn't read my mind). I called my step-daughter and asked her to come out on Sunday to "hang" with her Dad while I got out by myself. She was VERY happy to do this, so hopefully by Sunday evening I'll be in better shape.

All in all I feel better, but realize that it is too early to tell for sure and I am still going to keep my appointments for check-ups and will do whatever I need to to get and stay healthy.

Overall, it just feels good to know that I am not some "freak of nature" for having these feelings and that I am not alone. You are ALL so supportive and helpful. Thanks to all of you.

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Oh, I think it's cool that you did all of those things. especially calling the stepdaughter to come give you a break. that's great.

Hang in there, Beth, and get those check ups. One thing I try to do, even if I'm not getting manicures, hair appts. or massages, is to stay in touch with my healthcare providers and get checked on. You know, my family doc found a Stage II melanoma right after Dave was diagnosed, because I went to her and asked her to check me over because I felt so tired, and she found the melanoma.

If you feel better already, I'm betting you don't have depression. If you did, those things probably wouldn't help much.


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Beth and Pat,

First off do ask your step daughters for help. If they are like me (also a step daughter), they do want to help, but don't want to intrude. I have intruded a lot this year to make sure I was there to help, but I also worry about being in the way. As I do come along with three little boys (5, 2 and 8mos). So at times (getting dad to radiation, running errands or just having someone with him through the dad) it has been very helpful, but they also have me and these three little guys in their space all the time (I have to stay with them as I live 6 hours away). This is what I worry about when I am there. Are the kids behaving well enough? Are they driving them (dad and my wonderful stepmother) as crazy as they are driving me? Are we making too much of a mess? (We come with a lot especially since the youngest needs bottles, baby food, diapers, etc.)

Then I start to worry if our help is as much help as our inconvience of always being there. They say they love having us there, but you know everyone likes a little space too. I too am so glad that my dad has my stepmom. I am so glad that I have her too. This is my dads third wife. #1 my mom whom I am also very close to (they divorced when I was 12) #2 his second wife, whom I was close to, but she didn't try to keep a relationship after their divorce and now #3 who is definetly his soul mate. They should have met first. They work so well together. If my dad did not have his wife, someone would be helping him. Probably one of his sister's (my wonderful aunts) or possibly myself if I could move him to my home. With the distance of six hours it is so hard.

I know it is hard to ask for help, I am guilty of that everyday. But do ask. I can't imagine that they wouldn't want to help.

Also please do not take this as I am defending them, but just as I say ask. I do try to ask my stepmom how she is too, because we all know the question is always asked about dad.

Prayers for all to get a little help from each other.


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I think the anger is something that I still have to deal with after two and a half years. At the time I really believe that the anger wasn't so much depression as it was frustration. I was there for Johnny and did everything for him and I didnt' mind that. I love him and wanted to do everything to help him and support him. The problem was that he wanted and needed his kids and he got nothing from them. I would get so angry because I saw how much it hurt him. A part of me was jealous too. I was there and would do anything for him why did he need them so much when they treated him so badly?

Most of the time I have come to terms with those things now but there are still times when I remember the hurt his kids caused and the careless way the so called medical professions treated him that I want to throw something.

We as cargivers are put in a situation that drains us physically, mentally and emotionally. Every where we turn we have to face people who want us to stop believing that the one we love will survive. We have to stay positive for him and try to hold ourselves together. Often we have to do those things at the same time we battle to get the every day things of life done. We have to do it while dealing with treatments and side effects from those treatments and when there are kids that not only don't give any physical support but no emotional support it becomes so frustrating that the anger takes over.

Johnny even asked me one time if I was mad at him. I told him that I could never be mad at him but I was mad at the situation. He confessed that he felt the same way. An aide told me that I should go to Goodwill and buy and old doll and kick it, beat it and throw it around to rid some of the anger and frustration. I never got the chance to do that because things went down hill too fast but sometimes I still wish I had that old doll. I could sure give her a run for her money :!:

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