Is "better" really better?

Discussion in 'Therapy and Medication' started by Ifonlyiwas, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Ifonlyiwas

    Ifonlyiwas New Member

    Does anyone else struggle with not feeling better even though MDs, therapists, family, co-workers all seem to think you are better because your outward behaviors or "ability to function" has "improved"? I struggle with this A LOT. For example, I'll be off work because the depression/fatigue/focus/concentration is too bad. I eventually get put on medications that give me some energy and "fix" the focus/concentration enough that i can work. Sometimes (not usually) there may also be medications that stop the suicidal "intrusive" thinking. However, upon reflection I'm always wishing I were dead or never born so to me I'm not "better" inside. I'm still not happy with my life. I still "dream" of when i can kill myself some day in the future. I just have enough energy and focus to "suck it up" and do the constant self talk that it takes to get through a day of work (OR they've found a drug combination that causes me to not fight for my soul anymore but instead am just numb).

    Sometimes I've just decided something just was too hard to fight for. In those cases people around me have said stuff like, "you seem happier" or "we're getting along so much better now". ??? But the reality for me is more likely that things were so messed up that I gave up. It hurt too much to try or I came to the conclusion that my needs (that i was expressing) just weren't important enough to them. I can't force people to care so I try to deal with that and accept it, but hearing comments from them that things are 'better' when they are actually worse for me inside, brings even more pain to the already painful situation.

    When the "numb drugs" stop working or my body is so drained from the constant self talk, avoiding, and stuffing it takes to "function so well", my depression becomes visible again because I can't contain inside it anymore. I try to explain to MDs or therapists that I don't think I ever really get better because the core issues haven't been worked through. I tell them I want to do things differently this time around so that I don't end up numb or "good enough to work but my home life is still a disaster" in a few months but I can't seem to get through to those who are supposed to be helping me. I get comments like, "oh, you were better, the depression is just making you forget".

    Sometimes I think the ability to "function" has been a double edged sword that has probably prevented me from getting the help I need. I'm so tired of the same conversations over and over with every new professional. My favorite comment has to be, "but you haven't tried that with me" - as if doing the same treatment plan AGAIN is going to have a different result. How come it's not insanity when therapists and MDs are asking you to do the same thing over and over expecting different results?

    I'm not sure if i'm making any sense at all, but if I am - anyone else encounter this problem and have any advice on how to get people to understand that increased energy and signs of outward functioning do not necessarily = "you're better" or "you can go back to work now"?
     
  2. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    This attitude is nothing new; it's easier to treat symptoms than the disease, which is made worse by the fact that the brain is so poorly understood that we lack the epistemic framework to even begin to properly discuss etiology. Behavior and outwards functioning is all that people can see so that becomes the benchmark of all mental health, hence why one of the leading autism "treatments" is basically just the raw imposition of conformity, little different from the system of praise and shame among high school peers.

    Managing symptoms is the best that can be done in lieu of genuine understanding of human functioning.
     
  3. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Quieta non movere

    What in your situation is making you unhappy?
     
  4. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    The better you are looking for does not come from pill bottles or therapy sessions. The pills an therapy have done there piece if you are able to function and , work , participate in day to day activities.

    I eventually get put on medications that give me some energy and "fix" the focus/concentration enough that i can work. Sometimes (not usually) there may also be medications that stop the suicidal "intrusive" thinking. However, upon reflection I'm always wishing I were dead or never born so to me I'm not "better" inside. I'm still not happy with my life.

    Happy with your lif comes from some place else- you. After able to function again you have to make the changes to life/lifestyle that make you miserable or unhappy. The treatments do not help or solve genuine money problems, toxic relationship issues, hating your job or whatever actual physical issues around you or your environment that cause you to be not happy. The only purpose is to get you to a place where you can function well enough to try to make the changes you need for long term happiness or satisfaction in your life.
     
  5. Ifonlyiwas

    Ifonlyiwas New Member

    I agree with this:

    Happy with your lif comes from some place else- you. After able to function again you have to make the changes to life/lifestyle that make you miserable or unhappy. The treatments do not help or solve genuine money problems, toxic relationship issues, hating your job or whatever actual physical issues around you or your environment that cause you to be not happy. The only purpose is to get you to a place where you can function well enough to try to make the changes you need for long term happiness or satisfaction in your life.

    The frustration is that getting me to a point where I can function at work is not the same as getting me to a place where I can function well enough to try and make the changes I need to long term. I have an "intellectual" job, in that basically I think and problem solve for a living. Because of that, my ability to think may "work" for work once energy and focus return but my body and what I'm actually thinking re: my personal life has probably never been where it "should" be in terms of health. When I'm off work and start to feel a bit more energy, I start to feel like maybe this will be the time I can work on me. Then they send me back to work.

    Work drains me mentally and physically so much that I don't have energy and/or time (depending on what's going on) to then actually try and do things that I think would help me feel better about my life. Thinking (and sometimes even planning) what I could and should do to get better is usually fairly easy since I'm a thinker and problem solver by nature. However, actually taking action is much harder, especially if there is anxiety and fear associated with the action in question. I'm also very responsible, so if I have made a commitment (like performing my job) then I instinctively put that first and hope I have time and energy for "me" later. I rarely do. I "should" work on where those lines are and how to better balance work and life but I haven't been able to figure it out alone and therapy sessions are usually minimized once I'm back to work (insurance and other reasons).

    When I'm taken off work due to disability, I'm usually so exhausted and depleted that by the time I finally feel like I can start working on myself and the things I want/need to change, "they" (doctors, etc) decide I'm well enough to work and it starts all over again. I often feel like I'm in a catch-22. When I'm "outwardly" bad enough to be taken off work, I'm too depleted to work on myself for months (usually), when i finally have meds giving me some energy and focus or have "regenerated" enough and feel up to working on myself, that's when I "outwardly" look good enough to work. Work (as in a job) always comes first to those making that decision and it just makes me feel unheard and devalued yet again.

    I want to die and would like to kill myself, but I have kids so I won't do that...in the near future. However, I don't understand why the fact that I am still "assuming" that I will some day kill myself is not important enough of a problem for doctors to take seriously. I hold myself together as best I can for my kids, but because I "look" like I'm functioning externally (work, personable, not attempting suicide, etc) it feels like no one wants to acknowledge I still have major problems. I mean - planning to kill myself in 3-10 years and having to tell myself every day, "wait till the kids are ready" seems like a big problem to me. Having a house that looks like I'm a hoarder (I'm not a hoarder) because I can't find energy and am too depressed to clean it doesn't seem ok to me. Not being able to cook for my kids or clean dishes doesn't seem ok to me. However, as soon as I say, "I'm not going to kill myself anytime soon", I feel like the only thing that becomes important is whether or not I can work (outside the home). No one seems bothered that i barely shower, have only a small pathway in my room to walk, have developed no new close friends in the last 20 years, have half my bed covered in crap because i can't deal with moving it or "putting it away".

    Instead, it seems like as soon as I can concentrate and focus, I'm ready for work. That then feeds into the thoughts that no one really cares when push comes to shove about how I am really doing - just whether or not i can do what is visibly acceptable.

    I know others who suffer care (as you guys, I'm guessing do) and I care for you. I just wish people who were supposed to be treating me cared enough to say - "hmm, maybe "better" or "back to normal" isn't really good enough for her, we should deal with that long time suicide thing before we send her back to work and force her to stuff it all in again just to get through a day".

    Anyway - thanks for reading and for the comments. BTW, Obsessive, I think you hit the nail on the head.