I think sometimes you just need to fight to find some joy each day.
I've been in a rough spot of late and two things that keep me going are CrossFit and my horse. CrossFit gives me the satisfaction of accomplishment every day plus burns off some of the anxiety and keeps me tired out. And it's a community of good people- everyone is nice. For an hour a day, I am with positive, kind people that want me to succeed. My horse is great because she is just really peaceful and a clown. Of all things, I think sometimes animals can see the trouble in our souls. I know not everyone can have a horse, but a dog or even a friendly cat works. Maybe if you can't commit, volunteer to walk a friend's dog every day. I think animals hold a lot of people together.
all good advice above (I dunno about Derpa's advice--it may be good, but this might not be the time for it?). I'll only add that, while the people on this board are not friends in the regular sense, we are a community. You are part of it. There are lots of different personalities here, so there's room for everyone warts and all. We're all here for a common purpose--to make our lives better, healthier physically and mentally. We all have our own struggles, and there are many here who empathize and help. You are not alone in your situation.
Stay with us. You have your own experiences, successes and challenges, that will help others, just as others here can help you.
My own experience with anxiety & depression is a long one. I found significant relief from the supplement protocol outlined in Julia Ross' "The Mood Cure". I highly recommend it. There are other options other than L-Tryptophan. 5-HTP is what worked for me. You could also try St. John's Wort or sam-e. The book can help you figure out what might be the best one for you to start with.
I also do [I]not[/I] recommend limiting your diet much at this time. If you need to for sensitivities to wheat or dairy, certainly stick to that (and I'd encourage you to continue using lovely healthy saturated fats), but please don't limit yourself in carbs or anything. I've done lower carb primal and higher carb primal and somewhere in the middle generally works well for me in terms of energy & mood.
All that said, if you are feeling that poorly, please talk to your doctor and see what medication COULD be an option. I hate SSRI's, I hate what they do to my personality and energy, but if I had no other options and I was feeling that badly, I would take them. It's worth it to stay alive until you can find another way.
Hi Jena - as usual, there is great advice already given and you do belong to a community here––keep being part of it.
I recommend this book, which in essence argues how much healthful fats are missing from our diets and how they, oftentimes more than traditional meds, are extremely helpful in addressing mood and depression swings.
[url=http://www.amazon.com/The-Instinct-Heal-Anxiety-Depression/dp/1579549020/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1377796094&sr=8-7&keywords=servan+schreiber]The Instinct to Heal: Curing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy: Dr. David Servan-Schreiber M.D. Ph.D.: 9781579549022: Amazon.com: Books[/url]
If you are feeling as tightly bound up in your sadness as you sound, find just one area to release some of the sadness. Even if that means eating something you do not normally but that you love and makes you feel good when you do eat it. Give yourself a chance to experience some pleasurable moments. They are rare for all of us unless you actively try to create them.
Lastly, you did say you've explored all therapies but you also mention PTSD. I've done the EMDR method myself (and a dear friend who was deep in PTSD just this last month did too) and for both of us, it has been [U]unbelievably helpful[/U]. You can google EMDR and find links to practitioners in your area.
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movement_desensitization_and_reprocessing]Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/url]
love to you Jena - take a breath
For PTSD consider something called Trauma Release Exercises or TRE for sort. If you google it youŽll find the website, lots of testimonials, etc.
For me, it seems certain times of the year I am more emotional than others...over a year ago I was at my wits' end, I felt horrible, I had brain fog, etc...and then I started paleo. There were bumps in the road but my life has gotten a lot better. I agree with many responses here...you should make sure to get a lot of sunshine (go outside for 15min a day). Before you know it, it will be Fall/Winter so get your doses now. I also think yoga is a good idea, and try to do light exercise like walking a couple times a week. Maybe start a journal/diary. I keep one and it helps me let it out (but feel free to let it out here as well). I also keep track of what I eat to see if certain things trigger certain emotions. It helps keep my mind at ease.
Hope you feel better soon, and don't forget the sunshine and a multivitamin!
Thank you all so much for the wonderful responses. I am so grateful for this community and am mad at myself for not being as involved in it lately. I have been on Zoloft for the last 12 years or so. I started it about two years after a bad car accident. That's when I began to have panic attacks. I did stop taking it about 10 months ago and was doing great until I went through something very difficult. Around that time I also lost my cat, but I had a wonderful boyfriend that I loved. But his life fell apart and he shut down, I ended it. I was in a new job, single, no pet, my parents moved out of town. I'm an only child and most of my friends are married. I spend a lot of time alone. Which has always worked for me, but since my last relationship ended I seem to be sinking deeper and deeper. I do have a good life and I do have people that love me. I have been thinking about therapy and I will try to find one that has hours outside of 9-5, which is looking bleak, but I'll try. I really have to get my diet back on track. I went a very long time without any corn, grains, or refined sugars, but I've definitely been more lax lately. I'm going to stock up on fruits and veggies tomorrow after work. I had all of my bloodwork and a urinalysis today and there were a couple of concerns, but nothing serious. Possibly an infection. I will discuss all of this and the medication issue with my doc Tuesday. She isn't the greatest doctor, but I can't switch right now... soon, but not for a few months. I feel a little more in control of my healthcare now that I work in a lab. I had a chance to get my results right away and request additional tests based on those results. All of my lab work is free and they let me get drawn during work hours. I know I could have access to this information regardless, but I'm trying to focus on the positives today, and that seemed like a pretty big one. There are some stresses that aren't going to go away no matter what, but I need to find a way to deal with them somehow. I like to be alone, but I'm afraid of always being alone. I'm just very conflicted right now. I mean I'm 33 and still have no idea if I want to get married or have a kid, or even what I want to do as far as a career. All I do know is that the way I felt yesterday scared me. I've never felt so frustrated and hopeless. Today was a little better, I did break down in tears in a Mexican restaurant with my parents, but it was kind of a good thing and I talked to them about how I was feeling and they were reassuring. I also made nice with one of my guy friends that I blew up on the other day and he said he would come by soon and I could bend his ear for as long as I need to. This is helping. Just rambling on about my boring little life to someone. I guess this is a form of therapy in itself. I think I do need to find a therapist. There's just so much guilt and hurt and loneliness that keeps revealing itself the more I type. Thank you for the advice and encouragement. It really helps.
Hey Jena, just wanted to say that you're doing a great job. I was on a cocktail of drugs (SSRIs and similar pills) for most of my life, and two things I never could have done were talk about it on an open forum and care about my health enough to go primal -- so believe me when I say that you impress the hell out of me.
In your journal you said that you're eating for health right now, which is something that I want to applaud you for. Healing yourself can be hard enough on the body and mind as it is, and the last thing that you need on top of that is a restrictive diet (not to mention that you look damn fine in your pictures).
You mentioned that you might be able to switch docs in a few months to a better one. I wish you the best of luck in that, as I know there can be some really crappy ones out there who just like to slap drugs on it to make the problem go away. It could be worth consulting with your doctor (current or future) about going off the meds -- as long as you consult with your doctor. It's possible that the pills are a contributing factor to the depression - SSRIs and their kin can be really scary things. Although it may seem odd to view it in this light, I think it's a positive that you went on the meds for something that was the result of an incident, and not for a birth condition. Sometimes you just need time to heal, and just because the meds were necessary then doesn't mean that are now.
In conclusion, I really want to give you a hug right now, but my computer won't let me do that. So have some cute animals.
I went through a lot of anxiety when I was dealing with the end of my first marriage. One key thing I noticed was that caffeine was a major trigger for me. If I had caffeine, then I'd tend to get much more nervous and anxious about things than when I didn't. I also would take kava kava if I was feeling particularly anxious, and that tended to help greatly.
Getting sleep is one of the most important things you can do. Sleep deprivation will make any kind of depression or mood problems way worse. Sleeping pills can help if you're really desperate to sleep, but it's the natural unmedicated type of sleep that's going to really help the most.
+++ to previously mentioned EMDR. Its a very powerful therapy. Helped my anxiety a lot.