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I feel like there's nothing to look forward to


persephone
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I was so looking forward to going back to University, but now the people I lived with last term have told me they don't want me to stay with them anymore. They don't feel they can cope with me. My mum and dad are also telling me I'm nott ill to go back. The University have offered my degree to me on a plate- thye're giving me first class honours without taking any more exams, because they too think I'm too ill to return. St Andrews is 500 miles from where I live at home, so it's not even as if I can get there easily just to say hi to people.

But all my friends are there. Since September 2000, my social life, the hub of my existence and happiness has been there. People are saying to me that it's common to feel like this when you finish your degree- to feel exhausted and sad. But I feel like I was wrenched away. I graduate in June--everyone else will be finishing then. I should have graduated last June but lost a term through illness in2003. To have it happen again, and miss finishing the year off with my friends again is just too much.

My mum and dad tell me it's just tough, I need to pull myself together and get a job. They say I can get a good one with the degree I have. But my POTS is making me so ill, to begin a whole new life here where I have NO social contacts atall, where I have no independence (everything in St Andrews is within walking distance; but here I'm miles away from anywhere, in the suburbs, and I can't drive)..I just feel so lonely, remote, cut off.

I should be planning for the future...I should be applying for PhDs and getting excited about that. But I am terrified about being stuck in wha tfeels like purgatory. I wake up in the morning and I can't stop crying. I can't function. I have no appetite. I can't sleep. I shout at people for silly things.

I've suffered from depression in the past, and on New Year's Day I decided that I was going to cut my prozac altogether because I had solid proff after weaning myself slowly off of it that it makes my POTS and NCS much, much worse. I think this is affecting me too. The withdrawal is unbearable. I am turning into a different person. And to top it all, I've discovered that prozac takes up to THREE months to leave the body. Will I have to live like this for three months?

I feel so stuck. So remote. So alone. I thought that onc eI got a diagnosis my life would return to normal. Now Im waiting for tests. I either cough up money my poor old parents really just don't have (my mum can't work, she's too ill) or I wait for SIX MONTHS on the NHS. SIX MONTHS! I can't live another SIX DAYS like this! I feel like I'm not living, I'm just existing.

Does anyone have any ideas about what I should do next? Does anyone have experience of coming off prozac and finding it tough? Am I just nuts? I feel like I have bounced back again and again, and now I just can't do it anymore. :P

Anyone who can offer any advice atall, please do...I feel like my life's over.

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Guest tearose

persephone,

I am sorry for your troubles.

I do not have knowledge or experience with medications.

Please allow yourself to feel frustrated over the challenges you have had to deal with because of your illness and then find something that you want to do that brings you joy.

I think when I have so many things to figure out and deal with like you have now, I write things down with pen and paper and look them over. Writing helps me figure things out.

I wish you all good things, tearose

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persephone,

i do not know your healthcare system...but am wondering if you would be able to get counseling? i don't mean to sound pushy...but it is a huge help, especially if you feel unsupported by family or friends.

also, it sounds like the going off of the prozac did affect your mood? maybe you could try a different on that doesn't make your pots worse but helps your mood? i find that i do much better on one than off...but it does take a while to find the right med and dosage for you.

i wish i had more words of wisdom. what steph and tea said was wonderful.

i can really identify with everything that steph said...being at home, making the best of the time you have however limited it may be, finding joy in little things, etc. and i am dog crazy too! :P the eukanuba tournament of champions is on right now...are you watching steph!?

some days it is very, very hard...and many of us have been in the dark place that you are in right now...but you will find the light again...please hang on...

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Hi everyone, thanks for the replies. You're very kind It's good to know I'm not alone. I'm trying some valerian just to get some sleep. I feel so low, so isolated and cut off. My mum and dad keep telling me snap out of it, but I just can't. I've always bounced back from adversity,in the whole 11 years I've had fainting fits...I've had so muchother stuff to put up with besides, bereavement, bullying, depression....I've always bounced back. But now I just can't. It's like the spiring has prung for the last time. Like something has snapped in me. I feel like my heart's just broken :) and it really, really frightens me.

If I knew what to do to make myself better, I would. But I have absolutely no idea... :o

Now I have the diagnosis shouldn't I be on top of the world? But I'm not. I feel like a failure, a nothing, a nobody. someone who doesn't matter. I'm not a student, I'm not working. I'm just a drifter, a loser. I did well in my degree, but who else cares about that? :angry: I can't see anything positive, no matter how har dI try. I just need a cuddle. :(:(:( Anyone care to oblige? I'm sorry for being so pathetic. I guess prozac withdrawal is harder than people let on :ph34r:

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Dear persephone,

Sounds like you are running very fast. Sorry dear. Sometimes those very close to us feel our pain in a different way. It makes them feel helpless and so very sad -- so they say "snap out of it" -- because they really want to stop hurting themselves. Remember they love you -- and korny as it sounds -- this too shall pass.

During my very down times I become an avid reader. Right now I am reading "Postive Energy" by Judith Orloff. I also am a big fan of Cheri Huber (she has a wonderful book on depression) and Eckhart Tolle who reminds us that illness does not exist in the NOW, it needs a past and a future in order to survive. The NOW may have pain, weakness, etc. but if we can just sit with this tiny little moment in time sometimes it becomes easier than if we jump out too far ahead (I should be looking for work, what am I going to do with my life) or if we go too far back (I've been sick for so long, I've lost all of my friends) -- If you find yourself going to these places, gently try and bring yourself back to this moment. Breath in, breath out and just be right here.

Good luck on your healing journey.

EM

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Hi Persephone,

Have you discussed the Prozac issue with your doctor? We have to be careful when stopping or decreasing mood affecting medication.

When we don't have a diagnosis, we think that by finding what we have will solve all our problems because we have been told that doctors can solve almost everything (the magical pill). It's like you find the prince charming and you get married and live happy forever." After marriage, you realise that your husband is not the prince charming and you have to make some adjustments and then your life gets another "normal" and routine sets in.

It's similar in chronic illness. You get your diagnosis, your learn about your disorder and you find your limits and function within them. This is a long process that can take a few years and you may even have to readjust as your health changes.

Give yourself time, you will make it through.

Hugs

Ernie

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Though I have no experience with antidepressants...YOU ARE NOT "NUTS"!!!!

And please don't think you are!!! :(

You're successful--look at what you've done with your degree. That's fantastic!! What an accomplishment!! Don't worry about getting a job out of your home if you are too ill right now. Have you considered writing? I don't know what you received a degree in, but there are several things that you can do from your home. Many writers will search for a person to conduct research for them. You can do that from home! Just some suggestions...

Love,

Kristin

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I too had to quit college 6 weeks before finishing my degree - but I wasn't lucky enough to have it offered to me anyway. Please take this opportunity - if you don't you are closing the door to much of your future. I think that in our situation we have to look for a purpose; I was confined to bed for several months and the saying, "When God closes a window he opens a door" was all I had to hang onto so I decided that I had to find a place in my new life. I had been making good money as a nurse; I felt that I made a difference in this world - now I had to find a different way. At first I found it hard to believe that the whole world as I knew it didn't just fall to pieces.

These days I am an avid birdwatcher - from out our back window - and I am a full-time preacher's wife. These and my 12-year-old son give me a full life.

Perhaps when you find a time in your life that you are physically able you will find your niche in the world. It may not be as glamourous as you dreamed, or as exciting; but sometimes we have to take baby steps.

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Coming to terms with a chronic illness is a really tough thing to do. I was just like you thinking that after months of not knowing what I had, things would be so much better following a diagnosis. I would get treatment, maybe take 6 weeks off work and then be all better. It didn't work out that way but life has brought me surprises that I never would have discovered otherwise. I am not saying that having POTS has been good for me but it is true other doors do eventually open.

Allow yourself to be in this moment and take the time to really see what is still wonderful about your life. You are in a transition which means it can be very confusing. But, rest assured you will get through it.

Michelle published an excellent article about the various stages of chronic illness we all go through, some stages many times before we learn how to go forward again. I encourage you to read it. If someone remembers where that is, please share.

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persephone

I so feel for you. I have also been disabled by POTS and felt like my life came to a standstill, and it does induce depression. I really like everything everyone has suggested and said to you in this thread.

How old are you? SSRIs can have a different effect on younger people than on older people. If you are cutting back on one, it would be best to do that with the guidance of a doctor, which I hope you are doing. How long were you on the SSRI? It took several months of being on a low dose SSRI for me to see a benefit (and in the meantime it did make my POTS worse). An SSRI may very well not be helpful for you, but you do have to be careful about how you wean off it, to minimize mood and other side effects.

There are many different treatments for POTS, and most people get better with time, especially with appropriate treatment. Are you under the care of a doctor who is willing and knowledgeable to help you try some different treatments if you have been on one for awhile and it is not helping much?

I think you will move on and realize many of your dreams. Coping with POTS can be a huge challenge (or not--depending on how things progress for you), but it doesn't necessarily prevent you from doing things you really want to do with your life, and it doesn't diminish you as a person one bit.

It has taken me a long time to understand that life does not happen in a safe, predictable, happy progression, or that, at least, there is no guarantee that it will. There are many many unexpected bumps and knocks along the way. With experience with these challenges, we learn how to manage the next one better. You are challenged with more than the typical person your age is. That certainly feels unfair and it certainly is frustrating. I believe that you will be able to find ways to cope and manage and THRIVE. Keep writing as you need to--we're here to support you!

Katherine

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I feel for you . I ahve felt the same way many times. Right now the pain seems so unbearable, but you will get through it. You will have hope again. You are not crazy. My concern is that you are off of antidepressants and it sounds as if you are going cold turkey. This will definitely make you more depressed. Maybe you do need to try another antidepressant.

I am sorry to hear that your parents are not very supportive. It sounds as if they are in denial. Are they educated about POTS? My husband is supportive of me, but does not accept that my daughter has POTS. He can be hard on her. He is definitely in denial. With me my problems are ovious with neuromuscular problems...POTS symptoms however are more debilitating. SO for my daughter her symptoms are invisible.

You are very strong to have come this far in your education. THis is something to be proud of. I too suggest finding a good counselor. You could use someone to talk to about all of these emotions and to show you support. All this emotional stress makes our POTS symptoms sooo much worse.

Best WIshes,

Dawn A

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