Lost Hope

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

For the past couple of years, I have suffered from moderate to severe depression. For several months, I was on Zoloft which created more problems for me than it solved. During the time I was on it, I had a suicide episode and a friend helped me through those times. Late in 2011, I had a “relaxation period” and it felt like I had recovered until September of this year when I relapsed. These past couple of months, my family have criticized my behavior and have called me useless. I try to maintain contact with the few friends I had but they have ceased speaking to me. in the past week, suicidal thoughts have creeped back into my mind and each day they get stronger. I feel like I am lost cause and I have no one left to turn anymore. Where do I go from here?

A. I am curious about your “relaxation period.” Were you taking a different medication? Was your family less critical? Did you spend less time with them? The fact that you had a successful period free of depression is very encouraging. If it happened once, then it can happen again. Attempt to analyze what made that period of time so different.

You mentioned that your family is critical of you. It obviously upsets you. It may also be contributing to your feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide. You may want to consider limiting your contact with them.

You had been taking a medication that was not helpful. I’m wondering if your psychiatrist has been fully informed about your medication difficulties and if you are in the process of trying other medications. Finding the right medication could significantly decrease your symptoms. I would encourage you to continue working with your prescribing physician to find a medication that works for you.

If you are not in counseling, then you should be. A comprehensive approach to treating depression involves psychotherapy. Medication, in many cases, is simply not enough. You are an excellent candidate for psychotherapy. Millions of individuals with depression have had significant success with psychotherapy. With a commitment to treatment, you can expect the same success.

Those who have attempted suicide and who survived are often thankful because their problems were eventually solved. The same can also be true for you. If you feel that you may harm yourself, please go to the hospital immediately.

During your “relaxation period” you had a glimpse of a depression-free life. With psychotherapy and possibly the right medication there is a great deal of hope for you. The right treatment can cure depression. Don’t lose hope. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Dec 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Lost Hope. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/12/13/lost-hope/

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