I have struggled with chronic depression all of my life. It began to affect my work and two years ago, I was told I was taking too long to be effective at work.

My superiors knew I struggled with depression and advised I go on disability or submit to an evaluation. My union leader also advised that I go on disability.

It has been a most difficult two years with trials of medications that don't work and anxiety settling in. I cannot go back to work unless I have a letter of health and my psychiatrist says my symptoms of depression as well as possible bipolar have not been in remission long enough for me to get a letter.

I really do not want to go back to work as I have lost all interest in my job. I am thankful that I am on indefinite disability which will turn into disability pension at some point.

I am fifty two now and this happened when I was 50. Everyday I wake up with dread and a feeling of purposelessness. I know part of it is the illness.

I have some hobbies, I take nature photographs, draw, paint, write, go for walks with my dog, visit friends and volunteer but none of these bring me joy.

I have to force myself to do these things and I feel they are purposeless.

I feel guilty that I am not working yet I know I am not well enough to work. Is there anyone that feels the same as I or has gone through this type of thing?

Comments for Disability

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Have you tried counseling?
by: Nancy

I'm sure you have, but just wondered. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works with the types of symptoms you describe. Sounds like you are really trying by going ahead and doing stuff even when you don't feel like it.

Keep coming back to these pages and you will find people who have gone through the same things you are going through.

Don't feel guilty
by: Anonymous

My husband became disabled at age 42 the result of a motor vehicle accident. Can you imagine being that age and done working? Well it happened to him

and he spent many days alone when I was working. He went through hell, physically and mentally and eventually had to learn to live with his limitations and chronic pain. He's been on antidepressants for years and will continue to be for life.

It takes time, but don't give up. You have a lot going for you. You're still young and have so many hobbies and are involved in social activities.

Depression is more common than most people know and I also struggle with it. I'll be on meds for the rest of my life too ... and that's OK.

Hang in there, I know how it feels, believe me. I just went through another low, but came back. You're not alone, so many of us live with it and there is hope to find joy in life again. I wish you all the best.

Keep moving forward
by: Sandy

I understand your situation and I wish there was a magic pill we could all take. Although antidepressants and therapy do help, living with depression is an ongoing battle.

You have to celebrate the good times when they come and try to find a way to keep moving forward. If you are not part of a depression support group, this may help you talk with others who are also in this ongoing battle.

It is hard to just be thankful or be joyful - if it were that easy, no one would suffer with depression. Just keep on working with your psychologist and therapist to find something that will work. and most of all, force yourself to keep doing things with other people, especially friends who understand you.

Hoping for your wellness and peace.

Moving forward
by: Ripley

That's great advice for any of us, Wendy. Thank you.

Welecome to retirement
by: Donna Augusta, Mo

Life is not guaranteed to be happiness and roses all of the time. I hope that you do have times that you enjoy. You sound very creative and I agree with Wendy share your pictures with others to see.

I just wanted to say I am almost 63 years old and I feel blessed that I could retire at 62.

For you at 50 I am very happy for you. Please don't let others define you especially supervisors or those that we think have authority over us. Do what you feel is right in your heart.

Thank you for sharing your story. We never know who we are going to touch.

Stay strong and let us know how you are doing

Your life counts
by: Elna Nugent/Lenox, MA

D. Someone once said, "Life is like a gigantic puzzle that is not complete if even one piece of the puzzle is missing.

This is just another way of saying you are here for a purpose and and every single person counts.

Many who have studied the philosophies and religions of the world claim that life on earth is a "school". We are born to learn lessons so that we evolve, flower, and grow. Your early childhood can give you clues as to why you are supposed to be here.

Depression is a very deep buried hurt that you have trouble getting rid of. Expressed anger is a way of getting rid of it for the moment. Chopping wood and vigorous exercise is another. Depression can also be altered by eating healthier foods.

But life is a continuous journey and death is like another birth process.Everyday of your life is important. Do you know that it is impossible to be depressed if you become present to every moment you are alive.

As you read this you are living in the NOW. And that is really all we have , a continuous NOW . Even as you hear your own footsteps and read your mail, and notice the sun is shining and listen to raindrops you are alive and here for a purpose.

Just writing into this retirement space can cause things to happen for you.

I hope you are seeing a recommended counselor weekly. Please consider going to your local librray and take out Eckhart Tolle's book -- The Power of NOW. Get it here: http://amzn.to/29vF8y8

He once was severely and deeply depressed. He learned something we can all pay attention to. He is now considered to be the most respected name in the world according to various polls.

You are turning a corner in your life and heading in a new direction as we speak. Blessings.

Wendy LOVE Tolle Books. Good one Elna... I added the Amazon link for others to get a quick look.

Walking in your shoes
by: Brent

I don't know your name, but when I read your post I wanted to respond. I have been a professional artist all my life and have always enjoyed photography.
Your words sounded like the same words that I have written many times before.

My heart goes out to you. It is the worst thing that has ever happened. You're right; everything we do, we have to force ourselves if we are to do anything.
The most well intentioned people usually say the wrong thing when trying to comfort. (There is an on-line article on line of 10 things not to say to a depressed person)

I too, have lost most of my interest in just about everything. I can''t motivate myself to paint or draw anymore, at least, up to this point.

I think it's great you have a dog. (I love dogs.)
I do enjoy being around other people...to a degree if they're the right people.

I think it helps to talk to other people that have the same or similar concerns. If you're inclined, I would like to hear from you. I also would like to see some pictures of your artwork. Although I am almost 20 years older than you, maybe we can have some good chats?

In the mean time...
my thoughts and prayers,

My Two Cents....
by: Wendy

Don't label yourself a a Disability... you are lucky to have a pension at age 50ish, go with it. Many of us retire early, count it as a blessing and not negatively, You are blessed!

I love that you do photographs and other creative things... they are totally NOT purposeless. They create joy for you as you do them, joy for others who view them. Why not make your art and post some on Facebook? Have fun with it. Make others smile with your artwork.

Forget the Guilt, Life is what it is...

Enjoy your new lifestyle as much as you can. Enjoy the ability to walk and enjoy nature outdoors (and photograph and share this too). Enjoy creating art for YOU -- not for some other purpose. Enjoy it. Be crazy with it - draw kids monsters, trees with faces, or scenic panoramic views. Just do it!

Best Wishes!

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