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Does anyone else spend all of their time feeling depressed and worrying about death?

Hi. I am 46 years old and have struggled for years with anxiety and depression. I always have this heavy depressed feeling hanging over me. I constantly worry about getting diagnosed with cancer or some other awful illness. I feel sad most of the time and never really feel like doing anything. I have been to counseling and on meds on and off since my mid twenties. I just wish I could stop feeling this way and start enjoying life. I'd love to chat with someone who shares these feelings. Thanks.
4 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there and welcome to MedHelp!!!  My mother died at a younger age and I think it has impacted me creating a lot of worry and fear about death myself.  I worry about tragedies with my loved ones and think about probably more than I should about my own demise.  I have kids that I know would be holy devastated should something happen to me and that is wonderful, rigth?  But also a lot of pressure.  I know what it is like to worry about death and health.  And to feel a little lost and like you can't move in any directions.  

You're also 46 which means your hormones are starting to change a bit. You are probably still young for monopause but by your age, I've begun to have shifts in hormones. Sleep becomes harder, anxiety increases, you can get the blues.  Sigh.  When you take meds and do counseling, does anything feel any better?  
16 Comments
Hi. Thank you for responding. My mother also died young. I also worry about losing other loved ones. Meds and counseling has helped in the past. I am on 20 mg of Paxil right now. I used to be on 40 mg but tried to cut down because I worry about the long term effects. I have been on SSRI’s for 25 years which makes me nervous.
Ya, when I surpassed the age my mom was when she passed, it was very surreal for me.  I think having gone through that type of loss young has created a bit of fear and anxiety in me regarding the fragility of life for myself and others. You probably are the same.  I'm very sorry for the loss of your mom.  That is painful in a way that still is hard for me. Decades later.  Still very  hard.  So, hugs.  

The problem I see a lot of people have with ssri's is when they decide they don't need them and try to discontinue them.  My husband has taken Zoloft for 27 years!  TWENTY SEVEN!! I sometimes wonder if it is still working but then he tries to discontinue it and I'm like "you need your Zoloft". So, he's stayed on it pretty consistently over the years.  I think those medications can be life saving in terms of helping some people.  There are plenty of horror stories, sure.  But if you aren't having one, try not to listen to the horror stories.  my husband is a long time SSRI patient.  Why should he stop?  His condition of anxiety is chronic. Like other health issues, it will require working on it his whole life.  At least that is how we look at it.  So, cut yourself some slack for taking your medication and try not to fight having to do so is my recommendation.  Unless it is causing you issues or has stopped working (which can happen).  

Do you have friends or support or family that you lean on? I often don't feel like I have enough of any of that.  
I’m also sorry about your mom.  My mom died at 53 so I haven’t passed the age she was when she passed but I bet that must be strange.
I definitely worry about being on meds for so long but I guess like you said, if I need them I should take them.
I have a lot of support so that’s good. My husband is wonderful. He is my rock. I’m sorry you don’t have more support. That must be difficult for you.
Having a loving and supportive partner makes a huge difference. My husband is a good guy but works a lot and being nurturing is harder for him.  He tries so I don't mean to knock him. But in general, I feel like I depend on myself.  For getting things done and for making myself feel better. Which at times is lonely.  Sometimes even surrounded by people can be lonely, you know?  

I do think that our mental health is like other chronic health conditions.  And people take medicine for those without feeling like they shouldn't.  :>)  If you need it, you need it. Exactly.  

What are your health fears?  
As far as the meds are concerned, my understanding is that if you've been on these meds for a long time the real danger occurs when you try to live without them, not so much continuing to take them.  There's probably some risk out there I'm not aware of, but if you've tried therapy with different therapists using different techniques and it never worked, and the medication does work, then again, the greater worry is quitting.  Even cutting down as you did might have had a withdrawal effect, assuming the drug was working.  The way you describe your mood, it doesn't sound like the med is working all that well, so if things got worse it might be because sometimes these meds poop out.  I'm guessing that happened to you, as if I remember correctly the "usual" dose of Paxil is 30mg.  So I wouldn't worry so much about it at this point, you've been on it a very long time so any harm has already occurred if there is any, but I would be careful about lowering the dosage so abruptly and definitely, if you ever decide to stop taking it even if it's to try something else, that's when you need to be very patient and careful about it.  So again, as far as I know, the "horror stories" are when people try to stop taking the meds, not when they're on them unless it's when they are just starting out and suffer really bad side effects.  I, too, lost my Mom (and my sister) much too soon but I guess that wasn't a trigger for worry for me.  Their lifestyles were not at all good -- both smokers, both overweight (my sister was morbidly obese), neither exercised much, and neither ate very well.  I don't live like they did, so it's just not applicable to me.  But I have other problems they didn't, so it goes.  Peace.
I'm talking about ssris here, I should say that.  There are meds for this stuff that are liver toxic and the like, such as Cymbalta and the tricyclics to name a couple, and in those cases there are cases of long-term harm that can be measured.  It's harder to know what the long-term effects of playing around with brain function are.  There is some concern about things like dementia.  But if your life isn't liveable, it's really not about how long you live but how nice your life is while you're alive.  If you're a diabetic, taking insulin for a long time isn't good for you, but it's better than the alternative, to go with a different drug.  The key is to genuinely need the drug, and that it's actually working.  If those two conditions are met, then again, if that's what it takes to enjoy the time you have, you do it.  Peace.
special mom, I totally get what you mean about being around people and still feeling lonely. When I am in my funks I very rarely want to be around anyone. My health concerns are all over the place. I’m constantly worrying about having cancer or getting some other awful illness. I get so freaked out going for my mammogram or any other tests. I worry sick for weeks beforehand. Then I also think of my family getting ill or dying suddenly.
Paxiled, I guess you’re right about the fact that I’ve already been on the meds for so long that if anything was going to happen it probably already has. I have an email into my doctor so maybe he will increase my dose. I’m really scared about trying a new med since when I’ve done that in the past it was not good. I have trouble enjoying my time now because I’m always worried about not being here in the future. I wish I could focus more on the present and enjoy the moment.
Maybe you are my sister. lol  Yes, I have anxiety about various health things as well.  I had a bad mammogram probably 10 or more years ago now in which I had to have a biopsy.  My Birad score was 5 and on he scale, 6 is considered definite cancer . . .  so everyone was acting like I had cancer before the results came in.  I did not, thank goodness.  My kids were little at the time and from the mammogram results to the breast surgeon appointments to the biopsy to those results was about two weeks, longest two weeks of my life just about.  That situation made me so fearful of mammograms.  I went several years without having one!  I would have a panic attack if I thought about doing it!  My doctor this year had had enough of my avoiding it and prescribed Xanax and made me schedule the mammo while in her office. lol  I didn't take the Xanax but did get the 3D mammogram done.  You know what felt the best?  Looking at my fear in the face and just doing it.  That was liberating!  And it was just fine.  But anyway, I share that because I had just been through it and yes, I could send myself over the edge worrying about it.  I have some other things I need to force myself to do this year.  Sigh.  I get fearful of my heart. That's a big one for me.  At least you are doing the medical stuff and not avoiding it. Do you feel better after you do it?  
By the way, this is probably no surprise by my oldest son has anxiety.  He's working with a therapist.  One of the things the therapist really works on is staying in THIS minute.  Not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. Anxious people tend to do that.  So, he works on skills to stay in the moment.  he really recommends some apps like Head Space and Calm.  Have you ever tried either of those?
Lol, yes, long lost sisters! I had a call back years ago on my mammogram and it sent me over the edge. It was nothing like your scare my goodness but now I am petrified. That must’ve been awful for you. I have my mammogram in a few weeks so the fear is setting in. I feel better after I get the tests but the lead up to them nearly kills me. I have been anxious about My health Since my 20’s. I was really bad at one point taking my temperature every 1/2 hour for days at a time because I was afraid that I had certain sicknesses that would cause fevers. I used to go in the bathroom at work and take it. Thank God I’m not that bad now. Meds have helped but I think I need to go up on my dose. Make sure you get whatever tests you need to have done. No avoiding ok?

My son also has anxiety. He is pretty good at using coping skills...much much better than I am. I have heard of those apps but haven’t used them.
I'm glad your son is good at coping.  Head Space is free.  I have Calm which I pay for.  I just got it so will let you know what I think.  It guided me through meditation and it helps to be mindful.  Staying in the moment rather than going to the catastrophic future . . .
I’ll have to try headspace first and see what I think. It’s crazy how catastrophic people like us see the future. My husband is always talking about retirement and the things we’ll do and I’m always thinking yeah right I won’t even be alive by then. I am suck a what if type of person. What if what if what if ahhhhhbhh!!!!!!
Paxiled I’m so sorry about your mom and sister
It was a long time ago now.  I'm an old man now.  And as I say, it didn't really have that big an effect on me, for whatever reason.  My Mom was sick a long time and death was a relief for her, not a curse.  I've lost my Dad since.  It's what happens when you live long enough.  It's pretty embarrassing to say this, but the worst losses in my life were women breaking up with me.  Happened too often too early.  You never know what life will bring at you that you can't handle.  I used to not have any fear of docs even when I had agoraphobia and was terrified of traveling, but after stopping Paxil I am afraid of everything and got too scared to get tests as well.  Not for fear of the results, though, my fears are all irrational, as anxiety fears aren't rational.  It's rational to be nervous about getting a test when it has consequences you've already had to deal with.  That's natural, though that doesn't make it any easier.  When fear is irrational, it just ruins everything.  All the best.
Tbd
External User
Hi Sher, I felt this way. i have several medical issues and i had osteoporosis at age 26, I have hypopituitarism since age 4 and a half, and take several hormone medications for life, which cause osteoporosis (Cortef, Synthroid).  This caused me to be depressed in childhood and all mylife. I sought out different things, Reiki, Qigong classes. I am not saying these will fix or cure your issues, but you might find community with others, versus feeling alone.  I have also tried Overeaters Anonymous. If you can try a Pilates class, you might feel stronger and proud of yourself for what you can do. or try Contra dancing. I did this for awhile. Or creative writing or drawing or painting classes. I did these too. In addition to going to your doctor or a counselor for help. Or a nutritionist if you are vegan and not getting the right vitamins, like B12, vit D, calcium, magnesium, this can make you feel weak.  Doing something physical like dancing or pilates or bike riding in the gym will make you feel proud of yourself for what you can do. or swimming can be relaxing.
3 Comments
I’m sorry to hear of your long history of depression. It’s not a fun thing to deal with. Some days it takes everything you’ve got to just get though. Thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions. I do not like exercising at all but I have recently started riding an exercise bike to make me feel better. I started out very small and have worked up to 2 miles which is a big feat for me so I do feel that proud feeling you speak of.
So many suffer and other people don't know.  It feels good to connect and reach out.  I do agree about exercise.  For many, that is very healing.  It improves mood along with its other benefits and it also can be good for the isolation as it gets you out.  The problem though is getting the push to go do it. When depressed, it can be hard.
Just wanted to say about nutrients, a vegan diet does lack B12, but not the others mentioned.  The best sources of calcium and magnesium are green leafy veggies.  D comes from sun exposure, not food.  Some think it does because milk is advertised as a D source, but it isn't, that's a supplement added to milk.  The two nutrients hardest to get for vegetarians and vegans who are strictly avoiding animal food are methionine, an amino acid, and B12.  The rest are available if a person educates themselves and eats well.  Just wanted to add that.
973741 tn?1342346373
How are you doing Sher13?  How is the weekend?  Are weekends or week days harder for you?  I have always had melancholy on Sundays for some reason.  
1 Comments
Hi. I’m sorry I didn’t see your message until now. My email notifications that I had new responses were going to my junk folder. I feeling a little better these days. I always yearn for the weekends and then many times feel depressed on those days too. I’m already dreading that the weekend is almost over on Saturday evenings instead of just enjoying the moment.
Avatar universal
So sorry you have these feelings. As you've said you've done, I believe that counseling and medication would allow you, for the most part, to get out of this funk.

I'm a lot older than you (78); and I'm in my 23rd year of survival with Stage 4 cancer. My every-day focus is on my death.

Perhaps your therapist might suggest you concentrate on getting by one day at a time. But in case you die, it's part of the life cycle, the universal cycle, as you know.

Try not to be afraid of it. Eternal peace with no worries is not a bad place to be, especially considering you will probably be with others you have loved.
1 Comments
Thank you!
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