Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 12-15-2014, 01:59 PM   #1  
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Hi there,

I need some advice and used to frequent these boards and found a lot of wonderful support here, so I figured I'd reach back out. This will be long with a lot of background, so if you take the time to read, I thank you very much

I have long suffered from depression that is made worse by challenging times in my life, which is to say, at a base line when things are going well for me, I am only slightly depressed/down, and when things are not going well, I get extreme depression and anxiety. So when things are good, it's sort of in the back of my mind, but I'm able to quiet it and live a relatively normal life. When things are bad, I am in a constant state of panic and bad mood.

I've been at a new job now for 4 months and also got married 2 months ago, so things are just now settling down from what was a hectic, but very fun, time in my life. I love being married, still get goosebumps to call him my husband, and my home life is fantastic. I find lots of joy in being home with him, and all the little things, whether that is going to see our families or friends or just a quiet night curled up together.

However, my new job, which was supposed to be my "dream" job, is causing me endless amounts of anxiety. My two bosses are a bit difficult, and don't treat me with kindness a lot of the time, and I live most of my life Monday-Friday in a state of panic. I don't sleep well because I have dreams about messing things up at work, and I am extremely depressed.

For some background, I am an executive assistant at a VERY big fashion company. It's my dream company and the fact that I got my foot in the door is a huge deal. My goal was to be the assistant for a year or two and eventually be promoted into a role that has more responsibility than running errands and getting lunch.

However, now that I am here and the "newness" of the job has worn off, I really don't think I'm that happy at all. In fact, I'm actually missing my old job, which I was at for 2.5 years and was truly unhappy at towards the end.

I cry all the time, have panic attacks a few times a week at least, and find myself withdrawing from social situations at work because it's just too painful. To soothe my pain, I binge eat. This caused me to gain 30 pounds in college, and antidepressants helped me to lose about 35.

I am not currently on medication because I have tried literally most everything on the market and while meds did get me through a tough time in the past, the side effects are just too much (I am very med-sensitive).

Now that I am in this downward spiral, eating is what gets me through, and I am TERRIFIED to gain the weight back. I've worked really hard to create a healthy lifestyle for myself (it's not even a diet, I changed so many of my bad habits to make myself healthier) but I just don't know how to cope with my feelings. I feel trapped in the job because I've only been here four months and have honestly no idea what else I would do job-wise if I quit.

I work incredibly long hours and spend 3 hours a day commuting, so therapy would be the ideal option but I have no idea when I'd find the time (I manage to find time to work out which I love and is great for me, but getting home so late really doesn't leave time to go see a therapist at this point).

I can't stop myself from eating when I'm stressed and sad about how things are going at work, but I'm not quite ready to call a doctor to inquire about meds again. I know it will be a long battle to find a combo that works.

Have any of you had a similar situation and how did you handle?
Thank you
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:22 PM   #2  
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First of all, congrats on the new marriage and the new job! That's a lot of change in a short period of time to adjust to.

I'm sure others will chime in with better advice regarding the meds. The one thought I did have for you was to maybe find a therapist/counselor that would be willing to do appointments with you either over the phone or maybe Skype. It's becoming more common and may work into your schedule better.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:50 PM   #3  
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This doesn't sound like normal "new job anxiety." It sounds like the working environment may be a poor fit or even toxic for you. If I were you I'd talk to someone in HR about the situation. Yes, it's a risk, but you can't go on this way.

Twenty years ago I had a "dream job" that caused me acute anxiety. I had to take Valium to get through meetings, and I'm not usually one to shy away from public speaking. Long story short, I ended up quitting after five months. It may have been a dream job, but it had nightmare coworkers -- or more accurately, coworkers that were profoundly incompatible with me. I still shudder when I think of that time.

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Old 12-15-2014, 07:26 PM   #4  
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I've been depressed and had success with St. John's Wort, but my situation was very different from yours and I'm not sure if it would help you.

It sounds to me, from your description of your feelings & events, that anxiety is a bigger issue than depression. Of course, they're related, but I think if you could relieve the anxiety and stress, the depression might follow right along. So, I'd focus on relieving stress. I don't think meds are a good option in that case because they're only a short term fix. You have better ways of addressing the stress you're under - like addressing the problems with your job etc.

It may be that your "dream job" isn't as dreamy as it seemed. In that case, I'd say take the time to look for something else. It sounds like your job will look good on a resume, and even if you've only been there a short time, I don't think it looks bad for you in interviews because you can just say it wasn't a good fit, and you're looking for a different corporate culture.

Weight loss can be an issue at the same time as anxiety or depression because it adds just one more worry to your day. I'm not sure how you can address that effectively if things stay the way they are.

I'd suggest trying to take reasonable portions when you do eat, and wrapping up the leftovers - keeping in mind you can always go back for seconds if you want more. Same for eating out. Order small, then order more if you still want more. That might help keep things under control while you sort out the real issues in your life. Mind you, it's just one suggestion.
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Old 12-17-2014, 03:24 PM   #5  
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Thank you all for the lovely words and kind advice. It is nice to come here and receive support without judgement.

The problem is that most people in my life (aside from my new husband) keep saying things like "you should NOT be complaining, you have a job at a dream company with amazing parties and free designer stuff," etc. etc.) but they don't have to live with the unending stress of constantly feeling like I'm doing things wrong.

My coworkers are lovely and the office environment is fantastic -- we do have lots of parties and people are generally really welcoming to me. It's my two bosses that are the problem, and as their assistant, I take a lot of beatings for things. It's just sad to me because I really could see myself having a long career with this company, but having to take a klonopin every night just to sleep isn't sustainable.

The situation I'm in right now is eerily similar to The Devil Wears Prada, and I believe in the end it will be worth it, I just wish I had the time in my schedule to speak to a professional. I've considered St. John's Wort but am on birth control pills and heard that reduces their effectiveness -- and we are definitely not yet ready to start a family for a few years.

You've all given me lots to think about and I really appreciate it
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:34 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citygirl89 View Post
Thank you all for the lovely words and kind advice. It is nice to come here and receive support without judgement.

The problem is that most people in my life (aside from my new husband) keep saying things like "you should NOT be complaining, you have a job at a dream company with amazing parties and free designer stuff," etc. etc.) but they don't have to live with the unending stress of constantly feeling like I'm doing things wrong.

My coworkers are lovely and the office environment is fantastic -- we do have lots of parties and people are generally really welcoming to me. It's my two bosses that are the problem, and as their assistant, I take a lot of beatings for things. It's just sad to me because I really could see myself having a long career with this company, but having to take a klonopin every night just to sleep isn't sustainable.

The situation I'm in right now is eerily similar to The Devil Wears Prada, and I believe in the end it will be worth it, I just wish I had the time in my schedule to speak to a professional. I've considered St. John's Wort but am on birth control pills and heard that reduces their effectiveness -- and we are definitely not yet ready to start a family for a few years.

You've all given me lots to think about and I really appreciate it
Having two bosses can be a nightmare!
Juggling two different people's priorities.

I've been an EA for one person. I'm not sure I could handle two.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:41 PM   #7  
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@faiora yes it's quite a challenge! they are completely opposing personalities, one is very type-a and the other is incredibly disorganized (she lost her own divorce paperwork somewhere in the office.. she thinks.. haha), one is all business, the other is all personal errands (I've been doing her Christmas shopping.. yikes!)

for me, it's a temporary situation with the hopes that I can be promoted to a different role within the company, but that won't be for at least a year, so for right now I'm sort of stuck!
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:43 AM   #8  
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I'd recommend a good therapist & psych doc. Don't take the natural stuff until you talk to a pro b/c the impact they can have is as big as drugs.

I highly recommend leaving your job. I have a friend who works for a major fashion house & & the crap she puts up with would be grounds for legal action in most other businesses.

Life is WAY too short to lose sleep over a job. From someone who wasted an entire decade doing just that. I finally found a low.pressure job and the difference it has made in my life can't be adequately described. Do this for yourself & your new hubby sooner rather than later.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:17 PM   #9  
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It sounds like you need a good Dr. Anxiety can be so debilitating. Please get yourself some help.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:28 PM   #10  
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Please, get some support. Therapy, meds, or other things can all serve as that support, but support is CRUCIAL in making progress with depression.

Other things that made a huge difference in my personal experience with anxiety/depression:

1. Exercise. A LOT of exercise. Particularly kick your *** cardio.
2. Eating healthy food, even when I REALLY REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO.
3. Changing the things in my life that I could and wanted to change (for example, if you were in a job you didn't want to ultimately stay in, making steps to leave it).
4. Getting perspective and letting go of the things you are choosing NOT to change. Sometimes, even just saying "I am choosing to stay in this job, because I believe it will be helpful for my career long term" can shift your mindset from "this is something I have to endure" to "This is something I am choosing, and I have the power to not choose it in the future"...even that can make a big difference.
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