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severe depression

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    severe depression

    its been just over a year in this new life and i have felt my mental state get worse and worse. i am in therapy and on an antidepressant but they don't seem like they are working. i find myself getting jealous and bitter at people just living their lives. the act of seeing someone walk across the room will trigger it. i have constant flashbacks to my old life, and the feeling that my best days are behind me is overwhelming. i spent new years eve alone for the first time ever. its taken just one year for basically everyone i know to forget me. if it was just the lack of mobility i think id be fine but the loss of sexual function is devastating along with every other in-dignifying aspect of this condition. i don't even feel human anymore.

    i don't know if i have what it takes to pull myself out of this.

    I think most have the thoughts you're having after the first year or so post injury, I certainly did. What helped me was getting in to sport. This helps in a number of ways. It broadens your interaction with lots of people, it gives you something different to focus on and helps mentally and physically. Alternatively education is another path which gets you immersed in a community. Both sport and education helped me channel my thoughts in a positive direction.

    As for the loss of sexual function I'm sure you'll get back to a point where sex becomes enjoyable with Cialis (the weekender) or whichever method that works for you. You're looking at yourself more negatively than others see you.


      I'd endorse all that Jamie says above. Perhaps think about changing therapists and find one who uses cognitive-behavioral therapy. The first two years are without a doubt the roughest emotionally in adjusting to your new life.

      Where in Australia are you? Australia has a active wheelchair (quad) rugby competitive program. Is there a team near you? How about hand cycling with others? Adaptive swimming? There are many sports you can get involved in, either just recreationally or competitively. It is a great way to meet new friends (both AB and other wheelers), keep yourself in shape, have fun, and get your head into a new place where you are not always comparing yourself to the "old you".

      Volunteering for an organization that you support is also a great way to get your mind off of yourself constantly, get out of the house, and meeting new people as well. If you have a religious faith, attending services and joining in activities there can also be a big help.

      Did you receive education and counseling about your sexual life when in rehab? If not, seek that out starting with your urologist and therapist. I know many people how have met their partner, have happy marriages and relationships, and have children; all AFTER their SCI, and yes, at your level of injury. It is not easy, but worth taking the time to learn more about this and find what helps.

      As I suggested in your previous post (did you read that?), finding a support group can go a long way to help you along your journey. Getting back to work and getting on with your career is another. If your therapist has not made some of these suggestions or assignments to you, you need to find a different therapist.

      Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 1 Jan 2022, 1:17 PM.
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


        So sorry to find you in this desperate condition. Keep the faith (said the atheist) Life is a convoluted mystery that constantly unfolds if you just live it!
        Please listen to this song by Nancy Lamott, "Help is On the Way"................and let yourself cry if that comes up, it always does for me. Because I needed to grieve all the losses of this life to get to where I could find power and meaning in it.

        I see you're an engineer. What kind? What level injury are you? People are asking
        I'm a VW mechanic in a wheelchair. I'll spend the new years afternoon and evening finishing "Big John", my third fabricated 3rd wheel scooter-wheelchair attachment. He will join Little John and Frankenscooter. He kind of fits between them.

        Take good care of yourself. Be gentle and be generous.

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        Last edited by pfcs49; 1 Jan 2022, 1:19 PM.
        69yo male T12 complete since 1995
        NW NJ


          its kinda natural to mourn but look at what u have everyone has given you great advice make a new life.


            thankyou for your responses.

            KLD i will try and look for some support groups in brisbane. i think isolating myself is contributing to my depression. when i was in rehab i wasnt really taught anything. my city was in the middle of a lockdown and only one physio was coming in so everything was running on skeleton staff. my doctor or physios didnt mention anything about sexual function, i had to ask my GP about it. i was put on low dose cialis but its not working very well. i had to ditch my GP recently in favor for one which dealt with neurological and sci issues because my current one was very reactionary. the first 3 months after my surgery i was told that pain was normal and i just had to deal with it. after presenting to the ER a few times when it became unbearable i was referred to a pain physician and told to try gabapentin and pregabalin. they were shocked that nothing had been given to me earlier. i couldnt deal with the side effects of the gaba drugs so i was put on tapentadol. im not sure if it isnt working or too early to tell.

            pfcs49, my injury is c5/6. i am an electrical engineer, working in substation field tech. i have a fitness for work assessment in late jan so i will see what other roles i can do.

            thankyou everyone for your words, it helps just reading the replies.


            What you're feeling is totally normal so don't feel like your the only one. It hits those of us that had active minds, body, and social life the hardest. 1 year into your injury and being ASIA D, you have at least 1 more year and up to 4 more years of physical improvement. That seems like a long time of suffering but it will pass. Work what you have as best you can now. Get as much OT/PT as you can

            I was on many meds my first few years. Weened myself off most of them. Take caution if/when you do that. Tell your Doc if/when you do that. Don't stop taking them cold turkey as that is dangerous. My bowel management was complicated by oral Baclofin. Constipation with hickory log stool will literally rip a new arse hole. This was the most humiliating and painful thing. 10 years in now, no Baclofin in 5+ years, about 3 years ago I've finally began a manageable routine.

            Don't give up, some better days will come. With your education there may be some computer programs that will challenge you. In a few years you might be able to physically apply some of your thoughts. We all find things to modify to adapt us to our situation. Simple things like the small rope hanging from my door knob so I can pull the door closed from my power chair.

            For 3 years I've been working on a special motorcycle/scooter project. Finally test road it around the block (8 laps) by myself this summer. Friends apparently were leary of spotting me. None showed up when they said they would (another disappointment I had to accept). Pre injury, I could do a full motorcycle (not Harley) restoration in less than a year. Accepting that it takes longer to do my projects has been an adjustment that used to cause frustration. Still does at times.

            Good days are ahead but to be realistic, there will be some bad days mixed in. Don't let the bad days win. Everything we did with ease and took for granted, now requires more thought to get less results. Any result is good no matter how small.
            Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
            Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)


              Tapentadol is an opioid narcotic which can contribute to depression. It also fairly quickly cause dependence. Opioids are really not good drugs for neuropathic pain. Is medical marijuana is legal there? It has a much higher rate of success. (KLD)
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


              • whatisthislife
                whatisthislife commented
                Editing a comment
                i have applied to try and get cbd. i have tried marijuana but i dont enjoy the high - it makes me very anxious. can i stop taking the tapentadol immediately or do i need to taper off or something? i wlll consult my doctor about this but i wont be able to see him until the 14th of January.

                thankyou again, i appreciate being able to post in this community

              i am gonna throw it out there iam c6c7 but get a colostomy get rid of bowel program. i wish i had been told about it when first injured. my life is soooo mush easier better, talk to john on here he is about ur level if memory serves me right he has been the world biking and he has a wonderful bike that is easy for you byurself to hook up and ride its will be your chick magent. plus ur freedom and social. and like they said you got several years of possable return


                Never stop (cold turkey) taking meds. Lower dosage over a period of time in several steps. At least 3 weeks each step. Ask your doctor first.
                Anti depressants, methocarbinol, baclofin, & percoset made my life a brain foggy & muscle weak hell.
                Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
                Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)