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I feel trapped and need advice about depression, relationships and isolation. Are there other women out there like me?

By August 24, 2010 - 1:24pm
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I feel trapped. My mother passed away in Greece where I am also from. I live in this country for 22 years thinking its...temporarily until she was gone. I feel like major Tom who lost ground control! I am divorced, two children, 20 and 17, who don't live with me anymore, a recovering addict for 22 years, woke up from a many years coma- it feels like- in a different country. Now even my children are foreigners... I feel my life is over. My affair of many years finally committed to leave his wife and I feel as if its too late: I am not young anymore. My legs swell up when I work or walk (last August I had a major spine surgery), with chronic pain, meds for depression, concentration, meds to keep me awake and meds to put me to sleep, and pathetically emotional- lonely- I cry constantly.

I wonder, are there other women with similar issues??? I forgot to mention that I have secluded myself from a social life. I almost don't leave the house unless its him who wants to go anywhere; him who comes when "he can" still...

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HERWriter Guide

mhartofly - Thanks for your question and for reaching out to EmpowHER. Depression in women is very common. We are actually twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men. Depression can also occur at different stages of life, and it's estimated that one out of every four women will have some form of major depression during her lifetime. Life transitions are often a trigger for depressive episodes, and you've certainly had plenty of those recently.

Social isolation is one of the symptoms of depression, and it's a positive sign that you want to reach out to other women. We have a Depression Group on the site where you can talk with other women, and you may also want to see if there are online or even in-person groups available in your community. http://www.empowher.com/groups/Depression

Getting physical exercise is one the fastest, easiest and least expensive tools you can use to fight depression. You mentioned that you had major spine surgery and that your legs swell up when you walk or work. Have you discussed this with your doctor to see if the swelling can be reduced through medication? Did you have any type of physical therapy or physical rehabilitation program after your surgery to help you regain your strength and ability to function? Getting help so that you will feel better physically will help you in dealing with the medical impact depression is having on your mind and body. It would also help to have a physical exam to check your blood chemistry and be sure all is well. If your meds have been prescribed by multiple doctors it may help to look at whether the combination of multiple drugs could be contributing to the way you feel and whether you are on the right combination of medications for your medical conditions.

Let me know if these ideas are helpful, and what steps you plan to take. I'm so glad you reached out, and I hope you will continue to do so and find the answers that you need.

Take care,

August 24, 2010 - 5:47pm
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