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hmlee
November 14th, 2005, 09:16 PM
So I don't know...these past few weeks I've been feeling pretty blue. I thought I might go talk to someone at my student counseling center about it...but I was just wondering...could this be related to my back injury? I'm in pain pretty much all the time. I mean sometimes I hvae good times where I don't feel much pain at all, but most of the time there's at least a little bit.

Along with that I've been sad pretty much all the time...sometimes there are bright spots..but mostly it's just dull. I'm even down about getting back into the water nowadays....which just doesn't seem right given how much I like to swim....

Any ideas?

Allen Stark
November 14th, 2005, 09:40 PM
Yes,pain is depressing. Feeling debilitated is also depressing. Absolutely see a counselor,there is no reason to be miserable when you can get help.

Glenn
November 14th, 2005, 10:44 PM
You should get into the water and do at least a short workout. It may be hard to find the motivation to get to the pool but since you enjoy swimming so much, I am pretty sure once you get into the water and start swimming you will feel better. And when you are done you will have a sense of accomplishment! Do it!! :)

dorothyrde
November 15th, 2005, 07:38 AM
Glenn, right now she has been told not to swim.

Actually this is very valid to feel this way. Add to that the grey November days,(yesterday was really bad downstate!), and it just makes it worse. If you have a counselor to talk to, give it a try. Even though it is grey, try going out for a nice walk. If I had Lake Michigan shores to walk along, I think I would be more cheerful, cornfields get old!


Hang in there, it will get better!

geochuck
November 15th, 2005, 09:15 AM
We must think on the brighter side.

My wife and I have had a terrible few years of loses. My two brothers died the same day. My wifes father died and her neice also died the same week. My daughters husband died. My sons baby is going to have to have major surgery on his heart, to survive. But are we depressed no because we have a lot of good things happening in our lives also. I have been putting up with knee problems for three years, a new left knee, and a new right knee coming soon am I depressed - no I have too many other things to think about, sure my training has been almost non existent but guess what my plan is a new beggining on Dec 1st when I close the deal on my house that I sold. Hey I may even start working in the field of child care again. I am allways looking to the future and leave the past behind.

swimr4life
November 15th, 2005, 12:00 PM
hmlee,

Definitely get help. You may be clinically depressed and need more than just encouragement. Telling someone to look on the bright side when they are clinically depressed is like telling a person in a wheelchair to get up and run. They can't just "cheer up" no matter how hard they try and it makes them feel worse. The fact that you don't want to swim sends up a big red flag. If these feelings last for more than 2 weeks, you need to go to a doctor and be evaluated. I know chronic pain can definitely bring you down. The stresss of your injury, lack of sleep and pain tend to lower your serotonin levels in your brain which can make you feel even worse. Exercise is the best thing in the world to raise your serotonin levels and make you feel better. Is there any alternative exercise you can do? Can you go for a walk or walk in the pool? Be patient with yourself. I know it took courage to post your feelings. Hang in there and keep talking to us! ;)

geochuck
November 15th, 2005, 12:54 PM
There are differences in being disappointed and being clinically depressed, when I lived in the north Yellowknife during the winter people suffered from cabin fever. I did not my life was too active to get it.

If hmlee is depressed she should go to the doctor and not ask advise of novices.

laineybug
November 15th, 2005, 01:18 PM
I agree you need to go talk to a counselor. Until you can get in to see a counselor, try to get out into the sunlight as much as you can, it also helps with serontonin levels.

Lainey

MichiganHusker
November 15th, 2005, 01:48 PM
Definitely go see the Doctor. There are various different types of depression. One version is called situational depression that arises when there is an alteration in your brain chemistry due to an event.

In this situation, not getting the endorphs and the change in the weather and standard day light time are all events making you feel blue. If you are trying and you just can "shake it off" you need to see the doctor.

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrased about. It is my personal theory that the more intelligent you are the more likely you are to have a bout of depression during your lifetime.

I really notice (and my co-workers too) when I don't get to swim/exercise regularly. I was unable to get to the pool the last week and even my husband asked me if I was feeling all right.

I like the wheelchair analogy, but my personal favorite is equating depression to diabetes. It is not something you can just wish away.

dorothyrde
November 15th, 2005, 02:58 PM
It has been terribly grey and dark in Illinois this week, that certainly is not helping, I am sure.

sdswimmer
November 15th, 2005, 03:23 PM
DEMAND to SEE a PAIN MANAGEMTN Dr!!
Not only does chronic pain bring depression but it builds chronic pain. Something about nerve function changing. Back pain is a common type of pain there are things they cna do to treat the pain and they are used to the depression too. Your body is sending out all these "broken" signal of course they mix up your emotions. I had to see someone for chronic pain this last year. They convinced me I needed mini-vacations from pain. This inlcuded nerve block and cortisone injections and some pain killers and some topical lidocaine patches that really help. They also understand about the mental aspects and can help or refer you to someone to help. The pain treatmetn didn't cure the pain but it did get better and I learned other ways to deal with it. I now use some topical treatments (and a lot of swimming). You won't find this kind of help anywhere else.
I was warned repeatedly that staying in pain could cause my body to contiue to create pain signals later. So please see if you can get someone to treat the whole pain system, mental and physical. If you can't get that, treating the mental should give you some help. I understand sometimes anti-depressants can treat the pain and certainly mitigate some of the emotional stress caused by pain.

If its okay to go in the water then try some easy stuff, I did stretches in the Jacuizzi, floating on my back and stretching, aqua jogging. Just getting out to the pool was a nice change but i was furstrated to keep starting to rebuild only to be stopped agian. You might want to take up something else for a bit (I relearned to play my guitar). Wishing you pain free days soon!

hmlee
November 15th, 2005, 05:09 PM
Well I made an intake appointment at the counseling center today. It's for next week. I guess at this appointment they screen me for things and then determine what kind of care I'll get.....I hope something good comes from this.

The other day one of my teammates said something to me that sent me into a rather downward spiral. I don't think she ment it in any insulting way, and I didn't confront her about it at the time...but it really hurt.

We were talking in the locker room before a practice - I was getting ready to go do my rehab, and biking/dryland training (that I substitute for swimming right now) and she was getting ready for regular practice. She asked about the status of my MRI and how long before I would be back in the water...and how I was doing.

After, she casually said something like "Yeah....because you can't really swim right now...so it's more like you're the team's manager..."

I don't know why...but that really hurt. I'm working very hard to get healthy...and I'm still a member of the team...even if I can't swim.....right?

dorothyrde
November 15th, 2005, 06:02 PM
Yes, you are part of the team. Injured reserve, you can call yourself.

Also, remember, sometimes people say things, and either a person can take it the wrong way or maybe it does not come out the way they mean.

My advise is to think that this person meant well, and not take it badly. You are at a sensitive point right now, and are apt to take things wrong. And even if she meant it meanly, throw it away, it is not worth bothering yourself about it. You are an injured athlete it happens.

At Illinois we had a basketball player on the bench last year that broke his hand. He was one of the most prominent people cheering on the bench at the National championships. He did not dress, but he was there on the bench, in a cast, and he is turning out to be one of the team leaders this year. He was always part of the team, injured or not.

If you have family you are close to, now might be a good time to give them a call, just to hear them. Sometimes things like that can be a great comfort.

Peter Cruise
November 15th, 2005, 06:25 PM
Someone astutely pointed out that the feedback you get on this thread is very likely non-professional (a good caveat on most internet stuff), and that you should seek qualified help. Good advice to heed; but also realize that this site houses a mostly supportive community (even the geek, unless it involves a weight problem) & you should not hesitate to reach out for support when hurting.

laineybug
November 15th, 2005, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by Peter Cruise
(even the geek, unless it involves a weight problem)

or water aerobisizers, or walkers, or anyone who doesn't live up to standards he thinks is reasonable.

newmastersswimmer
November 15th, 2005, 07:11 PM
As Peter said, we are all here to lend support for one another.....Thanks for sharing this with us....We are all pulling for you hmlee....I've really enjoyed reading your life of a college swimmer blog as well.....keep your chin up and do the best you can given a bad current situation. Things usually tend to turn around again eventually.....sometimes it takes time....talk to Sam Perry about his back problems (you can send him a private message perhaps)....he went through a similar period of depression as well....Many others here have also gone through something similar....and it is always painful to endure this kind of thing but they have all pulled through o.k. in the end....Paul Smith is another example....as well as many others....Hang in there though....We are all pulling for you if that helps.


Newmastersswimmer

Fishgrrl
November 15th, 2005, 07:40 PM
hmlee....

being injured sucks. Hang in there; we're all cheering for you. I went through a lot of shoulder pain last year, followed by surgery this summer. Thankfully I'm on the mend, but I hated feeling put down so in a sense, I know what you're going through.

Hang in there!

dorothyrde
November 15th, 2005, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
As Peter said, we are all here to lend support for one another.....Thanks for sharing this with us....We are all pulling for you hmlee....I've really enjoyed reading your life of a college swimmer blog as well.....keep your chin up and do the best you can given a bad current situation. Things usually tend to turn around again eventually.....sometimes it takes time....talk to Sam Perry about his back problems (you can send him a private message perhaps)....he went through a similar period of depression as well....Many others here have also gone through something similar....and it is always painful to endure this kind of thing but they have all pulled through o.k. in the end....Paul Smith is another example....as well as many others....Hang in there though....We are all pulling for you if that helps.


Newmastersswimmer

How true, just 15 months ago, I was in such pain that I would start the morning just sobbing, and I could not sleep in my bed, because I could not straighten up, had to sleep in a recliner chair.
It was VERY depressing, but I worked through it, and so can you!

flipper79
November 15th, 2005, 08:26 PM
All the best of luck to you. I hope you find relief very soon. Pain and depression do often tend to co-occur. If you have clinical depression- you may be helped by medication for the physical symptoms (increase/decrease in appetite, energy decrease, fatigue, changes in need for sleep, agitation or lethargy etc.) I'm sure your counselor do a good evaluation of your needs. The cognitive struggles can be greatly helped with counseling. I admire that you are taking the initiative to get the help that you need.

old dog
November 15th, 2005, 08:35 PM
sdswimmer is correct...Pain begets Pain...

been there, done that.

Started in 1977; became clear in 1981.

Still dealing with it...more successfully now than b4

Sam Perry
November 15th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
.talk to Sam Perry about his back problems (you can send him a private message perhaps)....he went through a similar period of depression as well....

A year ago now, I was bedridden with back issues. I was in bed (did not leave home except for MANY doctor/rehab/hospital visits) for 10 weeks. Had surgery #4 in December. I would be lying if I told you now that things are great, but I can't complain. It was an awful experience.

The main issue, is that you feel completely vulnerable. I train hard, watch my lifestyle and always have. I am sure you have too Hmlee. I did not ask for the problem as I did nothing to bring it on. So mentally that is probably the worst.

My ONLY recommendations are DON'T do surgery unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. My first operation was not, and I have paid the price ever since. Also, stay off the pain killers if you can bear it. They only make the mental anguish worse (especially Oxycontin). I literally laid in bed basically numb to the world for that time and the emotional duress exacerbated by the meds only made it worse.

If you ever want to talk about it, PM me and I will give you my phone number if you'd like.

After this long diatribe, my main struggles are:
1. I am not swimming nearly as fast as I was a year and a half ago. I am in the water so that is great!
2. I pray every day that the Lord will keep my back strong and I never have to experience that again. It took away time with my wife, kids, and work. They are all very important to me and I don't want to lose that time ever again.

If you are experiencing similar feelings, know you are not the only one going through them and there are people that have walked in your shoes.

MichiganHusker
November 16th, 2005, 09:09 AM
Hi Hilary. Don't let your teammates comment bring you down. Whenever someone says something to me that hurts my feelings, I always ask myself if the person was intentionally trying to hurt my feelings.

The answer is almost always no, unless you are having an argument or the person is just a bee-yotch. In that case, consider the source.

You are just feeling extra sensitive right now and probably any other day you would have just laughed it off.

Try throwing yourself into your school work to distract yourself, if you can. Take it day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute if need be.

geochuck
November 16th, 2005, 09:15 AM
Don't ignore the person making the comments put the comments on extinction.