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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Depression and RP

I get very depressed when I go to the eye doctor and find out that I have lost more and more of my eyesight, and when I talk to people about it, they either don't really understand why I'm depressed because I have had this all my life and so what's the big deal? Well it is a big deal, your have to readjust your life all over again and knowing you will become almost if not totally blind is very depressing. My so call friends who are partially sighted don't seem to be very helpful and my sighted friends are even worst. No one seem to want to be around you, I even had one so called friend had me committed to a mental hospital because he thought I was so depressed that I might kill myself and I never gave that person any indication that I was that depressed. So is depressed part of everyday life of losing your eyesight, or is it really a mental health issues that need to be address by the health community? I know there is no cure for RP and I have accepted that, but I wish people would give me some support when I call them us and not just brush me off. Sometimes I really just need someone to talk to that's all and being all alone is very depressing, so what are we suppose to do, be afraid if we say we are depressed we might be put in a mental hospital? Give me a break here, I'm not sick, just going blind!

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Re: Depression and RP



I'm 55 trans woman with RP and recently lost more of my vision now walking with white cane. I pray daily to die. Trying to re-adapt once again, but rather hard when you are on your own. No partner, Family or any friends in town I am in or anyone I can live with. My life has been dynamic and have done much over the world, but I am ready to leave. Not sure what date I will be going but i believe it will be before summer. I have been given many talents and skills, but just tired of trying to make this life work. Hats off to those that can make this life work. I do not want to be a homeless trams blind woman. Hell in my 20's I even created Social Service agencies. retired 5x and just want to lay down in private setting somewhere in nature away from people. I use to be very proactive and positive in life. Now I cant even find a reason I am breathing. Cant talk to anyone as everyone over reacts and wants to lock you up, so counseling services are out and friends already have had too much to bare. There are many pages from teh news on google on me, but i think my last goodbye will be a silent one.
Thanks for listening and sorry you too have lost your vision.
I will not post here again.
Goodbye


Re: Depression and RP



I am sorry to hear that you are struggling so much.

It's absolutely possible to commit and adult for up to three days and if the hospital deems you not ready to be discharged, then the hospital can potition the court for commitment for a period of time and/or until you are considered no longer a danger to yourself or others. The burden lies with the hospital and it's difficult to get a judge to approve such a patition.

What your coworkers are doing is a form of harassment and you can take this information to the HR Department. This type of behavior should not be tolerated by anyone and especially in a work environment. When they make comments behind your bac and you hear them, try turning around and inform them that you are losing your vision but your ears still work. Some times all it takes is a little humilation on their part to stop the behavior; at least in front of you. This kind of response usually shuts people up because they don't know how to respond. I personally use this technique and found it to be an amazing tool in my armor against discrimination.

How do you present yourself. Do you have a no nonsense atitude or are you passive. I have a very strong personality and self confidence in my abilities that I I rarely encounter discrimination.

Please respond if you wish to talk further.


Re:Depression and RP



Thanks for your clear explanation of how you feel. It is frustrating not to have anything that can reverse it. It is scary to put myself in your shoes and try to feel the depression. Thanks for being so clear.


Re:Depression and RP



You are truly dealing with a lot, who have you spoken to about this? Have you found help or someone to listen objectively?

Any loss is hard or difficult, everyone deals differently. I went through a really bad period during a large loss of vision years ago. I asked for help and found it in many places. I have RP and my mother has it as well. I have very little vision, less than one percent. My mom has less.

I think it is important to find the right help, for me it involved speaking to a psychologist. It truly made a difference for me at that stage. I found online support groups and lists that also helped. I found that I wasn't along and others struggle, but also overcome.

I also connected with the rehabilitation to find out about resources that were available. I connected with people who had overcome and become successful. Mentors who could tell me about their lives and listen.

We all struggle with different aspects, some people worry about how they will work again or continue to work. AFB CareerConnect can help with realizing that you can succeed in employment.

First, you have to contact and ask for help. You have taken the first of that process. Have you spoken on any help lines? Have you told friends or family how you feel? Have you visited counseling center, department of health, clinic, or doctor to find help? The hardest thing is admitting your issue or that you need help. You have already admitted it to us. You can do this!

We are here for you!

Sincerely,
Joe S.
AFB Staff


Re:Depression and RP



I am 55 female ,going blind fast ,both grandma and birth mother had RP. I am angry ,depressed and just want to die ! I am going thru divorce and on my own now ,I also am an amputee .I have had enough ! My brother has it too and only sees shadows now .I cant live like this ! I am so angry at God ! I cant live a life of darkness !


Re:Depression and RP



First of all, I am not sure how it is possible to be committed to a mental hospital as an adult, against your will. So, know that you have rights as an adult. Also, it you know you are depressed, please get professional help and work on the depression. It will make working with your visual disability easier if you also work on the mental state because you will feel more capable and more able to give and receive support from others. There are good counselors out there though you may have to search. As for your friends, pick loving people who support you in being capable and productive and who genuinely care about you and do your best to surround yourself with them rather than other more toxic folks. There is a saying "With friends like that, who needs enemies?" Also, ignore comments by people who are not worth paying attention to. The cable guy, and lots of others you meet day by day are people with little awareness beneath your notice. So are people you meet casually who say mean things. Just ignore it and go on. You will nevr encounter that person again, never be exposed to that person's meanness and small ideas, and can just let them go. Hope this is helpful. You are more capable than you think. We all support you and want you to do well in the world.


Re:Depression and RP



Hi,

Three and a half months ago I lost all of my sight in one fell swoop. At first I thought that my entire future had just gone up in smoke. I don't pretend that I don't still feel that way, but now I'm different in the fact that I'm still going to fight tooth and nail to get there. Yes, your life is going to be very different now, and you may lose some friends. All my friends now are blind, and I've found that quite a bit of the fighted community have alterior motives for interacting with us, and can prove dangerous. As souch, I suggest that you aly yourself with the blind community where you live and stay on your guard. You are going to need to learn braille which will be a challange, but you will still be able to use a computer thanks to screen readers. Besides a few jobs that include driving or flying and some other random ocupations, you can do anything with acomodations. There are blind p}ysicians who are just as capable if not more then their sighted counterparts. And a blind man who climbed Mt Everest whom I had the pleasure of meeting. Consider it an honor that they're calling you Hellen Keller, She was of above average intellegence and didn't let anything stop her. Consider that when you hear them talk. You can do it, just like she did.

Good luck, Hellen

Neuron


Re:Depression and RP



I have rp and have lost most of my sight. I use to race motorcycles and boats. now I can't drive. Everyone tells me I 'handle' it well. What am I supposed to do, lay down and die,through a fit. I have no friends with vision All my friends have been around since highschool. they are still doing the same things. At first this depressed me. Everybody still racing and I couldn't. I learned to get back involved. I went from being the fastest of my friends to the best engine tuner. I guess the point is adapt, overcome, I can't see but I'm still as good as anybody, and push to be better.
tony buzzbt67@gmail.com


Re:Depression and RP



I have RP and have been hiding my vision loss from almost everyone-especially people at work. I too stay depressed. I try to stay strong and have a positive outlook. I thought telling others would help me move foward. The reaction I got at work was not what I expected. People have accused me of only wanting to get disability. I have heard them call me Helen Keller behind my back. One person even told me that my husband would leave me because I would only be a burden to him. Once after falling down steps and suffering a black eye there were rumors that my husband abused me. I had no idea people could be so mean. I have tried to explain what retinitis pigmentosa is and how it affects eyesight-however they think if i can read then I must be faking to get attention. Does anyone have ideas on how to deal with people like this?


Re:Depression and RP



i know how yall feel completely this past semester the school was literally trying to tell me i'm not blind they were even trying to tell me that i wasn't even visually impaired. i tell you one thing they did not do their research. i dropped my case worker because they were giving me crap i think she actually thought i was suicidal. i ask you how much does middle school change a person.
My answer quite a bit. Which now in they are eating crow.
When my fields came back thats whats really gotten the ball rolling. I admit i've been depressed but it was mostly because the school itself they provoked a seizure to come on which put me out of school even more than already they act like everything can be solved in an hour like on a TV show.
I know it can be hard dealing with it wondering if your going to see tomorrow i'm there my self. Except i don't have a diagnosis yet. One thing i can say is we're all here for you and know at least some what how you feel i wish you luck.

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learnt something from yesterday."-John Wayne


Re:Depression and RP



Thank you very well spoken, we all must remember that, this is our own private hell, and it's how we handle it that makes it better or worst. All we can do is our best to deal with the depression or hell as it may be called the best way we can


Re:Depression and RP



Anyone who has lost or is losing their vision first of all, has my utmost respect its your hell that you have to conquer. Who isn't depressed that breathes and eats over mundane things much less losing your vision? Any half wit knows that it's part of our grieving process that we must go through in order to heal ourselves as we learn to live again.
That we are here to help each other heal, is pretty awesome in my book.
So let's keep our feet flat on the ground and give a hand as long as that hand is needed.


Re:Depression and RP



I know first hand how hard it is to lose all your vission. I went from riding a bike to getting lost in my room with a snap of the fingers. My situation is a bit different, my sight was stable, and the only reason I lost it was that I lost my eyes, so it was all in one fell swoop. I can't say if losing it little-by-little would be worse or better. For a long time, even before I lost the rest of my sight, (i was legally blind to start with) I struggled with depression, but I worked through most of it. Now, with no sight it's coming back again. You have every right to be depressed and sad that your vission is going. The thing is, the only direction to go is forward. I'm learning that if I keep dwelling on 'well if I had my sight then' type thoughts, then I'll just be more dispondant. I'm focusing on teaching myself how to do things totally blind, which can be very upsetting at times. I've had to relearn how to get around, match my clothes, and lots else. The thing is though, I'm doing it, and getting better every day. Soon I'll be just as good at things as I was before. The friend who had you commited probably was very worried about you. I'm sure his heart was in the right place, just a little misdirected. It may or may not be necesary to get some mental help e.g therapy or hospitalization, that depends on wheather you want it or need it. An outside person may be necesary to help you decide that, I know that when I was at my lowest I faught against getting help tooth and nail, but now, I'm glad no one gave up on me. If you want, feel free to ask me questions, I'll answer as best I can.

Neuron


Re:Depression and RP



Yeah, I know what you mean. People used to walk up to me and talk really slow or deliberately yell in my ear, thinking I was deaf. Some would talk all slow like I was mentally ill.


Re:Depression and RP



Yeah, I know how you feel, this guy did the same to me, just because I wouldn't go out with him, and he was married! Boy was I mad, I couldn't get the police to believe me that I was ok, they believed him! Even the doctors didn't know why I was in the hospital, they kept saying there was nothing wrong with me. People seem to think that if you can't see then you must be mental ill, which is not the case at all, the general public needs to be educated


Re:Depression and RP



For me, depression is an everyday thing. I was committed to a mental hospital because my school assumed I was suicidal and I never gave any indication of ever being suicidal.


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