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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Recently there's been a few posts on depression which I wanted to reply to but didn't because what I had to say was quite lengthy, and could come across as dogmatic and harsh.

So I've posted it as a seperate thread. It is quite a dogmatic perspective, but it's one forged through personal experience and it worked for me.

There's many views on depression, and I'm not trying to challenge the view that depression is an illness, because a lot of people have fought hard to get it recognised as one.

However, I feel that, for a certain type of person, it is of more use to focus on the aspects of depression that are caused by the self, albeit unconsciously; because then responsibility can be taken to do what is necessary to change the habits that are maintaining the depression.

I fully admit that if I read what is posted below when I was in the depths of depression, it would probably have made me angry and I wouldn't have tried to take it on board. Nevertheless, I believe that my perspective back then was totally distorted and that I was just plain wrong; ultimately, what got me out of that state was what is posted below.

==============================

I suffered from intermittent bouts of depression for most of my life up till about 5 years ago when it developed into full on relentless misery, pretty much non stop for about two years.

There's a lot of myth about depression, one of which is that there's always help available for it if you only ask. Many people put off asking for years, then, when they finally do, find that the various types of help available are useless to them.

I'm not saying that applies to everyone, some people do seem to benefit from prescribed drugs, couselling etc; but many aren't and are left in a worse position than ever.

Any period of black depression is awful, but when it persists for weeks, then months, then years, you lose all hope that things can ever be different and it also eats away at your rationality and ability to see things in perspective.

I ended up at a point so low that a choice had to be made, and I made the choice to walk away from it.

It wasn't an easy choice, but some part of me that was still rational knew that if I didn't make it I was finished in this world.

I had no expectation of ever being happy again, I simply decided that if I didn't have the courage to do what had been at the front of my mind for the past two years, then I had better stop fueling the misery inside me.

What I saw vaguely then, and what I see now very clearly is that depression is a state of mind that requires a lot of upkeep on the part of the person involved.

It's the consequence of a mind that has trained itself to see the bad in every situation; at a certain point it becomes self fueling and then the insight necessary to reverse it is increasingly hard to find.

I'm not saying that there are no bad things in the world or that there is nothing to get upset about; the world is full of harshness that most of us in the West can barely conceive of.

However, I can say with total certainty that 95% of misery and depression in the west does not fall into that category, we're not starving, we're not in danger of being plucked off the streets and tortured to death, or having our families gunned down.

I now see that long period of blackness as a good thing because when I had escaped it (and it took many months before I started to get any real understanding of what had happened) I was immune to misery because I understood that it is a choice we make, and I will never choose that path again.

How can I reconcile what I've just said with the fact that if someone told me this when I was in the middle of it that I would have thought it was rubbish? It's because at that time I was not rational, delusion is an intrinsic part of depression.

As a depressed person you habitually see the negative in things, so when someone suggests that you are the prime cause of your misery then you will automatically pick fault in their reasoning.

Happiness is about seeing the good in things, in taking responsibilty for what happens to you, in accepting that which you can't change. True happiness is independant from external circumstances.

Depression is about seeing the negative in everything, in whining about the world around you, blaming external factors for what has happened to you.

The catch is that, by the time these habits have developed into full blown depression they are such a deep part of your self that they lie beyond conscious control.

You have to reprogram your mind from the bottom up.

You will need a lot of patience.

One thing which can get in the way is judgement, if something happens and you see it as bad you will be asking 'is this just me putting a bad light on a situation, or is this a genuinely bad thing that I'm justifed in being miserable about?'.

Make things simple for yourself, just ask the simple question 'is this a negative thought' and, if it is then cut it dead- waste no more energy torturing yourself with it. As a truly depressed person you no longer have the luxury of 'justified misery' and things will be a great deal simpler for you if you don't play about with such concepts.

You will have to make a full on commitment to eliminating the mental habits that have led to your depressed way of being.

Let me compare it to spinning- most of us took several days to learn the 3 beat weave, all the logical explanation in the world wouldn't let us bypass the need for hours of practice, hours of drilling the new habits of movement into our subconscious and body.

A few pick it up in minutes; similarly, some people, when the cause of depression is explained, can walk away from their misery immediatly; they are rare though.

For most long term depressed individuals it is more akin to a complete beginner learning what is necessary to turn from forward BTB weave to backwards BTB weave i.e. it's going to take a long time and progress is bit by bit with frequent backslides; probably the only things that'll keep you going forward is the faith that it's possible to do the move, and the determination and commitment that you will achieve it.

If you use recreational drugs I would recommend that you work towards eliminating them from your life, depression, drugs and delusion go well together and sustain each other.

lastly, here's a link which I recently posted on another thread; I found it earlier this year: -

http://www.aish.com/spirituality/foundations/The_Secret_of_Happiness.asp
br>
It's written by a Rabbi, and, though I'm not a jew, and neither do I believe that religon is necessary to escape misery, I like this page because it says a lot of sensible stuff.

I'd also like to apologise once again to anyone who finds this thread dogmatic or offensive, but, like I said, I've been there and it's what I truly believe.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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firedancingfairy
enthusiast
Location: Australia
Member Since: 23rd Aug 2003
Total posts: 201
Posted:quote:Originally posted by onewheeldave:
True happiness is independant from external circumstances.Some very intersting points in your post, but I do believe that beacause we are in western society, we are raised as childrens into adults with the misconception that external circumstances make us happy. Thus, the subject of attachment comes into play. We are attached to the idea that outside circumstances, people, materialistic stuffs makes us happy or successful in life. Being in a depression, you can be so blinded by such dark emotions that you cannot find the true happiness within yourself, for you have been affected to believe that it is not within you. I beleive that true happiness does come from deep within ourselves, and we are the only one in control to change the depressive situation that we are in, but for example... what if someone you love dies? death affects us so much because we are raised to become attached to other human beings and we are raised to beleive that we are bodies (ego) and not souls. External circumstances naturally effect us because thats how we, as human beings have been conditioned. Thats why I think depression can be such an expansive thing to conquer by ourselves... but in the end, from my experience, I agree that it is the only way.


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DarkDevil
DarkDevil

member
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland.
Member Since: 18th Aug 2003
Total posts: 233
Posted:Well said, I applaud you for this thread.


Note: I just finished writing this, and i just wanted to write a note on top saying... sorry i sorta started to ramble on and i sorta forget what i was getting at. But read it, if it makes sense then it may help, if not then it may be a good laugh depending on what direction it took.

Last year around April I remember feeling sad. I was at a school dance when a sat outside in the hallway, as i normally do whenever something horribly 'Rappy' comes on the sound system, and i was thinking non stop about my life, all of the stuff i had to deal with, just alot of not good stuff. I feel into a crappy mindset. For a few weeks i just felt like crap, my schoolwork suffered, and my general additude was the shits. A bunch of my friends noticed, and when i asked those who didn't tell me straight out, those saw it to. I thought hard about it and went to the doctor. (Up until this point it was just a few weeks of sadness and a drop in school efforts which was bad enough to make me goto the doctor) I discussed with the doctor that i felt something was wrong, and i brought up the idea of A.D.D because i had a friend who was going through the same thing, and she was diagnosed and put on med's for ADD. My doctor, more or less, laughed at me. I tried to convince him because i thought that was the most likely answer. He shook it off. So i threw out the idea of Depression, because i had been feeling sad aswell, and thought perhaps that could be linked to my drop in schoolwork. (Remember, up until this point it was a general mood of mild depression and drop in effort at school) My doctor asked me if i want to go on antidepressants, i thought perhaps it'd be worth it, aslong as it helped. I started on these that night, my parents did not know, even though i'm only 16, my doctor, to my request, kept this between the two of us, and supplied me with a 2 week starter kit.

the meds
Ok, so i'm taking the med's starting at the low dosage, and i'm already feeling up a little, not because of the drugs, but because i had finally gotten help, and there was another thing that contributed, i don't want to get into that.. but if your completely in the dark about what that might be.. then pm me... But other than this general uplift my mild depression continued. But this one day the drugs hit me... And holy crap... that first day it hit me i was soooo happy, i was all over the place.. my friends got a good thirll out of it and everything.. but then that night i feel asleep like a baby. I woke up tired as hell. Words can't describe how tired i was. But Lunchtime hit, and i was happy for hours. This repeated for a good while, and my parents had yet to find out.. my doctor kept feeding me these free kits and just telling me to take more of them to equal the doseage i was suppose to take. But soon the tired time i had struggled to keep awake during, turned into depressed time i struggled to think straight during.
Now, by thinking straight, i mean trying to comprehend what the teacher was saying, trying to keep something better than a frown on my face, trying to keep from thinking how much dieing would kick ass in comparison to what i was going through. The drugs i was talking just made things worse, clearly, and i didn't know enough about them to know i could have been misdiagnosed or prescribed something that wasn't for me. This continued, luckly i didn't do anything stupid, i just took it all out on myself on the inside.

Then one day... i had 2 days of med's left, and a perscription for my 2 month supply. I told my parents a minute before i left the house for school... i couldn't face them... i felt as though i had did something wrong... as if it was my falt... I went to school, depressing 2 periods, and somewhat happy from lunch on. I got home and my mom told me she didn't pick the med's up because it was very very expensive stuff, and our medical plan wouldn't cover it (yaknow, for a country that thrives on social programs, the canadian medical plan for government 'civil servants' and their familys sucks as) So they said they could call the medical company and see what can be done... Ends up there was a "no name" brand [for those of you not familiar with noname.. its basically the same product but its not a brandname.. in this case, same drug but different company] But by the time they discovered this i had been off the drugs for a week.

The Withdrawls
The medicine which my doctor put me on is evil. It could be the same for all antidepressants, but it makes your body so used to getting the drugs, that once your taken off of them, you go through withdrawls. Everybody withdrawls are different. Mine included, but wern't limited to, cramps in the stomach, a general dizyness, even depression, and the feeling as though your gonna throw up 24/7. Because i had already been going through these withdrawls it was at a point where the drugs wern't affecting my brain as much and i was actually able to think straight, i told my parents not to get the drugs. I struggled through about 2 weeks of withdrawls, and told a few of my close friends about my lack of medications, and ofcorse they helped me feel wanted, etc.. etc.. But the one thing that my doctor said to me during one of my later visits was something he picked up from reading about buddhism, and that is "Life is suffering" and he basically explained to me... in a none blunt way... I had to lower my expectations of how good life is suppose to be. And honnestly, i did, and it helped me.

I don't take Medication, I've stayed off pot which I had been doing but quit around january, different story, i've kept my friends close to me, and I live life better.

Now... i'm not sure what the point of this whole thing was... and i'm not sure if it will help anyone... But just be careful, I'll say this Avoid Medication At All Costs. Remember how i said "Last year around April I remember feeling sad." I say this because the medication i was on has distorted my view of what my life was like previous to taking them. I know the things that happened in my life, I have all the memories of a child, and the knowledge i had learned in class, but i have a hard time remember emotions from before the drugs. While taking the drugs i was under the impression that most of my life i had been suffering like i was those mornings in class trying to think striaght.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a trick, this is a stunt. The difference between a stunt and a trick is that a trick is something that tricks or fools the audience, a stunt is something that only an idiot would do -Ivan, Ash Circle, 10/04/03

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Fitria
member
Location: Australia
Member Since: 1st Oct 2003
Total posts: 97
Posted:I am mostly in agreeance to your post so please don't take this the wrong way...in no way am I trying to offend your beliefs.

I believe that the state of mind in depression would also depend on what form of depression it is...some people get depression from a chemical imbalance in the brain and through no fault of what is going on around then...therefore thinking and acting in a positive manner would in no way improve this state...this is a purely medical problem not a mental problem.

There is also the type of depression that I suffer which would answer to the name of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder....this form of depression comes directly from a traumatic experience that has happened in the persons past and though they may wish to get past it the mind does not simply let go...

See I act like any normal person on the outside but at night time if I do not take my medication I am constantly harrassed by nightmares that have me waking up crying, screaming and fighting.

I totally agree that each person who has depression needs to first admit the problem and then go about finding out their own solution to "get over it" (bad words I know)...now whether that solution be seeking counselling, taking medication or simply improving their thought patterns that is up to the individual to find out.

I have been on and off medication for six years...every time I think I am better I wein myself off my medication but within one month the nightmares are back...so for now (and that doesn't mean it will be forever) I will stick to my medication.

I am very happy for you that you have managed to overcome your depression in such a way...that is one hell of a big achievement.

Love and hugs.



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Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:originally posted by Dark Devil quote: Avoid Medication At All Costs. I have something to say about this and I dont know if I will upset some people but quite frankly I dont really care. I trust the people on this board and I am proud of the obsticles that I have overcome.
I had massive brain surgery at the age of 20. I was extremly sick and I had two weeks to live. I underwent this surgery with the understanding that I may or may not come out of it alive and this is the SCARIEST thing I have ever dealt with. Abouta year after the surgery a deep depression set in. My life had changed completly, there were things I couldnt do anymore that I used to do all the time and it effected the way I percieved my life to be.
The surgery effected my chemical and phyiscal make up in my brain and I developed massive paralisying panic attacks, I went to my speciliast who advised that I had post traumatic stress syndrome which was effecting me and the way that I was living my life. To balance out my chemical imbalance and help me to overcome the panic attacks I HAD to go on to medication. Now I am on a very low dose, but it helps me to live day to day and occasionally I still have the panic attacks but they are few and far between and I now have procces' in place to halp me out.
Dark devil, medication isnt always the answer for everyone and it may not be for you, but to tell people to avoid it at all costs is not a reponsable thing to do.
What if medication is the ONLY way that people are able to overcome whats happening to them? You and I are not doctors and we are definalty not the right people to be advising as to whether or not medication is a good or bad thing.
I resisted taking it for so long that I thought there was no way out, and depression became even deeper. I thought that if I was on medication then I was weak and this was a sign of instability. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. If you are feeling depressed and a doctor suggests medication. Do whats right for you. You are not weak, you are not crazy, you have the ability to overcome this....
THIS TOO SHALL PASS


TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"

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Eera
old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay
Member Since: 29th May 2003
Total posts: 1107
Posted:Couldn't eat. Couldn't sleep, found the whole world was against me and I hated every last one of them. Couldn't talk to nanyone without bursting into tears. Had uncontrollable rages for no good reason. Woke up one day to find it had all gone and has not come back. I was one of the lucky ones.

Confronting the darkness that seems to eat into your very being is one of the hardest things; admitting that there is something wrong with you and getting other to believe it is more than just a passing phase is so difficult. I salute those of you who have done it.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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frostypaw
Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Member Since: 28th Jul 2003
Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:Now... i'm not sure what the point of this whole thing was... and i'm not sure if it will help anyone... But just be careful, I'll say this Avoid Medication At All CostsThis upsets me a little bit - and I have to strongly disagree.

But first backtrack a bit... what OneWheelDave is saying is right - but ONLY in retrospect. The whole point of depression and why it's a clinical illness is that what's outlined above doesn't always work - and it's the cases where you can't shrug it off that people do need help.

those mental habits aren't always an option - sometimes it's forced upon you.

which gets back to the medication bit...

it's horrible to hear you had such a strong adverse reaction to medication but for many it's a massive help

last year when i went 'over the edge' it was all very messy - i was locked into a continuous self-doubt cycle and got to the point where I couldn't go through a second of the day without thinking "why bother, better off dead"

i tried everything i could to stop thinking that - but couldn't. it whispered in my ear 24/7 about how worthless i was

then after a 'dramatic incident' i went to the doctors and asked about medication and was given sertraline. it did give me some side-effects I won't deny that but nothing harsh past occasional heartburn and fluctuating sleep patterns - but it DID stop the doubting voices entirely

so i could think clearly... so i could then dig myself out of the hole and do as OneWheelDave suggests in the first message - choose to put it aside.

trouble is getting to where you can do that - sounds as if you hit bottom and bounced, some don't though and we can't fail to consider them as that would be failing them utterly

it's so easy as a er... non-depressed person to just say "oh get over it, you're doing it to yourself" and leave them at it.

to the person actually suffering that's about the cruelest thing you can do.


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Narr
Narr

(*) (*) .. for the gnor ;)
Location: sitting on the step
Member Since: 15th Apr 2003
Total posts: 2568
Posted:i feel we really do need to tackle this notion the medication is evil,it is really starting to annoy me. so many people have made me feel for a split second that id done the wrong thing taking medication, half of whom haven't had or known anyone with depression.
yes sometimes people have a bad reaction to medication and of course this will affect the way you view it, but with al medication there are side affects, and when i was depressed i went through about three different ones before i found one that suited me.and i know some people just dont feel they need to take them, and i applaud them for feeling that they can do this without help, but as vaulra said its irresponcible to impose(sorry couldnt think of better word) your views on a person who at some point may need this kind of help.
when i was depressed i was like a zombie, i was totally numb, i didnt smile, laugh, cry, i was totally emotionless, and this happen pretty much over night, something clicked. now since depression is in my family on both sides and my doctor could find no external circumstances that may have triggered it, he felt it was most likely i have a chemical imbalance. now i must admit i was alittle warey(sp) of taking it but then my mum said this to me(i know some of you will not agree with the similarities)
.. think of it this way, if you had diabeties you'd take your insulin, you have a chemical imbalance that needs to be leveled and thats what the meds will do.
now i cant stress enough that the meds alone arent going to 'fix' you, they just get you to a point wher you can function properly.at that pooint in time i needed them to allow me to do this but iwas also sent to a councellor, and if they're a good councellor, you wont just sit there pouring you heart out, they will help you start to retrain your mind out of the negative thinking, mine also made me do a diary in this i had to make a note of how i felt, if i had a panic attack to measure it on a scale of 1-10 and what i had eaten, so that would train me to eat properly and regularly (you'll be amazed at how eating properly and a regular sleeping pattern can help reduce the stress and irrarional thoughts!)
i also want to say that you should NEVER take it upon yourself to increase, decrease or stop your meds. anti depressants need to be monitored they can be dangerous things. and dont just stop taking them either, you need to decrease the amount over a few weeks, wiene(sp) yourself off them.

i just re-read this and i just wanted to say its not an attack or written to offend anyone elses views, just something i needed to get off my chest and hopefully some of the points will help other people.

take care and always think of a positive for every situation


she who sees from up high smiles

Patrick badger king: *they better hope there's never a jihad on stupidity*

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Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:quote: for a certain type of person, it is of more use to focus on the aspects of depression that are caused by the self, albeit unconsciously; because then responsibility can be taken to do what is necessary to change the habits that are maintaining the depression.
A very insighful post. As a child, I learnt to expect the worst and then hopefully I would be pleasantly surprised sometimes, which I think greatly factored in my depression as I got older. There came a point in my life when things seemed better most of the time rather than bad and I realised that I should not take the bad things in life so personally and started concentrating more on what was good. One of my favourite quotes as a teenager was 'Ni hionduil and sonas gan an donas a bheith ma orlai trid' (There is no happiness without an inch of sorrow through it), which changed to 'our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall' - shows quite a different mindframe don't you think?

Recently I have been suffering from mood swings and some have been mildly depressed possibly brought on by a combination of stress in my personal / professional life, the end of summer - unfortunately factors I cannot control.

Luckily I have lots of wonderful things in my life to focus on, and so I try to concentrate on those when I have 'the fear'.

I don't believe medication should be avoided at all costs, but I do believe it should be considered after other alternatives are considered, whether it be sitting down and discussing all the factors that could be contributing to the depression with a friend /family or a counsellor if you feel you cannot talk to anyone else, exercise, change of diet and increase water intake, herbal remedy or focusing on something every day that makes you smile.

However environmental and sociological factors are not the only things that need to be considered. As Narr said, depression can be genetic. It can also be changed by chemical changes to the brain so especially with woman, depression and hormanal swings can be linked.

The stigma of depression has been lessened, although how many people when they say 'I'm depressed' are truly taken seriously and supported. Being medicated for depression still has a stigma attached. My biggest worry with medication is that often doctors don't approach depression holistically and so some people who are on medication are not given the skills to try and deal with depression.

Oh and something good came out of my recent depression - for my presentation for Anatomy & Physiology LOCN exam I want to talk about The Brain and Depression. I'll let you know how it goes!

may something lovely happen to bring happiness to your day.


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:First off, I want to say a deep thank you to everyone here who has been brave enough to share their experience/views.

Depression runs in my family as well, though only my mother and neice have ever seen a psychatrist or try antisepressants. The rest of us are too independant/self-reliant/stubborn to try that route.

without getting into the assorted messy details, the thing that seems to be a greatest help in ending depression in my family is a change of enviroment, whether it be physical or mental. by the latter, I don't so much mean things like ending relationships or such, but rather setting and starting to earnestly work towards some goal. For me, it is the case that striving towards and completing or at least getting skilled at something makes a big difference, so I don't really get too particular about what it is I set out to accomplish or let myself be concerned about how relavant it is. Learning poi was like that for me - also finishing grad school, and living outside the States for a while as well.

Staying out of depression is a constant battle for me - a very personal battle that I take some amount of pride in staying on top of. I don't think a councilor or drugs could help me much, at least not in the way I have choosen to deal with it. So, in my case, I agree very much with what onewheeldave has said. But I should also make it clear that I beleive there are many forms or at least causes of depression, and it may very well be that drugs and or councilors are the best option in those cases. I don't know, because I only know mine. All I can really say is that each person's mind is their own to figure out, and you will never do that, no matter what path you choose, if you don't exercise disipline.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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DarkDevil
DarkDevil

member
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland.
Member Since: 18th Aug 2003
Total posts: 233
Posted:You are getting me wrong, perhaps my choice of words wern't the best, but what i ment is Medication should be the final step in your treatment. I encourage people to exhuast all non chemical/medical forms of treatment before going on medication. (I say chemical/medical because i wouldn't want to rule out something medical like theropy) I understand there are people out there (for example purposes lets use Mr X and say he's in the top 5% of bad case depression) Mr X who absolutely nothing will work for him and if he didn't go on medication he would die. Now, i understand my flaw in my previous post, death is not a cost worth paying. But say your someone like (for example purposes Mr D who suffers from acute Mild Depression) Mr D, and if theres something else that might work, like cutting out the meat in your diet, then try it, if that doesn't work, look into something like excersizing more, and perhaps a little bit of reading about Buddhism [this is what helped me, unfortunately after i had did the whole medication thing] and/or other schools of thought, but basically try everything you can to avoid the medication.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but medication has a perminant effect on the brain and your bodys chemicals. I'm not saying that if you take antidepressants for a few months and go off them the effect they had in making you happy will stay, but prolonged use of medication is very simular to prolonged use of eye glasses. (Sorry, this is the only way i can discribe it) If you use glasses that are perfect for you, prescribed or not, they will help your vision as long as you keep using them. But if you use glasses that arn't "for you", for a good period of time, prescribe or not, they will make your vision even worse, while or whilenot wearing them.

I hope this cleared up a little confusion.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a trick, this is a stunt. The difference between a stunt and a trick is that a trick is something that tricks or fools the audience, a stunt is something that only an idiot would do -Ivan, Ash Circle, 10/04/03

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Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:Im glad that you said that. I was mighty taken aback at the last post....

TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"

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ASTRO FAERIE
ASTRO FAERIE

ummmmmmm.............
Location: Rotherham, UK
Member Since: 4th Mar 2003
Total posts: 724
Posted:I too suffer from depression. And again these are only my opinions, please dont be offended if there are things you dont agree with these are my experiences.
When i look back i realise that i felt it even as a child, but i always felt like it was just me being stupid. That feeling like this was normal. As i grew up, i never truly felt happy with things, there was no rational explanation for this, so i just kept on as i was, drinking loads, started smoking at 13, always had to have a boyfriend to fill the gap i felt i had, i honestly thought these things would make me happier, they actually make me feel ashamed looking back.
Anyway, i eventually started at university, and only then did things really get out of hand. I spent the first year juggling my life at uni with a long distance relationship, it was a really hard year, and i started smoking things heavier and my drink started to become a problem, a serious one. My depression got worse until my work started to slide downhill,, i lost a lot of weight because i was binge eating, then not eating for another 2-3days. I ended up at 7 1/2 stone.
I went home for summer and my parents were really shocked to see me like that, but they never said a thing. When i got into my second year at uni i started getting nervous twitches, uncontrollable ones, and it became very upsetting and i eventually went to see a doctor at the uni health centre. After sitting with me for 5 mins, they said that the twitches were a result of my depression. It was found that i have a seratonin (happy hormone) deficiency, which was the root of my depression.
This improved things considerably, the Prozac didnt do anything, but knowing that the depression was a medical condition meant i was able to deal with things better. The drink and stuff, wasnt helping, they all made my depression worse, and so i gave it up, i dont do drugs, i rarely drink and i dont smoke at all now. I also quit at the uni i was at because it wasnt making me happy either. I still suffer from depression, but knowing that its partly medical makes it a lot easier to deal with.
Depression depletes you of rationality, and the ability to put things into perspective.
I now have a relatively happy life, a boyfriend a family, a roof over my head and a good career in front of me. I never thought i would get to such a stable stage.
Its good to read others experiences with depression as it doesnt make you feel as alienated.
Eating and sleeping regularly really does help, and eating the right kind of foods too, lots of fruit and vegatables are great for it, especially bananas as they contain anti-depressant properties.

Giving up or cutting down on alcohol makes a huge difference, as these just end up as a crutch everytime something goes wrong.

Drugs never help, people say they suffer from depression, then you find they are smoking cannibis, which has been scientifically proved to be a depressant as with alcohol.

Find something that makes you happy and do it, a career a hobby etc.

If there are things in life you are unhappy with, dont hold on to them. If friends are dragging you down, have time away from them. If you are unhappy in a relationship, just tackle the problems, dont assume they'll just go away.

If you are unhappy in a job or course,find something else, dont ever feel guilty about quitting or starting over . I quit uni after 2 years, im on another course now which i love, it takes me 2 hrs to get there but i feel its worth it.

Have YOU time. Make sure you get your space to think, have a bath, go for a walk, Meditate, just make sure you have time alone with your thoughts.

Nobody should have to suffer depression alone, its hard, but these are things which can help you change the way you think about life.

'In every negative there is a positive, the positive is the lesson learned.'


Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realise that we
cannot eat money.

Cree Indian, 1909

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frostypaw
Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Member Since: 28th Jul 2003
Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:Correct me if i'm wrong, but medication has a perminant effect on the brain and your bodys chemicals.You're wrong - that's scaremongering that's been hyped up over a couple of drugs. Most people are helped hugely by medication - and they should only prescribe it when you need it eg. you're trying to really hurt yourself/your life's being destroyed by the depression

quote:Drugs never help, people say they suffer from depression, then you find they are smoking cannibis, which has been scientifically proved to be a depressant as with alcohol.This is a major common misconception.

They are part of the group of drugs known as "depressants" - this refers to the effect they have on the nervous system as compared to "stimulants" - doesn't mean one makes you happy, the other makes you sad.

That said, people often self-medicate with cannabis - it's pretty unclear whether this is a cause or a symptom though. Drinking your troubles away is definately not helpful though!


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:Yep - if you are on anti-depressants to try and change your brains biochemistry such as production of seratonin or perhaps the overproduction of CRF in can be up to a year before the drugs will work in assisting that change. By coming off the drugs too early it means the chances of depression reoccurring are higher as your brain will not have had time for the chemical changes to take effect.
Medication alone is not enough to cure depression imo though.

As for spliffs - 'Why trust one drug and not the other? that's politics, innit?'

THC in Marijuana prolongs the time serotonin stays in the gaps between nerve cells. Smoking cigarettes also increases production of seratonin.Again though - people should not rely on weed for this as smoking is bad for your health.

The reason why so many Atkin diet fanatics may suffer from depression may be that a high carbohydrate diet creates seratonin. By eating healthy carbohydrates releasing L-Tryptophan, a healthy balance of EFAs (Omega 3 and 6) and making sure that you are getting all the vitamin b1, b6 and folic acid required will help in naturally increasing your production of seratonin. Alcohol depletes store of B vitamins so cutting or at least reducing alcohol from the diet is proven to help.


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:This view that antidepressants are automatically evil is really alarming. I've seen a number of patients who tolerate the SSRI's (especially the newer ones like Lexapro) quite well with side-effects that are BETTER than placebo.

Yes, you need to be on them for a year at least because depression is a chronic disease and you need to be sure that you're out of the woods on this current bout.

I'm not saying they're for everyone, but they are useful. They aren't a cure. Don't ever let anyone tell you that they are. There is no general cure for depression like there is a cure for strep throat. But they can do amazing things.

As far as THC for depression, that's like advocating alcohol for depression. They both cause SHORT-TERM increases in serotonin, but they both affect multiple neurotransmitter systems, making them much less specific than the SSRI's and they cause impairment. I'm not anti-pot by any means, but it's not a good treatment for depression.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Magnus
member
Location: Bath, UK
Member Since: 5th Sep 2002
Total posts: 279
Posted:Agree 100% with onewheeldave's original post.

My own experience is very similar, and I have yet to meet a depressed person who doesn't fit the pattern.

I think counselling, NLP, and sometimes medication can help, but at the end of the day it's up to you taking control of how your head works.


Magnus... pay it forward

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Magnus
member
Location: Bath, UK
Member Since: 5th Sep 2002
Total posts: 279
Posted:on the subject of pot... We called a Bath staff-spinner on Monday night to invite him to Queen Square. He was too caned to leave the house.

Drugs are bad, mmm'kay.


Magnus... pay it forward

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Fitria
member
Location: Australia
Member Since: 1st Oct 2003
Total posts: 97
Posted:You should NEVER take drugs to alleviate the symptoms of depression. I don't care who you are or what form of depression you have...it is the most stupid thing you could possibly do.

When I came back from overseas (where part of my "trauma" happened) I used drugs (ecstacy and marijuana) to escape reality and make me feel better.

They surely did make me feel better until the high stopped....but they made the nightmares worse...it was my minds way of telling me to face my reality instead of trying to ignore it.

Taking drugs also put me in a situation that was extremely dangerous and ended up doing more damage to my depressed state because some person took advantage of the fact that I was too drug f***ed to know what was going on.

That only increased the trauma I had already suffered.

In effect the drugs made my life a living hell because it was not the escape I needed and now I have two traumas to deal with instead of one.

They may seem to help you for a while but that only lasts for a little while and the problem is still there when the high wears off.

If you are taking drugs to alleviate the depression you need to seriously seek medical help because you are doing your body and mind more damage than good.


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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:Drugs and depression are similar in that you need mental disipline to really handle either effectively.

-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:i find that telling someone with depression only makes it worse because then they hate themselves...however thats just my observation.

sometimes i think that people without depression and people who have overcome it are to flippent with their help. i would have thought that the people who have overcome it would be more understanding. however my experiences is that they arent. basically, if its so easy to overcome, why didnt they overcome it so easily? "i didnt realise it at the time" is the usual answer. however are they sure about that? they, too, prolly had people telling them it was easy to overcome yet didnt believe them. i think its just so easy for people to effectively say "get over it" however its easier said than done and i personally find it really impersonal advice.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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holly
member
Location: bristol,uk
Member Since: 16th Jul 2002
Total posts: 61
Posted:Fitria well said . In the last few weeks i have come to realise that i cannot keep drinking and takin drugs to escape reality...becasue i dont know when to stop now.i think oohh this is great ill have more,untill im completely wasted and i have 4 days after of feeling so so low it scares me. its just not worth it anymore. and being at uni i just cant afford to have a 3 day week. its making my life worse and its got to the point where i know i cant take in moderation. drink and drugs are only escape. as much as you may enjoy the high they mess you up. as fitria said, if anyone thinks that drugs are messing u up just stop taking them for a while untill you sort yourself out and learn to use everything in moderation. thank u everyone for sharing x

Never doubt that a small group of crusties, activists, and politicos can change the world... in fact, it's the only thing that ever does ;-)

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Kat
Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 2211
Posted:Oops I suppose Withnail Quote was rather irrisponsible.

Marjuana has beeb blamed for causing depression. Rather I think those who have a tendency to be depressed become more so and less able to deal with the realities of life. Those who progress to take ecstacy (also increases seratonin levels) may take that for a while. There is a danger that those who take these drugs to try and cure something in their life not only become dependendent on these but as seratonin levels are depleted by use of one drugs lead to the use of others such cocaine, heroin to try and get that happy feeling back. Being a manic depressive increases the possibility of becoming a heroin addict.

Drugs, illegal or legal will never cure depression. They may help alleviate the symptoms but if someone needs the help of drugs to get through depression then that assistance should always be sought through a doctor who can put them in touch with proper support groups etc.


Its Friday, the sky is blue - no good reason to feel sad on a day like this. If you feeling sad and blue today then Enjoy your weekend one and all


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Rouge Dragon:

sometimes i think that people without depression and people who have overcome it are to flippent with their help. i would have thought that the people who have overcome it would be more understanding. however my experiences is that they arent. basically, if its so easy to overcome, why didnt they overcome it so easily? "i didnt realise it at the time" is the usual answer. however are they sure about that? they, too, prolly had people telling them it was easy to overcome yet didnt believe them. i think its just so easy for people to effectively say "get over it" however its easier said than done and i personally find it really impersonal advice. That's an interesting point. For those of us who overcame their depression by realizing the ways in which our own minds fueled it, by basically accepting that we were responsible for the fact that we were depressed, the question of what to say to a depressed person is a difficult one.

On the one hand we know that the last thing they want to hear is that they are, on some subconscious level, choosing to be miserable; on the other we know that the sooner they start to acknowledge that they are responsible, the sooner they can start to take control. (Let me stress that I am talking here about people like myself for whom this was true- the issue of whether some individuals depression is chemical imbalance/disease based is a complex one and for any such individuals this approach may not be effective).

During my time of blackness I didn't feel much sympathy from others, looking back I see it was there at some point but there is a limit to what people can give.

But I now question the value of sympathy, there is a danger that it gives the message that it's somehow ok or understandable for you to be depressed. I'm talking here about true depression, not just a down patch. The last thing a deeply depressed person needs to be thinking is that their condition is ok or understandable.

I distinctly remember thinking for much of the time I was depressed that I just wanted one person to truly understand what I was feeling; with depression comes an incredible sense of isolation, of being fundamentally different from, and apart from, the rest of humanity.

One day though I asked myself the question, what difference would it make if someone understood me? I'd be understood, but so what? Would it change anything, would it have any relevance whatsoever to my bleak way of seeing things?

The answer was 'no', and it was a liberating reply. I was free from the effort and frustration of trying to explain/justify my misery to others, and free to get on with what was necessary, which was the difficult task of me, alone, digging out the long established mental patterns in my own mind which were the sole cause of my misery.

The point is that the view 'my depression is caused and maintained by me' is not as harsh as it may sound.

Firstly, it is not the same as saying 'just snap out of it'. A truly depressed person is unlikely to be able to snap out of it; it has to be acknowledged that the 'choice' to be depressed is not a conscious one, it lies buried deep within the mind, a set of long established and mainly subconscious habits.

Escaping it is not a simple, quick or straightforward task.

Secondly, and more importantly, it is a view that gives hope. If you are responsible for the depression then it is possible for you to control it; it is an empowering view, a view of hope.

This is in contrast to the view that you're miserable because the world is crap- that's a hopeless view.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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frostypaw
Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Member Since: 28th Jul 2003
Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:But I now question the value of sympathy, there is a danger that it gives the message that it's somehow ok or understandable for you to be depressed. I'm talking here about true depression, not just a down patch. The last thing a deeply depressed person needs to be thinking is that their condition is ok or understandable.*GASPS*

I think ya should know that your experience is not like most depressed people's experiences.

But i'm not sure where to start...

It IS ok to be depressed, it IS understandable, it IS immensely helpful for many many people to have a confidante or counsellor

Your personal depression may well have been caused and continued by you - but please... don't presume that's how it is for everyone else. Telling people it's their own damn fault is kinda cruel.

Some of the message on this thread could be horrendously harmful to someone suffering from depression.


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:quote:Originally posted by frostypaw:


Your personal depression may well have been caused and continued by you - but please... don't presume that's how it is for everyone else. Telling people it's their own damn fault is kinda cruel.

Some of the message on this thread could be horrendously harmful to someone suffering from depression. You've quoted me very selectivly Frostypaw, I did make it quite clear that there may be diffrent types of depression.

For me, all the prescribed drugs, sympathy and counselling in the world would not have helped.

I've also made it very clear, particularly in my last post that this is not telling people it's their own fault.

It is saying that, for many, their own minds, albiet largely subconsciously, are responsible for maintaining the depression.

'Fault' has not been mentioned, nor would it be becasue 'fault' and 'responsibilty' are very different; the first is negative and blaming, the second is positive and empowering.

I think if you look at some of the replies to this thread you will see that a substantial number have effectivly used similar approached to successfully resolve their own depressions.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Astar
member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Member Since: 8th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1591
Posted:I kind of have a theory on depression

Basicly, you can diagnose the bulk of the population in our society with obsesive compulsive disorder. Atleast a mild form of it.

One thing that happens with a form of obsessive compulsive disorder is just the mind thinking the same thing over and over and over. I think most people have the tendancy to repeat things in their minds (how many people here get songs stuck in your heads?) If for whatever reason, depressive thoughts get stuck in your head, it basicly is like a negative feedback loop and you keep working yourself further and further into it. Anyone who thinks about negative things all the time will become sad. When that sadness grows and lasts long enough it's classified as depression. Personally I don't think there is many people who's brains just become chemically unbalanced without any cause. I for most people they think themselves into a chemical unbalance. The end result is the same.

Most recreational drugs work by temporarily unbalancing your brain and or body in one way or another. Now some drugs like seratonin reuptake inhibitors counter this inbalance. But ultimatly it's all unnatural and if you don't follow it up with changing your way of thinking and getting yourself out of the rut. Your mind will always lean towards depression.

People who have serious drug addictions can't indulge in the drugs just once or they usually loose control untill they hit rock bottom. Most people realize the importance of heroin addicts and alcoholics to stay away from heroin and alcohol.

Im trying not to tell my life story here, but ive definatly been chewed up and spit out a few times by the mental health system, and the one bit of wisdome I can pass on that I think is universal to anyone struggling with mental illness is that you have rights as a patient. Read up on it in some reputal books (avoid medical journals and whatnot, and new studies, because it tends to be a lot of sensationalistic untested bullshit) or some reputable webpages and educate yourself a bit, try not to diagnose yourself because it's kind of hard to be objective when you are in the depths of depression. But make sure you are being treated as an individual by whatever help you seek. If you think they are doing a bad job, ask for a second opinion. If they won't give it then you need to start fighting for one, because you have a right to one as a patient. Make sure you aren't just rageing agaisnt them because they are telling you things you don't want to hear. Never make a decision to get a second opinion or never decide not to follow their advice out of anger.

A lot of counselors and therapists would like try to apply certain rules they think they know about depression to you and the rules don't always work.


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Astar
member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Member Since: 8th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1591
Posted:also I pretty much agree with onewheeled dave about responsibility. Although it is very hard for some to understand what it truely means. I developed the idea at an early age that responsibility was being selfless. This idea was reinforced when selfless behaviour was rewarded (I even got some crazy award for being such a nice young man) when I was to busy respecting my peers, elders, heros, teachers, animals etc.. and had zero respect for myself.

I think it is important to balance respect for yourself and respect for others. Because you can be selfish or selfless, neither of them are healthy.


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Astar
member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Member Since: 8th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1591
Posted:Eh, this multiple post thing is getting old, it's partially from me not reading the whole thread and missing points in what I have read because im really tired.

I don't think depression is a choice nesscarily. I think it just starts off as a way to cope. But it builds momentum and twists your reasoning before you even know what's happening.


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