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Forums > Social Discussion > Depression - Part of Modern Life?

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Before I start, I just want to say that this isn't a rehash of old threads as far as I'm aware... if you're looking for advice on depression or anxiety you should check out this really beautiful post I've just finished reading

So I was thinking, whilst I have depression and an anxiety disorder, I find they only surface about things which are required of me by modern life. I worry about paying rent and getting a job when I'd much rather be living in a house where I can grow my own food. I worry about pollution and third world debt but feel there is little I can do about it. I worry about being far away from the people I love but I put myself here.

The root causes of all my "depressors" (probably not a real word) all seem to be fundamental needs in me for stability and control. Obviously this is not uncommon. But I was thinking - in the past people lived their own lives, with their families, without complex systems of government or legality, and they got on OK.

I'm really talking about pagan and other cultures before these complex systems of rules were introduced. This might just be a really stupid thought on my part but it seems to me that depression is caused by modern life, and by returning to a simpler life (if that's even possible) it could pretty much be "cured".

And I wondered what you thought smile


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau


Medusa
Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...
Member Since: 25th Nov 2003
Total posts: 1433
Posted:Actually I think it depends more on what form of depression you suffer from.

For some people it is a chemical imbalance in the brain so it's nothing to do with what is going on around them (though that may not be helping either).

Some people suffer PTSD (which I have the absolute pleasure of dealing with myself) which means they have suffered a trauma in the past which is what is affecting them in at the present.

I can't stand people who say they are depressed when they are just a bit sad it bugs me but please do not be confused not all depression is because of what is going around in todays day and age....it can be a bit more in depth than that.



myco
myco


Location: melbourne, victoria, australia
Member Since: 2nd Nov 2004
Total posts: 2084
Posted:Doctors always seem to be so willing to hand out tablets to any1 who has depressive symptoms, but (from what I've seen/heard) don't always want to look at the underlying reasons. It's 1 thing to pump u full of chemicals to boost your seratonin, that'll get u through the day, but leaving serious issues to be ignored isn't treating the root of the illness. Medusa, I'm really sorry to hear about your PTSD, I have it too. Not an easy thing to deal with.


Medusa
Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...
Member Since: 25th Nov 2003
Total posts: 1433
Posted:I only take the drugs to stop the suicidal feelings and the nightmares and flashbacks not to treat the problem.

I do get help from people but it doesn't work that well.

My doctor is nothing short of brilliant. And he would only give me medication if he knew I really needed it.



myco
myco


Location: melbourne, victoria, australia
Member Since: 2nd Nov 2004
Total posts: 2084
Posted:Sorry, not trying 2 bag your Dr. Some are good, some aren't.
Drugs can be really helpful, but I don't believe they should be used in isolation. Obviously this doesn't apply 2 u.

Just saw ur bio, cool that ur studying Auslan.



nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:When I was being treated for depression I was on antidepressants on the condition I kept going to therapy as well. But therapy made me feel terrible and didn't help me at all. So I left. And couldn't get more anti-depressants. Bummer.

But my depression seems to adhere pretty well to the whole SAD thing... I get it far worse in the winter than any other time of year.

But I think that maybe this is the time when I see the most of society, or the modern world at least. Christmas decorations in november. Shops full of people buying presents for a religious holiday belonging to a religion they don't follow. I'm stuck indoors more watching the idiot box, desperately trying to find a documentary or something with a little substance.

And it's also the time when I move away from my family and friends to come back to uni after the summer. Which seems like such a ridiculous idea - why would you take yourself out of the environment you love and the people you care about to get some stupid qualification which makes you stress about money, friends and not to mention the workload... grr. Sorry. /rant.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau


Catalyst
Catalyst

member
Location: Virginia
Member Since: 27th Nov 2003
Total posts: 103
Posted:Yeah, so how does on decide that you have a "chemical imbalance" in the brain? Really......no blood test...no operation....pure speculation. Lots of times, the trauma in your past can be helped/faced with visualization excercises. everyone has something wrong ....or seemingly wrong with them. Doctors are more than happy to hand out pshcyoactive medications because they get kick-backs and make big money from them.


nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Well, if one is a good doctor they send you to therapy over a course of some weeks, and if there is no positive effect they try out some mild antidepressants, if the effect is good then they keep you on them and if it's not they put you on some different ones. Most anti-depressants aren't simply "happy pills", they only work if there *is* actually a chemical imbalance in the brain. they correct a problem (when used properly), and if there's no problem then they don't have an effect and alternative treatments are important.

Although, it's pretty important in the case of a suicidal patient to deliver immediate results, as it's quite hard to treat depression after a patient's dead. So antidepressants, in that situation, are in my opinion always a good idea, albeit a short-term solution.

They certainly helped me at the time and made me face up to life in a big way. Not saying that depression isn't doing that, just.. argh. Hard to get my point across but antidepressants can be an amazingly positive thing.

Visualisation - it's great when it works, and when it's led by someone, but when I feel absolutley dire the last thing I want to do is sit down, close my eyes and let my imagination take over. Because it usually steers whatever I think of to an amazingly negative and damaging place, and makes me feel a million times worse. I'm not writing it off... it's just not that simple, that's all. As Myco pointed out with (his/her? Sorry I don't know) comments about ECG.. ECG really helped them, whereas I would have thought it was just a damaging and ignorant thing that was only in use in the 60s. Those comments totally changed my perception of what it was.

But phd. Back to the topic. The chemical imbalance does exist in some patients, not all... but is it caused by external factors? Or is it simply only demonstrable in the current environment?


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau


Medusa
Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...
Member Since: 25th Nov 2003
Total posts: 1433
Posted:Visualisation...I'm sorry but for me to visualise what I have been through in my past would only retraumatise me...different strokes for different folks...what works for one person won't necessarily work for another.

Case and point after: after seeing a counsellor who insisted on hypnotherapy to make me talk out what had happened to me (visualisation) I had to go get some things from the shop....walking through the shopping centre I was fine until I had a MAJOR flashback. I wasn't in the shopping centre anymore I was in my past I couldn't see the isles around me I could only see a scene from what had happened to me I started screaming my head off in the middle of a censored shopping centre do you know how crazy you look when you are apparently screaming for no reason (cause that's what the people walking around you think)...

It was embarrassing and absolutely horrible for me. And I am pretty sure that the people walking around me thought I should be locked up in some loony bin.

So don't judge people that have spoken to PROFESSIONALS about their problems and have decided that their options may not be as straight forward as "just talking it out". Sometimes it doesn't work like that.

Each person who goes through depression suffers their own way and no two people are alike. So if something worked for you it doesn't mean it will work for me.

Don't be so damn judgemental of us who have felt the need to resort (and by the way it is a last resort) to go onto medication to help deal with it.

Unless you have lived in our bodies and suffered the exact same thing as us you have NO right to judge us or tell us what we are supposed to do or what we shouldn't be doing.



Vixen
Vixen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Oxfordshire/Wiltshire
Member Since: 10th Jan 2004
Total posts: 3276
Posted:Stone.... 32 is a way better number!

I get really dark mood swings and feel really emotionally drained sometimes... i thought it was just me until someone suggested i could suffer from mild depression.

Alot of things happened during my younger teenage years that put alot of pressure on me, i did badly at school as a result and now have alot of regrets for not being a stronger person - which i guess is easily said on reflection.

I just hope you know that your not on your own and no matter how bad you are feeling there will alwasy be someone there to smile with. xxx


tHeReS gOoD aNd EvIl iN EaCh InDiViDuAl fIrE, iDeNtIfIeS nEeDs AnD fEeDs OuR dEsIrEs.


Gnor
Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth
Member Since: 31st Mar 2003
Total posts: 5814
Posted:Medusa that must have been extremely scary for you and those around you. I sat with my friend while she revisited a violent attack on her and it was one of the most helpless terrifying times in my life. I am proud of you for the way you face life and deal with your issues hug hug hug

You are so right about different strokes and that psychologists sometimes make things worse while trying to help.


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu


Astar
member
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Member Since: 8th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1591
Posted:my rule of thumb that seems to be a good one for dealing with psychologists and psychiatrists is to listen to your instincts, although they may not be in tune and may missfire occasionaly, if something is really not appropriate and helpful for you at the moment, you probably won't think it's a good idea to start off with (if you follow the other rule of thumb and go in being atleast a bit of a skeptical synic, with the belief some of their ideas no matter how much they insist on them and insit they are good, presenting logical and compelling arguements to convince you.

If you don't like it, and they still insist on it. It's probably a bad idea at the time.

Theirs certain things I simply would not even discuss with a therapist, not so much because they rang of truth and were helpful. More like they were wrong but I was very open to suggestion at the time (still am)

They could have easily convinced me I was something im not, simply because they thought I was.

when I did listen to them on these sorts ofoccasions when my instincts told me it was an awful idea to listen and follow (yes ive been in a lot of therapy) they convinced me I was things I was not, and it took me a great deal of more therapy (mostly my own half baked approach to helping myself and a bit of 'official' therapy)

to convince myself I wasn't what they convinced me I was "for example without revealing to much about myself, lets say they convinced me I was gay when I infact wasn't"

In another example where I was more wise and told them to bugger off they would have convinced me I was mentally retarded, in polite words.

So yeah, follow your instincts, they may lead you the wrong way sometimes but in general they don't lead you off cliffs where you have to scramble to climb back up like a poor movie scene.

although mine have, quite often lead me the wrong way because I didn't listen to the long enough, but the worst thing that happened was I ended friendships that probably could have grown instead of decayed (or been abrutly dismantled)

I think it's probably safe to say a good portion of people are doing fairly well in life because they learned to pay close attention to their instincts, even those whose instincts may have made an error.



_So_
Skinny poi maker
Location: Moscow, Russia
Member Since: 12th Feb 2004
Total posts: 313
Posted:The thing is, anti-depressants are not some kind of panacea, and I know that you (Medusa) already know it. You said you're thinking about moving somewhere else. It may help. But you also have to start some kind of a new life. not socially, but inside of you. You know, there is a person who needs you strong and happy. I'm not talking about the closest people, they shure do. I'm talking about YOU. You can survive and live without a lot of things. But you won't live without you.
Go somewhere, make yourself happy by seeing and knowing some beautiful and interesting things. Begin notising how high the sun is, and all that stuff.
That's what I did. It helped.
I went abroad for two weeks. It was pretty hard, because I was living at my grandparents', but when I came back home, things started going better. And now i'm ok. Well, it took me several months, but you kow, it's worth it. And I know that a person can learn to be happy.
Go somewhere... Travel a bit.

And good luck hug



nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:The fact is, anti-depressants ARE helpful in certain cases, as I said above. They have a use. But it is a short-term solution.

I don't know what would've happened to me if I hadn't gone onto them when I did, and I hated doing it, but I hated the thought of suicide even more (when I was at my more lucid). So in that respect, I don't think there is a better course of action for a suicidally depressed patient than an immediate course of anti-depressants, if only to allow them the chance to seek alternative therapy.

I don't think people in general realise how immensely debilitating depression can be, and I think the world as it is today has some role in that - we CAN stay inside all day on the internet, watching TV, doing no work.. we CAN have very very little human contact.. we CAN simply go into the supermarket and get what we need and leave in a consumer society. In the past these things wouldn't have been true - life in ancient times meant that people had a constant source of activity which they needed to perform to exist.

Perhaps it is this purposelessness (sp? actually, is it even a word?) that is resulting in such an epedemic level of depression in modern times?

Medusa, that's awful. hug It's horrible how trauma breeds trauma. Hope you've managed (or are managing) to break the chain.

*desperately trying to drag this back on-topic*


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau


myco
myco


Location: melbourne, victoria, australia
Member Since: 2nd Nov 2004
Total posts: 2084
Posted:Hey, nearly all gone, I'm a she!

I only really found out about SAD when I no longer had depression, but I had noticed that I was more prone to getting depressed in the winter, and even still things generally feel worse in winter, although I know this isn't depression. We're coming into warm weather in Aust, which I am most thankful for.

I often wondered whether my depression was chemical or reactive (i think that's what they call it when it's a response to life events), because I've got a family history of depression, but also bad things happened. I didn't have much of a reaction to various antidepressants (which made me think it wasn't chemical), but ECT worked. Who knows???

I went through piles of professionals before I found someone that really helps me deal with my stuff. i think that Medusa is right in saying 'different strokes for different folks'. My boyfriends got depression, and the things that help him deal with it, would have made things worse for me, and vice versa.

Anyway, hope every1's well.

smile



Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:I think anti-depressants are way over prescribed, and the beliefs of general society do not reflect the fact that they are not all that effective in the majority of cases.

A case in point; a whole class of anti-depressants had to be removed as a prescription option for young ppl because they were correlated with increased likelihood of suicide in that age group. Doctors prescribed these things for 10 years before they realised that they were actually placing kids in the UK at higher risk! It took Uk researchers and interest groups 10 years to stop the these things from being prescribed.

The only evidence to suggest that anti-depressants have a strong effect is usually supplied by pharm companies themselves - and thats who the doctors are listening to.

Then there is ADHD. An Investigation by the West Australian government just found that kids were being misdiganosed as having adhd as much as 75% of the time. (For those that dont know - Australia has the next highest level of diagnosis of adhd after USA). Thats bad cuz all those kids have been on psychoactives for years, and are now statistically more likely to 'need' re-medication in later life than kids who never were placed on medication.

Im not talking about anyone here just general trends. In some cases of genuine need I think there is evidence to suggest drugs help - and that might be you.

My opinion is based on things I learned when I studied the sociology of the health industry and psychology in my undergrad degree. I wasnt massively impressed - and the pharm industry is at the lowest level of that particular barrel; medicating those who dont need it, and not medicating the ones that do.

Josh


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!


nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Myco - sorry! Didn't realise you were a lady biggrin

Josh - good point, I do agree that people are often put on a course of anti-depressants as a kind of "solution" to their depression, and that's crap... and shocking about the medications that increased the suicide rate!

To be honest, that doesn't surprise me. It's very easy to feel worthless when you're on anti-depressants, particularly about a month into the course I've found (after the honeymoon/novelty stage but before the real effect), and to feel like chucking them away which is apparently a really really bad way to come off them (you just crash). I know I've done this before with an earlier course of meds, and even my most recent prescription was given up about 6 months before it was meant to be... It's just important to regain that lost element of control, I think.

But I will say that at a certain point in my life anti-depressants possibly kept me alive, and certainly gave me the ability and strength to go and seek councilling, whcih I 100% wouldn't have done without them. Perhaps it was a placebo effect, who knows - it was just good to be able to get out of my house again! But that initial step of going to the doctor was so hard... thanks to all my friends for that.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau


CaMiLL(e_o)
CaMiLL(e_o)

member
Location: Epsom, Surrey, UK
Member Since: 20th Oct 2004
Total posts: 88
Posted:The one positive thing I can see from this is that it isn't chemical depression. At least knowing that, you know that it's within your ability to get over it. Easier said than done I know. I'm no stranger to depression myself. the only thing that I've learnt is to take note of the little differences in my surroundings from when I'm feeling low to more human and learn as much as I can about what outer sources affect me. The rest is inner strength. Wanting to feel better, being willing to fight for it. Again easier said then done but it is within your power. The hardest thing to hear is that for anyone who suffers from any trauma or event that causes them to be depressed, it is them who holds onto that emotion. Which is clearly because you are not over what happened to you. A wise man once said if you're not happy, change your situation or how you feel about it. You need to let go, realise that what happened was in the past and can no longer affect you beyond how you let it.
Please don't take my advice as patronising, I am not telling you to snap out of it because no you can't. But you can work on it, day by day. You just need to want it for yourself. Know that you're deserving enough to feel better and be happy. I don't know what happened to you and i probably never will so my advice is very general. I hope it helps, even if it's only a little. x
hug hug hug hug hug
x x x


>>>d(o_0)b<<<


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