Clinical Depression, Struggles With

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MetricFurlong:

TehCookie:

I have no clue if I'm depressed or not, though I think I fit more in bipolar where I have my ups and downs. Thankfully I can recognize my down-phases and know they'll pass, also known as the "get over it" mindset. A lot of people get mad when you tell them that but that helps me the most when I'm feeling the worst. If you don't feel like it will end, make it end.

While I understand that this has helped you, I must say that that sentence is perhaps not be the best thing to say when a lot of depressed people may be reading.

Well I changed it but I don't see what's wrong with people killing themselves, it's their choice.

TehCookie:

MetricFurlong:

TehCookie:

I have no clue if I'm depressed or not, though I think I fit more in bipolar where I have my ups and downs. Thankfully I can recognize my down-phases and know they'll pass, also known as the "get over it" mindset. A lot of people get mad when you tell them that but that helps me the most when I'm feeling the worst. If you don't feel like it will end, make it end.

While I understand that this has helped you, I must say that that sentence is perhaps not be the best thing to say when a lot of depressed people may be reading.

Well I changed it but I don't see what's wrong with people killing themselves, it's their choice.

For the same reason you don't let a friend jump off the twentieth story balcony when he's falling-down drunk: He's in a state which his decision making skills are heavily stunted and will cause massive trauma among those he's close to.

It's my choice to lie to a co-worker, for instance, but that doesn't mean that it's a good idea or that I should do it.

The idea that people should be allowed to kill themselves on a whim is... infuriating and terribly thought out, quite frankly.

AstroSmash:

America has a drug problem.

I'd like to see your credentials. This sounds like layman "doctor phil" conspiracy-level stuff, but I'm sure if you can preach so definitively....

I have depression and aspergers, so...to say that I've been hit with a "double whammy" would be putting it quite mildly. Dealing with both has gotten easier over the years, but they complement each other so well that odds are I won't be rid of either for good. I used to take medication, but it stopped working for me and finding one that would work turned out to be quite impossible.

What worked for me was getting out of high school, away from the social sharks. Weird as though it may sound, caffeine is my medication. Since my anxiety keeps my thoughts racing, the rest of me needed something to keep up with that pace and caffeine has been a very useful tool. Perhaps I'm a special case in that...and since I get very into what I'm interested in, I seem to block out other things. Escapism is very much in my nature.

Don't get me wrong, I still feel the depression some days, but it has gotten much more tolerable since I decided what I wanted to do was...to do all the things I wanted to do and never stop. Suicide is a very real thing and...it is also the incorrect response to "What will I do?"

No matter how terribly bleak and dark life may seem, you must remember that you are a soft, clever, sensible, amusing, sweet, splendid person that, among other things, deserves to hear their favorite song on full blast through the entire fucking house.

Be wondrously, fucking incredible to everyone, including yourselves.

lacktheknack:

TehCookie:

MetricFurlong:

While I understand that this has helped you, I must say that that sentence is perhaps not be the best thing to say when a lot of depressed people may be reading.

Well I changed it but I don't see what's wrong with people killing themselves, it's their choice.

For the same reason you don't let a friend jump off the twentieth story balcony when he's falling-down drunk: He's in a state which his decision making skills are heavily stunted and will cause massive trauma among those he's close to.

It's my choice to lie to a co-worker, for instance, but that doesn't mean that it's a good idea or that I should do it.

The idea that people should be allowed to kill themselves on a whim is... infuriating and terribly thought out, quite frankly.

I never said killing yourself was a good idea, but people make bad choices all the time. If you want to make the good choice and talk people out of stupid ideas you can do that as well. As for them not being in the right state of mind, I would love to know what the correct state of mind is. If you choose to lie to your co-worker knowing it's a bad idea are you still in the wrong state of mind?

TehCookie:

Well I changed it but I don't see what's wrong with people killing themselves, it's their choice.

I can understand your sentiment. Were we discussing euthanasia I might well express something similar. But we aren't. We're talking about depression and that complicates things a bit.

The fact is, clinical depression is the mother of all spanners in the works when it comes to suicide. Simply put, it severely damages (if not outright destroys) your ability to make a reasoned, rational decision on that subject. The depressed are very, very, bad when it comes to matters of their own self-worth and the worth of their future because the mental illness tends to hit those area of the mind and hits them hard*. Basically, there is something wrong with their minds that pushes them further towards self-sabotage and self-destruction. Like there's a shadow in your head needling you about whether it's worth getting up. Little thoughts that crop-up every now and then. Thoughts that really, everyone would just be better off if you weren't there. Thoughts you can't seem to quite get rid of despite what should be obvious evidence to disprove them. That is really not the mindset to be in when making choices about whether or not to die.
In some cases though suicide can feel less like a choice and more of like active compulsion. Like something pulling at you, the thought the thought that you should really be making plans to end your own always fluttering around the back of your mind. Where everything said to has 'by the way, you should kill yourself' added to it by your brain. Times when the choice isn't 'should I kill myself' but 'is it worth trying to fight the urge?'. I've had that fight before. I haven't always won it.

So, thank you for editing your post. I'll be removing it from my quote of you presently. While I may not be able to tell what the 'correct' state of mind is, I can pretty safely say that those headspaces I've described definitely aren't it, and people in those sort of spaces are likely to be drawn to this sort of thread.

*based on personal experience and what I've seen from others, depression isn't so much characterised by sadness as it is by despair and self-loathing. That's not to say depressed people aren't sad a lot, they often are, but thinking about it in terms of sadness can often give non-depressed types the wrong impression, often leading to the lines of 'just man-up and get over it' and 'but lots of people get sad and they manage' which most depressed people have thrown their way.

TehCookie:

lacktheknack:

TehCookie:

Well I changed it but I don't see what's wrong with people killing themselves, it's their choice.

For the same reason you don't let a friend jump off the twentieth story balcony when he's falling-down drunk: He's in a state which his decision making skills are heavily stunted and will cause massive trauma among those he's close to.

It's my choice to lie to a co-worker, for instance, but that doesn't mean that it's a good idea or that I should do it.

The idea that people should be allowed to kill themselves on a whim is... infuriating and terribly thought out, quite frankly.

I never said killing yourself was a good idea, but people make bad choices all the time. If you want to make the good choice and talk people out of stupid ideas you can do that as well. As for them not being in the right state of mind, I would love to know what the correct state of mind is. If you choose to lie to your co-worker knowing it's a bad idea are you still in the wrong state of mind?

The correct state of mind is "Your brain isn't currently in a constant state of 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH'".

You do realize that clinical depression isn't a "phase" or "bad streak", right? It's actually your brain chemistry going completely, uh, off its meds. It's producing too much of one thing, not enough of another, and too much of something else. And it's self feeding, so it will continue to do that until you correct it with long term medication or fairly extreme neuroplastic activities.

When you're drunk, you just have to wait a few hours until your "state of mind" is back to normal, give or take a hangover. If you're depressed, you might never reach normal state of mind. If I'm lying to a co-worker about something petty, then I never left my normal state of mind, my decision-making skills just need work.

I had a fair bit of depression with A LOT of anxiety when I was a teenager. Bouts of random crying, feeling hopeless and such. Just this year my anxiety hit me hard. I'd constantly worry about my health and felt like I was going to die of some illness or injury almost every day. I started taking medication and I'm Ok for the most part, I just don't get out much anymore. I can't really give you advice as I'm not a professional, but for me at least, getting out and about is better than sitting at home and wallowing in it like I used to and still kind of do to a slightly smaller degree.) I recently started drawing, which was a pretty good boost to my self esteem. If nothing else I would say keep yourself busy doing something productive. Productive doesn't have to mean doing a job or anything like that if you don't want it do. just something that you can spend time on. Something that requires a bit of concentration and interests you. Best of luck to you.

Ha! I've been suffering from major clinical depression for almost 20 years, with ever growing thoughts of suicide, and I only scored a 180 on that test. I don't like that it tries to add up negative experiences to see if I'm depressed. Depression has always been more of a general feeling than a specific reaction to an event. That's just called sadness, and it's a lot different. By the fact that I've been struggling for almost 20 years, guess how old I am, you can probably guess that I don't really have any helpful advice on getting out of depression. Sorry.

lacktheknack:

The idea that people should be allowed to kill themselves on a whim is... infuriating and terribly thought out, quite frankly.

It's not on a whim. It's something you think about night and day, sometimes for years and years. I truly want to kill myself, I have for years, but every day I don't because I know people will suffer if I do and I figure I might as well suffer instead. As time goes by though it gets harder and harder to care about them, and I even resent them for giving me a reason not to give up. If I kill myself it won't be on a whim, it'll be when the weight of all those years just becomes too much to carry and I'm just too exhausted to fight anymore. It's not a sudden, rash decision.

I've been clinically depressed since I was 9 when I tried to kill myself with a cabinet full of board-games. Was institutionalized when I was 14 for my summer. I've been on anti-depressants for seven years now (I'm 16). Two suicide attempts.

Many times depression doesn't manifest by itself, anxiety etc. I officially have Acute Anxiety/Social Phobia, Major Depression and ADHD.

It never really goes away, therapy with a psychologist helps, (Therapists without degrees in psychology are usually sub-par and unequipped to deal with more complex situations) I just go through stages of ennui. Find an anti-depressant that works for you, I've been through 9 different type of anti-depressant and two mood stabilizers, I like Zoloft.

Zombie Sodomy:

lacktheknack:

The idea that people should be allowed to kill themselves on a whim is... infuriating and terribly thought out, quite frankly.

It's not on a whim. It's something you think about night and day, sometimes for years and years. I truly want to kill myself, I have for years, but every day I don't because I know people will suffer if I do and I figure I might as well suffer instead. As time goes by though it gets harder and harder to care about them, and I even resent them for giving me a reason not to give up. If I kill myself it won't be on a whim, it'll be when the weight of all those years just becomes too much to carry and I'm just too exhausted to fight anymore. It's not a sudden, rash decision.

See. A. Therapist.

That's all there is to it. If that doesn't help, then see another one.

Actually, I am in a really good place to reply to this.

I knew someone who was depressed. Me. For 7 strait years. Up until just over a week ago.

Life was crap. Always has been. Long story short, fucked up family life, fucked up social life, fucked up love life. A suicide or two mixed in for good measure. Things got pretty grim.

Then, more recently, my dad died. Now, I had a lot of mixed opinions about that. He was a cunt, but still, I loved him. He was my dad and all. Two weeks after that, my girlfriend dumped me. Well, she likes to say we split up, because that sounds more mutual, but still.

One morning, last monday I believe, I just woke up and felt my same old self. See, I have been depressed since I was 14. Just crap. Horrificly bad. Self harming for most of that time, obsessive gamer, you get the idea. Anyway, I woke up and I felt like shit. So I go downstairs for my morning smoke and boom!

The sun is shining. Life isn't that bad. Sure, my dads dead. Sure, one of the two people I have ever really loved in my life got rid of me and the other is 6 ft under and has been for years. Sure, I live miles away from my family and whatnot.

But I have friends, the sun is shining, I have coffee whenever I need it, I have cigarettes. Life is beautiful. People die, all the time, there is no point on dwelling on it. Live in the present, live for the future. Forget the past. The reason my dad was a cunt was he had a horrible life as a kid and dwelled on it every day. No matter what has happened, it has happened, just move on and walk away.

And I will admit, it feels AMAZING. But sometimes I feel that little bit of darkness coming back. And I admit its difficult, sometimes. But if you just try and smile more, eventually you start to feel better. If it comes to it, just lie, pretend to be happy, pretend as hard as you can. And the people around you will be happy that you are being happy, and their happiness will make you happy. Its like a cycle of happiness. Well, that is exactly what it is.

And as for trust issues? Yeah, they are a bitch. Been loaded down with emotional baggage for a while. But if you manage to stop yourself from thinking about it, things get easier. Sure, lots of guys and gals are assholes, they will fuck you over.

But who cares? The majority are not.

Remember, if you are happy, people will want to spend time around you. And that will make you happy.

EDIT:

Zachary Amaranth:

AstroSmash:

America has a drug problem.

I'd like to see your credentials. This sounds like layman "doctor phil" conspiracy-level stuff, but I'm sure if you can preach so definitively....

The West has a drug problem.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/18/new-research-on-the-antidepressant-versus-placebo-debate/
Different statistics from the ones I am used to, but it points out that 25% of patients do better on a placebo then on anti-depressants. Worrying considering one in 10 americans is on Anti-depressants.

That will do, I cannot be bothered to pull up study after study and whatnot.

Simply put, people are too willing to jump onto meds. I have been on them, I aint now and I am happier then I have ever been. Last time I was put on them I ended up having panic attacks, constant fucking panic attacks and too tired, too zombified to work.

America has a drug problem.

The west has a drug problem.

I cannot remember the term (Covered it in sociology last year). Life is over medicalised. Therapy is awesome! Eating Prozac, not so much. IMO, from watching people go through depression and going through depression myself, meds should be the LAST option, when every other attempt has ended in a brick wall.

People should be very, very aware that SSRI's are linked with suicidal tendencies. I lost a very, very dear friend through SSRIs.

DoubleEdit:

The researchers combined data from 6 large-scale, placebo-controlled randomized trials. The studies included 718 adult outpatients.

The authors found that the efficacy of antidepressants for depression varied considerably, depending on symptom severity.

"True drug effects (an advantage of antidepressants over placebo) were nonexistent to negligible among depressed patients with mild, moderate, and even severe baseline symptoms, whereas they were large for patients with very severe symptoms."

http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/01/06/antidepressants-work-better-than-placebo-for-severe-depression/10577.html

MetricFurlong:

TehCookie:

Well I changed it but I don't see what's wrong with people killing themselves, it's their choice.

I can understand your sentiment. Were we discussing euthanasia I might well express something similar. But we aren't. We're talking about depression and that complicates things a bit.

The fact is, clinical depression is the mother of all spanners in the works when it comes to suicide. Simply put, it severely damages (if not outright destroys) your ability to make a reasoned, rational decision on that subject. The depressed are very, very, bad when it comes to matters of their own self-worth and the worth of their future because the mental illness tends to hit those area of the mind and hits them hard*. Basically, there is something wrong with their minds that pushes them further towards self-sabotage and self-destruction. Like there's a shadow in your head needling you about whether it's worth getting up. Little thoughts that crop-up every now and then. Thoughts that really, everyone would just be better off if you weren't there. Thoughts you can't seem to quite get rid of despite what should be obvious evidence to disprove them. That is really not the mindset to be in when making choices about whether or not to die.
In some cases though suicide can feel less like a choice and more of like active compulsion. Like something pulling at you, the thought the thought that you should really be making plans to end your own always fluttering around the back of your mind. Where everything said to has 'by the way, you should kill yourself' added to it by your brain. Times when the choice isn't 'should I kill myself' but 'is it worth trying to fight the urge?'. I've had that fight before. I haven't always won it.

So, thank you for editing your post. I'll be removing it from my quote of you presently. While I may not be able to tell what the 'correct' state of mind is, I can pretty safely say that those headspaces I've described definitely aren't it, and people in those sort of spaces are likely to be drawn to this sort of thread.

*based on personal experience and what I've seen from others, depression isn't so much characterised by sadness as it is by despair and self-loathing. That's not to say depressed people aren't sad a lot, they often are, but thinking about it in terms of sadness can often give non-depressed types the wrong impression, often leading to the lines of 'just man-up and get over it' and 'but lots of people get sad and they manage' which most depressed people have thrown their way.

Depression runs in my family and they could easily be talked out of suicide, but my family is also extremely rational. A few of them have attempted suicide while on drugs that threw away their reason, but realized that they didn't want to die when they tried killing themselves. If someone only thinks they want to die and when push comes to shove they change their mind, they need help. Another thing with saying that way of thinking is wrong, imagine how someone with depression would feel being told that their mindset is wrong or not clear without people trying to understand them. Try to understand them and show them another side, you can't just force the "right" way on them.

If the person has the resolve, talked it over with someone and is aware of the consequences it's their choice, because then it is a choice and not a compulsion. Sure there brain chemistry is way off from normal, but look at my wackjob opinion, do you really think a normal person would say things like this?

lacktheknack:

Zombie Sodomy:

lacktheknack:

The idea that people should be allowed to kill themselves on a whim is... infuriating and terribly thought out, quite frankly.

It's not on a whim. It's something you think about night and day, sometimes for years and years. I truly want to kill myself, I have for years, but every day I don't because I know people will suffer if I do and I figure I might as well suffer instead. As time goes by though it gets harder and harder to care about them, and I even resent them for giving me a reason not to give up. If I kill myself it won't be on a whim, it'll be when the weight of all those years just becomes too much to carry and I'm just too exhausted to fight anymore. It's not a sudden, rash decision.

See. A. Therapist.

That's all there is to it. If that doesn't help, then see another one.

I had a therapist when I was one. I don't know how that's possible, but it's true and I've had at least one ever since. I had a therapist and a psychiatrist throughout elementary and high school, and now that I'm in college I meet regularly with Counseling Services and student organized support groups. I appreciate your advice, but so far talking hasn't really helped and drugs only made things worse. I'm still trying, but I'm kind of losing faith in the whole process.

When I was diagnosed with it the first thing my dad did was tell me how good I've got it and all that stuff. he thought he was helping but it's a common thing and a lot of folk say it maliciously. But that makes shit a whole lot worse, as we know.

Therapy can help if you want it to or if you're ready for it to.

As for the "You're not depressed, you're sad" stuff? It's true occasionally. But let a doctor decide that shit.

Also, depression stays with you but it's managed.

Zombie Sodomy:

lacktheknack:

Zombie Sodomy:

It's not on a whim. It's something you think about night and day, sometimes for years and years. I truly want to kill myself, I have for years, but every day I don't because I know people will suffer if I do and I figure I might as well suffer instead. As time goes by though it gets harder and harder to care about them, and I even resent them for giving me a reason not to give up. If I kill myself it won't be on a whim, it'll be when the weight of all those years just becomes too much to carry and I'm just too exhausted to fight anymore. It's not a sudden, rash decision.

See. A. Therapist.

That's all there is to it. If that doesn't help, then see another one.

I had a therapist when I was one. I don't know how that's possible, but it's true and I've had at least one ever since. I had a therapist and a psychiatrist throughout elementary and high school, and now that I'm in college I meet regularly with Counseling Services and student organized support groups. I appreciate your advice, but so far talking hasn't really helped and drugs only made things worse. I'm still trying, but I'm kind of losing faith in the whole process.

I trust you've said all that to a therapist. That nothing's working. And I'm glad you're keeping up the visits because one day, they might say something that sheds a new light on the subject. Even if it's by accident.

Depression is a personal thing and it's different every time. It could be that you haven't found your "calling" yet. I hate saying that because it's cheesey but it's the only way I can think of to say it. Personally what keeps me from jumping in front of a train is remembering that there's still stuff I need to explore and find out. Maybe that would help you, finding that thing that makes life something you want to never let go of.

ninjaRiv:

I trust you've said all that to a therapist. That nothing's working. And I'm glad you're keeping up the visits because one day, they might say something that sheds a new light on the subject. Even if it's by accident.

I keep hoping but they don't usually seem to have much in the way of new information. I'm sufficiently self aware to recognize the various causes behind my issues on my own; and while they occasionally come up with something I haven't already realized, it doesn't happen often. None of my therapists has ever had anything to say about what I'm supposed to do with that information.

Zombie Sodomy:

ninjaRiv:

I trust you've said all that to a therapist. That nothing's working. And I'm glad you're keeping up the visits because one day, they might say something that sheds a new light on the subject. Even if it's by accident.

I keep hoping but they don't usually seem to have much in the way of new information. I'm sufficiently self aware to recognize the various causes behind my issues on my own; and while they occasionally come up with something I haven't already realized, it doesn't happen often. None of my therapists has ever had anything to say about what I'm supposed to do with that information.

Well, there's a lot of people in the world and at least one of them will have something to say that will change at least a little bit of that for you. Shit, I'm more optimistic than I thought...

I know we don't know each other, besides occasionally crossing paths on other topics but feel free to message me if you want to talk about depression or anything. I've found it can sometimes help to get a strangers opinion on things.

mitchell271:
snip

Here's the discussion portion: Do you know anyone that has dealt with depression? How did they get out of it? Are they still struggling with it?
If you do know anyone that is depressed, or if you are, best of luck. The world's a tough place, but maybe, just maybe, we'll make it out.

I still have bad days from time to time, but not nearly as bad as the four years of damn near constant suicidal depression that plagued me through college. Honestly, 4chan got me through the turning point. It was back in the days when \b\ was clever (not good) and memes were plentiful. It was right about the time become an hero was a meme. The mockery of people contemplating suicide happened to include some insightful and acerbic criticism of people's motivations, their logic and their over reactions. In addition to making me laugh (incredibly important when you're depressed, find something that makes you laugh and make it a part of your life) it got me to agree. "You're gonna kill yourself over that? Are you stupid?" eventually lead to me turning that around "You're gonna kill yourself over that? Are you stupid?" It helped.

Also important. Regular sleep and exercise.
Like a lot of college students I know, I worked full time at night while attending class by day and sleeping in the afternoon. My schedule was horribly irregular. After I got off night shift, friends and family started comment how much happier and less angry I seemed. Vitamin D is important and if you're staying up all night and indoors all day, you aren't getting it.

Exercise was also a tremendously helpful tool in fighting off depression. Like a lot of you, I grew up pretty sedentary (there were video games to be played) so when I started going to a gym on a regular basis and swimming every day, it made a world of difference in my outlook. At first I was just too tired to be depressed, after the second week though, the runner's high and the feeling of being in motion (cardio mostly) and accomplishment was enough to brighten up any day.

When you find yourself thinking a way that you realize is unhealthy, you're on the right track. Now tell yourself that you don't want to think that way. You'll be surprised how much it helps. Learning to recognize when you're showing symptoms of your illness is key to beating it. And it is an illness, despite what people might say. Your brain forms a chemical memory. Spend too much time in any one state and the brain tries to replicate that state whenever possible. Not your fault, it is a physical problem with your brain.

My last big bit of advice is to surround yourself with friends. This can be hard to do when you're depressed. I know I was not exactly of a mind to call anyone when I was down, because that way of thinking you get is "if they wanted to be around me, they'd call." or "I'd be imposing on them" or "I'd only drag them down with me." The first two are the depression talking and those attitudes are to be feared and banished. The third one is a legitimate concern. Let's face it, depressed people suck. When you're depressed, you suck. They tend to drag you down into their despair. The trick here is not to talk too much about you. If you talk about you and why you're depressed, it should be to a counselor. Your friends and family will only be able to offer you things like "I'm sure it'll all work out." or "that's not true, lots of people feel that way" or my favorite "What do you mean, you're depressed, you have it so much better than these people, and they aren't depressed!" (P.S. for those of you with chemically functional brains, don't ever say this to someone who confides in you that they are depressed, it only makes them feel worse). Instead, get them talking about something. Doesn't matter what, but let them lead the conversation and keep up with it! Engage yourself in something unrelated to your depression and stay engaged in it.

Those are my tips for any of you dealing with this. It sucks, but you can do things to control it yourself.

Mr F.:
I cannot remember the term (Covered it in sociology last year). Life is over medicalised. Therapy is awesome! Eating Prozac, not so much. IMO, from watching people go through depression and going through depression myself, meds should be the LAST option, when every other attempt has ended in a brick wall.

Ideally meds should be used to alleviate symptoms enough that the depressed person is capable of responding to therapy and then slowly discontinued as therapy progresses. The problem is that far too many people want the 'quick fix' of medication rather than engaging in therapy.

People should be very, very aware that SSRI's are linked with suicidal tendencies. I lost a very, very dear friend through SSRIs.

Not all SSRIs show an increase in suicide ideation and in those that do it is most significant for under-18s, to the point where the use of those SSRIs is contraindicated for patients under-18. Even for adults it is recommended that the patient be monitored for any increases in suicide ideation.

There's also the question of what long term SSRI use does to the brain's serotonin production capabilities.

I was severely depressed from about age 11-12 to 16. I had very low self esteem and believed I didn't deserve to live. I contemplated killing myself more times than I can count, but was held back by the thought that it would hurt my mother. My family knew that something was wrong, but I refused to talk to them about it and they didn't know what to do. I saw a therapist once and refused to see them again, I was never perscribed any medication. I just held on to the thought that seeing me commit suicide would destroy my mom, and buried myself in media. Books, music, video games. I closed myself off from the rest of the world until the hole in me felt less hollow.

And then I discovered how to live again.

I'm better now. I can still feel the hole, the pain in me, but I can be happy too. It doesn't control me anymore.

My advice: find somethng to hold on to, a reason to survive until you feel like you can live again. Without that, you'll lose yourself easily.

RhombusHatesYou:

Mr F.:
I cannot remember the term (Covered it in sociology last year). Life is over medicalised. Therapy is awesome! Eating Prozac, not so much. IMO, from watching people go through depression and going through depression myself, meds should be the LAST option, when every other attempt has ended in a brick wall.

Ideally meds should be used to alleviate symptoms enough that the depressed person is capable of responding to therapy and then slowly discontinued as therapy progresses. The problem is that far too many people want the 'quick fix' of medication rather than engaging in therapy.

People should be very, very aware that SSRI's are linked with suicidal tendencies. I lost a very, very dear friend through SSRIs.

Not all SSRIs show an increase in suicide ideation and in those that do it is most significant for under-18s, to the point where the use of those SSRIs is contraindicated for patients under-18. Even for adults it is recommended that the patient be monitored for any increases in suicide ideation.

There's also the question of what long term SSRI use does to the brain's serotonin production capabilities.

Factor in them being utterly useless outside of the most severe cases and the vast majority of doctors ignoring clinical advice (Constant monitoring for the first two weeks at least) due to pressures of the job etc (And it being largely impossible)... I am just utterly against them to be honest.

I have seen them work. I have also seen them destroy lives. I know people who were put on them before they turned 18. I know someone who was killed by them.

So lets recap:
- Effectiveness is largely dubious.
- Dangerous, Incredibly so.
- It is hard to separate if the meds are helping people or the therapy that goes hand in hand most of the time.

Don't get me wrong, I don't deny that they can help. Just that they are turned to way too often and they are very, very scary. Fucking with brain chemistry is not the best idea as far as I am concerned.

I... I know saying this in this thread is possibly a bad idea... But part of me sorta thinks that being sad is part of the human condition. As is being depressed. Its all part of the human condition. I don't like calling that mentally ill. I really, really don't. I think the pharmacological option should only be used for the mentally ill...

I guess I am trying to say... Unless you have got to the point of being a danger to yourself or others I really don't think meds should be an option. I really don't. Talking therapy works. It really does. And has a lower chance of fucking you up. And I largely don't think being depressed is the same as being mentally ill.

Uh... Yeah. Nuff said. Aint slept, watching Dr Who, thoughts are not really clear.

I have dealt with depression. I got out of it. How did I do it? I got old. I struggled with it for about 10-15 years then I reached an age when all of my feelings died down - including depression. I completely let go and accepted my life would be ultimately meaningless and in doing that and facing that I discovered that I was okay with that.

The best thing to do while you're depressed is to occupy your time until you come out of it. That could be talking to a therapist, spending time alone, playing video games, whatever gets you through the day until the day comes when you feel slightly better. It's just a matter of time. You have to wait it out (and I know it's impossible to see the other end when you're really deep in a depression). But you have to trust the time will come when you'll feel all right. Then of course you'll probably slip in to another one, but you'll know that you got out before so it will eventually happen again. Then, one day, you'll be old like me and you'll no longer care and with that the weight of depression will no longer feel so heavy. The weight of expectation - from you or others - will not affect you as much, and you'll generally be more neutral (not happy, but not depressed). That's my experience.

One small piece of advice from experience. Most people facing depression are often thinking a lot of hypothetical situations - projecting outcomes, imagining scenarios, worried about expectations etc... all that stuff that doesn't actually exist yet and may never. That type of thinking can often lead to depression as expectations are not met and you feel bad. So as cliche as it sounds - live in the now. Only worry about what is in front of you. Try not to think more than 2-3 minutes ahead in what you are going to do. Get in to a routine of simple tasks (watering a plant, checking the mail box). Achieve those small things while not worrying about the hypothetical.

With regard to the hypothetical - think about the nature of time - the future does not exist. Only right now. And what you do now will become your history. So focus on what you are doing right now, however insignificant, and do it well and it will never become a regret. So ignore the 'future', focus on now and you will slowly establish a past you are proud of. Once you get in to a good place put some time aside to deal with any past issues you had before you started focusing only on the present. Eventually you'll feel okay.

And if you're suicidally depressed remember: You can leave at any time. But you can't come back. So why not stick it out for as long as you can to see what really happens, and then go later?

Hard to put 15 years of advice in to a short posting but I hope someone finds something helpful in that.

I have chronic depression, paranoid schizophrenia, PTSD, and an anxiety disorder. I don't take any medications and I'm currently not in therapy at the moment, but let me say that talking to someone else with experience (be it a psychologist or a friend) is one of the best things you can do to help get through it. I also actively practice martial arts, practice meditation, write music and poetry, work a part-time job, and am in an active relationship. That may not seem like much to anyone, but to me, that's a major improvement on how things have gotten in the past due to my disorders.

Each of those things allows me to relieve stress, help overcome any oncoming episodes I may be having, express myself in a healthy manner, and feel like I have a normal place in society all at once. There are a bunch of different ways you can explore to help overcome depression, but the best, I find, are just the natural ones. Talking to people, getting good exercise, eating well, and getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine does wonders. The thing is actually forcing yourself to do it, especially when both your body and mind are working against you.

TehCookie:

Depression runs in my family and they could easily be talked out of suicide, but my family is also extremely rational. A few of them have attempted suicide while on drugs that threw away their reason, but realized that they didn't want to die when they tried killing themselves. If someone only thinks they want to die and when push comes to shove they change their mind, they need help. Another thing with saying that way of thinking is wrong, imagine how someone with depression would feel being told that their mindset is wrong or not clear without people trying to understand them. Try to understand them and show them another side, you can't just force the "right" way on them.

While this may seem strange to you, being told that their self-image is point-blank wrong is actually one of the more useful things for people suffering with depression. Knowing that you have a mental illness can be a useful tool in trying to survive with one (which clinical depression is), because it gives you something to stand-on when facing the barrage of thoughts that will be coming your way on a daily basis. There's also the fact that it is wrong, at least when it's stemming from the depression itself.

As I mentioned in my last post, having clinical depression will mean have to cope with a very low sense of self-worth, characterised by very frequent thoughts about how worthless you are, how you don't matter, how pathetic you are, how no one should like you. These thoughts happen regardless of any actual basis in reality. You can be a really smart or talented person, but still remain unable to shake the idea that you're useless and a failure. You can wake-up each morning to your brain telling you that you do nothing but drag everyone else down and that they'd all be better off without you no matter how many people actually care about you and consider you one of the best things about their lives. You can be a generous, kind individual but that won't stop the thoughts that you're really just a selfish wretch from crowding your mind. You can in every other respect be an entirely normal person, but still never quite escape the feeling that you're really subhuman.
In some cases, these thoughts will fester and become about how you deserve to suffer, how you need be injured, that you should die because that's 'the right thing'. This is what I mean when I say a compulsion. These thoughts will have no real rational basis for them, but they will be there anyway. And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't say that any decision based on taking this sort of thinking as read is a particularly sound one.

The fact is, these thoughts are wrong, and recognising that is important when it comes to trying to withstand them. On the face of it, you'd think it would be obvious to dismiss these idea, but when they're inside your own head resisting them gets a lot harder.
I appreciate you probably haven't been through that sort of headspace. It's entirely possible none of your family members have either, but that doesn't make it any less of a reality for all of us who do have to live with it.

Sure there brain chemistry is way off from normal, but look at my wackjob opinion, do you really think a normal person would say things like this?

Yes. I have heard a lot of things said by normal people about depression in the past. Even if I hadn't, the fact of the matter is that having an unconventional opinion, even one that would mark you out as being 'weird' in general society, does not make you any less of a normal person when it comes to depression.

I understand that it's very difficult for someone who does not have much experience with depression to fully understand what living with it is like. I'm not asking you to do that, but I would ask that you listen to what is being said to you by people who do have depression and who do have experience with it.

Alexander Bradley:
I have chronic depression, paranoid schizophrenia, PTSD, and an anxiety disorder. I don't take any medications and I'm currently not in therapy at the moment, but let me say that talking to someone else with experience (be it a psychologist or a friend) is one of the best things you can do to help get through it. I also actively practice martial arts, practice meditation, write music and poetry, work a part-time job, and am in an active relationship. That may not seem like much to anyone, but to me, that's a major improvement on how things have gotten in the past due to my disorders.

Each of those things allows me to relieve stress, help overcome any oncoming episodes I may be having, express myself in a healthy manner, and feel like I have a normal place in society all at once. There are a bunch of different ways you can explore to help overcome depression, but the best, I find, are just the natural ones. Talking to people, getting good exercise, eating well, and getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine does wonders. The thing is actually forcing yourself to do it, especially when both your body and mind are working against you.

Martial arts, meditation, engaging with your friends on your terms about your issues, keeping active within your comfort zone (e.g. part time job), eating well, sleeping well, exercising well, these are the best "therapy" I would recommend for someone with your particular set of, very difficult to treat, conditions. Mostly though, it works for you. Keep it up.

People are quick to slap labels on stuff these days, but one thing they don't talk about is "the functionality test". Its a simple test psychologists give, and what it amounts to is simply asking whether your condition interferes with your ability to live and enjoy your life. If it does then you need help. If it doesn't then carry on sir, because no-one's life is perfect and we all have our little neuroses (I'm terrified of spiders... doesn't mean I need medication for it or therapy). If you've got it under control then get on with enjoying your life.

I've never been diagnosed by anybody, but I suspect that I have at least moderate depression and some kind of anxiety disorder.

I have an immense fear of the future, and a fear that I just can't do what everybody else does or that I'm falling behind. It comes in bouts, sometimes a day, sometimes a week. I haven't had it for a while, but when it does come, it's pretty bad. Usually they're set off by things people say that play to my insecurities.

Last time it came was a pretty dark time where I had a fallout with some of my friends, had been told off by a few too many people, and was living in a home where I'd get little to no human interaction for days on end.

My unfortunate way I coped was self-harm. Mostly via near-suffocation. I've had this for as long as I can remember, and have been self-harming since I was 13. I've been to a few therapists before (for a divorce, unrelated), and they seemed to know that I was a little off. But they were assholes and were bad at their job. I've also talked to a support line once, but they did literally nothing. I know I should go to a counselor, but I feel it just wastes my time, not to mention my family isn't too keen on spending any money on bills for a mental disorder, which according to my father, doesn't exist.

Next time I go through another bout, I'll probably try to see a therapist.

mitchell271:
Disclaimer: I don't recommend reading this if you're depressed or think you might be. This is all pretty heavy handed stuff.
There's also a decent amount of whinging in this post, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum.
While I may be a university student, depression is still a very real thing, especially among people in my age group. The Social Readjustment Scale measures how likely you are to be affected by mental illness and I scored 454. A major risk is considered above 300.

Everyone has issues. These could be anything from minor self-image problems to incredible cynicism. We all have them in one way shape or form and we all like to say, "You can get help. There's always someone willing to listen." However, that's not always true. For example, I'm depressed and I've got an appointment with a therapist lined up next week to try to sort everything out.

This kind of treatment, however basic, isn't available to everyone. Not everyone can afford a therapist and even if you can, finding one that will actually help you can be a challenge in of itself. Ironically, what got me thinking about depression was Depression Quest, a "choose-your-own-adventure" game about depression. I recommend playing through it and choosing the answers that you would actually pick instead of the ones that would help you the most. I played through it and began thinking, "These are some of the symptoms of depression? I've got a few of those myself." I talked to the healthcare clinic on campus and was diagnosed with depression.

So now, I'm hoping things will get a little better and I can't start to, well, feel again.

Here's the discussion portion: Do you know anyone that has dealt with depression? How did they get out of it? Are they still struggling with it?
If you do know anyone that is depressed, or if you are, best of luck. The world's a tough place, but maybe, just maybe, we'll make it out.

I've been there. I'm glad I got out.
That being said, my ticket out of depression was the same ticket I used to get out of the city and to the university. I got there with the sole goal of putting my issues behind me, meeting new people, learning new stuff and enjoy myself as much as I could without worrying about all the stuff that had gone wrong the year before I moved out. The getting away-part itself was a big part of this, although not the most important one.

If there's one thing I can recommend to someone in a university who wants to socialize more, it would be joining a student association of some sort. I don't know if you have the same sort of associations where you're studying, but if there is, seek them out and join one that fits you. Doing that is one of the smartest things I've ever done. I've gotten to know so many genuinely nice and intelligent people through that, and if there's one way to help someone's self-esteem that I can think of, it's getting a new, good social circle. It helps. It really does.

floppylobster:
Quotey

Thankies for writing this. I just can't stop re-reading it, you just hit so many of the major points on the head for me personally and just, I dunno, just very glad to have found your post. Been looking through this website that have similar themed threads to this and just trying to find what people have to say and stuff, book marking certain pages that I will just force my self to read when I hit my lowest of the low feelings in an effort to finally get through this.

Just thankies for writing this. =)

floppylobster:

One small piece of advice from experience. Most people facing depression are often thinking a lot of hypothetical situations - projecting outcomes, imagining scenarios, worried about expectations etc... all that stuff that doesn't actually exist yet and may never. That type of thinking can often lead to depression as expectations are not met and you feel bad. So as cliche as it sounds - live in the now. Only worry about what is in front of you. Try not to think more than 2-3 minutes ahead in what you are going to do. Get in to a routine of simple tasks (watering a plant, checking the mail box). Achieve those small things while not worrying about the hypothetical.

I actually give this advice a lot, and I tend to quote Thomas A Kempis who said, "Wherever you go, there you are.". So many people live their lives dwelling on their past mistakes or missed chances (depression) or worrying about the future (anxiety).

You'll find yourself a lot more satisfied if you live life where you are, doing what you're doing. This doesn't mean you can't plan for the future or learn from the past, but you can't LIVE in the future or the past, because the moment you do that you're no longer living your life.

So, wherever you go, there you are. You are where you are, enjoy it.

Looks like I am not alone in depression around here. Well, technically I am going through bipolar disorder but am exhibiting major depressive episodes (opposite of my sister who experiences mostly manic episodes). Really it is a good thing that you are talking to someone, as that is one of the best things you could do. Currently I am on meds and am going to a therapist to work through my issues, but just talking with someone really does help. I hope therapy helps and I do sincerely hope you get through this.

mitchell271:

Here's the discussion portion: Do you know anyone that has dealt with depression? How did they get out of it? Are they still struggling with it?
If you do know anyone that is depressed, or if you are, best of luck. The world's a tough place, but maybe, just maybe, we'll make it out.

I won't bore you with the details of my life story, but suffice it to say I struggled with depression during adolescence due to bullying and I still struggle with it from time to time. In my case the best way to get out of depression is just to socialize with people around me and through socializing I have gained new friends and forgot about how depressing life can sometimes be or at the very least discovered people who share the problems I have. There are a million things out there that can trigger depression if you dwell on them too long. You have to learn to appreciate the good things in life and ignore the trivial things that don't matter. Keeping fit like a poster above suggested is also a good way of keeping depression in check since you won't be upset by the way you look and will be more likely to have more energy to hang out with friends. If you are feeling depressed about your situation compare how you live to how people live in Africa and developing nations where they struggle daily to survive not only because they are depressed but because they don't have the food or medicine to live.

If you're looking for suggestions on how to feel again, watch "The End of Poverty" and try not to feel sorry for the people who live in Kenya or places like it around the globe. Learning to trust is a difficult thing, I would suggest trying to forget about your worries and think to yourself "I am who I am, no matter how other people see me" but that could lead to anxiety in some cases. Anyway a therapist is probably a lot more informed on depression than I am and their suggestions are likely to have better results so I hope everything goes well with your therapy.

P.S. - Just played through Depression Quest and had a really good ending about a family Christmas. It's a pretty neat game considering it just text based and made me relive some of the experiences I've had.

MetricFurlong:

TehCookie:

Depression runs in my family and they could easily be talked out of suicide, but my family is also extremely rational. A few of them have attempted suicide while on drugs that threw away their reason, but realized that they didn't want to die when they tried killing themselves. If someone only thinks they want to die and when push comes to shove they change their mind, they need help. Another thing with saying that way of thinking is wrong, imagine how someone with depression would feel being told that their mindset is wrong or not clear without people trying to understand them. Try to understand them and show them another side, you can't just force the "right" way on them.

While this may seem strange to you, being told that their self-image is point-blank wrong is actually one of the more useful things for people suffering with depression. Knowing that you have a mental illness can be a useful tool in trying to survive with one (which clinical depression is), because it gives you something to stand-on when facing the barrage of thoughts that will be coming your way on a daily basis. There's also the fact that it is wrong, at least when it's stemming from the depression itself.

As I mentioned in my last post, having clinical depression will mean have to cope with a very low sense of self-worth, characterised by very frequent thoughts about how worthless you are, how you don't matter, how pathetic you are, how no one should like you. These thoughts happen regardless of any actual basis in reality. You can be a really smart or talented person, but still remain unable to shake the idea that you're useless and a failure. You can wake-up each morning to your brain telling you that you do nothing but drag everyone else down and that they'd all be better off without you no matter how many people actually care about you and consider you one of the best things about their lives. You can be a generous, kind individual but that won't stop the thoughts that you're really just a selfish wretch from crowding your mind. You can in every other respect be an entirely normal person, but still never quite escape the feeling that you're really subhuman.
In some cases, these thoughts will fester and become about how you deserve to suffer, how you need be injured, that you should die because that's 'the right thing'. This is what I mean when I say a compulsion. These thoughts will have no real rational basis for them, but they will be there anyway. And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't say that any decision based on taking this sort of thinking as read is a particularly sound one.

The fact is, these thoughts are wrong, and recognising that is important when it comes to trying to withstand them. On the face of it, you'd think it would be obvious to dismiss these idea, but when they're inside your own head resisting them gets a lot harder.
I appreciate you probably haven't been through that sort of headspace. It's entirely possible none of your family members have either, but that doesn't make it any less of a reality for all of us who do have to live with it.

Sure there brain chemistry is way off from normal, but look at my wackjob opinion, do you really think a normal person would say things like this?

Yes. I have heard a lot of things said by normal people about depression in the past. Even if I hadn't, the fact of the matter is that having an unconventional opinion, even one that would mark you out as being 'weird' in general society, does not make you any less of a normal person when it comes to depression.

I understand that it's very difficult for someone who does not have much experience with depression to fully understand what living with it is like. I'm not asking you to do that, but I would ask that you listen to what is being said to you by people who do have depression and who do have experience with it.

I am just getting offended by you now. You think I have no clue what it's like when I do, then you tell me my family isn't depressed. I'm the one stuck on cleanup duty when my brother slits his wrist smearing on the walls or tries to overdose and just ends up throwing up everywhere and pissing himself. I have my mother threaten to murder me and my brother because she feels her life is so terrible no one can be happy around her and you say I don't understand and they they're not depressed. I don't even want to continue this with you.

Naeras:

I've been there. I'm glad I got out.
That being said, my ticket out of depression was the same ticket I used to get out of the city and to the university. I got there with the sole goal of putting my issues behind me, meeting new people, learning new stuff and enjoy myself as much as I could without worrying about all the stuff that had gone wrong the year before I moved out. The getting away-part itself was a big part of this, although not the most important one.

If there's one thing I can recommend to someone in a university who wants to socialize more, it would be joining a student association of some sort. I don't know if you have the same sort of associations where you're studying, but if there is, seek them out and join one that fits you. Doing that is one of the smartest things I've ever done. I've gotten to know so many genuinely nice and intelligent people through that, and if there's one way to help someone's self-esteem that I can think of, it's getting a new, good social circle. It helps. It really does.

I actually did put everything behind me when I moved for university. I'm in my first year in a new town and I didn't know anyone coming here. I've made some great friends and some "friends". What part of what put me in this position though was one of the people I met here.

I've found that university is a house of people that want to learn and some of the worst kind of people. I've since joined a few music groups and I'm making friends in those. It's helping, but still not a permanent fix.

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