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Depression

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posted on Apr, 6 2003 @ 04:27 AM
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Iím wondering what experiences anyone here at ATS may have had with depression. What are fellow membersí perceptions and beliefs about depression? Does anyone here suffer from depression or have a depressed spouse, family member, friend or partner?

Many people are uncomfortable being around a depressed person and either try to ìfixî them with attempts to cheer them up or, or avoid them altogether.

So, is depression considered to be something ugly and would a depressed person be unacceptable to anyone?

Comments anyone?

Deep



arc

posted on Apr, 6 2003 @ 04:43 AM
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Well I've had bouts of depression on and off since I was about 16. Some of it has been reactive, in response to certain events in my life, and some of it is more chemical - usually as a result of my brain chemistry getting screwed up because I haven't been eating properly or taking too many drugs.

When I first started becoming depressed, the treatment I usually received was counselling. I found this could actually make me worse because it encouraged a 'blame my past' mentality and stopped me looking forward. These days I have an excellent relationship with my family, doctor and friends, plus plenty of support from work - so I just ask for whatever help I need, take the medication when needed and make whatever adjustments in my lifestyle that will help.

I have never had too many problems with how other people treat me, but I think that's because of how I handle it. If I was to sit there feeling sorry for myself and blaming the whole world for my depression, then I know people would shun me. But I manage to keep my sense of humour, take responsibility for how I feel and learn from my experiences.



posted on Apr, 6 2003 @ 05:06 AM
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It's hard to know where being fed-up, cheesed off, disappointed, pessimistic, sad, come to an end: and depression begins: but I guess it's a matter of duration.
The shrinks have tended to divide it into two sorts: "endogenous" -it's just "in" you and is probably chemical in origin so bring on the pills: or reactive: one has cause to be sad but it's just lasting too long (this is very much the theme of Hamlet) - and here, therapy is offered.
When it alternates with mania: you're in trouble.
Statistically, it is associated with certain ages and all the evidence of which I'm aware suggests that it is as likely to go away of its own accord as it is to respond to treatment.
If it is chemical in origin - and that's essentially a working hypothesis: I guess the pills are in order but one hears much of dreadful side-effects.
I've been spared myself but I've had friends who've suffered pretty badly.
I don't think it's a symptom of the age: there's ample reference to it in the past (as "melancholy").


arc

posted on Apr, 6 2003 @ 05:35 AM
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Medication can indeed bring on it's own problems and it is vital to have a sympathetic GP. I had a bad experience with Prozac about 9 years ago and the doctor who was treating me then was no help at all. I ended up taking myself off the treatment and trying to go it alone for several more years. Unfortunately I do suffer with mild manic episodes and the Prozac seemed to make me more so. However in the last 6 years I spent 4 of them on Dothiepin, which had no distressing side effects for me, and have just recently started taking citalopram which I am finding very effective.

I tend not to rely on medication alone as I know the effect certain lifestyle choices have on my mood and general health, so when I start to struggle - out goes the coffee and I start fine tuning my diet and getting more sleep. I am a little bit of a complex case as I have a history of anorexic episodes and also suffer bad PMT.

Estragon I agree totally that it is hard to define when 'normal' is replaced by depression. I have learnt that when a bad patch starts to last a little too long, I begin to withdraw and lose my self confidence - then it's time to seek a little extra support. I think with me personally, depressive tendancies are part of my make-up and that I will probably always have a weakness in this regard. With age I am learning to manage them better and have learnt so much about myself and the way others function, that there is little regret



posted on Apr, 6 2003 @ 06:57 AM
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I appreciate your honesty Arc; some people may feel that being depressed is shameful and choose to deny that to protect their self-esteem or image. You certainly have a balanced philosophy of dealing with depression and having family, supportive friends and a sympathetic / understanding GP may well offer more cure than anti-depressant medications. Iím aware that many counsellors are more harmful than helpful. Your self-awareness is a very powerful tool in recognising things that may bring on a depressive episode and better managing that. Taking personal responsibility for your life and choices is to be commended.

Iíve also suffered from depression beginning in my 20s. Iíve had a temperament evaluation that says Iím a compulsive melancholy type of person and so, may share your predisposition to depression. Iíve experienced reactive depression, but also a depression that just creeps in and hangs over me like a dark cloud. I can display most of the usual symptoms like withdrawing from others, lack of emotions or sad affect (similar to a flat line), and difficulty in thinking / concentrating with despairing thoughts. Iíve been prescribed an antidepressant and a mood elevator, neither medication helped at all. They only knocked me out so I slept but left me feeling very groggy and disorientated the following day. I use St. Johnís Wart as a pre-emptive cure for depression, but it may have negative side-effects for others. Iíve found that depression can really cause problems in the workplace because many co-workers donít want to be exposed to it. I find it very difficult to suppress the depression and put on a happy face for the benefit of others. The more others call attention to my depression, the more self-conscious I feel and only spiral deeper into it.

Estragon: I agree that depression can be a combination of many issues rolling into a snowball effect that swirls around and possibly overwhelms a person. Given that scenario, it would be difficult to separate where environmental or personal issues end, and depression begins.

The medical model (all disease is organically-based) that most psychiatrists adhere to believes that depression has genetic origins and may run in families. They believe that brain chemicals like serotonin may be out of balance and malfunctioning. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which affects certain cells in the brain stem. Any changes in the level of serotonin will result in a change in mood, appetite, and sleeping habits. The medications used to treat depression change the serotonin levels to help the person return to normal levels. As youíve stated, the side effects of most medications only cause extra problems for people. Cognitive therapists believe that much depression results from negative thinking patterns and by examining and replacing negative thoughts with more realistic ones, depression can be managed by the person themselves.

I see each human as unique even though we all share many common traits and needs. Each personís experience is subjective and their physical makeup may differ. I believe that assessment should be done on an individual basis because what works for one person may not work for another. Because England has a socialized medical system (the NHS) seeing a GP is free and itís quite easy to be given a prescription for anti-depressants. Unfortunately, that approach may only swat the symptoms when other forms of therapy could offer better results. Counselling is available through the NHS but because counselling is still in its infancy here, many counsellors may not be trained to deal with depression effectively.



posted on Apr, 6 2003 @ 11:31 AM
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I was simply "Mod-ing" ( I hope you'd you'd know that I post what, upon no little reflection, I think is the case). These are honest postings and to the constantly threatened credit of ATS, they have been treated respectfully.
Admittedly, it's bland: but the essence is something like "education": of oneself and of those around one. Depression is a wound; but you cannot see it: you can only encounter the symptoms.
And for the depressed, I guess it's patience and strength. Poor counsel when the diazepam's in the jar: but it is an "awareness" thing: the clinically depressed are cripples wih both legs: "invisibly" injured.
We have not yet arrived at a vision of our fellow-man that readily encompassses this.



posted on Apr, 6 2003 @ 01:49 PM
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As a person who has suffered some very severe bouts of depression throughout my adult life, I can say that what has worked best for myself is a combination of medicine and therapy. I have been so depressed that I have considered taking my own life, because at those times I felt there was no other recourse, no other way out from the pain I was suffering. Fortunately I recognized early on that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

And that is one thing I have learned about depression, and it is an important lesson. I know that the depression is temporary, that even though it feels as though it will never leave, that I feel so hopeless and filled with despair, I know it is temporary. And its in those periods that I feel the cognitive approach is very helpful. I do take a minimal dose of anti-depressant as maintenance, and I have found that I have not had a bout of depression in 2 years. On the other hand, while depressed I found that certain thoughts would intensify and reinforce the depression. For example, I would think, (for example) that I was a very ugly person. This thought would create a chain reaction of bad feelings within myself, rising to a feeling of utter hopelessness and despair. However, I have learned to challenge these types of thoughts, and it helps greatly in fending off these absolute bottomless feelings.

The bad thing though is that, as Estragon was pointing out, when you get depressed you dont get bumps on your forehead, or a sign around your neck, or any visible diagnosible sign. So I suffered with depression for years, without it being diagnosed, through a combination of ignorance and the fact that it crept up on me in my late teenage years, and soon I came to think that the way I was feeling was the way I was supposed to feel. It caused me to develope many ingrained, negative false beliefs about myself. So by the time I was in my early 20's, I believed that I was an unworthwhile person, that I wasnt attractive to anyone etc...

Depression is insidious in its approach. Also, for a long time there was a great stigma against any type of mental illness, at least where I grew up. While depression is becoming more and more acceptable now, but this was not always the case. I cannot remember how many times as I grew up someone asking me "What? Are you crazy?"
It was my sense of humor that usually caused these types of questions, but there was such a negative connotation associated with being "crazy" that there was no way I was going to be "crazy". Thus I suffered for years before I sought treatment.



posted on Apr, 7 2003 @ 06:23 AM
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William One Sac: I appreciate you sharing your personal experiences of depression. Your comments about suicidal thoughts are correct; they seem to offer some type of solace during times of severe depression. And that solution is permanent, no coming back. Iíve always remembered something I heard once: ìWhat guarantee do you have that dying would make things any better?î I suppose many people may believe in heaven or going into a blissful light of peace & happiness, but even considering OBEís or psychicsí stories ñ thereís no real proof of that being a reality.

Your comment about depression being temporary is true for many types of depression. I suppose the old saying that ìThis too shall passî would apply. However, bi-polar and clinical depressions are much more difficult to minimize. As youíve commented, a combination of medication and therapy coupled with a realistic acceptance of the disease and a view to life-long management of it would be helpful for the depressed person.

I agree with and understand your comments about negative self-image and obsessive negative thought patterns. Statistics show that almost 100% of depressed people are caught in a syndrome of negative thinking that feeds the depression and creates a vicious cycle.

Yes, depression shows no outward signs that others (or ourselves) can see, so itís often put down to work stress or personal problems. Because depressed people appear normal & healthy looking; others can interpret them as just feeling sorry for themselves, or wanting sympathy. Also the stigma that any mental illness carries causes many people to deny their depression for fear of being ridiculed or stereotyped. The fact that millions of people suffer from depression without even recognizing it for what it is, happens all too often. Many times families or spouses will collude with that ignorance by denying to the person that thereís anything wrong with them. Most people say things like, ìCheer up, life isnít all that badî or, ìYou just need to get out into the sunshine and go for a walkî. Unfortunately, managing depression isnít that simplistic and friends or family members who canít relate to it can cause more emotional damage to the depressed person because they may begin to chastise themselves for not being able to function ìnormallyî like everyone else.

Iíve dealt with my own depression and have supported several depressed people. Sometimes there are no words on earth that can penetrate or minimize their depression. Their eyes appear empty and words just pass over their head. Sometimes people become impatient and disgusted with otherís depression, rejecting them would only magnify the depression and re-enforce the negative thoughts spiral.

Iím reminded of the story of Job in the Bible. When he was stricken with a severe disease after losing his children, all his wealth - and then his wife told him to just go away and die. Job went to the city dump to suffer alone and three friends who had heard of his misfortune and misery came to comfort him. Because they could see that his suffering was so great, they simply sat with him in his misery for three days ñ never saying a word. They simply allowed their presence to offer comfort in knowing that they were there for Job.

Thereís a big difference between sympathy and compassion. Caring people can drop their frame of reference and try to understand and empathize with the depressed personís condition, simply offering their availability of themselves, if wanted or need.



posted on Apr, 7 2003 @ 10:25 AM
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A most constructive and human posting Deep-W. I'm unconvinced that the general abbatoir-atmosphere of ATS is conducive to human communication; but this thread -and a scant couple of others - does let us be people.
The burden of your and WIS's threads is at the nub of this issue: "We do not bleed but we are cut".
Depression is the place before death and I hope mere surfers learn from your valued words.
Estragon, fount of all facts, gladly yields to those who have felt and experienced, and who bear the unseen scars..



posted on Apr, 7 2003 @ 10:07 PM
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I don't have much to add that hasn't been added. I have dealt with it for a long time and I do believe it is in the genes. (Fam is on whole bunch of meds) The only thing I want to bring up is kind of stupid but also very serious, at least to me. If your doctor tells you there MAY be certain sexual side affects with your meds, count on it happening.



posted on Apr, 8 2003 @ 01:48 AM
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"Cognitive therapists believe that much depression results from negative thinking patterns and by examining and replacing negative thoughts with more realistic ones, depression can be managed by the person themselves. "

Well, lately the Cognitive therapists and Behavioral therapists have merged their theories. So not only is it simply negative thinking patterns, but depression also involves the behaviors (or lack thereof) which result from the patterns. You must think and ACT differently (i.e. in a healthier fashion), according to the CBT model (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy).

Regardless, depression is nobody's fault. It is a reaction- biological or social- that is natural! Unfortunately, suicide is a much higher risk in those that are depressed. Depressed folks need support during a time like that, it wouldn't be very productive to have people criticizing them!

Depression is an illness but also a way of life for some people.

I hope everyone is doing okay!
DF



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 09:02 AM
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Apparently I have depression, I was just diagnosed with it. I just came back from a pyschiatic ward. It was awful because I do not feel that I am depressed but someone told my school that I was suicidal which in my opinion is a lie. But I think that I am fine. I accidently told the person evaluating me that I was gonna set someones house on fire because he got me suspended twice in a week. She asked what would happen and I said everyone would laugh and the cops would give me $20... Apparently not the right thing to say... I was there for 6 days and it sucked ass. I have to say the best thing to cope with depression is your friends. They care for you and love you. And if your lucky, make love to you.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 09:25 AM
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After giving birth 3 years ago, my brain was like a scrambled egg. I couldnt sleep, I kept having suicidal thoughts ( they call it baby blues ). I wanted to jump off my balcony...100 foot drop. I use to estimate how long it would take me to drop to the ground. I had voices in my head repeating some weird combination of words. Relatives would call to see how the baby and I were doing and I would break out crying right away. When I did sleep which was seldom, I always woke up thinking the baby is wrapped up in the sheets and not breathing.

Once the hormones shifted a bit...which to this day are a little off, I was able to get back to life and deal with stress better. Some females suffer a life time of depression from teen years to old age. My mother was diagnosed with clinical depression, but she refused to take any of the drugs they give her. She claims its better to be a little nuts than to be a total vegged out zombie.

I still battle with sadness and irritation. But I cant afford to show my kid that moms a mess. So I take yoga. It has so many benefits. Mental, spiritual, physical.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 05:00 PM
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Depression is definately genetic; it's rife in my spouse's family and my daugher has inherited it -- my son and I do not have it and it's not in my family.

I think a number of social factors influence it (including our fast pace of living). I also have seen how much drugs can help (and how you have to keep alert for them not functioning.) I think that's what makes me saddest; that there's no single treatment that will turn off the depression; that they can get relief for long stretches of time but that it's always there.

I feel a little weary sometimes. They don't move to help themselves or don't notice the obvious symptoms rising again and so I'm usually the one to initiate the healing moves. I wish there were just one thing that would fix everything -- and I know they wish it, too.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 05:03 PM
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yep,
I've suffered with depression and self mutilation.
It's ballenced out with meds, and therapy.

hard shizz.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 08:23 PM
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Ive been suffering from depression for the past couple of months. Its gotten so bad that its affecting my physical health. This week I finally broke down and made a Dr.'s appointment. I hope everything turns out ok.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by Ocelot
Ive been suffering from depression for the past couple of months. Its gotten so bad that its affecting my physical health. This week I finally broke down and made a Dr.'s appointment. I hope everything turns out ok.


I feel for you dude.
I've been there too.

But believe me. It is curable.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 08:34 PM
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But believe me. It is curable.


LOL! I hope so or else im screwed.



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 08:34 PM
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okay, okay, Ill tell you the truth about depression. "Depression, is the natural state of the human spirit, while in captivity". And thats the truth.................



posted on Jun, 25 2003 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by All Seeing Eye
okay, okay, Ill tell you the truth about depression. "Depression, is the natural state of the human spirit, while in captivity". And thats the truth.................


"Deleted by Mod". Depression is ignorance.

It's not being able to understand yourself.
When you understand that you are so cool anyway, whatever life throws at you, depression takes a hike.

[Edited on 26-6-2003 by All Seeing Eye]




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