How do you REALLY overcome depression?

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posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:24 PM
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I really appreciate everyone's insightful posts. Thank you for taking the time to respond




posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by PassedKarma
 


Well I hope you try some free sunshine first for a week before you tey the pills from doctors as someone else said you could just be vitamin D deficient as everyone is scared of the sun because they could get cancer from it, wish you luck with it all.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:29 PM
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Here's how I do it: get out of bed every day bright and early, make your bed every day, clean the house every night at 6, stay busy during the day, volunteer. Also make sure to do something that you used to think was fun every day -- like whatever you enjoyed as a 12 year old - video games, coloring, playing with play-dough, reading Seventeen magazine, whatever. Just keep yourself going, and pray a lot (but not for yourself - only gratitude lists and prayers of petition for others).
edit on 11-9-2012 by YoungSoul because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:37 PM
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You may have some sort of a chemical imbalance. If so, then medications may be the best answer.



I don't believe in "God won't give you more than you can handle.


That phrase/scripture may not apply to you. It only applies to Christians who are (trying to be) obedient. All others (non-Christians)... well, in actuality, even though they may be loved by God, they are for all intents and purposes are on their own.

If you're depressed many times what helps is a very simple thing: to just start moving. Get out of the house and take a walk. Many times, this will 'shake off' the mood.

One characteristic of depressed persons (which I speak of from experience) is that the focus is: me. What about 'me'? When is it 'my' turn? Why 'me'?

So a good way to get out of (regular non chemical-imbalanced induced) depression is to focus on others. Get out there. Volunteer. Get involved. Go buy a sandwich for a homeless person. Get the focus off of yourself and you will see how much better you'll feel.
edit on 11/9/2012 by MarkJS because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 12:01 AM
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reply to post by ssupp
 


Did you learn about the ego through '___'? Ego death perhaps? I have heard of people being completely cured of severe depression after an ayahuasca experience. Supposedly it makes your brain able to make and absorb serotonin at normal levels.

Something to look into OP.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 12:36 AM
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Originally posted by Trolloks
What worked for me was keeping yourself occupied by a project of some sorts, something artistic to get that brain ticking.
What really helped with me was writing, i got into a habit of writing what ever was in my head at the end of the night, helps a lot with clearing the head to get a better sleep.
After a while of brushing up my writing skills and improving, i decided to write short stories. Give myself a week to write a story, and then read it at the end on the sunday night, no need to show anyone, but it helped me greatly, having something that i am proud of creating for myself, to prove my worth to myself.

I am now happy and enjoying my life, still writing, in fact i now write Sci-fi and comedy. I love it, but i always remember how i got into writing in the first place. Depression was a bad part of my life, but also the greatest, for it is when i found my talent and hobby.

Everyone is different though, so try out something you find a slight interest in. Try out a new instrument, try writing something (story, poetry, etc etc), build something, make jewelry, paint, etc etc.

You'll find that when you are doing these, you will not be thinking of depression/what ever is upsetting you, a great way of focusing your mind on something productive rather than thinking the same things over and over that just result in a downward spiral of depression.
edit on 11-9-2012 by Trolloks because: (no reason given)


This is excellent advice, in my opinion. I went through severe depression 14 years ago. Also refused medication and it lasted around 2 years... It was so bad that I wasn't even able to go out in public out of fear of running into someone I knew and that person noticing my state. I didn't work all this time and got by on what would be around 8 dollars a day for food. The only person I spoke to was my mother...

Suicide was out of the question for me because I believe that if you get off the train, you will get back on the same train in the next life. I did, however, spend many evenings sitting by the train tracks near my tiny studio of 12 ft by 9 feet...

One day, during the last year of this hell, I went online and started looking at old motorcycles. I ended up on a BMW motorcycles forum and got a real interest in the 70's bikes. This became my new hobby. Eventually, I found one I could afford (yes, with help from mom...) and learned how to restore it.

This new hobby was what got me out of my depression. It gave me a goal in life, however small that goal may seem. Soon enough, I was going for rides in the country, and for the first time felt a sense of pride again. To me, the bike was an expression of my personality, which I had lost for so long. And passion!

I got a low-pay job in an internet cafe (before my depression I was a commercial/fashion photographer). Kept this job for 6 months and then went onto something slightly better. Now I work in health care. Don't make much money, but also no longer feel the need for it. Meaning and purpose are much more important to me now. I have become allergic to the superficial.

I now have a beautiful wife (sweetest and warmest woman in the world) and 3 sons. I am truly happy and have absolutely no more expectations in life, other than watching my kids grow and growing old with my wife in our house in the country. And learning to master the bass. Life can be really beautiful when you focus on the simple things.

For me, it's true when they say: If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger. And it will also make you a better person, with more empathy.

Good luck OP. Hang on. Never give up! After rain there is always sunshine.

Soulwaxer



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 01:20 AM
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my 2 cents .... If you want out of depression, then you have to win, win at anything, thus building confidence. You also have to participate in meaningful things and be accepted. Be part of a solution, any solution. fixing something at home, volunteering to help anyone. You have to lose your fear of losing and participate.

Doing this is about as hard as starting and continuing to exercise. In fact exercise is something that would be a good start, as you can set goals that you can accomplish and still challenge yourself, the more you succeed the less depressed you will be.

Good luck.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 01:43 AM
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I'll say a little prayer for you. While you're trying things google 'the budwig protocol' and give it a whirl. I'm becoming suspect of all the junk we put into our bodies and I think it makes us all crazy. I come to believe that when it's not getting what it needs the body tries to call out to us in the form of sickness and emotional issues. Good luck and God Bless You.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 03:11 AM
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You don't overcome depression, you need to make sure depression doesn't overcome you.

I am sorry to hear about your recent experiences. It sounds like your depression might have a physical basis (chemical imbalance). As somebody with a chemical imbalance, I had no real option but to go on medication. It was the choice between being in a terrible mood, being impatient and being suicidal daily to being relatively stable mood, less negative thoughts and far less suicidal. There are side effects, but I decided it was worth the trade off when assessing the positives and negatives.

I have heard people have had great success with Acupuncture or Reiki as alternatives to medication. Maybe these would be worthy endeavours for you to pursue. Combined with attending sessions with a mental health professional, you might be able to cope better with your depression.

Best of luck and hope you can experience peace and happiness in the near future.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 04:36 AM
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Having finally conquered my depression a few years ago, I will tell you just how to go about this. I had to do it by sheer force of will because every medication they gave me made me suicidal, and even though my children aren't babies anymore, they still didn't deserve to lose me because Big Pharma "knows best". Pretend they don't exist if you want to get out of your depression alive.

I decided not to avoid depression but rather to jump right into the abyss. I examined it from the inside out. As one member here mentioned, it is deeply linked to the ego. Let go of that ego. Let it go. It's polluted and diseased. Let it go by listening to what it's saying to you. It's a constant barrage of wrong-thinking. It's an itch that you scratch all the time with that barrage. That's what you have to stop. Do it bit by bit. Give yourself room for silence, starting with just one split second whenever you can manage it. Over time, it will grow to greater and greater periods of silence. Know that the silence will grow exponentially with every bit of concerted effort you make to hear the wrong-thinking and correcting it. It will have come from all manner of sources. Do not assign blame to those sources. Replace all of that wrong thought with right thought, loving thought, generous thought. Do something nice for someone every day and try to do it secretly, so that only you know you did it. This will also work to grow the parts of your consciousness that have been overshadowed by the ego.

That's the long and short of it.

A few more helpful hints: Get rid of any and all magazines you receive and don't read them anymore. Turn off your tv for good. No more radio, no more music. At least not until you can hear your thoughts on right track.

I do hope this helps. It took me a good while to work through all of my internal mess. Don't expect it to be entirely painless, but once you do this, it's gone forever. You will be cured.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 05:41 AM
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reply to post by PassedKarma
 


As a severely depressed long time person who has had incredibly bad things happen over a long period I think I can appreciated your feelings.

I went to CBT therapy but it wasn't for me because it relies on mobility and social mixing, my mobility is poor from illness and I'm now a virtual recluse so I gave up on the CBT because my scores were dropping which means I wasn't getting anything out of it.

If you are mobile then walking is a great release for the depression, preferably in a pretty surrounding (walking around my council estate would NOT cheer me up).

As for medication, I admire you wish to not take it but in some cases its a must to return the brain to a suitable level of normality before you start weaning of them. I take a very large dose of Citalopram and it 'takes the edge off', my mood swings are pretty much gone, I can deal with a few people at a time and I'm a better husband and dad with it BUT my case is ultra severe, if you want read my link to my story on my blog in the signature, its a hard but honest read.

If you want to try it without meds then do get help from your local mental healh clinic that your doctor can refer you to and request CBT, it should help you deal far better.

I wish you well and hope you get better, it can be done...



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 08:45 AM
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Try to only focus on the positive things in your life , for a long time i only focused on the things i did not accomplish in live instead of the positive things i did accomplish , resulting in a very black/white view , its always black or white for me , not grey , always right or wrong but never in between , i also constructed a wall to hide my personal feelings almost to a point were i never talk about my personal feelings or possible problems.
You have come a long way already , you even accomplished to raize 2 children , dont let nobody ever tell you your useless , everyone has the right to be treaten equal.

I wish the best for you and your family

Thegreazel



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by PassedKarma
 


Yes!!!!!!!!!!! get a dog!!!! really, they are amazing (nost kind are the retrievers, any species), and if you don't like them get a cat (siames, they are more sociable) or any kind of pet that seems cute to you!!!!!!!!!! i swear it works (cientifically) but i can't explain it in english (as you may have noticed) And don't be sad, remember this life is just one more movie, just sit in a comfortable place and ENJOY!


Oh! and visualize a brown X on top of every negative thought that comes into your head and replace it with a good one
edit on 12-9-2012 by Eldar because: foget something



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 12:37 PM
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reply to post by PassedKarma
 

I suffer from bouts of depression, and have learned to raise my vibrations is very helpful. I do this with music I am attuned to. For each his own, but my depression cure music is this album:

A listen to this, for me, is an uplifting experience, and I always feel better afterwards. Sugar intake also helps me, things like sweet breads, not candy, and of course the Nobel Weed. I have never taken a pharmaceutical anti-depressant that actually worked.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 07:44 PM
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You need to take some supplements for liver support - SAMe and milk thistle. Try them - you will be amazed at the difference. Make sure they are high quality supplements- not from the drugstore.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 08:31 PM
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Hello,

I am sorry to hear of your pain and I wish you the best. I am responding to your post because I think we have had some similar experiences and I can offer you some insight.

I have recently left a very poor relationship where just now I am begining to see the pattern of abuse that I suffered. I came from a very abusive home as a child filled with alcoholics, junkies, hardcore bikers, wife beaters, and the worst of the worst. I can see now why I so eaily took the role of a victim in a relationship.

In my marriage I was blamed for everything and made to suffer for it and I was always left to feel I was not good enough. Eventually I learned I not just good enough I was too good for the situation I was in and although it took years, I stood up for myself and left.

By the way, I am the male of the relationship, my wife was the abuser.

My life had become one continuous anxiety attack and the only time I didn't think i felt bad was when I was drunk or stoned.

I tried medication and counseling to feel better and in the end I was on a wild trip of Paxil for 3 months and my doctor blamed my parents for all the problems in my life. I didn't need drugs to tell me that and even if they were the cause I was not going to carry the cross of blame against my parents with me for the rest of my life.
Now I still had the immediate problem of my terrible marriage and that again she blamed on problems with my parents.

So I quit seeing a doctor and taking drugs and having always been intersted in eastern philosophy I started to meditate. In the midst of chaos in my home I learned to retreat inside myself and find peace.
I started learning Tai Chi for the meditative aspects and started exercising because of the physical counterpart. I learned a new style of meditation (The Beautiful Circle, I think) and I learned how to focus and visualize.
I practiced for six months standing for at least an hour a day. I studied everything I could, I downloaded guided meditations and learned about Buddhism, mindfulness and awareness took a whole new meaning.

Now I meditate between floors on an elevator even if for just 20 seconds. When faced with crisis or confrontation I am not scared (fear of the future) or worried (fear of the past) I am here and now.
I don't get angry as easily, I stay focused and positive. Sometimes I solve a problem and after the fact I realize, "Hey, I handled that like there was no problem at all" and on my way I go.
I am happy, well most of the time. I have often been joked with about how happy I am and many people have asked my what my secret it. It has been the meditation with out any question at all.


I certainly do still get overwhelmed at times, but I can handle the small stuff and the large stuff I am aware enough of my emotions to stop and think, "Hey, I am not acting normal, what is driving this feeling of anger (or anxiousness, jealousy, whatever emotion)?

And when I am at my worst I take a day off work, sit under a blanker and try to let it go. Sometimes that means stepping into a third person role and being somewhere else while the episode passes because I know it is only a matter of time until it is over.

Other times I try to accept the feelings I am experiencing, I wallow in it. I exagerate the emotions I am feeling and just let it consume me, soon after it I usually feel a great calm. Once you surrender to your emotions they lose their control over you.

And then sometimes I just start pouring a few glasses of something, put on some music from my youth and cry for a while. Sometimes that is the best route and anyone who has ever done it can attest to how good it feels to release emotions through tears and music.

In summary, meditation has helped me cope with all the pain in my life and has helped me grow to a better person. It has not solved my all my lifes problems but it has made my life better.

I hope my perspective can give you some insight,

Best of everything to you.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 08:37 PM
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where do you live? im just wondering because im pretty sure i heard seattle has the highest rate of suicide in u.s...so maybe a change of scenery will do you good? also as someone else said, learning about the ego might help. also do not, and i repeat, do not let what others say about you bring you down.
edit on 12-9-2012 by Corporate Providence because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 08:49 PM
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The only thing you can do, is take it day by day while concentrating on the positives in your life.
The bus was late? At least you live somewhere bus service is a luxury.
Your job sucks? Have no job? At least you aren't giving bj's for crack.
Giving bj's for crack? At least your alive.

You have to constantly be thankful for the things in life you have.
You need to do things that make you laugh (I like to watch stand-up when I'm feeling down)
You need to not compare yourself to others.
And most importantly, you need to be able to tell yourself "this is out of my control" and only worry about things that matter here and now.
If something isn't going to matter 10 years from now, then don't put your fears and worries on it.
It's okay if sometimes things don't work out. Life isn't perfect.

When people are depressed, they often feel judged or neglected by their friends/family and feel like they are a burden on everyone. But trust me when I say that is not the truth at all.
Most people are just selfish. But that's okay.

There is always going to be someone out there who has been where you are, worse than you are, and has gotten better. You are still better off than many.

It's not an overnight thing to heal, but it is definately possible, even after years of depression. It just takes some time for the brain chemistry to balance itself out again.

So laugh often.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by PassedKarma
 


For me, mindful meditation/contemplation was one of the things that did wonders. Every morning when I wake up, 30-40 minutes of "watching my breath," as they say. And, if I can, 20 minutes some time in the evening. The technique is called Zazen. If you have the time, this lecture from Alan Watts does a phenomenal job explaining it:

Meditation


I actually recommend exploring much of Alan Watts' work on YouTube, as it really helped me "get through" a particularly tough time in my life (and all the other "tough times" that pop up in life's natural course). Here's another, briefer clip of his:

A Wiggly World


And two other of my all-time faves (both brief):

Life is A Dance


What Is It To See?


Watts has an incredibly ability at making concepts shatteringly clear and brought about a perceptual shift in my life. Including the fact that you can't have crests without troughs, insides without outsides, or ups without downs.

I've also often ruminated on this old Chinese parable:

Farmer Story


Of course, there is no "one thing" that does it, and no feeling - good, bad, or in-between - is ever permanent. That's one of the lessons I've come to learn. But some of the other "things" I've come to immensely enjoy are:

Reading books (particularly non-fiction...from books on the brain, to sacred geometry, to Eastern philosophy, to Western mysticism, to permaculture)
Starting a garden
Cooking
Learning piano at a leisurely pace


Two more lectures to consider:

Man In Nature


The Middle Way

(listen especially to the part around 30:00 for understanding shifting point-of-views and the poem at 44:00)


Beyond that, you may actually want to look into a burgeoning technique called tDCS - or, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (alternately referred to as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). It's a non-invasive procedure where doctors apply gentle, low-pulse electrical currencies to targeted areas of the brain. Apparently, its done wonders for depression (and creativity, for that matter). I'm not sure where you're located, but a new clinic opened up around my area:

TMS Center of Wisconsin
tmscenterwisconsin.com...

People have said benefits can last for months after treatment.

You might also be interested in this article/letter:

Comedian Pens Heartfelt, Epic Response to Anonymous Fan Feeling Suicidal
gawker.com...

I haven't gotten a chance to read it, but it just came to mind as I remembered I had read the article portion last night (the letter itself is quite a bit longer).

I hope at least some of my drivel is of use. It takes a lot of courage to write what you did. Just know that you're not alone.

"Billions of years ago you were a Big Bang. And now you're a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don't feel that we're still the Big Bang. But you are. It depends on how you define yourself. You're not something that is a result of the Big Bang, on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the Big Bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are."
------
"What you do is what the whole universe is doing at the place you call 'here and now.' You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing. The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around. The real deep down you is the whole universe."
- Alan Watts



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 10:55 PM
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Thank you for this thread, and I'm glad that it has picked up enough momentum that a lot of wonderful people are chiming in with their insights. I too have been battling depression for at least 10 years and am currently trying to figure out the exact answer to the question you posed (actually started a similar thread a few weeks ago that didn't pick up much steam although there were some great replies there too). I had always been very busy with school which kept the depression submerged, though it still haunted me. In the last year or two I decided to directly face the issue and get rid of it once and for all, but in some ways it almost made things worse, like it gave the depression more power by acknowledging it.

I've visited many doctors the past two years to deal with the low self-esteem, extreme fatigue and brain fog (along with other symptoms), but every test came back fine and they told me I was probably just depressed. I saw a few psychiatrists, who did nothing but throw pills at me. I also refused to take these for the longest but ended up giving Citalopram a shot. It scared the crap out of me, because it literally made me a zombie-- I didn't feel bad anymore, but I couldn't feel good either. What was especially scary was that it wasn't really addressing negative thoughts that continued to haunt me, but rather it numbed my mind so much that no thought packed a punch of pain or pleasure. My mind is one of the few things I continue to cherish coming from both an academic and a creative (musical) background, and the fog stuff made me wonder if the drugs were forever altering my brain chemistry in a bad way.

Needless to say, I got off of those, and have since been trying to put the pieces together myself. However, I only bring this up to say I understand where you're coming from not wanting to take pills-- I'm not a doctor and am NOT advising against doing whatever is necessary to resolve your problems. In fact, I'm actually going to try another medication if my current plans of action don't help. I wish I had the complete answers for you, but all I can do is sympathize and support you on your quest since I'm going through the same thing, and share a couple of thoughts on the matter....

1. Be sure to rule out any physiological factors. Since you said this has been ongoing, I'm guessing it probably isn't physiological, but who knows if some imbalances or conditions came up in the last six months that accelerated your downward spiral-- a whole bunch of these list depression as a symptom. One poster mentioned to check vitamin D levels-- I didn't even know about this one, but sure enough I have a deficiency and will try that myself. Also, I don't think it has been mentioned here, but hypothyroidism is another major cause of depression in people. I would consider looking into that particularly if you have some of the other physical symptoms-- brittle/thin hair or fingernails, cold sensitivity, fatigue etc. Low testosterone is another one, which apparently applies to women as well. I would at least check to get the basics covered on everything.

2. Exercise. I know it sounds lame and played out-- I thought the same--but did you know they actually did studies on this and a regular exercise program removed major depression for 60-70% of those studied?? Check out this article. Couldn't hurt to give it a shot, no?

3. Diet. I wish I knew more about this, and I hope others chime in-- a couple have briefly-- but many health professionals, both eastern and western, acknowledge an intimate relationship between the gut and the brain. Many people including some I know personally have praised the mental and digestive benefits of doing things like detox cleanses/fasts, and shifting their diets. I'm actually planning to do one very soon and am more than happy to report my results...

4. Mental. When it comes down to the plain old "all in your head" depression, that again, I TOTALLY understand, I feel it really is a process. I think checking in on all of the points above, as well as getting adequate rest and a regular sleep pattern, all contribute to getting rid of this issue, but in addressing the mentality itself, I think the first thing to realize is that you are not alone. Many in this very thread have shared their experiences with you, and many others you'd be surprised about are going through the same thing. Not only that, but understand people are willing to help you. I think finding yourself in a community of those willing to help might really aid in your transformation (I plan to start using www.meetup.com to find such groups).

I'm running out of characters in this post, so I'll just wrap this up and say, look, if you're cool enough to be on ATS then you deserve to overcome this depression and feel better
The world needs more open minded people like you. We're here to help!





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