Another Insight Into Depression: When The Darkness Comes

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posted on May, 5 2013 @ 10:50 AM
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I need to add that without examples of the pressuring by friends and family that Heff is stating, we really can't define what that pressuring is. For example, I have been depressed at times (we all have), and I know that even a simple suggestion of "Would you like to go for an ice cream," can sound an awful lot like 'Get off your a$$ and do something."




posted on May, 5 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by jiggerj

Originally posted by Mister_Bit
reply to post by jiggerj
 

It's a complex illness for sure.

Thing is, I laugh, joke, smile and have the nickname "Smiler" at work, The managers have said, jokingly, that there is something wrong with me because I always seem to be smiling...

Truth is, I'm depressed as hell, with suicidal thoughts going through my head almost daily.

What people display on the outside isn't always what is going on inside.


No argument here that it's a complex illness. What I'm getting from the OP is that loved ones shouldn't encourage, inspire, or motivate those suffering from depression. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. I like to think that I gave my brother a few breaks from his depression, and some good memories that he would never have if not for me. I LOVED my brother. I feel good about what I did for him. And, Heff is suggesting that it was wrong, that I was an unwanted intrusion into my brother's depression. I just don't think so.


What you did for your brother was perfect, Jiggerj. That's love and empathy, through and through.

I can't speak for Heff, but only for myself. The people who hurt the most are those who give witty little snippets of advice. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" "Turn that frown upside!" "God only gives us what we can handle." Stuff like that.

Then there's the crowd who think depression doesn't really exist. They tend to be dismissive of everything you're going through. They have no understanding and don't want to understand.

The fact is, major depression is like struggling in quicksand. The only way you'll get out of it is to make it to the top....only you're so damned tired, so tired.....

I've had my depression worsen to the point where I actually would think to myself, "If one more thing happens, I'll kill myself." And you know what? That thought COMFORTED me.

My name here is smyleegrl, but it's more of a hope than a description.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by jiggerj
I need to add that without examples of the pressuring by friends and family that Heff is stating, we really can't define what that pressuring is. For example, I have been depressed at times (we all have), and I know that even a simple suggestion of "Would you like to go for an ice cream," can sound an awful lot like 'Get off your a$$ and do something."
I just posted some examples, possibly beat you to this post


I hope they help clarify things a bit.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by Covertblack

Originally posted by rickymouse
Well, it sorta is all in your head. The chemical imbalance that causes problems is in the head. The start of the imbalance is usually in the gut or liver. It may also mean the diet needs to be altered a little to add certain chemistry or a few minerals need to be taken for a while. Usually the changes are small and flexible.


Not that simple. We can't just eat well and be ok. For me the only thing that helps is exercise, lots of it. I guess I should thank depression I am built like a pit bull.


Well..... it is and it isn't like that.

Depression is a product of our thought process and is developed over a long period of time. Whilst your brain chemistry does effect your mood and how you feel, it's actually more about what you think and do that creates depression.

It's a cyclical process:

What you think -> How you feel -> What you say -> What you think ......

That is a very simple interpretation of it, but at the end of the day if you go through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, all they are trying to do is steer you in to a positive way of thinking, which affects how you feel, what you say, etc.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


Hi jiggerj,

I apologize for not responding sooner. I've had a busy day and have spent the past 30 or 40 minutes trying to find a way to phrase a reply that doesn't result in me dumping a ton of my own past trauma onto the board.

Let me start by saying that what you did for your brother sounds amazingly caring and positive. THAT is the way that these things should be handled. I know that dealing with depressed people is very taxing and takes a lot of patience. It seems to me that you did the right thing and acted in compassion and patience to try and bring your brother back into the world.

Sadly this is not always how things play out.

My illness began when I was a teenager but I always managed to stay on top of it and remain functional. That is until August of 2007. I made it about 26 years faking it, ignoring my problems, and pulling myself up by my bootstraps. Then that failed and my entire life fell apart. The trigger was that my ex left me for an 18 year old kid. If I hadn't have broken down at this time I'd have simply said "Fine baby. Your his. Now get out." - but this event did happen to be the straw that broke the camels back... so I did not react at all correctly. I let her have it all. My house, my money, my stuff... everything. It's hard to make people understand, but I was making life decisions then when I should have been in a hospital. I was NOT well at all. My ex, being who she was, knew how to work me. She spent a few months telling me that it was all just a phase she had to go through and that, if I just let her do it, without being a "jerk" ( her code for "taking back my stuff" ) she would eventually let me come back home.

During this period I turned to my family for help. Over the years I had been the patriarch of my family, I put my sister through college ( something I had foregone myself because I was putting food on the table by working two full time jobs ). My mother has a gambling addiction and I've been bailing her out of debt since I was a young man... as she, periodically, will gamble herself into a position where she loses everything. Literally everything. So I didn't feel bad when I turned to them to say "I don't know what's happening, but I am not OK".

They reacted by deciding that all I really needed was to suffer for awhile. They felt that if they just let things get bad enough for me, I'd "snap out of it".

My sisters husbands family owns a lot of houses in this area - as he has an uncle who rents out houses for a living. As it happens this man owned a house that had been condemned but nobody was in a rush to demolish. A shack with no power, no water, overrun with kudzu and field mice - in the middle of nowhere.

Arrangements were made and my sister drove me there and dumped me.

I spent 11 months in that shack. The only reason I did not just die then was that a friend felt so bad for me that she would bring me some food and a few gallons of water each day. I only had a few pieces of clothing - so this same friend would wash a set of my clothes each day. Still, while this friend was compassionate, she was not equipped to deal with things. After 11 months another old friend, who was equipped to handle things, got wind of my situation and did what someone else should have done a year earlier... she got me to a doctor.

Now, years later, my sister is the only member of my family who has admitted that she did not do the right thing back in 2007. Even though I've all but disowned my mother, she still tries to sabotage my life in the name of "tough love". Every so often I'll show up for an appointment only to be told that my "wife" called and cancelled it - and other fairly creative things of that nature. She's still ranting to relatives that the world is "enabling" me to be sick - and that if she can just make things bad enough for me, I'll have no choice but to "stop playing games".

Sadly, over the years, in my experiences with group therapy and other people who are sick, I've seen too much of this destructive approach. Mine is a rather uncommon situation as it is most commonly the spouse who does these sorts of things. Nonetheless it is common. I know too many people with issues who cry when they speak of family... people who say "My kids won't answer my calls anymore"... or "My wife gave me an ultimatum. I have to ______ within x number of days or she's leaving me..."

Too many people hold onto a belief that mental illness is a choice and it's tragic.
edit on 5/5/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)
edit on 5/5/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 07:18 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 





Too many people hold onto a belief that mental illness is a choice and it's tragic.


Jeez, what these people did to you sounds like something out of the dark ages - throw the rejects into a shed and hide them. Is it that your family knew what to do, but didn't do it? Or is it that they simply didn't know what to do?
edit on 5/5/2013 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


I think it's a very complex issue. I am a very strong willed person who isn't afraid of much at all. A paradox of PTSD... the things that would scare other people do not even phase me... but I often end up filled with total fear over nothing at all. I imagine that this might lend to people not understanding me. I can see my sister, for example, thinking "I've seen John back down people who were pointing guns in his face... surely he can handle having a bad day..."

Another part of it is familial culture. My parents ( and I imagine theirs, and then theirs before them ) approached parenting with the idea that beating a child fixes everything. When I was a kid I lived in fear of being sick because saying "I'm too sick for school" would warrant a beating. But going to school sick was also a risk because if the nurse caught on and sent me home I'd get a beating as well for not saying I was sick. A catch-22.

Selfishness also played a part. I can vividly recall my sister telling me, at one point, "I'd love to help you, but my husband just bought another high end gaming computer and our cable bill is due". This was rather insulting to me, as I had only asked for help filling a ten dollar prescription and I know that my sister and her husband have a combined income of well over 200k per year. This single event bruised my ego and left me resolved to NEVER ask her for help again. To be fair, she has apologized to me for this event, several times since.

Ultimately I think the bottom line was that my family figured "out of sight is out of mind". I think they felt that I'd put the pieces back together on my own - and that they didn't want to be inconvenienced by any of it. I'm sure that, at least in my sisters case, she figured a few months would pass, I'd pop up saying "I got a new job, this is my new girlfriend, and we just signed papers on this awesome new house." then we'd all go out for dinner and talk about the whole episode over laughs.

I am largely to blame for it, as I projected an air of strength and self-determination. I'd always been too proud to accept any help, from anyone. I guess that, to a degree, this caused them to ignore me in the same way one might ignore the ravings of a person with a high fever.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
reply to post by Night Star
 


Night star,

I had no idea you are going through such tough times. Your posts are always so encouraging, it's obvious you have a very loving nature. If you ever want to get together and have a good cry, let me know.

Cirque, you too are in my thoughts. I love your level headed calmness. It's good to know you've got a great support group.

Heff...maybe you should set up a group counseling thing and make some $$$. You've got better advice than any of the therapists I've been too.

Love to you all,

smylee


Awwww, thanks so much! I used to be the type that could always bounce back and be happy go lucky. I have found that after so many years and so many things happening, I just can't bounce back. I do have days where I can laugh and feel some joy, but I am not the same person I used to be. As for the anxiety, I used to worry so much it felt like I had a knot in my stomache. At least I have pills for that.

I have had family members and friends pass away, fought cancer, my husband of over 30 years will be leaving me, Can you imagine the sadness from that alone? I will be fighting for disibility as I have no income but my savings, I watch my elderly Mother and know her years are numbered, she is 89. I am a sensative soul and things affect me deeply.

Thanks so much for your kind words. I really appreciate that!!!!! You're a wonderful person and many of us appreciate having you here.



posted on May, 6 2013 @ 06:57 PM
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Just as bad are those people who actually had depression in the past but by their own accounts got through it with only copious amounts of exercise and healthful eating. According to these lucky superhumans, medication is the Lazy Way Out, and getting over depression really is as simple as pulling yourself up by your own hair.

At least psychologically healthy people have an excuse for their naivete. Post-depressives should really know better!

edit on 6-5-2013 by EllaMarina because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2013 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by Thundersmurf
 


The problem is that CBT is not always effective. It's a very in vogue treatment regimen in recent decades because it promises quick recovery and minimal psychoanalysis (if any; in my experience any psychoanalysis beyond brief introductory conversation is actually discouraged.) It's a proven approach that has empowered a lot of people to regain control of their lives and their minds. But it doesn't work for everyone, for a variety of reasons.

The point is that there is no magic bullet or combination of bullets that when correctly applied with dedication and effort will work for everyone or have equal efficacy for those who do see benefit from them. I've tried numerous medication regimens and CBT for decades. I'm on a good diet (I have to be, for medical reasons.) I exercise, as able. I try to keep a positive attitude. I practice cognition in every situation I find myself in and put into practice what my (numerous) therapists have told me. I meditate. I take things one day and one step at a time. But if I'm honest, my relief has been minimal, and my recovery nil.

Granted my issues are not purely depressive in nature, but you can begin to see how someone who has made a concerted effort to heal themselves both privately and professionally for the preponderance of their lifetime might not be comforted or helped by suggestions of, "Just try harder and do more of X or Y," right? (Not saying this is what you're doing by any means, mind you. Just an example.)

Another problem is that of access. As a low income patient, I don't have insurance. I have a city provided healthcare plan. (For which I'm very grateful, don't get me wrong. I'd be very, very ill without my asthma and other medications.) So I have a limited selection of therapists I can see. And those therapists have invariably been young - often just out of college - and very rigid in their approach. If CBT didn't work, after a sufficient period of time (sometimes years, to their credit) they'd recommend I see someone else.

Finding someone willing to combine CBT with old fashioned psychoanalysis - which would be of benefit, as I suffer from intrusive, involuntary memories which are often triggers for periods of depression - or to engage in psychoanalysis at all for that matter, has been impossible. It's always one or the other (most often pure CBT) because, "that's what we specialize in." And forget about finding someone who will take my health plan who specializes in more intense forms of therapy such as Schema.

So there are two issues with effective regimens for some people. One is access, and the other is inefficacy. It would be great if neither were a problem, but unfortunately for some they are, for myriad reasons.

Peace.



posted on May, 8 2013 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by Covertblack
For me the only thing that helps is exercise, lots of it. I guess I should thank depression I am built like a pit bull.


I see how this can help.

Most people do not breathe very well. Actually, people tend to breathe very shallowly. It has the effect of debilitating aspects of the body/being - including endocrine/brain function. I find conscious breathing - not necessarily while exercising - to be very powerful at changing/shifting my energy/mood.

Thoughts are electrical.

Emotions are magnetic.

Where there is a build-up of off-balancing energies i.e. blame/guilt/anger/worry/unworthiness etc... or simply mental/emotional dis-ease in our space, it tends to spiral and get worse, ultimately manifesting as disease in the mental/emotional/physical bodies.

I find deep relaxation and conscious breathing moves a lot of that energy - it is very clearing/healing/energizing.

I also use grounding to ground-off mental/emotional noise that can accumulate in my space keeping me agitated.

It is a process - like working-out.

Having been doing this regularly/consciously for a few years now, I find I am much more compassionate, I don't get angry/upset, and I am pleased/peaceful most of the time.

Blessings,
*e



posted on May, 8 2013 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by AlphaLeonis

Originally posted by Covertblack
For me the only thing that helps is exercise, lots of it. I guess I should thank depression I am built like a pit bull.


I see how this can help.

Most people do not breathe very well. Actually, people tend to breathe very shallowly. It has the effect of debilitating aspects of the body/being - including endocrine/brain function. I find conscious breathing - not necessarily while exercising - to be very powerful at changing/shifting my energy/mood.

Thoughts are electrical.

Emotions are magnetic.

Where there is a build-up of off-balancing energies i.e. blame/guilt/anger/worry/unworthiness etc... or simply mental/emotional dis-ease in our space, it tends to spiral and get worse, ultimately manifesting as disease in the mental/emotional/physical bodies.

I find deep relaxation and conscious breathing moves a lot of that energy - it is very clearing/healing/energizing.

I also use grounding to ground-off mental/emotional noise that can accumulate in my space keeping me agitated.

It is a process - like working-out.

Having been doing this regularly/consciously for a few years now, I find I am much more compassionate, I don't get angry/upset, and I am pleased/peaceful most of the time.

Blessings,
*e





What is grounding? I'd like to look into this further, if you have any links or advice.

Thanks!



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Grounding, in simple terms, is like using the Earth as an emotional/mental vacuum cleaner.

In nutshell, what you do is allow/welcome the Earth energy up/in through your feet, and at the same time disperse your baggage (mental/emotional energy build-up) to the Earth from/through the tip of your spine/tailbone (root chakra) to the core of the Earth.

Google for more info/teaching/guidance.

Blessings,
*e



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 05:18 PM
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The bodies chemistry is a bitch.

It takes a whole lot of maneuvering to figure out how to handle it.

I've inherited anxiety issues from my mother, who in turn inherited it from her mother, who inherited it from her mother... I don't know beyond the 3rd generation who started this tendency, but here's a few helpful suggestions with what this genetic propensity implies:

Genetics can be a "cause" for all sorts of mental and emotional conditions, but too many scientists are willing to simplify the significance of genetics as a predetermined biological factor. Under the microscope, however, genetics merely signifies a tendency for some particular behavior. Criminal tendencies are exacerbated in people who have a parent (usually a father) who was himself a criminal. Depression, Anxiety, and other co-morbidities, are also highly heritable. But what does all this talk about genetics mean? First, it means that information of some sort is packed into our DNA. What is this information, in terms of mental and emotional maladies? It is experiences. In short, the experiences of our ancestors increases the probability that we will also experience their experiences. This is all it means.

Outside this talk of genetics, whether criminologists, evolutionary psychologists, and neuroscientists are willing to agree, is free will. The PFC (prefrontal cortex) houses two specific areas with two slightly different executive functions. The oribitofrontal cortex is an in-vested perspective, where attention is actively involved and interacting with subcortical regions - such as the hypothalamus, amygdala, basal ganglia etc. The laterodorsal cortex however seems to have a far more cerebral function. Decision making, moral awareness, supervision of a task, are localized in this area of the brain.

The human being possesses some degree of mental liberation from the molecular processes happening within his brain. Undoubtedly, these processes can be very persuasive, damn right hectoring, in making us focus on some negative condition. Nevertheless, research has shown that a person can change his thinking, and in turn, as a corollary, affect new genetic possibilities on his genetic material, creating a new course of probability for his future descendents.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 10:30 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 





PTSD


PTSD might be the king of emotional disorders.

OCD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and even tourettes, are less stubborn to deal with than PTSD.

PTSD is worse because it simply drenches the brain in inhibitory chemicals like GABA, cortisol, etc, in such concentration and such intensity, that the entire brain seems to carry the chemical imprint of the event. It's like the frontal lobe being taken hostage by the Amygdala - which, in people with PTSD, has actually gained volume.

You don't know where to begin in treating it; and if you're the person dealing with it, at any time, the littlest provocation can set you off. And then when you're in it, you don't know where to look to get out.

However, there have been some interesting studies which show promise in treating PTSD. At McGill University researchers gave people suffering from PTSD propofol, had them read over the events (which they wrote down) of the original trauma, over a 5 week period. The theory is, since the brain "learned" to associate trauma with the memory of the event, if the brain recalls the event without the emotional response triggered by the PTSD, then the calmness they feel in reading over the traumatic event will be associated in the brain with a relaxed state, instead of an anxious one. So far it has worked wonders.

The brain is one big association game. If you can get yourself to unlearn one pattern of thinking, by focusing yourself upon another - ideally, this should be done totally, without a conscious awareness or a sense of an attitudinal stance (which will only create "sparks") - sooner or later, this manual labor will become easier, will require less refocusing, and instead of feeling like an act, it'll feel like you being yourself.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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I just finished reading Prisoners of Childhood, by Alice Miller. In this, the author touches on one theory of depression that she discerned during her forty year practice as a therapist. The general thrust of her argument goes like this: when we are all born, we want to be accepted because it validates us. If we cry, we'd like to be held, and if we laugh, we love when others would laugh with us. Through this "mirroring", the child learns a general appreciation of themselves - what the author terms "healthy narcissism". This is termed healthy because as babies and through our toddlerhood, we live in a "me, me, me" world because we simply cannot operate on the level which allows us to consider another's needs. This is something we learn to do as we learn to read facial expressions, interpret vocal intonations, and understand reciprocity in human relationships.

So how does this set the stage for things going wrong? When a little one feels an emotion that is perceived as negative, such as fear or anger, they express it as a child would. But some parents demand that the child suppresses that emotion. They might laugh at a child's fear instead of offering comfort; they might hit a child who is angry in an effort to teach that anger is wrong; they might "really give you something to cry about". Essentially, these behaviors teach a child to suppress their truest, most vulnerable emotions - otherwise they'll be humiliated, shamed, and endangered. For in the mind of a child, disapproval from a parent indicates danger of not surviving (remember, these are children, not adolescents smart enough to know that dad probably isn't going to kill them).

Those suffering with depression complain of the inability to "feel". When I was going through a rough time, this was my biggest complaint. Did I want to watch tv? I didn't know. Was I hungry? I didn't know. I was wholly disconnected from myself. I'd have given anything just to feel irritated or amused.

During infancy and toddlerhood, the foundations for our beliefs about who we are and how we fit into the world are set - these are our default modes that can only be intentionally over-ridden. Depression therefore manifests in a person when they can no longer relate to those fundamental emotional experiences of being human because they are subconsiously caught up in covering their tracks of vulnerability. All interpretations of this state lead to one destination in the person suffering from depression: they determine they're unworthy. Unfortunately, it is simply an echo from long, long ago: their emotions weren't valid [in the eyes of the parent] and therefore, neither were they. The sufferer is pulled from their depression when determining they matter (whether with help or not), but often finds themselves buried in the depression again once they must work to bury those dirty, pesky, vulnerable emotions.

It's totally NWO, but parenting should require at least one remedial class on building self-esteem in a child.

Great thread Heff - your candor and insight are priceless.





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