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outofideas

Help with depression

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outofideas

What kinds of books/resources have helped you battle depression? 

Does therapy also help? 

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PTFC

That last wee bit @Phrenicz, "be kind to yourself", is one of the most important and helpful pieces of advice regarding this subject I have ever heard, but it's something that is surely not "just words" , I feel it to be almost the crux of being your true self.

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Phrenicz

Spot on @PTFC!

We need to love ourselves for who we are, not what we, or more importantly others think we should be... It's not easy, and it will never happen overnight, but with the right support network, lifestyle, perseverance and attitude, the capability to fight it, is within us all... 

There will still be days when you lose the fight, but there will also be the days that you win ; )

Most people see depression or mental illness as a weakness.. I see it as the total opposite.

Personally, I find the strength of character it takes to endure depression and mental illness, let alone conquer it, one of the most admirable qualities any man, woman or child can display... 

 

 

 

 

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dotcomkot
On 26/09/2016 at 2:03 AM, Phrenicz said:

Spot on @PTFC!

We need to love ourselves for who we are, not what we, or more importantly others think we should be... It's not easy, and it will never happen overnight, but with the right support network, lifestyle, perseverance and attitude, the capability to fight it, is within us all... 

There will still be days when you lose the fight, but there will also be the days that you win ; )

Most people see depression or mental illness as a weakness.. I see it as the total opposite.

Personally, I find the strength of character it takes to endure depression and mental illness, let alone conquer it, one of the most admirable qualities any man, woman or child can display... 

 

 

 

 

i embrace my bpst. im skatty as shit but i wouldnt change it for the world tbh , makes me me. as hard as that may be at times...

"the key to joy is disobedience" ;) 

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Jellopanda

Hi @outofideas , been a little while since you posted here i see, but i hope this might help.

I've suffered from major depression for over 15 years so i feel like i have some experience with it. So excuse me if this is a long post, but this is a subject where i have more say than on any other medical issue. I'd first like to echo @Phrenicz, that be kind to yourself is crucial. Not always easy, but as he also mentioned, CBT (which i'd like to talk a little more about later) which partly focuses on teaching yourself patterns of behavior, you can actually practice and teach yourself things like this.

This is probably good advice for anyone, not just those suffering from depression. Another piece of general advice that i think would help anyone, is to surround yourself with people that are good for you. And distance yourself from those who are not. This can also be hard, especially if a person that's bad for you is a close family member for example.

Now to therapy and antidepressants. They've been hugely helpful to me and a lot of other people i know. I'm aware that as i'm saying they've helped while also saying i've been suffering from major depression for so long and still am, may not seems like a glowing recommendation, i would also like to say, with absolute confidence, that i wouldn't be here today without them. My case of depression, as my doctors seem to agree on, is a genetic one and one that i will probably always have. For me it's not really a question on how to "cure" it, but learn how to live with it. 

How effective therapy and antidepressants are, as with a lot of other things in life, vary a lot from person to person, but i've found that depression is very much a case of trying different things and see what sticks.

Therapy hasn't always been good for me tho, depending on the person i went to see. Especially the first psychologist i went to, who i believe did me more harm than good. When i mentioned this to my GP at the time, she got angry and said that i couldn't just try different therapists until i found someone i liked. From her perspective, as a GP, i can understand that sentiment, as for GPs it's more about giving a diagnosis and prescribing the correct treatment. More cause-effect in a way. Every other psychologist, psychiatrist, and nurse within those fields that i've talked with later tho have agreed that personal chemistry plays an important part in the effectiveness of the treatment. You may not find someone that is helpful to you your first time around, in which case i would advice you to try again.

One that did wonders for me, was a very congenial, understanding man who was a car mechanic for many years, but decided he wanted to do something else. He got an M.D. a specialization in psychiatry, a PhD. in CBT (which phrenicz mentioned) and then further specializations in child psychiatry and adult psychiatry. He was qualified to say the least.

What we did a lot of, which is what CBT is partly about, was working on unlearning behaviors and ways of thinking that i had acquired over the years that weren't good for me and teaching myself new ones that were beneficial to me. This isn't easy and often takes a long time as it's basically changing who you are, but in my experience, really worth the effort.

One example of unlearning ways of thinking was my tendency to think that only the best was good enough. To use an analogy, that if trying the high jump in track and field, even if it was my first time trying, only 245 cm would be good enough (the world record btw). With this way of thinking, of course, i automatically set myself up to fail, as no one without practice would be able to do that, and almost no-one even with a life-time of practice even. And constantly failing doesn't help you with your depression. I slowly worked with him at "lowering the bar" everywhere it was set to high.

One area where we put this into practice, where i was unlearning, but also learning new behavior. Was that we decided i should go for a 15 minute walk three times a week. Setting the bar very low in other words. In addition i was going to teach myself a new way to think; i was going to congratulate myself on a job well done once i got home again, pat myself on the back so to speak (this ofc had the additional benefit of exercise, which as mentioned by someone else is great for your mental well-being). I was skeptical to begin with as it seemed such a small thing, and after i got home and congratulated myself i didn't really feel a sense of accomplishment to begin with. In fact, i felt kinda useless and disappointed in myself, after all, i could have gone for a two-hour walk and instead of on asphalt i could've walked in the mountains near my home. After a while tho, when congratulating myself, instead of just saying it to myself, i also began to feel it. Although small, it was actually an accomplishment, i had done something. This feeling of accomplishment was crucial and it led me to take longer walks, eventually every day, venturing into the forest and the mountains, all the while discussing this with my psychiatrist, ensuring that i didn't bite of more than i could chew at any time, as was my problem. It had a number of profound consequences for my health. I got in really good shape, thereby also improving my general mental well-being. and as mentioned by @LBGIRL213, made my brain produce endorphins which naturally lifts your mood, and after i got home i felt really good about myself and my entire day got better.

Of course, the problems i'm talking about here, may not be your kind of problems, but nearly everyone of us, especially those who suffer from depression, have learned patterns of behavior that work against us. My intention was to give examples of how therapy may benefit you. There are also different kinds of therapists, of which i've had several, who focus on different thing and i may talk about later. Most of them have benefited me in some way. These days i don't do much talking during therapy. Instead we focus on doing things, challenging myself, staying active while learning new better ways of thinking and behaving. Practicing becoming a better version of myself you could say. It takes time, and it's hard work, but it gets amazing results.

I've talked so long about therapy now that i'll put of other things like antidepressants for later. 

Hope you find something that works for you and that you get better.

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dotcomkot

looking at al that writing is hurting my eyes loool the brain is a powerful thing an can draw some very intense strange feelings. depresion has consumed the most of my life al i have left is laughter  

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Jellopanda

Sorry it's so long. I tried to make it shorter, but only managed to cut so much

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dotcomkot

hah its fine @Jellopanda i was only joking. i read it. im out of likes mines always gone by about 10 am lol

 

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Nikolas

phrenicz@ I rather add, be kind and celebrate yourself. 

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Jellopanda

When it comes to depression there is a way of thinking about things that i find helpful.

In our society, by that i mean mainly western society, there's this great focus on happiness and that the main goal in life is happiness. While being happy feels great that's only one feeling and a small part of life. If a person went around being happy 100% of the time i would actually recommend her going to a psychiatrist to find out what was wrong with her. Also if we all were perfectly happy all the time we probably wouldn't be able to survive as a race, because we would have no motivation for doing anything with our lives or to improve our situation.

Negative feelings have their place too. Grief, anger, sadness, loneliness, shame, fear and so on all have their place. They may in fact be very helpful to us sometimes. In addition to that i think they put things in perspective and makes us appreciate the positive things in life more because we've experienced the other side of things. Negative feelings are experiences too and i think they enrich our lives

That is of course if you don't have them way to often, which is what you could say depression is. What i'm trying to do with my depression is simply to balance things out a little bit more so that i have more of a 50-50 ratio maybe of negative vs positive rather than say 90-10. But one shouldn't discount the negative feelings or spend all ones energy to avoid them completely.

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Yukon4E2

I went through weekly therapy for about 4 years, when I moved away from home and then filed for a divorce like 8 month later. Then my dad killed him self. I found that a combination of therapy and Prozac were most effective. 

However, I will say that mine was somewhat "situational." But once I got into therapy for divorce or grief, of course all this stuff from the past bubbled up. I found it immensely productive and helpful. Mine was mostly CBT as well. 

However I do know one person close to me (my love) who seems to have suffered major depression on and off his whole life. He's 55 now and against therapy and antidepressants. Which boggles my mind. It's just a lot of suffering. 

My best friend has severe and tremendous problems with anxiety. She's done some therapy, is on a variety of meds and now combines that with  "self-medicating." However, she has ongoing and relentless struggles with anxiety that cause her a lot of pain.

My mom has had depression and some anxiety and she benefits also remarkably from Prozac and general anti-anxiety meds. 

Just some experience and ideas ? to throw out there. Hugs.

Edited by ajmorgan99
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DippityDoo

@ajmorgan99 

Oh my goodness, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your dad.  I would not know even where to begin to try coping with the magnitude of parental suicide.  Such a tragedy is already overwhelming, but occurring so soon after the trauma of divorce is a suffering beyond my comprehension.  Thank goodness you had access to counseling and anti-depressants and am so happy to hear it helped you through such immeasurable loss.

There's lots of wise advice in your post; thanks so much for posting.

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Yukon4E2

Thank you for the compassion@dippitydoo. Such kind words and grace from you. 

Im in a happy place now. But I almost did not survive those few years. Every day now is a bit of a gift. 

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