Talk to me about your experiences with depression.

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  • Talk to me about your experiences with depression.
  • crikey
    Member

    That ‘other people are worse off than me so I should MTFU’ thing tends not to work very well, largely because depression is so individual an experience.

    What’s up?

    Stresses of recent events of which there are lots and lots have made me depressed again.

    carbon337
    Member

    My unlce had some real issues with it. He had a chemical imbalance caused by taking some stomach medicine for an Ulcer.

    Had to move out of his house (2 kids and wife) back to his parents for about a year. Still at a private consultant now about 5 years later.

    crikey
    Member

    So you can attribute your depression to a number of things, which may or may not be helpful. What’s also helpful is that you can recognise it, and having insight is important.

    I ended up getting more and more dissatisfied with bits of my life until it all seemed hopeless and I nearly chucked it all away.

    My take on it is that depression is a bit like a bike route; it’s easy to follow it if you’ve been there before, but it’s also avoidable if you take active, logical steps to not go there.

    I suffered it for 30 odd years and fixed myself in 2 weeks after reading “Feeling Good” by David Burns. Best £5 I ever spent 🙂

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    Tell those Zulus to bugger off. They can put a real downer on anything.

    Ho hum
    Member

    In my case it was caused by external factors like winter, work, where I lived and relationships.

    18 months on Prozac plus counselling helped to clear it up. I still take St John’s Wort now, which helps me, but may not help others.

    At the same time that I was depressed I was also suffering from anxiety and I found it very difficult to understand why I was suffering from both as I thought they were mutually exclusive states of mind.

    Talking about your feelings really helps.

    At the same time that I was depressed I was also suffering from anxiety and I found it very difficult to understand why I was suffering from both as I thought they were mutually exclusive states of mind.

    I don’t know what gave you that idea!

    Boba Fatt
    Member

    I’ve been diagnosed depressed for 8 years, seen a few psychologists who then went on to diagnose everything from low confidence to OCD, been taking anti depressants for that whole time, read numerous self help books, feel about 25% better than i did to begin with.

    To tell the truth, it’s been the little things that have made me feel better for short periods of time. A good film, going out for a bike ride, doing something useful around the house, fixing something, learning something…..these things all helped (however I have to be careful because I suffer from obsessional behaviour and will obsess about things for days)

    Its that old adage about chopping tasks up into little pieces and all that (although I am really no authority otherwise I wouldn’t still refer to myself as depressed after 8 years)

    take care

    willard
    Member

    I had it, and was treated for it, several years ago. MTFU-ing did not work in the later stages, and it was only after one severe breakdown (thanks to my ex-wife for that) that I took responsibility for my own sanity and got help from my GP. I am very glad I did.

    Call it 6/7 years on, I’ve changed jobs (and am much happier with my work), changed house (and am much happier here), and got re-married. Strangely, I now know what love is, which I never did before.

    Depression can be beaten. People can help. But, you need to start things off. Change just one small thing in your life at a time and see if it makes a difference. Exercise helps too, and I felt a lot better when I had gone riding, or got a decent walk in, or played basketball. Alcohol doesn’t help and never will.

    A reported 1 in 4 people will suffer with mental health issues at some point in thier life. However the figure is closer to 1 in 2 as many issues go unreported. Your NOT alone and the social stigma with depression is fading away constantly. I have been on a few anti depressents, citalopram worked well then my body got used to it, then I used setraline but put on 20kgs in 3 months, which made me feel worse.

    People look at me and ask why I’m depressed? Good career, gorgeous girlfriend, but depression goes deeper than that. There will always be someone worse off than you but hearing that won’t snap you out of it.

    When I was at my worse I didnt leave the house for 3 months, didn’t shave and had to move in with parents so they could check I was eating. It was during this time that I learned something. I have many friends but done friends are better in done situations than others. The cause of my depression is panic attacks that just come on with no warning, no direct link with surroundings, stress, workload can be made. Being a lad in his late 20’s I am hoping to ‘grow out’ of panic attacks but I take each day as it comes and try not to make an issue of them.

    I wish you all the luck to overcome these hurdles.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Just sacked off the ADs in favour of riding my bike again. Didn’t like the bad acne and weight gain they caused.

    Get big whooshes of self-loathing, fear and uncertainty, but it’s nothing nearly as bad as at the end of last year, so I focus on the good things in life and try to rationalise the (long term) situation that’s making me depressed.

    cynic-al
    Member

    I go up and down, been down for a while recently, tried ADs and came off as I didn’t like feeling disconnected, still struggling to dig myself out the current hole though.

    Ho hum
    Member

    simonfbarnes – Member

    At the same time that I was depressed I was also suffering from anxiety and I found it very difficult to understand why I was suffering from both as I thought they were mutually exclusive states of mind.

    I don’t know what gave you that idea!

    Neither did I Simon, I thought that I was really going crazy at the time.

    The realisation that I could suffer from both eased my mental torment a lot.

    MrNutt
    Member

    sometimes perspective is hard to reset.

    sometimes your problems can seem like a mountain.

    but the only way to climb a mountain is by moving.

    concentrate on turning the pedals. simple steps. turn by turn, keep taking them, one at a time.

    eventually you’ll look around and you will have made it to the top of that mountain, the mountain originally you thought to be unclimbable, just by taking one step at a time.

    When you’re up there you’ll be able to see plenty of other mountains, your view will be clearer, you’ll also see lots of other descents, they exist because the worlds not flat.

    And don’t worry about any mountains you can’t see, you never know what’s around the corner, after all on the other side of the current obstacle could be some sweet single track all the way to the coast. 🙂

    chin up mate, just try to take one positive step at a time and you’ll be better in no time. 🙂

    Make me feel better by sharing your experiences.

    BruceWee
    Member

    I started taking medication for bipolar depression about 6 months ago and things have really improved. For about ten years I was constantly changing what I was doing and where I was living, not to mention starting and then ending relationships all because I was sure that it was something to do with my circumstances that meant I was constantly depressed, anxious, or angry. Along the way I also became very successful, first in sport where I represented Scotland in karate and then professionally where I was always the rising star wherever I started working simply because I put so much effort into running away from my problems.

    The cracks started to appear when I ran out of ideas. I couldn’t think of anything else to do and that this was as good as I was ever going to feel. I became suicidal and the only thing that stopped me was the fact that I didn’t think my parents would be able to survive if I killed myself but it was getting to the stage where even that wasn’t enough.

    I refused to see a doctor because of my experience of going to my GP a few years ago. Her ‘diagnosis’ was that I had an alcohol problem because I would occasionally drink more than 8 pints in a night. A fair amount but not unusual for the student lifestyle I wouldn’t say. I walked out of the doctor’s feeling patronised and that I was not really worthy of living.

    Luckily I was living in Norway when things really came to a head and I had some friends who almost literally dragged me to the doctor. My experience with the Norwegian doctor was like night and day compared to the UK. I was assured that it was not uncommon and my feelings weren’t selfish or the result of self pity. I was prescribed some some drugs to deal with the bipolar (not anti-depressants because in many cases these can make things worse for bipolar depression). Since then I’ve been up and down but it’s more in line with most people’s changes in mood and completely manageable.

    I think that a lot of very successful people are actually trying to run away from their problems and work extremely hard at running away which results in their success. Graeme Obree’s book is a really good read for people who want to understand a bit more about it. There’s also a really good article by Mark Bowden called Fight to the Finish in his collection Road Work about a highly successful doctor with bipolar who simply couldn’t continue and killed himself. It also talked a bit about the effect this had on his friends and family. Some accepted that he had an illness that, for him, was simply incurable and would result in him living in incredible pain for the rest of his life. Others believed that taking your own life can never be justified and he should have carried on. Personally I don’t think those people really understood that depression is a chemical imbalance rather than a lack of character.

    Premier Icon trailertrash
    Subscriber

    to OP: Have you seen a clinical psychiatrist yet?

    Depression related to events and depression that “just happens” are two slightly different thing. SSRIs ( prosac and the like) have revolutionised treatment for depression. However they are not a cure but a treatment, don’t suit everyone and do have side effects

    IMO best used to give some breathing space and allow you got find a cure

    sometimes depression just goes away, sometimes some time and perspective is enough, sometimes talking therapies can help, sometimes lifestlye changes help There are many types of talking therapies, one size does not suit all.

    If you are reacting to situations then you need to either change the situation or the way you deal with it. Talking therapies can help you learn to deal with the triggers.

    Good luck

    grumm
    Member

    These are worth a look

    http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/consumers.cfm

    I think similar to the Feeling Good stuff sfb mentioned above

    crikey
    Member

    depression is a chemical imbalance rather than a lack of character.

    …and is eminently fixable or at the very least manageable for the vast majority of people.

    Take it easy fella.

    depression is a chemical imbalance rather than a lack of character.

    I would say that was highly simplistic if not actually wrong. Certainly for me, the various antidepressants, quite apart from their embarrassing side effects were of dubious use, where Cognitive Behaviour Therapy quickly went to the root of the problem and allowed me to become happy 🙂

    The ‘character’ bit is irrelevant.

    Simplistic rather than wrong. Its a chemical imbalance alright. Why this occurs – much more complex an hard to say.

    Execise, fresh air and daylight is a useful treatment as well

    willard
    Member

    Zulus,

    Never say never.

    I refused to see my GP about things for a long time, and it was only when I broke down in Relate that I did so. I swore I would never take ADs, but I listened to him that day and decided that, for once, maybe someone else could help. I am so happy that I put my faith in him that day.

    The first step to recovering from depression is acknowledging that you need help. The second is getting it. You may not want to go and see someone, but there are people out there that can help you understand what you need to do to recover from it. They don’t judge, they won’t think less of you, but they might help you get your mind back on track.

    crikey
    Member

    depression is a state of mind, and may be related to a chemical imbalance rather than the old fashioned and not useful way of characterising it as a lack of character.

    Does that read a bit better SFB?

    Does that read a bit better SFB?

    yes 🙂 I don’t think anyone knows if the imbalance causes the depression or vice versa, though I incline to the latter as experience shows you can overcome it through mental exercises.

    Obviously, seratonin is related to mood to some extent, but it also has numerous other functions in the body which can be adversely affected by trying to manipulate its level

    BruceWee
    Member

    Sorry, I was talking more about the particular case in Mark Bowden’s article. Re-reading I can see why that wasn’t entirely clear. Here’s most of the article.

    http://tinyurl.com/2a7bzom

    In my case I found that fresh air, mountain biking, watching TV, putting up shelves, getting wasted, etc. all worked in the short term (when I was actually doing whatever I was doing) but as soon as I was finished the depression was back straight away but much worse.

    Again, in my case and I can’t speak for any one else, it was purely a chemical imbalance. I was closest to the edge when my life was the best it had ever been (great friends, great job, great hobbies, own flat etc.) and I recovered using only drugs, which I know is not a popular thing to say, rather than with therapy or any of the other 101 things that are supposed to help with depression.

    I had a bit of this after both parents died of cancer in fairly short order. Therapy was useless to me but a few happy pills worked a treat and allowed me to get back on top of things. Came off them after a few months and have’t revisited since.

    I agree that it seems to be an imbalance of chemicals that can be treated with drugs but triggered by who knows what.

    Keeping busy, getting out and about and pushing myself to maintain a routine helped too.

    Excercise seems pretty key too, I find that I feel quite melancholy if I don’t do something every couple of days.

    In my case I found that fresh air, mountain biking, watching TV, putting up shelves, getting wasted, etc. all worked in the short term (when I was actually doing whatever I was doing) but as soon as I was finished the depression was back straight away but much worse.

    well, I would add drugs to that list of temporary fixes, but perhaps it depends on the personality. I needed something I could DO to fix myself, others might prefer a more passive regimen.

    iDave
    Member

    The link between circumstances and depression is a little simplistic. It suggests by logic, that if things are going ok you won’t be depressed, or that everyone whose life isn’t spot on will be depressed.

    Shit happens. To everyone. Life is hard. Some hide it better, some go years without it. Some have loads of cash but no social life, some have grinding poverty but great health.

    In my mind the best thing you can do, and this is clinically proven, is to take regular exercise outdoors. You may have to force yourself out the door, as I do sometimes, you may have to set alarms on your phone, but you have to find a way to do it. And it helps if you have company too.

    I would also agree with SFB (damn me for admitting) that CBT is effective if you approach it with an open mind.

    Without sounding trite, despite how you feel, you have choices. They may be difficult, but any loss of control is usually perceived not real and if it’s real it’s been allowed by you. Take it back.

    And good luck.

    sharki
    Member

    Long long story of it from me, and too complexed to go into much detail(though i have pretty much covered it all on here in the last few months).

    I’ll read the thread in more depth later this evening and try to add something useful to it.

    that CBT is effective if you approach it with an open mind.

    yes. The hardest thing for me to accept, having been tossed on a sea of unfettered emotion for decades, was that feelings are meaningless in themselves, and flow from thought, over which you have conscious control!

    turin
    Member

    I had a bad bout of it a few years ago, it kind of sneaked up on me without giving much warning, how dare it!!

    It took me a long time to realise anything was actually wrong as opposed to just feeling down. Things got pretty dark for a while and it was during one of these times that I called the Samaritans, well to be honest I called them about 20 times before I actually spoke to them. It was from that conversation that I went to my GP and he was fantastic, couldnt have asked for anything more. The explanation of “if you had a broken leg you would not think twice about getting treatment so why not this” helped me

    The worst thing for me personally was the feeling of vulnearability that came with it,I was in my early 20s and felt imortal!

    I was prescribed prozac, even tho I had always thought that they were just nonsense.I did a fair bit,for a layman, of research on the drugs which helped me.

    I guess I was like the majority of people who initially believed that depression was a lot of nonsense and just needed the people to “get a grip” which of course is ballox. I didnt actually tell many people about it at the time, perhaps 2 or 3 friends, that was prob due to the stigma and also I didnt want people worrying about me, I was doing enough of that!!

    I found that along with the medication I changed some of my lifestyle, pretty much stopped drinking, not that i drank that much, and used excercise as both a reward and motivation.

    Initially I thought I would never go back in to it but there have been times recently since when I have felt things beginning to slide, but sofar I have managed to avoid it.

    Wow, my longest post ever here!

    Just my experiences and not suggesting that any of it is relevant to you or anybody else.

    Hope you manage to sort things out. The feeling of relief after I initially spoke to somebody about it was amazing and was with hindsight was the best and hardest thing I had ever done

    take it easy

    mrsgrips
    Member

    I call it dwelling.
    I dwell in this place, dark and oppressive which has no start and no end. It enfolds and holds me and my only choice is seems to wait it out. My mind goes round and round in the dark and cannot find solutions to the problems it perceives which causes more questions and more lack of answers until my thoughts overwhelm me. Everywhere I look I see nothing but trouble and trauma and sadness. And I feel ‘what is the use?’
    Every time I’ve had to find a way out for myself.
    But finding a way for myself sometimes means talking to a stranger, sometimes talking to my best girl friend, sometimes talking to my best friend (husband). Sometimes it’s writing myself a long long letter discussing all the troubles. It usually means that I finally remember that any movement forward in life toward my ultimate goals no matter how small IS MOVEMENT and so I am getting some where, and I will get there in the end. ‘Little steps are still steps’ I chant to myself.
    I try as other people have suggested being very healthy; getting exercise, eating better, drinking water, trying to sleep a reasonable amount of time (but not spending too much time in bed sleeping!). I also do little things which make me happy and then revel in them for a moment; I put on vanilla perfume, read a book, make something, or wear pretty things, give littleGrips a hug and a kiss.

    It’s not the same for everyone, and I have a friend who nothing but meds works. We each have to find the balance which works for us.

    FoxyChick
    Member

    I have finally accepted after years of suffering that I’ll always be on the edge of depression. I’ve been on AD’s 3 times, seen numerous counsellors and have been to hell and back.
    The only thing that keeps me from tipping over the edge is my 2 kids. I may feel crap inside but kids are so impressionable, and so I put on a smile and be “happy Mummy”. I wake up feeling anxious every morning, have regular periods of self-loathing, focus on the negative stuff most of the time, but apparently come across as a happy, confident person(which could not be further from the truth).
    I’m already regretting posting this…

    Premier Icon muddydwarf
    Subscriber

    Me too FC.

    I’ve been the ‘life & soul of the party’ type for yrs, most would tell you i’m the most ‘people person’ they know. I’ts all a facade as far as i’m concerned, always felt like i’m just about to be uncovered as a complete fraud in whatever i do – i even feel like that about cycling.
    Took me a long time & a broken relationship to realise i’ve been depressed (on & off) most of my adult life.

    Day by day & understanding the signs is how i go.

    FoxyChick
    Member

    Holy shit muddydwarf…that is scarily true for me. I had to go back to work when both of my kids were 3 months old, so even felt like a fraud as a mother. It’s taken me 12 years to realise that I’m not so bad at motherhood after all. I don’t do close freinds very well, as I’m afraid they’ll discover the truth about me.

    ,as I’m afraid they’ll discover the truth about me.

    that’s what puzzles me – what can be so bad ? So you have distorted thinking, so what ? You have to give yourself a break and realise we’re all more or less flawed, but it doesn’t matter 🙂

    I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had depression (and certainly never been diagnosed), but I think I was on the cusp not long ago, and did things I’m not proud of (shan’t go in to that now though, not something that needs to be shared with everyone on here…), still feel like I’m heading back there sometimes 🙁

    My advice as a result of this is take it one day at a time, and set yourself small targets and things to look forward to. And ride your bike. Fast.

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