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Depression - Info for Everyone

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by Mischief, Jun 10, 2018.

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  1. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    IME, people who have never suffered from depression have a hard time really understanding it. At the same time, as someone who has been living with clinical depression for over four decades, I have found it helpful to keep learning as much as possible about it.

    So, I thought it would be good to start a thread in which we can contribute information about depression, about new treatments, or simply things that have been helpful for you, if you suffer from depression or related illnesses.

    I also hope that this can be a place where those of you who have never experienced depression can ask questions and learn.

    I know there's a depression support thread, and this thread isn't meant to infringe on that. I hope that this thread can be an information/knowledge thread.
     
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  2. Katrina

    Katrina Deity

    Location:
    Canada
    Here's a piece of general advice for those who have a depressed friend: If you don't understand it, don't act as if you do.

    Depression is an illness. It's not the same thing as temporary sadness. Sitting down with us and telling us that you get it because of that one time you felt sad for a couple of days just makes us feel even more isolated. IMO, it is actually sort of insulting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  3. Val

    Val Extraterrestrial

    Eh?o_O You have a depression too, do you? There's a decent drug to fix it: Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem).
    Fluoxetine - Wikipedia
    But(!)...:
    I have a long-term depression since 16 yrs old, but i prefer to handle it myself, without drugs, but at the hospital i've been given Prozac and felt unreasonably calm and happy:eek:, - that was kinda scary. When i quit up using it, i felt much worse than before drugs and had to make huge effort to become normal again, so one has to be very careful:???:.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  4. Katrina

    Katrina Deity

    Location:
    Canada
    Yep, lucky me. Had it since age 14. Tried to go without meds most of my life. Kept telling myself I'd feel okay soon... I never really did. I'm on meds now and feel more stable than I have in ages.

    I agree that quitting meds can be dangerous. It should only be done gradually, with a doctors guidance.
     
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  5. Val

    Val Extraterrestrial

    (((Hugs))):hug:
    I thought that depression is a normal condition, but used to drink a lot of booze to endure it. Now i quit up drinking and taking meds and i'm still alive. We'll see what happens next...:D
     
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  6. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    The idea that depression is magically "fixable" is a myth. Only half of people respond (at all) to current therapies for depression. Rise in U.S. suicides highlights need for new depression drugs Even then, the improvement is most often partial, and temporary.

    There have been no new drugs developed to treat depression (,or other psychiatric disorders) for fifty years - they are just variations on the same basic drugs. However, clinical trials for a form of ketamine are looking promising. Esketamine Nasal Spray: A New Treatment Possibility for Treatment-Resistant Depression
     
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  7. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    Here's an interesting interview with a well known child psychiatrist who deals with clinical depression in his own life:- The Washington Post

    Part of the interview that especially resonated for me:

     
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  8. Katrina

    Katrina Deity

    Location:
    Canada
    More general advice: Not everyone who has depression is suicidal. Yes, it's possible that your depressed friend/family member feels suicidal, and you should take it seriously. But not all depressed people want to die. Some of us don't even believe in suicide, for religious or moral reasons. So there is no need to panic right away if someone tells you they feel depressed.
     
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  9. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    I
    Indeed, and not all people who commit suicide have clinical depression.
     
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  10. Katrina

    Katrina Deity

    Location:
    Canada
    I think a big reason for why people don't talk about their depression is because they're worried how people will react. I've dealt with plenty of bad reactions... and when I used to work at a distress hotline, most of the depressed callers were afraid of being thrown into a padded room or having the cops called on them. So they chose to call us anonymously instead of talk to their friends/family. It's sad that we call ourselves an advanced society yet still have this major social stigma.
     
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  11. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    Yes, many people do treat you differently, especially in a professional/job/career setting. In fact, the only people I've known who didn't act differently toward me were people who had experienced depression or other mental illness themselves.
     
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  12. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    Almost 45,000 Americans die by suicide every year. That's twice as many as are murdered. The rate of suicide in America has increased by a third since the 1990's. - The Washington Post

    The article also discusses the stigma that is still attached to suicide including to the families of victims.
     
  13. silva

    silva Addicted Poster

    Location:
    Ohio, U.S.A
    My sons both knew people from high school who've commited suicide. My younger one also had too many deaths of friends from drugs. And very close friend of suicide. He's having a terrible time, trying to rebuild his own life, and having others fall apart around him...

    I always suffered from some form of psychosis, followed by depression. To simplify it, I'd say I kinda grew out psychosis, and I haven't had a single episode of psychosis since having my kids. Depression however has always bound me. It's been the catalyst for every bad decision, every half finished project. In my younger days it led me to a abusive marriage, to an older woman scared and scarred. Now I'm in a very stable, very safe place and I never want to lose it, so I keep it very safe
     
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  14. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    Boy, can I relate! Depression can really screw up one's decision-making abilities, especially wrt personal relationships. Mine were catastrophic.
     
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  15. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    For me, depression and unhappiness are two very different things, as are grief and depression.

    My first episode of depression occurred when I was 19. I would be studying, or hanging out with friends, and out of the blue, like clockwork every evening at 9 p.m., an abyss would open inside me. I desperately wanted to kill myself to make it stop. I didn't know what was happening - I had never even heard about depression.

    I finally decided that I was only 19, after all, and that I should give myself until age 30 before deciding whether to kill myself. I was carrying a heavy courseload that semester - 27 credit hours - and I actually did the right thing and dropped two classes, and eventually the abyss feelings diminished and went away.

    I had a couple of good years after that, but then was in a semi-funk during three years of grad school. Then, my first year out of school, I completely fell apart. I ended up curled up in the closet in the bedroom of my apartment, not eating, drinking or washing. I wasn't feeling anything at all by that point. That's my identifiable low in my depressive episodes - I stop feeling anything at all. My sister eventually found me before I died in that closet. I still had never heard of depression.

    I sort of functioned for a couple of years after that, and then I fell apart again completely. I had gotten married during those years, and my sister and husband took me to a psychiatrist, Dr. Wolfe. He saved my life, which I must say, looking back down the years, turned out to be a mixed blessing.

    A combination offers talk therapy, antidepressants, cognitive therapy, and learning various coping skills kept me functional for decades. Any given antidepressant worked for me for only about two years, and then I would feel myself slipping and go back to Dr. Wolfe, who would switch me to a different drug and help get me stabilized.

    Eventually, the drugs stopped working for me altogether. The nature of my depression has also changed. More on that later.
     
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  16. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    To clarify: Not everyone who has a major depressive episode will have another one. In fact, about half of the people who have a major depressive episode will never experience another one.

    OTOH, with every major depressive episode, the chances of having another one increase. IOW, the more episodes you experience, the greater the likelihood that you will experience even more episodes.
     
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  17. Tom

    Tom Addicted Poster

    I'd want to do or at least say something to help someone facing depression, but considering what some have pointed out here, I'd be afraid to say the wrong thing. But then, I often have to work at not saying the "wrong thing".
     
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  18. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    I think the big ones not to say are variations on these:
    "I know just how you feel."
    " You'll get over this/feel better soon. "
    "You just need to [insert well meaning advice here]."

    If there are others to add to the list, please chime in, everyone.

    If it's someone you know reasonably well, there's no harm in saying, "I may be wrong, but it seems to me that you be having a hard time lately. What can I do to help?"

    Sometimes, little acts of kindness make a difference. A lot of people have been sharing online recently, in wake of the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, and one woman said that she was on the subway and started crying. She put her head down so that her hair would hide her face, and she thought no one had noticed. Then someone handed her a wad of kleenex as s/he was getting off the train. The woman said that little act of kindness by a stranger gave her enough energy to call her psychiatrist the next morning and get help.

    So, something as simple as that, or bringing a coffee for a co-worker, or going to a relative's house and saying "Let's go for a walk" can make a difference.

    I once sat down next to someone I found crying in a stairwell and said, "If you don't mind, I'd like to sit here a while with you. If you want to talk, great. If you don't want to talk, I'll just sit here with you unless you tell me to go away." Then I listened.
     
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  19. Mischief

    Mischief Stranger in a strange land

    The Largest Health Disparity We Don’t Talk About
     
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  20. silva

    silva Addicted Poster

    Location:
    Ohio, U.S.A
    For me it's been people acknowledging they simply don't understand, and don't know what to say, but instead, treating me just as if I were okay--I feel I completely messed up how I mean that :confused:
    Like the man who's now my supervisor. The first time I ever had small talk with him in the break room I said something that literally only made sense to me. I started trying to explain myself and then just -- stopped, because I knew I wasn't making sense and didn't how to correct it.He simply smiled and started talking like nothing weird just happened. Most people couldn't do that. He has great people skills and I really appreciated that.
    I have lousy people skills.
     
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