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Depression
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:05 am    Post subject: Depression Reply with quote

I tend to believe that the more intelligent a person the more introspective they are, and the more introspective someone is the more they are prone to depression. The watch is full of very intelligent, introspective people. I think to truly understand and appreciate SRD's work you have to be. So, I wondered what peoples experiences with depression have been. I understand that our lowest moments are generally our most guarded secrets and there may be many who don't wish to fully open up. However, our lowest moments are also the most revealing as regards character and strength and our recoveries the real marvel of human will.

I guess it might surprise some here to know that I've suffered from depression at various stages in my life. Maybe the more cynical would point to my age and relative lack of life experience to contradict that. I dont know. I do know that the cause of my depressive instincts has usually been a reluctance in making close friendships. I am not, and never have been particularly close to any of my family and until I met Karren(my GF) i didn't have one close relationship.

So anyone willing to share? What gave you hope to recover or continues to give you hope? Is it something you have a tendancy towards, like me, or an incident out of your control that triggered it?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it can be a tendancy myself. Perhaps triggered by some external event, (maybe even often, but not always, and certainly not always consciously).

Depression? Laughing Sure. Plenty in the past. I think I grew out of it or something. I think that personally speaking, I became too enamoured of my own depression. It was a wonderful source of inspiration in my writing, and it gives you a great air of "depth," it gives you time to examine yourself and the world, but eventually, it must give way to the grinding realities of having to do stuff.

I haven't really been depressed in years. I think that ultimately it may be a fairly selfish emotion, but not one without it's uses. But it easily turns into self-pity, which is something we should guard against at all costs.

Perhaps I stopped being depressed when I stopped taking myself so seriously. I don't mean your every-day generic depression, disillusionment etc, that kind doesn't usually last. And of course, nobody can be happy all the time. That kind of depression is the antidote for too much happiness. No, I'm talking about that black depression...when you're too low to even think properly.

That's a symptom of taking yourself too seriously, the ultimate result of which is usually suicide in one form or another. You get to like being ****ed up. And that's when it can be a problem.

The problem with us smart introspective types is that we're often too smart for our own good, over-analyse things and think too much. Which may paralyse us in certain cases/instances/whatever.

The important things to remember are that it doesn't last. *shrug* I never really thought of myself as having recovered from depression. More like just getting over it. *shrug*

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my shrink called me "hypervigilant".

i don't experience depressions of any profundity or length other than a blue day here and there due to hormonal flux.

i have more of a problem with chronic episodic axiety brought about by hypervigilance. Shocked Laughing

[edit] howEVER...i have a lifetime of experience with depression as there are several very depressed people in my family and circle of close friends. dad, grandmother, mother, brother, husband, both his dead parents, his brother, 2 very close girlfriends. all of them in differing degrees of depression, some of them medicated. my husband is the healthiest of these. he TOO is somewhat "hypervigilant". which keeps him more anxious than depressed. he is also THE MOST introspective person i know.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was lucky, got a touch of manic depression from my mom. but i have sucessfully ignored it. if i'm depressed i just do something to keep my mind occupied. if i get hyper i write a lot of stuff. you can tell by my posts where i stand usually.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never really had depression. Fluoxetine once for a month after a bad break-up.

What is everyone's view on antidepressants? Or, more to the point, today's attitutes to antidepressants? I know they get a very bad press, but considering the millions of people who take them, they're comparably very safe in comparison to other drugs. I can honestly say that 90% of the people I know have been on or are on antidepressants. (I know because I dispense their prescriptions!)

I know there are better ways of dealing with the more serious cases of depression (not that they are very often used here in UK) but for the smaller burdens of life - break-ups, loss of job, social insecurity, in some cases bereavement - I believe the SSRIs (Prozac, Seroxat, Cipramil etc) have a very important role. Comments?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm generally not in favour of them. Too much like psycho-surgery for my taste. I'm me, mental flaws and all. Faking it with medication is too much like denial.

And the apparently prevailing attitude toward them, that they're the modern panacea, just irks me for some reason.

Taking drugs to make you feel normal just seems wrong...the way you feel is normal. Anything else is some arbitrary attempt to enforce a standard of normality.

I'm often reminded of the comment, "in the 60's, the world was normal, and people took acid to make it weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal."

Mind-alteration should be a temporary thing at best. To live in an induced altered state is too much like cheating maybe. *shrug*

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote
Quote:
I'm often reminded of the comment, "in the 60's, the world was normal, and people took acid to make it weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal."


Never heard this but Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

so you're not in favour of putting them in the water supply I take it?

But seriously, I take your point. My argument is that a temporary depression caused by a specific event can nevertheless be debilitating. This can have knock on effects involving jobs, relationships, life! And lead to a depression that is not temporary at all, but all-encompassing. So I say - use the drugs we have to nip it in the bud!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll accept that in certain cases it can be a valuable shot-term treatment, but the growing use of, and most importantly, reliance on, anti-depressants is, to me anyway, an alarming indication of a potentially damaging social trend.

It's a fine example of treating the symptoms rather than the cause.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm not sure if I can get my thoughts onto screen properly on this. My support of the use of these drugs is strictly within the context of the society I see around me. Yes they are a short-term fix, and over-reliance on them would be damaging. I can see that if someone suffers a bereavement and these drugs are used to get them through it, it means that this person has probably not learnt to deal with bereavement in the normal way - an ability that humans throughout history have gained and used all their lives. But if society is not sympathetic to a person who requires more than the normal grieving time, say, and hence this causes the person domino problems, then I say remove the stigma of antidepressant use and let this person use the tool we have developed to function within the society we find ourselves in.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry, you're making perfect sense. Wink

I agree, but don't you think that by providing this tool, we're reoving the need for them to develop the strategy to deal with it themselves?

And what about other cases? What about when we reach the point where depression over body shape gets you a pill that will stop you worrying?

People are lazy. Give them a quick fix, and they'll never look for the lasting one. Anti-depressants are the mental equivalent of a Heath Robinson. Wink Painting over the cracks.

That's not to say that it should be a stigma, on the contrary. But eventually it's all held together by layers and layers of paint, with no structure underneath. That's why it should be monitored carefully.

I'm all for preventing attendant problems until the cause is fixed, but only treating the symptoms begs a much larger problem in the future I think.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Possibly, but to be a little bit facetious - if the necessity for learning to deal with some of life's problems is removed, perhaps the time effort and energy saved would enable us to improve our lives in other directions. An example escapes me at the moment!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps...but the treatment doesn't remove the problem, is the point I'm really trying to make I think. And lurking problems are not conducive to real mental wellbeing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonemaybe wrote:
What is everyone's view on antidepressants?. . . . I believe the SSRIs (Prozac, Seroxat, Cipramil etc) have a very important role. Comments?


I need my antidepressants. For a start, my medication for epilepsy makes me depressed and anxious. Second, I get depressed alot. Combined, this makes me very down. Alongs come a SSRI (Zoloft) and well, it works wonders. I no longer get upset or feel down, my head is clearer and I have so much confidence.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know I think that's great for you Lore. Are you going to take them for the rest of your life? I certainly don't begrudge you the right to a happy life, never think it.

And of course, I can point out that it may be different in this case if the depression and anxiety are induced by your epilepsy medication, in which case all you're doing is cancelling out the effect with a different medication.

However, I do feel, have felt, and always will feel that if the depression and anxiety are natural, that getting control of, and overcoming, them yourself would be far more valuable, and conducive to wellbeing than taking medication for it.

Our actions, our reactions, even our emotions are something that we are responsible for, and have a large measure of control over. Perhaps even complete control. Or so I feel anyway.

Obviously, as I said earlier to StoneMaybe, there are cases in which it's obviously the best thing for a persons quality of life, as it may well be for yours.

But in comparison to...well, I won't call it gratuitous prescription...but I will Wink I suspect that those cases form a minority.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
And of course, I can point out that it may be different in this case if the depression and anxiety are induced by your epilepsy medication, in which case all you're doing is cancelling out the effect with a different medication.


Nah, it's more than the medication.

Avatar wrote:
However, I do feel, have felt, and always will feel that if the depression and anxiety are natural, that getting control of, and overcoming, them yourself would be far more valuable, and conducive to wellbeing than taking medication for it.


Agreed, but sometimes in order to deal with it you need the medication.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loremaster wrote:
Quote:
I need my antidepressants. For a start, my medication for epilepsy makes me depressed and anxious. Second, I get depressed alot. Combined, this makes me very down. Alongs come a SSRI (Zoloft) and well, it works wonders. I no longer get upset or feel down, my head is clearer and I have so much confidence.


and Avatar wrote:
Perhaps...but the treatment doesn't remove the problem, is the point I'm really trying to make I think. And lurking problems are not conducive to real mental wellbeing.


But if the problem is not a longterm problem? Most of us can get over a bad break-up, even the worst, in time. A year or two down the line it is no longer a problem anyway. So why not use a drug to get us to that place. Looking at Loremaster's situation, a side-effect of another drug makes him anxious and depressed. This is not something that can be of any mental benefit to LM to try to combat without the use of an SSRI.

Now, if we were talking about someone who had had an unhappy childhood and their whole personality and life was affected by this, I would not be so quick to advocate use of a drug. If proper effective councelling is available to that person, that may be a better option. This type of problem will not just go away. However, use of a drug may be appropriate as a crutch to help them while they get to the (hopefully) better place that the councelling will take them to. If proper alternative effective means are NOT available to help that person, I say give them a drug which will make their life more sunny and enjoyable.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough. But it's dangerous to rely on it I think. If you can deal with it by using medication, it makes you less likely to address the psychological causes of it, because you don't need to.

And undealt with, those issues may manifest in other, perhaps less easily controlled ways too. Because the causes aren't erased by medication, they're just covered up.

The issues themselves are still there and still real...you're just...well...numbed to them perhaps?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twocents my mother once described medication to me as restoring the chemical balance to it's proper levels, therefore allowing proper mental function, not imbalancing the chemical levels and preventing proper "natural" mental function as you seem to be saying Av.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote
Quote:
...you're just...well...numbed to them perhaps?


Good analogy! Taking it further....

You have an intense pain in your leg. Do you take painkillers to numb the pain?

Yes, you do, if the pain was caused by the kick your missus gave you for watching too much football.

No, you don't, if you have pulled a muscle and want to go for a run anyway.

Yes, you do, if you have pulled a muscle and you're going to rest the leg, but you need rid of the pain to concentrate on the football.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, a fair enough analogy StoneMaybe. But that presupposes that resting it will heal it, and I'm not sure that that's the case in these instances. What I'm thinking of is like taking a painkiller to dull the toothache, but never going to the dentist to get it filled. The tooth will rot away, and you'll be oblivious to it.

Now I see what you're saying there too Esmer, and that may indeed be the case sometimes. I suppose it all depends on the cause of the depression.

Me, I'm of the heretical opinion that whatever imbalance you may have is natural for you. That the flaws are part of the package as it were.

I mentioned Psycho-Surgery earlier...a procedure in which they insert an electrode and literally fry a region brain cells in an attempt to prevent, say, depression or "mania" or whatever. the results have been less than satisfactory to people though. Personally, I'd prefer to take me as I am. Any changes that I undergo, I would like them to be at my will and through my own efforts.

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