Dealing with depression
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19-07-2013, 03:27 PM
RE: Dealing with depression
I've been battling depression and anxiety since about the time I started puberty, about age 7 or 8. As tomorrow will be my 56th birthday, I've been walking this road for nearly half a century. I can't offer clinical advice, as I have no alphabet soup after my name, but I can give you an Idea of what has and hasn't worked for me.

Firstly, my results with mental health professionals have been mixed. Most of the problem was finding insightful professionals who were willing to put some work into my condition. I live in the USA and am poor, so this does not help when it comes to quality treatment. As it happened, though, I was admitted to a crisis center (sort of like an emergency room for people with severely bad turns in life). The psychiatrist there had me try a lesser-prescribed medication, and it made all of the difference in the world for me. After trying almost every antidepressant and anxiolytic in the inventory over a period of 25 years, this medication had me starting to feel better within days, and over the last seven months I've become someone I hardly would have recognized ten years ago. I still have bouts of loneliness and isolation, but for the most part, I would call myself rather happy. So, medication can make a difference; it's just a matter of finding the right regimen.

As far as psycologists and "talk therapy" go, I don't respond well. This, I think, is due to the therapy offered and my own world-view. The therapy I have had is mostly quasi-religious "find meaning in life" à la Victor Frankl. Needless to say, my atheist world-view doesn't sit well with these people. Happily though, my current therapist and social worker are people I can just talk to for an hour at a time, which helps with the loneliness. So, psychologists can be of help, as long as you can find one who will work with you rather than trying to change you into something you are not.

Above all, try to be patient. Diabetes is quickly diagnosed and easily treated, not so depression. The state of the art is still in its infancy. I'm hoping that conversation with intelligent people of a like world-view will be of help to me, perhaps it can be of help to you, as well.

Per aspera ad astra.

"I like theories you can test."
-- Sheldon Glashow

When in doubt, eat chocolate.
If doubt persists, have a hot fudge sundae.
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