My experience of depression
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17-05-2017, 08:49 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 08:44 AM)Emma Wrote:  
(17-05-2017 07:40 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  If anything it's an education thing, or the lack there-of, for people who've not had to deal with any form of mental illness.

As before I'm very lucky to have a great support network, and luckily/unluckily it runs in my family, so many of us know the score prior to me going into my own personal issues, although people don't know and I think even worse, don't want to know about what it's like/how it feels.

It seems really sad to me that people don't want to understand or have empathy. Mental illnesses are still physical illnesses when it comes down to it. Our brain is a physical organ, and our mind is our brain.
I can only guess, but I think those that have never dealt with mental illness in any capacity, [either through themselves or a loved one/friend, or willingly leaning about it], just don't think it's "a thing" at all, and that's when you get the "bloody hell, cheer up" stuff coming out of the woodwork.

Not sure about elsewhere, but in the UK things are getting better, in terms of mental health awareness generally, so that's a minor plus.

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17-05-2017, 09:08 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 08:49 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  
(17-05-2017 08:44 AM)Emma Wrote:  It seems really sad to me that people don't want to understand or have empathy. Mental illnesses are still physical illnesses when it comes down to it. Our brain is a physical organ, and our mind is our brain.
I can only guess, but I think those that have never dealt with mental illness in any capacity, [either through themselves or a loved one/friend, or willingly leaning about it], just don't think it's "a thing" at all, and that's when you get the "bloody hell, cheer up" stuff coming out of the woodwork.

Not sure about elsewhere, but in the UK things are getting better, in terms of mental health awareness generally, so that's a minor plus.

I wonder if there is some amount of people who do experience it, but not strongly and they just "power through it" or something, and wonder why everyone else can't just do the same?

Or maybe they just don't know that they experience it and can't recognize it for what it is and just think everyone must feel like them, so why can't these other people just get over it like they do themselves?

I don't know, just some thoughts that don't really have any basis or support lol.
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17-05-2017, 09:19 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 09:08 AM)Emma Wrote:  
(17-05-2017 08:49 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  I can only guess, but I think those that have never dealt with mental illness in any capacity, [either through themselves or a loved one/friend, or willingly leaning about it], just don't think it's "a thing" at all, and that's when you get the "bloody hell, cheer up" stuff coming out of the woodwork.

Not sure about elsewhere, but in the UK things are getting better, in terms of mental health awareness generally, so that's a minor plus.

I wonder if there is some amount of people who do experience it, but not strongly and they just "power through it" or something, and wonder why everyone else can't just do the same?

Or maybe they just don't know that they experience it and can't recognize it for what it is and just think everyone must feel like them, so why can't these other people just get over it like they do themselves?

I don't know, just some thoughts that don't really have any basis or support lol.
I do think there are a fair amount of people that don't know of people who go through issues with their mental health and just don't fully comprehend what's going on, and just soldier on until they hopefully get better. If anything it's probably a more old school way of thinking.

We know that mental illness has always been around, but up until recently (like the past 30-40 years) it's not been a topic of discussion, and if you had issues in the 60's/70's, you got given a slap and told to get a hold of yourself.

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17-05-2017, 11:06 AM
RE: My experience of depression
Since we're talking about mental illness, Steve Shives did a video on it today:


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17-05-2017, 08:10 PM
RE: My experience of depression
(16-05-2017 09:16 AM)LadyDay Wrote:  
(15-05-2017 10:52 AM)Dom Wrote:  We were together 30 years and it kept getting better and better. Grief induced depression sucks, any and everything can send you spiraling out of control - scents, sounds, a fork or any innocent item, and of course your thoughts. I thought I had gone over the deep end - as do most other people in that situation. It makes you think you're nuts.

The suicide thing - I had long decided that I would die by my own hand someday, rather than wither away in some institution. It wouldn't occur to me to do it based on emotions, I see it as a rational choice that fulfills a specific purpose - preservation of the quality of life. These thoughts have actually helped me through some shitty situations.

Death is a part of life and I can see how taking charge of that, just like you take charge of living, must be empowering.
I am young (I like to think. 30 anyway.) and I just found the ability to appreciate and enjoy life, I finally got excited about living it, so on good days I struggle to imagine a situation where I'd want to end it. Short of being locked in a body so wrecked that I'd have no way of communicate with people. I imagine what stride science might make, what is still left to be discovered, in thousands of years (assuming that kid Trump doesn't throw a fit that ends humanity) and wish I'd get to know. I wonder how life will evolve and what our planet will look like hundreds of thousands of years in the future.
But I also hope that when the end of life comes closer, I will feel satisfied with the life I've had and not too upset by the fact that it's going to end someday.
Maybe every day would be less special if there were an infinity of them. I don't know.

(16-05-2017 01:12 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  That's a very good description, it fits in closely with how I experience depression. I have a constant battle against just giving up and collapsing on the floor, never to move again.

It's incredible how literal it is isn't it. It's not just that you feel low on energy, you can't just make your body go on and do stuff on it's own despite the brain being muddy. You end up just sitting there. Stuck.
Fortunately it's become rarer that I feel this way. I'm sure it will for you too. You just need the right professional to take you by the hand, who gets that you can't always fight the battle yourself and come out victorious, you need them to fight with you.
Feel better.
:hugs:

(16-05-2017 04:37 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Hi LadyDay,

Unfortunately, I do know the feeling you describe. This is not something I easily admit to anyone, even to myself. The (hospital) diagnosis in my case is 'Panic disorder and phasal depression'. It has been lifelong, but diagnosed about 25 yrs ago. I am 69 in June.

Maybe stupidly, I have managed without meds, but counselling and alternative therapies have helped along the way. At the docs surgery recently, I saw my medical records, by accident, on the computer. It said "Anxiety and depression - not active." Of course it is active, but I'm so fiercely proud of that record that I won't mention anything to the docs unless I hit rock bottom. Just now the black dog is circling but I'm still managing.

I totally admire anyone dealing with this illness, as I knew two young people who ended their lives, which on the surface seemed fine, until their illness started. I'm now going to get myself out of bed and go to the dentist, where I will chat with my lovely hygienist and pretend everything is alright.

Goof thoughts to you and everyone in the struggle. Bowing

D.

Proud and stubborn you old people Wink
I imagine self-reliance and not making a fuss must have been a result of growing up relatively shortly after the war.
But please don't settle for less than what you can have out of being too proud to ask for assistance.
But I'm just a kid, grown in an era of luxury and feeling of entitlement, so what do I know. Rolleyes

(16-05-2017 06:34 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  LadyDay, in my family we know mental illness well. The way you describe your depression for those who are unaware is a good one. I am sorry that you are part of that group with us, but glad that you know yourself well.

Another way of helping others understand clinical depression and its ways with a person is that you can go from a day in which all is well with the world and normal and going happily along and be happy in it. The next day could be just the same happy, normal day going well...but you are weary and fearful and perhaps angry and tired to the bone and the people around you think you are stupid and ugly and totally incapable of doing your job and you just know they are looking for ways to fire you and you think maybe you just might look for a big tree on the way home from work to drive into in case you can't face another day like this one.

Nothing has changed about life. Something has changed inside to make it seem that way.

When any of us start picking out trees, it is a signal that we need to start talking to another person in our small family and keep talking until we feel it lift...and we can actually feel it lift when it happens.

We keep the phone lines always open in our family. My sister has manic-depression (bipolar is a term that does disservice to those who suffer what used to be called manic-depression, IMO) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with Anxiety/Panic Attacks. Do you have manic episodes? Those signals are at least a little more entertaining in her case; shopping and buying stuff and feeling absolutely terrific and able to do anything...but when she starts listening to her cats opinions or getting religious, she knows it has gone too far and is in danger of slipping into a full-blown manic episode. Usually, now, we get it under control when the buying stuff begins. The rest of us are lucky enough to just have mild clinical depression and mood swings and anxiety, but our family history has run the gamut of mental illness.

No cancer though...

Big hugs.

-Jeanne

Haha. Good point. No cancer in my family either. So that's a positive.

I like to think that I've come to know myself well after so many years of this. But it feels like that has only been the last two years, while I've been sick for 20, it's been fumbling around in the dark until then it seems. So the big revelations have taken a while to show up out of the disease. But then again I guess nobody fully know or understand themselves in their twenties. Now that I've reached the big thirty I expect the wisdom that comes from age to show up any day. Big Grin

You are exactly right about how it changes from day to day. Even minute to minute. It's hard for people around to understand sometimes. My boyfriend understands me and my disease better than anybody, but even he can get puzzled and ask "what happened?" when I suddenly hit the wall and go from feeling great and content to being miserable and unable to cope with life. Sometimes it's the straw that breaks the camels back. Except the camel was trotting along carrying the straw just fine until that last one. And "I spilled my glass of cola" isn't really a satisfactory answer to why you're suddenly a sobbing mess with panic attacks out of nowhere! Laugh out load

My family has a lot of cases of mental illness too. Mostly depression. One of my sisters isn't depressed much, but has bulimia. The other sister and both my parents have had a bit of depression. Fortunately they're better now. There's also good indications that at least two of my grandparents have/had depression, but they never got any diagnosis. It's just not something one talked about in that generation I figure. One of my mothers sisters had bad paranoid schizophrenia, but nobody else in the family have had that. Otherwise I don't know the siblings of my parents, and their children, well enough to know if they've had any.
I do not talk to my parents and the youngest of my sisters about it much. The fundamentalist religion that they constantly invoke makes it hard to communicate. The oldest of my sisters is different, and we talk about it regularly. Otherwise it's my boyfriend and a couple of close friends I rely on for somebody to talk to, and that means a lot. Somebody caring makes a huge difference!

I haven't had any manic episodes.

(16-05-2017 07:50 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  I suffered through an episode of clinical depression about a decade ago after a series of extremely difficult events happened within a few weeks.

At one point, I recall driving home from somewhere (don't remember where) and thinking that I wasn't going to bother putting my seat belt on because if a dump truck blew a stoplight and obliterated my car and me, it wouldn't really matter; in fact, it would provide a sense of relief.

Eventually I made an appointment with my physician and he prescribed a 6-month regime of Paxil and set up counselling appointments. He saved my life. Better living through chemistry, I suppose.

I came through it a better, stronger, more capable man.

LadyDay, you, too, will get through this. Hey, if I can do it...

I've come to the point of accepting the medicine. That it's necessary for me to function and remain alive. I see it as the same thing as a diabetic needing medicine to stay healthy too. Just like many other diseases, whether it's for a period until you're cured or a chronic illness. Depression is a disease of the brain after all, not just normal feeling upset about something, so it's only fitting to take advantage of the medical treatments available. You don't expect diabetics to just power through without medicine either after all. Unfortunately there's a widespread lack of understanding when it comes to depression and anxiety, but we shouldn't let that affect our way of thinking.
It's alright for sick people to "live through chemistry" Smile

Thank you very much Heart

I've had M.E. for some 11 years now, and the depression for just as long. Since the M.E. saps my energy in the first place, I have even less by the time depression has finished with me.

But I've had a lot of really great professional help and am on good medication. I'm coping reasonably well at the moment, and have developed a lot of ways of fighting on.

I wish you all the best too, along with everyone else here who experiences depression. I totally agree with you that medication can be very much worth it, if not essential. I have no doubt I'd be dead now without anything to help give me the strength to fight it. I see it as the medication lifting your head above water, to give you the chance to use your strength to swim rather than just slowly drowning whatever you do.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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17-05-2017, 11:57 PM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 08:10 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  I totally agree with you that medication can be very much worth it, if not essential. I have no doubt I'd be dead now without anything to help give me the strength to fight it. I see it as the medication lifting your head above water, to give you the chance to use your strength to swim rather than just slowly drowning whatever you do.

I've never really understood the stigma behind taking drugs for mental health. If you get flu or chronic heart disease or diabetes no one looks down on you for getting pills or injections.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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18-05-2017, 02:10 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 11:57 PM)morondog Wrote:  I've never really understood the stigma behind taking drugs for mental health. If you get flu or chronic heart disease or diabetes no one looks down on you for getting pills or injections.

I think there are two main factors at play.

I think a lot of people think they've experienced depression, but they've actually experienced normal, healthy feelings of sadness, loss etc. F.ex. if someone loses their beloved pet. For a while they feel really sad, they cry, they don't feel like going to work and such. Then after a while they feel better. They then think that that is what depression is, and therefor they think it's something people should be able to just get through, by distracting themselves, doing something they like etc. And that it's just a pretty normal part of life and something that people should be able to get through, and become stronger from from, without medical intervention.

There's also a huge misunderstanding about anti-depressant medication, that it's some sort of "happy pills" that make you artificially, robotically happy and unable to have normal, healthy feelings like sadness, grief, anger etc. In reality they don't and can't do anything like that. What they do is normalize the balance in brain chemistry. You still feel all the normal feelings, you just stop being sick. It's important for people to learn that.

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18-05-2017, 02:14 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 08:49 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  
(17-05-2017 08:44 AM)Emma Wrote:  It seems really sad to me that people don't want to understand or have empathy. Mental illnesses are still physical illnesses when it comes down to it. Our brain is a physical organ, and our mind is our brain.
I can only guess, but I think those that have never dealt with mental illness in any capacity, [either through themselves or a loved one/friend, or willingly leaning about it], just don't think it's "a thing" at all, and that's when you get the "bloody hell, cheer up" stuff coming out of the woodwork.

Not sure about elsewhere, but in the UK things are getting better, in terms of mental health awareness generally, so that's a minor plus.

Exactly! (se my post right above, so I don't repeat myself Tongue )

"I believe that while not all people are essentially good, most are trying" - Adam Savage
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18-05-2017, 03:44 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 08:47 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  
(17-05-2017 07:40 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  If anything it's an education thing, or the lack there-of, for people who've not had to deal with any form of mental illness.

As before I'm very lucky to have a great support network, and luckily/unluckily it runs in my family, so many of us know the score prior to me going into my own personal issues, although people don't know and I think even worse, don't want to know about what it's like/how it feels.

OakTree,

Your last sentence feeds into the massive stigma over any kind of mental illness. I agree that people generally "don't want to know about what its like/how it feels."

I used to think this was just ignorance/disinterest, but these days I'm wondering if many folks do have an idea of how bad it is and just have to block it out for fear of some kind of contamination? In my youth, starting at 17, I had panic attacks/anxiety. I wasn't allowed to even mention it in my parent's presence and had to go to the doctors on my own. I went through a first marriage without mentioning it! My present partner of 37 years is a bit wiser and helped me to go to a hospital appointment. I was immediately diagnosed.

Its not just other's stigma, I think we stigmatise ourselves.

D.

Definitely. I had many panic attacks of the years, very low periods of what I now know is depression, but at the time I didn't know anything about it. My mother was very understanding as she has minor mental health issues, as does her mother. Yet my father was all about the "come on there is worse things happening around the world" sort of crap, as he's never dealt with it.

I kept it locked away after that, for a good 11 years, until it all came out some time in the last two years, and I hit rock bottom. Whole shebang, racing thoughts/panic attacks/suicidal thoughts, it was very scary for me and my wife. In the end she called the doctors for me after me basically having panic attacks at night whilst in bed.

Luckily I now know what mental illness issues I have, and now I can manage it accordingly, but for 11 or so years, it was kind of brushed over, even by those that had the same issues as myself.

Again, probably more of an educational/acceptance thing, but it is slowly getting better.

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18-05-2017, 04:41 AM
RE: My experience of depression
I've only just found this, I'm sorry you feel so bad Ladyday you're always welcome to PM me if you want to chat. Hug
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