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Pennilenko
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on: February 15, 2014, 10:20:05 PM

I was wondering if anyone here has battled depression successfully. If so could anyone recommend some resources that helped them with the process of moving through it?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 08:12:43 AM by Pennilenko »

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Chimpy
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Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 10:23:26 PM

Visit a counselor.

Seriously, it helps.


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Rendakor
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Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 10:36:32 PM

Visit a counselor.

Seriously, it helps.


This. Even if you don't go on medication, just having someone who knows what they're talking about to talk to helps a great deal.

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Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 10:42:19 PM

The only advice you should take seriously from this thread is to go see a counselor.  It helped me tremendously when I went through some rough times. 
Kail
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Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 11:13:03 PM

Visit a counselor.
This. Even if you don't go on medication, just having someone who knows what they're talking about to talk to helps a great deal.

Yeah, even if they can't "cure" someone, they're a valuable point of contact just because they know what services are available, how to get access to them, and so on.  If you don't have access to a counselor through your job/school/insurance/whatever, Google or the phonebook would probably be the place I'd turn to find one.

On a personal, maybe not very helpful or relevant tangent, one thing that helps me is doing volunteer work.  It keeps me busy (less brooding/drinking time) and gives me at least one box I can check in the "you're not a complete waste of carbon" column.  It does require some free time, but they tend to be really flexible with scheduling (since you are, after all, working for nothing).
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Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 11:14:28 PM

A lot of companies have employee assistance programs that are good places to start.

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Venkman
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Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 11:19:48 PM

Sorry to hear you need to deal with this in some way.

Definitely counselor first. For us, the counselor helped us realize the depression was rooted in a biological condition, with known paths to remediation. Just because someone uses the word "medication" doesn't mean it's automatically "crazy pills". Chemical imbalance is literally a thing and fuck anyone who tries to write it off thinking someone just needs to cowboy up and deal. They have no first, second nor probably even third hand experience with it.
Selby
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Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 11:32:03 PM

Visit a counselor.
Ditto.  Finding a good counselor is also important as one that can truly help you vs. one who is milking you for the insurance money makes a difference as well.

Me personally, I am on a weird chemical cocktail that has solved a good portion of my issues but will never make it truly go away (and I don't recommend anyone do it lightly).  Exercising ridiculous amounts helps keep mine at bay as well.
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Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 11:35:11 PM

Visit a counselor.

Seriously, it helps.

That.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Sjofn
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Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 11:45:23 PM

Exercise (and going off the Pill) helped me a ton, but yeah, counselor is the biggest thing, because depression can vary pretty wildly between people.

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calapine
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Reply #10 on: February 16, 2014, 03:08:26 AM

Exercise (and going off the Pill) helped me a ton, but yeah, counselor is the biggest thing, because depression can vary pretty wildly between people.

And it's one of the few things one can actually active do in such situation. Personally found it massively more easy to deal with a (somewhat objective) professional than 'bothering' concerned friends and family.

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Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 06:46:42 AM

Finding a good counselor is hard. I've met with two people to try and untangle what's going on with my head and heart and so far both have been absolutely fuck-all useless. The one guy wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise while he spouted off Hallmark card aphorisms. Only asked me one (leading, rhetorical) question, I probably spoke for ten minutes top in a forty minute appointment.
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Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 07:04:18 AM

See your GP.  If it's physical, no amount of counselling will help.  Though I assume by the blanket 'me too' in here that counsellors mean something else over there and can prescribe drugs.  If it's Deanna in a catsuit, that'll help, but not long term.

Tell people.  Tell as many people as you can.  Let people know what's going on and how to help and to be aware of it.  Make THEM aware that doesn't mean 'trying to cheer you up', it just means that they should be aware of it and make allowances.

Get on good drugs.  Make sure you try different types to see what ones are best.  If you start to take one that makes you see frogs, get them changed.  Don't do what I did and get used to the frogs.  Frogs are bad.  Also, anyone thinking I'm joking here about the frogs, DON'T.

There were fucking frogs.

Then go get the proper counselling and psychiatric help you may require especially if, like me, it was brought on by trauma.  Get that shit out of your head as soon as you can so that you're not STILL having flashbacks 7 years later.

That's about it.

Read a lot.  There are even stupid comics on the web that help better than any human will.

Good Luck.

Don't kill yourself.  Father in Law did and, boy did it suck for EVERYONE ELSE.

Good Luck Again.

Also, exercise.  It really helps, but don't over do it

Good Luck AGAIN.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Ironwood
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Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 07:07:24 AM

(also, sunlight.)

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Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 08:24:27 AM

(also, sunlight.)


How did you manage that, you still live in Scotland don't you?

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Reply #15 on: February 16, 2014, 08:39:08 AM

Don't try to tough it out.

Keep trying counselors until you find one you are comfortable with.

Drugs were needed in my case.  Anxiety was fueling my depression, which kept me from dealing with the stressors, causing me to get more anxious.  On the other hand, I don't think they would have been of benefit with my depression when I was younger.  If medication looks like an option, talk it out with your GP or therapist about whether they're really needed since some will just throw meds at you.  Understand what they think it will be addressing.

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Reply #16 on: February 16, 2014, 08:53:47 AM

(also, sunlight.)


How did you manage that, you still live in Scotland don't you?

I didn't.  It's good advice and works tho.  Which is why this country is full of Miserable Fuckers.

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Logain
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Reply #17 on: February 16, 2014, 10:15:56 AM

It isn't true that if it's physical no counselor can help. The optimal approach is a combination of medication and therapy. Both are moderately effective on their own, but not nearly as effective as they are when used in conjunction. Finding the right counselor can be hard and it would be my advice to keep looking because finding someone that can really help you is invaluable and that person is out there somewhere.

Edit: The point above of being wary of doctors throwing meds at you is an important one as well.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 10:17:44 AM by Logain »
Ironwood
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Reply #18 on: February 16, 2014, 10:20:56 AM

 swamp poop

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Khaldun
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Reply #19 on: February 16, 2014, 10:59:59 AM

I don't think I can overcome my wariness of medication. I know I don't want to see anyone who turns to that too quickly or easily. I don't even know if the way I'm feeling is anything more than a rational assessment of what it is to be older, trapped by circumstances beyond my control, and wanting things and people to be better than they are. Some kinds of bleakness and sadness are the way of things, I feel sometimes. I need someone to patiently help me untangle what is honest despair at the way of things and what is pathology. And what is me vs. what is the world.
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Reply #20 on: February 16, 2014, 11:49:15 AM

My psychiatrist figured out pretty quickly that I didn't have any sort of chemical imbalance that would make ongoing medication necessary (the first thing she did was send me off to my GP to get tested for various deficiencies that could result in or exacerbate depression) -- she was often quick to suggest anxiety meds as an aid to cognitive behavioral therapy (to help put the stressors aside while I rebuilt), but not as a substitute, and I would say "neeeeh" and she would drop it.  I think she figured I wasn't in quite bad enough shape where medicating me was necessary to my continued survival.  Your mileage, however, may vary.

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WayAbvPar
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Reply #21 on: February 16, 2014, 01:04:16 PM

Medication isn't a lifetime commitment either (at least in many cases). I had awful anxiety for a few years, and was on meds for it. Eventually I started feeling better and less anxious even with triggers (on the meds, I could feel the anxiety, but it was quite muted...eventually I would hit a trigger and expect it, but nothing happened). I weaned myself off of the meds and don't take anything now. Very rarely I have spikes of anxiety or panic, but nothing debilitating or lasting.

Talk to your doc. He/she can help you narrow down your options and design some sort of plan (be it meds, exercise, counseling, or a combination of all of them).

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Rasix
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Reply #22 on: February 16, 2014, 01:20:20 PM

A lot of companies have employee assistance programs that are good places to start.

This is where I will probably start.  I think they give us 8 sessions, although it might be tied to the insurance, and I'm on my wife's.  

I am very wary of counselors as my experience with my marriage counselor was pretty terrible.  It was a few sessions of getting dogpiled on, and I finally just had to walk away from it.  

For the record, I don't think I'm depressed, but I'll let someone else make the call on that.  I have some issues that could bear being talked through with a professional.  

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Ironwood
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Reply #23 on: February 16, 2014, 02:33:21 PM

Marriage and depression are wildly different.

It is possible to recover from a bout of depression.

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Sir T
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Reply #24 on: February 16, 2014, 08:13:43 PM

I've suffered from Depression since I was 6 years old. There is no cure all thing as such when its medical but having a chat with a counciller does actually help. Or a Priest. Now finding a good priest is as much a crap shoot as a good Councillor but its really important to talk to someone and Priests cost less.

I tried different drugs till I found the one I'm on now and I had it for years. When I finally found something that "worked" it was such a relief, as the constant crashes were suddenly gone. But it does not make me happy, it's just a...  it takes the edges off the emotions which is a hell of a lot better than being in the pits of despair the whole time. But I was fairly stable, which does have its downsides. My GP recently tried me on a lesser dosage and put me on something else that's supposed to be a light dose for anxiety. I slept 18 fucking hours and literally my eyes saw hexagonal lines through everything and they were filled with stars. I refused to take anymore of the sodding things, but I tried myself on a lesser dosage for a month just to see how I got on. Lets just say that one of my best friends told me to go back to the doc and get it changed back. I'm snarling and snapping at people and basically not being calm.

The important thing for living long term with Depression is to know what sets you off. If something regularly makes you feel down afterwards, then avoid it even if you like it. When you are dealing with depression you can fall into a habit of deliberately going onto your triggers as its really all you know and you don't realize you are doing it, and if you are still alive after your teens than you are probably stubborn as a mule and "it WILL be better this time!" And changing your habits is hard work. Its also important to find something that lifts you out of the blackness for just a few minutes, so you can find your way back. For me its music. Look up epic music on youtube and you will probably listen to something I've listened to when I'm down. "Africa" by Toto is another song that can lift me. Basically I'm saying is move to the things that lift you and avoid the things that knock you back.

You are living with an illness and it really isn't your fault. If its just emotional and you can work through it then great. I had the misfortune of having both chemical depression and lots of reasons to be depressed on top of that. The doctor that worked with me for years said that the results of the tests he ran on me said that I should really be put into a group and forget about treating me as there was too much pain there to cure. Well he worked with me anyway, and I'm generally in a far better place now, but I just need the meds to keep me stable. That's a very hard thing for me to accept as I hate taking pills. If at some stage you feel that you don't need the pills anymore then you can just stop taking them, but ease yourself off them if you do.

Anyway, a bit rambling but that's my story/advice. But yeah I'll reiterate Hamish's advice. If you get a bad reaction from the pills then DON'T keep taking them. I'd rather stick my hand in a flame than go through a bad drug reaction. But you are taking a drug for an illness, its really no different than taking an asprin for a headache or taking something to get you through the flu. Think of it like that and you will be fine.

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Reply #25 on: February 16, 2014, 09:25:45 PM

See your GP.  If it's physical, no amount of counselling will help.  Though I assume by the blanket 'me too' in here that counsellors mean something else over there and can prescribe drugs.  If it's Deanna in a catsuit, that'll help, but not long term.

That's a good point, for me it was a brain imbalance but while I skipped the "talk to a counselor" part of my own advice and went straight to my GP about it, a counselor (not a therapist, those are two different things in my eyes) (but people do use them interchangeably, I probably could've elaborated more) is generally going to have a lot more experience in how to go about getting depression treated than, like, internet strangers or your own family or whatever. So it's pretty safe I-don't-know-your-situation advice. And in my experience, one is going to recommend also seeing the other anyway (my GP recommended I see a counselor or therapist if the drugs alone weren't helping, my brother's therapist recommended he also talk to his GP, etc).

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Kitsune
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Reply #26 on: February 17, 2014, 02:16:13 AM

Don't make yourself crazy trying to 'fix' a bout of depression.  It shows up when it wants to, it leaves when it wants to, beating yourself up over it will just make you miserable for no payoff.  If you feel like things are sliding out of control to a worse place, seek out some professionals to consult about it, and don't expect the first one you see to be the right fit.  There are several different types of therapy, and they aren't one size fits all.
Ironwood
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Reply #27 on: February 17, 2014, 03:31:56 AM

See your GP.  If it's physical, no amount of counselling will help.  Though I assume by the blanket 'me too' in here that counsellors mean something else over there and can prescribe drugs.  If it's Deanna in a catsuit, that'll help, but not long term.

That's a good point, for me it was a brain imbalance but while I skipped the "talk to a counselor" part of my own advice and went straight to my GP about it, a counselor (not a therapist, those are two different things in my eyes) (but people do use them interchangeably, I probably could've elaborated more) is generally going to have a lot more experience in how to go about getting depression treated than, like, internet strangers or your own family or whatever. So it's pretty safe I-don't-know-your-situation advice. And in my experience, one is going to recommend also seeing the other anyway (my GP recommended I see a counselor or therapist if the drugs alone weren't helping, my brother's therapist recommended he also talk to his GP, etc).

Stop attacking me !!!   why so serious?

I don't disagree.  All I know is that my Father in Law went to a great many counseling sessions and due to the fact that medication wasn't being properly dealt with straight away, he went up to the spare room with electrical wire and killed himself.  I really, really object when people get dismissive of drugs for little to no reason.  The brains a hugely complicated beast we don't yet fully understand.  As has already been done to death, get BOTH types of help, but get checked out FIRST because it's quick and easy and doesn't involve talking sessions that might get scheduled over a period of weeks.  That said, we have socialized medicine, so maybe the wait times are similar.

Also, watch out for frogs.  Fucking frogs everywhere.  It was like a Lovecraft episode.

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Abagadro
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Reply #28 on: February 17, 2014, 03:44:39 AM

Definition time.  In the U.S. there are psychologists which are usually Ph.D. level people who deal with mental issues but who are not medical doctors and therefore cannot prescribe meds, there are psychiatrists who are M.D.s specifically trained on mental issues who can prescribe meds, and there are "counselors" or "therapists" who also provide mental health related services but aren't up to the level of the prior two.   The type that you need depends on what is going on.  I've dealt with both at different points in time. When I was a teenage, angry lad I saw a psychiatrist who gave me meds (very early days of Prozac) that I rapidly ditched because I didn't think they were effective and they made me wired.  Much later in life as a result of some stuff going on I went to a psychologist that just talked me through things without doping me up. I found that much more effective. There are different schools of thought and defaults that the person you see will go to first. You need to luck out in a certain sense to get the right person for the right issue.  Every person's mileage may vary.  I think the most important thing is not to feel isolated or that there aren't resources available. Doing something is generally always better than doing nothing and suffering in silence.  Keep trying until it clicks and works for you.

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ghost
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Reply #29 on: February 17, 2014, 10:00:17 AM

Yeah, I would avoid medication if you can.  Go see a counselor and find, if you can, a decent support group to surround yourself with.  It's tough to do this stuff alone. 

It also might help to stop posting at f13.  You wan't to try and surround yourself with positive, happy people that aren't complete bastards.   why so serious?
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Reply #30 on: February 17, 2014, 10:03:03 AM

See a GP first. Get some tests on vitamin deficiencies and hormones. That can give you some initial clues to see if you're having issues that aren't mental, and are more physical.

Beyond that, yes to talking to a counsellor, yes to involving friends and family, and yes to considering medication.

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Reply #31 on: February 17, 2014, 10:14:19 AM

Start an underground fighting ring....

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Reply #32 on: February 17, 2014, 10:31:07 AM

A lot of companies have employee assistance programs that are good places to start.

Only downside to this is that HR can be a bit too chatty about who is using these sorts of things.

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Reply #33 on: February 17, 2014, 11:22:55 AM

It also might help to stop posting at f13.  You wan't to try and surround yourself with positive, happy people that aren't complete bastards.   why so serious?

This is not wrong advice if given professionally. My wife was given it several times about talking to her shittastic family. (And always ignored it..)  It's also advice given to people trying to break addictions and bad habits. You have triggers for these things and you need to limit exposure while learning to control/ deal with them or else you'll fall into the cycle again.

But, as everyone's said before. We're not doctors, talk to professionals all we can do is give anecdotal and irresponsible advice.

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Reply #34 on: February 17, 2014, 11:55:07 AM

This is not wrong advice if given professionally. 

To be clear (since I am a doctor) this advice is not given professionally.  It is advice given in the context of a message board to someone I don't know and should not be viewed as "treatment" or "diagnosis" of any sort. 
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