Actually, eating something really really good, can't be a bad idea. There is a reason it's called comfort food.
Posts: 6506 | From: I hear New Zealand is nice | Registered: Jun 2002
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I think that real happiness comes from within, knowing who you are. Having a real deep sense of your own worth as an individual. Searching externally for solutions to your problems will never bring lasting fulfilment. Cos maybe you get a girl who u really like..then u break up. Or u find a great job..then u get the sack & u feel low again. You have to feel secure within yourself so that whatever sh*t life throws at you, you know you can come through it. Anyway those are my thoughts. Hope you start to feel better soon dude.
Posts: 517 | From: the cradle to the grave. | Registered: May 2002
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Let's say that there are 19 documented side-effects associated with Paxil usage and 22 associated with Prozac. I suffered from more with Paxil, and fewer with Prozac. I wasn't talking about the frequency, just the number.
Hugh Fatarse can kiss my butt.
And I don't care what any of you other pedants think either.
A few things which usually work for me when the demons come calling (though it sounds like I've been a little more fortunate with them than you have):
- vigorous physical excercise - leisurely hot baths - long walks in the county - visits/phone conversations with friends - a time-intensive hobby, something you can really lose yourself in
I saw an occupational psychologist for awhile, and he strongly recommended a book called Mind Over Mood: A Cognitive Treatment Therapy Manual for Clients by Christine Padesky and Dennis Greenberger. It didn't do that much for me, but he claimed it was far and away the best book on the market. Another one you might want to consider is Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns MD - lots of stuff about drugs in there which struck me as being fairly objective.
Hang in there ...
Posts: 1741 | From: time to time | Registered: Nov 2003
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I can't add too much to what other people have said on this page, but I hope things get much better for you very quickly, Reed.
Look at this in the same terms as any other kind of ailment. If you break your arm or lose a tooth or experience a bad attack of flu, you go and take measures to get them fixed. This is no different. Your brain, a part of your body like all the others, has suffered a setback and you're going to get it put right. Good luck.
I have very little to add either. wingco expressed my sentiments perfectly. But I need to add my encouragement and solidarity.
quote: Driving back, I was berated for being negative and defeatist, and was told that she is unhappy about stuff all the time, but she's not so pessimistic.
This kind of thinking pisses me off so much. It's always about them who proffer "advice", isn't it? Clinical depression is generally so massively misunderstood that people still feel free to blurt out such crap.
Posts: 22308 | From: one floor to another | Registered: May 2002
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Yeah, good luck to you both from me too. I think a place such as this is a fantastic place to talk and read about such problems. the act of conversing about these sort of things is often really hard, as it seems S. aureus found in Santa Cruz. spoken words can often be so wishy washy, unconvincing, they can so easily come across as whining. which is of course ridiculous.
But perhaps here, where you converse in the written word, with time to digest everything and time to think about how you want to communicate an idea, perhaps here is a good place to talk about it. the anonymity is there aswell, but you can still count on a lot of respect and regard from real live people. while its hard to consider pseudonyms on an internet site as friends, you've got some here, both of you.
One of the things that always strikes me about depression, when I hear people talking about it, is the references to logic and rationale. Clearly this is a state of mind that hinders any attempt to apply mind over mood. And this makes it extremely hard to relate to other people, who cannot understand why you can't just 'pick yourself up' etc.
This difficulty in relating with people over a subject that is affecting you so deeply can only worsen your mood, your depression. one of the standard emotional pick-me-ups is human interaction. so having this cheapened and made difficult through your depression and other people's lack of comprehension could easily make things worse.
This is why the idea of steering clear of the drugs for awhile and getting talking to people who can grasp what you're going through might be a good direction.
Thats my two cents for now. I'm hideously hung over.
Fantastic post by Taylor too. which is of course the norm.
Posts: 2032 | From: this world to the next. | Registered: Sep 2005
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Absolutely 100% what Taylor said. Especially about therapy over psychiatry.
One of my saving graces (apart from all the support, help and advice I got from OTF which quite possibly saved my life) was my bike. Odd as it may seem (because I hate exercise) I found just getting on and going for a spin for an hour brightened my mood considerably. Partly the exercise, partly the need to concentrate on what was around me rather than looking inward and partly becuase there's just something about feeling the wind in your face that's refreshing both physically and mentally. If you can find something like that, it'll really help you over the short-term troughs. As for S. aureus, it's difficult when people who just don't understand depression tell you to buck up. Comparing depression with feeling a bit pissed off is like comparing jelly with a tank. As G-Man said, depression is alarming often misunderstood. Don't keep it all in though, either of you. OTF is an excellent fountain of knowledge and support. Please do use it as such.
Posts: 12499 | From: East of Ealing | Registered: May 2002
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I know that in reality, things aren't really that bad, so this is clearly something chemically wrong with my brain.
Reed - my two cents on this would be that although it is clearly wise to be cautious about medication under these circumstances, that it is not to say that they don't have a role to play. You talk of chemical imbalance within the brain - appropriate drugs taken in appropriate dosage might well be a way of addressing that, although I appreciate that things are complicated by the withdrawal symptoms you seem to be experiencing at the moment. I think that feeling a sense of control over medication of this type - making a conscious decision to start a course of treatment and knowing yourself well enough to make alterations to dosage that are right for you, etc. - is a key to this, though.
Secondly, a few people have mentioned the idea of exercise as a serious means of at least starting to tackle depression. It's tempting to be a little bit snooty about this idea - as in, "Oh yes, I'll just pop out for a stroll and everything will be fine, riiiiight," - but I feel very strongly that there is a lot to be said for getting out of the house and doing some (any) form of exercise on a regular-ish basis. Put it this way, when I was more prone than now to this kind of feeling, I often thought that going for a walk was a waste of time or something that I just couldn't be bothered with. When I actually geared myself and went and did it, it was never a waste of time.
quote: It's hard to describe the feeling. I guess the best way to describe it would be to think of a situation where you were totally at the end of your rope, totally frustrated with something, and no longer able to deal with whatever it was that was frustrating you because it was just so maddening. I feel like that about just about everything and yet not really about anything specific. All the time. From the second I wake up. (Actually, especially the second I wake up.) I'll I've been doing is working (barely. It's very hard to function) sleeping (not well) and watching tv, because that's a good diversion. TV has become the only good part of my day this last week or so.
But like I said, I know that in reality, things aren't really that bad, so this is clearly something chemically wrong with my brain. And it's more than that. My chest hurts, my eyes don't focus well, my head feels weird and I feel like I'm on the verge of tears all the time.
You're describing physical symptoms. So you need the help of a medical professional, just as you would if those symptoms were more obviously "body" than "mind". Friends (including OTF) can provide valuable moral support, but the medical help needs to come from those qualified. I would suggest that the role of friends is to help/encourage you to find that treatment, not to replace it.
I will just comment on the sleep problem though - is there any way you can structure your working day so that you are not woken by the alarm after inadequate sleep? Can you break this bad-sleep cycle somehow? (maybe go to bed with a good book instead of TV?). Even turn off the alarm clock? To be jolted from rest, from those restorative powers that came late the night before, and haven't done their job yet, is how to start your day in the worst frame of mind.
I would say turn over and go back to sleep, at the cost of being late for work, but of course that's easier said than done, not knowing your situation. But if that is how you feel when you wake up (worse, are woken up), then maybe getting up simply to get through another day is not the most important thing.
Anyway, you know that you have friends here and I commend you for your courage in opening up. And in case your state of mind is blinding you to the patently obvious (as it can do when we are down), you are obviously a top bloke, or dude as I believe you people say, and I offer you this cyber-hug (in a restrained Anglo-Saxon sort of way, if nobody's looking).
Posts: 3795 | From: tomorrow, your time | Registered: Apr 2003
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Stout manly backslaps from me too, though I can't offer the level of insight and advice that others can. Just hope it all picks up Reed - and s.aureus.
I've never really suffered from proper depression - though I've had bouts of horrible lowness - and I'd certainly add to the endorsements of physical exercise. A nice long run, or even walk, can help clear the mind a bit. Having external things to focus on sometimes helps.
If you were over here I'd offer to take you out for a pint and a hearty, life-affirming argument about Castro or something.
So many good things here. I don't have time now either to respond and thank everyone. And of course, lots of support for S. Aureus and other fellow travellers.
But for now, just a couple of things...
Taylor's post is especially instructive. I will definitely pursue that line of inquiry with whichever professional I meet with (working on that now). It's perhaps ironic that I now write about drugs for a living but know so little about them. Of course, I don't write about drugs for people who need them. I write about drugs for the people who make them and don't want to get prosecuted for the way they go about selling them.
I'll look for the books EV mentions.
I never meant to suggest that I don't want any more drugs. Quite the contrary, I expect many more drugs are in my future and will be a key piece of the solution. However, in retrospect, with my previous therapist, I think the drugs were being asked to carry almost all of the load.
Also, I really had a hard time with the Wellbutrin. I'd have a hard time waking up in the morning, then I'd take that and I'd be ok for most of the day, and then around 6 pm I couldn't help but fall asleep, then I'd be up again around 11 and couldn't get back to sleep until 3-4 and then the cycle would repeat.
Now, I try to get to bed no later than 12, earlier if I can fall asleep, which, despite an enormous caffeine intake, I can with no problem.
In the morning, I'm usually woken by the sun. My bedroom has skylights that I can't block out. I wake up around 6-7 and then decide if I'm going to get up then or go back to sleep until 7:30 or 8. Lately, I've just been getting up, since I can't get back to sleep because of all the troubling thoughts in my head. Actually, they aren't even really thoughts, more like shadowy apparitions of thoughts.
About 9-10 years ago (wow, has it been that long?) I was way into exercise. These were my late college and then grad school years. I was struggling with depression then too, although my problems were far more "real" back then (what, for example, was I doing getting a masters in philosophy of religion?) Going running seemed to mitigate the depression a lot. I looked forward to exercising every day. It was great. I'm not built for running and will never be very fast or, most likely, able to do a marathon, but I was up to 6 miles a day.
But soon thereafter - round about the time I moved from Boston to Colorado, it ceased to be great. It wasn't fun anymore. I just felt slow and weak. It certainly didn't alleve depression. Often, it made it worse. So I started to skip it more and more often until I couldn't run as far or as fast as I used to. I got into lifting weights a bit, but that was always very unsatisfying. I could never make the progress that I wanted to. Eventually, it all got to be so frustrating that I just gave up. At one point I even told myself that I thought it was all really pointless and that dying of a heart attack by age 35 would actually be the best outcome for me.
Nowadays, I don't want to give up. I want to get back into it. I want to lose a bunch of weight, but I still find excercise to be very, very frustrating, especially now that I'm in such poor shape. Obvious Catch-22 there.
I did, however, just get my bike fixed up (it needed some tuning up after prolonged non-use) and plan to start riding it more soon. I also try to go for a walk when I can muster the will. But I still struggle to silence the voice in me that says "You fat piece of shit, you used to be able to do so much more than this."
This is another one of these irrational things. I told my old shrink about this feeling and she said "It's not a competition, just do your best," which, of course, is how most healthy people approach excercise. I, however, am not healthy in this way, I guess.
Posts: 15414 | From: left to right on your radio dial... | Registered: May 2002
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