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  • soulofgracesoulofgrace Member Posts: 175 Member Member Posts: 175 Member
    68myra wrote: »
    I would really like to know what you think about this area?

    Sometimes meds are critically necessary. Sometimes meds can take the edge off so that we can be able to learn and apply other skills so that we don't need meds long term. Each case is different.

    Amen to this, allenpriest!

    I would love to forgo big pharma. I've tried, with bad results. Each case is different, and frankly, each rise and fall of my own depression is also different. Without being able to exercise, the drug that worked so well in July is no longer working. Sigh, back to the proverbial drawing board. Could I try again to just stop taking pharma drugs and see what happens? I could, but I really don't want my children visiting me in a mental hospital. I'm not being dramatic. There are so many levels and severities of this "issue" we call depression........ Not wanting to be alive anymore just feels like an illness to me. It is not normal to want to die. Maybe I use the term "illness" as a crutch. I will never kill myself. Never. As much as I would like to. I tell myself it is the illness that wants to die, not me. That, and not wanting to give my children the legacy of a mother who left them through suicide....... Keep me alive. (On my darkest of days)

    YES. Thanks for that terminology "the illness wants to die."

    YES. I consider it an illness. "An unhealthy condition of body or mind."

    So many roots causes. So many severities. Is it genetic, or not? Let's not diminish the problem by removing the descriptor: "illness." It often takes as many treatments as you can throw at it to "manage" the chronic cases. For me, there will be no cure. I was damaged early on by damaged people who were damaged by damaged people going back for generations. Scientists are currently studying whether trauma stays in our DNA creating a predispositoon for depression. That's both interesting and sad for me.

    I "manage" my condition the best I can with whatever tools at my disposal, exercise and diet being very important ones. And I do also try to teach my children new ways of thinking with the hope that the beast gets weaker through the generations. Because, for me changing perception, perspective, thought process, goes a long way in management. Pharma potentiates the other therapies where needed. If you don't need it, that is a blessing for you.

    Thanks for the discussion. It's a dark time for me. Currently trying to climb out.
  • shelleygoldshelleygold Member Posts: 178 Member Member Posts: 178 Member
    Dear lovely Myra and group,
    Thank you for sharing such personal and profound thoughts and insights. Not for a second do I think mental challenges should be minimised or dismissed as "issues" or personal problems. People with our realities die because of how our minds work and we face Mt Everests every day,often without being able to explain why. I just hope that we are not at the mercy of what some pharmaceutical companies have fabricated as "treatments" because our challenges are multidimensial and we require more skills than pills in many cases(NOT IN EVERY CASE). I support a multidisciplinary approach which may include drugs, counselling, life style changes, good nutrition, healthy social supports, healing from the past and humour.
    I'm sorry if I offended anyone with my comments about using the word "illness", I just think we are not sick, but the severity is real and dangerous. Which is why we need to know what we are dealing with.
    Thoughts?
  • 68myra68myra Member Posts: 977 Member Member Posts: 977 Member
    i was not the least bit offended by anyone's comments on this thread. :)
    I once read about depression as a "dis-ease". the author described depression as a symptom of something not "at ease" within the mind/body/spirit. I found the concept interesting, but was never able to ascertain what my mind/body/spirit was not at ease with.

    "which is why we need to know what we are dealing with" i sure wish i knew what i was dealing with. i have a better understanding of addictions. i have also entertained the thought that i have become "addicted" to depression itself. there is so much we do NOT understand about clinical depression. and nobody knows why some things work for some people and not for others. I don't think it will be solved during my lifetime, but let's hope i'm WRONG :)
  • dubirddubird Member Posts: 1,854 Member Member Posts: 1,854 Member
    kae612 wrote: »
    Hi Everyone,
    It is mental health week here in Australia and I am fascinated with the attempts by the media, organizations, and health professionals alike to increase awareness in relation to the true challenges to support individuals and families with mental health challenges. Although I appreciate the gestures and the attention, what I think is missing from most of the "surfacy" kind of rhetoric and motherhood statements is the recognition that individuals who are managing their own internal strife are not necessarily SICK. I do not hold the view that we are ill. There isn't a Depression germ or an Anxiety virus. Our brains have been changed over time due to chemical abnormalities, social impacts, traumas, coping strategies that stopped working long ago, circumstantial pressure and overwhelming life challenges. So....we are left with the pieces of the puzzle to reassemble and quite often there is little recognition or actual support around at the level and degree required. There are caring people, knowledgable professional and services but it has been my experience that I am accountable to myself for getting better and I would like that to be recognized and supported in meaningful ways. This thread is one of my strategies which I have found extremely healing and enlightening. I do not chose to rely on medication and really want to change the way my brain responds to aspects of my life including how I eat, exercise and function. Please understand that I am not anti-medication and I totally support those of us who find value and relief from medical interventions. I just know that the medical interventions do not teach skills or strategies given the assumptions of the "illness" model. I want to believe that I can learn how to manage my life differently and more specifically my thought processes and my responses to life. I would really like to know what you think about this area?

    I think your perspective is really interesting. I've never really thought of it like that, but I don't think I believe in the "illness model" as well, because you're right, it's not a virus or bacteria. It's also not genetic like some other mental issues are (autism, dyslexia, etc).

    I personally am very much against medication for anxiety, and think of it as only a last-resort short-term solution for depression. I know that's not everyone's journey, but from the reading I've done on the medications for these "illnesses" is that for the most part the side effects (harm) outweigh the benefit, and the benefit dwindles over time. At the very least, I'm against it for myself. And I think conceiving of it as an "illness" leads to the simplistic belief that you can just pop a pill and be done with it. Which, even if you are on medication, is never the whole story (therapy or self-help).

    I would say it makes more sense to me as more of an "injury" model. I've been in physio for issues related to tense IT bands in my legs, which have caused a whole host of other knee-related issues (like my knee dislocating for a while, that was not fun). I see a lot of similarities. You go to a professional who may or may not be also trained as a doctor, you get things to practice on, and then you get checked out next time. It's also likely something you'll have to deal with, maybe on and off, for the rest of your life. Like my IT bands, I'll have stretches to do when I feel them tensing, but I may have soreness and repeated injuries forever anyway. :( What's changed is now I know how to do both preventative and remedial exercises. And I think anxiety and depression work similarly. We learn strategies on how to deal with it over time, and do preventative things like talk therapy or CBT, but sometimes we still get caught up in it.

    I just thought of this now, so it might not make sense to anyone else, but it just kinda makes sense to me? Thanks for the thinking point!

    Actually, there is a genetic link for some people with clinical depression. In some cases, it's caused by other things, injury, medicine, etc. But I'm one that doesn't function well without meds. I don't like it, but since starting I'm actually able to interact with people where I wasn't before.

    I do agree it's not an 'illness' as such. And I personally don't like that I have to take my meds, but I've tried many other things, including exercise, and they didn't work for me. Positive thinking or exercise or diet can help some with mild symptoms, but doesn't help everyone. What bothers me is there is still a stigma that if you're taking meds for a mental or emotional issue, it means you're broken. And while I know that's not really what you're saying, you also seem to be taking the position that clinical depression or anxiety can be dealt with without medication. Which isn't true for everyone. It's worth trying because if it does help, that's better overall, but some of us aren't helped by it. And when people are saying that you can overcome depression by exercise or meditation, and when you try and it doesn't help, that just makes it worse. Does that make sense?
  • MarcyKirktonMarcyKirkton Member Posts: 507 Member Member Posts: 507 Member
    Most people experience depression, some very severe depression and some have chronic depression. My own experience was that exercise was awful.....released the pain, and pain hurts. Eating was out of the question. I had no appetite. Lost about 25 lbs fast, and had to keep bananas around and force myself to take a bite.

    But, what goes down,came back up for me. My depression was long, arduous, led me down some other strange paths that have nothing to do with weight loss......but coming out the other end, it's now very long in the past. I sure never found a magic bullet. What helped me most?

    Gratitude. I read a biography of a woman who wrote a gratitude list every single morning, no matter what. After a year, she actually began to feel grateful. I decided to try that. So every morning,I got up, took a notebook, and wrote a gratitude list. It took quite a long time, but eventually, I couldn't wait to get up and get my coffee and sit down to write.

    You see, gratitude is opposite of resentment, fear, self-pity and all that stuff. When I dwell on the negative in my past or fear the future, then I'm reliving those emotions. Well, gratitude works the same way. When I dwelled on the past and what was really cool or interesting about it, I got to relive the feelings. When I would daydream about future dreams and hopes, I got to experience those feelings. More important, I got to see how I hadn't created all those moments of joy or pleasure. I just was around when they happened. I quit focusing so much on myself and started noticing what goes on outside and around me. Pretty miraculous stuff, actually, when you pause to notice.

    It's 20 years later, and guess what.........I still love to get up, get my coffee, and relive the great stuff that happened yesterday. We're all so quick to relive the pain in life. I can't see why I shouldn't relive the small and big joys, too!


    It's an amazing life. I was seriously depressed all those years ago. And I remember all too well absolutely not being able to do a darn thing about it. And yet, here I am now, and it's been probably 5 years since I even had a smidge of a bad mood that lasted much more than an hour or two. Maybe a few stressful days, but always with a sense that everything was exactly as it should be, and it would all turned out fine in the end.

    As far as I'm concerned, I'm still the same person I was. I have no control, really, over mental illness.....other than try not to be foolish about life choices,lifestyle, etc. But heck, I would be really stupid to think that I'm immune to going through such a dark time again. I am pretty sure of one thing, though. I'll never forget the one huge lesson I learned.......

    I'm not in charge. I don't need to control life. And, whatever it is? This too shall pass.

    Wishing the OP and others serenity and peace.


  • kiela64kiela64 Member Posts: 1,448 Member Member Posts: 1,448 Member
    dubird wrote: »
    Actually, there is a genetic link for some people with clinical depression. In some cases, it's caused by other things, injury, medicine, etc. But I'm one that doesn't function well without meds. I don't like it, but since starting I'm actually able to interact with people where I wasn't before.

    I do agree it's not an 'illness' as such. And I personally don't like that I have to take my meds, but I've tried many other things, including exercise, and they didn't work for me. Positive thinking or exercise or diet can help some with mild symptoms, but doesn't help everyone. What bothers me is there is still a stigma that if you're taking meds for a mental or emotional issue, it means you're broken. And while I know that's not really what you're saying, you also seem to be taking the position that clinical depression or anxiety can be dealt with without medication. Which isn't true for everyone. It's worth trying because if it does help, that's better overall, but some of us aren't helped by it. And when people are saying that you can overcome depression by exercise or meditation, and when you try and it doesn't help, that just makes it worse. Does that make sense?

    Right right, I just kinda typed w/o thinking about that sorry! I mean that like, only medication is the wrong route. For some people it's manageable without medication, and in other times medication supplements therapy. I've seen people I know get prescribed medication and then just let go into the world, and I think that it's the wrong model. ONLY taking a pill isn't a fix. It needs to be in conjunction with other things. Not that taking a pill is bad, but that it shouldn't be the first & only prescription like for the flu.

    And I'm amazed I forgot about the genetic link...that's awkward. *facepalm*
  • caffeinatedcamicaffeinatedcami Member Posts: 168 Member Member Posts: 168 Member
    kae612 wrote: »
    dubird wrote: »
    Actually, there is a genetic link for some people with clinical depression. In some cases, it's caused by other things, injury, medicine, etc. But I'm one that doesn't function well without meds. I don't like it, but since starting I'm actually able to interact with people where I wasn't before.

    I do agree it's not an 'illness' as such. And I personally don't like that I have to take my meds, but I've tried many other things, including exercise, and they didn't work for me. Positive thinking or exercise or diet can help some with mild symptoms, but doesn't help everyone. What bothers me is there is still a stigma that if you're taking meds for a mental or emotional issue, it means you're broken. And while I know that's not really what you're saying, you also seem to be taking the position that clinical depression or anxiety can be dealt with without medication. Which isn't true for everyone. It's worth trying because if it does help, that's better overall, but some of us aren't helped by it. And when people are saying that you can overcome depression by exercise or meditation, and when you try and it doesn't help, that just makes it worse. Does that make sense?

    Right right, I just kinda typed w/o thinking about that sorry! I mean that like, only medication is the wrong route. For some people it's manageable without medication, and in other times medication supplements therapy. I've seen people I know get prescribed medication and then just let go into the world, and I think that it's the wrong model. ONLY taking a pill isn't a fix. It needs to be in conjunction with other things. Not that taking a pill is bad, but that it shouldn't be the first & only prescription like for the flu.

    And I'm amazed I forgot about the genetic link...that's awkward. *facepalm*

    Almost everyone in my family has clinical depression. So it's no wonder that I have it too. I've been on medication most of my life in conjunction with therapy and other forms of self care like fitness. I agree that we need to stop stigmatizing medication as a crutch. Depression is an illness and medication can help some people. I've been off them for about a year because of side effects, but I know they helped me during the most difficult times. It's also perfectly ok to choose not to take medication for depression. All of us have different mechanisms of coping. Fighting depression is always a good thing regardless of the method used.
  • mistiwiedmannmistiwiedmann Member Posts: 12 Member Member Posts: 12 Member
    I have taken an Anti depressant for awhile, which helps some. But honestly, I think exercise helps more. That's how I broke out of it the first time, and I feel better now than I have in years mood wise.

    I'm a psychology major and in one of my textbook it states that aerobic exercise 3 times a day is as effective as antidepressants and its more effective in preventing relapses, my depression is actually one of the many reasons I'm rededicating myself to my body and health (:
  • shelleygoldshelleygold Member Posts: 178 Member Member Posts: 178 Member
    Hey group
    Great discussion and interesting perspectives. What has occurred to me is the way in which we decide to understand and explain Depression and other mental health conditions, then determines how we will approach treatment and interventions. If we believe that Depression is an "illness" then it is most likely that we will look to the medical model for answers. If we decide that is is caused by thought processes then we will turn to CBT and the wild world of Psychology, if we think it is caused by genetics then we may search for answers in more advance mappings of DNA etc. I am guessing that there are many many causes and so we may need to be cautious in assuming that one type of approach is the one and only answer. For me, the best treatment has included examining my own patterns of depression which includes eating behaviours and decide where in the pattern do I need to make the most effective alterations. In other words and I am learning how to see how my brain has arrived at the state of Depression and what I need to do to give myself an entirely new way of thinking. I have bought deeply into the hopeless/helpless orientations to life and made myself think that nothing ever changes and nothing ever gets better. I will always be fat, I won't ever get on top of my issues and life sucks. What is clear to me with this style of thinking is that I am generalizing and making myself thing that things are stable, static and never changing. I also blame myself and think I am always the problem. "Why does this always happen to me" was my theme song. Well, over the years, (and I have a long ways to go) I have challenged myself , with professional help, these core beliefs and have realized that everything is temporary and nothing stays the same. We can rely on problem solving and searching for solutions rather than relying too heavily on emotions and feelings which often betray our sense of being a good and worthwhile person. After all, Depression is a Mood Disorder and I think we can chip away at our moods by using our amazing brain the way it was designed. I get that psychotropic medication impacts on the neurotransmitters and the biochemistry of the brain but you know, I am finding scary things in the literature about how many of the pharmaceutical companies lied about their research and made claims that inflated the positive impacts of lots of common anti-depressants. Some of the studies now prove that for a vast majority of anti-depressants, the positive impacts are no better than either placebo effects or the impacts of exercise and mindfulness. So, we have to be careful with what we believe and with what works. I think that if people get results with ANY type of intervention, then stick with it. If someone needs medication and the medication keeps one out of hospital and with their loved ones, then that is brilliant. I am wanting to learn so much more about this area as I think we are just beginning to understand how depression and anxiety work and what we need to be across to make sure we are addressing the relevant issues for each of us.
    Whew. Thanks for letting me rave on a bit about this.
    Take Care
    S
  • 68myra68myra Member Posts: 977 Member Member Posts: 977 Member
    interesting discussion. I don't believe i've ever tried to compartmentalize my depression. Yes, i believe there is a genetic component. Yes, i believe our thoughts have a LOT to do with how we view and feel about ourselves. Yes, i believe that gratitude lifts our moods, as well as doing things for OTHERS. heck, i even consider my DOG therapy! in my humble opinion, there is nothing more uplifting than the unconditional love you get from your dog! (a dog who hasn't messed in the house or eaten your shoes, haha)

    I also believe there are nutritional ties to mood disorders as well as to level of activity. connections with other people help, as does a connection with nature, and spirituality also comes into play. I know VERY many people who are helped with their "issues" by giving it to God. that doesn't work for me, but woohoo for those you can go that route. adequate sun exposure is also essential for me. October is notoriously a bad month of the year for me. i can only assume my vit D level drops and so I begin to supplement with D3 at this time of year.

    i guess what i'm trying to say is: i've never considered fighting depression with anything BUT a multi-pronged approach. and the older i get, the more prongs i use ;) my first "nervous breakdown" was 30 years ago, so i've been at this for a while. I haven't always been on medication. of my four pregnancies, I was unmedicated during three. for my last child, i weaned off my meds during the last trimester, to eliminate any chance my baby would have to go through withdrawal from it. (been there, kinda scary) i'm still here. hehe, i'm kinda glad my 20 year old self didn't know my 46 years old self would still not have this all figured out by now.
    with that, i shall bid all of you goodnight.
  • shelleygoldshelleygold Member Posts: 178 Member Member Posts: 178 Member
    Hey Tribe,
    I reread my last few comments and wondered if I sounded like a know it all.
    I'm sorry if I did. I hate my fu?@&&$ing depression and some days my body more. I haven't shifted from 104kg for 10 days and that triggered me this morning. No thought processes, positive thinking, reframing etc seems to work. Can't say much more. Going for a walk with my partner. She's skinny and beautiful. I'm not. Forgive me for sounding down. I guess that is the "illness". Is it?
    S
  • shelleygoldshelleygold Member Posts: 178 Member Member Posts: 178 Member
    My goodness,
    Mr Depression wrote that last message. I think he took great pleasure in wrecking my love for this thread and the people I am getting to know. I wonder if he expected a pity party and hoped that he would be rescued. Hmmmm. I wonder if that is where my Deoression and weight problems attach to? Is that a form of victimisation or victim consciousness? We are in charge of our choices and maybe not our moods BUT how we respond to them. I can let today be a crap day or turn things around. May I let you know what works? Something has to!
    Take care
    S
  • 68myra68myra Member Posts: 977 Member Member Posts: 977 Member
    HANG IN THERE, Shelleygold! WE have faith in you, even when you don't have faith in yourself.

    you can do this. it's not easy. sometimes it sucks. but you can do it. on the days you don't want to do it for yourself, find someone (or something, anything) to do it for until your head clears. just do it and be kind to yourself
  • lindadpricelindadprice Member Posts: 150 Member Member Posts: 150 Member
    This is interesting because it depends the intensity of your depression and how you react to it. I have been depressed and been lazy and snack. I had really bad depression where I lost 20 lbs because I was so depressed I can only eat once a day. I read a book that helped me get out of that train of thought and gained back the weight.
  • shelleygoldshelleygold Member Posts: 178 Member Member Posts: 178 Member
    Had a fantastic day. Went bush walking, ate healthy food and participated in some mindful activities. What a change from this morning. You know, we are more than our negative thoughts and feelings. I am sure that we are taught, at a young age, to trust our brains and believe what we think. Now, I know that I ought not to trust my internal computer when I am struggling. It is like a saying I heard once: "My mind is like a bad neigbourhood, don't travel there alone". What I needed to day was nature, nice people, good food and exercise. I feel amazing and I did it all with depression knocking on the door.
    It is great to be able to process this you all.
    Take care
    Shel
  • TrickyDiscoTrickyDisco Member Posts: 2,875 Member Member Posts: 2,875 Member
    So glad you turned your day around, turned a negative into a positive. Same here with the non-shifting weight loss, is more than discouraging when you know you've stuck at the eat/move thing then don't see a change on the scales for ages. I too find it's amazing what a walk in the fresh air does for my mood, am missing walking and exercise right now because of a minor injury that will probably only worsen if I ignore it and don't rest up for a bit. Had a low day yesterday but reading everyone's comments on here now has made me determined today will go better.
    One suggestion on the Headspace meditation app is when you see only storm clouds above, try to remember what's always there above the clouds - clear blue sky - sounds corny maybe but it's true.
    Wishing everyone on here blue skies ...
  • soulofgracesoulofgrace Member Posts: 175 Member Member Posts: 175 Member
    My goodness,
    Mr Depression wrote that last message. I think he took great pleasure in wrecking my love for this thread and the people I am getting to know. I wonder if he expected a pity party and hoped that he would be rescued. Hmmmm. I wonder if that is where my Deoression and weight problems attach to? Is that a form of victimisation or victim consciousness? We are in charge of our choices and maybe not our moods BUT how we respond to them. I can let today be a crap day or turn things around. May I let you know what works? Something has to!
    Take care
    S

    I don't know about you, but when I'm in that bad place, nothing anyone can say or do helps. Everything just hurts. So, I don't think I'm looking for a pity party or to be rescued when I vent. Maybe it's like a pressure valve that needs to be released. I have to be careful where I release, or loved ones think they can do something for me. They can't. It's just a release. When it comes out, I often find my distress to be minimized. The pressure less intense. I need to get back into therapy. I was venting all over the place last week. I think I will go exercise now because I can already feel my pressure building at 9 am on a Sunday. I'd like to have a pleasant Sunday with my family. :) By the way, I appreciate the things your depression says as well as your "normal" self. I am glad you feel better, Shelly. :)

  • alizesmomalizesmom Member Posts: 219 Member Member Posts: 219 Member
    Thanks for this thread. I really needed it today. Last two days have been dark and I had to force myself to do anything. Walking rapidly does help me and I am on meds. Sometimes it's just not enough. Thanks for the reminder that I'm not alone.
  • shelleygoldshelleygold Member Posts: 178 Member Member Posts: 178 Member
    Hi Group
    I was distracted yesterday by another thread in which people are arguing about the impacts of shame and the use of shame for being who are obese( the word "fat"is used). Seems to
    me that we get obsessed with the silliest concepts and take things out of context.
    If someone is intending to help someone along, and his/her intention is to be respectful and kind, wouldn't it be obvious to choose appropriate language and behaviours? So, if the intention is, instead, to hurt and ridicule, then why wouldn't sensitive people be insulted and even damaged? We all care what other people think of us. It's wired into our brain as a way of forming our identity. (Less so as adults). We all need to take some ownership regarding how we impact one another. For me that is part of being a mature adult. Just because we can say whatever we like, should we?
    This leads me to want to thank the people on our thread that are so kind, inspired and supportive. Ironic, when you think about it.we have a lot going on... Weight issues, mental health challenges, stigmas, stress. but we manage to write in kind, respectful ways. A nice thing to focus on today.
    Have a great day everyone
    shel
  • 68myra68myra Member Posts: 977 Member Member Posts: 977 Member
    we all have our cross to bear. who am I to say your cross is easier than mine? who am i to insult someone else and make their cross even harder? if only i could learn to treat myself with the same compassion i so easily feel for anyone but me. hmmmm, food for thought.
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