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Quote: Don't think ...just be.
Thanks Cathy...I'll try, I really will. - Robin
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Quote: It would be good to get some definite guide lines from Stolzy...the do's and don't and what exactly is the cause of depression eg are you born with it??..
Its not appropriate for me to give clinical advice, I'm a scientist not a doctor. The only thing I would say is to take it seriously, seek medical help and follow that advice.
So far as the cause is concerned, nobody knows for sure. Ample evidence suggests that monoamine neurotransmitters like serotonin and noradrenaline are involved, but the details are complicated and controversial. Most antidepressants act on these systems. There are also new hypothesis concerning the plasticity of neural connections in specific brain regions (the number and type of connections between nerves cells and the ways they are connected and disconnected). there are other hypothesis and it is likely that all or some of them are different representations of a small number of underlying processes.
There has always been an argument about the causes of depression, indeed their used to be a classification (now redundant) between exogenous and endogenous depression. There is clearly a genetic component, and women are twice as vulnerable as men. Stressful life events may play a part in some people, but other people suffer the same events without becoming depressed. Most people become depressed without any obvious source of trauma.
In this sense its a bit like food poisoning, you always ascribe it to the most unusual thing you had to eat, when in fact its nearly always the salad.
I must recommend the books on depression and stress written by Dr. Claire Weekes.
Even though she is a doctor, she writes with huge understanding and warmth and in the simplest language. For a doctor, she seems to have a unique gift of understanding and explaining all the different symptoms and feelings that go with the curse of depression and stress related illness.
Her books and tapes etc. can be bought via Amazon or you can easily 'google' her website - just type in her name.
Dr. Weekes emphasizes the habit forming properties of depression that Cathy rightly alluded to.
It is all about breaking the vicious circle of habitual forming unpleasant thoughts involved in depression. Obviously, it doesn't do any harm to see your GP, as I was careful to point out before, but don't expect miracles from him. At least he should talk to you and monitor your progress objectively which can be no bad thing.
Oh, and if you are by any chance taking St. John's Wort, your GP should tell you not to start any course of anti-depressants until the St. John's Wort is out of your system - a few days at least. As you probably have gathered, I'm not at all happy about anti-depressant pills but in spite of what Stolzy seemed to think, I am not 100% against them - but the jury is out as far as I'm concerned - there are huge questions to be asked in this field - and lots of obfuscation by the drug companies. It is entirely up to you but I can tell you that the last time I was depressed, I saw the doctor and let him know of my misgivings about pills but I agreed to give them a try. They didn't appear to do any good and so I told him and I stopped taking them but of course only very gradually - according to his instruction. Eventually the depression lifted of its own accord - and that is why it is so difficult to assess the efficacy of pills. Depressions tend to lift when they are good and ready. However, if pills can help - that's great.
Perhaps the best advice I can give (you've probably done so already) you is to 'shop around' and read as much as you can about depression on the internet and in books.
Obviously, as soon as there is a lift in your mood you have to get out there or do something enjoyable or exciting and start weaning yourself off the depression cycle.
Don't be afraid to burden your friends - who knows they may need your help one day.
All the very best wishes for a speedy recovery - Dr. Weekes' book could change your life.
I can highly recommend this book another vote for Dr Claire Weekes......its like the Bible for nutters.
I had read quite a few different books before this one , but the above book totally nails it...makes you feel normal again...you start getting glimpses of your normal self which gives you a platform to build from.
Quote: its like the Bible for nutters
Thought the bible was for nutters?
Mind you that quote on the front would make me buy!
Ok, Robin...I have been reading through this post mostly with a chuckle lol..
I have suffered depression for 7-years now. It unfortunately became very serious on a few occasions of which I dont wish to discuss on here.
I have been placed on more medications that I care to remember, seen more psychs than I can remember and have received useless information and negative comments from more people than I care to even think about.
The important factors that get me through my day are my little boy and my partner tommy. Im so lucky to have a good family support network.
Yes the pills work to an extent but I believe support from those closest to you is the best medicine ever, that along with a good strong understanding GP and it makes things a lot easier to deal with.
I may never be rid of my condition but i know when the going gets tough, those around me are there to help me and support me when I need it.
I've been treated for depression for many years and I've probably been on most of the drugs at some time or another. The drugs do help and the side effects do diminish with time. It can be a bit confusing because some of the side effects are similar to the symptoms so it sometimes seems as though they are making you worse but stick with it.
Having said that not every drug agrees with everyone so if you are having problems dont be afraid to ask your doctor about changing your medicine but dont stop taking it.
Also after a while you may find that a particular drug is no longer working for you so a change may be helpful
I had a lot of trouble sleeping and I found that listeneing to music helps. Quiet relaxing music is best but avoid any songs which conjure up sad memories or feelings. I made up a CD with about an hour of my favourites. Listening to the same music seems to help with getting to sleep. These days I rarely get past the first couple of tracks before dropping off.
Also it's worth making your better friends aware of your condition. Most people these days are pretty understanding. Often other people will notice little changes in you mood or behaviour before you do so it can be helpful if they know that it's ok to tell you about it. Also I found that once my freinds found out they were great at making sure I kept active and went out. Remember even when your depressed it is possible to have fun on occassions. I could often have a great night when in the right company. Of course as soon as i was on my own the despair returned with a vengeance. But it's still worth the effort.
Diet is another common problem. contrary to popular belief not every depressed person loses weight. Some (like me) put it on. I've had a few short bouts of appetite loss when I was very ill but in general I tend to comfort eat snack foods like crisps and chocolate.
Also avoid alchohol like it was poison (which it is).
I'ts a depressant and can also interfere with some medication. I stopped drinking as soon as I realised the terrible affect even a small amount could have on my mood. I'm not teetotal but even now I rarely drink and even then only when I know I'll be in safe and happy company.
I'm currently doing pretty well and I'm reducing my mediction, hopefully to zero.
There is light at the end of the tunnel but here are ups and downs along the way. Some people recover very quickly and others take years.
Hang in there and get well soon.
I'm reading this at the moment and though I have nothing to compare it against it's a fascinating and illuminating read for me. Written by an Irish GP with a very deep special interest and experience, it mixes accessible science with demystifying practical experience... good read to me anyway, would recommend anyone to look..
Fot the OP - have read the bulk of this thread and have to admit that I'm with Stolzy and Jackabout with their advice and experiences.
I see depression as a physical illness. It's harder for people to pigeon-hole since there is no specific biochemical marker or blood test.
Diabetics have an endocrine imbalance (lack) of insulin which is easily measured. Addisonian patients' have a metabolic imbalance (increase) in potassium/sodium levels which are easily measured. Sufferers of depression quite likely have a shortfall in neurotransmitter levels (eg serotonin) which cannot be measured - therefore there is a lot of myth and conjecture surrounding aetiology and treatment.
In my mind, depression is a physical illness like Diabetes mellitus, Addisons Disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and for that matter, a broken leg.
Likewise, SSRIs can be very effective in treating the disease just as insulin and Florinef will treat D. mellitus and Addisons. Neither will cure, they will only treat.
I wish you well and would encourage you to seek and listen to your GPs advice.
PS Stolzy is someone I've never agreed with before and Croftsphoto reads like he/she is just looking for a barney!
You know .... this is what Stolzy (and myself as direct result of experience) was trying to say - don't listen to "homespun" advice. Get help. Depression is not for sissies
Edit: I don't claim to have any knowledge of John's research and don't say he aligns with my point of view either.... but what I DO know is that depression is serious. It's wonderful that you can talk about it - so many people are ashamed. But don't dismiss it as something you can sort out on your own. If it's true depression you need help No shame in that.
Quote: But don't dismiss it as something you can sort out on your own. If it's true depression you need help
I couldn't agree more. Hence pointing to sources on the issue such as the Royal College etc. Also, I don't have a huge problem with what Stolzy was saying once he acknowledged that his original statement was misleading.
Quote: don't listen to "homespun" advice
That bit I don't agree with. Every single post in this thread is 'homespun' advice. I think that exchanges experiences is valuable. Psychiatrists are the first to admit that they are very far from having all the answers.
Quote: Croftsphoto reads like he/she is just looking for a barney
Can't say I'm bothered if that's how it reads - at least raised a lot of the issues. Unfortunately the 'just take the pills' attitude is a bit too easy and just a small part of the story of dealing with it. As I believe any decent psychiatrist will tell you.
Also I'm 100% behind the suggestion that it's an illness that requires doctor's treatment and consultation, from a specialist if necessary. Again, they themselves will (if they're good at their job) explain the limitiations on what they believe they know.
Quote: once he acknowledged that his original statement was misleading
Eh, when did I say that?
Quote: Croftsphoto reads like he/she is just looking for a barney
Nothing wrong with that - be a pretty pointless discussion if everyone agreed with each other.
Very true - a dull place indeed if we were all in permanent agreement with each other!
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