Poll

How do you cope?

I am normal. (I do not suffer from depression.)
50 (40.7%)
I have had it in the past, not being treated anymore.
31 (25.2%)
Talking with my regular doctor, have a prescription for antidepressants.
11 (8.9%)
See a psychiatrist for therapy and drugs.
12 (9.8%)
Therapy only.
4 (3.3%)
Non-traditional methods like meditation.
15 (12.2%)

Total Members Voted: 113

Author Topic: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?  (Read 10151 times)

Thegoblinchief

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Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« on: March 18, 2014, 07:51:20 AM »
I do agree with what MMM has said at times that anxiety/depression is over-diagnosed these days and that many times it could be fixed with simple lifestyle changes.

That said, I've been diagnosed with depression and have dealt with it for over a year, though I'm starting to think I'm bi-polar with a very long cycle. I went through a crazy manic period when I first discovered MMM to the point that I could go a day or more without sleeping a wink.

Currently I'm using a very small dose of drugs combined with regular exercise and some meditation. I'm curious if other Mustachians have struggled with depression even after all the positive lifestyle changes, and what people have found useful (drugs, therapy, meditation, etc.)

Scottishsteph

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 08:55:03 AM »
What does how do you cope - "I am normal" mean?


yyc-phil

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 09:00:10 AM »
There is nothing taboo on MMM, even the D word.

I have struggled with clinical depression and a bi-polar disorder as well (periods of complete euphoria and hyperactivity followed by depressive phases where I could not get up from the bed), and after one particular life-changing event about seven years ago that brought an episode of severe depression, was eventually diagnosed with PTSD. For about six months, I took the meds prescribed by my psychiatrist but could not see any changes in my mood so I just stopped. I was 49, unemployed during that same period, which as a professional whose identity revolved mostly about work and career did not help my condition, so after cleaning my finances up (thanks to a large severance that allowed me to pay off mortgage, loans, etc. and have enough money left to do nothing for two years) and embarking on a journey to become healthy and fit again (I lost 40 pounds in 4 months), I decided to travel to SE Asia to explore and while in Thailand, I completed my PADI divemaster level and worked in a dive resort for a while. I had a blast, backpacked all over SE Asia, met awesome people throughout, partied like a 20-year old, and realized that I could have my depression under complete control as long as I was constantly doing something to excite my senses (my friends always called me a lazy friend's worst nightmare). I came back home to Yellowknife, fell in love with a wonderful Japanese girl who had just moved there to satisfy her love for aurora borealis and nature, got married, and never felt better or younger in my entire life. Here I am five years later, the depression is still here but under control, and I am med-free. I don't think I am cured completely and still have bouts of depression that are usually caused by external factors, but I believe lifestyle changes, a better understanding of my condition and what the triggers for those depressive episodes are, and most importantly a very supportive and understanding partner, have allowed me to stay on top of it and lead a full and healthy life.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 09:03:07 AM by ykphil »

Elaine

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2014, 09:19:28 AM »
I have PTSD from some unpleasant events that occurred years ago. I struggled with severe depression for years following those events, but that is mostly gone now. I tried therapy for years and it did nothing for me personally. I never took medication for it, but I do meditate for it. It has helped hugely. I still have some leftover PTSD symptoms from time to time, night terrors/flashbacks and anxiety regarding specific situations and places- but it no longer impacts my day to day life. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but reading about spirituality (Buddhism resonates with me more than anything else)- and learning meditation has turned my world 180 degrees. I feel the best I have ever felt in my entire life, I'm pretty sure that people who meet me now would be surprised to learn about my past.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2014, 09:27:59 AM »
What does how do you cope - "I am normal" mean?

I just wanted an option for people to pick that don't have depression.

arebelspy

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2014, 09:41:49 AM »
What does how do you cope - "I am normal" mean?

I just wanted an option for people to pick that don't have depression.

Edited that option to make it a little clearer.  :)
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Spork

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 10:10:13 AM »

I had a pretty good case of depression 20something years ago following a divorce.  (Well, I'm sure it was also going on in the marriage, too.  We both were not in the best mind set.)  I briefly saw a shrink, but I am pretty sure my "cure" was the fact that I reached a point that I decided things were not acceptable and I had to fix it.  I'm not discounting the help the shrink provided.  It was worth while.  But that decision point was the deciding factor.  If the shrink said "try this mental exercise" I was at a point where, by god, I was going to try it because I was going to get better.  At the same time, I started pushing myself in other ways.  I am a serious introvert and I started MAKING myself talk to single women.  I started working out every day after work.

I did take antidepressants for 6 months or so.  I think they marginally "took an edge off"... but I didn't find them as the thing that made things better.  There were side effects... and I eventually took myself off of them (and my shrink seemed to think that was okay.)  I haven't seen anyone since.

That said: I am not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure bi-polar is a totally different animal.  From the little I understand, I think this is a chemical thing and is pretty treatable.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2014, 10:33:32 AM »
I struggle with seasonal depression, exaserbated by the fact that I currently work in a windowless office.

Riding my bicycle to work helps, as does exercising in the mornings by taking my dog on a walk before leaving for work. I also use a sun-lamp, but I've noticed that doesn't help as much as the exercise.

Currently on Zoloft, but going to stop taking it because of the extreme fatigue side effect I've been experiencing.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 10:36:22 AM »
I strongly suspect everyone who is against anti-depressants has never had true suicidal ideation.  It's not fun.  I was never close to actually following through, but the ideation is specific enough and unwelcome enough that it's clear it's from a disease.  The pills never made me happy but they let me get out of bed and go through my day without constantly reviewing mental footage of jumping off a ledge.   

This was years ago though.  I still have violent thoughts creep in from time to time (mostly against myself, none of which I would act on), but it's nothing like it was.  I've been off antidepressants for a few years and really only struggle with seasonal affective disorder at this point.  The depression is mostly well managed but I do think it is driving my desire to FI. 

Drugs were really the only thing that helped when it was bad, exercise was just out of the question.  Now I eat well and exercise almost compulsively to keep it in check.   Breathing exercises help if I'm starting to lose my handle on things.  I've been in and out of therapy, never found it super helpful but I think I just never found the right person to talk to. 

zarfus

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2014, 11:14:17 AM »
I struggle with seasonal depression, exaserbated by the fact that I currently work in a windowless office.

This.  This winter has been brutal for me, leaving me with zero energy after a long day in the cube.  Spring should help me give me the energy to do some outdoor stuff and get some more exercise.

I used to be on meds, stopped taking them years ago.  My therapist sucked, so that didn't help me much.  I've been more at peace with myself and life in general, I think that helps me. 

Here's some corny tips that helped me:
-More quiet time for prayer or even doing nothing was a big help. 
-Find time for yourself and for exercise, learn how to relax. 
-Quit worrying about stupid shit...seriously.  Eliminate the drama.
-Get hobbies that you enjoy, I do wood working, homebrewing, biking, fishing, hunting, reading, and a million other things that I don't have time for...which is why I'm here!
-Turn off the tv and the computer.
-Be yourself

Hang in there OP, sounds like you're on the right track!

honeybun

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2014, 11:23:49 AM »

   I have no idea what you would my condition??...but I know something is not right with me.
I can not cope at times, I go into complete melt downs (as my rant on sunday will show, I was a wreck on this site asking for advise on FBAR'S and canadaian RRSP)
I seriously spent almost 12 hrs reseraching the topic, no food, drink,sleep. I was so afriad and out of control with panic, my breathing was even difficult.
writing this out embrass's me and I feel really ashamed about all my fear and anxiety.
I always think the absolute worst and muliply it by 1000.
I once had to have a repeat mamograme (pictures were not clear)... I throught I had cancer, would not eat for almost 2 weeks, could not function...all because I moved while they took they xray and it had to be repeated.
It was pure torture for me, I could not function.
again,over react and deep anxiety.
I try my best to hide all this, my husband has no idea at the level and depth of my worry and anxiey, he know's I
worry a bit, but no way to this extent.
I mentioned the hrs of research on saturday, I did all this in the basement while he was asleep, I went BACK  upsatirs about 5.30am, he woke up about 7.00am...had no idea. I know he would be upset if he knew, so I try not to let him see when I am having a melt down.
I quit work 2 years ago, I love being a home maker, I have every thing I ever wanted or could need, yet i can not control myself at times, and just spoil my time and weekends with my anxiety.
Then when I feel ok, I ask my self, imagine if that was your last weekend on earch...you just wasted it by your consent worry and anxiety, the time you wasted not being with your husband, then I feel ashamed.

I do not take any meds, have not even spoken to anyone about all this.This has been my life since I can remember.
I go the gym each day and eat well, that helps  I think.
I am sorry to go on and on, I just wanted to share.....I share my story on sunday and I can honestly say there
are some lovely people in this world, I feel lucky and blessed that complete strangers would spend the time to even write back.
I am very grateful for that.





Wolf_Stache

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2014, 11:30:30 AM »
I struggle with seasonal depression, exaserbated by the fact that I currently work in a windowless office.

This.  This winter has been brutal for me, leaving me with zero energy after a long day in the cube.  Spring should help me give me the energy to do some outdoor stuff and get some more exercise.

Yeah, don't what it was this winter! This is the first time I've ever been on medication for my depression.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2014, 11:38:18 AM »
I do not take any meds, have not even spoken to anyone about all this.This has been my life since I can remember.
I go the gym each day and eat well, that helps  I think.

Can I ask why you haven't brought this up with a doctor ever?  My understanding is that anxiety can be pretty effectively managed with drugs and/or therapy.  Seems like a rough way to live that might be 100% fixable?

Bookworm

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2014, 11:39:56 AM »
A tendency toward depression has been a problem since I was a teenager (I'm 41).  I went through significant periods of depression in 1988-1990, 1992, 2001, 2005-2006, and 2013.  I do my best to use meditation and other strategies to pull out of it most of the time, but turn to medication when it's really intractable and I start experiencing suicidal ideation and/or it starts to affect my loved ones.  Medication has unpleasant side effects, so it really is a last resort.

I've been on meds again since December and feel very, very stable now, after struggling since the previous spring without relief from a holistic approach.  I'm thinking I may be able to taper off soon.

AJ

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2014, 11:49:17 AM »
honeybun - Speaking from experience, I highly and emphatically recommend privately calling a counselor. Today. Right now, if you can. No joke.

I know there is a major stigma against therapy, but there shouldn't be. It doesn't mean you're less of a person. Counselors are like personal trainers for your brain. No one is embarrassed to go to a personal trainer, and you shouldn't be embarrassed of seeking counseling.

A year ago, hubby and I had a hard time and were fighting a lot. We talked about seeing a therapist, but never did. And we got through it - we talked and talked and talked, we worked through things, and now I can confidently say we're more connected and in love then we have ever been. So we decided that now, while things are good, we should establish a relationship with a good therapist. That way, if things ever get bad again, it will be easy to ping her and get back on track. Nothing is more financially and emotionally expensive than divorce, so it seems logical to me that we would take some preventative measures - like getting a check-up or a tooth cleaning.

I tell you that not because I think your relationship is in trouble, but to say that therapy isn't just for "crazy people". Therapy is for everyone - it is the mental health equivalent of going to the doctor or dentist.

If you have health insurance, there is a very good chance it's covered, even if you think it isn't. I thought we weren't covered, and we planned to pay out of pocket, but my counselor got my insurance information and called for me and it is covered. If you don't have insurance, even just going once a month can help and isn't that expensive. It is worth the cost.

Seriously, if the thought of trying to find a counselor is too much, PM me your location and I will do some research for you. I'm just a stranger on the internet, so you don't have to feel embarrassed.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2014, 12:10:40 PM »
I went through a period of really bad depression for a few years.  I was also an alcoholic at the time.  My drinking and depression were so bad that I wasn't going to make it to 45, either my physical or mental health was going to end my life early. 

I was 37 when I first tried getting help.  Saw a counselor, and get on some meds.  Didn't really make any changes to my life, though.  Saw a brief respite from the depression, but a year later it was back stronger than ever.

Went back to the counselor.  And actually started following the advice and making the changes needed in my life:

gave up drinking and cigarettes
started getting physical activity
started eating better (more paleo)
started learning CBT techniques to combat the depressive thoughts:  most of them learned from the book  "When Panic Attacks"
started seeking out activities that provided enjoyment to me

I started getting out of the deep depression I was in, slowly but surely, after doing the above.  After a year, I got off the meds.  I don't think they were doing anything to me other than making me feel like an emotionless zombie.

Anyway, I'm about to turn 42 and have been symptom free for a few years now.  Maybe a couple of times a year, I start to get down slightly but after a couple of hours I am able to focus on the CBT techniques and am able to escape from the negative thinking. 

I'm actually happy now and enjoying life, trying to live it to the fullest. 


honeybun

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2014, 12:28:07 PM »
   Dear AJ,
 
  I will seriously think about that...but just for me.
my husband is one of the most caring, loyal person you could ever wish to meet.
I am beyond happy with him, I hide my 'condition' from him because I dont want him to worry about me.
he takes such good care of me, and gives me everything I want, I thank god for having married him.

I feel like its my problem, and I know he would be devastated if he knew the extent of my anxiety and suffering, I hide it well !!!!!
I  aslo think he would be really sad and upset if he knew the thurth, I dont think I could put him through that pain.

I will think long and hard this week about your suggestion (but just for me), I never really even throught about that before, but I think I HAVE WASTED TOO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY ..no more.
thanks xxx



Jamesqf

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 01:29:35 PM »
I strongly suspect everyone who is against anti-depressants has never had true suicidal ideation.  It's not fun. 

No, but I don't think that's what people are against.  It's rather the tendency to diagnose any passing (or even long term) unhappiness as depression, and fill you full of antidepressants,  The side effects of which were in my case far worse than the unhappiness.

AJ

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2014, 02:00:36 PM »
I strongly suspect everyone who is against anti-depressants has never had true suicidal ideation.  It's not fun. 

No, but I don't think that's what people are against.  It's rather the tendency to diagnose any passing (or even long term) unhappiness as depression, and fill you full of antidepressants,  The side effects of which were in my case far worse than the unhappiness.

I'm genuinely curious to know if there are statistics that back that up. Anecdotally, everyone I've known to be on anti-depressants actually needed them - but even if I thought they didn't, I would hope I would defer that diagnosis to the patient's doctor. Seems strange to me to say, "other people should take less anti-depressants because of the side effects." If the side effects were worse than the condition they treat wouldn't the patient stop taking them (slowly, of course...)? Or, do we not trust other people to make their own decisions about their own bodies/minds?

Jamesqf

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2014, 02:19:00 PM »
I'm genuinely curious to know if there are statistics that back that up.

I don't know if there are, I just know (because I happened to get caught in it) that there was a fad for prescribing antidepressants, particularly Prozac.  I just may have had the bad luck to get an incompetent doctor, especially as many of the symptoms of my 'depression' were the result of allergies and a sinus infection.

Even now, if I take one of those depression screening checklists, I show up as having moderate to severe depression, when in reality I'm not depressed at all.  I'm just unhappy because I live in a world which is (admittedly from my personal & subjective viewpoint :-)) seriously messed up in a number of ways, and I can neither change the world nor completely avoid dealing with it.

crumbcatcher

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2014, 02:22:06 PM »
To OP, I think that sometimes the outcome really depends on whether the cause of the depression is situational (like, major negative life event puts you into a tailspin, existential crisis, depression that lingers) or biological. Sometimes a biological illness doesn't emerge until after something situational triggers it, or makes it more pronounced.

The reason I mention this is that whether or not someone has success with lifestyle changes and/or medication is often related to the real cause of the depression. I can meditate all I want but it isn't going to change the fact that I have some wonky chemical imbalances that cause me to be ill. And, all the medication in the world won't change something that is situational (though it might mask it for awhile).

I've already come out of the bipolar closet on another thread. I'm pretty sure that the more common "textbook" kind of bipolar has long, slow cycles.  There is a subset of bipolar that has "rapid cycling."  So a manic period of weeks or months that gradually transitions (or crashes) into a depression isn't uncommon. That is the kind I have.  If untreated, I have a couple of manic episodes a year that last a few weeks each, with most of the rest of the year spent in some degree of depression. Everyone varies.

How I've gotten mine under control (I say "control" even though I do have breakthrough episodes occasionally, but to a MUCH smaller extent) has been through good therapy with a psychologist, good medication from a psychiatrist, leaving a toxic relationship, making an effort to be more social and learning gradually to a) recognize when I'm feeling sick and 2) give myself a break when I know that is happening. Exercising and eating well do help, as does sunshine and stable hormones (seriously, sounds dumb but this is a factor), but what really turned the train around for me was the therapy and meds. It took a number of years to find the right combination.

Good luck to everyone who struggles with this stuff.  It's rough and stigmatized, but real.

homehandymum

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2014, 02:41:10 PM »
   Dear AJ,
 
  I will seriously think about that...but just for me.
my husband is one of the most caring, loyal person you could ever wish to meet.
I am beyond happy with him, I hide my 'condition' from him because I dont want him to worry about me.
he takes such good care of me, and gives me everything I want, I thank god for having married him.

I feel like its my problem, and I know he would be devastated if he knew the extent of my anxiety and suffering, I hide it well !!!!!
I  aslo think he would be really sad and upset if he knew the thurth, I dont think I could put him through that pain.

I will think long and hard this week about your suggestion (but just for me), I never really even throught about that before, but I think I HAVE WASTED TOO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY ..no more.
thanks xxx

@honeybun:
  This sounds very similar to several people I know who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders.  You are not at all alone.  Anxiety issues seem to be about as common as depression, at least in my circle of acquaintance.  These friends of mine have found various solutions - from medication to counseling to alternatives. 

If you are able to look at what you just wrote, you're being anxious about what impact your anxiety will have on your DH.  You're already living with the anxiety.  It is already real.  Seeking treatment doesn't make it any more real, and is unlikely to increase the stress on your husband.  My brother's partner has anxiety, and definitely for him, it's better to know what is going on and know that there is support and treatment happening.  Much better than knowing that *something* is up, but not knowing what.

Talking to your doctor about it and exploring possible treatments is a really sensible way forward. 


Now, as for me, I have a tendency to depression.  It tends to flare up in times of high stress, seasonally, and postnatally.  I've never officially been diagnosed or medicated.  During one postnatal period my doc treated me for 'fatigue' with very low dose amytriptylene as a non-addictive sleeping tablet, which did help through a period where I was "tired and wired" and couldn't sleep.

Usually my depression is low-level stuff.  Like the world is missing a colour and I just can't quite feel things properly.  And making my way through a day is hard work - extra bits like making a meal to take to a friend who has just had a baby or similar things are just 'too hard'.  I intend to do them, but can't quite get organised to do so.  Large decisions are the same (or small decisions) and I might spend the whole day online or reading a book instead of making any decisions about how to spend my day, because I am afraid of using up my energy in decision making (escapism/avoidance stuff - yeah I know it doesn't make sense, that's all part of it). 

Diet change has helped hugely.  I have a tendency to under-eat when stressed, so making sure that the food that I eat is really nutrient dense, and full of brain-feeders has been important.  (liver, egg yolks, saturated fats with fat-soluble vitamins in them, omega-3s, magnesium, etc etc).    This website has been really, really helpful  http://www.rebuildfromdepression.com/depression-foods/

I worked for 2 years in a lab with no windows.  Completely awful.  Never doing that again.

I also agree with the poster who mentioned suicidal ideation being a clear sign of something being objectively wrong with the body.  I had this with one birth control pill I was on.  At the time I was working on a fifth floor, and frequently had a mental picture of throwing myself out the window, or opening my veins with the handy scalpels that were sitting right there.  By the third month of being on this pill they were increasing with frequency to the point where I finally made the connection and stopped the meds.  Two days later I felt like the sun had come out, life was good again, and I've never had suicidal urges since.   I'm too scared to try chemical birth control again (the previous one had given me migraines).
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 02:52:09 PM by homehandymum »

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2014, 03:11:43 PM »
Nice round of responses. It's really interesting to see the variety as well as the common threads.

I'm increasingly realizing that, much as I like the taste of a good beer, wine, or liquor - alcohol is something I have to be very careful with. Eventually I may need to drop it altogether.

Exercise has been a HUGE improvement for me, both stress and depression wise. Biking to work keeps my job tolerable and biking the other days of the week is an important "me" time that I've come to really enjoy having even though I've only been doing it every day without fail for a month.

@honeybun - DONT hide things from your spouse. Chances are he's totally aware of it, or at least aware something is off. My DW tends to shut down and push me away when things bother her. It is completely obvious something is wrong, but it makes me worry MORE when she doesn't talk about it.

Obviously the last thing I want to do is increase stress, but seek help for both your sakes.

2527

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2014, 04:41:42 PM »
I had PTSD (due to my time in Iraq) and depression (due to Iraq and other life factors).

Recommended to me by a doctor:

*As much exercise as possible.  An hour of walking or jogging is as strong as a typical antidepressant
*A therapeutic lamp in the morning (generally thought of for SAD, but works for depression in general)
*Vitamin D supplementation (almost all Americans have less than the desired amount of Vit D)
*EPA and DHA supplementation (almost all Americans have less…)
*A good quality multivitamin
*Access to a VA therapist
*5HTP (the precursor to serotonin), an over the counter supplement
*Minimized caffeine and alcohol
*Some meditation

I was open-minded about prescription drugs, but I tried the above things first and they worked.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 05:23:51 PM by 2527 »

DK

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2014, 05:40:18 PM »
One simple, cheap, and potentially effective thing would be to check out your Vit D levels from blood work to make sure they are okay. If you live in a northern climate that gets little sun, I would just recommend taking 2000IU to make sure you are not deficient. This is one thing that definitely made a difference to me. If you get down in the winter, there is a pretty high probability it is due to Vit D.

Omega 3's (fish oil, etc) can also help not just depression but a lot of things in general health.

Outside of that, do not feel bad or ashamed about seeking therapy or getting on medication. There is a reason it exists, and don't listen to people that say it is 'all in your head'. If it is affecting your life, do something about it. It is worth it.

Emg03063

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2014, 05:48:19 PM »
I've had a few bouts of situational depression in my life.  Treated with SSRI's once (nasty side effects).  Good self care, exercise,  CBT, and yoga have all helped me.  I'm currently on meds for anxiety (an SNRI), but weaning off as I learn to manage it with mindfulness exercises.

szmaine

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2014, 06:22:08 PM »
   Dear AJ,
 
  I will seriously think about that...but just for me.
my husband is one of the most caring, loyal person you could ever wish to meet.
I am beyond happy with him, I hide my 'condition' from him because I dont want him to worry about me.
he takes such good care of me, and gives me everything I want, I thank god for having married him.

I feel like its my problem, and I know he would be devastated if he knew the extent of my anxiety and suffering, I hide it well !!!!!
I  aslo think he would be really sad and upset if he knew the thurth, I dont think I could put him through that pain.

I will think long and hard this week about your suggestion (but just for me), I never really even throught about that before, but I think I HAVE WASTED TOO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY ..no more.
thanks xxx

I also think you should talk to someone, it will really help..I totally promise it will! I even think it's part of your anxiety that you say your husband will be sad and devastated...just like you thought that the IRS might land on your head. These thought then feed the anxiety and so on. Some problems like this 20 years ago, signs in other family members too. It will really help!! So glad you spoke up. Hugs!!!

Ps. Let AJ help you, if you need...He/she? Really wants too or wouldn't offer!! Don't talk your self out of it (ie think about it too much)....the hiding/pretending/being alone just makes it worse...you can see that by how good you felt when peeps responded to your IRS worry!!! It's that simple to start feeling better.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 06:39:34 PM by szmaine »

dsiee

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2014, 12:44:10 AM »
Well i suppose i might add my little story.

I was diagnosed with depression in 2011 whilst in high school (yr 11). It was basically hell at the time but in a lot of ways it made me who i am now, for better or worse. I was prescribed effexor but i'm still doubtful of its effectiveness at an anti-D, however the withdrawal after taking it for 3 years was crazy. I thought i was loosing my mind, like i had seriously fucking lost it.

I find it interesting and confusing to consider the factors that caused my depression. At the time i had a crush on a guy (im also a guy) which threw me. This was exuberated by the homophobia of the principle at my school and some pf the students. The fact that the guy was straight was minor because he handled the situation extremely well.

The strangest and almost greatest side of being depressed to the point of suicidal is the freedom. I was (and still am a bit) addicted to the fact that it doesn't really matter because i could just kill myself. This led to some great self-discovery. It also allowed a sense of importance on everyday life. ie sleep was (and is) more important than any type of work (academic or paid), if failing becomes so detrimental i could just kill myself. I quickly learnt that failing doesn't really matter (a good lesson for a high achiever at school).

I just want to say to other people out there that it depression messes with you but don't treat depressed people like shit because it isn't their fault and they will not 'get over it'.

/rant

Nudelkopf

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2014, 01:39:30 AM »
I assume I have had depression. A couple of times in my life I've had months of crying-every-day-angry-at-the-world moods. I went and saw a therapist when I was 21, but she was terrible. She got fixated on the fact that I don't see my brothers (they moved out when I was about 13 years old.. so.. They're strangers to me, but that's pretty normal in my life), and she was obsessed with telling me how hard a maths degree must be, and TAHT's the reason that I'm sad all the time. She didn't listen to me. The reason I write I "assume" I have had it is because she never bothered to tell me whether I did or not, or whether I was just a shit mood and that was just my personality. And then she yelled at me because I couldn't come to appointments every week (it was fuck-tonne of money when I was a student). So I never bothered to find someone else.

I've had terrible years (well, episodes of 4-6 months) when I was 17, 19, and 21 (currently 22.5 and been good for about 18months!). So... It seems like every 2 years it goes downhill. Gulp. But I've been trying to avoid stress, mainly, to try and control my moods.

When I was in Year 12, every person in my family except my Mum had depression. How exciting. And my brother has bi-polar, and his wife has depression. We're one fun family.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 01:42:38 AM by Nudelkopf »

yyc-phil

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2014, 12:29:12 PM »
One simple, cheap, and potentially effective thing would be to check out your Vit D levels from blood work to make sure they are okay. If you live in a northern climate that gets little sun, I would just recommend taking 2000IU to make sure you are not deficient. This is one thing that definitely made a difference to me. If you get down in the winter, there is a pretty high probability it is due to Vit D.


Ha! I've lived in the Arctic almost continuously since 1982 and it is only very recently that my blood test revealed a Vit D deficiency, and I have taken supplements all winter. I must admit candidly that it never occurred to me that this deficiency could be linked to my depression. While this deficiency is likely one of the many contributors to my depression, taking Vit D sure had a drastic improvement of my mood, and for the first time in years, I've had a relatively enjoyable winter despite the extreme low temperature and darkness.

davisgang90

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2014, 01:12:17 PM »
   Dear AJ,
 
  I will seriously think about that...but just for me.
my husband is one of the most caring, loyal person you could ever wish to meet.
I am beyond happy with him, I hide my 'condition' from him because I dont want him to worry about me.
he takes such good care of me, and gives me everything I want, I thank god for having married him.

I feel like its my problem, and I know he would be devastated if he knew the extent of my anxiety and suffering, I hide it well !!!!!
I  aslo think he would be really sad and upset if he knew the thurth, I dont think I could put him through that pain.

I will think long and hard this week about your suggestion (but just for me), I never really even throught about that before, but I think I HAVE WASTED TOO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY ..no more.
thanks xxx

Honeybun,

My wife has had severe depression for years.  She is in a good place at the moment, but it is a constant struggle.  Take it from a husband who knows, I think you should tell your husband.  Depression is too great a burden to carry by yourself, especially when you have a caring spouse who can make a huge difference. 

If he knows what you are going through especially when you are in a dark place, he can do so much to help you through it.  I really think it will bring you two closer together as you work through this challenge.

Squirrel away

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2014, 08:39:43 AM »
I have Major Depressive Disorder, Borderline PD and Bipolar/cyclothymia which is a fun combination (ha!) but I have been very stable for a few years now. I try to do the self help measures others have mentioned and don't do medication anymore after so many crappy side effects.

QuaecumqueVera

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2014, 01:28:23 AM »
I've struggled with depression for years. I haven't seen anyone about it for awhile because counselling is expensive and doctors don't seem to offer any useful advice - instead making me feel even more guilty about my situation*. I have however been taking St John's Wort (300mg) and 5-HTP (100mg) 3 times daily, which has helped my mood and sleep.

My doctors, in the past, invariably wanted to prescribe me medications despite severe side effects. Unfortunately, my parents are of little direct help in this regard. Though they suffer from depression themselves (and my Mom from bipolar), they often offer counter-productive advice. I know this is a cynical comment, and I don't mean to hold ill will towards them: but I'm not sure why they'd expect what hasn't worked for them to work for me. They often try to be supportive, though sometimes (and when I was young and wouldn't just do what I knew felt right, most of the time) that involved pushing me in directions which made things worse - having been overzealous high-achievers when they were younger.

I'm pretty sure I suffer from some form of C-PTSD from being bullied when I was in junior high (and repeat trauma which has arisen in situations which re-open those wounds). I have a very hard time with crowds/meeting new people my age, which sometimes make socializing or going out with friends hell. I like being social though - so I try to go out anyway because it's better than being alone for prolonged periods of time (I've been there - it's and even worse kind of hell). Another major trigger is when multiple things go wrong at once and I feel powerless to fix things - kind of feels like an out of control death spiral. As much as I consciously know that being in a good state would help me deal with those situations and move on, it's like my brain involuntarily cuts off my supply of serotonin and my thinking gets clouded and dark real quick.

To convey what it feels like: it's like, despite the fact that you're in a scenario that you consciously know you can deal with, you're reminded of multiple scenarios that you were literally unable to deal with even though you were in 110% fight-or-flight mode (and perhaps worse because you were in that state, making you angry and easy to taunt), so your brain is now forever looking out for threats which remind you of those scenarios so that it won't be vulnerable again. The irony, of course, is that since most triggering situations are social in nature (in my case), going into fight-or-flight mode is exactly the opposite of what is needed in order to excel/be happy/be confident. To put it another way, it's like there's a lion stalking you in the grass on the savana, and despite the fact that you know it won't pounce, your brain is signalling your body to pump adrenaline and running scenarios on what'll happen IF it pounces so that you're prepared. Unfortunately, no one else sees the lion and you're the only one in this highly agitated state, making it hard to relate with anyone else because you're in a totally different place than they are.

Unfortunately, overbearing bosses/work situations have also been a major trigger. Often, the feeling of not having control over my situation leads to me being unable to use the very strengths which would be most effective in that situation. I feel powerless because of my circumstances, which leads to feeling event more powerless. By contrast, I excel with autonomy because it allays those fears. Right now, I find that giving myself enough control over my time so that I can step back when things get real bad is the best approach for me. I'd like to become FI sooner rather than later, since having that freedom and control over my life helps enormously (and indeed, the opposite scenario of being a starving student made things much worse). I used to have a really good head for money and investing. I thank this blog for re-awakening that. The difference in my mood between giving myself that free time vs. constantly pushing myself hard (like I did for awhile with school and work) is paying dividends in terms of gaining control over my mood and mental state.


* The guilt being because I'm looking for solutions, and they're offering me solutions, but I've tried those solutions and they haven't worked. Yet now they present the same solutions, and I feel like I'm turning down help therefore not improving my situation (but as I said, the offered solutions haven't worked and indeed have made things worse in the past - especially my experiences with SSRIs/SNRIs).
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 01:41:46 AM by QuaecumqueVera »

train_writer

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2014, 04:30:16 AM »
I am not normal by any means but don't suffer from depression.

I lost one of my best friends this weekend by suicide. He suffered from severe depression and had help since a year. Despite the medical and therapeutical help, the loving family, encouraging friends, work etc etc he could not take it. Part was the shame of his condition, so he wrote. Shame that it is not a true illness etc, he should behave 'better' and that he felt lazy when waking up after sunrise.

I am shocked at the stigma in our society about depression, i really wasn't aware! I had the 'pleasure' of informing his colleagues. I won't repeat some of the responses. I feel very miserable about it on top of the loss and can only hope psychological illnesses will be taken as seriously as physical illness in our society.

Squirrel away

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2014, 04:33:25 AM »

I am shocked at the stigma in our society about depression, i really wasn't aware! I had the 'pleasure' of informing his colleagues. I won't repeat some of the responses. I feel very miserable about it on top of the loss and can only hope psychological illnesses will be taken as seriously as physical illness in our society.

I completely agree. I'm sorry about your friend.x

Osprey

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2014, 05:32:33 AM »
Here's a relevant cartoon about what would happen if we treated physical illness the same way we treat mental illness:

http://www.robot-hugs.com/helpful-advice/

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2014, 07:27:12 AM »
Here's a relevant cartoon about what would happen if we treated physical illness the same way we treat mental illness:

http://www.robot-hugs.com/helpful-advice/

Wow. Good one.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2014, 07:38:19 AM »
I lost one of my best friends this weekend by suicide. He suffered from severe depression and had help since a year. Despite the medical and therapeutical help, the loving family, encouraging friends, work etc etc he could not take it. Part was the shame of his condition, so he wrote. Shame that it is not a true illness etc, he should behave 'better' and that he felt lazy when waking up after sunrise.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

If you're struggling with the concept of 'how could he do that to me/his loved ones/etc' I recommend reading some of David Foster Wallace's works.  He described the motivation of those who commit suicide better than anyone I've ever come across, which makes sense, since he was a brilliant writer who eventually killed himself. 

train_writer

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2014, 01:47:17 PM »
Thank you Londoner38, Osprey, Fallstoclimb, I will look into your reading suggestion. I have no feelings as of 'how could he do this to us', it just hurts that he must have felt very alone in those last moments and many moments before and I want to hug him again. i have seen but a glimpse of his dark days where he suffered very very much and hope he is free of that now.

Cassie

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2014, 01:54:02 PM »
People with MI really suffer from their illness & then often they feel ashamed. It is so sad because it really is just a chemical imbalance and no more their fault then it is to have a physical illness.  I am really very sorry for your loss.  I hope someday as a society we treat people with this illness better.

Ms Betterhome

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2014, 03:11:44 PM »
I have had depression in the past... I think I do have some chemical tendencies towards it, though the times it has been 'full blown' has coincided with distressing or overwhelming events in my life. I was told once by a counsellor that I might actually be a little more bi-polar than straight-up depressive - but it wasn't a diagnosis as such, more an observation.

I certainly haven't serious manic periods in the same way I've had depressive periods, but I am a creative, lateral thinking type, and can see or hear things quite differently from other people at times.

For me, attending to diet, exercise & really regular sleep patterns keeps me on an even keel. I did take St John's Wort all winter for a couple of years in a row after my last seriously depressed time, but don't seem to need that now. I know that I can't skip breakfast, sleep less than 8 hours a night or eat sweet stuff without serious impact on my mood. In some ways it's restrictive, but it's not that hard to maintain.

Anatidae V

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Re: Mustachians with Depression and/or bi-polar?
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2014, 06:49:17 AM »
I don't have depression, but my partner does. After hearing that bipolar can have a long cycle, though, he's going to ask if that's a possibility. I had panic attack disorder (effectively all gone, but it will flare up if I don't look after myself) and generalised anxiety disorder. We've only used therapy so far, plus a mix of diet and exercise (we don't have a great handle on those yet, though). I've found cognitive behaviour therapy very effective. Always check a psychologist to make sure they're a registered clinical psychologist, and that they use techniques like CBT and other acronyms. If they're asking about your parents etc too much after the first few sessions, try someone else.
Mine was kicked off by a series of chronic pains and medical issues, his was worsened by supporting me through it when we'd only just moved in together. My temperament definited predisposed me to it. I felt awful for being so stupid and weak, terrified I was a wishy washy hysterical female.
But I was so, so sick I demanded help. The same way I'm terrified of needles, but will stick my arm out and request a butterfly one because without it things are worse. If everyone understood it's just like a broken leg, that takes ages to heal, or might give you a chronic limp, or hey, maybe you were born with that limp, but you're still a person... That would be awesome.