Author Topic: on dealing with depression...  (Read 8068 times)

Greenblatt

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on dealing with depression...
« on: December 27, 2017, 07:31:43 AM »
This might have been discussed before but couldn't find the thread. Search with depression-related key words all seem to lead to "Great depression" posts.

I was diagnosed with depression last November and prescribed anti-depressant and sleeping pills. I stoped taking them due to very bad side effects (I was still depressed and I was physically sick...). Since most days have been very meh...

I started taking vitamine B6, B12 and D. I will start psychotherapy after the Christmass break.

Have you been through that? Beside drugs what has helped you? Thank you!

ps: I am not anti-drug at all, if they help you by all means keep taking them!

Gimesalot

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 07:44:16 AM »
Disclaimer:  I have not been medicated from depression, but I do suffer from it, so YMMV.

About medications, there are several anti-depressants and sleeping pills that are available.  If you  and your doctor believe that medication is the right option, you should work to find a combination that works for you without side effects.

For me, mental illness runs  in my family.  Several of the people in my generation suffer from depression that manifests in different ways.  My depression is triggered by events, for example a crappy job situation, but also for about two weeks, two or three times a year.  For both of these types of recurrences, I have had a lot of success with therapy with social workers.  They have worked with me to realize that I can mourn and be sad without being depressed when bad things happen.  For the waves of depression that sweep over me, they have taught me to recognize when they are coming, and to prepare. 

Depression is a huge struggle.  I hope that you find a way to manage and get better.

Del Griffith

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 08:05:57 AM »
Look into St. Johnís Wort. It can be found in the vitamin section of any pharmacy/grocery store. But be sure to do your research first, itís not right for everyone.

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/ataglance.htm

big_slacker

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 08:14:43 AM »
Was on SSRI's, now off. It's systemic/holistic IMO.

Being outside without any electronics at least once a day. Preferably in a natural area without a lot of people. A nice walk in the woods, biking, etc. On the flip side reducing time spent doing mindless things like TV and video games.

MEDITATION! Go grab the headspace app to start. This is no 'blissing out' it is training to notice thought patterns and let them dissipate naturally. If you do this CONSISTENTLY you will be much less on autopilot and much more aware of why you're thinking and doing things both positive and negative.

Food. You are what you eat. If you're eating heavy, bad for you, processed crap you'll be low energy and promote cravings for more crap. If you eat mostly whole, natural foods that promote energy and vitality you put your body in the right state to avoid depression. Alcohol and excessive caffeine especially should be avoided.

Removing or minimizing sources of negativity and stress from your life. Obviously we all have things like a shitty boss, long commute, family that do obnoxious things and so on. You can't remove all stress and you wouldn't want to IMO. But there are things you can remove that may be dragging you down. 'Friends' that are consistently negative or feed your bad habits. Buying in to internet arguments. Road rage. The meditation above will probably start surfacing things, as you become more aware of what things in your life are causing negativity. And some of these might lead to tough choices, say if a main source is your spouse.....

The other side of removing the negative is adding more positive. Find meaningful work, either at work or outside it. Find good friends that share positive things with you. Workout partners, people to walk with, community activities, or religious ones if that's your thing.

I'm not gonna lie and say there aren't down times and struggles, but all of the above which is crafting a positive life has helped me tremendously.


wenchsenior

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 08:50:39 AM »
First, a word of warning...watch for any unusual neurological symptoms when supplementing with B6.  I suffered with increasing burning, skin-crawling sensations and tics/twitches for several years, along with a vibrating/buzzing sensation in my feet.  I had been taking some multivitamins every few days, including a B-50 complex.  Eventually, we checked my B6 levels and they were through the roof.  My endo and my neurologist both told me that quite a few people cannot clear B6 from their system in supplement form, despite it supposedly being water-soluble. 

Once I stopped taking the B-vitamins, my symptoms went away over about 3 months.

So be sure to measure your levels periodically.  Too much can be harmful. My endo said he wishes the vitamin industry would just take B6 out of B-complex and offer it only low dose on its own, because of the dangers of overdose.

Re: depression, I've had several serious episodes of it (though none for >10 years).   The absolute first line of defense is to cut sugar and carbs WAY down or out of your diet.  Insulin imbalance affects all kinds of processes, and mood as well. It also indirectly affects the functioning of other hormones, which affects mood.

Second, make sure you get aerobic exercise, every day if possible.  You should break a sweat for at least 10-15 minutes. (Trust me, when you are depressed, you won't want to, but it really helps).

Finally, try to get a minimum of 20-30 minutes of OUTSIDE DAYLIGHT every day. 

These have all worked to help me when I was in a deep depression, and to stave off several episodes when I was starting to slip.  Therapy and medication can be important, but if you aren't doing the three listed things, you'll be working against yourself and against any other productive steps.

Tuskalusa

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 09:04:44 AM »
Wenchsenior, thank you for this advice. Iím going to make these 3 things part of my New Years routine (cut carbs, get outside, exercise).

EngineeringFI

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 09:33:44 AM »
I would caution against cutting out ALL carbs, remember that up to 90% of the body's serotonin is produced in the digestive tract. I personally believe that maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is critical in mitigating depression. Our gut bacteria love to feed on soluble fiber and resistant starches, producing butyrate in the process, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid.

The benefits of reducing sugars and high-glycemic index carbs are very well established however so don't get all carb-crazy. I've had a lot of success with Tim Ferris' slow-carb diet, which emphasizes getting your carbs from sources like beans and veggies which come with a lot of fiber. On the weekend "cheat day" I add in some oats at breakfast, and a sweet potato or basmati rice later in the day (cooked, chilled, and then reheated to increase the resistant starch content) and maybe a granny smith apple with my evening glass of wine to give my gut some resistant starch. Dark chocolate (85%) is also a personal favorite source of fiber ;)

I can echo what others have said about the benefits of exercise, it's really incredible what regular exercise does for my mental health. I have also had good results from a sauna session after an intense workout. The health benefits of regular sauna use are pretty amazing: https://www.foundmyfitness.com/reports/sauna-report.pdf

wenchsenior

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 09:49:55 AM »
I would caution against cutting out ALL carbs, remember that up to 90% of the body's serotonin is produced in the digestive tract. I personally believe that maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is critical in mitigating depression. Our gut bacteria love to feed on soluble fiber and resistant starches, producing butyrate in the process, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid.

The benefits of reducing sugars and high-glycemic index carbs are very well established however so don't get all carb-crazy. I've had a lot of success with Tim Ferris' slow-carb diet, which emphasizes getting your carbs from sources like beans and veggies which come with a lot of fiber. On the weekend "cheat day" I add in some oats at breakfast, and a sweet potato or basmati rice later in the day (cooked, chilled, and then reheated to increase the resistant starch content) and maybe a granny smith apple with my evening glass of wine to give my gut some resistant starch. Dark chocolate (85%) is also a personal favorite source of fiber ;)

I can echo what others have said about the benefits of exercise, it's really incredible what regular exercise does for my mental health. I have also had good results from a sauna session after an intense workout. The health benefits of regular sauna use are pretty amazing: https://www.foundmyfitness.com/reports/sauna-report.pdf

Yes, excellent point. I wouldn't cut all carbs.  Just eat low glycemic...no extra sugar, and complex carbs in small amounts, always eaten with healthy fat or protein.  The easiest shorthand is to just cut out 'white carbs' (sugar, white bread, white rice, baked goods, potatoes, etc).

koshtra

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 09:50:23 AM »
As far as short-term emergency stopgap mood-lifters, I highly recommend resistance training. Do squats or lift something heavy till you can't do it any more.

There's plenty of good advice about dealing with depression, but most of it involves things that are going to pay off next week, or next year, and sometimes that's really not good enough. And like Wenchsenior said, GET OUTSIDE UNDER THE OPEN SKY. It will save your life.

Cali Nonya

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 09:54:04 AM »
Greenblat:

Are you asking for support from other people who have dealt with depression, or asking for recommendations?  If you are looking at recommendations, I think it's important to explain what the underlying drivers are (why you are now depressed, what changed?). 

I'm not throwing stones, but "depression" is not always a mental illness, and there are many publications on the over-prescription of anti-depressants.  Not saying it might not be the right thing, but just asking if everything was fine, and things in your life are still the same, and you are now not coping, or if there is something else driving this. 

I know for myself, if I went to a doctor with my current situation (tired, lack of focus, dreading the day, etc), they would most likely diagnose me as depressed (and I probably am), but it's just situational.  I relocated due to work, lost all my family and friend connections, and am in a job I am sucking at.  It's just the situation that I am dealing with (and in my case, I know what the problem is and am working on changing my situation). 

Khaetra

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2017, 11:13:12 AM »
I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and at times it can get pretty bad.  I too recommend getting out for some fresh air and sun (it really does help), making sure you drink plenty of water and get enough sleep (but not too much, as that's not helpful either).

begood

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2017, 11:46:29 AM »
I am the least hippy-dippy person on the planet, but I have been won over by the benefits of doing mindful exercise: yoga, tai chi, qi gong. I do some of each at a local fitness center. It's me (age 53) and a bunch of women in their 80s. I love watching them come day after day to do this good thing for their bodies and spirits. I find them very inspirational. I have noticed a pretty amazing shift in my thinking, from almost all negative to occasional negative with automatic positive response.

For example: Negative thought: "It's cold out. I don't want to go to the store." Response: "I can get my lunch stuff that I love and have my yummy lunch once I get home."

To me, there's no downside at all to using mindfulness activities - headspace, yoga, qi gong on YouTube - along with whatever other regimen you and your doctor find most effective. Western and Eastern practices can work in harmony.

OurTown

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2017, 11:50:51 AM »
Mindfulness meditation, specifically body-scan meditation, paying attention to any thoughts/feelings associated with a particular body region.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, with a therapist or as self-help.  CBT is loosely based on classical Stoicism (Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius), but with a modern, clinical basis.

Cwadda

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 11:52:03 AM »
When I was going through very rough patches of anxiety and depression, a big helper for me was the realization that I had chosen to feel a certain way, and chosen to not do something about it.  Realistically, people don't choose to be depressed.  But for some reason the idea that MY circumstances were a consequence of MY actions (and thoughts) really resonated within.  I could no longer blame external factors, I was fully in control of my own life.  I started to talk to people about things, form deeper relationships with friends, exercise a lot more, sought out therapy, etc. 

FIRE 20/20

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2017, 01:44:06 PM »
I have been coping with depression for over 25 years and have tried just about everything to treat it.  For two periods of time - once in high school and once very briefly in my late 30s - I needed medication to treat it effectively but I always had side-effects.  For the other years I had been using a combination of light therapy, healthy eating, exercise, walking outdoors, and other techniques I learned during therapy to minimize the symptoms, but it was always there in the background and I just lived with it.  About a year ago I started to hear about all of the scientific evidence for the benefits of mindfulness meditation and I decided to give it a try.  I am an atheist and hardcore skeptic with a physics degree, so I went in with a large dose of doubt along for the ride.  I didn't expect any benefits at all, much less anything significant.  However, meditation has absolutely changed my life.  For the first time in my entire adult life I have absolutely zero symptoms from depression.  I still feel like it may be a coincidence and I have a lingering fear that my depression may come back, but given the growing body of research that supports both the underlying brain changes as well as the observable impacts of meditation it seems likely that it's the meditation that kicked my depression to the curb. 
My favorite book on the subject is Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness by Susan Smalley and Diana Winston.  I like the 10% Happier app, but haven't tried Headspace.  I also went on a retreat at Spirit Rock in California that was fantastic.  I still can't believe that the words "meditation" and "Spirit Rock" are part of my vocabulary now because I have always had zero tolerance for anything remotely spiritual, but mindfulness meditation has been one of the best things that's happened to me and appears to be far better than drugs + exercise + light + time outdoors + other techniques for treating my depression.  It took about 2 months of 15 minutes / day (EVERY day) to really start to feel the benefits.  I'm about 9 months in now, and try to get a minimum of 10 minutes each day but I try to get in 30+ on weekend days and have another retreat (9 days!) already booked at a cheaper and closer retreat center. 
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 01:46:40 PM by FIRE 20/20 »

PhilB

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2017, 03:22:20 PM »
+1 on exercise, outdoor activities and CBT.  The CBT thing that helped me was the understanding that your thoughts, your feelings and your activities all interact with each other in what could be a vicious or a virtuous cycle,  and that much as you might want to change your thoughts and feelings, your activities is the only one you can really influence directly so that needs to be your principal line of attack.
Good luck in shaking the black dog.

wenchsenior

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2017, 03:58:58 PM »
Mindfulness meditation, specifically body-scan meditation, paying attention to any thoughts/feelings associated with a particular body region.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, with a therapist or as self-help.  CBT is loosely based on classical Stoicism (Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius), but with a modern, clinical basis.

Yes, to both of these.

big_slacker

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2017, 05:13:24 PM »
I am an atheist and hardcore skeptic with a physics degree, so I went in with a large dose of doubt along for the ride.  I didn't expect any benefits at all, much less anything significant.  However, meditation has absolutely changed my life. 

Same here. Atheist, tech dude, anti-woo woo, very skeptical. Meditation is the goods. Legitimately life changing for me.

acorn

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2017, 06:04:22 PM »
Combination of psychotherapy + meditation + self-help.

Most importantly, have a support group, find friends or family to confide in. Be honest with your therapist, he's not a mind-reader - if he doesn't know what you're truly thinking about, he can't help you. And if you're not connecting with the first psychologist you meet, try another one. I didn't connect with my first therapist, and I was going to give up psychotherapy and DIY it, until I decided to give it another go with a second therapist, and it really made all the difference.

I didn't have to use anti-depressants, but I believe it's the same - try different anti-depressants until you find something that works for you, don't give up hope.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to beating depression, you have to keep trying, till you find a psychologist and/or anti-depressants that work for you.

I also turned to lots of books on existentialism, existential psychotherapy, mindfulness/meditation, and listened to podcasts, e.g. The Mental Illness Happy Hour. What helped was an awareness that all thoughts and emotions are ephemeral and we let them persist longer by dwelling on them and feeding the negative thought patterns.

T-Money$

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2017, 06:30:14 PM »
1.   Clinical psychologist.   Therapy and social workers have helped me with depressive episodes in the past, but didn't find the root cause of the depression (why it kept coming back). 

2.  Meditation/Zen.   You are what you think.  When you are depressed your thoughts are chronically, uncontrollable and overly negative.   When I've come out of depression it's always shocking to get out of denial and realize how negative I really was.   

3.   Exercise.  Even if you don't feel like it, do it. 

4.  12-step program.  Human connection is extremely important and depression is isolating.   Even if you aren't an addict yourself, Adult Children of Alcoholics helps those people that come from addictive or dysfunctional families.  The 12-steps are wisdom to live by.

Best of luck.   I used to have episodes of depression.  I haven't in several years using the above recommendations. 

Each person's journey is unique.   There are no right answers.   If you are serious about your recovery you will find the path that works for you. 

Be easy on yourself, you've already been through a lot I'm sure.

middo

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2017, 07:14:32 PM »
CBT is the most effective method of dealing with depression.  Drugs can help, but are less effective.  Sunlight and activity can help, but CBT does more than anything.

If your therapist does not give mental exercises to do as homework, see another therapist.

Cressida

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2017, 08:42:07 PM »
I didn't have to use anti-depressants, but I believe it's the same - try different anti-depressants until you find something that works for you, don't give up hope.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to beating depression, you have to keep trying, till you find a psychologist and/or anti-depressants that work for you.

This was very much my experience. If you do go the route of prescription drugs, definitely don't give up after trying just one. (That's assuming you genuinely want to give the drugs a chance to work, that is; you can always give up after trying just one if you decide against drugs in general, and that's fine.)

DaMa

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2017, 11:22:31 PM »
Well, I'm basically going to repeat what others have said...

I took anti-depressants for 15 years and have been off for 1.5 years now.  I took one drug most of that time, but tried 4 others.  Don't be afraid to try different drugs.  It's about finding what balances your brain chemistry.  I really thought I'd be on them for life.  It was an experiment when I went off, but it turns out I had developed a strong set of coping skills.

Here are the things that work for me (and got me drug-free)
1.  Do not ruminate.  Grab a book, watch a movie, turn on music and dance around the house -- whatever it takes to get out of my head. 
2.  Regular sleep.  Insomnia is a huge issue for me, so I have sleep routine.  No electronics for 30 minutes or more before bed (except for my Kindle which is not backlit.)  I take a low does Ambien to help me fall asleep.  If I wake in the night, I grab my Kindle and read until I fall back to sleep.  If I start thinking about anything, I'll never go to sleep.  (I've been lowering the dose over the past 2 years, and am going to try to go without after the winter is over.)
3.  Regular exercise.  I try to walk for at least 30 minutes every day.
4.  Don't isolate.  I have to work at this one.  I joined a book club and a knitting group.  I made it point to schedule meet-ups (dinner, walk in the park, etc.) with friends.
5.  Eat healthy - cut sugar and simple carbs. I'm a food addict, so this one is tough to stick to, but when I do, I feel so much better.

Everything is overwhelming when you are in a depression episode.  Focus on one behavior at a time.  Add another when you are able.  Then another.

Look for a CBT therapist.  That's where I learned about #1.  If you don't feel like your making any progress after 4 sessions, try a different therapist.  I had 4 over the years.  Even one that works for you, might not after a while.  Don't be afraid to move to another.

koshtra

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2017, 12:16:43 PM »
I totally agree about drugs sometimes being useful, and that you don't necessarily hit the right one right away, but if you're taking one and decide to stop, follow directions about stopping them to the letter. Some of them you have to tail off gradually, or you risk psychotic episodes. Be aware of that and make sure the people close to you are aware of it.

FI4good

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2017, 12:51:05 PM »
Counselling was ok.

Another thing that helped I believe was a book by Dorothy Rowe called "depression: the way out of your prison"

learning about Buddhist thought such as Robina Courtin speaks about here :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc44T_rdeSI

Giving up drinking and getting my sleep apnea treated also helped with other bouts of dysthymia.

U.G. Krishnamurti was a help :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx8f76kuGAY

I found the corkscrew thinking of Nitzche's aphorisms useful for drawing my mind out from its own spiralling vortex

You may or may not find any of it useful , we're all different and i think it takes a variety of different things depending upon ones psychology and experience .

Good luck .

marshmallowaddict

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2017, 08:20:25 PM »
+1 to meditation. I use Headspace - I'm pretty close to a 15 day streak and I think that means I can share a 30 day free trial. Ping me if you are interested.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2017, 10:02:52 PM »
I have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder for most of my life and I started receiving treatment for it 9 years ago. I take a non-SSRI antidepressant medication that helps balance my brain chemicals. (Send me a private message if you would like to know which specific medication.) That's what got me up and moving enough so I could fix the situational problems that were exacerbating the situation.

In addition to the medication, I did a type of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a very active form of therapy which teaches you to think and behave more rationally by learning to connect your thoughts and beliefs to evidence. With CBT, you learn what feelings are reasonable and which feelings are produced by your illness, so you can better control them. CBT is connected to a philosophy called Stoicism and some people also connect it to the related religion of Christianity. You can get a CBT workbook called "Mind Over Mood" from Amazon used for about $2-3 and do the therapy on your own at home.

I also actively work to control my depression by exercising heavily. I exercise for about 15 hours per week, which includes multiple martial arts classes, bicycling, walking, skating, and doing physical chores around the house. Not only do the brain chemicals produced by exercise help my mood, I also feel better about myself because I have gotten into much better physical shape. It really helps with confidence and social interaction.

The key to combatting depression is forcing yourself to take care of your needs. You have to want to be healthy so badly that you are willing to do things that are uncomfortable to the point of being painful. But it can be done. I'm living proof of that.

wenchsenior

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2017, 11:31:35 AM »


In addition to the medication, I did a type of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a very active form of therapy which teaches you to think and behave more rationally by learning to connect your thoughts and beliefs to evidence. With CBT, you learn what feelings are reasonable and which feelings are produced by your illness, so you can better control them. CBT is connected to a philosophy called Stoicism and some people also connect it to the related religion of Christianity. You can get a CBT workbook called "Mind Over Mood" from Amazon used for about $2-3 and do the therapy on your own at home.



CBT is really great, especially if you suffer from anxiety as part of depression, or just are anxiety prone in general.

This is another great book.    https://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-Handbook-David-Burns/dp/0452281326/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3M3J528SMP099GTNT8F9

Chadbert

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2017, 03:48:49 PM »

Food. You are what you eat. If you're eating heavy, bad for you, processed crap you'll be low energy and promote cravings for more crap. If you eat mostly whole, natural foods that promote energy and vitality you put your body in the right state to avoid depression. Alcohol and excessive caffeine especially should be avoided.

My wife suffers from depression, and she does take meds, but she can’t take SSRI’s. She had found diet to be a huge help. She does not cook with any refined sugar or flour. We use maple syrup, agave and honey for sweeteners and whole wheat flour. We find a lot of our recipes from fad diet websites, some Paleo, some gluten free, some vegan and some from other healthy type sites. It makes a huge difference in her mood. Some days she can tell a big difference in mood if she has had potato chips.
The other thing that helps her is exercise, a half hour of cardio in the morning can make her day go so much better

rosarugosa

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2017, 04:21:04 PM »
I believe my partner suffers from depression.  Any wisdom to share about self-medicating with pot?

mozar

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2017, 08:22:53 PM »
What I've heard about medical marijuana is that it is good for anxiety and not good for depression*. So it depends what you are trying to treat.

*Read some studies, I'm not a doctor.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2017, 08:27:25 PM »
I believe my partner suffers from depression.  Any wisdom to share about self-medicating with pot?

Self-medicating is not a good idea, but depending on the situation some doctors will prescribe it for people suffering from issues like anxiety and depression. I would have your partner check with a professional to be safe. You wouldn't want to end up failing to treat the situation correctly by choosing the wrong medication.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2017, 10:20:42 AM »
What I've heard about medical marijuana is that it is good for anxiety and not good for depression*. So it depends what you are trying to treat.

*Read some studies, I'm not a doctor.

Agreed.  I am not a doctor and did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I have no real evidence to bring to this question.  However the little bit that I've read seems to correlate marijuana use with depression so it seems like a bad idea.  Here's a link I found after a quick google search - again, it sounds like this isn't something that is recommended:
https://cannabissupport.com.au/news/weed-watch-blog/2016/august-2016/five-reasons-not-to-treat-depression-with-weed/

suzziesnow

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2017, 10:51:15 AM »
I am not sure where you are from but I always use a light box first thing in the morning while having my coffee this time of year. We have what seems like a million days with no sun.  It really helps with the blues. I also try to stay busy doing things "I" enjoy.

Yankuba

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2017, 12:30:33 PM »
Some tip of the spear methods of treating depression are Botox injections, magnets and Ketamine. Otherwise you have what everyone mentioned -  pills, therapy, good diet, exercise, sleep, sex, sunlight, accupuncture, meditation, prayer, service to others.

Pills are the easiest route but it can take a long time to find the one that works for you. Therapy does nothing for me. CBT was a bust for me.

Some people swear by Magnesium supplements but the ones that were recommended had some scary side effects and withdrawal symptoms so I stayed away. Reddit has a lot of threads on Magnesium.

My psychiatrist does not recommend pot for anxiety or depression.

asosharp

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2018, 10:46:56 PM »
I admit that I did have depression and anxiety, but that was also because I was holding a repressed memory that made me really sad (cos it was awful). I took time off to deal with it and regularly went to the psych. The psych said I was like the most determined patient to get out of the funk and also did 'homework' in my spare time to understand it and get over it (noting that I did also understand it takes time to process it).

I would say what helped me the most was going to the psych. I never took any medication and I would have refused to anyway. Also processing it by doing lots of reading, writing (as opposed to typing) my feelings out, and trying to take steps to take care of myself e.g. walking, going out to see friends or going to events just so I wouldn't be stuck at home not wanting to do anything.

Church was another thing that saved me. I didn't want to go at first but I had this moment where I felt like God was calling me but I couldn't sustain going to church maybe because I was afraid or whatever. But as it turned out, there was one night that I begged God to give me a sign so I knew that all was not lost and believe it or not the next day a sign actually literally came in the mail and it wasn't like, "Go to X church today!" but it was just a general all hope is not lost flyer with action steps and a prayer. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it.

I asked my friend who literally lives around the corner from me if she got the flyer and she said no.

Now that I'm so much better, I help out at church to give thanks to God for the literal sign that saved my life.

I guess what I'm saying here is don't give up. I might have had a mega conversion and of course the sign won't appear for everyone (or if it does you might reject it cos your heart/mind isn't open). It could be other things like doing sports to help you not only get out there but get all the seratonin pumping to make you happier. Or a combination of eating healthy, exercise, reading... doing whatever makes you happier that isn't a negative like drugs or alcohol.

Also people on this thread also recommend CBT, my psych used CBT and another method. However I have a friend who has severe depression because her parents were abusive throughout her entire life so her psych uses another method called schema (I think). I have no idea what that means but it seems to work for her.

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2018, 12:41:41 AM »
My mild depression is currently being treated with meditation and exercise. The problem is that this month health has prevented me from exercising (illness, surgery, illness) so I've had a pretty bad spiral.

My doctor isn't happy with the side effects of the medicines available to me while nursing, and a number of papers put exercise as effective as medication. However, once I'm not nursing (other) medication will be easier and more stable. I'll keep exercising for me though.

I do therapy, but it is now limited. I did some EMDR, but that was more for my PTSD. Otherwise, just talk therapy, but she is the one who brought up meditation. My therapist is not a doctor and cannot prescribe medication.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 06:44:21 AM by iowajes »

pigpen

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2018, 06:14:36 AM »
Another vote for meditation combined with therapy.

Schaefer Light

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2018, 06:26:45 AM »


In addition to the medication, I did a type of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a very active form of therapy which teaches you to think and behave more rationally by learning to connect your thoughts and beliefs to evidence. With CBT, you learn what feelings are reasonable and which feelings are produced by your illness, so you can better control them. CBT is connected to a philosophy called Stoicism and some people also connect it to the related religion of Christianity. You can get a CBT workbook called "Mind Over Mood" from Amazon used for about $2-3 and do the therapy on your own at home.



CBT is really great, especially if you suffer from anxiety as part of depression, or just are anxiety prone in general.

This is another great book.    https://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-Handbook-David-Burns/dp/0452281326/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3M3J528SMP099GTNT8F9

That is a really good book.  It's been very helpful to me.  I've also been helped by the writings of Albert Ellis.  He's considered a "Rational Emotive Therapist" (or RET for short), which seems very similar to CBT.  The key is to not just read the books, but to make a routine practice of doing the suggested exercises.

As previously mentioned, CBT / RET seem to have a lot in common with the ancient Stoic philosophy.  The main point is that the way we think about things tends to create most of our problems.  If our thoughts are "irrational", then we'll be upset/angry/depressed/anxious quite often.

Milizard

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2018, 09:54:08 AM »
My parents took me to a shrink as a tween, and I was put on my first anti-depressant at that time.  I've never been on any for too long, and I've tried many different ones.  It's usually been mild, while the worse periods were due to specific situations.  During my longest stretch of taking anti-depressants ( a couple years), I was in a shitty job that I hated.  In retrospect, I really should have just found a different job.  All this to say, I've dealt with this for a very long time. You've already gotten a lot of great advice here.  I just wanted to caution you on pot.  I've tried it, not as a treatment, but as a social thing.  It brought on terrible depression/attitude as a side-effect a day or 2 later.  Despite what pot-lovers might tell you, it's not great for everything or for everybody.

EmFrugal

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2018, 02:22:10 PM »
Meditation. It has changed my life and outlook in exponential ways. But the key is to practice as consistently as possible. I personally practice daily and often 2-3 times a day for 10-15 minutes each.

These are the resources that kick started my journey:
-Surrender Meditation by Jason Stephenson (a guided audio meditation free on Youtube)
-Leo Babauta's 44 Training Program (a free guided video meditation program led by the author of Zen Habits)
-Sharon Salzberg's "Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation" (can be checked out at the library). This is the book that taught me how to meditate on my own without someone guiding me.

Wishing you all the best (and much peace and fulfillment in your life)!

Lance Burkhart

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2018, 02:33:49 PM »


In addition to the medication, I did a type of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a very active form of therapy which teaches you to think and behave more rationally by learning to connect your thoughts and beliefs to evidence. With CBT, you learn what feelings are reasonable and which feelings are produced by your illness, so you can better control them. CBT is connected to a philosophy called Stoicism and some people also connect it to the related religion of Christianity. You can get a CBT workbook called "Mind Over Mood" from Amazon used for about $2-3 and do the therapy on your own at home.



CBT is really great, especially if you suffer from anxiety as part of depression, or just are anxiety prone in general.

This is another great book.    https://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-Handbook-David-Burns/dp/0452281326/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3M3J528SMP099GTNT8F9

That is a really good book.  It's been very helpful to me.  I've also been helped by the writings of Albert Ellis.  He's considered a "Rational Emotive Therapist" (or RET for short), which seems very similar to CBT.  The key is to not just read the books, but to make a routine practice of doing the suggested exercises.

As previously mentioned, CBT / RET seem to have a lot in common with the ancient Stoic philosophy.  The main point is that the way we think about things tends to create most of our problems.  If our thoughts are "irrational", then we'll be upset/angry/depressed/anxious quite often.

Another vote for Burns.  To the OP, get "Feeling Good" and try bibliotherapy for several months before trying a therapist.  Most therapists do not use any form of CBT even if they claim to and aren't worth what you pay them.  In Burns' book on anxiety, he proves that there are no such thing as antidepressant medications.   Burns expands on Albert Ellis' work.

Flyingkea

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2018, 05:56:41 PM »
Just wanted to say thanks for starting this thread. Not sure if depressed, but definitely have anxiety, which has flared up in a big way recently.
Been unable to exercise lately (pregnant and I start getting faint if I stand for too long. Or start throwing up!) so these are good reminders to do things like meditations.

I had started off listening to The Honest Guys on youtube - I used to be terrible at going to sleep, would fight to stay awake, but now I go down in just a few minutes. Will start listening to some of their other recordings.

SimpleCycle

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Re: on dealing with depression...
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2018, 07:15:44 PM »
Your approach really depends on how severe and how frequent your depressive episodes are.  I had somewhat frequent, life threatening depressive episodes that were getting worse each time I had one.  So I have definitely used medication, and still do.  It took a bit to balance effectiveness with side effects.  It’s definitely something you can tweak if you want to try meds again, or they become a necessary part of your treatment.

But because my depression was so serious, it means I have had to use a lot of tools to get back to wellness.  The most helpful for me personally was DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), which is a group therapy that combines mindfulness and CBT principles.  The mindfulness aspect helped me a lot.

The other thing that has helped tremendously is reducing stress.  During the worst of my illness I was in a very demanding job that was not a good fit.  I actually took some time on disability to recover, and when my FMLA ran out, I didn’t go back.  I found a new job that was lower stress, and also worked on the parts of my relationship with my spouse that caused us both a lot of stress.

One thing that is interesting is that self-help/bibliotherapy has decent evidence of effectiveness for mild to moderate depression.

https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2013/april/bibliotherapy-for-depression/

I hope you find some things that work and are feeling better soon.