Author Topic: Therapy for depression?  (Read 4918 times)

GoConfidently

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Therapy for depression?
« on: September 26, 2016, 07:26:53 PM »
Hey. So just writing that subject was painful, but I'm at the point where I don't think I can ignore it any longer and hope it will go away. I am deeply dissatisfied with my life and chalked it up to wanting more or wanting something different but I'm pretty sure it's just depression. I would really like to handle this with therapy instead of drugs at least initially. I'm not sure what kind of therapist to look for or how to choose a good one. I'm terrified of what the first session will be like. I just don't know what to expect from the whole therapy thing, but I need help and I'm finally ready to do the hard work. Anyone have advice on how to go about finding the right therapist and what to expect?

LeRainDrop

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 07:53:27 PM »
If you have a primary care doctor, I would ask them if they know a few therapists that they can recommend to you.  They should be able to give you perhaps 1-3 names.  You could also try asking trusted friends and family members if they can recommend anyone.  Take those names and search around online for them -- some may have websites or other reviews that you can read to get a first impression, but it's also not uncommon to discover there's not much information about them online.  Give each office a call as a potential new patient and ask to get some initial questions answered by the therapist.  Is there one of them you seem to have a better rapport with than the others?  Someone who makes you feel more comfortable and at ease?  Pick that person.  Here some general information from the American Psychological Association that may help you get started:  http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/choose-therapist.aspx

Once you've had a few sessions, you may find that supplementing with medication could be a next step, or you may find that the talk therapy alone is working well enough.  Use your therapist as a partner in this treatment plan.  When you're going through this, it's really a great first step to recognize that you need help with talking through the issues on your mind, so good for you to beginning the process.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2016, 08:53:57 AM »
Primary care providers often have therapists they refer to and increasingly there are therapists co-located in the same practice as your PCP which can be quite helpful!  Most states also have a state psychological association and depending on the state you can search for providers through their website (just google [your state] psychology association).  I also believe that psychology today as a therapist directory, although I don't know how accurate or useful it is.

When calling potential therapists I would make sure they are using therapy approaches that have research that support their effectiveness for treating depression.  Unfortunately there are all too many therapists/counselors/etc. that are happy to take your money while providing unvalidated treatments.  The American Psychological Association has a list of the evidence-based treatments for specific disorders - here's their link for depression: http://www.div12.org/psychological-treatments/disorders/depression/ As you'll see there are a variety of potential treatments, many of which have strong research evidence that they are effective. 

Be sure to ask the provider what types of treatment they provide BEFORE going in for an initial meeting (as you'll pay for that initial meeting regardless of whether you want to work with that provider).  If they can't tell you their approach or describe something that doesn't match up with the research based approaches find another provider.  The therapist may give you a few treatment approaches that they are trained in and tell you they will work with you to select the appropriate one.  This is also a good response (as long as those options are research based) and lets you know that the provider is flexible and responsive to your needs - no one therapy is perfect and often it is a matter of matching to your needs.

Good luck!  Depression is a very treatable disorder and therapy can make a huge difference.  I think the hardest part is where you're at - recognizing that things are not ok and that you need some additional help.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2016, 09:10:51 AM »
Sorry I keep pouring info your way.  Just noticed you also wanted to know what to expect in therapy. 

Typically you will go in for an initial intake or assessment.  During this meeting the therapist will ask you a lot more questions than is typical and often this meeting is a bit longer than your therapy sessions will be.  They are gathering information to give you an accurate diagnosis and to find out even within a diagnosis what specific areas are most troubling for you.  They will do this by interviewing you and potentially by having your complete some paper-pencil questionnaires.  If they are a good provider they will also try to get to know you a bit - a little bit about your history, interests, current family situation, etc.  Based on that evaluation they should share their findings with you (i.e., the diagnosis they believe you have) and discuss treatment option(s).  If for some reason your diagnosis is something that they do not treat they would refer you to another provider.  Almost all therapists treat depression, so if that is your diagnosis then you should not be referred elsewhere.

After that initial meeting you will begin therapy at the next appointment (if you agree to continue to meet with the provider).  This will vary a bit depending on the specific treatment, but in general the first therapy session is more educational - helping you understand your diagnosis, what specifically you can expect from the specific therapy, and how that therapy approach will work.  Most treatments require you to do work outside of the therapy session - that could include practicing new skills, tracking your mood/behavior/thoughts, completing worksheets that help you think through your problem in a new way, etc.  Those specifics vary from treatment to treatment.  The length of treatment depends on the specific therapy being used, your symptoms (including how severe they are to begin with), and your progress/goals.  Most therapies last between 8 - 15 sessions (although treatment can last longer or shorter than that).

Hope this helps!!  Also feel free to PM me if you want.

Spork

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2016, 09:27:02 AM »
I think different styles of therapy work for different folks.  For me, someone was kind enough to recommend I look for a cognitive therapist, which really seemed to mesh well with my ways of thinking.  It was kind, yet (gently) confrontational when I clearly was thinking incorrectly.  There was no "there, there, now, this is not your fault".  It was more of a "nope, you can't think that way.  You need to change that."

Don't discount drugs... but... they don't fix you.  The best case is that some of the antidepressants take the edge off while you work on the real problem.
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Ganon91

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2016, 10:12:27 AM »
Lifelong sufferer of MDD here.

Recently started taking 2/ day Turmeric (500mg) w/ Black pepper (5mg). Completely changed my life. After 3 days of taking it my MDD symptoms simply disappeared. Asymptomatic ever since. Allegedly this combination acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Hope it helps you as much as it helps me.
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Yankuba

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2016, 10:13:47 AM »
Therapists and psychologists advertise in Psychology Today (online) - they also give you an idea of what they treat, their strengths, etc.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 10:27:06 AM by Yankuba »

letired

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2016, 10:24:00 AM »
+1 to Psychology Today. Their therapist listings are extensive, and helpful when my GP's referrals didn't pan out. As a note, if you call someone, and you do not get an immediate call back within a business day, cross them off your list. Better yet, make multiple calls at once. This will help keep your momentum going, and help keep you from falling into inaction.

Another step you can take is check out some of the books from this thread. I've found that even reading a bit about cognitive behavioral therapy/therapies was very helpful, both in helping me recognize 'unhelpful'/'incorrect' thoughts and also helping me to feel like there was something I could DO about how I was feeling. For me, one of the worst parts of depression is the feeling of helplessness/hopelessness, that I will always feel like this, that there is no way to change it, etc. Even a little bit of reading gave me a better toolset to start addressing those thoughts and feelings, and while I don't necessarily feel out of the woods, I feel like I'm making progress.

AlanStache

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2016, 10:46:37 AM »
I found it painfully hard to just figure out what type of shrink I wanted to talk to but once navigated it has been invaluable to have someone to talk to.  Stick with it. 
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GoConfidently

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2016, 10:56:32 AM »
Thank you all so much for your responses. I'm so grateful for the links and encouragement.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2016, 10:57:34 AM »

Another step you can take is check out some of the books from this thread.

This thread has a mix of helpful and sound advice as well as more off the wall advice.  Make sure you research things before you spend time / $$ on it.

Beware of "instant cures" or things that just don't make sense (for example, why would smelling lemons or wearing a magnetic bracelet cure my depression??).  Also be wary of supplements, special diets / detoxes.  People with certain vitamin deficiencies can get depression-like symptoms, but don't just go out and blow $$ on supplements - have your PCP do some blood work and if you're actually deficient then the vitamins will help, otherwise you're just making expensive urine.

Lastly, I second Spork - don't necessarily discount medications - when most people think of meds they think of someone drooling, zombie-like, completely unlike themselves.  This isn't true of the majority of psych meds (especially those for depression).  There's no pressure to take them, but maybe hear your PCP or whoever out (including a good discussion of potential side effects and benefits) before ruling them out.

rosaz

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2016, 11:46:21 AM »
+2 for Psychology Today - especially because you can email them (which for me meant a lot less phone tag where every time I had to step away from my desk). I'd advise looking for therapists near you, reviewing ones who might be compatible, and just blasting out at least half a dozen emails in one sitting. If you'll need evening/weekend hours, ask that right in the first email. As someone said above, it's super important to keep the momentum going.

One more point - I know we're all mustachians here, but in case you ever forget (I know I sometimes did), we're in it for higher quality of life. So yes, vet your therapists as much as possible before the session, etc., but if after several sessions, the therapist isn't working for you, please give yourself permission to find a new one, and don't look at it as money lost. It's very well worth it.

Juneboogie

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2016, 02:19:41 PM »
A psychiatrist here.  Just wanted to add:  there is a lot of good evidence now for exercise as a treatment for depression.  Also, 15-20 minutes of sunlight (or full-spectrum light indoors) right after wakng up is very helpful.  While you are sorting through your therapy options you can do those things without a prescription & with minumum (if any) side effects.  Good luck, & hang in there.  Treatment does work.

GoConfidently

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2016, 05:04:31 PM »
A psychiatrist here.  Just wanted to add:  there is a lot of good evidence now for exercise as a treatment for depression.  Also, 15-20 minutes of sunlight (or full-spectrum light indoors) right after wakng up is very helpful.  While you are sorting through your therapy options you can do those things without a prescription & with minumum (if any) side effects.  Good luck, & hang in there.  Treatment does work.

Yes to this. I've been "self-medicating" with running lately and it makes me feel so much better and more settled. I just can't run every time the brain cycle of negativity starts, so I need some more coping mechanisms. I have a lot of shit to unpack and I've been leaning on one friend probably too much. I need an outside perspective, one that's not afraid to call me out on my bullshit and tell me to stop being a self-defeatist negative Nancy every time some little thing doesn't go according to plan.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2016, 08:28:55 PM »
I need an outside perspective, one that's not afraid to call me out on my bullshit and tell me to stop being a self-defeatist negative Nancy every time some little thing doesn't go according to plan.

Yup, that's the kind that helps me best, too.  Most of the time, I don't want to just be placated; I want to be challenged and grow.

wenchsenior

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2016, 08:27:32 AM »
A psychiatrist here.  Just wanted to add:  there is a lot of good evidence now for exercise as a treatment for depression.  Also, 15-20 minutes of sunlight (or full-spectrum light indoors) right after wakng up is very helpful.  While you are sorting through your therapy options you can do those things without a prescription & with minumum (if any) side effects.  Good luck, & hang in there.  Treatment does work.


I've had 3 rounds of serious depression, and a few low grade episodes as well.

I agree with the above, and also make sure your diet is good. Try cutting down on sugar and simple carbs...they screw with your endocrine system, which can affect hormones and mood.

I do MUCH better in sunnier climates, and also if I make a real effort to get outside in sun for 20-30 minutes each day. Morning is best, but anytime is better than nothing. If the weather or my schedule is not workable for that, then I use a full spectrum light for at least an hour any day I have to be inside.

I found cognitive therapy to be extremely helpful with my tendency to negative and self-critical thinking, perfectionism, dwelling/hamster-wheel thoughts, and to chill out my anxiety over things I can't control. It's been about 15 years since I had a truly bad 'patch' and I've gotten much better over the years at digging out of bad moods before they escalate.

OP might want to give ct a try if any of those apply.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2016, 04:54:21 PM »
I do MUCH better in sunnier climates, and also if I make a real effort to get outside in sun for 20-30 minutes each day. Morning is best, but anytime is better than nothing. If the weather or my schedule is not workable for that, then I use a full spectrum light for at least an hour any day I have to be inside.

I found cognitive therapy to be extremely helpful with my tendency to negative and self-critical thinking, perfectionism, dwelling/hamster-wheel thoughts, and to chill out my anxiety over things I can't control. It's been about 15 years since I had a truly bad 'patch' and I've gotten much better over the years at digging out of bad moods before they escalate.

OP might want to give ct a try if any of those apply.

+1  Samesies.

Letj

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2016, 06:13:08 PM »
A psychiatrist here.  Just wanted to add:  there is a lot of good evidence now for exercise as a treatment for depression.  Also, 15-20 minutes of sunlight (or full-spectrum light indoors) right after wakng up is very helpful.  While you are sorting through your therapy options you can do those things without a prescription & with minumum (if any) side effects.  Good luck, & hang in there.  Treatment does work.

My advice would be to exhaust all possible remedies that does not involve taking meds. That should be your very last option. I've found that yoga, meditation and mindfulness to be very effective in getting rid of anxiety. I was so completed surprised at how effective they were that I kept asking myself why wasn't I open to these in the past? Also, don't underestimate the effect of a change in perspective that can be cultivated overtime. I recommend reading the Untethered Soul; could definitely help with changing the way you relate to your thoughts.

Yes to this. I've been "self-medicating" with running lately and it makes me feel so much better and more settled. I just can't run every time the brain cycle of negativity starts, so I need some more coping mechanisms. I have a lot of shit to unpack and I've been leaning on one friend probably too much. I need an outside perspective, one that's not afraid to call me out on my bullshit and tell me to stop being a self-defeatist negative Nancy every time some little thing doesn't go according to plan.

GoConfidently

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2016, 07:45:03 PM »
A psychiatrist here.  Just wanted to add:  there is a lot of good evidence now for exercise as a treatment for depression.  Also, 15-20 minutes of sunlight (or full-spectrum light indoors) right after wakng up is very helpful.  While you are sorting through your therapy options you can do those things without a prescription & with minumum (if any) side effects.  Good luck, & hang in there.  Treatment does work.

My advice would be to exhaust all possible remedies that does not involve taking meds. That should be your very last option. I've found that yoga, meditation and mindfulness to be very effective in getting rid of anxiety. I was so completed surprised at how effective they were that I kept asking myself why wasn't I open to these in the past? Also, don't underestimate the effect of a change in perspective that can be cultivated overtime. I recommend reading the Untethered Soul; could definitely help with changing the way you relate to your thoughts.
Thank you for the book recommendation. No disrespect to those who use medication, but I've been down that path before (many years ago) and I felt like it just made me numb and blanketed the problem instead of fixing it. That's why I'm looking for something different and I've heard a lot of good things about therapy. I'll try meditation again as well, but I have difficulty turning off my brain so it always feels like an exercise in futility.

Letj

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2016, 07:50:45 PM »
That's what meditation and mindfulness is for; to help you turn off your thoughts. Check out the videos on YouTube.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2016, 08:09:47 PM »
A book that I've seen recommended on this forum so many times, and which I have since read, is one I think may be helpful for you.  I would suggest you get it in hard copy rather than electronic format, though, because there are lots of charts and exercises that are really hard to see in the electronic format.  It's called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, and it's by renowned psychiatrist David Burns.

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2016, 03:24:07 AM »
My wife suffered from mild depression for years and severe depression after the birth of our third child.  A mix of therapy and medication has helped dramatically.  She had to try many different meds to find a mix that works for her.  A good therapist that you like can be a huge help as well.  She has a pretty awesome husband, so that has been a help to her too.  ; )
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BallerOnABudget

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2016, 08:16:20 AM »
OP - how did you reach the point of acknowledging the problem and deciding to seek treatment? I'm a stage or two behind you in that I experience depression symptoms, but still dismiss them or rationalize them away. I'm struggling with the stigma attached to talking about feelings, depression, etc, and in fact I haven't confided in anybody in my personal life. Trying to "get over it" or "power through" keeps winning out over all other possible strategies. I compare it to being 15 and wanting to ask someone out - you know you have nothing to lose and she'll probably say yes, but you just...can't. Plus I hear about problems other people have that are way worse than mine, so I convince myself I'm just being whiny.

I'd be curious to hear from others what sparked you to take action.

DK

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2016, 08:29:34 AM »
Hit up a doc. Should be able to help.

Don't discount medication if it makes you feel better.

Don't discount potential deficiencies either (vit d, omega 3, etc)

rosaz

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2016, 02:19:27 PM »
I'd be curious to hear from others what sparked you to take action.

I have a daughter and I realized I was being a crappy parent.

Sometimes it's easier to do for other people what you're not willing to do for yourself.

therethere

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2016, 02:22:17 PM »
In response to light therapy, can I just get a full spectrum light bulb for a lamp and have it on during my coffee in the morning? Anyone have a reference for any guidelines for use (timing, length of session, distance etc.)? I might DIY a therapy SAD light prior to the winter.
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GoConfidently

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2016, 05:52:58 PM »
OP - how did you reach the point of acknowledging the problem and deciding to seek treatment? I'm a stage or two behind you in that I experience depression symptoms, but still dismiss them or rationalize them away. I'm struggling with the stigma attached to talking about feelings, depression, etc, and in fact I haven't confided in anybody in my personal life. Trying to "get over it" or "power through" keeps winning out over all other possible strategies. I compare it to being 15 and wanting to ask someone out - you know you have nothing to lose and she'll probably say yes, but you just...can't. Plus I hear about problems other people have that are way worse than mine, so I convince myself I'm just being whiny.

I'd be curious to hear from others what sparked you to take action.

I'm still not at the stage where I've confided in people in real life. Even my friend who I confide many of my worries/thoughts to doesn't know the full spectrum. It was a combination of two things. First, another friend confided in me that he had gone to therapy and found it incredibly helpful. That stuck in the back of my brain for a long time - just knowing someone in real life who had a good experience made me think more positively about therapy in general. The real turning point though was a few weeks ago when I was driving to work and started having thoughts of being in a car accident. Not because I was close to being in one, but more like if I was it would give me the opportunity to stay home. I know that kind of thinking isn't rational. It was too close to self-harmful or suicidal ideation for my own comfort. Frankly, it scared me and I knew I could continue to be unhappy and have destructive thoughts or I could get help. I decided to choose help because I don't want to feel like this for another month or year or more. I desperately want to be happy, most of the time and not just occasionally. I think everyone deserves that, including me and I'm the only one who can take the steps to get me there. If therapy doesn't work, I've lost a little time and money. But if it does, I will gain so much. I hope you find the strategies and help you need to seek treatment too. We can be therapy buddies. My first appointment is in just under two weeks. Make yours and we'll share stories.

lemondirgopie

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2016, 06:12:02 PM »
Check out Linda Barsi's YouTube channel. She talks a lot about mental health in a very approachable way.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpOEh6RjExk

GoConfidently

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2016, 06:39:33 PM »
Check out Linda Barsi's YouTube channel. She talks a lot about mental health in a very approachable way.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpOEh6RjExk

This was brilliant! Thanks :)

wenchsenior

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2016, 08:44:59 AM »
In response to light therapy, can I just get a full spectrum light bulb for a lamp and have it on during my coffee in the morning? Anyone have a reference for any guidelines for use (timing, length of session, distance etc.)? I might DIY a therapy SAD light prior to the winter.

I think a full spectrum light bulb would definitely be better than nothing. However, I personally need very bright light for it to work, and a standard bulb isn't bright enough for me. I use the Verilux desk lamp (~90$), which is no way the brightest you can go, but much brighter than a regular light bulb.

No harm in experimenting though. Maybe if you swapped out a few full spectrum bulbs all over your work/living space...that might make a difference. I haven't tried it. I go outside as much as possible, and if not possible I blast myself with light from about 2.5 feet from my face, at an angle of about 2 o'clock (so that I can see my computer screen without squinting) for at least an hour per day, more if I'm feeling 'down'.

All I know is, for years (even when no serious depression developed), I would have mini-episodes of sliding off the edge always starting in February, which no matter how terrible I felt I knew would go away by April as I got more sun. In the past 3 years of light therapy, that hasn't happened. I've felt normal all year.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2016, 09:44:03 AM »
In response to light therapy, can I just get a full spectrum light bulb for a lamp and have it on during my coffee in the morning? Anyone have a reference for any guidelines for use (timing, length of session, distance etc.)? I might DIY a therapy SAD light prior to the winter.

I think a full spectrum light bulb would definitely be better than nothing. However, I personally need very bright light for it to work, and a standard bulb isn't bright enough for me. I use the Verilux desk lamp (~90$), which is no way the brightest you can go, but much brighter than a regular light bulb.

No harm in experimenting though. Maybe if you swapped out a few full spectrum bulbs all over your work/living space...that might make a difference. I haven't tried it. I go outside as much as possible, and if not possible I blast myself with light from about 2.5 feet from my face, at an angle of about 2 o'clock (so that I can see my computer screen without squinting) for at least an hour per day, more if I'm feeling 'down'.

All I know is, for years (even when no serious depression developed), I would have mini-episodes of sliding off the edge always starting in February, which no matter how terrible I felt I knew would go away by April as I got more sun. In the past 3 years of light therapy, that hasn't happened. I've felt normal all year.

I'd see a professional before investing in something like this.  This poster describes a specific type of depression, seasonal affective disorder, which is depression the occurs almost exclusively in the winter months.  If you don't have that type of depression this treatment would not likely be useful and thus a waste of money (just to be clear - light therapy is effective, but only for those with seasonal depression).  Talk with a professional before spending too much money.  There are lots of free (exercise, spending time in the sun) and pretty low cost options (reading Feeling Good - +1 to this recommendation) presented here already - focus on those and save your money for treatments recommended by a professional who knows how to tailor treatment for you.

wenchsenior

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2016, 10:53:30 AM »
In response to light therapy, can I just get a full spectrum light bulb for a lamp and have it on during my coffee in the morning? Anyone have a reference for any guidelines for use (timing, length of session, distance etc.)? I might DIY a therapy SAD light prior to the winter.

I think a full spectrum light bulb would definitely be better than nothing. However, I personally need very bright light for it to work, and a standard bulb isn't bright enough for me. I use the Verilux desk lamp (~90$), which is no way the brightest you can go, but much brighter than a regular light bulb.

No harm in experimenting though. Maybe if you swapped out a few full spectrum bulbs all over your work/living space...that might make a difference. I haven't tried it. I go outside as much as possible, and if not possible I blast myself with light from about 2.5 feet from my face, at an angle of about 2 o'clock (so that I can see my computer screen without squinting) for at least an hour per day, more if I'm feeling 'down'.

All I know is, for years (even when no serious depression developed), I would have mini-episodes of sliding off the edge always starting in February, which no matter how terrible I felt I knew would go away by April as I got more sun. In the past 3 years of light therapy, that hasn't happened. I've felt normal all year.

I'd see a professional before investing in something like this.  This poster describes a specific type of depression, seasonal affective disorder, which is depression the occurs almost exclusively in the winter months.  If you don't have that type of depression this treatment would not likely be useful and thus a waste of money (just to be clear - light therapy is effective, but only for those with seasonal depression).  Talk with a professional before spending too much money.  There are lots of free (exercise, spending time in the sun) and pretty low cost options (reading Feeling Good - +1 to this recommendation) presented here already - focus on those and save your money for treatments recommended by a professional who knows how to tailor treatment for you.

I'm all for seeing a professional. I'm just pointing out a decades long pattern that I identified in  MY depressive tendencies, and 90$ for a lamp/bulbs that last several years was cheaper and more effective than paying a lot more than that for therapy. I'm in NO way implying that someone who doesn't know they have an SAD pattern should just buy a light and assume they are fixed and don't need treatment.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2016, 11:37:11 AM »
Cognitive behavioral therapy is often a great form of treatment for depression – it focuses on helping you to learn coping skills, identify destructive thought patterns so you can remedy them, etc. This is very different than just old school talk therapy where you pay someone listen to you blather on. A good clinical psychologist performing cog behavioral therapy will hear your complaints, concerns, and then turn it back to you to do something about it. So if you spend the first 20 min of your session talking about how you hate your job, a good therapist will say “okay, I think I’ve heard you. Sounds like there are some real problems with your job. What should we do about it for the time being?” They will push you to make changes, set short and long term goals, practice coping skills, and generally try to help you figure out how to navigate this challenging time in your life in a productive and healthy manner.

There is stigma around therapy but there really shouldn't be. Therapy is really more about gaining perspective than it is about fixing something that is wrong with you. When we didn’t know the answer as a child, we asked adults. When we were unsure of how to interpret a cutie’s romantic advances in our early 20s, we asked our friends for their thoughts and interpretations. New parents frantically call up their parents or friends with kids when they have a question about the new baby. At work, if we don't know how to do something we ask our manager or a more senior coworker who knows the ropes. Seeking out a therapist is the same thing – you are looking for a different perspective to help you figure out what to do next. Seeking knowledge from others, particularly those in an authority position, is an innate part of being human. People used to go to their elders, shamans, herbalists, and religious leaders for advice on everything from sex and love to happiness and the meaning of life. Today we go to therapists. No biggie.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 11:39:40 AM by little_brown_dog »

Making Cookies

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2016, 11:48:21 AM »
Don't know if what i have to share will help but here goes anyhow:

Exercise and a good diet.

Don't socially isolate yourself too much.

When I was self-employed doing repetitive tasks I found myself getting stuck on ideas that might have been partly correct but I'd dwell on them until I got myself into an unnecessary funk about things and people.

Problems with relationships that I could not repair. I became fixated on the problems and I was not seeking solutions or alternatives to those relationships.

Okay my situation with Jane is broken, can't fix it - I need to move on.

Nope - I would get fixated on what Jane said or did and just stew. Little problems because big problems. Worse if I tried to address those problems head on.

I'm much happier staying busy and mentally active. Now careful not to let that part of my brain idle too much. Both components are important.

I wish alot of success to you. Let us know what you learn.

MVal

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2016, 11:53:20 AM »
Lifelong sufferer of MDD here.

Recently started taking 2/ day Turmeric (500mg) w/ Black pepper (5mg). Completely changed my life. After 3 days of taking it my MDD symptoms simply disappeared. Asymptomatic ever since. Allegedly this combination acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Hope it helps you as much as it helps me.

Are you taking a particular brand, like New Chapter or Organic India? I've read purity can have a big impact on results, so I'd like to get a brand that works well.
Proverbs 13:4
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.

Proverbs 13:11
Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.

https://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/t/wGp3WGH/savings.png

golden1

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2016, 12:26:51 PM »
I have to second a lot of recommendations here.  I have generalized anxiety disorder in combination with dysthymia.  A few times it has dipped into MDD.  The first time I was in my 20s and I had a mild breakdown at work.  I started going to therapy, but I refused medication.  The therapy was just general talk therapy where I just vented about my crappy childhood, which felt good at the time, but it didn't give me any strategies or skills.  When I had another MDD episode in my 30s, I was a parent of young children, and I felt that I didn't have the time to wallow, so I tried the medication along with cognitive behavioral therapy.  I took a small amount of Prozac and it really, really helped.  It didn't change me, but it made it easier to approach the CBT with a clear head.  It was at that time that I decided to start exercising.  I started running.  This also really helps, particularly with the anxiety.  I also started meditating.  I was able to stop taking the Prozac after about 6 months and now have some skills to fall back on for when those negative patterns begin to assert themselves.  Who knows, I may need the medication again, and thats okay.  I can tell you that in the last few months I have been dealing with stuff that normally would have flattened me and I am able to function, partly because I have those coping skills. 

So, when picking a therapist, if you don't feel like it's a style that is working, don't be afraid to try something else. 

If you want a preview of CBT, pick up the book "Feeling Good" by David Burns that was mentioned above.  I felt better just after reading the first few chapters. 

Napoleon

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2016, 01:15:38 PM »
Don't discount meds for a while if you are profoundly depressed and struggling to function. I was on them for a while and they kept me working. They won't solve your problems but they can be something to prop you up for a while.

If you ever feel suicidal, call The Samaritans. I called them a few times just to cry on the phone and feel less lonely. It's OK to call them for anything - even just for a chat. Alternatively, if you feel REALLY suicidal you can call 999 and they'll come and get you. I did that one time and apologised so much for wasting their time and they said they'd much rather I called before I did anything than after. They were really nice and let me sit it out in A&E until I felt a bit better and had someone collect me.

It's OK to not get on with a therapist or a kind of therapy. I did CBT for a while with a therapist I fundamentally mistrusted. It didn't help.

On the other hand, therapy is hard work sometimes. I only feel now, 5 years after my first psychiatric assessment, that I'm actually ready to commit to doing the work. I also realised that I actually don't want to fix faulty thought patterns and I actually do want to talk about my childhood. Also, be honest. I lied to my old CBT therapist all the time, especially about suicidal thoughts. Don't do that. Either tell the truth or quit.

Seriously, nothing you can say will freak out a good therapist.

You're not wasting anyone's time. Your mental health is important. You deserve help.

Roadsidetreasurehunter

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2016, 01:25:22 PM »
Following.

wenchsenior

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2016, 02:02:24 PM »

On the other hand, therapy is hard work sometimes. I only feel now, 5 years after my first psychiatric assessment, that I'm actually ready to commit to doing the work. I also realised that I actually don't want to fix faulty thought patterns and I actually do want to talk about my childhood. Also, be honest. I lied to my old CBT therapist all the time, especially about suicidal thoughts. Don't do that. Either tell the truth or quit.



This is interesting because my father, who has narcissistic personality traits combined with obsessive compulsive personality disorder (NOT obsessive compulsive disorder...which is a totally different issue), has struggled with therapy and cbt in particular, because he feels that even though his abnormal thought processes and perceptions from ocpd interfere with his life and his relationships, he doesn't know who he would be without them. They are so ingrained that he fights giving them up even though they frequently make him miserable.

Napoleon

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2016, 01:18:18 AM »

On the other hand, therapy is hard work sometimes. I only feel now, 5 years after my first psychiatric assessment, that I'm actually ready to commit to doing the work. I also realised that I actually don't want to fix faulty thought patterns and I actually do want to talk about my childhood. Also, be honest. I lied to my old CBT therapist all the time, especially about suicidal thoughts. Don't do that. Either tell the truth or quit.



This is interesting because my father, who has narcissistic personality traits combined with obsessive compulsive personality disorder (NOT obsessive compulsive disorder...which is a totally different issue), has struggled with therapy and cbt in particular, because he feels that even though his abnormal thought processes and perceptions from ocpd interfere with his life and his relationships, he doesn't know who he would be without them. They are so ingrained that he fights giving them up even though they frequently make him miserable.

Funnily enough, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head. I have come to the realisation that my mother is a narcissist and the main reason I have no self-esteem is because of her constant belittling of me. I didn't realise until I moved out after university (I was still living with them during university holidays, when I was trying to do CBT) and started feeling a bit less anxious and stressed - and started living with an interacting more with normal human beings. It was a really unpleasant realisation and took me a few years to process, but that's why I don't want to talk about me now in therapy. I want to talk about my childhood and help sift out what was normal parent-child stuff and what was emotional abuse. Because it was all emotional rather than physical and I still can't tell and doubt myself when I haven't seen her for a while. But I feel like I can't work on "my stuff" until I work out what's mine and what's hers.

Juneboogie

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2016, 06:19:52 PM »
In response to light therapy, can I just get a full spectrum light bulb for a lamp and have it on during my coffee in the morning? Anyone have a reference for any guidelines for use (timing, length of session, distance etc.)? I might DIY a therapy SAD light prior to the winter.

I think a full spectrum light bulb would definitely be better than nothing. However, I personally need very bright light for it to work, and a standard bulb isn't bright enough for me. I use the Verilux desk lamp (~90$), which is no way the brightest you can go, but much brighter than a regular light bulb.

No harm in experimenting though. Maybe if you swapped out a few full spectrum bulbs all over your work/living space...that might make a difference. I haven't tried it. I go outside as much as possible, and if not possible I blast myself with light from about 2.5 feet from my face, at an angle of about 2 o'clock (so that I can see my computer screen without squinting) for at least an hour per day, more if I'm feeling 'down'.

All I know is, for years (even when no serious depression developed), I would have mini-episodes of sliding off the edge always starting in February, which no matter how terrible I felt I knew would go away by April as I got more sun. In the past 3 years of light therapy, that hasn't happened. I've felt normal all year.

I'd see a professional before investing in something like this.  This poster describes a specific type of depression, seasonal affective disorder, which is depression the occurs almost exclusively in the winter months.  If you don't have that type of depression this treatment would not likely be useful and thus a waste of money (just to be clear - light therapy is effective, but only for those with seasonal depression).  Talk with a professional before spending too much money.  There are lots of free (exercise, spending time in the sun) and pretty low cost options (reading Feeling Good - +1 to this recommendation) presented here already - focus on those and save your money for treatments recommended by a professional who knows how to tailor treatment for you.

I'm all for seeing a professional. I'm just pointing out a decades long pattern that I identified in  MY depressive tendencies, and 90$ for a lamp/bulbs that last several years was cheaper and more effective than paying a lot more than that for therapy. I'm in NO way implying that someone who doesn't know they have an SAD pattern should just buy a light and assume they are fixed and don't need treatment.

1). Most imsurance companies will pay/reimburse for a prescribed light box since it is considered medical equipment, like crutches. 
2). Light therapy has been shown to help even not-strictly-SAD-variety of depression. 

Please do reach out for therapy if you haven't already.  Group therapy is affordable and underutilized, it can be a powerful tool.

Good luck.

debbie does duncan

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Re: Therapy for depression?
« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2016, 09:44:52 AM »
http://somatictransformation.com/somatic-transformation-practitioners/#tab-tab-4366-0-0-2-4366-2

I went to see a therapist in the above therapy style last year. I was lucky to find her.
Amazing therapy and wonderful tools were given to me to allow self regulation.
If you were in Duncan BC I would totally recommend S.L. RCC!

I was afraid and it was hard for me at first but I finally let go and allowed myself to accept this into my life.
 I  was encouraged to find something that made me happy in nature/exercise/ and then do yoga!
Lots of therapist in my yoga class....it makes them happy too.
Drugs are only for short term , you will find other ways to make yourself feel better.
Therapy is only one way , exercise and self care are important too.

Good Luck.