Clinical Depression, Struggles With

MetricFurlong

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TehCookie said:
Depression runs in my family and they could easily be talked out of suicide, but my family is also extremely rational. A few of them have attempted suicide while on drugs that threw away their reason, but realized that they didn't want to die when they tried killing themselves. If someone only thinks they want to die and when push comes to shove they change their mind, they need help. Another thing with saying that way of thinking is wrong, imagine how someone with depression would feel being told that their mindset is wrong or not clear without people trying to understand them. Try to understand them and show them another side, you can't just force the "right" way on them.
While this may seem strange to you, being told that their self-image is point-blank wrong is actually one of the more useful things for people suffering with depression. Knowing that you have a mental illness can be a useful tool in trying to survive with one (which clinical depression is), because it gives you something to stand-on when facing the barrage of thoughts that will be coming your way on a daily basis. There's also the fact that it is wrong, at least when it's stemming from the depression itself.

As I mentioned in my last post, having clinical depression will mean have to cope with a very low sense of self-worth, characterised by very frequent thoughts about how worthless you are, how you don't matter, how pathetic you are, how no one should like you. These thoughts happen regardless of any actual basis in reality. You can be a really smart or talented person, but still remain unable to shake the idea that you're useless and a failure. You can wake-up each morning to your brain telling you that you do nothing but drag everyone else down and that they'd all be better off without you no matter how many people actually care about you and consider you one of the best things about their lives. You can be a generous, kind individual but that won't stop the thoughts that you're really just a selfish wretch from crowding your mind. You can in every other respect be an entirely normal person, but still never quite escape the feeling that you're really subhuman.
In some cases, these thoughts will fester and become about how you deserve to suffer, how you need be injured, that you should die because that's 'the right thing'. This is what I mean when I say a compulsion. These thoughts will have no real rational basis for them, but they will be there anyway. And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't say that any decision based on taking this sort of thinking as read is a particularly sound one.

The fact is, these thoughts are wrong, and recognising that is important when it comes to trying to withstand them. On the face of it, you'd think it would be obvious to dismiss these idea, but when they're inside your own head resisting them gets a lot harder.
I appreciate you probably haven't been through that sort of headspace. It's entirely possible none of your family members have either, but that doesn't make it any less of a reality for all of us who do have to live with it.


Sure there brain chemistry is way off from normal, but look at my wackjob opinion, do you really think a normal person would say things like this?
Yes. I have heard a lot of things said by normal people about depression in the past. Even if I hadn't, the fact of the matter is that having an unconventional opinion, even one that would mark you out as being 'weird' in general society, does not make you any less of a normal person when it comes to depression.

I understand that it's very difficult for someone who does not have much experience with depression to fully understand what living with it is like. I'm not asking you to do that, but I would ask that you listen to what is being said to you by people who do have depression and who do have experience with it.
 

Frungy

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Alexander Bradley said:
I have chronic depression, paranoid schizophrenia, PTSD, and an anxiety disorder. I don't take any medications and I'm currently not in therapy at the moment, but let me say that talking to someone else with experience (be it a psychologist or a friend) is one of the best things you can do to help get through it. I also actively practice martial arts, practice meditation, write music and poetry, work a part-time job, and am in an active relationship. That may not seem like much to anyone, but to me, that's a major improvement on how things have gotten in the past due to my disorders.

Each of those things allows me to relieve stress, help overcome any oncoming episodes I may be having, express myself in a healthy manner, and feel like I have a normal place in society all at once. There are a bunch of different ways you can explore to help overcome depression, but the best, I find, are just the natural ones. Talking to people, getting good exercise, eating well, and getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine does wonders. The thing is actually forcing yourself to do it, especially when both your body and mind are working against you.
Martial arts, meditation, engaging with your friends on your terms about your issues, keeping active within your comfort zone (e.g. part time job), eating well, sleeping well, exercising well, these are the best "therapy" I would recommend for someone with your particular set of, very difficult to treat, conditions. Mostly though, it works for you. Keep it up.

People are quick to slap labels on stuff these days, but one thing they don't talk about is "the functionality test". Its a simple test psychologists give, and what it amounts to is simply asking whether your condition interferes with your ability to live and enjoy your life. If it does then you need help. If it doesn't then carry on sir, because no-one's life is perfect and we all have our little neuroses (I'm terrified of spiders... doesn't mean I need medication for it or therapy). If you've got it under control then get on with enjoying your life.
 

Generic4me

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I've never been diagnosed by anybody, but I suspect that I have at least moderate depression and some kind of anxiety disorder.

I have an immense fear of the future, and a fear that I just can't do what everybody else does or that I'm falling behind. It comes in bouts, sometimes a day, sometimes a week. I haven't had it for a while, but when it does come, it's pretty bad. Usually they're set off by things people say that play to my insecurities.

Last time it came was a pretty dark time where I had a fallout with some of my friends, had been told off by a few too many people, and was living in a home where I'd get little to no human interaction for days on end.

My unfortunate way I coped was self-harm. Mostly via near-suffocation. I've had this for as long as I can remember, and have been self-harming since I was 13. I've been to a few therapists before (for a divorce, unrelated), and they seemed to know that I was a little off. But they were assholes and were bad at their job. I've also talked to a support line once, but they did literally nothing. I know I should go to a counselor, but I feel it just wastes my time, not to mention my family isn't too keen on spending any money on bills for a mental disorder, which according to my father, doesn't exist.

Next time I go through another bout, I'll probably try to see a therapist.
 

Naeras

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mitchell271 said:
Disclaimer: I don't recommend reading this if you're depressed or think you might be. This is all pretty heavy handed stuff.
There's also a decent amount of whinging in this post, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum.
While I may be a university student, depression is still a very real thing, especially among people in my age group. The Social Readjustment Scale measures how likely you are to be affected by mental illness and I scored 454. A major risk is considered above 300.


Everyone has issues. These could be anything from minor self-image problems to incredible cynicism. We all have them in one way shape or form and we all like to say, "You can get help. There's always someone willing to listen." However, that's not always true. For example, I'm depressed and I've got an appointment with a therapist lined up next week to try to sort everything out.
Hopefully, I can overcome my deep-seated trust issues due to a life of being stabbed in the back and become slightly more sociable than I am now. I want to become better friends with current ones and meet more people, but it's hard to do when I have no reason to see the good side in anyone and always suspect them of pitying me or merely putting up with me. I've gotten pretty bad lately and very little excites me. There's a lot more than that, I just don't want to put my life's story here.

This kind of treatment, however basic, isn't available to everyone. Not everyone can afford a therapist and even if you can, finding one that will actually help you can be a challenge in of itself. Ironically, what got me thinking about depression was [a href=http://www.depressionquest.com/]Depression Quest[/a], a "choose-your-own-adventure" game about depression. I recommend playing through it and choosing the answers that you would actually pick instead of the ones that would help you the most. I played through it and began thinking, "These are some of the symptoms of depression? I've got a few of those myself." I talked to the healthcare clinic on campus and was diagnosed with depression.

So now, I'm hoping things will get a little better and I can't start to, well, feel again.

Here's the discussion portion: Do you know anyone that has dealt with depression? How did they get out of it? Are they still struggling with it?
If you do know anyone that is depressed, or if you are, best of luck. The world's a tough place, but maybe, just maybe, we'll make it out.
I've been there. I'm glad I got out.
That being said, my ticket out of depression was the same ticket I used to get out of the city and to the university. I got there with the sole goal of putting my issues behind me, meeting new people, learning new stuff and enjoy myself as much as I could without worrying about all the stuff that had gone wrong the year before I moved out. The getting away-part itself was a big part of this, although not the most important one.

If there's one thing I can recommend to someone in a university who wants to socialize more, it would be joining a student association of some sort. I don't know if you have the same sort of associations where you're studying, but if there is, seek them out and join one that fits you. Doing that is one of the smartest things I've ever done. I've gotten to know so many genuinely nice and intelligent people through that, and if there's one way to help someone's self-esteem that I can think of, it's getting a new, good social circle. It helps. It really does.
 

Squiddles

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floppylobster said:
Thankies for writing this. I just can't stop re-reading it, you just hit so many of the major points on the head for me personally and just, I dunno, just very glad to have found your post. Been looking through this website that have similar themed threads to this and just trying to find what people have to say and stuff, book marking certain pages that I will just force my self to read when I hit my lowest of the low feelings in an effort to finally get through this.

Just thankies for writing this. =)
 

Frungy

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floppylobster said:
One small piece of advice from experience. Most people facing depression are often thinking a lot of hypothetical situations - projecting outcomes, imagining scenarios, worried about expectations etc... all that stuff that doesn't actually exist yet and may never. That type of thinking can often lead to depression as expectations are not met and you feel bad. So as cliche as it sounds - live in the now. Only worry about what is in front of you. Try not to think more than 2-3 minutes ahead in what you are going to do. Get in to a routine of simple tasks (watering a plant, checking the mail box). Achieve those small things while not worrying about the hypothetical.
I actually give this advice a lot, and I tend to quote Thomas A Kempis who said, "Wherever you go, there you are.". So many people live their lives dwelling on their past mistakes or missed chances (depression) or worrying about the future (anxiety).

You'll find yourself a lot more satisfied if you live life where you are, doing what you're doing. This doesn't mean you can't plan for the future or learn from the past, but you can't LIVE in the future or the past, because the moment you do that you're no longer living your life.

So, wherever you go, there you are. You are where you are, enjoy it.
 

Happiness Assassin

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Looks like I am not alone in depression around here. Well, technically I am going through bipolar disorder but am exhibiting major depressive episodes (opposite of my sister who experiences mostly manic episodes). Really it is a good thing that you are talking to someone, as that is one of the best things you could do. Currently I am on meds and am going to a therapist to work through my issues, but just talking with someone really does help. I hope therapy helps and I do sincerely hope you get through this.
 

Bullfrog1983

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mitchell271 said:
Here's the discussion portion: Do you know anyone that has dealt with depression? How did they get out of it? Are they still struggling with it?
If you do know anyone that is depressed, or if you are, best of luck. The world's a tough place, but maybe, just maybe, we'll make it out.
I won't bore you with the details of my life story, but suffice it to say I struggled with depression during adolescence due to bullying and I still struggle with it from time to time. In my case the best way to get out of depression is just to socialize with people around me and through socializing I have gained new friends and forgot about how depressing life can sometimes be or at the very least discovered people who share the problems I have. There are a million things out there that can trigger depression if you dwell on them too long. You have to learn to appreciate the good things in life and ignore the trivial things that don't matter. Keeping fit like a poster above suggested is also a good way of keeping depression in check since you won't be upset by the way you look and will be more likely to have more energy to hang out with friends. If you are feeling depressed about your situation compare how you live to how people live in Africa and developing nations where they struggle daily to survive not only because they are depressed but because they don't have the food or medicine to live.

If you're looking for suggestions on how to feel again, watch "The End of Poverty" and try not to feel sorry for the people who live in Kenya or places like it around the globe. Learning to trust is a difficult thing, I would suggest trying to forget about your worries and think to yourself "I am who I am, no matter how other people see me" but that could lead to anxiety in some cases. Anyway a therapist is probably a lot more informed on depression than I am and their suggestions are likely to have better results so I hope everything goes well with your therapy.

P.S. - Just played through Depression Quest and had a really good ending about a family Christmas. It's a pretty neat game considering it just text based and made me relive some of the experiences I've had.
 

TehCookie

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MetricFurlong said:
TehCookie said:
Depression runs in my family and they could easily be talked out of suicide, but my family is also extremely rational. A few of them have attempted suicide while on drugs that threw away their reason, but realized that they didn't want to die when they tried killing themselves. If someone only thinks they want to die and when push comes to shove they change their mind, they need help. Another thing with saying that way of thinking is wrong, imagine how someone with depression would feel being told that their mindset is wrong or not clear without people trying to understand them. Try to understand them and show them another side, you can't just force the "right" way on them.
While this may seem strange to you, being told that their self-image is point-blank wrong is actually one of the more useful things for people suffering with depression. Knowing that you have a mental illness can be a useful tool in trying to survive with one (which clinical depression is), because it gives you something to stand-on when facing the barrage of thoughts that will be coming your way on a daily basis. There's also the fact that it is wrong, at least when it's stemming from the depression itself.

As I mentioned in my last post, having clinical depression will mean have to cope with a very low sense of self-worth, characterised by very frequent thoughts about how worthless you are, how you don't matter, how pathetic you are, how no one should like you. These thoughts happen regardless of any actual basis in reality. You can be a really smart or talented person, but still remain unable to shake the idea that you're useless and a failure. You can wake-up each morning to your brain telling you that you do nothing but drag everyone else down and that they'd all be better off without you no matter how many people actually care about you and consider you one of the best things about their lives. You can be a generous, kind individual but that won't stop the thoughts that you're really just a selfish wretch from crowding your mind. You can in every other respect be an entirely normal person, but still never quite escape the feeling that you're really subhuman.
In some cases, these thoughts will fester and become about how you deserve to suffer, how you need be injured, that you should die because that's 'the right thing'. This is what I mean when I say a compulsion. These thoughts will have no real rational basis for them, but they will be there anyway. And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't say that any decision based on taking this sort of thinking as read is a particularly sound one.

The fact is, these thoughts are wrong, and recognising that is important when it comes to trying to withstand them. On the face of it, you'd think it would be obvious to dismiss these idea, but when they're inside your own head resisting them gets a lot harder.
I appreciate you probably haven't been through that sort of headspace. It's entirely possible none of your family members have either, but that doesn't make it any less of a reality for all of us who do have to live with it.


Sure there brain chemistry is way off from normal, but look at my wackjob opinion, do you really think a normal person would say things like this?
Yes. I have heard a lot of things said by normal people about depression in the past. Even if I hadn't, the fact of the matter is that having an unconventional opinion, even one that would mark you out as being 'weird' in general society, does not make you any less of a normal person when it comes to depression.

I understand that it's very difficult for someone who does not have much experience with depression to fully understand what living with it is like. I'm not asking you to do that, but I would ask that you listen to what is being said to you by people who do have depression and who do have experience with it.
I am just getting offended by you now. You think I have no clue what it's like when I do, then you tell me my family isn't depressed. I'm the one stuck on cleanup duty when my brother slits his wrist smearing on the walls or tries to overdose and just ends up throwing up everywhere and pissing himself. I have my mother threaten to murder me and my brother because she feels her life is so terrible no one can be happy around her and you say I don't understand and they they're not depressed. I don't even want to continue this with you.
 

mitchell271

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Naeras said:
I've been there. I'm glad I got out.
That being said, my ticket out of depression was the same ticket I used to get out of the city and to the university. I got there with the sole goal of putting my issues behind me, meeting new people, learning new stuff and enjoy myself as much as I could without worrying about all the stuff that had gone wrong the year before I moved out. The getting away-part itself was a big part of this, although not the most important one.

If there's one thing I can recommend to someone in a university who wants to socialize more, it would be joining a student association of some sort. I don't know if you have the same sort of associations where you're studying, but if there is, seek them out and join one that fits you. Doing that is one of the smartest things I've ever done. I've gotten to know so many genuinely nice and intelligent people through that, and if there's one way to help someone's self-esteem that I can think of, it's getting a new, good social circle. It helps. It really does.
I actually did put everything behind me when I moved for university. I'm in my first year in a new town and I didn't know anyone coming here. I've made some great friends and some "friends". What part of what put me in this position though was one of the people I met here.
I was on the junior varsity rowing team back in the fall. I love the sport but quickly realised how much I hate the people. For those that don't know, rowers are generally some of the most arrogant and douchey people you'll ever meet. In the fall, I trained with the same four for a month, training for this one race. We were used to each other's rhythms, pace and strengths/weaknesses. I missed the last practice before the regatta, but I found out from someone else later that day that it wasn't a big deal. Here's where it gets messy. The next day, the day of the regatta, I was up at 4:30 to get the bus which took 4 hours to get there. We get off and lo and behold, I'm not in a boat. Turns out that at the practice I had missed, the head coach had told that boat that I was being replaced and that that was the intention all along. No one told me, not even the guy who replaced me who I was friends with at the time. He had my number and was friends with me on Facebook but he didn't say a word. At the regatta, the coach avoided me and when I asked my "friend", he just said, "Oh, that sucks." Needless to say, I hate him.

I've found that university is a house of people that want to learn and some of the worst kind of people. I've since joined a few music groups and I'm making friends in those. It's helping, but still not a permanent fix.
 

EvilRoy

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Frungy said:
Thanks for posting this, it was fairly interesting to read, and I'll try to apply some of it to my life.

OT:
It seems like my experience with depression was quite a bit less intense than most of the others posting here, honestly not surprising to me.

During the 6-ish months I was depressed I didn't even really realise it, just that 'something' was wrong in general and it wasn't until I got out of it, looked back and thought on my state of mind (and talked to some professionals) did I find out it actually was depression.

It kind of felt like I was wandering through a bog made of soup. Getting out of bed felt like dragging myself out of a mud pit, talking to people felt somehow plastic, I couldn't seem to clear my head to think about the future, and everything else just happened because of routine. I went to school and worked on my thesis because I didn't know not to, went to classes and listened to lectures because it was on the schedule, received my grades (steadily decreasing) because they were handed to me.

The worst parts were the little compulsions and thoughts that would just sort of sneak in to my head. "No one would blame you if you slipped and fell in front of that car." "If you fell down the stairs it would be an accident, not your fault." "Ending up in the hospital would make it better." That was always the weird part. The potential for death was always acknowledged in the back of my mind, but on the surface the idea was just that somehow being incapacitated would relieve what I was feeling.

The only thing that kept me from having any 'accidents' was the thought of how much it would hurt my family, I've been in the hospital before for injuries and even though none of them threatened my life or seriously disfigured me my parents were always worried. I guess I couldn't deal with the thought of passing my unhappiness on to someone else.

In the end I got out because I was able to affect changes to the situation that was apparently sucking the life out of me. I suppose that's my only real advice, assuming the readers depression is not out of their hands due to chemical imbalance. Just figure out what the problem is, and do anything you can to alter it, even if it means cutting away parts of your life that you identify with strongly. I know I'm very fortunate in how mild my case was, but the actions I had to take to affect the changes I mentioned were fairly serious, so allow me to add that you shouldn't be afraid to remove a splinter with a hatchet if that's all you have to do the job.

In my case it felt like that soup didn't thin out the least bit until the moment I was done purging every bit of my problem, but when I did it felt pretty amazing, kind of like digging that splinter I mentioned out. It hurts like hell all the way through until the instant it pulls free of your skin, and then there's just this glow of relief not just from the pain of the removal, but from the discomfort of it sitting underneath your skin for so long being relieved. Its not especially groundshattering, I know, but it was what ended up helping me.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Frungy said:
People are quick to slap labels on stuff these days, but one thing they don't talk about is "the functionality test".
Of course not, far too many people are apparently determined to make their diagnosis a primary component of their identity and the functionality test would just get in the way.

It's the main reason I avoid mental health support groups. I might have several mental health issues but the way so many of the people in the support groups seem to wallow in it is creepy as fuck. Plus I have no interest in doing the validation circle-jerk.
 

MetricFurlong

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TehCookie said:
I am just getting offended by you now. You think I have no clue what it's like when I do, then you tell me my family isn't depressed. I'm the one stuck on cleanup duty when my brother slits his wrist smearing on the walls or tries to overdose and just ends up throwing up everywhere and pissing himself. I have my mother threaten to murder me and my brother because she feels her life is so terrible no one can be happy around her and you say I don't understand and they they're not depressed. I don't even want to continue this with you.
I apologise. At no point did I mean to imply your family members weren't depressed, and I'm really, honestly, sorry if I did. I don't know them, and therefore can't make any statements about them one way or another, and clearly I didn't take enough care in my post to make that clear. So again, I'm sorry.
In regards to saying you don't understand: I've had this sort of conversation about where the suicide instinct comes from a lot, and in all of them it's been with someone who's been making claims with no experience of depression at all. After a while, you just sort of fall into a specific pattern of response on the topic, even when that's not actually the case. Being stuck cleaning-up the fallout of other someone else's depression is not a fun place to be at all, and I'm sorry if I trivialised that in any way (again, really not my intent).

I hope things improve for you and your family in any event. Once again, I'm sorry for any offence caused.
 

Slitzkin

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I've always been a depressed and very angry person. Ever since a child I've been that way. I've been through a lot in life and I've suffered because of it. Suicidal ideation was commonplace and I often thought little of myself.

But lately I've been trying to change my life for the better, be a better person. I've really looked inside of myself and I've just let go. The things that have bothered me no longer define me as a person, I've accepted the past and I've just let go of it. I'm trying to be free.
 

ToastiestZombie

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I don't really think I've got depression, but I know something's wrong. Anyone care to help explain what "it" could be?

Basically, I'm a 14 year old kid currently doing my GCSEs. My school life is fine, I have a few friends and I'm not being bullied (except for a few girls, but they're just cunts anyway) but there's something big missing in my social life. I can't remember the last time someone asked me if I wanted to go out with them, it's always me who has to plan stuff. It's very rare that I get a phone call or a text from a friend out of school. Pretty much all my non-school time is spent trying to play video games, trying to focus on a hobby (which I never ever get any good at) or browsing the internet instead of going out or having any sort of social life. I always just end up on the internet, browing forums or watching crappy Youtube videos. I can't even remember the last film I willingly sat down and watched because I don't even have the will to do that.

There's that, and I've also got a massive fear of my future. I'm constantly having thoughts of being a financially bankrupt, un-employed loser when I grow up. I'm constantly worried about what world I will step into when I leave University, and how hard it will be for me to succeed in any way shape or form. But what worries me the most, is that quite often I have dreams or day-dreams of something extremely terrible happening to me or my family, and they're almost always extremely realistic. I've been walking to the local shop, and I just start having vivid thoughts of nuclear bombs being dropped at that exact moment. When I'm sleeping I sometimes have realistic (no weird dream stuff) dreams about burglars coming in and killing me or my mum, or a terrible fire killing my whole family. When I'm in school I sometimes start thinking about a mass-shooting taking place. I don't know why these happen, they only started about mid-2012. What I do know is that they are almost always really, really fucked up.

But after all that, I don't really feel depressed at all. I haven't ever considered suicide, or self-harm or anything else commonly associated with depression. I don't ever really have any break downs, or other things. . But there's those two things that seem to always be there, and I don't know what it means for me.