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Old 05.12.2010, 15:14
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Re: Depression Sufferers

I would like to point out that depression has so many faces.

Someone can be in depression because of an event or a series of event in his life. Can be for a tough past or recent death.

But most important to understand is that some people are in ''depression'' because of a lack of a very important hormone. If your body doesn't produce enough serotonin, no matter how much therapy and meds you will take, when this will stop, you'll go back down straight away.

Some don't have enough thyroid hormones, some don't have enough serotonine hormone. You can get help by changing your way of thinking, you can buy a lamp for seasonal depression, but you'll need to take your meds probably for life.

Doctors are pretty fast to put everthing on a depression. But depression should be temporary and when it isn't the case, when you tried everything, many times, it is time to find someone who will listen to you and try to get out of the depression box and look in your body for some physical reason of this situation.
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Old 05.12.2010, 15:41
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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But most important to understand is that some people are in ''depression'' because of a lack of a very important hormone. If your body doesn't produce enough serotonin, no matter how much therapy and meds you will take, when this will stop, you'll go back down straight away.

Some don't have enough thyroid hormones, some don't have enough serotonine hormone. You can get help by changing your way of thinking, you can buy a lamp for seasonal depression, but you'll need to take your meds probably for life.

Doctors are pretty fast to put everthing on a depression. But depression should be temporary and when it isn't the case, when you tried everything, many times, it is time to find someone who will listen to you and try to get out of the depression box and look in your body for some physical reason of this situation.

There was an interesting study done at the Northwestern University on the cultural aspect of depression. They find that people in individualistic western societies have a much higher rate of depression than those in collective asian cultures. Even though those in asian cultures have the same genetic pre-disposition to be depressed - the Seratonin Transporter Gene, the social support system of the "We" culture of asians appear to buffer them from depression, while the "I" culture of the west may not offer the same support system.

http://www.northwestern.edu/newscent.../10/chiao.html

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"People from highly individualistic cultures like the United States and Western Europe are more likely to value uniqueness over harmony, expression over agreement, and to define themselves as unique or different from the group," said Joan Chiao, the lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.


In contrast, people from collectivist cultures are more likely to value social harmony over individuality. "Relative to people in an individualistic culture, they are more likely to endorse behaviors that increase group cohesion and interdependence," Chiao said.


Collectivist cultures may give individuals who are genetically susceptible to depression a tacit or explicit expectation of social support. "Such support seems to buffer vulnerable individuals from the environmental risks or stressors that serve as triggers to depressive episodes," Chiao said.


Also, the west has turned depression into a segment of pharmaceutical industry. Lots of doctors are prescribing anti-depressant readily and easily.
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Old 05.12.2010, 15:47
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Re: Depression Sufferers

I know this isn't supposed to be a self-help group or anything, but perhaps we could keep this onto a more personal basis and not wander too much onto what 'third people' say.
I'm not sure if I were depressed at the moment if I would care a hoot what doctors or surveys say unless it is something which is relevant for me, now.
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Old 05.12.2010, 15:53
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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I know this isn't supposed to be a self-help group or anything, but perhaps we could keep this onto a more personal basis and not wnader too much onto what 'third people' say.
I'm not sure if I were depressed at the moment if I would care a hoot what doctors or surveys say unless it is something which is relevant for me, now.

Okay. Then just to tie it back to the thread, and for anyone suffering depression:

One's social surroundings apparently play a large role in an individual's depression. Along with therapy, medication and exercise; you might also consider some change in your social life. I know a lot of expats complain about depression when living here, particularly not having any friends and anyone to relate to. Perhaps the depression is a call to reach out and make friends with people. Sometimes, having a good laugh with friends offers the best medicine.
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Old 05.12.2010, 15:59
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Re: Depression Sufferers

And that is really important for anybody having emotional problems, be they depression or anything else, the people around you and supporting you are really important! Lean on your friends while making a firm commitment to helping yourself.
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Old 05.12.2010, 16:55
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Re: Depression Sufferers

I have had episodes of severe anxiety for most of my adult life. It also runs (biochemically) in my family, and we reinforce each other with our worries and OCD thoughts. Last year it really took a toll and I started researching different types of therapy. There is a lot of brain research going on that shows that we do have control over what we think and how our pathways are formed (an excellent book on this subject: The Brain That Changes Itself); I wanted to be able to tap into that first before trying meds, so I found a good cognitive-behavioral therapist. It didn't take too many sessions until I could stop the onslaught of negative thoughts. Anxiety is highly related to OCD, which is why the unproductive thoughts loop over and over and over.

Once the worst was over, the therapist recommended meditation, which I began (one word: Jon Kabat Zinn -- the guru of well-researched, medically based meditation. His books and CD's are available on Amazon). Meditation WILL change your life, regardless of why and in what frame of mind you start. From there I moved on to yoga, which is a moving form of meditation (like tai chi, I think) and more suited to my personality. I cannot tell you how much my life has improved this year. I have learned to focus on the moment. A little exercise each day is also essential (that's why I like yoga -- I can combine the two into one hour and feel GREAT the rest of the day).

I don't know if this will help with severe depression, but some form of meditation would be worth a try. Kabat-Zinn's CD's are so worth the price. I will mail you mine if you can't get them there. That's how great they are .
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Old 05.12.2010, 17:38
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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Lean on your friends while making a firm commitment to helping yourself.
well, some friends want to help, but finally.....they just put more pression on you, same with the parents....
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Old 05.12.2010, 17:41
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Re: Depression Sufferers

Xenith, I too have found that CBT helped me manage my depression and anxiety. For a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist in Zurich I would recommend the AVV (Ambulatorium für kognitive Verhaltenstherapie und Verhaltensmedizin) attached to the Psychology Institute of the University of Zurich. They offer therapy in English, as well as French, Albanian, Serbo-Croat, Czech, Spanish and Italian. I saw Jens Gaab and while English isn't his mother tongue I would still recommend him.

http://www.psychologie.uzh.ch/fachri...psypt/AVV.html
044 63 45275
avv@psychologie.uzh.ch

Best of luck finding the right help for you.
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Old 05.12.2010, 21:16
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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Depression is a condition that you can choose to correct. But it takes practice and exercise, just as it takes exercise to lift heavy weights or run a marathon. I have proven this to be 100% true for myself.
This is true for some cases of depression. And I'm not trying to minimize whatever pain you were in. Lots of people are helped by the method you describe. But many are not. For people with serious depression/anxiety who cannot get out of bed, who are at risk of self-harm, who have a hard time getting out of the house, eating, providing self-care, and who are in real, significant pain, it's more than a choice and practice.

I know from experience that making a choice to get better is not enough. And neither do I think that it's a failure of determination or willpower. You really do need some medical assistance. It's great if you have friends and family that can help, but the truth is, sometimes they don't know what to do either - they get easily frustrated, and often a neutral care giver does better. And, family and friends, well-meaning, can try to get you to do stuff, to go out, to tell you that you just need to be stronger. It doesn't always work.

And the answer is not always an antidepressant, either.

As Nil pointed out, chemical imbalances such as thyroid issues can create depression. Supplement or adjust the thyroid, and the person is much better.

There are lots of solutions. We've seen so many here that have worked for individuals. But there is still a lot of stigma and misunderstanding toward mental illnesses.
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Old 05.12.2010, 21:38
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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I have had episodes of severe anxiety for most of my adult life. It also runs (biochemically) in my family, and we reinforce each other with our worries and OCD thoughts. Last year it really took a toll and I started researching different types of therapy. There is a lot of brain research going on that shows that we do have control over what we think and how our pathways are formed (an excellent book on this subject: The Brain That Changes Itself); I wanted to be able to tap into that first before trying meds, so I found a good cognitive-behavioral therapist. It didn't take too many sessions until I could stop the onslaught of negative thoughts. Anxiety is highly related to OCD, which is why the unproductive thoughts loop over and over and over.

Once the worst was over, the therapist recommended meditation, which I began (one word: Jon Kabat Zinn -- the guru of well-researched, medically based meditation. His books and CD's are available on Amazon). Meditation WILL change your life, regardless of why and in what frame of mind you start. From there I moved on to yoga, which is a moving form of meditation (like tai chi, I think) and more suited to my personality. I cannot tell you how much my life has improved this year. I have learned to focus on the moment. A little exercise each day is also essential (that's why I like yoga -- I can combine the two into one hour and feel GREAT the rest of the day).

I don't know if this will help with severe depression, but some form of meditation would be worth a try. Kabat-Zinn's CD's are so worth the price. I will mail you mine if you can't get them there. That's how great they are .
I second the motion for Jon Kabat Zinn... his techniques require real commitment, but they work. Moderate to severe depression runs in my family, and my dad and I have both benefited immensely from his books. They are easily found online, and I may have an extra copy of one lying around as well, if needed.

I do a walking meditation all the time, and skiing as well, oh it makes me feel so alive and in the world! I seem to be one of those people who responds well to physical activity (I know it's not for everyone), but it was only possible to begin when I was on medication to get out of a really dark time, and I had that extra chemical push.

Luckily I also have a partner who knows how to deal with it, as well as a great doctor who helps me examine and modify the way I see things, and more importantly I've learned a lot about how to stop hurting the people around me. That's actually the hardest thing for me to live with. It's a lot easier to forgive all the people who hurt me than it is to forgive myself. But I live and learn, and try to evolve.

I also have a magnet on my fridge with what has become my mantra: Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

And (approximately) the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt: 'The past is history, tomorrow's a mystery, but today's a gift.'
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Old 05.12.2010, 21:42
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Re: Depression Sufferers

Most of my family died between the ages of 10 - 20 years ( grandparents, parents,and uncles) and this left me with a great deal of depression and anxiety which over the years has got worse.
I shared a flat with 3 friends and they all died in their 20s,and 30s of illness and accident.
In the last 5 years I have lost 4 close friends in their 40s.
I am left now with such anxiety that anyone close to me will be ill or have an accident. If my son is out I can't relax till he is home - when my daughter drives any distance she always lets me know when she arrives as she knows I will be anxious.
I have had therapy, but it did not help. Medication did not suit me either.
What I find helpful is exercise of any sort. If I feel anxious - I go and have a swim. I always make sure that I see or talk to a friend every day and I also find visulisation and accupuncture really helpful.
In Switzerland you are never far from such beautiful scenery so it is easy to go for a fabulous walk and that is so important for your wellbeing and most importantly your soul......
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Old 05.12.2010, 21:45
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Re: Depression Sufferers

Always happy to share a good walk in our beautiful Jura. Take care. Oh and I know a very good acupuncturist who lives VERY near here.
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Old 05.12.2010, 22:58
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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Lean on your friends while making a firm commitment to helping yourself.
I have suffered from bouts of depression to the point of suicidal tendencies since I was about 13 years old and if there is one thing I've learned, it's NOT to lean on your friends. Not because I think they won't be there for me but I know that my problems are bigger than you can expect another person to understand and that it is emotionally draining to look after and feel responsible for someone who is really not well. Ironically, I study psychology, so I should know all the theory, but I've come to realise that, after a certain point, you can't help yourself. I really suffer from is Seasonal Affective Disorder so this time of year is extra-hard for me, but sometimes other exogenous things can set off my depression too. A lot of bad stuff happened in my childhood / early teens and I've always told myself to stop being such a sissy about it but now I've realised it affects too much of my life and how I view others (cynically, with deep distrust until I really believe I can put my faith in a person).

My current method for dealing with depression is that I disappear, I don't go out to see friends, I avoid social contact if possible, won't go to lectures, nothing. This used to be quite lonely but since the internet, you can be depressed and nobody notices because you're on Facebook all day, posting the next cute kitten thing you hunted down to try and distract yourself.

One thing that I feel is helpful when things are really bleak (like, I wish I wouldn't wake up bleak), is to remember I've been here before and it got better again. And to try and think of all the good things that have happened because I am on this planet. Sounds conceited but it's actually out of a fairly low sense of self-worth - I've never quite cottoned on to the concept of being worthy just because I am, rather than because of what I have done for others. That sounds even worse...

Oh and I have a "Happy Book" - it's like a scrapbook of things that makes me happy or great stuff I've done. It's quite barren because I only just started this year but I plan to fill it, which is why I'm now seeing a therapist who hopefully can help me sort this out.

On a side note - it's nice to read that some of you have supportive partners who stick around. My experience is that your partner is the LAST person you want to tell that you are not feeling so good, as it will add a break-up to your problems...
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Old 05.12.2010, 23:09
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One thing that I feel is helpful when things are really bleak (like, I wish I wouldn't wake up bleak), is to remember I've been here before and it got better again.
I'll second that.

It's not easy to do, but if you can manage it, it makes things just about tolerable until you start to feel better again.
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Old 05.12.2010, 23:38
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Re: Depression Sufferers

God you lot are depressing!

On an (ever so) helpful note. It's healthy to change one thing every day so as not to get stuck in a rut. i.e if you usually shower after breakfast, shower before. If you never leave the house before 9am-try leaving at 8am. Hate religion? Drop into a happy clappers church service. Always wear trousers? Get dressed up in a feather boa wish full slap to do your grocery shop. It's best never to get stuck in a routine. Surprise yourself every day.

yeah, that's all.
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Old 05.12.2010, 23:43
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God you lot are depressing!

On an (ever so) helpful note. It's healthy to change one thing every day so as not to get stuck in a rut. i.e if you usually shower after breakfast, shower before. If you never leave the house before 9am-try leaving at 8am. Hate religion? Drop into a happy clappers church service. Always wear trousers? Get dressed up in a feather boa wish full slap to do your grocery shop. It's best never to get stuck in a routine. Surprise yourself every day.

yeah, that's all.
I'm not sure much of that would be possible when one is in the grip of a depressive episode, but as a rule for life at other times, I'd agree totally. Also, remember: Serendipity is your friend, and she cannot be courted from your living room...

Furthermore, if you can manage it, spend time around children. They don't half help force you to get a sense of perspective...
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Old 05.12.2010, 23:48
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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Depression is a condition that you can choose to correct. But it takes practice and exercise, just as it takes exercise to lift heavy weights or run a marathon. I have proven this to be 100% true for myself.
Ultimately, this is true, but not the complete solution.

Depression cannot be cured by others in the sense of taking a pill for a headache. It requires the individual to take the decision to change their way of life.

Many people cannot do this on their own. The support of professionals and friends can help to identify the issues and help to identify possible solutions. In some cases, medication can assist this process.

To use your analogy, even the best athletes have trainers to help them maximise their potential.
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Old 05.12.2010, 23:48
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Re: Depression Sufferers

I've been depressed big time too, you may laugh but the English Forum played a big part in my recovery. In a space of three years my sister killed herself then me cousin died, 3 months later my dog. Then my mum got ill with a virulent cancer and I was back and forth to England. I flew home on the Sunday night and she died early hours Monday morning. Coming onto the forum and possibly helping someone else, helped me shake off the numbness.

Forum events got me out of the house again and because I was venturing out I started taking more interest in my appearance. This built up my confidence so I convinced myself I could start my own business, which I did and it's thriving.

Sometimes depression can also make us aware that there must be more to life.
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Old 05.12.2010, 23:53
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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I'm not sure much of that would be possible when one is in the grip of a depressive episode, but as a rule for life at other times, I'd agree totally. Also, remember: Serendipity is your friend, and she cannot be courted from your living room...

Furthermore, if you can manage it, spend time around children. They don't half help force you to get a sense of perspective...
Maybe, I can't say whether I've ever been in the same place some depressive people have been-how could I know? Easier to stop it before it gets too bad.

I was on prozac in my mid 20's but it interfered with my sexlife so I gave that up sharpish. I am very aware of changes in my mood though so I tend to take affirmative action before I find myself stuck to the sofa for days on end smelling like a yak.
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Old 06.12.2010, 00:00
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Re: Depression Sufferers

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I am very aware of changes in my mood though so I tend to take affirmative action before I find myself stuck to the sofa for days on end smelling like a yak.
This may be hard to grasp but I've had a few days where the only accomplishment of the day was to wash my hair (that really needed a wash the day before). Anything that is repetitive starts to take on this symbolic meaning for how pointless stuff is, it just seems so utterly exhausting to do it again... It seems strange even to read it but that's how it is.
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