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-   -   Depression Sufferers (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/101016-depression-sufferers.html)

Xenith 05.12.2010 00:04

Depression Sufferers
 
Hey people,

I'm sure this thread has come up numerous times now, but I just wanted to through it back out there. I'm a Kiwi by birth right and moved to Switzerland in November of 2002. The reason being, ofcourse, my Swiss wife. The first 3 years I absolutely loved, (accept for the slightly anal culture and confining laws), and it wasn't until about the 4 year that I started having mild panic attacks. Over the next 2-3 years things became worse and the Social Phobia and Anxiety attacks so extreme that I wouldn't answer the phone, door, meet friends and dreaded going outside incase I were to be confronted by someone. This eventually became all too much for me to continue to hide and I had a brake down during work hours. I have since been seeing a Psychiatrist, (Psychologist just wasted my time at the start), and have been a Guinea Pig for medications for the last 18months now. It's funny, before I began my regime of hundreds of tablets I had a clearish head and my memory and thought processes seemed to be on an okay level. Now I suffer from very mild and not too often panic attacs(:)) but my brain is mush. I wonder if this is a side affect from the dosage of tabs, or that the depression has now had a chance to expose itself as the panic blanket has been lifted ??

Anyway, just got back from a 2 month holiday in NZ. Met a Psych there and he made 2 changes to my medication and suggested a book "mind over mood", (very good), dealing with cognitive therapy and also suggested that I too begin meeting with a cognitive behavioural therapist. I think that it really helped me being able to speak with some one a:of my own culture and b:the same mother tongue. We just clicked from day 1 and it was obvious to me that he really understood me from our sessions and what I got out of them. Hence the fact that I am now seeking an english speaking, (having lived in an english culture and the language being their mother tongue), Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.

So my post was really to hear from other people who are or have been in a similar situation. Would love to hear from you.......Thanks.

jrspet 05.12.2010 01:05

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
If you are keen on reaching others from a like background ( Aussie / Kiwi ), you might be keen on this University portal in Australia:

http://blueboard.anu.edu.au/

DepressionNet is also worth a visit.

A site on ACT as an alternative to CBT.


I found Beating the Blues very helpful in coping and understanding.
http://www.dymocks.com.au/ImageHandl...=9780646366227

colinwheeler 05.12.2010 06:04

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Xenith (Post 1034690)
So my post was really to hear from other people who are or have been in a similar situation. Would love to hear from you.......Thanks.

Hey Xenith,
I suffered from depression after my wife left me and found that it caused a number of different side effects like you mention. I also tried therapy and medication (did not work for me at all).
The answer that I found eventually was one that I had thought all along was the right path but I had never really "lived it".
Instead of panic attacks, I would suffer from rage (never directed at people but rather at things or situations in my life) and this really scared me. On a lot of reflection and a bit of research it slowley dawned on me that depression was the cause of my rage and that this was all caused by the fact that I was disconnecting from emotions that I did not want to or could not deal with at that time. Just shovelling those feelings under the carpet was not working anymore.
So many of these things that happen in our heads are interlinked and the silliest small things from our pasts can have dramatic effects on our personality.
The way forward that I eventually found was to deal with the negative emotions that I was feeling and encourage the positive ones. I found that I had to live my emotions but not let them contol me. I started to live a life of transparency and as much honesty as I could muster, both with myself and with other people.
I have not found this to be an easy answer but an answer that works very well for me. Other people don't always respond well to very open honesty.:msnblush:
I really believe that solving this sort of situation is a deeply personal experience that can only be helped by other sources, but must be solved yourself as a person. It is the hardest thing that any individual will do. You should take it as a good sign that you are fighting against it though. So many people will just accept the situation and claim "it is what I am and I can't change it".
The only resource that I could suggest that helped me a lot would be the book "The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. I ignored much of the religous bumph that he alluded to but the overall approach of the book was excellent.
Good luck with the growth.

05.12.2010 08:10

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Xenith (Post 1034690)
Over the next 2-3 years things became worse and the Social Phobia and Anxiety attacks so extreme that I wouldn't answer the phone, door, meet friends and dreaded going outside incase I were to be confronted by someone.

I've got through such thing and know very well what you can feel.....

I've posted about my problems a long long time ago and somebody mentioned this book

Feeling good, the new mood therapy by David D.Burns, M.D.

I have to say that, even if it's not in my language, I've got a great help from it....

What can I say more...

By active, go out, do sports, meet people, it's very important.

Medicaments are just suppressing the effects and once you stop them, if the causes have not been "healed" you will fall again, as I did a few times...

I'm actually taking a medicament that suppress almost all my fears of going out, I just have a background anxiety which is probably a part of my usual personality and which I will have all my life (and which actually made me miss a meeting with english speakers...).

I control this anxiety with some tools I've mentioned before like sports and meeting people (it's easy for me now to meet french speakers as it's my French is my mother tongue), with meditation, and a kind of self-hypnosis.

My last discovery is named Gratefulness, but it's linked to my belief and will perhaps be of no interest for you if you don't believe in God. You still can read that thread.

Gratefulness helps me a lot now and if I don't start my day with it, I feel totally different. Of course, there's always a time where it doesn't work and I'm a bit down for the entire day. But I'm just human....

Don't hesitate to pm me if you want, I'm always "happy" to talk about that, as it's always something that helps both.

Have a nice day.

:)

ElggDK 05.12.2010 08:15

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
To OP, Colin and Bertrand, Thanks for sharing.........:goodpost:

Guest 05.12.2010 10:53

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Yeah, been there too.

I'm pretty open about these issues. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to learn so much, sometimes I'm sad it took so long.

Many people don't have issues with anxiety or depression to the extent that they impact you every day, multiple times a day. Lots of people can start to feel bad and take a walk, a run, call up a friend. But if you've got debilitating anxiety or depression, sometimes you can't even get started. People with debilitating anxiety or depression sometimes lack the ability to view situations as non threatening. I think behavioral therapies give you tools to reframe the situation.

I've had anxiety for most of my life. I look at my family and see that it's a pretty common trait. I believe that the propensity to be anxious is a combination biochemisty and wiring compounded by environment. Running through my life are also disordered eating (not an eating disorder), and learning disabilities - all working together. Where there's anxiety, depression usually follows. For me anxiety is like a sharp, jagged edge while depression is dark and enveloping. Both are difficult, although depression is usually easier for me to deal with. Heh, I used to welcome depression because it meant I wouldn't eat. Not my best thinking there.

I know that most people do regress to the mean, but i felt like my performance at work and at school was full of way too many extremes. And it reinforced my anxiety because I felt so unpredictable. I also had a lot of trouble driving. I passed my driving test at 16, and then hardly drove again till I was in my late 20's, and had a few more periods where driving just made me crazy. Too much information, not a good way of ignoring it, too much stimulation. Learning to focus helped that a lot.

I first went on prozac in my mid 30's. Initially, it worked great, but at the time, the dosing was not very precise and I was actually on too much, and my head did feel cloudy. Then I had various theraputic experiences, and I found that for me, psychologists didn't do it. THey just talked at me, and I felt that I could blame myself easily without paying someone to do it. All along I'd been blaming my self for lack of discipline, being lazy, but in truth, it probably had more to do with not filtering out the noise.

A few years later, I found a psychiatrist, and medication that worked well for me. And I probably will take this medication forever. I really do believe it's a chemical balance issue. But, just taking medication isn't enough. THe psychiatrist was an advocate, not a blamer, and after a while, I learned an important lesson - to stop looking at things as threats and to view them as opportunities. But it took a long time and a lot of practice.

Anyway, then I decided to be tested for learning disabilities and I understood a bit more about my own social anxiety. In a social situation, it's really difficult for me to pay attention, there's too much going on, and so it makes me anxious. So the other thing that has worked for me is ADD coaching and additional meds. Many people with ADD have issues with impulse control, so learning to recognize and calm that has been a big step.

So I do believe that in my case, it's how I'm wired influenced by my environment. And for me, the best treatments have been a combination of medical, some behavioral stuff in the form of mental reframing.

It's shaped who I am and what I do - I've studied how mass media influence our perceptions of mental illnesses and I've published on it, and I'm finishing a dissertation that examines body image and motivations for information search.

I'm not religious, but I am grateful. I'm optimistic, and I have to say that I'm really pretty happy now. However you get to the point where you can focus, reframe and feel better is good.

ETA: I wanted to add that I am a big advocate for medication. Because I believe it's a suppliment to behavior change. And with all due respect, I believe that some people must first change brain chemisty before they can change behavior. Now you can do this with exercise, meditation, even diet - but for some people medication is the best course. Not for all.

Nil 05.12.2010 10:55

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Thanks Bertrand. I spoke about that book a while ago in an other thread. I had a major depression 10 years ago and got help from that book and with a cognitive behavioural therapist. WITHOUT any meds.

In ma case it worked wonderful. I didn`t want to take medications and with the doctor control we could manage to use only the therapy. This book was a life saver for me, when ever you feel low, you read some parts that help you to straight back you mental behavior.

The best 10 $ invested in my whole life! :D

gerisherk 05.12.2010 11:29

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Thank you all for being so open and honest!! I miss my US Psychiatrist who after 10 years of miss diagnosis helped me find the right meds!! (God bless her) now I`m desperate to find a good Psych. and not looking forward going out the and start to do so!! I am still using the same meds which help but I have severe anxiety!! I was thinking of starting a "lets get together so we are not alone and talk about our problems" group that would meet over coffee/tee and we can talk in a safe environment:D
I wish all of you good luck and keep me post it!!
Marry Christmas

olygirl 05.12.2010 11:34

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
My respect to all the above posters who bared their soul and wrote from the heart. Your words, experiences and successes are exactly what many of us need to hear.

The key to depression is: get help. Now.

Go to your family doctor and tell him you are depressed. He will help you find someone appropriate for you. Depending on the circumstances, the counselling / treatment will be paid by your Krankenkasse / health insurance.

If you want someone who speaks English, insist on it. You need to be in a situation where you feel comfortable enough to bare all your demons. If your German is poor and the counsellor cannot speak English, find someone else.

Look upon your depression as any other sickness. Love yourself enough to get the right help.

Good luck and please do come to this forum if you can't find any other solutions. Many of us will be able to point you in the right direction on how to get out of your deep, dark, demeaning hole and help you see the warm, loving light again.

ximix 05.12.2010 12:33

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colinwheeler (Post 1034746)
The only resource that I could suggest that helped me a lot would be the book "The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. I ignored much of the religous bumph that he alluded to but the overall approach of the book was excellent.
Good luck with the growth.

@colinwheeler - I have also read "The Road Less Traveled" and agree with you 100% that it is an excellent book whether the spirituality aspect of it appeals to the reader or not.

Guest 05.12.2010 12:50

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Tai-chi/Ji gung is particularly helpful for of exercise if you can find a class near you.

Guest 05.12.2010 13:35

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Quote:

Tai-chi/Ji gung is particularly helpful for of exercise if you can find a class near you.
Tai-chi works well also with fibromyagia issues. However, if you have problems with balance, and if standing for a while is hard for you, it can be really difficult.

Pilates, swimming and plain old walking are also excellent exercises. Pretty much anything that gets you moving.

I've not read the book, but John Raty, who's a an American psychiatrist recommends exercise as a way to change what's in your brain...I think the book is called "spark".

Clarejane 05.12.2010 13:44

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ishaka (Post 1034888)
@colinwheeler - I have also read "The Road Less Traveled" and agree with you 100% that it is an excellent book whether the spirituality aspect of it appeals to the reader or not.

Have nearly finished this book, so again can heartily recommend this book. Not only for the sufferer but for those around them to understand. After having spent years with a mum with Bi-polar which was undiagnosed until quite recently, it helped me to understand her a little more. Which certainly makes our relationship a little less strained.

colinwheeler 05.12.2010 14:06

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by olygirl (Post 1034861)
The key to depression is: get help. Now.

Most probably the best piece of advice here. We, the individuals are the only ones that can fix these problems, but we can't dig ourselves out of the holes alone!
Meds are most probably a good idea in the right circumstances but don't work for everybody, quite often because of physical reasons, but then the same goes for every approach. What works for the individual is different.
I like the phrase (and note that I don't use it in its religious form) "shakubuku" or as it translates directly "breaking evil". Humoursly it was used in the film Grosse Pointe Blank where a character translated it as a "swift kick to the head that changes your life forever". It is all about striving for that moment when we see the light.
Oh, and enjoy every little thing that you can on the way, the taste of things, the sunshine, the snow, kids playing, lover's loving. The world is full of happiness, if you are not feeling it, live vicariously.

Guest 05.12.2010 14:25

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
The most empowering quote I've ever picked up from a pop psychology book comes from Stephen Covey's 8th habit:

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness."

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.

Often, our best choices appear to be the darkest paths. Such choices may appear to be fraught with danger and discomfort, so we avoid them. Avoiding them can cause issues to pile up, leading us to feel helpless about our situation. But we weaken ourselves when we run away from life.

The Road Less Traveled is an excellent book to help you confront such fears of the unknown. By confronting your most difficult choices, running through the full gamut of their effect, then realizing that you can survive them is one of the most empowering and exhilarating experiences you can have.

Also, there is a physiology accompanying depression. Managing the physiology can help you manage the depression. Physical exercise, proper nutrition along with cognitive behavior techniques can help you stay emotionally fit. Physical exercise can be a powerful tool against depression.

All in all, the key is a change in attitude and perspective. Getting started can be the toughest part. Once you get started, you can pick up speed and lift off. When your consciousness and attention is no longer focused on your self, but on the life and the people around you, you can find that you are no longer depressed. In doing so, you can experience the fullness of life. Then you just need to maintain this state.

Upthehatters2008 05.12.2010 14:29

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
The opposite of depression is happiness. Your basic right, your natural state.
Getting back there is a spiritual journey, not a religious one. The sooner you start, the better.


http://www.theartofhappiness.com/

The Art of Happiness (Riverhead, 1998, ISBN 1-57322-111-2)

The book explores training the human outlook that alters perception. The concepts that the purpose of life is happiness, that happiness is determined more by the state of one’s mind than by one’s external conditions, circumstances, or events—at least once one’s basic survival needs are met and that happiness can be achieved through the systematic training of our hearts and minds, through reshaping our attitudes and outlook and that happiness is in our own hands.

Guest 05.12.2010 14:32

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
For those with deep clinical depression, I am not sure how far this is relevant. But years ago I saw a postcard which I keep on my kitchen fridge

'Happiness is a difficult choice you have to make every day'

for me, it helps me focus. But I've never suffered from true depression, so this may sound very much 'easier said than done'. I had help from a shiatsu practitioner for a couple of years when I was struggling trying to help both teenagers in UK and my ailing elderly parents in CH- and she often said that
'suffering can become a very bad habit' and a form of self-harm.

Good luck to all who are suffering - hope you find help and light.

rrs 05.12.2010 14:36

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phos (Post 1034963)
The most empowering quote I've ever picked up from a pop psychology book comes from Stephen Covey's 8th habit:

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness."

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.

Often, our best choices appear to be the darkest paths. Such choices may appear to be fraught with danger and discomfort, so we avoid them. Avoiding them can cause issues to pile up, leading us to feel helpless about our situation. But we weaken ourselves when we run away from life.

The Road Less Traveled is an excellent book to help you confront such fears of the unknown. By confronting your most difficult choices, running through the full gamut of their effect, then realizing that you can survive them is one of the most empowering and exhilarating experiences you can have.

Also, there is a physiology accompanying depression. Managing the physiology can help you manage the depression. Physical exercise, proper nutrition along with cognitive behavior techniques can help you stay emotionally fit. Physical exercise can be a powerful tool against depression.

All in all, the key is a change in attitude and perspective. Getting started can be the toughest part. Once you get started, you can pick up speed and lift off. When your consciousness and attention is no longer focused on your self, but on the life and the people around you, you can find that you are no longer depressed. In doing so, you can experience the fullness of life. Then you just need to maintain this state.

I would tend to disagree as there are various forms of depression and causes of it. Exercise can be a tool to battle depression for some people. In other cases, depression can not be just chosen away. It's a complex condition that doesn't always have an answer that's found in a book.

colinwheeler 05.12.2010 14:56

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rrs (Post 1034980)
Exercise can be a tool to battle depression for some people. In other cases, depression can not be just chosen away.

Two excellent points over here.
1. Exercise is always a vital tool for fighting depression. Healthy body, healthy mind. The two have to work hand in hand. If you are not exercising (and quite hard at that), depression will be that much harder to beat. Your body will release so many great drugs into your system when you keep it happy with exercise that it will make it much easier to get both of the integrated systems working together.
2. Depression cannot ever just be chosen away, but on the other hand only you can choose to start the fight and the healing process.

Guest 05.12.2010 15:08

Re: Depression Sufferers
 
By choice, I meant a person's willingness to deal with their depression. It cannot be battled without it.

A person's cognition is the key to fighting depression. How a person perceives their therapy plays a role in how effective their treatment is. Some use psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and others use anti-depressants in combination. Researchers say that the best treatment for depressions is the one the patient prefers.


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