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OK - so this has been something brewing in the back of my mind......
March 15, 2008
2:25 pm
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truthBtold
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for years now.....

Do you suppose that there actually does come a time and place when you have to try and "snap out of it" in so far as depression is concerned?

Gosh - those are such fighting words in my head!

I do not - by any means want to invalidate my depression (or that of others)in thinking about this....but it seems to me that sometimes - you just HAVE TO FORCE yourself (myself) to DO IT!!!!!

It is so damn frustrating to me!

I am always looking for ways to compare mental illness with physical, tactile examples to try and get a grasp on it.

Like - for example - when I shattered my ankle - (steel plate and 6 pins) I had to endure the pain of physical therapy and FORCE MYSELF to walk on it a little bit at a time. Was really no other way around it than to just DO IT!

Can depression be liken to this?

I am really taking a big chance here on myself by just getting this sensitive subject/question out there.

Seems like it flies square in the face of all that crap I heard growing up to just "snap out of it"

Never want to minimize myself or others the absolute devestation of depression - but - by the same token - is there some truth to just forcing yourself to "snap out of it" temporarily - in order to clean house, pay bills, etc????

Like I said in the title of this thread - this had been brewing in the back of my mind for many years now....

Comments/insights anyone? thanks.

March 15, 2008
4:59 pm
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Hi Truth,

I've been hurting and feeling like there's no place to go with it and then......here is your thread.

I want to agree with you. Except for when the feelings are overwhelming and I cannot just "get over it". My horoscope today said something about giving away my power..........

I feel like I am always trying and giving to others and right now they don't even call me unless they need something from me. And it really really hurt. I always try to shrug it off, but these feelings are getting so bad I am just IN PAIN! Too many details to get into (your thread), but I think I see a problem in isolating........that is, my ability to let go of feelings that prohibit me from enjoying anything is directly related to how much time I've been spending alone.

This is real. I've been hunkered over my computer trying to find employment for many many days. When I finally got an interview, I went out all focused and prepared (pulled together)and afterwards I actually had some friendly conversations with several different people and when I came home I felt like it had been a surreal experience, as though I was "faking it" all the time I was out amongst people.

That IS depression at work, right?

I'm suggesting that, YES, it is totally a state of mind. Yes, we are close to losing our health insurance and we cannot borrow any more and no one I want to talk to about it because it is something I do not want people to know because these things backfire and the family business could suffer WORSE reputation-wise, etc. It feels like a strangle-hold that I must keep a lid on. Huge stress.

It is one more thing I am hiding.....

I hide my financial problems, the ugly fights I've had with my husband, his alcoholic behaviors and denial, etc. I hide my shame and discouragement and feelings of hopelessness.....that things are never going to change. Sometimes, when things are going well and I have some happy moments and feel truly grateful I think it COULD be that way ALL the time, but I get beaten up by despair so easily I think I have no more will to "fight it", as you suggest.

I'm pretty sure it has to do with SELF-Talk. We have to counter the crummy thoughts with good thoughts. I've checked this out with my siblings and we all tend to agree that there was a pervasive feeling of depression surrounding our father, who was a wonderful, loving man, but raised in poverty by scandinavians......

......the SAD lamps help. Avoid alcohol and other mood-altering stuff. Keep caffeine in balance, as well as regular exercise and good diet.

If I make a genuine effort to stay focused on my habits and daily routines, I find I do not fall victim to "wallowing" in the depressed feelings.

It works, Truth. Just getting my own little hike-around-the-mountain explanation out here has helped immensely to clear away the pain I was feeling a little while ago.

I just "got over it" for another space of time......I know I cannot expect ANY OTHER PERSON to "make me feel better".

Everyone has this ability within themselves. I believe that.

March 15, 2008
5:10 pm
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razor
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TruthBtold
I knew this was you when I saw the thread title:)

I have thought about this before and I admit I know nothing official on the subject. But in my own case. I had days where I would feel terrible for whatever reason and then I could feel myself snap right out of it.

But this was in my younger days and I was never really depressed until my breakup with the narracist. I certainly did not snap out of that, although I did have a light bulb moment when I read about narracist and discovered I had been involved with one.

But I was seriously depressed for about 5 years and I often wondered why I didn't just go on over the edge since I didn't seem to be snapping out of it.

I don't know what I really thought was "over the edge" but anyway.

I know some people are clinically depressed and I don't think that was me because I had never been depressed before.

You are a deeper thinker than I am so you let me know what you come up with.

March 15, 2008
5:14 pm
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For some of us the recognition of depression is enough.
I have learned some antecdotes in my life.
Smile at myself and others.
Consciously think about what am I grateful for in my life.
Make a point of laughing at myself.
Being gentle with myself is a good thing too.
Knowing that this too shall pass as it always has before.
Healthy diet and exercise help a lot too!
Make your life worth living.

March 15, 2008
5:24 pm
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razor
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And another thing, when I was really depressed nothing could make me feel better.When I first started the support groups and they would say things like..take a walk..take a bubble bath...do something nice for yourself.. I wanted to scream. I wanted to hear something real. I was too far gone for a freaking bubble bath to do much for me, and I told them it was going to take more than watching a bird or a butterfly to help me.

My grandchildren where the only thing that could get even a sad little smile out of me.

Back when I just had the occasional bad days I could sometimes do something to make myself get over it but the real depression, no chance.

Thank God I don't feel that bad now but I really feel for people who have depression and I know its not something you can just make yourself get over.

March 15, 2008
5:57 pm
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Hi razor!

I ended my post with I believe everyone CAN, and you ended yours with you just CANNOT MAKE yourself get over it. I wonder if you could talk about what you feel was a turning point in lifting yourself up out of depression? (I have felt the same thing about a bubble bath not even touching the problem)

Our little grandbaby is an awesome healer for me. I really do HAVE to shove my dpressing thoughts to the side for her sake. She's little and has done me no wrong.......

is that it? Is it just that the depressed person feels like nothing has ever been right in his or her life and there's no controlling it?

I think my husband has basically accused me of being impossible to please and that nothing ever satisfies me, always complaining.

Maybe the conclusive feeling eventually is it never WILL be right so why try?

I know I have felt at times that it is useless to WANT anything........because it just leads to disappointment. And again, my husband has said "I don't know what you want" and "what do you want?"

So in this sense he is right....a person HAS to do some serious thinking about what she wants and how she feels. Values. Goals.

Was it recognition of your feelings that helped lift the depression?

March 15, 2008
6:02 pm
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TBT,
I have struggled with depression my whole life. I do not think it is something you can force yourself to snap out of it, and I do think that it is something that can slip away when it is no longer serving a purpose.

The only treatment that has worked for me is working through it step by step and then one day, I feel better. I find the FLYLADY to be very helpful for managing the basics when I don't feel like doing anything at all. Washing the dishes doesn't seem as insurmountable a task, when I only commit to 15 minutes at a time.

I like your comparison to physical therapy. It is painful to work through depression. It takes less energy not to do the work of feeling the difficult feelings, finding the source, finding our pain, finding the way to deal and move on.

I don't know if this makes any sense. But I do think that we value more what we have to work hard for.

bonni

March 15, 2008
6:30 pm
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truthBtold
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Hi Everyone!

Right now - I simply can not grasp the messages of each and everyone of you - though I sincerely appreciate your responses.

I will no doubt have to chew on/digest this slowly over the next few days.

Thanks for being so open and honest.

Truly.

From the bottom of my heart ya'll!!!!!

This site is such a blessing!!!!!!

Brenda

March 15, 2008
6:34 pm
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truthBtold
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PS - we are "only as sick as our secrets"......I think some here have had the courage to express just that and has given ME courage to examine the same...........

(Just thought that I would throw that little somethin' somethin' into the mix here.....)

You guys are absolutely AWESOME!!!!!!

How lucky am I??????

March 15, 2008
6:52 pm
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Brynnie,
My broken heart was the start of my depression. Until then I could talk myself out of whatever crappy feelings I had.

But the broken heart just took all the life out of me (after my INTENSE anger died down) I felt like death eating a cracker as the old folks used to say.

After a couple of years of this I started going to a support group and I slowly started feeling better. Maybe because it gave me some sort of life. But I still felt the pain in my heart would never go away.

I think hanging out with program people and hearing about how things could change for the better I started to have hope that maybe one day I would feel better too. But it wasn't until I came across the thread on narracist that I knew I would be okay.

I had thought this guy was the love of my life and the answer to everything but this article made me see that we didn't have the love of the century and I wasn't the first person that had been taken in and I knew that this wasn't going to kill me.

I blamed my broken heart for all of my depression so that is what I concentrated on. I know I am codependent and I have to look at why I am and what I am going to do about it or I could find myself in the same shape again.

March 15, 2008
7:10 pm
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I've never heard that expression "like death eating a cracker" before. It's good. So desolate.

So maybe it's like after the hurt and pain and anger.....there was just "nothing", like NO feeling.

It could still be equal to what I was thinking earlier about not wanting to be disappointed again or any more, so just don't "hope" or try or "expect" anything from ANY source. Or, if I STOP feeling, it won't hurt.

How often do we think "if he loved me, he wouldn't SAY or DO that"?

That's what my horoscope said about me today .... that I was giving away my power blindly to others. That's trying to make another person responsible for my feelings.

WE have to choose our feelings.

They don't necessarily just happen willy-nilly TO us.

It's important to get one's feelings out there. Helps define who we are.

March 15, 2008
7:48 pm
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I never again want to blindly give my power away to anyone. That is why I am determined to work on my codependency ( I am starting to hate that word) I don't want to make another person responsible for my feelings.

I am at the point now that I never want to risk it again. But I am okay with that. I don't consider myself depressed anymore.

I am starting to rethink all the old reasons I thought I had to have a partner. Why did I feel worthless when he went away? Why did I feel more important because I thought a man loved me?

March 16, 2008
1:02 am
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Interesting topic....
I was diagnosed with depression two months ago for the first time in my life at 34 years of age.

I had no life stressor at the time, I can't even pinpoint why I began feeling so down in the dumps.
I have not had a relationship with a man in years because school as been my main focus, so its certainly not that.

Anyways, after about 2 months of feeling so crappy, though still carrying on with school and work, I decided to seek help.

Within a couple of visits with a counselor I was basically told that I have depression and PSTD. Seems mine has sprung up from childhood abuse issues that had never been addressed.

So I began my counseling treatment. I was always the type to think depression is just a state of mind and the more we dwell on something the worse it will get.
Now here I am in the dumps and feel totally useless at times. Why, I have no idea.

I am not in any crazy relationship, I am in school fufilling one of my goals in life etc...so I often ask myself what is there for me to feel so crappy about, and I can't anwser that.
All I know is it SUCKS.

Maybe its just that I feel I lack purpose at this point in my life. That to me seems to be a real deal breaker for many people. Without a purpose, whats the use right.

I still think that negative thinking proabably plays quite a roll in depression. The problem is I just can't seem to get out of that pattern, sure I have a good day here and there but the bad seem to outweigh the good at this point.

Ahhh so much to learn and boy is it so dang frustrating.

Pressing

March 16, 2008
2:56 am
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Great thread.

I have suffered from depression my whole life. It wasn't until after I started reading some PEMA CHODRON that the idea of SELF COMPASSION emerged.
wOW!
That blew my mind, being a people pleaser. Compassion for me?
What an idea.
What a relief.

As I give myself more compassion I have been able to keep the depression away for longer and longer periods of time. It definitely has to do with negative/defeating self talk.

And we co-dependents seem to be masters of this negative explanatory style, having grown up being surrounded by this destructive crap (I'm still angry).

When I give myself more positive self talk I get better.
Of course sometimes we just have to be depressed, cry,scream and let it out. But we can control how long it stays. I used to be depressed for months at a time. Now it can be hours, minutes, or days.

I found this great book too;LEARNED OPTIMISM, How To Change Your Life & Mind by Martin Seligman.
Amazing!
I just pulled it out again today because I need to reread it because I need the support......I am in NC from a creep N, like many here.

There is a direct and proven scientific link between how you think and how you feel. It is called rumination.
"A ruminator can be either an optimist or a pessimist."

"The results showed that the key to permanent relief of depression was a change in explanatory style."

"Changing explanatory style from pessimism to optimism relieves depression markedly."

PESSIMISM:
Unless I do everything perfect, I'm a failure.

OPTIMISM:
Success is doing my best.

I know some people need help with meds, and I don't take this topic lightly. Everyone has different thresholds.

There is real science/mind research going on(cognitive therapy).

I also still get so mad,,all the wasted energy,,,,,the missed opportunities as a youngster. It just is so TRAGIC.(PESSIMISM)

But a path is a path.

And this is where I am. My path. I have a choice. And I have helped my sisters see the familial patterns,so that is good. (OPTIMISM)
BREAKING THE CYCLE.

Rambling again. That's my 2 cents.
: )

Thanks for sharing & listening.
THIS PLACE ROCKS!

(((TBT)))

peace,

FREEDOm

March 16, 2008
3:30 pm
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WOW!!!! JUST WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR WHEN I NEEDED TO HEAR IT!!!!!!!!!

Sitting here crying my eyes out after a beautiful two days with son, daughter in law and 3 grandchildren. WTF is my problem??? Then I come here and YOU ALL are talking about it!!

YOU ARE AWESOM!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU ;0) ;0) ;0) :0)

Celtic

March 22, 2008
8:54 pm
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I've been busy and I do not want this thread to die. It is important to me.

Today I went and charged groceries on a credit card in order to make a nice dinner for Easter. We are all kind of in the same boat financially. It's not something everyone needs to know......how bad it really is, I mean.

I saw a friend who had just returned from a long trip to see her 83-yr-old mother, who is suffering from depression. She said her mother is caught in a cycle of feeling bad about losing her husband and being OBESE, and she cries and then eats for comfort. No one can get her to see that she must STOP the pattern in order to have any relief. Isn't this exactly the attitude or feeling that Truthbtold first mentioned???

When the stress of all the things that I SHOULD be doing gets to be overwhelming, I pretty much shut down. I get very lethargic.

When our parents were alive, we would really really make an effort (cleaning, fixing, planning stuff) before they were to come for a visit. We seem to just care less and less as we get older.......too much effort, I guess....like we have no one else to impress anymore. WHY don't we want to impress OURSELVES? It must be that we already have decided that we OURSELVES are not impressive at all, so why try?

Yes, Freedom, what you said.........everyone has different thresholds. So I've heard a typical grief "period" after one loses a spouse is 6-12 months. If you haven't "snapped out of it" after that people start to comment on it. Shoot, if you're still grieving 10 years later, there's probably something wrong with you.....so..........then we may try to HIDE the sadness.
Yup, it IS the self-talk, but we're not necessarily aware that any "talk" is going on!

We are saying stuff to ourselves about ourselves. I'm not this, it's too late for that, I'll never find another person who will love me, no one likes me, I don't like myself....ETC.

I kind of understand how you felt, too, Celtic1, because of how much you love your family. We just feel that much love it wells up and we sort of "spill over" 🙂

Happy Easter to All. Later.

March 23, 2008
1:39 pm
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Hi.

This thread is a great discussion. It seems everyone shares common experiences with depression, but also that everyone is a little bit different as well. This should allow us a little freedom, a little compassion (as mentioned) for ourselves- what I mean is that to compare yourself to others and their healing, pressure and judge yourself, on top of feeling the pain you already feel is cruel. So it is good and freeing to see the different paths and experiences, ways of thinking that people use to cope with depression.

Depression has plagued me since childhood. Mine is from a chemical imbalance, and when I was young, I didn’t even know it was CALLED depression, much less how to deal with it. So I just lied in bed all day, until my illness (bipolar) caused a more dramatic dip in my moods- and I was hospitalized. It was scary, but in a way, I need that time to look back on to recognize that this was a HEALTH problem, that it was not a character flaw (I was a child too), but a chemical problem. It will never go away for me. I am not trivializing anyone else’s cause of pain or grief, as a matter of fact- even though at times when nothing external is making me sad, I believe that the ambiguous sadness of chemical depression has made me more empathic than I normally would be. At the worst of times though, I am so wrapped up in my own pain that it is hard to see anything else- including other people’s pain. It is a catch 22.

Everyone’s life has difficulties, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t be sad over mine without my disorder. But it definitely has been a huge obstacle. But there is good news for people like me: the more you live with it and persevere the more you learn how to cope. The more coping skills you have to endure the depression, the fewer things you do to make it worse, and the better your life is. I have learned enough to get through days where I feel suicidal. It sometimes frustrates me because I no longer have the crutches of self medication or acting out to get the instant gratification of relief. But now, I do know I will feel a little better the next day- even if my problems are still there. I know that doesn’t sound like I am well. I will never be completely “normal,” but hence the term mood disorder. Some of the moods pass or lighten up. And if you learn that through persevering and through time, you learn it is worth it to pull through. It would be hard to say this to someone who is grieving a true loss, of someone who will not return, but I think a similar line of thinking applies in that they will someday endure it to feel the goodness of the love of others around them in their lives, and other life experiences. I hope that makes sense. I wish I could be more concise or eloquent.

peace and warmth,
ella

March 23, 2008
4:11 pm
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She needs something to fill the void in order to stop the pattern.

March 23, 2008
5:21 pm
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I said before that I blamed my depression on my broken heart but...
10 years ago my doctor put me on prozac for pms. I had always had wild mood swings. Some days I would be mad at the world and want to hide under the bed. It literally hurt to talk I felt like my tongue weighed 10 pounds and the effort to speak was too much.

The prozac just evened things out. I was hoping for the happy pill I had heard it to be but no.....

But now when I hear someone mention a new medicine my ears perk up like a drug addict! Maybe something would work better for me now?
I should ask my doctor I guess but I hesitate because I have visions of him saying "I am going to take you off everything"

Or "Theres nothing wrong with you that a little exercise couldn't cure"
or something ridiculous like that.

Sounds goofy when I say it out loud

March 23, 2008
6:22 pm
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I've been on Lexapro for a few years now. it works for me I've heard that depression is a chemical imballance. if you really need the meds, the dr won't take you off anything.

Brynnie,
My dad died 20 years ago. My mom dealt with well for years but now that she is 80 and can't be as active as she was, she seems to be getting more depressed about losing him.

March 24, 2008
1:52 am
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(((Tiger Trainer)))-

My mom is more and more dependant on my dad the older she gets, and her moods are erratic (I believe I got my illness from her but she's not diagnosed). Something about being isolated and unable to be active makes depression worse.

As for me, like you, my meds- a mood stabilizer, has helped me a lot, once I started to comply with my treatment. But anti-depressants are no good for me, and I can't take them. So for a lot of people meds don't do it 100%.

It seems to other people that some should "get over" things at after a certain time, but I also agree that everyone has their own time table. For my mom it was when my grandmother died that things really started to change. Also, she got cancer- but honestly, I think it was the loss of her mother that pushed her over the edge. If your mom also has chemical depression compounding her depression from grief, it can be a really tough road. Depression can make the most trivial things seem like mountains to climb, as I'm sure you know.

It's awful, my mom would never ask for help because she doesn't think there is anything wrong with her. But she is always angry and she has so many difficult symptoms. It makes me sad to see her like that. I have this irrational fantasy of finding someone to perscribe magic medicine I can put in her food or drink and see her feel better. But I'm pretty sure she will always be that way. Our relationsip is complicated but I love her. It is rough to watch your mom's health decline and see her be so sad.

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