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    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2011
    check craigslist you might get lucky.
  1.  (10224.122)

    I've got a number of strategies, depending on what level of severity.

    • At a low-level - Exercise definitely works. I'll try walking or gardening, or if I can, I'll thrash the hell out of a guitar for a few hours, anything to get adrenaline going. I'll go up a hill or to the coast and stand in the wind.

    • I've also tried writing stuff that I'm anxious/worried about down on paper and then burning it. That seems to help.

    • Stop fighting it. Sometimes I have to accept that I'm beating my head against a brick wall by trying to do something that I'm not in a fit state to do, and it helps to just stop, step back, and do something brainless like sit in a chair and look at the sky or watch Monty Python

    • @Oddbill's strategy of 'be funny' - yeah, I think I do that as well, especially if I'm trying to cope with depression while at work, it helps to deflect it and I suppose to make contact with other people softer and more human

    • Visualising/meditating on the interconnectedness of all things. I'll look at an object - let's say a train (I spend a long time commuting...). I'll visualise all the components and connections between them. I'll think about the moving parts and how they're interacting with each other. I'll think of the electricity and how it's been generated and where the fuel comes from and how it gets to the train. I'll think of the track and where it goes, and how the steel rails form an unbroken line that connects London with all areas of the south coast. I'll think of the people that built the lines, that mined the ingredients for the steel, the ships that brought the parts to where the train was built, the animals that died and rotted to make the oil for the plastic and the paint. And after all that, I've usually distanced myself a suitable way from the sad and the anxiety to look at it with a bit more perspective.

    Some of these things work for me, at times.
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2011


    Anyone good at plant identification? What the hell is this stuff? Someone, after a verbal description, suggested jasmine, but it doesn't match any picture I've seen online. I would love to know if I can be making tea out of it, though.
    The base is a long thin decorative grass; the flower bunches grow on tall thin stalks and spread out horizontally. It started flowering in mid-August, after I chopped away all the weeds obscuring it, and is even more flowery now. The flowers have six petals and long stamens, and are maybe half an inch in diameter.

    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2011
    In addition to the above very good suggestions, you might try community acupuncture, for which I must confess my professional bias =). I have treated thousands of people and most have some relief much more often than not.
    Aside from that, one way to summarize some of the above comments is to think in terms of doing things that help you switch from a state of sympathetic nervous system dominance (ye olde FIGHT or FLIGHT) to parasympathetic nervous system dominance (Rest and Digest). Unfortunately, our world has not been designed to encourage relaxation; you've got to carve out your own niche of peace somehow.
  2.  (10224.125)
    @Allana - looks like onion weed to me.

    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2011

    Garlic of one type or other, probably. Check the bulb, as I'm sure you'll recognise that.
  3.  (10224.127)

    The only time I usually get that feeling is when I haven't eaten enough lately. When my blood sugar drops I start to become a little paranoid which leads to me getting depressed because, well, obviously, nobody likes me (for those not paying attention, it's the paranoia talking at that point). If I don't realize it's lack of food (which happens sometimes) I usually either play a mindless video game, lay on the floor and stretch, or clean the house. I have a hard time focusing so reading doesn't work for me, but at the same time, I have to keep my mind busy otherwise I'll think about things that just make it worse.
    And then, after awhile, I'll realize that I need to eat something really fast. Today has been one of those days.
    *goes to look for a snack before dinner*
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2011

    I was left with instructions to come up with stuff that stops me thinking about the signals coming from inside my body. Talk to someone about anything. Talk to yourself, to your pets, to the ceiling, to whatever gods take your fancy. Interact with something. Concentrate fiercely on anything that is not those howling monkey reflexes which try to trick you into thinking that you are drowining or something. Doesn't always work, but practice seems to help. You know prayer beads? At least they're less conspicuous than suddenly dropping down and doing twenty while waiting in line at the grocery store. (And, presto, just like that, I have formed a whole new hypothesis about the origin of prayer :)

    An important element of depression seems to be about reward cycles, which is why computer games as a remedy may not be a good idea in some cases. Those things are designed to be mildly addictive to someone in what laughably passes for an average state of mind. They're carefully timed and tuned to give your brain a kind of illusion of work and achievement, to keep you klicking that button, logging those hours, and feeding the subscription. If you start out building a gaming habit on a big downer, you're not very motivated to seek out other rewarding tasks to begin with, which is a nice gaping gateway to a psychological addiction.
  4.  (10224.129)

    I'll echo the recommendation to excersize. YES. It releases endorphins like WHOAH, and for the rest of the day your muscles are less cramped and your body feels more lithe and alive. I do my excersizes by listening to thumpy dancy music or Led Zeppelin and dancing about in my underwear. It feels less like a chore and more like something I'm enjoying, that way.

    Masturbation/sex is good for depression, too. Hooray for endorphins!

    Personally, I'm a nature person, and being in the city starts to get to me after a while, and I don't even realize that it's the culprit. Getting the FUCK out of the concrete jungle, and walking someplace that I can't hear cars, where air smells sweet, where crickets sing..... I feel I can breathe again, and my mind opens and I feel much better.

    Also: cleaning myself and my body. THAT IS KEY. If you feel shlumpy, shower. If you can't think through something, clean your space. Outward sorting of things can help the insides sort things. Having a clean and organized enbvironment of pleasant aesthetics improves my mood in AMAZING ways.

    Also, having a plant. It gives a vibe of LIFE in your space, and also, there are microbes in dirt that act as an antidepressant. (link) I think this probably has a lot ot do with my phsycial NEED to have yard and trees around me. the smell of nature makes me breathe deeply and feel almost high, so maybe I'm hyper sensitive to it? Maybe growing up with it, I have a more severe depressive reaction to dirt withdrawal?
  5.  (10224.130)
    #college disability

    Ok, I've got a question. I'm really out of my depth with the red tape of the american college system and the hierarchy. So here's the deal: For the spring semester last year, I went to Disability Services, had a conversation with some lady there who looked at my doctor reports and asked me questions. She got me audio versions of my text books because I have difficulty reading large bodies of text. Ok.

    This semester, a week before classes started, I got an email from Disability Services with the NEW form that I was required to fill out to get my alternative texts. In that same email, it stated that they'd need up to 4 weeks to obtain these texts. So. It's now a month in to the semester, and I am only going to get my books on Monday. I may have to withdraw from most of my classes, because it's terribly unlikely that I'll catch up. I only have until the 20th to withdraw from classes without adversely affecting my grades. This, to me, is bullshit. I've taken loans and grants to pay for the tuition of classes that I can't participate in by no fault of my own. I've paid hundreds of dollars for the textbooks I need (because they won't give me alternative versions of the texts without seeing my reciept of the book purchase). I'd not have needed much special accomodation if I'd had the books on time, but now I've four classes I'm a month behind in, and I do have health issues that keep me from busting my ass the way I'd like. I'd spoken to my advisor, and he seems to think I should just withdraw and take the classes next semester, which I can't afford, because I won't be a state resident. And besides, I already fucking paid for these classes!

    Do you think i could get the administration to agree to allow me to take these same classes NEXT semester for free, as I've already paid for them? Who should I approach about this, and how? Are there any Disability Student Advocacy groups I could contact? Could I contact the state government, since I recieved my funding through state grants or should I contact the federal, since I got mostly federal loans? Do I write to the Dean? Is there a person who is adept at college issues that I could hire to work my case?
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2011
    #college disability

    I would talk to another advisor, or even the same one again if you can't do that, and make it clear why you can't afford to withdraw and take the classes next semester, and ask them all of these questions. Make a list of every possible question you could think to ask beforehand. If they can't answer something, have them tell you who to ask. In my experience with college advisors, they can help more than you expect sometimes.

    Advocacy groups and things like that will vary depending on the school, as will the hierarchy of who you should contact. The ones to ask are the ones that work specifically at your school, with the job of helping students. Never feel embarrassed to go back and say you forgot to ask something, or to ask a question that sounds stupid in your head. They are being paid to help you.
  6.  (10224.132)

    Cooking. If I'm really down in the dumps, I find cooking something pulls me out of it a bit. I've been cooking a lot lately. And not necessarily 'comfort' food. I'll make strawberry jam when decent strawberries are to be had, I made tomato sauce last weekend, I frequently make pizza. Try to cook something that you haven't cooked before, using ingredients that you don't usually use (the tomato sauce was a big one for me, since I never cook with whole tomatoes. It turned out really good, but it's not as economical as I had hoped.).

    Also exercising in nature made me feel slightly better a lot of the time, but I don't have that luxury anymore, since there are no green places here.

    Bicycle while listening to music and singing along at the top of your lungs.
  7.  (10224.133)

    I draw like crazy till it passes. If that's not enough, I go see live music and maybe/probably/definitely draw the heck out 'em..seeing other folks being creative always brings my out my funk.
    If I need industrial strength release...I go dancing and go all out for the whole night.
    Sounds very extreme but I don't drink, smoke and have no friends to lean on so I make do keeping myself for the most part.
  8.  (10224.134)

    They look like garlic chives; I've got some growing in my herb garden. The flowers taste particularly nice.
  9.  (10224.135)


    I Run until i exhaust myself - exercise a lot, or Dance, dancing around like a total idiot (my favorite). write it all down to get it out of my head. Look at cute things on the nets, i like small furry cute it makes me giggle and squee. I understand that most of the time talking about it is not an option- when i get there i sit and do something busy with my hands on auto pilot while I pick apart what is going on with me, analyze it till there is nothing left and logic it to death out of my head.

    Or if the social anxiety hasn't eaten my brain- dress up fun/pretty/silly and go out and just be obnoxious and enjoy myself. Often put lots of time and energy thinking about becoming a habitual pudding flinger at people- making a nice big bowl of the stuff and just throwing it at people. Haven't quite worked out if that would be assault or not but it would be damn funny.
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2011

    I...just get angry. This morning I was so overwhelmed with everything going on in my life and the bleakness of the only road I have to follow to get myself out of it. And then it really came down to that I could just lie there in bed and cry about it or I could get up and start doing the the things I have to do. Being sad about my lot isn't productive and while I enjoy taking a few minutes to indulge my self-pity, I eventually have to just get up and get moving to make the bad things go away. It's a weird switch that I flip in my head that took a long, long time to develop.

    I also reach out a lot on Twitters/text messages/social networks when I'm feeling down. Sometimes just a few back and forths over something silly is enough to cheer me up & get myself unstuck from a cycle of loathing. You can tell how my day is going by how much I'm tweeting at any one moment, honestly. When I'm anxious or sad, I'll start posting a lot of randomness. When I'm OK & keeping busy, I'm quiet on the 'net. I run around alone so often, it's nice to know that I basically have traveling companions in my pocket if i just reach out for them.
    • CommentAuthorjonah
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2011 edited
    I don't think I've been depressed, because I've always had good reason to feel bad, but eating super sour, hot, bitter or otherwise spicy food always makes me feel better. Also, sun, really good sashimi...

    Yeah, cooking! Soup made with animal bones and tough meat given a proper sloo-oow cook is magical.

    I had acupuncture a few times and it made me super high, like vicodin, can't feel my legs, laughing way too much at random stuff as I walked home high. Also, I felt like there was a big string coming in through the top of my head out through my feet as I had it done.

    ETA Inositol? never tried it, but as much as wikipedia can be trusted...
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2011
    Spot-on, Ian! Thanks.
    But, really, onion "weed?" It's pretty and I can eat it? Those gardener types gotta get their priorities straight.
  10.  (10224.139)

    Generally when I get hit with an overwhelming sense of sadness it's because I'm not in a position I want to be in (in any important aspect of my life) and I don't know what to do about it. I used to have a really hard time trying to get out of it, but eventually I found a sort of personal routine that helped me out. It goes like this:

    Get a pot of coffee going and put on depressing-as-hell music. The coffee, for some reason, helps me feel less frantic and more focused. The sad music lines up with my thoughts and helps me digest things.

    Start writing in my e-journal thingy in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way, just letting it pour out, getting all the bits on my mind out there for review. No real filter or plan, just mental-vomit.

    Sift through the mental vomit, address points, be honest with myself about how much I'm exaggerating or underplaying an issue. Take those points and map them out real quick-like and scribbly in a notepad so I have the most important/pressing issues laid out.

    Make flow charts or some sort of comparison graph. My paper journal is full of em. Weigh pros and cons, lay out realistic cause::effect maps, write out what I really want/need to do, then make a small goal list. When I'm sad, it's kind of hard for me to be productive, so I start out with smaller goals/things I need to do anyway and the act of being productive really helps. Then moving on to bigger issues when I'm in a better mindset to take them on. It's basically just having a goal to work towards... When I don't have something to work towards I tend to get sort of lost in it all. When it gets to a point where I'm still not sure, I talk to people I trust. Good people generally have good points.

    Depending on the situation, long walks, exhausting labor, and masturbation/sex (echo: hooray for endorphins!) can come in handy when I'm trying to get my thoughts straightened out.
  11.  (10224.140)
    Spot-on, Ian! Thanks.

    But, really, onion "weed?" It's pretty and I can eat it? Those gardener types gotta get their priorities straight.

    There's a genus of allium known as onion weed, which has a small bulb and is almost impossible to eradicate. I can't be exactly sure what species yours is without consulting a taxonomic guide.