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    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    Wow this thing really got us all up and out... So glad. So glad we're coming together and so glad we're identifying...

    @Argos - what you said about getting excited about something but never finishing, spot on. I know I talk up all kinds of projects and friends just have learned better than to nod and smile politely. I'm all talk. I like my ideas. I just never manage to get motivated over executing them.

    @Clark, what everyone said. You're totally welcome to say what you have to say and express yourself. Given the things we (well, at least I) put up here, it would be hypocritical to judge you for simply adding your thoughts and feelings. Nothing you've said has even been that outside the bounds.

    As for coping strategies... I've watched friends be on antidepressants since college and they kinda scare me. Because it's fundamentally altering neurochemistry at the same time that there is no promise that brain chemistry can go wrong. So the idea that a prescription can change before a doctor can catch it and in the mean time I'm left spiraling scares the fuck out of me. PLus I really am trying to avoid getting stuck on a pill diet for the rest of my life for as long as I can help it. I know it's inevitable, but I'd like to keep it off for at least another forty or fifty years.

    So... sometimes it's just bearing it. Just lying in bed and sucking it up. That's not coping really at all. But it's less indulgent than just running with the self destruction which I do on rare occasions - drinking, smoking, sometimes illegal drugs and sometimes (more rarely simply due to access) meaningless sex. Sometimes when a jag gets bad I dive right in, go hide in my room away from sharp things and just have it out with myself. I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS FOR ANYONE, INCLUDING MYSELF. I'm just good at bad habits.

    I can get very intellectual about it. It's actually a little calming to sit back and think about brain chemistry and what is connected to what and how it comes together. I almost forcibly take my mind off judgment and onto an intellectual pursuit, notably away from the subject of me. Another way to put that, I stop telling myself what I shouldn't do and put effort into doing something else. Sometimes exercise helps, often talking to a friend helps (if one is available), listening to loud music and dancing up a storm, other forms of catharsis.
    • CommentAuthormanglr
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    Was on Lexapro for a brief period, and I really didn't care for how it made me felt. But then, my depression has always been a bit milder than some folks, so I could manage to ride out the rough spots without total crippling everything.

    At this point exercise (4-6 miles per day on an elliptical plus semi-regular yoga), 30 minutes per day of meditation, and removing myself from a toxic career path seem to smooth out the rough spots. I think meditation is one of the key elements there, as I can fill in the variance between swings of really happy and really depressed and keep things on a more even keel. With that, I'll still have my wiggles into some crappy places...but now they may take just a couple of days to work out rather than losing months to it.
  1.  (10999.3)
    to manage things i moved out of my mothers house, did the final year of my degree in another country, which was just me in a small room animating, there's pictures of me hugging traffic cones, only looking back can i see i was going a bit mad, moved back home after finishing and then my girlfriend helped provide the kick in the ass i needed, i keep very busy, with work, a bunch of freelance jobs and the seed of starting my own company, which has started to grow with others on board so i have the motivation to see it through.

    Overall i think i've dealt with my past and the monolith of that death is just a grave i never visit, and doing instead of talking is helping and proving a fun experience.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    Hello all you brave, wonderful people. Especially you lurkers.

    I remember having clinical depression in my teens and the black, black moods that came with it and I am not in that place. I have however, for longer than I can remember, felt kind of ambivalent about being alive at all. I don't know how normal that is, but I've come to accept it as personal fact along with the non-stop tiredness that comes with chronic fatigue syndrome or whatever the fuck they're calling it now. I've been bloody knackered non-stop for over a decade now. Whatever.

    What I have recently concluded is that I think maybe I'm depressed now; have been for over a year and haven't realised because I'm not sad. I'm deeply apathetic, nihilistic, have terrible deep seated self esteem issues and social anxiety to the point where if I wasn't married and therefore forced to socialise occasionally I would be living like a hermit in a room stacked with full ash trays, books and empty teacups. I've been feeling off for a really long time, and have anxiously complained about it on here a few times, although never actually admitted to it to another fleshy human being type that I know in the real world.

    I played the depression game on the Around the Net thread and I felt like it was describing my life and so I stopped. Am I supposed to be doing something about this? I mean I'm not actually tempted to off myself and the idea of talking to a harassed and disinterested medical professional seems like a waste of everyones time. Maybe it'll just go away if I wait it out.

    Anti-depressants are old news to me, I feel like I've tried them all and as much as they served an important purpose at the time, I have no interest in going back there. Has anyone tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013 edited
    Dunno how common or not my experience is but I'm still on a bit of a magical psychiatrical pharmacological mystery tour.

    GP to Shrink #1 for depression and social phobia assessment & diagnosis (outcome: Prozac Rx from GP). Shrink #1 to Shrink #2 for Asperger’s (outcome: on-going shrink visits (theoretically)). Shrink #2 to Shrink #3 about ADD (outcome: Concerta XL Rx). Shrinks #2 & #3 to Shrink #4 for anxiety (outcome: Propanalol Rx from my GP).

    All this is over a 4 year period or so and 'Shrink #2' (Asperger’s) includes a two-year wait before seeing anybody about it and, since then, 4 different psychiatrists because they've all proceeded to bugger off to new jobs after a few sessions; the most recent one leaving before our first appointment took place. So definitely a sense of limbo/banging-head-against-wall regarding that, all because there are next to no specialists in the UK who deal with adult Asperger’s (or ADD). I'm 44, btw.

    Despite the potentially personality-shifting qualities of Asperger’s, ADD is my biggest problem as it undermines my ability to approach/consider/deal with anything else, medical or otherwise. It was my first Asperger’s shrink who recommended I get checked for ADD because a) there's a high co-morbidity rate between Asperger’s and ADD, and b) I kept losing track of where we were up to during our sessions.) Not that evidence is really needed but I started a post to this thread yesterday but got distracted by something I can't even remember. And it's not only the stereotypical "ooh, shiny thing!" external stimuli which does it - it's just as, if not more likely for some random thing in my head to drag me off course. The metaphor I use with whichever shrink-of-the-week I'm seeing involves a shaken snowglobe to represent my brain and each little fleck of white swirling around inside is a thought or idea, and no matter how much I try to concentrate, it's impossible to stay focussed on whichever single thought-speck I want or need to because it gets swallowed and obscured by all the others.

    I've been on the max daily dose of Concerta XL for getting on for 2 years now and while it's helped in a couple of ways - I tend not to forget what I'm saying mid-sentence quite so much anymore - I'm still Mr Distractible and a case study in futility when it comes to finishing anything I start. And my luck with the psychiatric profession continued when the one I'd been seeing for ADD vanished, with no word as to why, only to resurface a year later expecting to resume treatment as if nothing had happened. Cue a fight with my Primary Care Trust (the local section of the NHS) over not going back to see The Amazing Dr Disappearo along with a rejected-appealed-accepted funding application to see someone at the Asperger’s clinic I go to in Sheffield. Anyroadup, I have two appointments scheduled for April, new career opportunities permitting, so, hopefully, we'll finally start making some headway there.

    Oh yeah, I'm still waiting to hear about an appointment for the anxiety.

    And if all this wasn't boring enough, last month I was diagnosed with Peyronie's Disease (trust me, you don't want to look it up if you're at work) which, physically, doesn't usually require any treatment, except surgery in the most severe instances, other than...have you guessed yet? Yeah, psychiatric counselling because "It is not uncommon for men afflicted with Peyronie's Disease to exhibit depression."

    Then again, maybe there's something to be said for all our "issues" if it means WC is unfailingly welcoming, friendly, helpful, entertaining, understanding, non-judgemental and supportive DESPITE BEING ON THE INTERNET. Yeah, there's the ever-present threat of Maggot Assured Destruction but, for the most part, Señor Si keeps them for his own personal jollies.

    </sentimental belch>
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    @Manglr, the toxic career path is definitely contributing to my shit-awful mood these days.
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    first: all of you people need to be flooded with respect and admiration for being so outrageously candid and courageous.

    then: this is the fourth time i've started typing into the comments section. wasn't sure if i wanted to share or not. finally decided not to.
    felt, however, that i absolutely need to tell you that this is amazing and i'm awestruck. thank you.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    come play werwolf!!

    As for treating my depression, going to echo what others have said about exercise, meditation, and diet. There have been days where I've found myself in an absolutely foul mood but after an hour of my spinning class I feel vibrant and excited for the world. Yoga is my form of meditation, the combination of focusing on the poses as well as doing corpse pose at the end. Though lately I haven't been exercising because I was losing weight and I didn't want to lose anymore for fear of my wedding dress being to big, and as a result I've noticed myself being more lethargic than I was early-mid last year. I gotta get on that again soon.

    When my depression got so bad it affected my educational career I went and sought help. Went to one of the doctors on my campus as well as going to the on campus therapy. The doctor is the one who told me to eat better, reduce my sugar, and exercise. He said I could go on meds *if I wanted to,* which was awesome of him to give me that option. I think part of that though was that when I went in was when I was already starting to recover and think lucidly again, so I was almost too normal seeming at my sessions. The therapist was nice and seemed to genuinely care about helping me and listening to me, but other than being a nice man nothing really came out of that. I went a couple times, had to cancel a session because he left town for a couple weeks, and then I never got around to scheduling more.

    I think seeking help would have been more helpful if I had done it when my life was being affected, rather than when I started to feel better. There were so many times I attempted or started to reach out to my professors to explain what was going on with my life, and in the end i kinda just went "eh fuck it" and failed a bunch of classes.

    I'm hoping that that experience will mean that if I ever find myself getting that bad again, I'll know to get help when I need it. We'll see.
    • CommentAuthorDarkest
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    The way I deal with the 'sperg is to try and make myself do things that are connected to stuff I do already to spread my comfort zone to give my self the right context for the next time, the first time is the hardest. Work helps with the dealing with people since I'm dealing with them in a place of my choosing.

    Also and this probably goes for a lot of other stuff as well. Don't succumb to the urge to hide and not interact with people. Even now I find myself all too often in unhappy solitude and neglecting my social connections.

    Also giving yourself permission to fail and then learn from it.

    Clawing my way back on to the diet and exercise wagon after falling off of it.
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013 edited
    Yeah folks, never be afraid of posting stuff on here. We like you. :)

    Agreed about the exercise and food habits and stuff that a lot of people mentioned here.

    It's been kind of odd for me. In the past when I hit a particular depressive episode that would cause me to cling more to people (almost to the point where it would seem manic), in an attempt to reach out and do something to take my mind off of it.

    But the more recent one has been different. Days have been going by where I feel like I'm in this bubble that shields all emotions except sadness. Or that I'm caught in this kind of dim fog. I've been more withdrawn lately and responding to people is a bit hard. Plus there have been the usual stuff. I can't really like myself when I look in a mirror and see a tetsuo-like blob or if I don't see progress going on in my life (living with my parents and maintaining an underpaid fulltime job is kind of a failure in my books).

    So dealing with a new type of beast has got me doing the whole trial and error thing. Burying myself in work helps because I forget about things. Working out helps because of the endorphin rush at the end and the physical exhaustion helps me sleep. And friends are realizing that I need to be coaxed out of my house nowadays so I can get out of my shell and that's helping. I'm also reading, watching stuff on netflix to unwind and writing in a journal.

    Counselling has helped me loads before, even when I didn't need it. For me being able to just vent to someone who doesn't know me but wants to listen every two weeks is amazing and just gets shit out there. But it doesn't look like I'll be able to do that this time so I'm sticking to my own methods.

    And it's working. I'm much better than I was in October. Still have a lot of ways to go, but, as is my motto pretty much the past couple of months, "bit by bit".
  2.  (10999.11)
    So, as someone who types and erases about as often as I post, I'd just like to say, to those who worry about posting, that this forum has been universally accepting and kind. Many of us give off a certain bluster of surliness, but when it comes right down to it, the folks here are a friendly and welcoming bunch, with a great respect for honesty.

    I went on a bit of a rampage of erasing my internet presence a few years back, but attacking my Whitechapel presence sent that screeching to a halt. I got as far as erasing my real name from an old post and from my profile when one of Warren's filthy assistants promptly put it back and said, roughly, "Stop that." It made me deal with my shit instead of hermiting into an antisocial hole. Anyway, it's made me pretty grateful to this community, that it quietly blocked an incipient social freak-out.
  3.  (10999.12)
    It saddens me to hear that so many of you suffer from depression. You guys are awesome! If anyone should be depressed, it should be those losers on other boards.

    My depression lessened the day I decided to cut abusive people out of my life. It took years for me to understand I had been drawing their abuse upon me because I thought so little of myself.

    The crying jags, the self-loathing, the lashing out at people... All lessened more and more over several years until one day it stopped altogether. I did pay a price, however. My empathy for other people and their pain went away altogether as well. It occurred to me at some point that I've never been a nice person. My depression came from the fact that I was still trying to be.

    That's key. You have to stop worrying about your own failures as a person. The fact that you even care proves you're one of the good ones. Dry the eyes, pour yourself a drink, and stop caring about what you yourself think. YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS.

    I am happy. I make a LOT more money now too. Make of that what you will.
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    @longtimelurker YES. Years ago my quality of life improved greatly by cutting out all the useless and abusive people out of my life. It took ages to realize that was a good thing and it was so worth it.
    • CommentAuthormanglr
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    @dorkmuffin - Easy said than done I suppose, but figure out what your exit plan is and move on. A bad relationship is a bad relationship even if they're paying you.

    In my case, I went through 4 companies in 10 years in the same industry. During that time I had 8 different bosses, and saw three of those four companies into the ground through mergers, divestitures, bankruptcies, etc. In choosing to walk away from that, I dropped 100 pounds, got in shape, and got my depression in a much more manageable position. At the same time, I started to work for myself by focusing on my photography as a thing rather than finding another corporate gig. Granted, the pay is awful, and hours suck...but its my ball now.

    Also granted, I'm lucky to have a loving wife who is incredibly supportive of this endeavor. But that's in part because she so damn happy that I'm not sighing in deep sadness as my first act upon waking up every morning.

    That stopped the first day that I walked away from the toxic but well paying career.
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    The whole argument of psychological disorders being environmental vs chemical is one of the reasons why I stayed away from medications. I grew up watching a lot of my friends put on pills for issues that I thought were really based more on the facts that we had very few friends or shitty home lifes or whatever. This prejudice as well as self righteousness that I obviously knew better than their doctors took me a long time to get the fuck over myself and accept that hey, some people really do need to be on medication. Being required to attend 8 hour long group sessions in a mental hospital for a few months did a lot to knock me off my privileged high horse.

    So I've come around to being more accepting that some things are just a severe chemical imbalance and really do need medication to help the body correct itself and stabilize.

    That said, I only took seroquel once to realize that the horrible feeling of flatlined emotions the next day was not something I needed to be doing. It was weird to walk around for once without feeling any anxiety or anger or confusion about what was real or not, but it was also so bland that it didn't feel worth it. I do sometimes wonder how much more productive I would be if I didn't dedicate so much of my energy to not just running off screaming into the horizon day in and day out.

    Most of my stuff is just dealt with by my own brand of immersive therapy. Just forcing myself to go out and do things no matter how horrible it made me felt. Oh, and self medicating.

    For a while, to handle my anxieties, I heavily relied on taking antacids and other medicines like that because it treated half the symptoms of my anxiety with kind of a placebo - I'd be somewhere crowded and begin to get an agoraphobic panic attack and it'd make feel like throwing up or just generally being sick, so chewing that made the symptoms go away and I could focus on the fact that the feeling was going to pass and that everything would be OK. This abuse, of course, eventually started fucking up my digestive system and I've been slowly weaning myself off of using them as a crutch. But 10 years ago I couldn't sit through a movie if there were people in the same row as me, and now I can go to an IMAX on opening night for a Batman movie. Still have troubles with subways during rush hour, but it's been a while since I had to get off in the middle of a trip and wait twenty minutes for my heart to stop pounding.

    Hallucinogens, which I've mentioned on several threads in the past, helped me get a grip on my hallucinations. I started to see where the images were coming from (plays on shadows, lights and colour) and obviously, a more secure knowledge of what's real and what isn't, what can hurt me and what's just the floor rippling for no reason. I used to take them more often to help me "realign" myself, but I haven't had to do that in over a year now.

    Drinking helps pull me out of my shell for social situations, no explanation there.

    One day I hope to try to do diet/exercise changes, but considering that it sometimes takes me 3 hours to get anything more than a cup of coffee in me, it's unlikely. And I've had a tab open for some squats/butt exercising for the past month that I have yet to attempt to do even once in the convenience of my own home. Sigh. Y'all who are disciplined enough to do it are amazing!

    Oh, and music. Music gives me something to focus on when I'm having panic attacks and also helps me measure the amount of time I'll be immersed in something. On the subways, I know that it's only 30 minutes to my destination, or 10 songs on my phone, and I can focus on that instead of the things around me - my brother got me a pair of noise canceling earbuds a few years back when I was having the worst of it and it was so helpful in shutting out all these external things that were getting to me. Sad songs help me stop spiraling too manic, happy songs when I'm down, etc. I also latch onto certain albums and will play them over and over if I find that I can focus on my work more with them in the background. I wouldn't function as well if it weren't for music.

    Most people do not know how cobbled together I am from sticks and duct tape. I've always felt like having this system that I *know* works was better than trying to disrupt the status quo by going on medication and having to deal with going on one for months, having it be shit, then trying again. My life's moved too fast and hard to take any down time, and I've made so much progress on my own that I still don't think I want to try to go to a doctor to find a better way.
  4.  (10999.16)
    So, years ago I used to occasionally comment here, but I turned lurker a while ago and haven't really wanted to participate beyond that. (It's me Whitechapel, not you.) But with Depression Quest and now this thread, just figured I'd share.

    I've had lifelong severe depression, I've been persistently sad and miserable and had an urge to kill myself literally since kindergarten (when I was a latchkey kid; when you're 4 and you're home alone for hours everyday it is HELL). Lot of bad bad bad family history. My dad spent his childhood repeatedly molested by his grandfather and never even came close to confronting or dealing with those issues. So he turned into a pretty terrible husband and father, alcoholic, abusive, terrifying. So I've always been depressed from that, and also both my parents were killed in a car accident when I was 16. So there's that.

    I used to have pretty strong social anxiety but have defeated that for the most part. I've always been the kid who was good at putting on a good face and making friends despite myself. I'm always surprised by other people's surprise when they hear I have depression, which can be frustrating but that incorrect perception just naturally leads to others being more dismissive of it. Self-loathing is very much my bag though. I've also been diagnosed with ADD, and have in the past tried medications for depression, anxiety and ADD. This includes various combinations of Lexapro, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Abilify and Strattera through my psychiatrist, and Adderall and Xanax in my free time for funsies (I guess also for funsies a lot of alcohol and weed and for a stretch there, salvia). I will say that maybe the easiest two weeks of my life were when I first started Strattera and it had really kicked in. Literally everything became easy, I had energy and focus and accomplishing tasks was not anything like the struggle it's been my entire life. It was honestly life on cheat codes. But it was very quickly diminishing returns, and upping dosages was only ever fleetingly effective. Adderall meanwhile makes me a twacked-out sweaty freak, usually, very productive and very uncomfortable the entire time. I haven't had the money for therapy or psychiatry or to even fill out prescriptions, so I've been off all medications for over a year. Which hasn't really panned out too well. I'm supposedly filing for bankruptcy but can't even afford to actually file yet, and also can't even get out of bed most days to actually get the paperwork in order anyway. I'm so bad at functional adulthood it's just... well, depressing.

    I didn't make it far in Depression Quest before deciding it was a good tool for showing off the experience but just not a healthy use of my time, considering how RIDICULOUSLY BETTER the character's life actually was than mine. Supportive girlfriend, supportive family, etc? Lucky bastard.

    Sorry for the text wall, this is me meandering a bit too much and now I feel like I'm drowning in self-pity. But! I will leave off with this: one of the worst parts about suffering severe depression, for me, has been the loneliness of it. A huge part of that is the complete lack of understanding and empathy I know awaits me whenever I consider discussing depression or anything mental health-related with friends who have no personal experience struggling with these issues. Especially in America, in my experience, there is still a too-strong resistance to the idea that mental health issues aren't just "in your head" and aren't something you can buck up and get over on your own if you'd just stop feeling sorry for yourself. A while ago I stumbled across this image, and it kinda perfectly sums up my experience, so I've found it a useful quick lesson for people that don't "get it" (who usually still don't, but at least it's worth a try right?):
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    @doclivingston: all my ((hugs)). all of them.
  5.  (10999.18)
    I know I painted a pretty dark picture, but I'll be fine. It's just a slog. Thank you for the hugs :)
  6.  (10999.19)
    Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement. I promise to interact more as you've all made me feel very welcome and comfortable. You guys are just awesome. That's all I can say. I'm in awe of everyone. The bravery, the sense of family, the acceptance. All this, in what I feel is the most talented corner of the entire internet.

    I promise not to cry because Uncle Warren may be watching.
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
    You guys are always great, and I've never been intimidated so much as content to bask in your reflected glory. I will take advantage of the goodwill this thread has generated and interact more.

    Management! Uhh, I guess I don't! I got a night guard because I was eating my own teeth at night. I was thinking about getting a weed card to at least manage stress. Pharmaceuticals scare the ever loving piss out of me, and my own wonkiness isn't so wonky that I feel like I should go down a path that causes any kind of dependence/building up or weening off process. Anyone else with similar symptoms (schizoid personality , general anxiety or chronic depression) try that with any success?

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