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  #1  
Old 09-14-2012, 09:56 PM
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Depression Support Thread

Why We Are HereSo, this idea is one that I have had for a while now but the impetus to start it was
right-aligned image
derived from a comment in the "Grrrr" thread. And since it is National Suicide Prevention week this seems like the perfect time. Simply put this is a place where those of us who have or are dealing with depression, or loved ones who are depressed can come to talk about our experiences and difficulties. It is important to remember that you don't have to have a disorder to be depressed, there can be multiple sources either through life-events, nutrition, weather, giving birth and/or financial worries. All types are welcome here.

My own motivation is simple. I have MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and there are multiple members of my family that also possess it or Bipolar-II or (in milder cases) Cyclothemia and Dysthemia. I would hope that my experiences of dealing with MDD can be used to help those around me, including all of you. If you have any questions about it please feel free to ask me.


ResourcesHere are a few resources that can help if you are interested.

The Mayo Clinic's Depression Test: This is a great starter if you are curious and wondering if you may be depressed.

DepressedTests.Com's Test: While perhaps not as clinically tested, this is a great test for looking at disorders outside of just Depression including: Bipolar Disorder, Cyclothemia, Dysthemia, Post-Partum Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

To Write Love On Her Arms: A wonderful charity that helps people deal with suicide, self-inflicted harm and drug abuse.

National Suicide Hotline: If you feel that your own thoughts and plans are putting you in danger, or if you are concerned that a loved one may commit suicide I recommend contacting this hotline or another appropriate one.

DBSA - or - Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: This national foundation offers a pretty big network of peer support, online counseling (though I caution you from relying solely on an online counselor to help you. They can bee good for support, but you might need the real thing), treatment tools, reading materials, support group locator (in the US) and a lot more.

NAMI - or - National Alliance on Mental Illness: It's hard to say which is a stronger support network when comparing DBSA and NAMI, so I say use both! NAMI has a very comprehensive support network on their site, but they are focused on a broader scope of ailments. Whereas DBSA focuses primarily on Depression and Bipolar, NAMI works with AA, and really most any type of mental illness - or ailment, some folk aren't quite sure they've got an illness yet, so ailment works just fine. I think that because of their ties to Alcoholics Anonymous, NAMI has support groups planted just about everywhere (in the US). And let me tell you, it is really something to walk into a room filled with people who are all dealing with similar problems and to be able to share your story and eventually your progress with a crowd who is intent on supporting you and giving you the encouragement that you need. And then to be able to give back to those around you. It's really something.

Common Cognitive Distortions: A wonderful listing of some of the cognitive distortions that we engage it. Definitely helpful in aiding us to become aware of our own thinking.

Last edited by Noghri Sloth; 12-22-2012 at 10:47 PM. Reason: Credit to Gath for suggesting more sites! / And Medesha!
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:44 PM
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Probably a slightly inappropriate comment, but I do find it interesting that one of the symptoms of depression is excessive sleeping and lazing about... and this thread was posted by Sloth.

Anyway, the test seem to think I'm very bipolar.

....

That's... That's probably not a good sign....
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:59 PM
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:49 AM
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I have my first appointment with a counselor on Wednesday. I've always been a somewhat anxious person, and depression does run in my family, but since my friend died in July I've felt severely overwhelmed and struggling. I hope to get back to normal soon.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:55 AM
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Having taken the hard way (not that there's an easy way) through several years of severe Anxiety and Depression (courtesy of psychological abuse), I wholeheartedly offer my support and encouragement to anyone else who is having those kinds of problems.

I could offer advice in regards to the stuff I did that helped me get past it (without medication), if people would like. A bit tired for that discussion yet tonight, though.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:39 PM
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Birched would kill me if I were to post my history, meds, etc. I would need my own server. I have been Abby Normal for many years now.

Good thread...If it helps one person, it's golden!

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Old 09-15-2012, 10:00 PM
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Mostly friends and acquaintances, but I agree that this is an amazingly important issue.

Lymph; that Canadian link you gave is really interesting. Pretty well made, though seems super oriented towards high school students...those most likely to search for answers to this sort of problem online?
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CE2JRH View Post
Lymph; that Canadian link you gave is really interesting. Pretty well made, though seems super oriented towards high school students...those most likely to search for answers to this sort of problem online?
That site was created by the efforts of those who knew Rick Rypien, a professional hockey player who lost his life last summer from suicide. Supposedly, he had been dealing with clinical depression since his Junior Hockey days, when his girlfriend died. He had had a couple of leaves of absence from the Vancouver Canucks (the professional team that he finally broke into the NHL with) during his playing career, and was about to join the Winnipeg Jets when news of his death broke.

Since a lot of kids look up to hockey players as role models, I think they intentionally targetted the youth age segment as their "market".
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jondera View Post
I could offer advice in regards to the stuff I did that helped me get past it (without medication), if people would like. A bit tired for that discussion yet tonight, though.
I wish I had the ability to give such advice. I suspect - and am almost certain - that I battled with clinical depression (or at least a mild version of it) since my teens until about the age of 30 (easily a decade and a half). I was never officially diagnosed with it, nor did I seek medical attention for it - hence, I can only say that it was suspected, but never confirmed.

Pretty sure I ran the whole gamut of things you should or shouldn't do, things that treat or worsen the symptoms, etc. The only thing I didn't do was take anti-depressants, because (like I mentioned) I never sought medical advice.

Then, one day, in my early 30s (or perhaps my very late 20s), it just went *poof*. I still get bothered once in a while by sad thoughts or moody moments or lack of self-esteem, but not as severe, consistent, or persistent as it had been for the previous decade and a half. I would say I'm generally on the "no longer depressed" side of the scale, if such a scale existed.

I wish I knew what caused it (or what caused it to go away). That way, I could provide some advice or assistance to my fiancée, who appears to be dealing with a case of it herself (since about 5 years ago - and her father's recent death has not helped things at all).
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:56 AM
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Anxiety here. My Psychiatrist has avoided a diagnosis of Depression, but I think that is the root of it. I see a counselor, but I don't like discussing anything.

Everybody needs to know that there are people who have the same problems and that there are people out there who are willing to help.

Great idea, Sloth.

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Old 09-17-2012, 12:29 PM
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Social anxiety disorder stemming from years of psychological abuse. I've been seeing a counselor but it only helps so much, you know?
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormhammer View Post
Social anxiety disorder stemming from years of psychological abuse. I've been seeing a counselor but it only helps so much, you know?
Yeah I hear ya. Some days it seems like everything is going to get better, and you can feel good right after a session but then when you get by yourself the thoughts start running through your head again and those feelings start bubbling up again. It's like you can't run fast enough and it's always there waiting for you to relax your guard.

That's one of the most important things I have had to learn over the years though. You can only run for so long, and sometimes running can hurt you just as much. That desperation, that feeling that you may never be rid of it just seems to seep into everything and you begin to think that maybe it's just you. Maybe the problem is you and it's something you are doing wrong.

Well that's a lie. It's not you. It isn't that other people deal with this sort of thing all the time and they just deal with it, it's not that you somehow don't get it, that everyone else knows how to play the game but you. The truth is that no one who suffers from these things "just deals with it". You don't just "get over it", and that little voice that likes to point at other people and say "Well look at them, they're doing fine why can't I be like them? What am I doing wrong?" is lying to you. It isn't that you are doing anything wrong, it never was. Because there is no rule-book to this game, and those people who look like they know what they're doing either have a different set of problems than you or they are very good at faking it.

A number of my family members (including immediate family) have had to deal with social-anxiety disorder, my mother in particular. All stemming from their father who was both physically and mentally abusive in addition to being an alcoholic. I've watched all of them struggle, and talked to them and listened as well. This anxiety is not you, it doesn't have to define you. There is so much more to you than this, you are both beautiful and perfect. Never judge yourself using other people as a measuring stick, because that's a measuring stick that is in a different system and that's too far away to read. Just do whats right for you, in the moment.

In the immortal words of Dori, "Just keep swimming." You will get there.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:02 PM
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It is probably not fair to say I suffer from anxiety, but I have had two panic attacks. The first one was on my 17th birthday. At the time my life felt completely off the rails (long story), and I think the stress of it was what set it off. It was terrifying--I thought I was having a heart attack. My mom called an ambulance.

The second panic attack I had was in the middle of the night about two years ago. My oldest daughter was still in the foster system, and right after Christmas social services came and took her out of our house (because according to the social worker "we weren't properly certified to take foster kids") and put her in a sleeping bag in the hallway of a group home for kids much older than her. My husband was his usual "rock of Gibraltar" self, and I kept it together pretty well at the time (it's a good thing the guns were all locked up), but that night I kinda fell apart. It was probably a worse attack, but it didn't feel as bad, because I knew what it was.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
A number of my family members (including immediate family) have had to deal with social-anxiety disorder, my mother in particular. All stemming from their father who was both physically and mentally abusive in addition to being an alcoholic.
Mine also stems from a psychologically abusive father. I could only be on my guard for so long. After awhile you become a "beat dog" that would rather cower from its master than stand its ground. Soon that attitude or state of mind becomes the way you act around most people. With a father who always pointed out your every failure and shrugged off your every accomplishment as meaningless, you begin to grow paranoid. Soon everybody is criticizing you or laughing at you. When does the criticism end? When does the criticism stop when its in your head? I've ultimately arrived at the conclusion of disowning my father. No more visits with the family. No more holidays. No more phone calls. I'm completely at peace with the entire premise of walking away. But I know, deep down inside, that it won't fix the problem. Not completely.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormhammer View Post
Mine also stems from a psychologically abusive father. I could only be on my guard for so long. After awhile you become a "beat dog" that would rather cower from its master than stand its ground. Soon that attitude or state of mind becomes the way you act around most people. With a father who always pointed out your every failure and shrugged off your every accomplishment as meaningless, you begin to grow paranoid. Soon everybody is criticizing you or laughing at you. When does the criticism end? When does the criticism stop when its in your head? I've ultimately arrived at the conclusion of disowning my father. No more visits with the family. No more holidays. No more phone calls. I'm completely at peace with the entire premise of walking away. But I know, deep down inside, that it won't fix the problem. Not completely.
That sounds astonishingly similar to my own experiences.

I still keep in contact with my mother by email, but only occasionally. I know it isn't really a permanent solution, but it's given me the time to learn how to think and make decisions for myself without having him around, and given me a chance to get my life on track. A few years down the road, once I have a steady job and life situation, I'll reopen limited contact.

It's not out of any desire to prove my father wrong, but I rather hope that if I can show him that I can succeed in life without his help or input, that he'll shut up and let me live it for myself.
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