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  #121  
Old 07-12-2013, 08:51 PM
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Hi there everyone, I hope everyone is still keeping it together. As my avatar and signature no doubt make obvious, there's an awareness day coming up. It's Disability Awareness Day, a day originally started by a UK non-profit for educating the general public about disability, and for educating the disabled about their options.

On deviantART, a few friends and I put together some articles. The opener is this one. Down at the bottom there are different individuals' stories and explanations of their disabilities, mine is among them. I don't know if you want to look around at the experiences being offered up to educate others, but I thought I would share these links on the off chance that you do. If you have a deviantART account, you could even participate in the discussion.

I'll have another article written by Sunday (it's what I should be doing now...) about how to talk with "healthy folk" who don't understand your condition. This will apply to those of you with depression just as much as to those with other illnesses. That article might be of interest to you all also. I will edit with a link once it's been posted.

NOTE: There is a phase for some of us that goes along better if we can ignore depression and all other illnesses. I don't want to trigger anyone by suggesting that you look at these, so please, decide for yourself whether these will hold interest or just make you angry. ~A
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  #122  
Old 07-14-2013, 02:45 AM
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In the vein of Disability Awareness Day today, this kid has a pretty nice speech on why people should start speaking out about their depression. It's hard, and people react negatively quite frequently... ah, I'll just let him say it. He's clearly smarter than me.

http://www.upworthy.com/this-kid-thi...4-words?c=ufb1
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  #123  
Old 07-14-2013, 06:52 PM
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Thanks for sharing that, Megiddo, I promptly went and shared it on my facebook page. I'm not normally one for social media, but there are exceptions and that message is definitely one of them. Thanks for passing it on.
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  #124  
Old 07-15-2013, 07:28 AM
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You are very welcome

Last edited by Megiddo; 07-15-2013 at 07:29 AM.
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  #125  
Old 08-11-2013, 08:36 PM
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So...I'm feeling a little depressed about the prospect of taking anti-depressants. Not sure if that's the usual ironic situation, or a sign that they are probably the right call.

Personally, I can acknowledge feeling apprehensive about taking them. Kind of feeling that I should instead work harder at solving the underlying problems (whilst knowing that at times, the underlying problem is brain chemistry...but is that my underlying problem?); kind of concerned about the long term effects of such medication; and kind of concerned that taking them may just be a band-aid solution - that whenever I stop, the real issues may still be there.

Anyway, just wanting to try to get my head around my own feelings, write them down. Feel free to share your own thoughts or any advice you may have.
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  #126  
Old 08-11-2013, 09:26 PM
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Not sure if this is good news orI bad news, but I would read This. Alternatively, try regular exercise
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  #127  
Old 08-11-2013, 09:29 PM
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I take a lot of meds. For the first ten years I didn't like that. I took them and didn't like the side effects and quit taking them. That's unfortunately not an uncommon pattern.

One of the hard things about psych meds is that they 1) have side effects, and 2) tend to take a while to really show any long term benefit. Another hurdle is that once you start feeling better, the tendency is to say, "I feel great! I don't need these silly pills!" But then you go off your meds and the effect wears off and... You're right back where you started.

If there is any advice that I can give that reflects what I've been through the past thirteen years it's this:

-psych meds require some experimentation. There are a lot of different drugs that treat the same things, and they are all different. Be honest with your doctor about side effects and symptoms. Some of the side effects can really put a damper on your quality of life. The good news is that there are other drugs that treat the same thing, so you have options. Be open to trying different drugs.

- In order for things to work you need to trust your doctor. They have decided that you should be on meds for depression or whatever. If you feel apprehensive about taking the drugs, give yourself a timeline, say six months. That is a reasonable timeline. Commit to taking the psych meds for six months. It's okay to tell your doctor that you are giving this six moths to work, then both of you can reevaluate where you are when that time comes.

- Keep a journal. It's really difficult to keep track of how you feel over a span of months when you are depressed and trying new medications. The best way to keep track of that is to journal. Doesn't have to be every day, could be once a week. "This was a terrible week. I felt weak and tired and sad." Or "This was a great week. I was able to talk to people and I smiled a lot." That's all you need. If that's too much then you could even try to simplify it further, like this: every day you put a smiley face or a sad face on the calendar for that day. If you think you can sum up your day in a single emoticon, that could be enough. Personally, I stay away from words like happy or sad because they are too vague and I don't really know what they mean anymore. But you're you, not me. Do what works for you.


Good luck!
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  #128  
Old 08-11-2013, 09:37 PM
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I guess first I should give a little background about myself. I'm spoilering it because it only tangentially pertains to the discussion at hand and because it contains mentions of suicide and an overall hopeless tone. If you don't want to be exposed to that sort of thing you don't have to read it.

 


@Megiddo That was an interesting talk. I was recently hospitalized and during group sessions I got to spill my guts and be totally honest about how I was really doing today. It was liberating being able to tell people that I had no hope for the future and to hear that others felt the same way. Now that I'm back in the real world though I have to put the mask back on. I'm not going to tell cashiers and people who ask "How are you doing?" that I can barely leave my house. It's just a social formality to be gotten out of the way. I honestly don't have anybody who I would even tell I'm depressed to, other than my doctors, so I'm not sure what he wants me to do. I've always been a fringe case though.

@hvg3akaek I too am recently on antidepressants (among other things). The way I look at it is if there's an underlying problem that can be fixed, the meds will act like a crutch to help you deal with the problem and get back on your feet. A cast if you will. If it's a problem that can't be fixed then they're something to help you treat a lifelong condition, sort of like dialysis. Just my 2 cents. The only advice I have is to keep faith in them and keep taking them, even when you start feeling better. Think of it like this. If you use mosquito repellent and aren't bothered by mosquitoes, do you stop using the repellent? First it's proactive, then it's preventative. Just keep a good dialog between you and your doctor.
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  #129  
Old 08-11-2013, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azord View Post
Not sure if this is good news orI bad news, but I would read This. Alternatively, try regular exercise
Thanks Azord, will have a read. I've been stepping up my exercise and improving my eating habits: I've lost ~15kg this year. Not sure I can really include that much more regular exercise without other issues

Gath / sethdot - thanks for sharing. I think there was talk earlier of a diary thing. I will have to actually start it now Good points all around that I will have to think on.
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  #130  
Old 08-11-2013, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvg3akaek View Post
Thanks Azord, will have a read. I've been stepping up my exercise and improving my eating habits: I've lost ~15kg this year. Not sure I can really include that much more regular exercise without other issues

Gath / sethdot - thanks for sharing. I think there was talk earlier of a diary thing. I will have to actually start it now Good points all around that I will have to think on.
Get out of here, non-american! Just kidding, I hope things work out.
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  #131  
Old 08-11-2013, 10:32 PM
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oops, forgot to use my Aussie accent BBC codes
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  #132  
Old 08-11-2013, 10:37 PM
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Firstly, Hugga, I should point out that I'd rather hear you were anxious about the meds than relieved or happy about them because from now until the point you start feeling different, you should be questioning them... they're an unknown at the moment. It's not a bad thing to be unsure about unknowns.

I've been on antidepressants the last ten years or more and I hate them. Ok, frankly I hate taking any/all medications because I "should be able to handle it" and other reasons that get sillier and sillier. Independence is something I strive for but quite frankly unless my chronic illness goes away, I'll never be truly independent, whether it's drugs or social network or money. Taking drugs for depression adds to the problem for most people I've talked with, because it makes you dependent on something and you're trying to tell yourself that you can go it alone, that you don't need help. When I get those moments I've learned to give my you-don't-need-it self the finger and keep going.

Simple things I've found... take the meds. They can be ineffectual, useful, or excessive, but you don't know how your body's going to react on them until you try. One of the rational things I tell myself is that if I wasn't really depressed, I wouldn't have responded so strongly. That makes me feel better about taking them most days, but you won't know until you've been on them for awhile. If you ask your doctor how long he/she expects you to feel the effects, double whatever they tell you and wait that long before considering any changes. You just never know how things will work.

If you want to try and keep a journal, which a lot of docs recommend, try not to generalize. My attempts at writing down weekly notes bombed terribly, turning into "Um, I was depressed" "I felt lonely" and other basics. I've had bad times when my moods changed so rapidly that even writing things down every hour wouldn't be fast enough to remember the good parts. And that'd be the second wisdom about keeping the journal... write down the good. Detail it as carefully as possible. One of the first things I lost was perspective on how much of my life was good and how much wasn't, and by writing down the good you reemphasize the better things and avoid enforcing the bad. Writing too much emo stuff tends to upset me because I start feeling like the bad outweighs the good. Nothing changed but my action of writing down the depressing... so I stopped doing that.

Personally, having been on the meds this long, I can tell that the chemical imbalance isn't where my depression comes from. Even at my high moments I feel this hidden part of me that won't stop the pessimism, won't stop crying, won't stop whatever it is. About as big a part of me as I would mark off as my conscience. It's not quite the same thing (believe me, I have my shoulder devil) but it's a weight on the spirit that's amazingly hard to put to words and yet is noticeable enough that over ten years I've learned what it is. I don't want you to bemoan your fate of waiting ten years to find out, it didn't take me that long, but the knowledge built up slowly. So I can tell you that it is possible to know if the chemicals are the cause, but can't tell you how you might find out for yourself.

I can also say that while the high doses of my antidepressants are probably impeding my own serotonin production, this never seems to last for me once I stopped. I was in remission for awhile and stopped taking the antidepressants for as long as I could, and though I did have a dip before things improved after stopping, my body started working to pick up the slack. So while I too have my concerns about the long-term effects, mostly I let myself focus on bigger fish like the underlying causes and figure I'll deal with the lesser things like wonky serotonin production if and when it comes to it.

That probably wasn't the most reassuring of answers I could give, Hugga, but it was the most honest. If you have questions I'm happy to answer them to the best of my ability as they relate to long-term use, personal perceptions... what ever you need to ask. Frankly, it's easier to talk to people who get it than your doctors, because while they treat it, they don't necessarily understand it.
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  #133  
Old 08-11-2013, 11:35 PM
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thanks, Aethera

I know with myself that there are things I need to work on, but there may (and that is indeed where most of my concern is rooted: "may") be other issues that are purely / largely just chemically related. I can't see through the haze of what's linked with what, and so have tried to only tackle what i can work out.

Again, thanks for the input. I have a few weeks before my next session, so still have plenty of time to continue to mull over it.
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  #134  
Old 08-12-2013, 03:10 AM
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Honestly my best advice would be to try antidepressants, because you can't know the causes for certain until you've tested changing them. Change the chemicals, see what happens. Change the responsibilities, see what happens. For all that there are side effects, there's a lot more to gain from trying them than you could lose. (If anything, you're more likely to get into a self-sustaining cycle from worrying about them. Try to avoid that.)
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  #135  
Old 08-12-2013, 06:59 PM
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Yeah, I definitely don't want further stress about stressing about stressing...
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