How do you deal with Depression?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Dick Whitman, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Dude I know the feeling!

    My life is equally a mees.

    I have no friends, never been on a date (can't even get partners for the meaningless sex thing either), and the only way I cope is by eating and spending money on stuff I don't need with cash I should be saving. At work I get to hear about everyone's dating life, about all the new babies people are having, the houses they are buying and see all of the newlyweds.

    Its kind of an endless spiral that does not have a resolution. Medication and therapy cannot erase the fact that my life is prerry empty and generally sucks.

    That's why I stopped medication and therapy. Once you realise that you cannot control the way the world responds to you it all strats to feel pretty pointless.
     
  2. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    ^You cannot control what the world does, but you can control how you react. You could go back to therapy and continue getting help for your eating and spending problems. You could start a diet and exercise routine. There are many things that you can do to make your life better, and there's no shame in asking for help.

    When I was 12 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the same disease that killed my older brother when he was 16. Of course, I knew even then that I would die of it someday, and that for the rest of my life I would have to be on a strict diet and exercise regimin, I'd no longer be carefree about my health as kids are. When I was 26 I realized that despite all the hard work I was doing, my blood sugars were still going to go out of control. I was frustrated, and for the first time, angry at having gotten this disease. I didn't have control over anything, and everything sucked (not just the diabetes, a lot about my life was difficult). I was 15lbs overweight and I hated it, but despite my strict diet and exercise I couldn't lose it. So, I did what you're recommending. I gave up. I took the control over the one thing I could -- I stopped taking insulin.
    The excess weight melted off in two weeks. I could eat whatever I wanted. I could live like everyone else. Of course, I knew in the back of my head that I was killing myself, but I just pushed that thought aside. What's the point if I can't control anything anyway? Inevitably, everything went to shit. Two months later, I nearly died, was in intensive care for days, and it took over a year to fully recover.
    Giving up makes things worse, not better.
    It took me awhile to understand that the fact that life isn't fair, and is beyond our control, is a good thing. It's an empowering thing. What a horrible world if life were fair! If every Paris Hilton deserved their fortune and every starving child deserved their plight! If you embue every moment and aspect of your life with meaning then all you see is punishment and reward, seemingly dealt to the least-deserving people. But if you recognize it for what it is, a tiny, meaningless flash in the middle of an incomprehensibly huge explosion, you can see that what meaning it holds is yours to determine. Just because life will shit on you sometimes doesn't mean you need to help it take down its pants and squat.
     
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Behind the mask of Donald Draper
    I mentioned earlier that I have lost around 100 pounds over the last 7 years. What motivated me was realizing that while there are a lot of things I can not control I could change that.

    Its not easy. But you don't have to lose as much as I did. The big drop for me was stopping drinking soda completely. I drank way too much and all day. I convinced myself over the years I need Mountan Dew for the caffeine for energy. But from things I started to read, it was what was making me so tired. The carbonation was giving me digestive issues. After the caffeine wore off I would just feel exhausted. For than anything the amount of sugar and calories was great than regular foods I had.

    I could have limited the amount I drank. But cutting it out completely showed me how much it alone was doing to me. It was like a control in an experiment. Over time it also changed my sense of taste completely. So other sweets actually tasted too sugary for me . I only have sugary stuff once in awhile. Its seems more special now.
     
  4. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    ^Firstly, congrats on the weight loss! Secondly, not sure if you're replying to me or to Gotham Central, if it's to me, I do appreciate the thoughtful response, but my particular illness means my dietetic needs are very specific, and also metabolic nature of the illness means that it is especially difficult to lose weight, even the 15 pounds I still would like to lose which I gained back after the diabulimia experience. I've never been more than 15-20 pounds overweight, but I'd still like to lose it. As an aside, diabulimia is the name of that specific eating disorder I described, and is unique, obviously, to patients with type 1 diabetes. I actually have an implant in my arm right now that will be there for the next 3 days and is part of a study to see what's going on in my body and why my metabolism is so messed up.
     
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Behind the mask of Donald Draper
    It was to Gotham Central. :) You are correct there are health issues and genetics that affect a person's weight that can not be controlled.

    Here are two pictures of my nephew and me. The first was taken in 2003 and the second in 2010. I had the second one taken to copy the first as close as possible.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    My weight is not so much an issue anymore...well its an issue in that its something that I worry about, but its not a visible issue. I lost over 150lbs and workout 5-6 days a week 2-3x a day now. Admittedly the gym does cause me a lot of stress since it reminds me that I will have to stay locked in there forever just to keep the weight off and many of the people there remind me that no mater how much I work out I will NEVER look as good as they do.

    One of the problems is that I eat when I'm depressed and when I'm bored which is often for both. So its foruntate that I workout as often as I do. How long I'm able to keep up that routine is an open question given that I seem to be putting auite a bit of stress on my joints that they increasingly do not like.
     
  7. Garak

    Garak I Will Not Bow To Any Sponsor Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Good on you for losing that weight, man. No small feat, very impressive. :techman:
     
  8. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    How wonderfully said. :) Acceptance of life as it comes without seeking to stamp meaning on it - that's definitely the key. If you try to impose your expectations on life, it will disappoint you, frustrate you, and you'll live in a miserable state of mind, trying to grasp onto something that can't be grasped. I'm reminded of Taoism, and its emphasis on harmonious yielding, and of achieving success through surrendering the desire to do so. Channeling your will into harmony with the natural patterns of the universe rather than railing against them, and seeking a means of applying oneself in a non-assertive way to maximise happiness and success.
     
  9. The Boy Who Cried Worf

    The Boy Who Cried Worf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    I was chronically depressed for 30 years. For most of that time I was passively suicidal. On mental health newsgroups I used to frequent I was even called "the suicidal one". A good bit of bandwidth on this website is taken up with my depressive whining. I felt my life was hopeless and I was simply someone who was incapable of managing life. So it was quite a surprise to me when I realized a few months ago that I know longer considered myself a "depressed person".

    I say this as testament to the fact that even within its darkest constraints there is room for growth and change in depression. I would say seeking psychological counseling is of primary importance simply because most depressed people have a tendenccy to live inside their own minds. The only feedback they receive is their depressed inner monologue. CBT has long been considered the gold standard for depression treatment, but increasingly other therapies are coming to the forefront. ACT, mindfulness based therapies, interpersonal therapy, and DBT are all effective. There are also self-help books for all of these therapies. In fact a lot of researchers think it is the B in CBT(behavioral change) that is really the effective component so any therapy that gets you moving and engaged in life can be a great help. I was fortunate enough after a dozen years of ineffective therapies to discover a hospital next to me offered a relatively new form of therapy called CBASP that specifically treats chronic depression. Even just a friendly face to lean can make a world of difference so help is out there.

    I believe one of the insidious things about depression is how easily you can become comfortable with it. It can protect you from what you fear. It can give you an identity when you feel you have nothing else. It tells you you are safe and warm in bed, there is no reason to get out. It becomes very familiar and often the familiar no matter how painful seems preferable to the unknown.

    The most important thing you can do in depressiuon is not to surrender to the inertia. Go out for a walk, read a book, watch a funny TV show, cook a fancy meal, or anything that might bring you pleasure or a feeling of accomplishment. And above all maintain and expand relationships. It took me a long time to accept the wisdom of my therapist when she told me "depression isn't an emotional problem it is an interpersonal problem. The best thing I even did during my depression (and during my life" was stick with a totally unexpected romantic relationship despite its painfulness at times. In two months that girl will become my wife. If I had surrendered to the depression I fear would be alone in a one room apartment today.

    I sneered at people who used to say this to me but depression is not a life sentenced and even small changes can make a big difference. Good luck to all of us battling this.
     
  10. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Be thankful for that one. Some of us cannot get that. I've heard repeatedly that having someone in your corner and not being alone makes a world of difference. :)
     
  11. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2001
    Location:
    fresno, ca, us
    I somehow run out of one med, for hypertension. Off it for a few days, I just took my BP--not terrible, but definitely high. Got pissed realizing it's unlikely ill be off that med. but the insulin-similar thing is my thyroid meds. I'm told that, like diabetes, going off them would be sleep, and hospitalization if I stayed off them. It can be an additional source of depression.

    I can't afford to let myself go down that road. Been there, hated myself, managed to not kill myself despite the hate. But I know that path is there. I see it sometimes, I even take a step or two onto it, but then manage to turn around. I'm not sure how. That's how I know that, no matter how good things are, depression is always there, lurking and waiting to attack if I let my guard and emotions down. Maybe my personifying it gives me something I feel I can actually fight against. Sounds crazy, no?
     
  12. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2001
    Location:
    West Hollywood, Calif., USA
    Holy cow, this is my new favorite thread! I have wanted to start a topic like this for so long, and only now discovered this discussion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  13. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    Rural North Carolina
    A few years ago, my soul-mate was taken by a distracted driver. It did not help that I could not legally make any of the decisions, because two males were not recognized as a couple. I had to sit on the sidelines while his parents called all the shots. Half of me died when he finally died.

    Yesterday, I was officially diagnosed with depression (among other things I already deal with...). The neurologist wants me taking a Seratonin booster (anti-depressant) which I am not happy doing, but relented. Their staff psychologist retired last month and has not yet been replaced. If he had, doctor would put me in psychotherapy. I'm not ready for that step.

    The depression angle is something new for me, so I'm still in shock. Friends have always commented on my optimistic outlook on life. So, calling me depressed isn't making sense... yet.
     
  14. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Why thank you. :) I don't really strive for harmony or anything, but I like the idea.
    I'm sure it does, but it's not the only thing in life. I know it's trite, but there's truth to the saying that it's easier to find love once you've learned to love yourself. I've never had a serious relationship. I've definitely never been in love. But I also recognize that the quality and value of my life don't depend on that -- nor should they.

    Propita, I'd imagine going without your thyroid meds would be quite dangerous! With insulin, death is pretty quick if one stops taking it. I only lasted a month because I was still taking some insulin, I was just manipulating my injections to keep my blood sugar raised, causing weight loss -- something called diabulimia. As I mentioned, this behavior is considered an eating disorder that is unique to type 1 diabetics. About 30% of women with type 1 diabetes have suffered from it at least once in their lifetimes, sadly. If I stopped taking insulin altogether I think I would last only a few days.
     
  15. Kestra

    Kestra Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    I have a thyroid disorder too, which is pretty common and generally harmless in that it's so easily treatable. Unfortunately in the past my particular case has perplexed doctors and been linked to my episodes of clinical depression. My level was once so low that the doctors didn't understand why I wasn't in a coma.

    Fortunately, it's been pretty under control the past several years so I consider it a non-issue most of the time. I'm just really careful not to miss doses and things like that. I don't like taking another pill every day but I consider myself lucky in that it's just one little pill once a day with no side effects. I know people in the other thread don't like the saying "It could be worse," but growing up in a family of doctors I know just how much worse it could be and I'm grateful for my health, even though it's not perfect.
     
  16. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Behind the mask of Donald Draper
    What does it say about me that reading some of your stories I feel guilty?

    Really realizing I have it good. I was in a serious accident and I am lucky to be alive. I had no serious side effects or no major therapy. Thats what is weird about that whole situation at first I no memory of the first week. My earliest memory was being in a hospital and feeling fine. I simply mad that people were controlling me. Because of I have no clear memory of the event I did not really learn anything from.

    I should feel like I got a second chance at life and be gratful. But I have no idea what to do with it.

    Beyond the specific events I mentioned, It not depression.... Maybe a better would is dissatisfaction. Maybe the best analogy is this

    Ever have a piece of food stuck in your teeth? But you try to get it out and you can not any way you try.

    Now imagine if you did that almost everyday of your life. Thats how I feel. Trying to figure out who I am. What I want and how I should get it.
     
  17. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2001
    Location:
    fresno, ca, us
    Do NOT feel guilty!

    We each have our issues to deal with in life. Some choose to actually deal with them; others choose to ignore them, hoping they'll go away on their own. Occasionally, something will resolve itself on it own, given time. The trick is figuring out which will and which won't.

    Depression for me evidently started in utero, during the physical formation of my brain. It got complicated when young and had enough (too many?) brains to realize something was off, but way too young to do anything or even describe it.

    Complications with depression cascade with everything else going on in one's life--that is something that happens to many people, to the point that determining the actual problems is difficult. The issues have overlapped, combined, and fed each other. While there are basic methods of dealing with this, different combinations work for different people.

    As for me, I've learned that I must continue taking my BP meds or have severe fatigue, uneasiness, and headaches. And that's after a few days. Thyroid med? I'm up to 175 ugms. MUST be taken everyday. Add the cholesterol meds (overall cholesterol okay but wrong combinations), and I'm taking quite a number of pills a day, including the doctor-ordered OTCs. Yes, that can be depressing, but as others posted above, the pills treat the problems and are a small price to pay for continuing relative health.

    So I turn my back on depression one more day, day after day.
     
  18. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Behind the mask of Donald Draper
    Well I asked out a girl I work with tonight. I never done that before. All dating I done has been through online dating sites. I never really like online dating, even though I did met a serious girlfriend that way. But that did not work out well...

    Anyways, In the past I usually worked alone. Those I did like usually had boyfriends or were married.

    This girl has been showing interest in me for awhile now. I am really attracted to her. So that was appealing. As a result I been more friendly than I usually am with anyone.

    All this time, beyond the usual anxiety issue was age. I knew she was younger than me. Was not sure how younger. But I wondered if she knew my age. I am 34, but I but people think I am in my mid 20s. I guess because I take care of myself.

    With in the last week or so, are conversations have taken so much of are time we not really working. What really motivated me was some common history. She said has lost a lot of weight and is not used to all the attention from guys she is getting.

    At some point she mentioned she is 24 and had decided to change and be an adult. Well 10 year difference! I figured I better tell.

    She was surprised but I could not tell if for good or bad. SO tonight among other flirting, she mentioned a guy younger than her being interested in her. But said she did not like that. So I asked her how about older guys. She said that she does likes older guys - No more obvious opening than that!!!!!!!

    So we got each others numbers and plan on doing something on Tuesday or Wednesday. Not sure what the age difference will mean. She seems normal. I mean that in the best sense. In a lot of ways I am really starting out and feel like i am in my 20s anyways and I do look it.

    So can I get some high fives for scoring a chick 10 years younger than me? ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  19. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    ^ Well, congratulations. :) Being in a supportive relationship can do wonders for your mood. I hope this goes well, and at the very least it gives you renewed confidence. Rebuilding a social life is one of the harder parts of dealing with depression, so it's very good news to hear that you've been working successfully at that.
     
  20. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Behind the mask of Donald Draper
    I should add that she would be the first girl I had a date with I am really attracted to. In the past I have taken who ever has shown interest.

    Even that serious girlfriend I mentioned in previous posts... I liked her and had feelings for her. But I was never really physically attracted to her. She had weight issues I feel real guilt about it now, but I thought well this is the best I can do. Even though my drive to gain confidence lead to my own weight loss before knowing her.

    So when she broke up with me, it made me fell a whole bunch of things. Actually asking this new girl out, whatever happens long term, might be the most important moment in my life.... OK I am being dramatic but there is truth. I never really asked anyone out I know before. I been haunted by this since I was a teen.... Maybe I am over that. FINALLY!

    I think it took a serious accident and moving far away from my past to do it. ALso I should give credit to my ex. Without her I not sure if this could have happened. SHe lives in another state, maybe we could just be friends now. No harm. She had to put with a guy with a lot of emotional issues. I put a lot of blame on her. She is my age. But has two daughters and is divorced and is settled in her work. Yet I am more like a 20 something guy. Never were in the same place.
     

Share This Page