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BS: sliding into a depression

Zany Mouse 12 Aug 06 - 12:28 PM
katlaughing 12 Aug 06 - 10:44 AM
Art Thieme 20 Jan 02 - 11:43 PM
53 19 Jan 02 - 11:42 PM
Art Thieme 19 Jan 02 - 11:27 PM
Amos 19 Jan 02 - 03:54 PM
Don Firth 19 Jan 02 - 03:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Jan 02 - 02:51 PM
marty D 19 Jan 02 - 02:47 PM
katlaughing 19 Jan 02 - 02:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jan 02 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,rd 19 Jan 02 - 05:44 AM
Art Thieme 19 Jan 02 - 01:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jan 02 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 19 Jan 02 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,,gargoyle 19 Jan 02 - 12:21 AM
GUEST 18 Jan 02 - 10:06 PM
53 18 Jan 02 - 09:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 02 - 09:25 PM
53 18 Jan 02 - 07:46 PM
wysiwyg 18 Jan 02 - 04:57 PM
katlaughing 18 Jan 02 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,rd 18 Jan 02 - 02:34 PM
SharonA 18 Jan 02 - 12:56 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Jan 02 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 18 Jan 02 - 12:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 02 - 11:31 AM
Mrrzy 18 Jan 02 - 11:26 AM
SharonA 18 Jan 02 - 10:46 AM
SharonA 18 Jan 02 - 10:00 AM
53 18 Jan 02 - 09:58 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Jan 02 - 09:53 AM
SharonA 18 Jan 02 - 09:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 02 - 02:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 02 - 02:03 AM
katlaughing 18 Jan 02 - 01:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 02 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,rd's ex 18 Jan 02 - 12:54 AM
M.Ted 17 Jan 02 - 11:20 PM
KAS 17 Jan 02 - 10:53 PM
Noreen 17 Jan 02 - 07:07 PM
Don Firth 17 Jan 02 - 03:34 PM
Mr Red 17 Jan 02 - 02:48 PM
Steve in Idaho 17 Jan 02 - 02:40 PM
Mrrzy 17 Jan 02 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,rd 17 Jan 02 - 02:13 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Jan 02 - 07:35 AM
marty D 17 Jan 02 - 12:35 AM
Deda 16 Jan 02 - 11:01 PM
wysiwyg 16 Jan 02 - 02:03 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 12:28 PM

RD:

I suffer badly from depression at times (Lupus and Diabetes both cause depression, so it only take a very small outside trigger and down I go).

I think the strongest thing you have going for you is that you can recognise the signs before you might get to the feeling that you don't want to carry on. My signs are picking up my diary and cancelling everything, wanting to hide away from EVERYONE. The best thing to do is to get help AS SOON AS THESE SIGNS BECOME RECOGNISABLE. Go to your doctor and he will put you on a short course of a drug to raise your seritonin (is that the right spelling) levels. The results are amazing.

My biggest danger is that I want to opt out of things and I'm sure that if I didn't get help I would want to do a final opt out. Luckily my doctor understands.

Good luck and good mental health.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 10:44 AM

Thanks to DOn Firth and others who posted about Xanax. I was on it for anxiety related to the open heart surgery last year, just two at night, though. Got mad and decided I would go off it on my own this past Wed., cold turkey. Wrong decision...I am going back for a last refill and wean off it in smaller doses as you said you did, Don. Will also talk to my doc about it.

Thanks, again,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 11:43 PM

"A banjo will get you through times of no money
But money won't get you through times of no banjo."

John Hartford


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: 53
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 11:42 PM

my suggestion is to take plenty of candy, and listen to good bluegrass music, a banjo always seems to perk me up, but the candy is very sweet too. BOB


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 11:27 PM

People, you sinply must go see A Beautiful Mind.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Amos
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 03:54 PM

It is probably true that all depression has biological and chemical sequelae, but I am positive it is not the case that it all stems from biochemical causes. I've seen depression end, for example, on a dramatic discovery made during past life regression. It would be foolish to therefore assert that all depression is caused by misidentified trauma from the past.

The interactiosn between thebody,m the mind and the Owner are complex and work at multiple levels. You could make the brain-side symptoms of depression go away by cutting off your head. But it would be a pretty poor cure! :>)

What relives depression is finding out the truth about it and addressing that -- and it could be anything from chemical imbalance, to vitamin deficiency to a separate spectrum of spiritual and mental factors. What does NOT help at all is sticking someone with a wrong explanation for their particular situation.

A

Kendall: For what it is worth I have found inhaling or gargling a small amount of Tea Tree oil does wonders for throat problems. Give it a try -- just a tiny bit. It has a strong flavor like pine sap or kerosene but it is a powerful healing aid.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 03:10 PM

Xanax. I know what you mean, Bob. Xanex (generic = alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine based central nervous system depressant prescribed as a tranquilizer. Quite effective. Also highly addictive. The psychiatrist who prescribed it for me specified that I take a fairly whopping dose every six hours, with a double dose at bedtime. This left me comatose. After of couple of days of this, on my own, I cut the doses in half. I was still pretty mellow, but at least I wasn't constantly falling asleep with my nose in my porridge.

Barbara works at the Seattle Public Library, and she brought home an armload of books that I asked for: on depression, on panic attacks, and on various kinds of related drugs. As a patient, I am a general pain in the ass, because I like to be informed and I ask doctors a lot of questions. From my reading I learned that benzodiazepine tranquilizers are highly addictive. The shrink hadn't told me that. And when I brought it up, he assured me that it wasn't true, and urged me to keep taking it, well beyond the point where I felt that I needed it. I knew better. I wanted to get off the stuff. My counselor supported me in my efforts, but she had to go gently because, although she had degrees in social work and family counseling, she didn't have an MD following her name. I kept taking it, but in reduced doses, much to the psychiatrist's disapproval. Then I began to spread the doses out, going eight hours instead of six. I talked the pharmacist into giving me the same amount, but in tablets of smaller dosages. I started breaking the .25 mg. tablets in half, then began cutting the halves in half with a very sharp pen-knife blade (tricky), every week sneaking the daily dose down by minuscule amounts. The hardest one to get rid of was the one just before going to bed. No panic or anything like that, I just couldn't get to sleep. But after a few days, no problem.

All in all, I was on it for about four years. I've heard that some people never get off of it. I guess if you need it, you need it. Panic attacks can be a real horror. But I never, ever want to be hooked on anything again!

A good, general book with a lot of solid, practical advice: Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide by Gillian Butler, Ph.D., and Tony Hope, M.D., Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1995. This is not some airy-fairy self-help book, it's rock-solid and down-to-earth. With the Xanax, I found Chapter 27, "Tranquilizers and How to Stop Taking Them" especially helpful.

I am not saying "don't' follow your doctor's advice." What I am saying is — it's your health. It's your mind. Read. Ask questions. Be a pain in the ass. Be informed!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 02:51 PM

God bless those who find mercy in sleep
All those who sow who never will reap
All those who search, who never find peace
May they find rest tonight
Even guests who drop in on a loving, decidedly respectful, unnasty discussion and leave their "droppings." A great, accurate term, Stilly..
Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: marty D
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 02:47 PM

Once again I find myself having worried a bit needlesly about how Mudcatters handle flamers. Even the most obviously troubled (those who wish death on others) are handled very differently here than other sites. Rarely do they get more than a casual acknowledgement, and are usually ignored outright. Boy, that speaks well of a community, cyber or otherwise. There's probably only one or two and they simply aren't able to get more than an occasional toe-hold in here. I gather this thread has been of help to quite a few people, and may continue, if a second part starts. Bravo Mudcat for not giving satisfaction to those who's depression forces them to hurt others.

marty


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 02:10 PM

rd, there is a lot of good info at this site for your friend. It ahs a personal account, but it also gives info on the psychology, what may trigger the behaviour, and also lists some helpful books and websites. I don't know anything specific to physical self-harm, but please feel free to PM me, if you think I can be of help.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 12:09 PM

Art's point is well taken. And as one who made the conscious decision to go into more detail for the sake of offering moral support, I wish I had more musical content to contribute to the list. (I do have a musical question to post soon, but I'll search the site before posting it because it may have been discussed already). In the meantime, Art's reservations are perfectly understandable. It is much easier to discuss episodes of depression once one has the feeling of having resolved the (latest) problem. I strongly suspect that if no one on the list had ever shared these kinds of experiences we'd have far less insight to put into our composition or interpretation of the music that is important to all of us.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: GUEST,rd
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 05:44 AM

It has only just dawned on me... In my original post I mentioned a friend who self-harms, this really is a different person -not me. Not 'code'. I have a feeling that's why folks have been so insistent of professional advice - & believe me I do encourage my friend to think about help from people who understand severe self-harm much better than I do. Loving/worrying about someone in so much pain isn't easy, as other people who have spoken here know all too well. If there is anyone who dos know anything about supporting someone at such risk, would you be willing to post who you are ? I can PM - & can explain why I CAN pm in a PM. Given there a few pratts out there maybe best not to post anything to fuel the fire ???? I'm sorry if I've caused anxiety, there's enough of that around as it is. Much thanks to you all.

rd


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 01:33 AM

Good people, (I ignore the others.) I do sympathise and empathise but right now, I'm just not up to or into talking about the many ways someone very close to me is suffering right now from this.

Gargoyle, I doubt you mean well---so go to hell. I too wish there were mostly music threads here; I've said that often enough. But there are other things in this life worth talking about too.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 01:24 AM

Seems the only "nastiness" is from those labelled "GUEST"(no name attached) who go slumming through the site and snipe at contributors. Fly-by-night visitors who leave their droppings on the list.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 12:23 AM

You know....singing the BLUES has been a time tested cure for depression....and given the nature of this forum....it might not be a good choice....let us know how it works....and most of all PLEASE post your lyrics.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: GUEST,,gargoyle
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 12:21 AM

What pathos, what enigma, what a wretched state of humanity! Please seek profesional counseling.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 10:06 PM

Hmmm...or let it die, as there has been more than a little nastiness in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: 53
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 09:30 PM

this thread is getting so large, maybe we should start a second page. BOB


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 09:25 PM

Mary,

Your sunshine cure is perfect for the Pacific Northwest--but an hour in the sun during the middle of the day down here would cause severe sunburn and heat stroke. I miss those Puget Sound summers. And the remark about clutter is right on--it can be a depressing challenge. Couple it with small space and it can be deadly (though the cats think it's fun to slither through some of my stacks of paper). I have a book around here about getting control of the clutter. . . it's in a stack of books somewhere. . .

Calcium is a supplement that I need to research. I am aware that one shouldn't take calcium at the same time as taking other vitamins because it can block absorbsion. I think this could also be the case with medications and hormone replacement or birth control. On the other hand, since women with northern European origins are particularly succeptible to osteoporosis, calcium (and exercise) are very important to maintain bone density.

This has been a very informative thread. And it's so easy to join Mudcat, that I urge rd to join and be able to take advantage of all of the offers of personal messages.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: 53
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 07:46 PM

at first my doctor thought that i was smoking pot and that i was a drunk, but the only thing that i was addicted to was xanax, and boy oh boy. BOB


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 04:57 PM

Although people are not helpful when they are abusively in someone's face about the past, it is also true that a step in recovery involves taking stock of what damage one may have done when not at one's best, and seeing what needs to happen to move things forward in those areas when possible.

Trust can be lost, and it isn't regained by ignoring what happened. The damage needs to be acknowledged and aplogized for, without any self-blame but with an acknowledgement that a commitment of some kind may have been breached. Trust can be regained once this happens, if the other person is willing, or becomes willing LATER after doing their own healing about the situation.

I have seen lots of people pursuing their recovery, in the stage before they learn this, stuck in a place where to escape a feeling of self-blame they deny any responsibility whatever for what occurred. This transfers part of responsibility for their recovery to the people around them-- "You are making me not able to recover by blaming me." Yes, blame can be hurtful, but we can heal even if others around us are not yet ready to forgive. Doesn't mean we have to subject ourselves to their abuse about it-- but it doesn't mean we can dictate the speed of their own healing, any more than it helps us when they dictate the speed of our own.

Nothing like two people healing at different rates, from different sides of a mess, to make simple stuff real complicated.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 04:46 PM

GOOD for you, rd. Good to see you and you are absolutely right!


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: GUEST,rd
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 02:34 PM

Very much here. Least said soonest about imposters I think. rd


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 12:56 PM

Maggie (SRS): I'm very glad to hear that your cancer is history!

mgarvey: Eek! I'd mentioned in an earlier post to this thread that rd's lethargy could be a symptom of lupus. If it turns out that (s)he does have lupus, sitting out in the sun in the middle of the day would be very bad – it could cause a "flare-up" and trigger symptoms to worsen.

This is why I recommend seeing a physician to rule out uncommon diseases that could manifest themselves via lethargy and depression. A treatment that might be beneficial for the majority of people could be disastrous for individuals with certain chronic ailments!!!

Please, please, please, anyone who's reading this wondering what to do about the onset of symptoms that might be diagnosed by a psychiatrist as "depression", don't assume blindly that a psychological problem is the cause, or if so that it's the only cause. Please make sure that your plan of action includes a consultation with your medical professional – a physician!!!!!

Sharon


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 12:28 PM

Two clarifications... I didn't mean that talking with others who have had similar problems wasn't desireable. This thread has been beautiful in that regard. It also means an enormous amount to be able to tell people who are suffering, that you or someone you know has gone through the same problem and has completely recovered. I think it's very helpful to hear other people's stories, and how they have found relief. The point I made poorly is that if you read this whole thread, you'll see that there isn't any one approach to depression that works for everyone. If there was, we wouldn't have this thread. Get all the advice and encouragement and personal histories that you can. Just don't rely on the experience of others as your only source for diagnosis. Don't rely completely on Psychiatrists, either. They can be wrong, too. But, they at least have been trained to recognize symptoms and have some history of success in treating them. (Most of the time.)
I also think that you could probably divide our experiencings into Situational Depression," or as mine was called a "Depressive Reaction," from people who have a lifetime chemical imbalance. I had a depressive reaction almost thirty years ago because I was under more pressure than I could bear. When I learned how to resolve the issues I was dealing with, I didn't have to deal with depression again. (A major part of learning how to deal with the pressures in my life was to come to love myself.) I would not confuse what I went through with some of the suffering that others here have, and are experiencing. I have good friends who have suffered with depression their whole lives. They think in terms of "management," not "cure." God bless 'em..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 12:03 PM

be sure you drink lots of water. Eat lots of salmon or other fatty fish..lack of fatty acids can cause all sorts of havoc...read up on essential fats and oils. Avoid all margerine and eat butter, olive oil, coconut oil and whatever other vegetable oils you conclude are healthy. I can't figure it all out. If you take calcium, and maybe you should, because it is really important for the neural system, take it and sit out in the sun so you get your vitamin D. They say (don't know who they is) the cozy feeling you get from sitting in the sun has to do with the vitamin D helping your calcium into your bones. Get outside in the sun in the middle of the day, if you are northern, for about an hour or so sans glasss or contacts. Get fresh air flowing through your office and home. Stagnant air can only lead to stagnant minds. Read up on eating excessive carbohydrates (starches and sugars) and the effects of this insulin-sugar spiral. Get rid of as much clutter in your house and garage as you can. This is in addition to seeking professional help. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 11:31 AM

Sharon A, you're right. Dyslexia does cause me to drop out words at times. Though the conjecture at the cancer still being there isn't correct in this case (luckily!); a simple procedure removed it (was supposed to just remove a bleeding polyp). Pathology came with the news of cancer on that polyp, and the "clear margin" is what the follow-up surgery was about.

So what is there to the little remark above by the guest claiming to be rd's "ex"? Does anyone know more about he/she? (rd or the guest?) There's always at least one hothead around who will shout "jump" at someone poised on a bridge. There was a case in the news some months back, of motorists pissed off about a traffic jam. She actually did jump. Was that in Seattle? I remember being really surprised at the city in which it occurred.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 11:26 AM

I am not in the pay of the drug companies, I just don't believe people should struggle with things that they can get help for. See the situational depression story Don Firth told... yes, situations can cause you to feel depressed, which can be cured by dealing with the situation. Even if it were biological, you'd still need to deal with the situation that brought it out. But don't feel that drugs are crutches, evil by definition. They aren't, even if their manufacturers are!


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 10:46 AM

Whoops, I cross-posted with Bob! Good to see ya, 53.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 10:00 AM

I'm concerned about Bob 53, too. Bob, let us hear from you, please!


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: 53
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 09:58 AM

just make sure that you have plenty of candy on hand, it seems to help, if not it will put you to sleep, candy is good for everybody.BOB


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 09:53 AM

rd?? You there??? Log in, please! I mean, I don't really believe "ex"'s post, but... still...

It would be really nice to hear your voice -


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 09:53 AM

Maggie (Stilly River Sage): About your post of 18-Jan-02 - 02:03 AM in which you disputed Jerry's statement, "If you had cancer, would you just consult with other people who have cancer for treatment. I don't think so...", I think the operative word in that statement is "just. Of course it's helpful to talk with others who have gone through what one is going through, who can offer advice and support. But that's only one facet of treatment. In your own case, if you had had supportive friends without also having had surgery, then your tumor would still be in your body!

And wouldn't that be depressing?! ;^)

Seriously, I think that Jerry (in his post of 17-Jan-02 - 07:35 AM) was simply trying to encourage rd, 53 and others not to depend solely on the advice of friends and strangers on the internet, but also to get professional advice. As he said, "Get someone more knowledgeable than us to help."


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 02:13 AM

I agree with Kat--she chose a good remark from Jerry's earlier post to remark on. I didn't mean to imply that I disagreed with everything he said, just those items I highlighted.

Don--I remember times in the kinda-recent past (over the last 15 years or so) when I've met you that I wondered if you weren't dealing with depression--there was anger in you, and self-directed, it becomes depression. I am so glad to read that you've worked through it. I want to add my voice to the others who are urging you to go ahead and finish that autobiography cum history of the Northwest folk circuit that you're writing. The portions of it that you've posted have been fascinating.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 02:03 AM

Before the discussion was so rudely interrupted, I found I must once again disagree with Jerry. He remarked:

If you had cancer, would you just consult with other people who have cancer for treatment. I don't think so..

I know so! Yes, absolutely! The people who had experienced cancer were the most supportive and helpful when it came to deciding how to approach my cancer. And the best thing they could do was to report the positive outcomes in their personal lives. "My sister-in-law had the same thing 20 years ago, and has been fine ever since her surgery" was just what I needed to hear. And I have had occasion since my surgery to give positive support to a friend in a similar situation. The day I understood exactly the relief I must have shown when that friend told me of her sister's recovery was the day I visited a coworker who asked me to come see her because she heard I'd had the same thing she now had. It was tremendously important to her outlook to hear my non-clinical story from me. Don't ever underestimate the value of this kind of exchange.

I must also disagree with Mrrzy as the the extent of "cure" you seem to place within the province of medication. You said (I'll attempt block quotes):

    There is very little about depression, and even less about manic depression, that isn't biological (disagreeing with the above "Depression generally stems from a feeling of not being able to solve some issues." That outdated thinking is dangerous! YES, there may be some actual issue that is upsetting enough to start the process, or bring it to a head, but the issue didn't CAUSE the depression, it provided a context in which it could appear, whereas pre-issue, it was most likely dormant or appearing in other contexts (hives, cramps, headaches...).

    Which DOESN'T mean that therapy and dealing with the issue(s) isn't of equal and paramount importance; it's just that dealing ONLY with the issue WILL NOT CURE THE DEPRESSION.

I think the entire cause of some forms of depression can be emotional, which brings on the biological reaction, not the other way around. I think the "outdated thinking" is the statements you made regarding the origins of depression--it's too exclusive a statement. It sounds like something a drug company representative might try to pull over on a GP who isn't as schooled in recognizing or dealing with depression as they might be.

Freud called psychoanalysis the "Talking Cure," and it really can be. More recent findings show that having a good friend to talk to can be just as useful as analysis. What was revolutionary and a closely-held theory of treatment 100+ years ago regarding information about human thought and communication is widely understood by many people today. We are able to effect our own cures if we pay attention to what our bodies are trying to tell us about our mental states and if we can talk it out. Drugs should never be dismissed as an aid to recovery, or as an outright cure to some forms of depression, but the cruch/artifical leg analogy doesn't work for me. It's too rigidly biased in the direction of the drug companies.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 01:45 AM

Don, I'd like to say thank you, too. Being tethered to a line of oxygen gets depressing at times, but I am thankfull that I am able to get around. You are a shining example of working around, through, and beyond a perceived limitation and what you have shared is invaluable. Another one who inspires me, in that way, is Art Thieme.

I made it through situational depression last year. Didn't think I would and finally did take zoloft for a short period of time, BUT I have to say it was support of Mudcat friends and family that really helped me cope and move on.

If someone does not have a dog of their own, or a cat, animal shelters, esp. no-kill facilities (otherwise it is really depressing), are a good place to go help out. The cats always need petting and grooming; the dogs always enjoy a walk and personal attention.

My brother was almost homebound with depression when he started getting out, once per week, to volunteer at the local Humane Society. He had cats at home, but getting out there to help with the homeless cats got him out of the house, gave him some purpose in life, and made him feel better about himself, because he felt he was contributing in a meaningful way. Of course, if one wants to take them all home and cannot, this suggestion wouldn't be a good one, as that would add to the depression.:-)

One of the best things I've read in this thread bears repeating, imo. It was posted by Jerry Rasmussen:

One of the hardest things to do in life is to love yourself. There is this misunderstanding about loving yourself and being selfish. I think that the only way that you can become a loving, generous, outward-looking person is to love yourself, forgive yourself, and don't let ANYONE rub your nose in the past.

In all cases of depression I've seen, self-love was very low or non-existent. One of the things which I recommend is "mirror-work." Try to look at yourself in the mirror and smile at yourself. Try to say, out loud, "(Your name), I love you." It may take time, but if you can start out even once per day and be consistent with it, it may help. A lot of it depends on your ability to believe in a new way of looking at yourself. It is a tough conundrum of life: if we love ourselves, it attracts others to love us. If we don't love ourselves, it can be difficult for anyone else to do so. I've had over 40 years of experience with a family member who is like this and eventually people pull away because they realise nothing they can do will change things. It is up to the person, themselves, to take the first step and make the changes.

Of course, all of the above goes along with what everyone else has said re' all types of treatment and therapy. Only you will know what works best for you.

All the best and keep talking to us, please, rd and Bob53, and anyone else who needs to...

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 01:25 AM

Guest (posing as rd's ex) would that be?:

The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him;

Very bad taste, visitor. This one could stand to be excised.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: GUEST,rd's ex
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 12:54 AM

Sorry to report that she used the Glock and has joined the Minstral boy.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 11:20 PM

Thanks for telling us your story, Don--it is very reasuring for those of us who have, and deal with, disabilities, to hear about others who have figured out away to make it work--


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: KAS
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 10:53 PM

I would like to second Bonnie Shaljean's really excellent book recommendation: "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" by Andrew Solomon. ISBN 0-684-85466-X.

By far the best, most insightful thing I've seen on the subject, extremely useful for me and for friends, family, colleagues, and artists - anyone interacting with depressives, wondering what it's like, what distinguishes it from other difficult conditions, or why I and lots of other people fighting it act the way we do a lot of the time. Good insights on coping strategies along with incredibly smart, balanced, well-written and well-researched look at the science, history, and sociology of the phenomenon itself. Occasional laugh lines too. Helping me a great deal; I recommend it big-time.


Over the past few years, even (especially) as many things in my life have gotten harder, and even as (on many days) my depression hammers me into an ugly incapable crate, I have come to know that - along with an atrophied but stubborn belief in myself, care for all my crafts, proper medication and responsible therapy, and basic support from all my many families - my singing, and the voices of those close around me and you all on Mudcat have certainly saved my life.


Thanks,

Ken Schatz


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 07:07 PM

Thanks Don, it's good to know you.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 03:34 PM

I went through a very sticky patch about six years ago, and for those who have never had it (and hope you never do!), depression is gawdawful! It's not just "having the blues" or feeling a bit down—it's debilitating. If you've never been there, it's impossible to understand just how low you can feel. Don't try to handle it by yourself. Get help.

I had polio when I was two years old and walked with aluminum forearm crutches all my life. Nevertheless, I've led a rich and active life. During the late Fifties and on into the Sixties I sang almost every weekend in one coffeehouse or another, I did a batch of concerts and some TV, and made a thoroughly enjoyable if somewhat marginal living by singing. I used to clomp out onto the stage and sit down exactly like Itzak Perlman does, with someone caring my guitar for me. I continued performing from time to time on into the Seventies and Eighties, not quite as much as before, but still performing. In spite of having to walk with crutches, there wasn't much I wanted to do that I couldn't.

Then on February 5th, 1990, I fell and broke my "good" leg. That put me in a wheelchair, no longer able to walk with crutches. Suddenly there were a lot of things I wanted to do that I couldn't. And ADA notwithstanding, there are many places you just cannot go if you're stuck in a wheelchair. Because of the disability, my life had been slightly restricted before (climbing Mt. Everest or Olympic track and field was pretty well out). Now, I was really restricted. Among other things, have you ever tried playing a guitar while sitting in a wheelchair? The right wheel is where you want the lower bout of the guitar to be, and it throws the guitar way out of position. Really screws things up!

It took about five years for this change to sink in. I read a lot, wrote a lot, watched a lot of TV, still played the guitar while sitting on the bed, went out some, but it's a real struggle transferring from wheelchair to car and back again. My universe had contracted drastically.

Then, suddenly, I started having panic attacks. Shortly after that, all enthusiasm for existence sank into the deepest pit imaginable. Without dwelling on that, suffice it to say that it was, by far, the worst period in my life.

My wife Barbara had been through something like this before and she knew what to do. She took me to a counselor. The counselor sent me to a psychiatrist for evaluation. The psychiatrist diagnosed it as clinical depression, and put me on Xanex for the panic attacks, and prescribed an anti-depressant. We tried Zoloft first, and it made it worse! Then we tried Effexor, and that was no better. The damned anti-depressant made me feel downright suicidal! I decided that somehow I would have to deal with this without the anti-depressant. But how?

It was my sister who gave me the clue. "Clinical depression?" she said. "I don't think so. Clinical depression is physiological—a matter of brain chemistry. But take a look at the drastic way your life has changed recently. I think what you have is situational depression. Anti-depressants won't help that, and they might just make it worse. Stick with the counselor" (Without going into my sister's qualifications, she does know what she's talking about.)

I followed my sister's advice. It took a couple of months with the counselor and my mood began to lift—actually, it began to lift within a couple of weeks, because I was doing something about it. I stuck with the counselor for a couple of years. We talked a lot, and with her help I managed to clean out a bunch of mental closets. She helped me immensely in learning how to cope with my situation—and to find ways to expand my universe as much as possible.

Now? I'm okay. I acknowledge my situation and face it squarely. It's damned frustrating and I don't try to deny it. But—no more depression and no more panic attacks. All in all, I feel pretty good. I still don't get around very much, but I write a lot, I read a lot, I watch a fair amount of TV, and I cruise the internet a lot (spending an inordinate amount of time on Mudcat). I also developed a pretty fair solution to the problem of playing a guitar while sitting in the wheelchair. I bought a small travel guitar, a Go guitar made by Sam Radding in San Diego, which actually sounds like a real guitar (!), and with a strap, I can hold it securely in a good position without the wheel interfering. It's still a hassle getting in and out of a car, but every now and then Bob and Judy Nelson have a songfest at their place in Everett, and Barbara and I go up. Bob tips the wheelchair back like a hand-truck and lifts my up his two front steps and into the house, then a batch of us sing up a storm for the next few hours. What's my current major project? I'm "writing my memoirs," which is a thoroughly enjoyable nostalgia-trip, and trying get all the songs I know, tunes, annotations and all, into some kind of a songbook.

Get counseling. But try to keep on top of things. Don't necessarily accept everything you're told. Many psychiatrists tend to take the easy way and reach for the prescription pad when what is really needed is counseling. Sometimes pharmaceuticals don't solve the problem; they just cover it up and it's still there waiting to pop out again. As much as you can, try to be the judge of your own condition.

Winston Churchill suffered from bouts of depression. He called it "the black dog." I'm in pretty good shape right now, but if my "black dog" ever returns, I know what to do.

I hope this helps.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 02:48 PM

For family reasons I won't go into, I watched the news & read New Scientist lighting on articles about Prozac, depression and similar, still do.
One article that sat up and wouldn't be ignored was about dieting. If you loose too much weight too quickly it starves the brain of essentials and it shrinks. The observable effects are to induce symptoms which are uncannily like depression. Is this information any use? From my own experience I can vouch for that but my experience was bound-up in a sense if failure and having to give-up a goal. I found playing badminton a real help then, it is a competetive thing, a co-operative thing, and a physical thing.
Yep I endorse the old excercise wheeze, walking to work makes me feel good, walking home much better, but that job is gone now, boo hoo.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 02:40 PM

As a clinician, who also struggles with depression/anxiety, I have really struggled with a General Practice physician prescribing psychotropic medications. In the hospital where I work it is now becoming standard practice to also refer the individual to a social worker, psychologist, or counselor to follow up on a regular (weekly) basis to ensure the medication is doing as intended. Medication is, at best, a bull in a china cabinet. We really don't know why some things work the way they do. Lots of theories but very little actual proof. Many medications are given for mental health issues because of the side effect they have found when treating other disorders.

I also believe there are four parts to a human being. And all four parts need to be included in the treatment plan.

1) The physical - medications and exercise

2) The mental - Talk to someone you trust

3) The emotional - There is an excellent book out there called, "What You feel You Can Heal." by John Gray Ph.D.. Emotions are very important and must be acknowledged and addressed in an appropriate manner.

4) The spiritual - We all believe in something - even the Aetheists have to believe in order to not believe (whole nother discussion *G*) and it is equally important to participate in those rituals.

One alcoholic I worked with finally accepted that his coffee cup was bigger than he was - he could quit drinking but went bonkers if he couldn't find his cup. And spirituality is about believing in something larger than ourselves.

The above are general statements and are not intended as treatment for any of the issues presented in this thread. Every person is unique and requires special care - and that care, when the symptoms are serious, really needs to be handled in concert with professionals.

My last thing is responsibility. Recovery is the onus of the individual. I am responsible to do what I need to do to feel well. So I am quite assertive about requesting changes if what I, and others, are doing appears to not be working.

Be well folks my thoughts are with you-

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 02:35 PM

My message to all, whether depressed or not:

Don't think of antidepressants as a crutch. Think of them as an artificial leg.
If you're missing something you ought to have, medical science can often replace it. It's the thinking of the meds as a crutch that makes people want to go off them when they're doing OK, which will make them NOT do OK because it ISN'T a crutch, it's an artificial leg, and without it... you fall over. There is very little about depression, and even less about manic depression, that isn't biological (disagreeing with the above "Depression generally stems from a feeling of not being able to solve some issues." That outdated thinking is dangerous! YES, there may be some actual issue that is upsetting enough to start the process, or bring it to a head, but the issue didn't CAUSE the depression, it provided a context in which it could appear, whereas pre-issue, it was most likely dormant or appearing in other contexts (hives, cramps, headaches...).

Which DOESN'T mean that therapy and dealing with the issue(s) isn't of equal and paramount importance; it's just that dealing ONLY with the issue WILL NOT CURE THE DEPRESSION.

And if you are just down about something and dealing with the something deals with the being down, you are pretty much by definition not depressed. Even if the degree to which you're down prevents you from functioning and requires intervention - your problem will have a different diagnosis.


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: GUEST,rd
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 02:13 PM

Hi Jerry, thanks for the post. I agree with most of what you say. I posted here in the hope of a few suggestions that real people dealing with their situations had found helped, it was always going to be my responsibility which bits were going to be useful to me. The strength of feeling behind all the recommendations is incredible - but why post something you have no faith in. Luckily, I have access to the literature - the bio-chemistry & statistics etc, but it was the view from the ground I really felt I needed. At the moment, I'm not planning to raise the depression issue with my GP, mostly because I think I am not slipping too badly - & with help from friends & here I hope I'll get past this. I don't regret AT ALL that I asked for GP help 5 years ago, I was so down & had fewer resources to draw on then, & without the meds, I dunno. & Other people here have spoken highly of that route. I would NEVER want to put off anyone who needs to speak to their GP, but anyone should be aware there are a few drawbacks. I typed a paragraph of of own personal reservations, but deleted it - because if you need that level of help you need it. A bit of advice from me (may only be valid in uk) but if you're getting nowhere with your GP - you can change GP. I was lucky - my 1st GP was ok & since moving house - current one is great,unfortunately it's not always the case !

Anyway - my hopes of a few ideas were truly surpassed.

Got to get ready to go out now. I've been dithering all day about whether to go, but now sort of looking forward it.

Best foot forward everyone,

rd


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 07:35 AM

Yeah, all the encouragement and shared experiences are important, but Mudcat can't be a substitute for professional help. I read things here that worked for someone else that I know either wouldn't have worked for me, or I wasn't in any shape to do. The best thing about this thread isn't that it can solve your problems, rd, or 53. It just tells you that you are not alone, and that people care enough about you. But, Pleazzzze see someone who can help you figure out what will work best for you. I didn't take medication. Does that mean that I should encourage you not to take it? Not at all. Some people self-dosed or used herbal remedies. Should you? I dunno. Some folks thing that aloe can cure anything. The best general advice I've seen is to have a PLAN. Man, there's nothing like having a Plan. That means that you are not succumbing to the feeling of helplessness. If you try something and it doesn't help, try something else. But, get someone more knowledgeable than us to help. If you had cancer, would you just consult with other people who have cancer for treatment. I don't think so.. My prayers are with all those who know how dark the night is.
Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: marty D
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 12:35 AM

After reading a couple of unrelated Pop music threads and now where this has gone, I find it quite disturbing. Forums like these can be a great help to people able to share ideas and absorb and disseminate information, but they can result in disaster as well. A generally unmoderated forum can be rife with some very strange agendae, which can really hurt fragile people. Getting alternately positive and then negative reactions (the other threads) can be dangerous.

marty


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: Deda
Date: 16 Jan 02 - 11:01 PM

Bob,

I agree w/ Susan, I hope you're getting some professional input into what to take when, how much, and not just tossing pills back like popcorn, so to speak. Dosage and interactions can be a very big deal in how, whether meds work, as you know probably much better than I do. I don't mean to sound preachy, I'm just concerned and hope that the worst has passed, and that you're recovering some balance. I am sorry to read about the rage you've experienced, and especially sorry that it cuts you off from being able to play music. You probably can't break your voice in anger, so maybe you can sing?


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Subject: RE: BS: sliding into a depression
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jan 02 - 02:03 PM

Now Bob, check with the doc-- don't self-dose!

~Susan


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