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Dealing with Depression and Other Mental Illnesses


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With seeing several other members opening up about depression and personally struggling with it for almost half of my lifetime I wanted to start a thread. This will hopefully encourage others, and give them a place, to open up when they may not have had comfortable outlet before. This can also provide a fair amount of anonymity.

 

I am thankful that I have reached a point where I can at least be open about my issues and I plan on sharing more of my personal story - but it is still always mentally and emotionally taxing even though the benefits far outweigh that stress.

 

I invite others to share but acknowledge that this is in no way a replacement for professional treatment and request that anyone who adds to the conversation treat it as such. I also request that anyone who adds to the conversation show the highest level of respect for all other contributors.

 

Thank you,

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So two people witness a car crash, & the police might get conflicting reports from them on why said accident occurred.

 

Apply this principle to what is mostly referred to as depression. Two who experience the same trauma(say, in formative yrs), might react in opposite ways. Could be the glass half-full/empty outlook, at play. So one of these two is told it's depression.

 

Where do we draw the line between people who have a mental illness(such as depression), vs those who simply get overwhelmed from a succession of really sh*tty occurrences? There's a grey distinction here, that I don't often hear being raised. Both the effects(& interpretation) are often subjective.

 

Seems the mental health community might like to put the onus on one who suffers, then perhaps suggest over-medication as a cure. It's hard for people to see the sickness within the very twisted society we have created.

 

"To be well-adjusted within a profoundly sick society, is no measure of one's mental well-being."

 

*****************************

It's just another general angle to a mighty complicated issue..but I fear the onus is often shifted onto the suffering individual. Perhaps more than it should be?

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My experience is with my daughter and working with her through her struggles with depression so if there are any parents out there who are new to this and have questions I'll do my best to share what we've experienced and whats worked or not for us. One thing I'll say off the top is there are resources to help and things can get better. 

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1 hour ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

Where do we draw the line between people who have a mental illness(such as depression), vs those who simply get overwhelmed from a succession of really sh*tty occurrences? There's a grey distinction here, that I don't often hear being raised. Both the effects(& interpretation) are often subjective.

 

 

It's an understandable point, but one from the perspective of somebody who hasn't had depression, because (no offense) you obviously don't understand it.

 

I do.  In fact, I've had it for most of my live since a teen and there have only been relatively brief periods over the last three decades where I actually feel normal.  I haven't felt even more than half an hour of being "normal" for probably about 6 years straight. 

 

Depression isn't being upset that you lost your dog or you are in severe debt.  Those are reactions to unfortunate circumstances.  You might feel depressed, but that's a normal human emotion to have. Just like being sad about something. But imagine having that feeling for weeks.  Months.  Years.  Decades.  It's knowing that when everything around you is awesome, you are still going to feel like crap.  It's not getting any enjoyment out of life - at least for the most part. It's existing, instead of living. It no longer is a reaction, but instead just becomes a part of who you are.  THAT is depression.  I could win a million dollars today and although there would be some level of excitement as a result, never would I think it would make me happier.  Honestly, that simply isn't possible.  I could have everything I've ever dreamed of both physically and emotionally, and I would still have a grey cloud over my head every.  Single.  Day.  As it stands, my life is pretty good.  I have a good paying job, a wife, a healthy 5 year old son, a loyal dog, a nice luxury house and I drive a Jag. And how much of that brings a smile to my face?  Virtually none of it.  

 

So believe me - there is actually a great distinction between what I experience, and what somebody who just got broken up with feels. One is a sense of loss or feeling upset about _________.  You can place it.  You understand it.  The other is simply being unhappy about living.  Being unhappy having to drag myself through yet another day of unyielding emptiness.  It doesn't follow logic and it doesn't make sense to those unfamiliar with how depression feels.  

 

Now of course, depressed people experience unfortunate circumstances as well.  And that only drags them deeper into the depression and makes it that much harder to get out of it.

 

Note that I want to address the fact that what I just wrote is about typical "uni-polar" depression. Such depression that has gone on for years or decades like mine can be called "Dysthymia", although Dysthymia is often interpreted to only account for those with chronic mild depression so the term isn't concrete.  There are also those with Bi-Polar or Manic-Depression, which combines the deep lows with feelings of highs and frenetic feeling which presents itself more like a roller coaster ride than uni-polar depression.  These people may seem more than happy at times and you could never believe they had depression but their lows are often really, really deep lows.

 

I feel there is still a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about depression in general, and while I am glad there is more light put on it and it is a bit more acceptable to talk about now, I am not sure there is a heck of a lot more understanding by those who have never experienced it. I implore everyone to take an hour and read up on it because the concept is really quite fascinating.  The fact that the human mind could cause one to experience such negativity even in light of so much good in one's life is truly astounding.  It's almost like taking an drug and having a mild bad trip.  You KNOW what you are feeling doesn't have a basis in reality but there isn't anything you can do about it.  But at least with a drug you know it will eventually wear off; like I said, with enough time, sometimes depression can be come all-consuming.

With this topic brought up, I'd also like to offer my opinions/experiences to anyone who wishes to know more about depression in any context.  My only request is that any discussion remain respectful and asked with an open mind.

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5 minutes ago, kloubek said:

 

 

It's an understandable point, but one from the perspective of somebody who hasn't had depression, because (no offense) you obviously don't understand it.

 

I do.  In fact, I've had it for most of my live since a teen and there have only been relatively brief periods over the last three decades where I actually feel normal.  I haven't felt even more than half an hour of being "normal" for probably about 6 years straight. 

 

Depression isn't being upset that you lost your dog or you are in severe debt.  Those are reactions to unfortunate circumstances.  You might feel depressed, but that's a normal human emotion to have. Just like being sad about something. But imagine having that feeling for weeks.  Months.  Years.  Decades.  It's knowing that when everything around you is awesome, you are still going to feel like crap.  It's not getting any enjoyment out of life - at least for the most part. It's existing, instead of living. It no longer is a reaction, but instead just becomes a part of who you are.  THAT is depression.  I could win a million dollars today and although there would be some level of excitement as a result, never would I think it would make me happier.  Honestly, that simply isn't possible.  I could have everything I've ever dreamed of both physically and emotionally, and I would still have a grey cloud over my head every.  Single.  Day.  As it stands, my life is pretty good.  I have a good paying job, a wife, a healthy 5 year old son, a loyal dog, a nice luxury house and I drive a Jag. And how much of that brings a smile to my face?  Virtually none of it.  

 

So believe me - there is actually a great distinction between what I experience, and what somebody who just got broken up with feels. One is a sense of loss or feeling upset about _________.  You can place it.  You understand it.  The other is simply being unhappy about living.  Being unhappy having to drag myself through yet another day of unyielding emptiness.  It doesn't follow logic and it doesn't make sense to those unfamiliar with how depression feels.  

 

Now of course, depressed people experience unfortunate circumstances as well.  And that only drags them deeper into the depression and makes it that much harder to get out of it.

 

Note that I want to address the fact that what I just wrote is about typical "uni-polar" depression. Such depression that has gone on for years or decades like mine can be called "Dysthymia", although Dysthymia is often interpreted to only account for those with chronic mild depression so the term isn't concrete.  There are also those with Bi-Polar or Manic-Depression, which combines the deep lows with feelings of highs and frenetic feeling which presents itself more like a roller coaster ride than uni-polar depression.  These people may seem more than happy at times and you could never believe they had depression but their lows are often really, really deep lows.

 

I feel there is still a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about depression in general, and while I am glad there is more light put on it and it is a bit more acceptable to talk about now, I am not sure there is a heck of a lot more understanding by those who have never experienced it. I implore everyone to take an hour and read up on it because the concept is really quite fascinating.  The fact that the human mind could cause one to experience such negativity even in light of so much good in one's life is truly astounding.  It's almost like taking an drug and having a mild bad trip.  You KNOW what you are feeling doesn't have a basis in reality but there isn't anything you can do about it.  But at least with a drug you know it will eventually wear off; like I said, with enough time, sometimes depression can be come all-consuming.

With this topic brought up, I'd also like to offer my opinions/experiences to anyone who wishes to know more about depression in any context.  My only request is that any discussion remain respectful and asked with an open mind.

Thank you very much, kloubek. I appreciate that you shared that.

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55 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

My experience is with my daughter and working with her through her struggles with depression so if there are any parents out there who are new to this and have questions I'll do my best to share what we've experienced and whats worked or not for us. One thing I'll say off the top is there are resources to help and things can get better. 

Thank you, Jimmy. I hope your daughter is doing better.

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5 minutes ago, kloubek said:

 

 

It's an understandable point, but one from the perspective of somebody who hasn't had depression, because (no offense) you obviously don't understand it.

 

I do.  In fact, I've had it for most of my live since a teen and there have only been relatively brief periods over the last three decades where I actually feel normal.  I haven't felt even more than half an hour of being "normal" for probably about 6 years straight. 

 

Depression isn't being upset that you lost your dog or you are in severe debt.  Those are reactions to unfortunate circumstances.  You might feel depressed, but that's a normal human emotion to have. Just like being sad about something. But imagine having that feeling for weeks.  Months.  Years.  Decades.  It's knowing that when everything around you is awesome, you are still going to feel like crap.  It's not getting any enjoyment out of life - at least for the most part. It's existing, instead of living. It no longer is a reaction, but instead just becomes a part of who you are.  THAT is depression.  I could win a million dollars today and although there would be some level of excitement as a result, never would I think it would make me happier.  Honestly, that simply isn't possible.  I could have everything I've ever dreamed of both physically and emotionally, and I would still have a grey cloud over my head every.  Single.  Day.  As it stands, my life is pretty good.  I have a good paying job, a wife, a healthy 5 year old son, a loyal dog, a nice luxury house and I drive a Jag. And how much of that brings a smile to my face?  Virtually none of it.  

 

So believe me - there is actually a great distinction between what I experience, and what somebody who just got broken up with feels. One is a sense of loss or feeling upset about _________.  You can place it.  You understand it.  The other is simply being unhappy about living.  Being unhappy having to drag myself through yet another day of unyielding emptiness.  It doesn't follow logic and it doesn't make sense to those unfamiliar with how depression feels.  

 

Now of course, depressed people experience unfortunate circumstances as well.  And that only drags them deeper into the depression and makes it that much harder to get out of it.

 

Note that I want to address the fact that what I just wrote is about typical "uni-polar" depression. Such depression that has gone on for years or decades like mine can be called "Dysthymia", although Dysthymia is often interpreted to only account for those with chronic mild depression so the term isn't concrete.  There are also those with Bi-Polar or Manic-Depression, which combines the deep lows with feelings of highs and frenetic feeling which presents itself more like a roller coaster ride than uni-polar depression.  These people may seem more than happy at times and you could never believe they had depression but their lows are often really, really deep lows.

 

I feel there is still a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about depression in general, and while I am glad there is more light put on it and it is a bit more acceptable to talk about now, I am not sure there is a heck of a lot more understanding by those who have never experienced it. I implore everyone to take an hour and read up on it because the concept is really quite fascinating.  The fact that the human mind could cause one to experience such negativity even in light of so much good in one's life is truly astounding.  It's almost like taking an drug and having a mild bad trip.  You KNOW what you are feeling doesn't have a basis in reality but there isn't anything you can do about it.  But at least with a drug you know it will eventually wear off; like I said, with enough time, sometimes depression can be come all-consuming.

Appreciate your candour & insights, Kloubek. Gonna mull this over a bit, as the day's just getting started here. Typhoons..now earthquakes. Lots of people here in Japan today, with reasons to feel despondent.

 

Will add a little more later in the day. Cheers

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5 minutes ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

Appreciate your candour & insights, Kloubek. Gonna mull this over a bit, as the day's just getting started here. Typhoons..now earthquakes. Lots of people here in Japan today, with reasons to feel despondent.

 

Will add a little more later in the day. Cheers

Stay safe.  Cheers.

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7 minutes ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

Appreciate your candour & insights, Kloubek. Gonna mull this over a bit, as the day's just getting started here. Typhoons..now earthquakes. Lots of people here in Japan today, with reasons to feel despondent.

 

Will add a little more later in the day. Cheers

I hope the best for you, Nux. Take care and may safety be with you.

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I believe there are a lot of us out there that struggle to live in today's world. I will not bore everyone with my own story suffice to say I am going through the hardest time of my life. I have never wanted to bring drama/ negativity into other people lives. As my friends, whom I am so very lucky to have many, have pointed out that friends are there to help, to guide at all times but especially during the times we experience the most distress. My friends have helped and continue to help me through the hardest time of my life. I believe I could have done this on my  own however I did not have to dig as deep into my reserve of resilience bcuase of their support.As have always reminded myself there is always some body worse off than me and l have met a few during this time. At the start of my seperation I was pointed to a website called dad's in distress. On the front page it stated 365 lives saved that year 2017. They stated that 365 men were going to commit suicide but did not because of the help they received from that service. The point I am making is turn to your friends, find the services that are out there and use them to help you through the hard times in your life's.

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1 minute ago, Ilunga said:

I believe there are a lot of us out there that struggle to live in today's world. I will not bore everyone with my own story suffice to say I am going through the hardest time of my life. I have never wanted to bring drama/ negativity into other people lives. As my friends, whom I am so very lucky to have many, have pointed out that friends are there to help, to guide at all times but especially during the times we experience the most distress. My friends have helped and continue to help me through the hardest time of my life. I believe I could have done this on my  own however I did not have to dig as deep into my reserve of resilience bcuase of their support.As have always reminded myself there is always some body worse off than me and l have met a few during this time. At the start of my seperation I was pointed to a website called dad's in distress. On the front page it stated 365 lives saved that year 2017. They stated that 365 men were going to commit suicide but did not because of the help they received from that service. The point I am making is turn to your friends, find the services that are out there and use them to help you through the hard times in your life's.

Thank you for sharing, Ilunga.

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Just now, PhillipBlunt said:

Thank you for sharing, Ilunga.

I have never known such pain my friend. In  the first few months I would fall down C hiurl up and cry uncontrollably .Due to a crappy legal system , that I will still defend because most of the time the woman is the victim, I have not seen the person I love the most , my five year old son in over nine months. I am in the minority , men whose partners use that system to keep father's from seeing their children. Me ex is very well versed in the law, my lawyer is blown away at how she had manipulated the system. She says in nearly 2 decades of family law she has seen my scenario quite often, couples who go through hell later in life to have a child when they break up , her words, the woman goes pyshco. As I have stated the support of my friends has blown me away , one tries to be a good person , be a positive influence but never give to receive. The love and respect I have received from my friends has blown me away. My father once told me me if you you count on one hand people you can count on when the proverbial hits the fan you are lucky. I have had dozens , I still cannot believe how lucky I am, how truly " rich" I am.  Even here on this forum I used to be a member but due to this and other events in my life I had not posted in a few years. The love and respect I have received on return is humbling , I will never take it for granted.

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during the depression i felt after my wife's passing, many people told me how they coped with their depression, but one friend listened to me talking about what i was feeling. when i wasn't talking, she would clean the house and cook meals. her help, meant the most to me. she also sat with my wife before she departed. 

my sister kept me on the phone for over an hour, telling me about, when her husband died. i hated that. i wanted to tell her what i was feeling, but she never let me. like young cram says, the simplest of chores feel like a mountain to climb.

in the business of helping people, we call our parts, as walking along side of them. share their sorrow and offer encouragement always. 

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I remember when :D (the poster) made a similar type of thread like this where people could air out their frustrations and what-not. I thought it was a very helpful place, especially when the community here is somewhat anonymous, yet at the same time, we recognize a lot of the names, which would pique our interest to know more about them.

 

Everyone's gone through depression, in one form or another. That is a fact. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. You can seemingly have it all - and have nothing at the same time. It doesn't matter if you're rich but feel like $&!#. So to me, the solution is to start from within, which is not as easy as it sounds. You need a good support network because being/staying alone won't work. You don't gain anything insightful doing that.


Also, abusing drugs makes things worse. It MAY help you in the short term, but the long term consequences will lead you into a downward spiral.

 

You are not alone.

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2 hours ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

So two people witness a car crash, & the police might get conflicting reports from them on why said accident occurred.

 

Apply this principle to what is mostly referred to as depression. Two who experience the same trauma(say, in formative yrs), might react in opposite ways. Could be the glass half-full/empty outlook, at play. So one of these two is told it's depression.

 

Where do we draw the line between people who have a mental illness(such as depression), vs those who simply get overwhelmed from a succession of really sh*tty occurrences? There's a grey distinction here, that I don't often hear being raised. Both the effects(& interpretation) are often subjective.

 

Seems the mental health community might like to put the onus on one who suffers, then perhaps suggest over-medication as a cure. It's hard for people to see the sickness within the very twisted society we have created.

 

"To be well-adjusted within a profoundly sick society, is no measure of one's mental well-being."

 

*****************************

It's just another general angle to a mighty complicated issue..but I fear the onus is often shifted onto the suffering individual. Perhaps more than it should be?

 

The diagnosis of my condition certainly includes a succession of traumatic events as much as it does physical trauma (concussions) and genetic predisposition. The factors are not mutually exclusive and are discussed in great detail in any of my meetings with professionals. Depression can be onset from a succession of traumatic events as much as it can be from the time one is born. Perhaps it is experience with the subject that brings those specifics to light.

 

I do agree the the medical community addressing mental health can certainly lean towards over-medication. And this can be a completely different debate regarding pharmaceutical companies. But, for years I was on heavy medication. While it provided some improvement to a point, it also got to a point where side effects were outweighing the positive effects. 

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2 hours ago, Jimmy McGill said:

My experience is with my daughter and working with her through her struggles with depression so if there are any parents out there who are new to this and have questions I'll do my best to share what we've experienced and whats worked or not for us. One thing I'll say off the top is there are resources to help and things can get better. 

I would fall under the category of both. Thankfully my son has not shown signs of depression, and I hope he never does. I'm terrified more than anything of him going through the same struggles. Having my father, his father and myself showing clear mental illness, I put a huge amount of responsibility on myself to sort out my issues so that I can hopefully help whatever path he follows.

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