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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:53 AM
Original message
Depression can really be painful.
My mom used to tell me growing up that when I was sad, it was because I chose to be sad. Yet who ever would choose to feel this way? I have what feels like a 20 lb. weight on my chest at the moment. It's true pain, and I've experienced this to one degree or another for about twenty years. The interesting thing is that I don't feel like crying right now. I just feel physical pain, and I need to sit still, meditate, and let it subside for it to dissipate.

When will society start treating depression as a disease instead of some psychological manifestation of a crappy childhood? Depression is a painful, at times debilitating, disease that can only be controlled with talk therapy and medicine, but rarely cured.
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Gato Moteado Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. i hear ya
i've battled anxiety and depression for a long time. i know what you mean.

hang in there! i hope the 20 lb weight is lifted soon and you're feeling better.
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amitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. Society absolutely treats depression as a disease. That's why
you see the endless ads for Zoloft, Paxil, etc. People know you can treat it with a drug, because it's a disease.

You should see a doctor if you think you're clinically depressed...one of those drugs plus therapy might be needed.
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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. After twenty years, it's "been there, done that" for me...
:) I'm fine, but it's like being stuck with luggage on a long voyage.

I wonder if only now it's seen as a disease because someone can make money off of the treatment? Or if the self-help phenomenon from the last decade enlightened us?
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. That's Big Drugs
Not society.

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Left Is Write Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. I don't know what to say except that I totally, completely, 100% understand.
You have my email addy - let me know if you want to talk.
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mongo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. Are you familiar with cognative behavior therapy?
http://www.amazon.com/Depression-Workbook-Living-Harbin...

I know it's hard to see any light when you're in a dark hole but there is a grain of truth to what your mom told you.

You are your own best therapist
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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I do manage my depression to some degree...
by concentrating on something that brings peace to mind. Like running water, or something of that nature.

I am not in a "dark hole" at the moment. I just have this pain in my chest. I have been in quite a few dark holes in the past, though, and I wouldn't even be typing if that were the case.
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. CT is quite a bit more than just visualizing peaceful places.
It feels absolutely artificial the first few times you try it (which is why I thought at first that it was a bunch of hooey), but ultimately it was what helped pull me out of a major depression.

I hope your pain goes away soon--on all levels. :hug:
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. That's the only thing that worked for me when medication didn't help.
And before I tried it, I would've sworn it wouldn't work. It's actually an excellent tool for dealing with depression, with or without medication.

I had a major episode of depression pre-Prozac, and the pharmaceutical therapies were a lot more limited (this was mid 80s). That was a terrifying time for me. :-(
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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Actually I would not give my mom much credit at all...
she told me that so she didn't have to deal with the truth of my pain. I was 11 at the time. My mother is a callous narcissist who used Hubbard's book as a "cover" to justify her lack of empathy. It's not the same as what you're proposing. You're actually trying to HELP. She wasn't.
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Oh, no--I wasn't trying to give her any credit.
And I apologize if it came across that way. Obviously, nobody "chooses" to be depressed (and what a horrible thing to tell your child); CT is about, for lack of a better lay explanation, telling yourself you're going to feel better, and then making that happen. I don't think any psychologist who recommends CT would EVER tell someone they "choose" to be depressed. I'm so sorry you had to endure that. :-(

And a cursory search of old posts by me will tell you exactly how I feel about $cientology.
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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. You must meet this woman! She's a piece of work.
Unfortunately my two older sisters followed her lead to a certain degree. I came much later, so it was like watching a three ring circus where the lions tried to eat each other. If I even squeaked, they all would come after me.

But that was then, and all three have suffered immensely for their behavior. I'm also a flawed human being, but I have completely risen up and stepped over their carcases.
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mongo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. Understood
I know what a drain family can be. I was given the "scapegoat" role in our alcoholic family, and if I'm around my mom for anything more than a half hour, she will still try to put me into that role.

And if I point it out to her when she says something negatvie to me, she turns it around and makes it my problem too. Oh well. I just try to limit my time with my family.

Hope you are feeling better too. Shakespeare had some good comments on cognative behavior therapy too.

It's worth the read, and the link I posted was a very popular book. You can probably get it from your local library.

peace.

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Fleshdancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
21. I second CBT
I don't know what I would do without CBT and St. John's wort.
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. Never
Many of those who haven't experienced clinical depression and/or anxiety will always dismiss them as "all in your head."

I wish one or both upon them.

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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. My mom read L. Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics" right before this time...
if that explains anything about her.
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. As misguided as they are, I would never, ever wish that on anybody.
Not even the evil-est neocon. I've been to that dark place, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Experience is the best teacher
Just once, I wanted to hear one of them say, "I know what you're going through, and I understand."

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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I understand where you're coming from...
...but I still wouldn't wish that on anyone. :-(
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
18. An answer
"When will society start treating depression as a disease instead of some psychological manifestation of a crappy childhood?"

When depression isn't looked at as a cure-all diagnosis. I just posted in that other thread about me telling the doctor I couldn't sleep, and he wrote it off as depression and wrote me out a prescription for Zoloft.

This is becoming the norm and it is overshadowing the true depression that people have. The doctors pass out anti-depressants like they are the new Valium.
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BarenakedLady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
20. Ya think?
No, I'm not trying to be sarcastic. Depression runs rampant (mostly with the females) on my mom's side of the family. So I do (and always have) had the support of my mom, who also suffers from depression/anxiety on occasion. Her sister (my aunt) is bipolar and has been on Lithium, institutionalized, ECT'd, attempted suicide several times, etc. She has been relatively stable for a decade or so. Her daughters also have depression issues as well.

There certainly is a physical pain associated with depression, that weight you described in the chest. With anxiety, I also get heart palpitations, I get very shaky, tingly, faint, it can be physically painful as well.

I don't know if it is always the case, but someone in a severe depression cannot cry, or rarely cries. Once my meds started working a bit, I found myself feeling more again, that's when the crying started. My therapist said that is often true. Because when you are severely depressed, you can be numb to a lot of your feelings. :shrug: I don't know, it's just a theory. Everyone is different.

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WritingIsMyReligion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
22. I definitely don't think that people choose to be depressed.
I think that most of the time, however, people only make it worse for themselves, especially people who are not "chronically depressed"--just sad and maybe a little annoyed. Medicine can be a salvation, but if you don't try to help yourself as well, then what are you besides a slave to Big Drugs?
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Well, that shows very little understanding of what Depression is
That's Depression with a capital "D" and not people who are "just sad and maybe a little annoyed." Equating Depression with being bummed out is like equating a stroke with a dizzy spell.

"I think that most of the time, however, people only make it worse for themselves." Upon what vast experience do you base this upon? I can speak from over 35 years (if not more) of living with Depression/Bipolar. What you see as people "making it worse for themselves," I see as the struggle to just get up every day and face the world. Until very recently, it was virtually impossible to receive any kind of disability payments for Depression - even now, it's not easy. So people who live with this have to get up, go to work, pay bills, face the world, function in society, all while living with an absolutely crippling disease.

Medication is not the simple cure-all people who've never dealt with this think it is. Most Depressives have to go through several changes in meds, in dosages, in combinations, to finally find the one that works for them. Many, many people never find anything that truly works - they may find something that takes the edge off and they may not even find that.

People turn to things like drugs and alcohol. Is that smart? Maybe not but it is a desperate attempt to numb the pain and fear and confusion and black despair that threatens to swallow you up. They get in and out of bad relationships because it's extremely difficult to find someone who will put up with a severely depressed person - I know it's not easy to live with me. I've been doing it for 46 years and I can't imagine why anyone else would take it on. You feel guilt and shame for saddling your loved ones with yourself.

It's hard to hold a job when you're a Depressive. Things get overwhelming, stress builds up, panic attacks start - sometimes you feel like you're drifting in space above yourself, just watching your own movements. Surreal, dizzying. I worked construction like that. Finally had to take a layoff. Making it worse for myself once again.

Financial difficulties add stress. Stress contributes to Depression. See how it works? But that's just us making it worse for ourselves.

It's always so comforting to have our very real issues laid out and explained for us by people who have absolutely no idea what it's like to live with this. Would you tell a cancer patient what they're doing wrong in their life that makes their illness worse? Why is Depression treated like something that is our fault?
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WritingIsMyReligion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. No, I think you missed the point.
I did not call depression something that makes you "just sad and maybe a little annoyed." If you'll notice, I compared that to "chronic depression," which is, as you put it, Depression, "with a capital 'D'." I was mentioning two types of depression---chronic, "real" depression, and being upset, which is a low form of depression as well, thought certainly not as pervasive. So there was no equating Depression to being bummed out; I am perfectly aware of the distinction.

Intellectually I understand the concept of Depression, understand exactly what it does, understand that people who suffer from it usually suffer from screwy brain chemicals which only medication can fix. I won't argue that emotionally I do not "understand" Depression, not being a Depressive myself and not being around Depressives as far as I am aware, though I can certainly sympathize with it.

I am just saying that I think people always need to keep their heads above water, and if they cannot, then have someone help them to do it, through therapy or whatever, and not just through medicine, not to belittle the medications that keep people sane. I have read Depressives on here who argue that Cognitive Behavior Therapy does not work for Depressives, because, by definition, a Depressive is dug into a hole that he/she cannot reason out of. Perhaps that is true; I would not, emotionally, know. Again, I just think that people should, whenever possible, not rely on medication alone to help themselves, not that I am accusing you or any other Depressive of not having tried other routes--a thousand other routes, I'm sure--before turning to medication. My statement was purely hypothetical/academic, not a personal attack on anyone.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
25. oh just get over it!
That's what I've had said to me. . .

If only it were that easy, eh?

Hope this :hug: helps.

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