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Thu Apr 20, 2017, 08:25 AM

Major Depressive Disorder: a quick personal summary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_depressive_disorder

About age 7, I was no longer a carefree happy child. Something went out of me. Somehow I remember this.

Skip to age 13, when my acne went from very trivial to (IMO) extremely bad. MDD really set in now. Acne stayed around till age 24.

Age 17: This may seem weird to some, but I really latched onto disco music in 1975. It made me happy. Yes, disco is not famous for being intellectually and artistically rich, but it made me happy. A natural anti-depressant, if you will.

Skip to age 18: I went off to school in Gainesville, FL. I had morning classes. It was usually extremely hard to get up and function, and go to class. Yes, I had NOT been partying or drinking the night before, and had tried to go to bed early. I just thought this was somehow normal.

Skip to age 37: I had severe difficulties functioning at work. Lack of energy, lack of motivation, procrastination, feeling like crap, sad. I finally went to a doctor at the HMO (where I worked also), and he diagnosed me with MDD and put me on Zoloft. Ugh, the first few days on Zoloft were horrible. I see why people quit, but I stuck it out and those side effects went away. I did start feeling better pretty soon, which was placebo effect and I suppose some effect of the medication.

I'm still on anti-depressants 21 years later. I've tried going off cold turkey (DO NOT DO THIS, lesson learned), and had my meds changed a few times due to either cost skyrocketing or the beneficial effect wearing off. Life is good now.

Moral of the story (cliched but so true): Get help, get diagnosed, and feel better. Best wishes to all my friends here, especially if you have MDD or bipolar or another mood disorder.

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Reply Major Depressive Disorder: a quick personal summary (Original post)
steve2470 Apr 2017 OP
IndianaDave Apr 2017 #1
steve2470 Apr 2017 #2
IndianaDave Apr 2017 #3
elleng Apr 2017 #4
steve2470 Apr 2017 #11
mopinko Apr 2017 #5
retrowire Apr 2017 #6
steve2470 Apr 2017 #7
hunter Apr 2017 #8
steve2470 Apr 2017 #9
hunter Apr 2017 #10
steve2470 May 2017 #12

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 08:37 AM

1. This is a courageous post, Steve.

I hope others take the time to read it and learn from your experience. Thank you.

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Response to IndianaDave (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 08:58 AM

2. thank you, your post means a lot to me

I do my best to be courageous, but it's not easy, as we all know. I do hope others learn and benefit. Thank YOU, and have a wonderful day!

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 09:00 AM

3. Thank you for your warm, kind reply. You have a great day, too!

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:37 AM

4. Yes!

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Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 22, 2017, 11:10 AM

11. loved dancing all night! nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:40 AM

5. age 18

it is settled science that adolescence changes the circadian rhythms, turning the biological clock to got to bed later, and to sleep later.
imho, sleep disturbances are as often the cause as the effect of mental illnesses. especially in this age group.

my older son, who has a free running clock, couldnt make it through high school. over the course of each month he cycled from being a night owl to being a lark, as they say.
when he was a lark, he was fine. when he was an owl, he would fall apart. i couldnt drag him out of bed w a shotgun.
if i did manage that trick, his deterioration was stark. at one point he had a near psychotic episode.

i had the choice of drag him through school, or let him keep his marbles. i chose the later. to this day he harbors anger at me for letting him drop out. what the heck i was supposed to do about it, he doesnt have an answer.

the science on this is so clear. and it could be fixed pretty much w the stroke of a pen by making high schools, at the very least, start later. go from 10-5, instead of 8-3, and LIVES WOULD BE SAVED.
but no. and to top it off they start high schools an hour earlier than grade schools. and commute times are almost universally longer, especially for kids in selective enrollment schools.
my youngest had an hour+ train ride to a downtown school. most of her first semester, she decided to ride the train all day rather than go to school. this started the process of a long depression, and sleep problems.

one of the high schools here (the one the youngest went to, tho after she left) proposed those changes, and the jocks, usually larks all, and the parents who needed their teens at home to watch their sibs, revolted. the plan was dropped.
a more expensive way to deal w it is to have an overlap of 1st period classes, added at the end of the day, so that kids who are owls could have a staggered schedule.

this is a big soap box issue for me. teen suicides would be slashed by just letting kids be kids and sleep when their body tells them to sleep. at least dont move the schedule in the opposite damn direction.
sleep deprivation is the one truly fixable cause of depression. but talk to shrinks and they will insist that it is a symptom and not a cause.
(also, tell that to my ex, whose one and only deep depression resulted from an abscessed tonsil that was causing sleep apnea. tonsils removed, problem solved.)

and the long term effects are not known, but i suspect that many take years, if not lifetimes, suffering under this stupid curse.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 07:17 PM

6. Disco music eh?

I'm drawing parallels between your cure in disco and my cure in electro.

No they're not known for intellectualism, but they ARE emotional and manic forms of music. I find myself hearing messages of encouragement and empowerment in electronica that has no words whatsoever.

Take this song for example, no lyrics. But it mixes a little girls voice as if it were a stringed instrument being plucked, and the melody and rhythm are both uplifting and centering. It also makes me want to cry tears of comfort, as if someone were holding me.

https://soundcloud.com/petitbiscuit/sunset-lover

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Response to retrowire (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 20, 2017, 11:24 PM

7. these days my cure is psytrance

http://www.di.fm/goapsy

I like most forms of EDM also.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 12:06 AM

8. I've learned that quitting meds cold turkey is a bad idea...

... a couple of times now. Yep, I'm an idiot.

I second what steve2470 says: DO NOT DO THIS!!!

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Response to hunter (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 09:44 AM

9. you are not an idiot, far from it

There is a mentality out there that says ALL drugs are bad. Anything not "natural" is bad, so don't put in your body yada yada You know precisely what I'm getting at. Yes, of course, *some* drugs to excess are not good for you and yes, natural is better than artificial many times, but...

we tried the drug-free route for centuries before the advent of neuroleptics in the 20th century. As we all know, drug-free only works for mild and some moderate disorders. It does NOT work for severe disorders or bipolar or schizophrenia etc. So, I get why you did it. I finally had to come to terms with the fact that I will most likely never go off anti-depressants. I might get ambitious later on and try to taper down for a while, but I'm not optimistic I would never take them again. It's ok, I'd rather take the meds than deal with depression.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 11:56 AM

10. The anti-meds people haven't had to deal with me "off my meds..."

I think they'd change their tune pretty quick if they had to live with me.

I'll never be able to apologize enough to family, friends, and housemates who've seen me at my worst.

Whenever I tell crazy college roommate stories, I'm the crazy college roommate.

The times I've quit meds, it's because I didn't like the side effects or I was feeling dull.

I think I'm over the "mind-over-matter, you can power through this, turn that frown upside down, natural remedies" stages of denial, but one never knows.

For me, one of the first things that flies out the window when things are going wrong in my head is my ability to judge my own mental state. I'm also pretty good at acting as if I'm together, even when I'm not, because, after all, I've got about forty years experience doing that. (Things started going sideways in my head in adolescence...)

I'm not especially enjoying my current meds, but I'd rather avoid finding myself in the psych ward again.

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Response to hunter (Reply #10)

Thu May 25, 2017, 11:16 AM

12. excellent post! nt

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