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How many of you suffer, or have suffered, from depression?

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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:06 PM
Original message
Poll question: How many of you suffer, or have suffered, from depression?
I've had many exchanges with other DU'ers concerning this disease, and it always strikes me how ubiquitous it is. (Why would that be, I wonder? Intense stress induced by a modern society? Over diagnoses encouraged by drug company ads? Other factors?)

Do you suffer, or have you ever suffered, from depression? It would be interesting to see how many respond affirmatively. Also, why do you believe so many seem to be suffering today?

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why do you think so many seem to be suffering?
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. This might answer your quest
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Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. You know, in the back of my mind...
I thought this, then wondered if my little questionnaire might be biased because this is a Democratic site. :P
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. I was separated from my wife
for periods of time because of my Navy Duty and that would depress me and it hurt bad. But I always knew that time would be behind us. On occasion it got pretty damn bad.
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BarenakedLady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. Woohoo
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 01:32 PM by BarenakedLady
One of two of the chronic heavies! I excel at something. YAY!

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Misskittycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. You left out an option, i.e., I have a history of chronic depression
but it is now under control by medicine.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Same here
Chronic moderate depression here, treated with Lexapro (was on Paxil but didn't like the thread-locking side-effects)
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. One bout of clinical severe depression, several subsequent bouts not as bad
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 01:43 PM by Shakespeare
Learning to manage it through cognitive therapy has been a life-saver for me. I've hit the bottom before, and I don't ever want to go there again. It runs in my family.
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1gobluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
8. I've often wondered...
If depression and chemical imbalances are more common now because of the high percentage of artificial ingredients in foodstuffs? Synthetic chemicals can alter organic, can't they?

Or is it because it's not such a taboo subject anymore? Or maybe a combination of the two?

My SO has clinical depression and I think his diet is part of the problem. When I have him eating regularly; good healthy meals with a minimum of artificial flavorings, colors, etc., he does much better.
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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
9. I have chronic PTSD and depression.
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Ariana Celeste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
10. On and off since I was a little thing.
Honestly I wonder sometimes if much of it has to do with the chemicals in our foods. I could be way off base, but come on.

It does run in my family though, and so does social and general anxiety. (and consequently, alcoholism.)
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Ellen Forradalom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. I've had a chronic problem with depression
for 30 years now. I am on maintenance medication and take nutritional supplements; it seems to help. At least I don't go off the deep end like I used to.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. In bouts, but there is one common denominator.
Asperger's Syndrome.

I have never denied depression and anxiety, but it's been a real pain telling people that there was an underlying force causing the depression and anxiety. Everybody gets sad. Everybody gets fidgety. But nobody looked beyond that. Yes, I have social anxiety. Here's why, from childhood onward.

For years I was misdiagnosed, and I knew it was wrong because I did not meet the most critical criteria. (they say I made loose associations; I have just as much right to say the same of them). Then I found somebody who WOULD listen and not go by their own books or biases, did some tests, and AS was confirmed.

Many "doctors" said my childhood was irrelevant. I should have filed a grievance to the AMA there and then. But hindsight is 20/20. One gets hindsight from experience.

It's nice to have somebody who will listen and try to understand the kooky like me.

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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
14. I've had my ups and downs
I won't get into my whole life here, but I know what depression feels like. If I was a child in today's schools, I would have been put on meds for sure. When I was younger, I was sent to the school psychologists (or whatever they were), and there were other times that meeting with my parents went on.

I was pretty fucked up when I was a teen, but it came and went. People seemed to want to "help" me, but honestly, I looked at it as teenage angst, and it was normal. There were a lot of times where I was having a blast too. I had a lot of fun, but I also had times where things just sucked.

A few months ago I went to the doctor for something and when he asked me if I had anything else I wanted to discuss, I mentioned that I couldn't sleep sometimes. He prescribed me an antidepressant. I took it for a few months, it did nothing but make me bored and I took myself off of them. Getting off of them was shit, and I can't believe that they give that crap to people.

They put my 18 year old nephew on them because the doctors say he is depressed. I talk to him all the time, and to me it sounds like he is an 18 year old going through that part of life where you need to figure out what direction you are heading, deal with young relationships and all the other stuff that comes into play at that age.

Why did they put him on drugs?

I'm sorry if it sounds like I am knocking all this, but I think a large percentage of "depression" is just not wanting to cope with life's ups and downs. I have also noticed that many people I know that got depressed and ended up on meds, did so after relationship problems. I have had relationships break up before and it can suck really bad, but I think that dealing with those feelings is a lot better for you than popping pills to compress your feelings.

I know for a fact that true depression exists, but I think it is being shoveled into the same pile as normal ups and downs and by doing that, it is taking away from the real thing.

In my opinion, the depression epidemic has come into existence because of diet and what is put in our foods, the entertainment industry that bombards people with what is expected of you to be "normal" and also by the pharmaceutical companies that are making huge profits without restrictions.

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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
15. You know how in nature what occurs on a macro level
is often paralleled by what happens on a micro level.

I always thought it was interesting that one cause of depression is emotional repression. When you think of depression on a cellular level, the idea behind SSR's is to prevent cells from reabsorbing neurotransmitters so there are more neurotransmitters between cells. It's almost as if the cell itself is repressing neurotransmitters.

I know that's a bit off the wall, but it struck me as curious.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
16. Never. I have never suffered from depression.
I can't even imagine what its like. I've had A LOT of hardships in my life, but I've never felt that black hole of despair so many other people have. Its got to be the brain chemistry...some people are probably genetically pre-disposed to depression, as any other mental illness.

Although, it may have something to do with the fact that all my life I've been praticing a form of cognitive therapy (although I hadn't heard the term until later in life). Basically, I easily pick up distorted thought patterns in my head...once I identify them, I manipulate them. In effect, I don't feel the extremes of emotions many do...I don't get angry, sad, or even deleriously happy. I have almost perfect control over my emotions. Its really hard to explain how or why I do it.

Any emotion I show outwardly is more or less manipulative (not necessarily in a bad way). If I want someone to know I'm mad, I will purposefully "act mad". Lol..I sound sociopathic, but I'm really not, I swear.

However, my sympathies go out to all DUers (and even other, including freepers) who are devestated by depression. I've seem the effect these bouts can have on people, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
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Control-Z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. If you don't mind,
what kind of hardships have you had a lot of? A very personal question, I know, and I will understand if you're not comfortable answering. I ask because I've given quite a bit of thought to the different ways people react to what amounts to be the same level and amount of hardship. I have some ideas about the hows and whys but I've never really tested my theories.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Sorry to dredge this post back up, but I didn't see this question.
I'm not going to get into everything...some things are personal, but I will give you a brief answer. I am the son of immigrants who came here after being exiled (at the point of a gun)...I am in fact an exile myself . I've been dirt poor all of my parents were too proud to get social assistance. A couple of times we were pretty much starved. Then my dad cheated multiple times on my mom...basically getting about 3 ladies pregnant. So..yeah...basically he ended up being kicked we were even MORE poor, if you can imagine that. I've been working since I was a child. My mom was too busy working crap jobs to really spend much time with us.

I also grew up in an extremely rough neighbourhood. When I was in grade school, I witnessed my first stabbing. I've also been chased by the cops a couple of times (never for anything bad..I've never stolen anything, or hurt anybody, I just want people to know that). Bad experiences with police has made me suspicious...okay, honestly..HATEFUL, of police and authority. Not all of them, obviously, but I definitely notice a bad trend with cops.

But I'm grown up now (27)..I finished my bachelors degree, and I am finishing my masters as we speak.

But no matter what happened to me, and no matter what I've seen (I've travelled in 3rd world countries and seen some appalling things), I've never felt depressed.
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gpandas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
17. depression is a poor word...
for a chemical condition of the brain, called atypical depression
by psychiatrists everywhere, who are the only medical doctors that are truly qualified to treat it. it is possible to treat atypical depression
with drugs only. i speak from having my depression managed by drugs. i have had depression all my life, and did not know it. when i was properly diagnosed at the age of fifty,and treated with drugs, it was like someone turned the lights on. this depression can be treated only with drugs and it should not be confused with the normal depression that comes from, say, the death of a loved one. it is quite natural to be depressed upon hearing of bad news. when this type of depression persists for a long time it is called called clinical depression and can be treated as a personality disorder by both psychologists and psychiatrist.
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MsKandice01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
18. Chronic mild depression for as long as I can remember...
The "official" term is dysthymia. Even in the happiest moments in my life, I'm not happy. It doesn't go up and down, it's just always there, nagging at me. I'm almost scared to know what the real me without the depression is because this is all I've ever known. I have panic attacks also, but I've learned to control them and when they do pop up, they don't last long and get out of control anymore.
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ironflange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
19. Chronic moderate
Effexor fixes it nicely. Mrs. Ironflange and Junior are both light depressives, but our daughter isn't depressed. She's bipolar. What a family! You should see us when we're all cranky.
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FedUpWithIt All Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. I was diagnosed with dysthymia,
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 03:27 PM by FedUpWithIt All
It carried with it long term episodes of major depression (double depression). It was later discovered that i average about two or three manic episodes a year changing my diagnosis. I also have diagnosed PTSD.

I have not been medicated for several years now and have been functioning pretty well but this was after a long time on a variety of meds.

The single most helpful thing to me was something called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Everyones brain has an immediate response to stimulus. Often it is negative. The trick is to take the negative thought, keep it from becoming an obsessive thought and replace it with a more logical one.

For example (bit over simplified of course)... Expecting a planned call from someone. No call materializes. First thought is negative such as, they don't like to talk to me, (in the case of a SO) They are with someone else... Some people will take these thoughts and twist and turn and analyze them until they are sick. Taking the original thought and putting it aside for a moment allows one to have time to think a bit more actively. The battery on their phone probably died, they might still be in a meeting, they fell asleep on the couch.

It is not easy but IT IS POSSIBLE to work one's brain into a healthier place if one wants it badly enough. I am in no way advocating going without meds. But this in combo with meds can change the future of someone's life.

I simply could not see myself living the way i was...indefinately. I realized that "i" had to change some things because they were clearly not changing on their own and the meds only "helped".

Edited to add...The only mental health issue i still battle with is the PTSD. The episodes can be quite unpleasant as they manifest in a very physical way. But the REBT has helped decrease both the frequency and the intensity of these. They are very rare now.

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