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Do you suffer from depression? - Page 2

post #31 of 41
I am in my 60s now and have suffered bouts of depression starting in my teens.

By the time Prozac (the first of the modern anti-depressants) was on the market I was in my 40s. I took many of the old anti-depressants but couldn't handle the side effects. Prozac actually saved my life as I was seriously suicidal at the time. Perimenopause can be a very hard time for woman prone to depression.

I had the kind of childhood that predisposes to depression, but I think there is a definite brain chemistry aspect. Otherwise the medicine wouldn't work. The best thing, once you have the illness, is a medicine that changes the brain chemistry so that the illness doesn't recur,

About three years ago, I was on Effexor and had been for several years. I started taking fish oil tablets because I read that they are good for inflammation. To my amazement after about three months I no longer felt depressed. I tapered off on the Effexor and am now off anti-depressants completely for the first time since 1994.

I don't recommend this, except to ask your doctor. Of course fish oil tablets are harmless as far as I know.

Taking medicine is dicey. There are no tests to tell the doctor which is best for you and most doctors just get favorites that they start all their patients on. Many of the psychiatrists I've seen have refused to believe the side effects I've told them about. It's really just trial and error to find a medicine that works for you. It takes so long to know if the medicine is working, it takes real patience to find one.

It's an awful illness. I have diabetes, high blood pressure and even lupus, but the mental illness is the worse. Depression robs you of the mental strength you need to fight the illness. A sense of hopelessness and helplessness are part of the symptoms of the illness itself. Waking up everyday not knowing if I could depend on my own mind to get me through the day was the worse possible illness.

It took a talk therapist I went to, to recommend that I see a psychiatrist to help me. Otherwise I wouldn't have known that treatment was even available other than just "toughing it out."

Everyone who suffers from depression has my deepest sympathies. Good luck to all of you.
post #32 of 41
I've suffered depression my whole life, but only recently found out why... my whole life I've been dealing with panic attacks, being very shy most of the time but very confident on stage and public speaking, I also get dizzy a lot and am nearly always very pale with dark rings under my eyes (The sort of thing you develop at around 40, but I have had since I was 7)
Then at 15 I was diagnosed with moderate depression and social anxiety disorder... They put me on Lexapro at first, but that actually only made it worse, so then they kept doubling my dosage until I was on way too much for someone of my age, then they took me off it, and put me on a a lot of prozac and valium, which also didn't work. Turns out, medication isn't good with me. It honestly only makes it worse. And every doctor I've seen has just tried to put me on more medication. After going to one amazing doctor, they diagnosed me with severe anaemia (Surprising no one ever found it sooner...) which sort of covered all my symptoms... So now with chinese herbs and regular acupuncture and doctors checkups (I have a doctor who is supportive of alternative therapy which is good... I get the best of both worlds) I can manage myself.
Unfortunately social anxiety disorder isn't that easy to deal with though, and at "that time of the month" I have to take a lot of iron tablets otherwise I can't go out without fainting!

And the thing that's the most annoying is that I've had the most perfect, sheltered childhood, with fantastic parents, and really apart from an unfortunate incident regarding the suicide of my best friend (his family blamed me because I was the last to talk to him) a few years ago, I've had a pretty "picture perfect" life...
So, I honestly believe it's more of a disease than something that is caused by situations and circumstances...

(Whoa, never shared that much on a forum before!)
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobi View Post

(Whoa, never shared that much on a forum before!)
to me, its one of the great things about this forum, not only do we have access to wonderful ideas and things for our cats, the humans are pretty darn swell too......kind of like family!
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKrazy View Post
As far as not believing its caused by chemical imbalaces, if I were you I'd do a LOT of reading on the subject, both mainstream publications and natural, self-help and herbal publications.....ok?
Mind you, please don't take it that this was written in anger (if it had been, the mods would have pulled it, lol)....just my personal experiences and feelings
It has been scientifically proven that some forms of depressive emotions are due to chemical imbalances in the brain - I have a very dear friend of mine in the UK who is on 6 or 7 different types of meds every day simply because their brain does not produce enough of what we jokingly call "the happy stuff". They have a very rare chemical imbalance. Again, they haven't really had anything out of the ordinary to cause the problems.

So KittenKrazy, I'm with you on this one - I'm afraid that if anyone believe that depression doesn't exist or that it's not caused by the chemical imbalances in some cases, then they need to do some serious research.

But I also agree that it's one of those situations whereby it can be very easily misunderstood and misdiagnosed or treated incorrectly.... it's a very fuzzy grey area as far as the medical world is concerned. I don't think there is enough research done on the matter. I do think however, that it can be approached more efficiently than it is now. I think doctors can be a little TOO quick to put someone on medication, before they find out for certain that there may or may not be another cause. At least my doctor certainly was. I explained what I really needed - which was just to talk and let out all of the bad stuff that had happened over the last 6 years (I had a lot of supressed bad emotions that were causing my depression) - but without even thinking, he gave me a drug I turned out to be allergic to. There are some places where depression isn't really taken very seriously and so isn't treated well at all. After I called my doctor and said I coudln't take the drug because of how incredibly ill it made me, he gave me no other options other than the words "Well, I can't help you then, you should buck up and stop being silly".

Big help, huh?

But hey, after that, I came here. I found people on the internet with the a common interest and I shared some of my darkest moments on here. And you know what? The people here are amazing. I got an ear or 8000 to listen, to just give you a little message to say that they hoped it would get better, or to share their own experiences. It IS like a family. I was gobsmacked to see how enormous the site really was, how many people from all over the world had an interest and a passion that we could all understand, how different we all were and yet how similar.

So from the bottom of my heart, thankyou to everyone who was around to help pick up the pieces of me, now over four years ago. I love you guys.
post #35 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilleKat View Post
It has been scientifically proven that some forms of depressive emotions are due to chemical imbalances in the brain - I have a very dear friend of mine in the UK who is on 6 or 7 different types of meds every day simply because their brain does not produce enough of what we jokingly call "the happy stuff". They have a very rare chemical imbalance. Again, they haven't really had anything out of the ordinary to cause the problems.

So KittenKrazy, I'm with you on this one - I'm afraid that if anyone believe that depression doesn't exist or that it's not caused by the chemical imbalances in some cases, then they need to do some serious research.
I'm so glad the two of you bring this up, it's so true. I also had a very wonderful childhood and upbringing, always everything I ever wanted and loved more than the world, but I still had issues and problems to deal with. I get very tired of people who think it's just something you can get over and who believe you have no reason for feeling this way. "Hello" people...it's way more than that and I don't think anyone would choose to feel this way. It just happens, it doesn't matter how wonderful or perfect your life has been. It is all "in the brain."

I thank you all again for sharing your experiences with this illness, it is helpful to know I'm not alone. It just seems everyone else out there is so "normal." I don't often hear the other side of the story or what some people go through. Big hugs to all of you in this struggle we face.
post #36 of 41
This is in no way meant to be an argumentive post, so please don't take it that way. But, can't depression just be caused by things going on in you life, and not because of a chemical imbalance? And, how do you tell the difference?

I was depressed for over a year after my mom died. My dad had passed away in Nov, 2002. I moved back home (10,000 miles away) in Jan 2003 to help my mom take care of things and found out she had cancer 6 wks after I got home. I was her only caregiver (except when she was in the hospital) for 14 months...including baths, bed pan, the works. After she passed, I was very depressed, not only because I lost my mom, but because I had no idea what my identity was. I mean, that was my job for over a year. All of a sudden, I had nothing to do. My then boyfriend (now DH) would take me out to clubs, and I would be in tears because I just didn't want to be around people, and got claustrophobic. I would have panic attacks, because I just wasn't used to crowds and loud music. For those 14 months, I was only out of the house to go to the market, the bank and any other errands and I forgot HOW to make small talk with people. Sounds weird, I know.

It took me almost a year after she died to actually be able to look for a job. Luckily, I could do that because I inherited two houses that were already paid for, and her IRA, so I had time to try to get my head together. In 2005 we cleaned out my parents house, where I grew up, which was very hard. So many memories. It was sold to someone that actually painted the inside pink and purple It was a beautiful old house...red brick, hard wood floors, carved molding, sliding carved doors between the living room and dining room. My mom had it so nice inside...she would roll over in her grave if she knew it was now pink and purple inside! (I haven't seen it, I heard it from an old neighbor).

We also sold the rental house we were living in, and this is the first Christmas in our own house. And, yes I'm depressed. Of course, I've always been depressed on New Year's day. But, is feeling down the same as being depressed? How do you tell the difference?

(Sorry, didn't mean to ramble....)
post #37 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
This is in no way meant to be an argumentive post, so please don't take it that way. But, can't depression just be caused by things going on in you life, and not because of a chemical imbalance? And, how do you tell the difference?

I was depressed for over a year after my mom died. My dad had passed away in Nov, 2002. I moved back home (10,000 miles away) in Jan 2003 to help my mom take care of things and found out she had cancer 6 wks after I got home. I was her only caregiver (except when she was in the hospital) for 14 months...including baths, bed pan, the works. After she passed, I was very depressed, not only because I lost my mom, but because I had no idea what my identity was. I mean, that was my job for over a year. All of a sudden, I had nothing to do. My then boyfriend (now DH) would take me out to clubs, and I would be in tears because I just didn't want to be around people, and got claustrophobic. I would have panic attacks, because I just wasn't used to crowds and loud music. For those 14 months, I was only out of the house to go to the market, the bank and any other errands and I forgot HOW to make small talk with people. Sounds weird, I know.

It took me almost a year after she died to actually be able to look for a job. Luckily, I could do that because I inherited two houses that were already paid for, and her IRA, so I had time to try to get my head together. In 2005 we cleaned out my parents house, where I grew up, which was very hard. So many memories. It was sold to someone that actually painted the inside pink and purple It was a beautiful old house...red brick, hard wood floors, carved molding, sliding carved doors between the living room and dining room. My mom had it so nice inside...she would roll over in her grave if she knew it was now pink and purple inside! (I haven't seen it, I heard it from an old neighbor).

We also sold the rental house we were living in, and this is the first Christmas in our own house. And, yes I'm depressed. Of course, I've always been depressed on New Year's day. But, is feeling down the same as being depressed? How do you tell the difference?

(Sorry, didn't mean to ramble....)
I do believe it can also be caused by things going on in your life and certainly losing loved ones is a big trigger for depression to start. You certainly sound like you've had a lot to deal with and around the holidays it does get much harder to deal with your problems, especially losing your parents, I'm very sorry. I would wait until the holidays pass and see if you start feeling better. This time of year could just be a trigger for you, since you've had a lot of changes. I have too, moved twice this past year. Change can be very difficult.

I do think depression is a little different than just being down sometimes. We all have down days, but when it goes on for long periods of time and you know your not feeling like yourself, then there's something more going on. What are your other symptoms? Do you cry alot, feel hopeless, worthless, like things will never get better, no motivation, do you have mood swings/anger, have trouble sleeping or sleeping too much? The symptoms are different with everyone from what I read, but I think some of these are the most common symptoms of depression. I hope things get better for you soon.
post #38 of 41
I suffered from severe treatment-resistant depression for almost four years. How I managed to not do myself in is beyond me. Four years, twenty pill combinations, and seven psychiatrists later, I'm a LOT better. I'm not a woman, by the way...*checks*...Yeah, not a woman.
post #39 of 41
I have suffered from depression since i was a teenager. Somedays are worse then others. The past couple of days has been really bad, and tonight i feel an anxiaty attach comming on. I hate change, even something as small as rearanging the furniture in the house can set me off. But tomorrow my bf goes back to work after being off for a couple weeks for the holidays and i feel so inasne right now. It feels like i am going to explode from the inside. I have never really found anything that helps, i used to take st. johns wart but i was told it is bad for you and can cause conseption problems. I have PCOS so its hard enough trying to get preg. without anything else causing problems, so i quit taking it. I just hope that once we get back to our normal workday routines things will ease up on me. Winter and fall are usually esp bad times for my depression, when its cloudy and cold and wet i get down esp bad.
post #40 of 41
The antidepressants and mood stabilizers I've been put on in the past have never helped me. The most I get from it is a sort of "emotional flatline", rather a numb feeling. I've come to realize that nearly all of my depressive episodes have come as a result of my own bad decisions. Ultimately, cutting down my drinking and quitting drugs has helped more than anything else. I find myself making good/responsible choices instead of going out and getting wasted every night, and not surprisingly I feel very happy and stable.
post #41 of 41
I have suffered through bouts of depression off & on throughout my life, but never anything that was debilitating. But several years ago I was involved with an abusive mentally ill ex-boyfriend, and during that relationship and afterwards, my drepression became severe, and it was interferring with my life. It eased up some after the relationship was over, but not entirely. For awhile it was becoming more severe again, and I was to the point where I just didn't care about much of anything anymore, and felt miserable almost all of the time (there were also other contributing factors that added to my depression, but mostly it was due to PTSD from the abusive relationship, and anxiety attacks caused by stress). My doc put me on Xanaxx for the anxiety attacks, and just recently prescribed Effexor for the depression: but I never started taking the Effexor, b/c I'm afraid to take anything that will mess with my head. And the depression has eased up somewhat - at least enough to the point where it isn't consistant, and I can pretty much deal with it on my own. I still have really bad days where I can't stand to be around other people or even myself for that matter, but the episodes aren't as frequent anymore.

Depression does run in my family, and most of my family members have suffered from it at some point in their life. But in my case, mine didn't become severe till after the abusive ex-b/f: he put me through more horrors than I could have ever imagined, and I doubt I'll ever be the same again...

~KK~
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