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Struggling with Depression...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I figured if there was a place to ask for advice this is the place.

I'm feeling myself slipping back into a depression cycle, and really want to stop it before it gets to the point that I was at a few years ago. I was on Paxil at one time, for a long time, and really want to avoid that route if at all possible. I've been really stressed, beyond stressed, in the past week. Stress that I haven't known since Mom passed away about 4 years ago. Which I'm sure is adding to it, that the anniversary of Mom's death is this upcoming week...

Anyway, what I'm wondering is if any of you have suggestions for things I can do or take to ward off this beast. I'm not looking for a miracle herb or anything, just something that can take the edge off so I can deal with the issues in my life.

I just don't want to be that person again, that person who didn't have control over my own emotions, who would lash out at everyone and everything, who had no energy to do anything, who could barely function. If it gets to a point where I have to go back on anti-depressants I will, but I really want to avoid it if I can.

post #2 of 22

I am sorry you are battling this demon. I know when I get this way, I have turned to St. John's Wort with good results. I also be sure and have some "me" time, and get away from home with just really short walks to keep my head clear, or I curl up in a quiet corner to read. I hear Yoga helps as well, but I can't do the positions. Another alternative is aromatherapy- there are excellent websites to guide you, and the essences are not that expensive to purchase.

Good luck-
post #3 of 22
I tried myself to live w/o the medication by taking up a new
hobby and getting out of the house but it diden't make much
of a difference so they put me on Effexor 150mlg for
both my depression and anxiety and although im not crazy
about taking medication,im glad that i have it because it's
made a HUGE difference in my everyday life

Good luck hon
post #4 of 22
Vitamine B6 really helps with depression , or a good vitamine B complex what also will help you with more energy for your body .
It is always good to stay focust on the things what is good in your life and the things what brings joy in your life . Don't look or meditate on the negative things in your life at all , that can bring you down . I don't know what your belief is . But if you are a christian , reading the bible more will bring you strengh and joy back in your life . Praying and giving that problem to God will also help .

I sure will keep you in my prayers
post #5 of 22
I usually have problems at this time of year. I think that the lack of sunlight makes a difference, so if you have tendencies to depression anyway, it can't help. I do try to go outdoors, as much as possible. And my boss at the old job replaces the light bulbs with full spectrum lights.

I also play music, and the rhythm and breathing really helps with a mood pick up.
post #6 of 22
If you must go back on anti-depressants, ask your doctor about taking a low-dose, generic form of Prozac. I've been on it now for about a year, with very few side effects, the worst being the fact that it makes me yawn w/o being sleepy sometimes. I know about the Paxil, hubby took it, its some pretty tuff stuff to deal with of its own accord, and so does the Celexea that I used to take. I think the word "emotionless zombie" works really well !
post #7 of 22

I'm am so sorry that you are feeling as if you are sliding down toward depression. But, I am so glad that you recognize what is happening and that you are working to put a stop to it before it gets worse.

St. John's Wort works just as well as the antidepressant medications on mild to moderate depression. Taking it 3 times daily for several weeks should help tremendously. You can buy it at WalMart in the vitamin section. It's good stuff!!!

Also, increasing your physical activity will increase the endorphins (pleasure chemicals) in the brain, which will help you feel better.

Write a long letter about your mom...all of the good, bad, funny, sad, etc things you remember about her. Do this when you have some good alone time so you can cry like a baby and get it out of your system. You will feel drained, but spending this time with your memories will do you good.

And...spend time with your friends here and at home. The more social support you have, the better you will feel. We all love you so much and are here for you!

Chelle is right. It is better to take the medications than to crash into a depression. I completely understand you not wanting to go back on the meds, but meds are soooo much better than a deep depression!

post #8 of 22
I think I need the St Johns Wort for myself to help me through the stressful times that will be coming in the following months.

Renae has given a good idea about writing a letter to your mom - how about making a scrapbook totally devoted to your mom's memory and her life - it can be very therapeutic - my friend lost her whole family and she made 10 scrapbooks and it has helped her through difficult times.

Hang in there my friend.
post #9 of 22
Don't let yourself hit bottom I have been there
We lot our bus. to a fire in feb. 1996 they could not find a reason
for the fire so they looked at us as being arsonist WE DID NOT DO IT
but the police had to question us any way they cleared us it took the ins. co. 10 months to settle. Wea new building up before the settled
we worked 12-16 hrs a day to get back open.
ON sat of grand opening they called me to the hospital
my dad was in congestive heart failure, He got better had a stroke
in Feb. and passed away in March. WE had his funeral on a sunday,
monday we had our cat to come down with congestive heart failure
so I know how it is.
But watch the Saint Johns Wort if you have to surgery or be put to sleep it can effect the medication they use so if you do take it tell your doctor.
I take 30mg.generic Remeron works wonders.
post #10 of 22
I'm so sorry to hear about your depression. I understand what you are going through. I am on lexapro for depression. I have not been able to get off the medication because if I try, my depression comes right back. You are very lucky to be able to be without it.

I would say keep busy, exercise and make sure to make time for yourself. Good Luck!
post #11 of 22
I'm sorry that you are going through all those feelings again.. I haven't been into a serious bout of depression ever since the breakup and abortion I had.At the point in time, I hid behind people and wouldn't do anything but cry and I had no control over my emotions.. Try this cos it works for me but I'm not sure if it does for you... come to the forum more often than present... share your problems... talk to anyone of us... give yourself time to gradually accept the fact that your mom is no longer around.. i think acceptance is important.. i'm not sure if such advice makes sense to me... but i did lock myself in the room and cry myself silly..screaming and shouting.. made me feel better after that... hope it helps... whatever it is, pls let us know how we could help you rather than trying to solve the problem yourself.
post #12 of 22
If you're even remotely Bipolar DO NOT TAKE St. John's Wort. The effects can be major mania and very nasty.

I'm Bipolar and I'm not on meds right now because we're trying to get pregnant (I'm either allergic to the meds that can be taken while pregnant or they don't work or they're bad for BPs). What I find that works is this:

plenty of sleep but don't overdo it
low sugar (preferably no sugar) diet
a small amount of regular exercise (15 minutes/day is enough)
routines for nearly everything
post #13 of 22
Sammie5 remindet me of something .

Valanhb I used to get over the winter time so depressed in germany and a lot of people did there .I was reading in a magazine in germany at that time of course , that sun will lift your spirit . Well they also recomented to go to a solarium (sp) (tanning) over the winter time once or twice a week up to 20 minutes at a time ( if you can handle it of course )to lift the winter depression . Even though I am not a sun lover at all , but suffering from winter depression from 8 month long in germany I went at least once a week . I have to say it really helped me and my husband in a great way .
Maybe if you go once a week for 10 minutes and don't forget your vitamime B daily it help you to overcome the depression you start feeling comming on .
post #14 of 22
I don't suffer from it, so I can't tell you what to do from personal experience. I do know that a good friend of mine would sometimes go into bouts of depression during the gloomy and rainy months, (we lived in Washington State) but she dealt with it by exercising and talking with and doing activities with peoople she cared for.
I myself find when I am angry and sad and have been crying, that when one of my cats such as Nala walks into the room, my saddness goes away when I pet her and look into her little face and know that she cares. Or when one the cats goes into their playful quirky modes, no matter how sad I am, it usually is able to make me laugh.
((hugs)) to you.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your support and ideas, everyone. It's not SAD (seasonal affective disorder), Colorado has somewhere around 350 days of sunshine a year - it's almost always sunny! I do get sad every year around this time because of the anniversary, but I think it's not just because of that. We're having a rough spot in our marriage, finances are tough right now as well. It's just too much to deal with right now. One or two of these things I can deal with, but everything put together right now is just...too much, I guess.
post #16 of 22

I'm so sorry, I think it wise of you to recognize this and deal with it. I personally found Sam-E more effective than St. Jons Wort - I'd suggest a google search to research both and see which you feel might be best for you.

I would also encourage you, if neither does the trick, to pursue a doctor's opinion - be sure there is no underlying physical cause since the last time when paxil was prescribed, and see if perhaps a different anti-depressant would work better for you -if needed.

best wishes to you,
post #17 of 22
Hi Heidi

I am so sorry that you are going through this right now. I guess that I can relate as well. My gran died 8 years ago on the 3rd of Feb and the pain is still there.

I think that a letter is a great idea. It might make you cry but crying is a tribute to your mum.

In terms of something to help. In SA, we have a product called Griffonia. It boosts your seratonin levels if they have been depleted. I have tried it and i find that it helps quite substantially.

Another caution about St John's Wort - it can affect the Pill's effectiveness - I am not sure if that would be a concern to you or not.

Not sure if this helps.

post #18 of 22
Although I suffered from some type of depression, it doesn't seem to be similar to what you describing so I can't really offer any advice. I will, however, say that I hope you pull out of it before it gets any worse, and that Ill be thinking of you in my prayers. Feel better soon,

post #19 of 22
Heidi - I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time right now.

I have recently been suffering from what I suspect is post-natal depression. It's horrible as you just don't know how to deal with the feelings that are thrown up by it.

On Friday I went to see a herbalist. I don't know how common they are in the US, but here alternative medicine is gaining in strength.

This is the lady that helped me loose almost 2 stone in weight just before my wedding in 1998 . . .

She is not a crank or a witch but she is very serious about her craft and already the conbination of herbs and flowers that she mixed up for me (I'm sorry, I cant tell you what they are as I don't know), is beginning to work.

I have more energy and a far more possitive outlook on life. I was terrified of going to the doctor as all he would do is give me anti-depressant pills and I didn't want that.

My advice would be to find a good herbalist practitioner - someone you can relate to and who you feel comfortable with, and give it a shot.

Good luck!!!
post #20 of 22
I've heard a lot of good reports about St.Johns Wort.

I came close to going to my doctor for medication when i was low after my boyfriend and i split, until my friend talked me out of it.

But i think what did it for me, was to find out that a close friend of mine committed suicide after finding out she had a terminal illness. It just made me realise, how lucky i was to be alive and healthy!.

But i have to say, my fur baby Rosie helped me through the darkest of hours.

Hang on in there Heidi!, you need not be alone in this one.

Roll on the sun, because this cold and rainy weather does'nt help either!.

Sending you a hug and a headbutt from Rosie

Susan x
post #21 of 22
I took St. John's Wort for about 3 years, and it helped me tremendously. I would take it now, but I am also in therapy, and they want me to take the Serzone for the duration of my therapy. I had no idea that it had drug interactions, but fortunately, they did not pertain to me.
I have had all the meds everyone has listed here, and the SJW, worked the best for me. Serzone is almost as good, and seems to be helping me.
I have also been much better since I went back to school. I was feeling really low about not having a job that actually made any money, and all the down time I had, even at work, and a friend got me to go to school with her. I did not hold out much hope after 25 years that school would be good for me, but it has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. I enjoy the school itself, and the prospect of being able to have a career in a field that is growing by leaps and bounds is very exciting.
If you have the time resources, learning something new may help. I hope this works out for you. Please keep us posted on your progress, or if you just need to vent, or something. Mostly just know that you are not alone.
post #22 of 22
I have had depression and have tried the pill route - I didn't like it. I find that hypnotherapy and meditation really works well together. Even if you don't do both, meditation or visualization therapy can work wonders. For me I have a few different visualization techniques. Make sure you are comfy (chair bed, etc). Start by relaxing your body....start at your toes and work your way up. Tighten and release muscles. Once relaxed, clear your mind and start building a picture. I have 2 I generally do. One is a mountain forest glade with a babbling brook rushing by, I use that one normally just for relaxation. When really stressed I start by picturing myself walking down a beach with waves crashing in. I start to build a wall out of the sand that hardens as I build it. Nothing can get in that I don't want. But I can take the walls down from the inside any time I feel like it. Once the walls surround me I paint the walls with joyous pictures of my life. I find this to be very helpful. Visualization can really work if you find the right trigger/key to help yourself.

I hope whatever path you find helps you!
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