I've had this book thrown at me recently (the depression has gotten really bad lately, and I'm existentially terrified of SSRIs and the like because I don't seem to create experiential memories when I'm on them) and it's really helpful for exactly the kind of thing you're talking about.
It's a little bit self-helpy, little ew capitalism at one point, but the guy who wrote it is a former APA President and he goes out of his way to make sure that you know that everything he's talking about or telling you to do is based in good, peer-reviewed science.
― ENERGY FOOD (en i see kay), Thursday, 19 May 2011 15:43 (2 years ago) Permalink
jon, you didn't fail your family at all. Dont look at it that way.
yeah, exactly. you're doing everything possible for your family, it's just that the world won't cooperate - at the moment.
― contenderizer, Thursday, 19 May 2011 15:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
yeah jon, I think your own expectations of yourself & what constitutes failure are a lot different and skewed more harshly than your own family...I know it doesnt help much, but it's far worse inside your own head right now, and taking baby steps back from the ledge by slowly knowing that you arent to blame, that you are loved, that there are things you can controlYou, your baby, your family...you will be okay. will. be okay
― Janet Snakehole (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 19 May 2011 18:06 (2 years ago) Permalink
WHoa I just checked the Seligman book out from the library a few days ago.
― Col. Pinkney Lugenbeel (Abbbottt), Thursday, 19 May 2011 20:06 (2 years ago) Permalink
xpost Yes. Exactly. Also, Jon, would you expect the same of your wife of someone else? You are putting way too high expectations on yourself. You can't control this (completely).
― Nathalie (stevienixed), Thursday, 19 May 2011 23:02 (2 years ago) Permalink
xp There's another Seligman book called 'Authentic Happiness' which is pretty good as well.
― got a whole lotta gloves (snoball), Friday, 20 May 2011 07:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'm just wishing I was able to approach how I'm feeling in a more rational/sensible way
well, you might not be able to on your own right now, but a trained professional can teach you some strategies for approaching your feelings in a more ... systematic way? objective way? anyway, go see a therapist!
i wouldn't use words like rational / sensible. they are kind of judgmental-sounding? you don't sound irrational or insensible to me.
i think you sort of have to look at depression sort of like a learning disability. i say this as a teacher, and as some who has struggled to manage his own depression for 10+ years. you ought to be able to do something that other people see to do more easily, i.e. feel grateful for family / job / house, not fixate on what's going wrong in your life, not write off what is actually going well in your life. the explanations and rationalizations that work for other people don't seem to work for you.
i find that the only thing that really works for me is what i recommend for my students who struggle: get some coaching (that's what therapy really should be, emotional coaching), study your problems, and figure out some strategies that help you cope.
anyway, if you don't want to see a therapist you could try some sort of workbook. i recommend "the feeling good handbook" by dr david burns and "mind over mood" by dr dennis greenberger. both present a set of common depressive pitfalls that you should look out for, and present a set of "case studies" for you to read and analyze. it helps you reflect on your own thought processes - you might find it easier to think rationally about a hypothetical third person's experiences, reactions and moods, and that strengthens those thinking patterns in your mind, which you can apply to your life.
"mind over mood" also has a bunch of journaling exercises and graphic organizers that you can follow as a protocol to "tune up" your thinking, or to organize your thoughts more objectively. i don't have a whole lot of luck with formal note-taking strategies or to-do list strategies and whatnot but the few times i have actually followed the protocol they lay out i've found it really helpful.
anyway good luck jon
― moonship journey to baja, Friday, 20 May 2011 08:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
here's links to those books
i just want to make it really clear, what you call the ability to approach how I'm feeling in a more rational/sensible way is not an inborn human characteristic. it's a learned skill, and it's something that some people seem to have a deficit in, either because of nature or nurture or some combination of the two, whatever, but it's a learned skill, and one that you can better at. the books i linked to are written by clinical experts and are used in many, many clinical settings to help people get better at what you're talking about.
― moonship journey to baja, Friday, 20 May 2011 08:24 (2 years ago) Permalink
er, shit, i linked to the wrong edition of the burns book. i recommend this one:
― moonship journey to baja, Friday, 20 May 2011 08:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
Depression and what it's really like
To me, it's like you know all the answers/solutions but feelings of being trapped and hopelessness just envelop you. It's like sitting with all the bits of a flat pack wardrobe, instructions in hand, but just thinking "What's the point?". You just wonder where to start on putting things right, and end up just getting frustrated with yourself because you haven't looked for jobs, you haven't cleaned up, you haven't got in touch with people, you struggle to be open and tell people close to you what's really going on, because you don't want to burden them, and you want to be there for them. The subject of you bores you to tears, but you end up talking about yourself all the time (like this). I saw a counsellor, and he asked me what do I want to do, what do I want from life, and I really don't know.
I know I've always had an underlying feeling of being vaguely depressed, and I could cope with that, and I would love to go to back to that because it made me appreciate happy times and being alive more. I got prescribed Citalopram back in October, but I never took it. I remember posting about how I never cry on ILX a few times - I've cried so much in the last little while, even over things like the end of Return of the King and the episode of How I Met Your Mother that was Marshall's dads funeral.
Anyway, if you're depressed, or a bit down, then I hope you get through it.
I want to be embarrassed by this post a few months from now, or more to not recognise the person who posted it.
― resonate with awesomeness (jel --), Wednesday, 15 June 2011 19:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
depression is caused by irrational thoughts if you follow the schoo l of cognitive psychology - write down you r thoughts that are blue on paper and you will see that they are somewhat irrational - in fact we should start just such a thread
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Wednesday, 15 June 2011 19:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
feel like i've been on this thread & others going "rah rah antidepressants," but i wanted to say again that i can totally understand the worldview yr putting out there jel -- at the worst low of my depression i came up with the maxim "life is something other people do" and thought i had summed up my whole miserable existence in the phrase. couldn't see the point in ANYTHING. like why would people take the time to hang posters or paint walls to make their living space look good? of what possible use was that? other people would go out and do things like hike or go kayaking and i was like, what in god's name is the point of that? why would you stir a muscle if you weren't compelled to by urgent necessity?
i've been a year on citalopram now, and there's a tremendous difference in my mindset, my energy level, and my ability to interact with people. meaning came creeping back until now it's like night and day. and i've had more success creatively since going on 'em than i did before (my fear was it would interfere with my ability to write; turns out i write the same AND i'm less afraid of failure/other people's opinions). so i really do encourage folx to give it a try at least.
― can rapacious womankind get real here for a second (reddening), Wednesday, 15 June 2011 21:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
what do we think of this
― mookieproof, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 22:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
jel, your post right there...I would say I identify, except I don't know if that statement is adequate enough for my reaction to a direct transcription of my life.
― SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Wednesday, 15 June 2011 22:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
I think the epidemic of mental illness can very broadly be chalked up to the fact that we perpetuate a society that is increasingly indifferent to the needs of the (non-wealthy) individual while simultaneously becoming less defined by any real sense of community. Which is, say, something that generations of people may have come to just accept during centuries of feudalism, but when you're aware of (or actively recall) a time in the not-so-distant past when there was less economic disparity, when the idea of owning a home wasn't a pipe dream for most, when technology wasn't actively eroding people's connection with and empathy towards others, etc., it's kind of difficult for a lot of people to adjust.
― SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Wednesday, 15 June 2011 22:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
wow Jel really nailed it there - I'm relating to every word
― licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 16 June 2011 07:54 (1 year ago) Permalink
We do not take it seriously because all three of the people mentioned in the article are against medication for mental illness.
― Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Friday, 17 June 2011 04:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
i don't think it is that easily dismissed
― mookieproof, Friday, 17 June 2011 04:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
I am waiting for part 2 – I thought it was interesting. I'd heard stats about SSRIs performing not that much better than placebos but I'd never seen it spelled out like that before.
This part hit really close to home for me because it's basically exactly what happened to me:
For example, the SSRIs may cause episodes of mania, because of the excess of serotonin. ...As side effects emerge, they are often treated by other drugs, and many patients end up on a cocktail of psychoactive drugs prescribed for a cocktail of diagnoses. The episodes of mania caused by antidepressants may lead to a new diagnosis of “bipolar disorder” and treatment with a “mood stabilizer,” such as Depokote (an anticonvulsant) plus one of the newer antipsychotic drugs. And so on. Some patients take as many as six psychoactive drugs daily.
I was on four for a while. I haven't been taking anything since 2009 and I have been doing better than ever. Though me doing better than ever is due to a million zillion factors, a notable one being me growing up (still got a ways to go on this). My personal experience suggests sometimes prescribers can be really irresponsible with mental health medication. This is just me, anecdote ≠ data, we all know that. I'm not trying to tell anyone about their treatment because I'm not a fucking doctor, disclaim disclaim disclaim.
― free inappropriate education (Abbbottt), Friday, 17 June 2011 04:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Going off of Lamictal was one of the worst experiences of my life btw even with the aid of a doctor. They are some powerful pills!
― free inappropriate education (Abbbottt), Friday, 17 June 2011 04:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
BTW I read Whitaker's first book Mad in America. He is skeptical about the pharmaceutical industry but I think he really cares about mental health patients getting good care overall! He might hate crazy pills but he is pro-crazy people. I know if you are pro-pill you may disagree with the equation I have just set up!
― free inappropriate education (Abbbottt), Friday, 17 June 2011 04:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
I should note too I have definitely clocked in enough hours of therapy to win the steak knife set and maybe even the Cadillac Eldorado at this point. That probably helped? Is there even a way to know?
― free inappropriate education (Abbbottt), Friday, 17 June 2011 04:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
Depression is cused by completely rational thoughts. The world isn't nice, and even people who love are often dicks to you.
― Teeth, Friday, 17 June 2011 05:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
It is also caused by drinking before 6pm.
Yeah...stories like yours, Abbott, are among the reasons why I'm very wary of antidepressants, even at my lowest moments. I've been on and off of pharmaceutical speed enough to know that there aren't any significant side effects associated with starting or stopping (for me, anyway). I agree that (in my experience and based on anecdotal evidence from a number of people) many people with the ability to dispense psychiatric medication are careless at best. And at the end of the day, I really don't feel like we know enough about how these medications really affect people, especially in the long term. If I need to take a cocktail of pills to deal with the side effects of the medication that I'm taking to help me, then the medication I'm taking to help me is the wrong medication, AFAIC.
― SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 17 June 2011 05:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
This part of jel's ridiculously OTM post above:
You just wonder where to start on putting things right, and end up just getting frustrated with yourself because you haven't looked for jobs, you haven't cleaned up, you haven't got in touch with people, you struggle to be open and tell people close to you what's really going on, because you don't want to burden them, and you want to be there for them.
...is where I am right now, to an absolute T. And the part that's biggest problem, I think, is the people thing. I'm generally good by myself and not in any way needy, but I need people now and they aren't around. And that's fucking with me more than almost anything else. I guess I don't know that many nurture-y types who are likely to check up on me regularly to make sure I'm okay if they know I'm going through shit, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. But that whole absence of others things undermines all of the other stuff that I'm trying to overcome, especially since the root of what I'm trying to overcome is the sudden loss of a lot of people from my life and the idea that everyone will be going away when I least expect it.
― SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 17 June 2011 05:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
I've isolated from my loved ones that know my history, and I don't let my new people know the full extent for fear of something worse than rejection. I hurt people by leaving them more than they hurt me, but it all hurts.
[I used to be flying high on a combo of welbutrin, paxil, klonopin, risperdal, with ambien to sleep. Fucking top of the world and raring to eat someone's head off if I looked at them funny. Much better now having had some therapy and booze.
hitting myself with bricks in the courtyard. A job and some guitar helped with that.]
I turned my back on my therapist, but I'm going to need her again someday.
― Zachary Taylor, Friday, 17 June 2011 05:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
Not worth it to get trapped in loveless states of mind. It's really difficult to incarnate, to be a person in this world. From one perspective, it's non-stop horror. So I think it's especially important to seriously engage with the things and people in life that guide you towards love and self-understanding. I mean I get bummed out about my life and my personal failures on a pretty constant basis, but I have been privileged to learn in the past couple of years, thanks to some very dear friends, that reality is much more about love than it is doom and gloom scenarios . I was depressed for at least half a decade of my life in my late twenties/early thirties. In retrospect, I see that it was all kind of silly. I could have been giving people things that I have to give, but instead I was watching Montel Williams with the sound turned off at three in the morning. Absolutely no one benefited from my self-flagellation or heaping bad vibrations on myself.
― dell (del), Friday, 17 June 2011 14:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
I think any medication is good to take if it makes you happier and doesnt have side effects that are too bad. Why not? The truth is medications alone aren't the asnwer anyways - they are just a boost. The rest is therapy and hard work
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Friday, 17 June 2011 16:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm allergic to hard work!!
― dell (del), Friday, 17 June 2011 16:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
And the part that's biggest problem, I think, is the people thing. I'm generally good by myself and not in any way needy, but I need people now and they aren't around. And that's fucking with me more than almost anything else. I guess I don't know that many nurture-y types who are likely to check up on me regularly to make sure I'm okay if they know I'm going through shit, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.
This is so true. I seem to always have had a lot of people thinking that nothing ever bothers me when it isn't the case at all. And at times when I've been really down I find a lot of people just change the subject if I say anything or start talking about themselves. I don't know what the secret is to finding a support system? Because whatever advice I read seems to advocate turning to something I've never really had. Like the last time I was unemployed and v depressed thanks to lolrecession my closest friend is like "maybe you should talk to someone?" and I had no idea how to respond to that - um, I was trying to talk to you, but nevermind.
― daria, Friday, 17 June 2011 17:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
Support can help but you don't have to rely on others for happiness
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Friday, 17 June 2011 17:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
daria maybe what your friend meant was ... "maybe you should talk to someone ... who is a neutral person, paid for being involved in this difficult process, trained to help people process the difficult feelings they are dealing with, so that you can receive the quality of care you deserve and so that we can collectively can enjoy our friendship on simpler terms, because i am not competent to be your therapist, and frankly, the process of trying to be a therapist to a loved one is actually quite difficult and taxing"
― moonship journey to baja, Friday, 17 June 2011 17:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
that s true moonship - in fact some people get depressed themselves when trying to help someone who is depressed -
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Friday, 17 June 2011 17:39 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah that is the shortened version of a difficult conversation that i, my GF's sister and my GF's mom have had to have a lot lately with my GF (who is suffering from bad anxiety, not depression, which is a very different story from the stories people are telling on this thread, but still very similar re: the toll it is taking on her friends and family)
― moonship journey to baja, Friday, 17 June 2011 17:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
i've started going to counselling recently for first time and it's been good, but i still think people should have some kind of support system from friends or family. i have great friends but i can honestly say i would have to shoehorn any conversation about being depressed or similar into a normal discourse. it's sort of odd...
― MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T BE LIVING HERE!! (Local Garda), Friday, 17 June 2011 17:52 (1 year ago) Permalink
I know what she meant but at the time having no job or health insurance.. idk
― daria, Friday, 17 June 2011 18:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
Have no expectation or wish for friends to be therapists at all, I've been on the other side and it's awful, just more dismayed at it seeming like conversations that formerly might be an important part of friendship are now off in the domain of "talk to a professional" you know?
― daria, Friday, 17 June 2011 18:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
did you express these feeling to her?
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Friday, 17 June 2011 18:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
Nah too late now. It's just my general impression that this kind of response is the way we live now/deserving of NYT trend piece
― daria, Friday, 17 June 2011 18:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
we as in everyone?
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Friday, 17 June 2011 18:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
also reference to trend piece in a different publication
― daria, Friday, 17 June 2011 18:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Friday, 17 June 2011 18:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
I will say that depression has enabled me to tap into a rich vein of pitch black humor that I don't usually have access to. Maybe someday I'll get the last few months of my Twitter published, possibly with a forward by Ivan Brunetti.
― SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 17 June 2011 19:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ha! I sometimes think the same thing but then I show my 'hilarious' depressio bon mots to people and they are like 'damn I wish the cold embrace of death could free me from the abyss of this joke.'
― free inappropriate education (Abbbottt), Friday, 17 June 2011 22:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
I would like to hear these bon bons abbbboottttt
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Saturday, 18 June 2011 00:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
haha sometimes i think like why on earth would abbott (among other people) be depressed when she is/they are so manifestly awesome
but despite *not* being manifestly awesome i have learned again and again that things don't work that way. nevertheless i would like to throw my not-inconsiderable weight behind certain ppls' awesomeness
― mookieproof, Saturday, 18 June 2011 01:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
agreed, that is kind of a fucked-up phenomenon. but as other ppl pointed out on this thread being around depressed ppl makes some folks rightly or wrongly feel very uncomfortable. so in the end ya gotta respect other people's comfort levels when it comes to that. like, yeah, it's a fucked-up thing to have to pay to talk to professionals in lieu of working with friends and family support system, but at least the professionals very much want to help and have experience with some of the thornier aspects of giving help, whereas friends and family might be too overwhelmed or whatever to be of much genuine help in that area.
― dell (del), Saturday, 18 June 2011 17:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
i don't think i phrased things very clearly earlier, but sometimes one is going through difficult times in life and has very good reasons to be feeling down, without necessarily being clinically depressed? and at those times it would be a good thing to have close friends and family with whom one could talk about it, and it kind of stinks to feel like interactions with close friends and family are dependent on mostly just presenting the upbeat keepin-it-positive version of yourself. i understand how being around those who are perpetually negative can make one uncomfortable (i agree & can't stand it either), i'm more.. exasperated by those people i know who don't know how to be supportive through times that are just part of life? or maybe my family's stoic midwesterner style is more dysfunctional than most.
"talk to a professional" & having it be useful is actually a pretty difficult thing to do imho. health care plans currently don't always like to cover this, or cap the number of visits and/or charge a fairly high copayment or limit quite strictly who you can see. the challenge here can be daunting: find someone who is competent + accepts insurance + is taking patients + has appointments at reasonable times vs work schedule + has offices that are a reasonable distance esp. for those who depend on public transportation. this is assuming your insurance covers professionals who talk, and not just the professionals whose job it is prescribe this that or the other medication and say have a nice day.
and if you don't have insurance you are shit out of luck mostly. i have been to some talk therapists in the past and generally most of them were not that good tbh! in retrospect, after experiences i've had, i can't help but wonder why not one of them offered advice along the lines of getting more fresh air and exercise, cutting sugar and caffeine, eating more vegetables and less bread and pasta, moving on from work or school environments that are a bad fit and make you miserable, not hanging around with people who drag you down, not living in dangerous neighborhoods or with difficult/crazy roommates, all of which has made a tremendous difference.
i'm not trying to get real personal.. in general i just think it's a shame that the health care system in this country is set up the way it is, and also that stuff like recessions, long commutes, long work hours, poor wages and benefits, little vacation time, poor diet, lack of exercise, etc. all produce environments in which just about anyone would be depressed.
― daria-g, Saturday, 18 June 2011 19:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yes we all need to cry on someones shoulder sometimes.
― coffeetripperspillerslyricmakeruppers (Latham Green), Saturday, 18 June 2011 20:04 (1 year ago) Permalink