Depression and what it's really like

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There's a lot of talk on this board about depression. Everything is relative, of course. Antidepressants are panaceas with only 5% medical benefit. Most just feel low, or more accurately frightened and confused about what may or may not happen on this planet in months/weeks to come.

But depression.

Short, productive, alert periods punctuated by long bleak stretches of nothingness. Inability to communicate. Stay in bed. Long periods just sitting numbly, blankly, waiting for the tabula rasa to fill magically. Of course it never can. Can't speak, can't write, can't concentrate apart from endless agony induced by what has happened.

Discovering the true meaning of heartache - the ribs on the left side actually produce a dull stress-induced pain, right underneath the heart. It is literally broken.

Wondering how many more fucking days I can tolerate waking up, feeling this cold, pointless emptiness, thinking only "I could have gone last night. No need to have suffered through another of these hellish days."

(N.B.: for newcomers, read the "Marcello and Laura" set of threads on this board for the whole story. Brief summary: widowed almost seven weeks ago, imminently to become homeless)

Dora Carrington only lasted seven weeks after Strachey died.

No one left to be hurt by anything I do or don't do. Joke family keen that I let them know when I move so that they can have the coffee table.

Nothing more to say about music, certainly not on ILM. It's all been said/done/pastiched/analysed. Served its purpose.

Not sure if I have anything more to say about anything. Work continues; providing sole structure in my life at the moment.

House-hunting. What a joke. Like applying for a fucking job. Crap about "fitting in" and "selling yourself." I haven't got the energy or the will to do either. I just want it out of the way.

You try your best, get brief incandescent flashes, but are ultimately flattened by the complete fucking pointlessness of it all.

Mentally I can't cope with this for much longer. Nor physically.

I could have pressed the return key 30 times and just left a big blank space. That would have said it all equally well.

Depression, people. That's what it's like.

An effort even to type this.

Yeah but it's just post-bereavement grief Marcello. Everyone goes through it. You're not losing it. It's natural. Six months from now you'll

No I won't. I know me too well for that.

Self-pity man. Wallowing in it. There's a

YEAH I KNOW THERE'S A FUCKING WAR ON IT DOESN'T NEUTRALISE HOW I FEEL

ABSENCE OF BANDAGES DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE NOT SICK

Can anybody think of a reason why I should go on?

Not Dead Yet, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

depression for me was waking up and thinking "can i go please go back to sleep again?"

reason to go on living? to remember things, to be with others, to do the things that you need to do.

marianna, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm very sorry you're feeling this way. I empathize. Around a year ago I was at my lowest depths with this disease and asked myself the same question you are every day: why bother? i can't give you an answer, everyone has to find it for themselves. But I can urge you to keep looking for it. Isn't that a reason in itself?

Get some help. Do you have a therapist or doctor you can go to? A good friend? Ask for help from someone. An excellent therapist who has really become more friend was the only person/thing in my life to keep me going at times. I'm eternally grateful to her. I hope you can find a similar life raft.

Remember above all else, no matter how unlikely it may seem now, you can live through this. One day you will feel better. Make that your goal, to see that day, and you have your reason to keep on going.

Samantha, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

No one can tell you why you should go on. It's up to you to decide why you should go on - anything anyone else says will come off as empty or cold or unfeeling or just not "sympathetic" to what you are feeling, no matter what the intention was.

I mean, listen, I am so not trying to be cold, but I've been there. I mean, good god, the night I met my fiance I went on a complete bender, and ended up sobbing on the floor trying to slash my wrists with the first knife I could find (thankfully for me now, a butter knife - I was really piss drunk. Those things do damage though, surprisingly). And there's really nothing anyone can say or tell you is good about your life that is going to stop you from feeling that way, that's the way depression is, real hardcore depression at least.

The only thing I can tell you is that it's too soon into it to judge. If you keep telling yourself hang on for another day over and over, you might eventually find for yourself your reason to keep going. You just have to take a deep breath and say, "One more day. I will pretend to be normal for just one more day". And then say that tomorrow. And the day after. So on and so forth.

This might not help you or save you or stop you from doing what you currently seem to believe is inevitable. But it might just stay you long enough to find your way out of what's going on in your head right now.

You might want to go seek some sort of help, be it professional or otherwise, but being as I always refused to, I am being hypocritical to suggest it. I do hope you can find the strength to ask someone for help though, because once you do it really DOES help.

Ally, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"Can anybody think of a reason why I should go on?"

I'm not going to give a reason why you should go on Marcello, it'll be difficult to give a reason that you won't immediately dead-bat anyway. But, of course, you must go on and I can't think of a reason why you shouldn't.
But have you spoken a bereavement councellor at all? There are people who will understand and can help you. You have a family, have you spoken to them? It sounds trite but you aren't alone and you needen't feel alone. You just need some help Marcello, and no-one could blame you for how you feel but you must try to seek and accept help.
Thing's change. They always change.

DavidM, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Sure. Here's a damn good reason to go on:

There's all schools of thought about what happens when you die. There's all schools of thought about why there's "good" and "bad" in the world. Depressed people are usually fixated on "good", "bad" and "death", basically due to desires unfulfilled or seemingly unable to be fulfilled.

There's a bunch of people that believe a "perfect" God would somehow create a perfect entity that would turn "bad" (Satan) and convince people to doubt God's perfection (namely, by eating from the tree of good and evil), and, thereby causing this world of misery... Let's think about this for a second: perfect beings, according to this old lore, choose evil.

Why would that be?

Let's talk about reality, now, not old stories:
When everything is great, people still find much to complain about, sometimes more than people who lead miserable lives of poverty. This is because this is how the mind works. For instance, how long can you concentrate on one good thing and have it remain "good"? Everything's "goodness" and newness wears off because we live from moment to moment and it is impossible to freeze one moment of goodness in time, while continuing to move forward with our lives. Our minds label a thing as "good" or "bad" and has the tendency to move on, eager to label the next thing "good" or "bad". If you make a million dollars, you will quickly get used to the idea, rather than being fixated on how "good" it is to be rich, and you will start focusing on other desires. Whether the desire is for another million dollars or for finding someone who really "loves" you is not important. You follow your desires, and are neither fulfilled before you achieve your goals or after you achieve your goals.

Why is this?

Imagine that you attained perfection. How long would it last? Only for the moment. The rest of the time you would be trying to "freeze" this perfect moment in time forever, remembering how great it is to be perfect. But, it couldn't last and it wouldn't last. This is the way the universe works: everything is in flux.

So, then, imagine you kill yourself. Is that really the end to your misery? Science has many new ideas regarding creation of life, how the universe works, etc. One thing that sticks out is the fact that the universe has proven itself to be an intelligent system. Evolution occured, most likely, not out of chance, but by intelligent choice. The fact that the universe is nonlocal proves that everything is interconnected through some mysterious and invisible force (dark matter, perhaps?)

So, then, let's say you blow your head off. You are gone, in the mind of who you are. But, the greater intelligence of the universe still exists, and, in some way, you are part of it, you return to it. There really is no escape, except maybe from your minute perspective that currently resides in the shell of your head. Better to enjoy the individual perspective your body can provide while you have the opportunity. If you are striving to be happy, you will never be happy. You will always be striving to be happy. If you simply are happy in every moment, there is nothing to strive for... and that is the difference, as trite as it seems. Each shitty moment will pass, but it is only considered "shitty" if you choose to label it as such. So, let's say you're girlfriend dumped you... or you are ugly as sin... these are things you can dwell on or use as an opportunity to explore new things... like, dating or, if nobody finds you attractive in the least, there are many things that can fill the seeming void of companionship. After all, many people are dissatisfied with the companionship they aquire, even if they're get lots of it from lots of different people every week.

If nothing is interesting to you, seek out things you can identify with, like books on existentialism. It sounds like you are reeling from the futility of existence. But, existence is not futile. That's what it does. It just keeps existing... and there really is no escape from existence, there is only different perspectives about existence. Note: I am not suggesting you will be reincarnated, but whatever comes after death (and nobody really knows), one thing the universe shows us is that everything is the same and there is no "good" and "bad". There will always be suffering, change, etc. Be glad you are not living in worse circumstances, in the filth and ignorance of the dark ages, for instance.

Nude Spock, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh yeah, and I'd like to add that everyone is in the same boat. It just seems like other people are different, when, in reality, their experiences, attitudes and decisions have led them to be the people they are, for better or worse. Everyone pretty much starts out an innocent, ignorant little diaper-wearer and goes through a life-long process of having problems, one after another, that they deal with and learn from. People who fixate on the same problems day after day haven't learned to deal with or learn from these problems and it's usually due to an inability to accept the fact that they can't be who they want or get what they want, etc., rather than working toward goals and focusing on worthwhile emotions related to what you have or what you will have in the future... or just simply being happy that you see things your own way. I get lots of enjoyment out of realizing miserable, offensive people don't have the ability to see things like I do, rather than letting their misery rub off on me. I'm not happy they're miserable... or shallow or fake or ignorant... I'm happy I can identify their problems, rather than be concerned about what they think my "problem" is. For instance, why should it make any difference to me if some snooty bitch asks me if I shop at Walmart? Or if some bohemoth asks me if I'm a fag or somethin'? Or if some miserable fuck tells me I'm a complete moron? It doesn't matter.

Nude Spock, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

just one.

because death is for wussies.

okay, two.

because you'd be insulting laura.

(when alexis was taken from me...so, suddenly, with no build up, just...alive, vibrant, calling me on her cell on the way to the airport at the beginning of the week and then...cold, in a box, made up by some ghoulish mary kay girl to recapture that flush she got when she was excited or turned on or laughing or angry or...alive...but that light had now gone out...it felt as if nine years had been eradicated from my life...i spent months feeling as if i was being cotinually...raped...mentally...and...i cant count the number of times i stood in front of a mirror...and thought...very seriously...calmly...about...doing...it...the big IT...it had never seemed so...easy...to slip away...

what stopped me?

imagining her...rage...at me doing something so stupid and fucking SELFISH...you have a fucking GIFT, man...you have the years she doesnt...you better fill them...every minute...with as much LIFE as you can...cuz like a baby you're eating for two now...and even if i ever find someone to make me feel the...unfettered joy...that she brought...i'll still be living the rest of my life FOR her in so many ways.

so don't do it.

okay?)

jess, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

That's a wonderful reply Jess. Marcello, I'm sorry for the inadequacy of my reply. It's based on my experience with depression but obviously your depression springs from an experience I haven't shared. Either way I think the ultimate advice is the same: find some help. It is worth it to keep going and you will find the strength in yourself again. Take care of yourself.

Samantha, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

i just wanted to point out that the above wasn't intended to be crass at all. it was all totally genuine and heartfelt. marcello, i don't know how many years you and laura shared together and frankly, it doesn't matter. i have...an understanding (if i can't know how you feel) of what it's like to lose...your soulmate...since i know how i felt/feel...since it happened to me. but death begetting more death is just that, an insult. i know that you know this; i know. because, deep down, i knew it too. which is why i am typing this and not in my own box. why would i want to spread the feeling which had crippled my mind and shattered my heart to my own loved ones? you're...not going to feel better. for a long time. why should i lie? but...the pain does fade. the pain will fade. in time. slow, agonizing time. but fade nonetheless. i still wake up often having dreamed of her and weep like a child until morning. i still get caught up short in my daily activities when i recall just...her looks, her smell, the sound of her voice saying certain words... but i no longer long for death. and i feel like you'll eventually feel the same.

jess, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Jess, I was being sincere. I thought your reply and advice were very good.

Samantha, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

(whoops, samantha, i started posting that before i even saw your reply. no harm no foul.)

jess, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

During depressive episodes, the normal logical mind is "hijacked" by thoughts and emotions of negativity and hopelessness. The depressed person lives ina cloud of self delusion. Life is not without its beauty and triumph, and if you can't see that you are being blinded from it. Suicide is futile.

Mike Hanle y, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

My god jess, I wouldn't apologise. That sounded so sincere that I felt it all for myself to the point of being in tears, and still now choked up. The burden of the living - I know another story too, just two weeks ago my friend's young neice died just a few days before her fourth birthday. I have a photo of her here on the table, she looks so sweet, like any other little kid - not sick at all. My friend is absolutely heartbroken - but she's been so incredibly strong and graceful ever since it happened, that it's almost beautiful, if you take my meaning. As if she knows that the only way her neice can live on is if the people left behind remember her, not so slight a thing. Marcello, all I can add is that what jess said rings true. Try to be patient and brave - in a world so complex that the unthinkable can happen, there are a lot of other unknowns out there too. Stick around.

Kim, Thursday, 11 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

My sadness/despair/depression seems so little compared with yours. For a couple of hours on the weekend I was immobilised by the thought "There is no point" - due to the fact that I am single, no one loves me, no one visits me, no one rings me up, no one emails me. Except my dad (and he lives over the ocean). What have I achieved in 28 years? Nothing. My dad loved me from the day I was born - I have never progressed from that and he loves my mum more than he loves me anyhow, so I am not the most special person in the world to anyone. I have made no impact. I am meaningless. There is no point.

I still think there is not point but I'm not immobilised now. I can't tell you any reason to go on, just as I can't think of one for myself - except maybe hope and because it's easier to do nothing.

And by looking at the sky or touching a tree or digging in some dirt or lying on the grass, I am reminded that, even though there is no point, I might as well hang around and have momentary pleasurable experiences.

Shiatsu massage is one of those pleasureable experiences. Despite costing $50 and only lasting for an hour or so it may well be worth going on for.

www.shiatsu.8m.com/practitioners.htm

toraneko, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

My own POV of course...

Go on, not because there's a point, but because eventually you'll learn to enjoy living again. I've never believed there's a point to life, but when you're not enjoying it either then it seems like you're just doing time.

I stopped wanting to do anything because no activity was enjoyable, so I had no inclination to do things. the inactivity was killing me and made it worse.

Regaining interest in things takes much healing time, but soon you become human again -- WANTING to do things. something I'd forgotten i ever did.

when you want to do something, and that thing is enjoyable, that's a feeling worth living for.

Alan Trewartha, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Koanshi = clinically depressed. I can't seem to get on with my life. I can't... Plus I feel like I will go insane through religious paranoia.

Kodanshi, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The mere fact that you've posted this suggests that you want to. Everyone, no matter how far back in their mind positivity has been pushed, has that positivity. That's not saying it won't be a struggle to find it. But with time (and maybe help) things will get better. Things got better for me when I didn't think they would which only suggests it can happen to everyone.

Bill, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Nude, I'm really impressed with your stepping-outside-the-box observations... thank you. seriously.

Brian MacDonald, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

six years pass...

Want a hug so bad and the man won't be home for three hours. Fucking THESE DAYS. These fucking days.

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:20 (twelve years ago) link

::HUGZ:: come to ilx chatz is a happy fam

chaki, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:20 (twelve years ago) link

i give abbott hug & will not stab her man tonight even tho i want to

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:21 (twelve years ago) link

yes! come to chatz abbott there's lotsa love there

Rubyredd, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:22 (twelve years ago) link

This book has helped me a lot.

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:22 (twelve years ago) link

**hug**

Aimless, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:23 (twelve years ago) link

ILX thinks yr great, Abbs. Take that for whatever it's worth to you, you can totally pwn the next three hours.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:24 (twelve years ago) link

I'd give him a call but like he needs to spend 15 minutes of work hearing me in choking sobs over the phone.

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:25 (twelve years ago) link

Why don't you give him a call and ask him to tell you a story, instead? That way you get to hear his voice and feel closer to him but won't feel like you're dumping on him...?

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:27 (twelve years ago) link

Also it will prob be a better story than the one about your dad and the birds. Because THAT'S not depressing or anything.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:27 (twelve years ago) link

HAHAHAHA

I've been thinking about that one for the past few days. Why?

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 00:30 (twelve years ago) link

Hope the time passes quickly for you; depression is awful - I've so been there (not too badly lately, thankfully).

Hang in there. (And yeah, I'm sure that doesn't help much from a perfect stranger, but unless you're in southern Minnesota, it will be hard for me to invite you over for brownies or something!)

Sara R-C, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:07 (twelve years ago) link

what kind of brownies

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:10 (twelve years ago) link

megabus is only a dollar and i'd pay a dollar for brownies.

chicago kevin, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:15 (twelve years ago) link

http://forum.armedassault.info/style_emoticons/default/hug.gif

omar little, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:15 (twelve years ago) link

See? An hour has already passed! How you doin?

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:21 (twelve years ago) link

Damn this accursed MACHIIIIINE!

robertwolf8080, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:27 (twelve years ago) link

Just plain brownies! They are kind of fudgy - no nuts - very simple, with chocolate icing (really just chocolate chips melted with some butter). I made them because I was feeling low today.

Megabus sounds like something from My Neighbor Totoro. I must find out about it!

Sara R-C, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:30 (twelve years ago) link

no weed, no visitation.

just kidding, id kill for any kind of homemade brownie right now.

and how is abbott doing now?? apparently no longer at her computer surfing ilx, which means: way better off than any of us.

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:42 (twelve years ago) link

I went and got a baked potato at Wendy's. Some good songs came on the radio that made me nostalgic. The nostalgia took me places I shouldn't have gone, but the potato was good. And, uh, pulling through, You guys 'r' swell.

Abbott, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:46 (twelve years ago) link

megbus.

chicago kevin, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:49 (twelve years ago) link

the bacon cheddar baked potato is the only baked potato worth having

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:51 (twelve years ago) link

you're crazy deeznuts. the bacon cheddar may be at the top of the baked potato hierarchy but by no means is it "the only baked potato worth having".

chicago kevin, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:54 (twelve years ago) link

I am actually a fan of the potato skins with cheddar and bacon, with a side of sour cream and chives. Hit all the bases that way.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:56 (twelve years ago) link

ok, fine. excuse me for being hyperbolic. the sour cream & chive is a delicious steal, & i would recommend it to anyone short of $2.49.

xp i didnt know this was possible?? i dont have a wendy's within 45 mins of me anymore tho

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:58 (twelve years ago) link

i know admitting it is like admitting that i enjoy the slaughter of kittens, but i have to say that i find baked potatos fairly nasty

remy bean, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 01:59 (twelve years ago) link

Oh, not at Wendy's. They're awesome in diners or at home, though.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:01 (twelve years ago) link

theyre mainly a starchy delivery device for cheese/sour cream/butter/etc

jhøshea, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:02 (twelve years ago) link

remy, do you eat them with like, stuff on them? cuz baked potatoes are disgusting, which is why you coat them w/ butter & sour cream & cheese & bacon, all of which are wonderful things that i fail to understand how anyone could not love.

xp tru!

deeznuts, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:03 (twelve years ago) link

fighting w/ my fiancee because i do what the psychiatrist + therapist tell me to do and she stubbornly fights them every inch of the way (we have different psychiatrists + therapists).

sucks.

moonship journey to baja, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:04 (twelve years ago) link

Remy has v cultivated tastes, he probably likes more imaginative potato forms. I'm a simple person, though, and I like mine with lots and lots of salt and dairy product.

Laurel, Tuesday, 16 October 2007 02:05 (twelve years ago) link

as a Dowd myself, I'm always pleased to see my online namesake having a win or two!

calzino, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 10:03 (ten months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Blech - a guy in the pub had some rope, and someone joked that it was for a noose, so he demonstrated different ways of making a noose and I kind of blanched. I had to ask him to stop, and go outside to stop a panic attack. Didn’t expect such a strong reaction. It was super embarassing.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 13:29 (ten months ago) link

That sounds like a really bizarre and unpleasant situation for anyone, why would "this is how you make a noose" be a fun topic for anyone?

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 22:21 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

this is prob not the right thread but we mentioned learned helplessness here so

I don't know how anyone manages not to have learned helplessness in a world where the negative consequences of trying to do a good job and making a mistake are so much more immediate than any positive consequences of actually doing a good job or negative consequences of not doing anything

a passing spacecadet, Wednesday, 23 January 2019 19:52 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

Prefacing this that I haven't posted itt as much as I should have over the years...when in remission I've avoided it for fear of being triggered back into it...and when suffering a bout, w/ some exceptions, I've been too incapacitated to contribute anything. Words are the first to go.

I've tried so hard to tackle this w/o any meds these past couple of years...meditation, rigorous daily exercise, trail running, heavy bag, nutritional supplements—HTP-5, magnesium, L-Methylfolate, St. John's wort, turmeric—and Ketamine infusions, psilocybin microdose, ayahuasca, MDMA, somatics experiencing, conventional talk therapy, more directed therapies, cranio-sacral work, homeopathy, breath-work, Reiki, sex, prayer. All in the knowledge that I could, if I absolutely had to, go back on prescription meds.

In January, after 12 years of dealing off and on with this, I discovered a new, horrific level. A friend and mentor who writes on the subject described my depression as "impacted" and convinced me to check into an intensive outpatient program, where I was persuaded to give the meds another go. Now six weeks into what feels like a capitulation—a course of Wellbutrin—and feeling no change besides some anxiety around the edges that wasn't there before.

I have refused so far to go back on an SNRI (I was on Effexor for many years and coming off it was brutalizing, I'm convinced it irreversibly re-jiggered my nervous system) or SSRI (because of weight gain and libido stuff, which I know is absurd considering the stakes). A few months ago I was circling closer to the "heroic dose" of mushrooms in the company of a friend/sitter (I have applied for clinical trials to no avail) but symptoms in this acute state have me concerned that kind of trip would hijack my shadows and things could go south.

Now a week into TMS, which I am trying to be optimistic about.

So fucking tired of this. So sick about how much of my life has disappeared inside it. Worried that it is finally about to have its way with me.

logged out (Emperor 8), Friday, 8 March 2019 14:39 (seven months ago) link

what do you think about the new ketamine spray thing?

sarahell, Friday, 8 March 2019 14:42 (seven months ago) link

I hope that it's helpful to people...my own experience w/ ketamine infusions was a short-lasting effect. If the action is meant to stimulate/rehabilitate atrophied receptors it seems insufficient, but maybe for people who are suffering from mild depression or need an add'l tool it could be effective

logged out (Emperor 8), Friday, 8 March 2019 14:46 (seven months ago) link

it's supposed to be for severe depression that isn't responsive to SSRIs and SSNIs i think?

sarahell, Friday, 8 March 2019 14:56 (seven months ago) link

hi emperor 8!

i had tms last year after a fucking lifetime of crippling depression, like you because i'd tried goddamn everything else. my hope was that, you know, maybe it would be enough to keep me alive another year.

i am still a little surprised at how well i've responded to it and how lasting the change has been (nine months so far). all the overwhelming and intense feelings the depression hit me with, feelings i've spent decades trying to work around, now seem manageable. when i start in on the ruminating i can often not only recognize it but actually pull myself out of it.

it did take quite a while to kick in. of course everybody responds differently, and i don't want to oversell it or give you unreasonable expectations, but i do think there's pretty good objective grounds for optimism. how many treatments are you doing?

i stayed off meds for a long time for similar reasons to you, but am back on a fairly low dose of zoloft and i am finding it helpful and not terribly disruptive. i don't feel anymore like taking meds is a failure or particularly dangerous to my long-term well-being.

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Friday, 8 March 2019 14:59 (seven months ago) link

I'm glad to hear it's wroking for you. I noticed immediately that my sleep, energy, and cognition improved—after just a session or two—but am led to believe this may be just a common initial response that may not persist at least initially.

I'm doing a course of six weeks of deepTMS which uses a different kind of coil that is supposed to send the pulses deeper into the folds of the cortex (6-7cm). They started me on the standard repetitive protocol (18hz) but have now switched to what they are calling Theta Burst, which fires at 50hz but in a pattern intended to mimic the electrical communication between neurons.

This new protocol fucking hurts. The fields are directed into the left dorsal prefrontal cortex. but on the right side of my head—above my temple—it is barely tolerable, like an enormous woodpecker hammering away at a hematoma. 9 minutes totaling 1,800 bursts followed by a fifteen minute break and then another 9 minutes. Does it stop hurting?

logged out (Emperor 8), Friday, 8 March 2019 15:13 (seven months ago) link

xp sarahell yes, but I don't believe the trials showing any remission tested for standalone eskatamine, only as an augmentation to oral antidepressants. Which is still good I suppose, but my own history has me skeptical

logged out (Emperor 8), Friday, 8 March 2019 15:14 (seven months ago) link

i didn't start feeling any significant effects that i couldn't dismiss as placebo syndrome until about four weeks in. i believe i was on the six week course too, but i don't know what the intensity was or if theta burst was around when i did my thing so i can't comment on that specific protocol, but what you're having sounds like what i had (though i don't know what a hematoma feels like).

they had me gradually amp up the intensity according to my tolerances. i pushed it a little harder than i needed to because i was being all fucking macho about it, which probably wasn't necessary. also in the state i was in i welcomed physical pain, which probably played into it. i would say less that it stopped hurting than that i acclimated to it.

i'll also say that the tms didn't do jack shit for my anxiety, but i'm better at dealing with it without the depression complicating things.

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Friday, 8 March 2019 15:26 (seven months ago) link

Blech - a guy in the pub had some rope, and someone joked that it was for a noose, so he demonstrated different ways of making a noose and I kind of blanched. I had to ask him to stop, and go outside to stop a panic attack. Didn’t expect such a strong reaction. It was super embarassing.


This isn't super embarassing imo. Good for you asking him to stop.

nathom, Friday, 8 March 2019 15:27 (seven months ago) link

anybody else have days with persistent but not intense suicide thoughts, like, I'm not gonna do it, but I keep thinking about it


On and off. Yes. It's super weird. Even when I'm not very depressed. This is why I'm convinced kill themselves just in a spur of the moment (is that worded in a weird way?)

My husband had major depression last year. Really awful. Wanted to seperate thinking it wld solve the situ. Thank god I managed to stay sane. Living w a depressed pers just as crap as bein depressed. :-(

nathom, Friday, 8 March 2019 15:31 (seven months ago) link

xps Yeah they were in the process of ramping me up from 60% of my motor threshold (the point at which your hand starts jumping around) inorder to desensitize/build tolerance with the goal of taking it to 120%. And they got it up to 95% a couple of days ago, then told me they were changing the protocol.

With the Theta Burst they say they can now achieve the same effectiveness with only 80% motor threshold. But I was kinda pissed because like you I felt (perversely) like there was some merit to toughing it out.

I can relate to welcoming the physical pain even while I don't look forward to it...it is preoccupying enough to provide a 30 minute reprieve from the ruminations

logged out (Emperor 8), Friday, 8 March 2019 15:36 (seven months ago) link

you all should feel free to post on the 77 version of this thread - sometimes stuff like this is easier for others to talk about when it's not google-able

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Saturday, 9 March 2019 06:23 (seven months ago) link

hello everyone

I've hated myself as long as I can remember - at least since I was 12 - but I always kinda (stupidly, catholic-ly) prided myself on getting by without assistance, in not totally dissimilar a way from what E8 described. never even been to therapy. but last week I took my first-ever vacation and had ended up having a four-day breakdown, and came to realize that the knowledge of how my loved ones would take it is the only thing that has stopped me from, let's say, wandering into oncoming traffic. whee!

anyway now I'm on two waiting lists for therapists (specifically, hunting for ACT treatment, inspired by the advice of someone who's known me a very long time and whomst has serious mental health expertise).

I don't have a whole lot to add except to throw some solidarity out to the folks struggling itt

Simon H., Saturday, 9 March 2019 06:39 (seven months ago) link

the 77 thread is great, i do recommend it and yeah mental illness can be really tough to talk about

i don't know, but i certainly hope that this thread is at least de-indexed. i'm fortunate enough to be in a position where i don't face any practical negative consequences about being open about my mental illness, but i know that's not the case for everyone.

glad to hear you're getting help, simon. if it helps you're far from the only person to be affected in this way, so try not to beat yourself up over not getting it sooner. you're doing the right thing now, and that's what's important

vacations have always been particularly hard for me, too. i had a breakdown after a vacation in 2003, and one last year went so poorly that i wound up getting tms. i've been working very hard to get to a point where i can take a "vacation" without totally making myself miserable. coincidentally this is the first day of one for me. it's tough, but i feel ok about it!

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Saturday, 9 March 2019 10:16 (seven months ago) link

Simon, hugs! I understand the catholic factor very well.

My husband is still suffering a lot. But it's walking near the abyss. Trying my hardest to keep him from falling in.

Well, hugs to everyone. Sending you lots of love.

nathom, Saturday, 9 March 2019 10:51 (seven months ago) link

nathom, i feel you on that, trying to love and support a depressed person is incredibly thankless and punishing. make sure you take time to take care of yourself!

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Saturday, 9 March 2019 15:39 (seven months ago) link

Thanks. 😘

nathom, Saturday, 9 March 2019 16:09 (seven months ago) link

but last week I took my first-ever vacation and had ended up having a four-day breakdown

vacations will take you there! i didn't know i was depressed until i spent a week in berlin last year, the last three days were straight up horrible and terrifying (and then, later, it got worse, woo). glad you're making progress with finding a therapist, simon. i think you're smart and good and i think you deserve to have the same opinion of yourself

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Saturday, 9 March 2019 16:25 (seven months ago) link

may i ask what the relation between your berlin vacation - next time you come we could meet if you are interested - and the realization of your depression is, brad? or is that too private andi am too curious?

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Saturday, 9 March 2019 18:10 (seven months ago) link

brad I'm sorry berlin sucked but I'm honestly so relieved to hear about someone else just breaking down on vacation! the worst part was that I was travelling with a friend of mine, and several of her friends, with most of us staying in a tiny airbnb, so I felt like I had to constantly exile myself so as not to poison anyone else's good vibes. she's since told me she found the trip "revitalizing" etc and had a totally wonderful time so I guess mission accomplished lol

also Emperor I'm a little freaked out by yr revive post because (besides the hard drugs, but only cause no hookup) my list of failed coping mechanisms has so much overlap (tho I've never been on meds and I suspect that's inevitably gonna be a thing)

Simon H., Saturday, 9 March 2019 18:18 (seven months ago) link

the 77 thread is great, i do recommend it and yeah mental illness can be really tough to talk about

i don't know, but i certainly hope that this thread is at least de-indexed.

i don't think this thread is de-indexed. really do recommend the 77 version of this thread (Depression and anxiety and how we try to deal).

simon, your post from yesterday overlaps a LOT with how i was feeling almost exactly a year ago. i got into therapy for the first time and it helped me a ton. several months later (after a ton of bullshit with the u.s. healthcare system, the finest healthcare system in the world, so good that it cannot be improved upon) i started antidepressants (also for the first time) and things are so, so much better for me right now. what you said about oncoming traffic and loved ones - i can't tell you how many times i had that thought. it's really good you're taking a step to talk to someone about it.

anyway, best thoughts to you all, and really, consider coming to the thread where two 7's collide

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Saturday, 9 March 2019 20:26 (seven months ago) link

oncoming traffic and loved ones
although i will mention that i usually was more of a telephone pole ruminator

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Saturday, 9 March 2019 20:28 (seven months ago) link

Karl do you mind sharing what you went on, re: antidepressants? we can take this to 77 if you prefer (as soon as I get access lol)

Simon H., Sunday, 10 March 2019 06:59 (seven months ago) link

don't mind sharing at all - i'm on effexor. i guess one thing you'll quickly learn is that everyone's experience with all this is very different. it has been very good for me, but not so good for others. and effexor has a reputation for being very hard to get off of. what emperor 8 said above - (I was on Effexor for many years and coming off it was brutalizing, I'm convinced it irreversibly re-jiggered my nervous system) is what i'm kind of terrifed of. however, i'm on a relative low dose (75/mg a day), whereas my psychiatrist told me that the antianxiety affects don't really kick in until the 150 mg/day threshold is passed. so i'm hopeful that it'll be a little easier for me to wean off, eventually. honestly, right now i don't want to come off of it - i just feel pretty good, not in an artificially imposed fake-happy thing (which is what i was worried about when i started), but just in a really nice "i don't give a fuck" way. like, when something bad happens and it's definitely not my fault, i don't worry about it so much more. i used to really dwell on things like that all the time, even when it wasn't my fault. now i can just say "oh, well that wasn't my fault", even when other people (like my boss or whatever) might be blaming me. that doesn't feel "fake" happy to me, it just feels like a better way to respond to things. i don't know if effexor is somehow helping me make that happen, or if it's the therapy, or both, and i don't care. i'm just in a better place now. obv i have no fucking clue what's going on with the different med options, but it's very much worth the effort to find someone to talk to that can help you navigate all that shit.

77 access thread is here btw: Request Access to 77 Borad
i assume you know but maybe others haven't seen it or aren't aware of it

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Sunday, 10 March 2019 07:41 (seven months ago) link

i used to really dwell on things like that all the time, even when it wasn't my fault. now i can just say "oh, well that wasn't my fault", even when other people (like my boss or whatever) might be blaming me.

btw, just to inception this shit, i also recognize that sometimes i do still get overly irritated about things, sometimes on ilx. just getting frustrated over little things. but i don't feel so bad about it afterward anymore. i'm just like "well i just freaked out on the internet again, whoops. i'm going to try not to do that again" and move on. it's nice

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Sunday, 10 March 2019 07:43 (seven months ago) link

Yes, getting older and also realizing why I am the way I am(waves at mommy): I'm way more chill (thanks sipralexa) ab things. I'm less stressed. Sometimes I want to stop w sipralexa but even now I get anxiety. And I never wanna get back to wanting to (literally) jump off a cliff.

nathom, Sunday, 10 March 2019 08:53 (seven months ago) link

Yes, getting older and also realizing why I am the way I am(waves at mommy): I'm way more chill (thanks sipralexa) ab things. I'm less stressed. Sometimes I want to stop w sipralexa but even now I get anxiety. And I never wanna get back to wanting to (literally) jump off a cliff.

― nathom

accepting there are actual reasons why i have certain reactions to things, being able to, at least in my own head, criticize (without necessarily _blaming_) certain other people, rather than being "lol depression idk" has been helpful to me, i have found.

i feel like i still have a lot of room to grow as a person, and being on the meds i'm on makes that process easier.

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Sunday, 10 March 2019 12:05 (seven months ago) link

Yes! It took me 2 decades of self-analysis. Tbh if it wasn't for my husband I wouldn't be where I am now. I'm not blaming anyone. Useless and waste of time/energy.

nathom, Sunday, 10 March 2019 13:00 (seven months ago) link

KM, about Effexor, it may have saved my life and I don't regret going on it...but in weaning off after ten years (most at 187.5 mg) I found that my nervous system had to be completely recalibrated, and that absent its insulatiion my system "forgot" how to respond appropriately to life's disappointments. Like I started taking shit way harder than what was appropriate. So now I'm on a course of re-sensitizing, which is not a lot of fun.

Anyway I'm glad it's working for you, and in general—and w/r/t Simon's laundry list of treatment attempts—I'm coming to terms with the fact that there is no silver bullet. I had longed hope for the *one* thing that would do the trick but I know now it's going to be a combination of little things that will keep me afloat, if in fact I ever come up for air.

logged out (Emperor 8), Sunday, 10 March 2019 19:27 (seven months ago) link

I feel you guys on vacation, too. I have a history of this and was brutailzed around the holidays this year in trips to see family—people I love, in MI and FL. I think vacations are particularly hard just because they upset the prospect of improvement due to a change of scenery. I know that when I am suffering a heavy bout I'll come to lament my circumstances and surroundings, only to learn over and again that depression DGAF about where you take it. To deplane in a sunny clime, or to be greeted by old friends, and realize that you STILL feel like dying is somehow doubly bad.

logged out (Emperor 8), Sunday, 10 March 2019 19:34 (seven months ago) link

may i ask what the relation between your berlin vacation - next time you come we could meet if you are interested - and the realization of your depression is, brad? or is that too private andi am too curious?

― Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Saturday, March 9, 2019 11:10 AM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

wasn't the city itself, berlin is wonderful and i would live there if i could, but i went with one of my best friends and spending a week with your best friend in one-bed airbnb, and also going everywhere together... she got tired and annoyed with me during the last few days of the trip (fair! i guess) and i just started spiraling from there bc i did not believe i deserved anything good and this was just new evidence. went off the deep end a month later during another vacation in ocean city maryland after taking molly that prob was mostly coke, but idk how much i should share about that particular breakdown on ile

anyway i'm much better now and genuinely believe i deserve good things. still need a therapist! but doin' ok without one for now

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Sunday, 10 March 2019 19:44 (seven months ago) link

I was travelling with a friend of mine, and several of her friends, with most of us staying in a tiny airbnb, so I felt like I had to constantly exile myself so as not to poison anyone else's good vibes

in fact, my berlin trip was a lot like this

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Sunday, 10 March 2019 19:45 (seven months ago) link

oh, i love my family too, but that doesn't necessarily make it easier for me to visit! my new rule is, i have a house now, people who want to see me can come visit, i'm not going back to fucking indiana.

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Sunday, 10 March 2019 19:48 (seven months ago) link

I just wanna say thx to everyone for sharing, genuinely helpful and interesting for me personally.

Also I have to share the fact that when I was in the deepest, darkest throes of my breakdown I messaged the group to be like "hey sorry I'm all fucked up, it's no one's fault, don't take it personally" etc and in response the girls I was traveling with *and the tourists they'd found to have sex with* sent a group selfie of them making Care Bear style heart signs, and even in the moment I was able to appreciate how blackly hilarious it was

Simon H., Sunday, 10 March 2019 22:30 (seven months ago) link

I am struggling bec my husband is depressed. I don't how not to get sucked into the vortex. :-(

nathom, Monday, 11 March 2019 12:45 (seven months ago) link

six months pass...

Sigh

Beating head against brick wall

Sigh

a hoy hoy, Sunday, 6 October 2019 22:33 (two weeks ago) link

what's going on? :(

It is my great honor to post on this messageboard! (Karl Malone), Monday, 7 October 2019 00:36 (one week ago) link

hope u feel better sam:)

flopson, Monday, 7 October 2019 00:56 (one week ago) link

It was just a bad day. I have since bought a puppy (a black labradoodle), so I'm pretty smiley atm.

a hoy hoy, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 07:16 (one week ago) link

But thanks for checking in guys

a hoy hoy, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 07:17 (one week ago) link

in my experience some varieties of labradoodle are absolutely huge and some are quite small - which have you got?

calzino, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 07:25 (one week ago) link

I met the parents, I think it will grow to be quite big. Bloody tiny for now though, it basically fits in my hand.

a hoy hoy, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 07:27 (one week ago) link

my black lab has his first birthday next week, he's huge now ... absolutely huge - they soon grow up!

calzino, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 07:30 (one week ago) link

Yeah we are already talking about moving in May when our contract is up in case our place isn't big enough! I'm bloody petrified tbh

a hoy hoy, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 08:09 (one week ago) link

on a depression tip the thing with dogs is that they are generally superior to humans and they nag you to go out of the house when you don't feel like going out which can be a very good thing.

calzino, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 08:20 (one week ago) link

i caught this amazing blood red sunrise yesterday all thanks to my dog

calzino, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 08:22 (one week ago) link


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