Dealing With Depression WIthout Belief

BenfromCanada
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Dealing With Depression WIthout Belief

For other atheists with clinical depression: How do you do it? I've been off my meds for maybe a month, and I'm barely able to survive...so how do you do it?


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I'm not really sure. I don't

I'm not really sure. I don't really know how to deal with depression in general.
My mother sometimes gets depressed, and one times she scoffs at God, and the other time she says that without God there's no meaning in life, so I am not sure religion or lack thereof is a really big issue.
Then there's this guy who got extremely depressed because he thought two thirds of the world was going to hell. His atheism eventually brought him peace. But that isn't incredibly relevant.

I think I would watch a video like science saved my soul or Richards Dawkins' We are going to die. But those things aren't things to keep it up in the long run, so I don't have a clue (being only 18 years of age, I wouldn't be the one you should look for for advise Smiling).


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i struggle with very mild

i struggle with very mild depression.  i wouldn't call it clinical, but it is chronic.  it's not debilitating or anything, though, so i can't tell you anything for sure.  all i know is that taoist and zen buddhist writings have helped me a lot in those times (i'm neither a taoist nor a buddhist).  i recommend any of the following:

the chuang tzu

the lieh tzu

any of the writings attributed to bodhidharma

yamamoto tsunetomo's hagakure (one of the best books i've ever read)

takuan soho's unfettered mind

the last two blend zen buddhism with samurai philosophy and confucian ethics.  confucian books are great too, especially the analects.

all these books just recalibrate my perspective.  good luck, dude.

 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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I have my boughts too.

I have my boughts too. Especially when I worry about my mom. But I am also insecure about my job, paranoid about losing it. Not that I do a bad job, but more like fear of not having control.

Depression sucks, but it does help to have people around you that are like minded. I know Bob and this place have helped get me through some really tough times.

 

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       How to deal

 

 

    How to deal successfully with depression ?  I'm not sure that I ever had much success and I've been trying to find relief since I was a young boy.  Doubt I ever will.  Apparently the human brain is a notoriously difficult thing to repair.

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

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What makes you think that

What makes you think that people with belief deal with it any better ?


cj
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For me, talk therapy

For me, talk therapy helps.  And it doesn't have to be with a therapist, though I have seen a number of them over the years.  I'm 60 - so I am very familiar with me. 

I have tried drugs - trazodone desyrel specifically - which seems to put a layer of cotton between me and the depression.  Being a control freak, I was very uncomfortable with the sensation of not being aware of and at the same time not in control of my feelings.  Mind you, at the time, it was very helpful as it gave me some space to get over the worse of it without doing something stupid.

My depression is cyclic so I know now that I can wait it out and it will usually go away.  It is only when it interferes with my life that I need to get serious about doing something about it.  And as I said, talking to a disinterested third party helps.  You can tell your therapist anything and it won't get back to your family, friends or co-workers.  A good therapist will not be judgmental.  A good therapist will be interested and engaged with you and your problem.  A good therapist will listen carefully and ask appropriate questions and make suggestions when asked.  Much better than talking to the walls.  And I have done that as well.

None of which may be helpful for you.  I have a friend who is clinically depressed and for her, it was a matter of finding the right medication and sticking with the schedule.  She has tried most of them at one time or another.  Her sister is also clinically depressed and is on a different medication that seems to work for her.  So if one med is not comfortable for you, talk it over with your doctor and try another.

In the meantime, put one foot in front of the other.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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BenfromCanada wrote:For

BenfromCanada wrote:

For other atheists with clinical depression: How do you do it? I've been off my meds for maybe a month, and I'm barely able to survive...so how do you do it?

First, why are you off your meds? For a medical reason, or non-medical reason? Did you work with your Dr. to decrease your dosage, or did you stop cold-turkey? If the latter, then I imagine a large deal of your difficulty is from going cold-turkey. You need to taper off.

Second, if you are knowingly trying to taper off your meds with your Dr.'s help, then two issues:

1) You may not be fully ready to stop taking the meds. If you're not, you should talk to your Dr. about getting back on them.

2) The only form of therapy for depression that has significant empirical evidence in its favour is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which I highly recommend. Find someone (probably psychologist or social worker, but if you can get it covered from a psychiatrist, why not?) who knows how to do CBT with people, and start doing it. Eventually, you will learn enough to be able to do it on your own without help, and hopefully it will work for you. (The studies I've learned about show that CBT-alone is about as effective as medication-alone, but when combined together they are complementary and CBT-plus-medication is substantially more effective than either one by itself.)

By the way, I'm not an expert in any sense, no degree or anything, so my advice is strictly my personal opinion, although I have spent the last few years educating myself on my own issues (which includes mild but chronic depression), and I've been working with CBT for a few months now. #1 piece of advice I would give would be to get in touch with a competent mental health professional or organization such as CMHA which can help you find the resources you need.

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cj wrote: I have tried

cj wrote:

 

I have tried drugs - trazodone desyrel specifically - which seems to put a layer of cotton between me and the depression. 

 

 

   Interesting that you mentioned desyrel.  My shrink prescribed it for me back in the eighties.  Did nothing for my depression but one of the possible side effects was anger / hostility.    I threw a temper tantrum at work and smashed some doors and got arrested.

  As a very frustrated 28 year old it was the last thing I should have been prescribed.

 

  edit: I am currently prescribed an anti-seizure medication called neurontin / gabapentin.  It is being issued off label by shrinks because one of the unexpected side effects of gabapentin is that is sometimes has a significant calming effect.   A similar drug that worked for me ( in sufficient quanities ) was lyrica / pregabalin but withdrawal is tough unless you enjoy fever and chills.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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cj wrote:None of which may

cj wrote:
None of which may be helpful for you.  I have a friend who is clinically depressed and for her, it was a matter of finding the right medication and sticking with the schedule.  She has tried most of them at one time or another.  Her sister is also clinically depressed and is on a different medication that seems to work for her.  So if one med is not comfortable for you, talk it over with your doctor and try another.

In the meantime, put one foot in front of the other.

This is an excellent point, which I wish I had put in my own post.

Mental health is like bodily health. Each person is different, and has their own strengths and weaknesses, and when the mind gets 'injured' (to keep the metaphor going), what works for one person may not work for the next, even though their symptoms may appear very similar. If I've got a pain in my gut, it could be gas, food poisoning, an infection, a hernia, cancer, or whatever. While the brain is only one organ, it is a very complex organ, and it is allowed to get sick in a wide variety of different ways. One person's depression may respond to drug A but not B, another's to drug A or B, and another's only to drug B, but not A.

Sometimes people get discouraged because they "tried that and it didn't work", when really they mean that they tried one specific treatment and it didn't work for them. But there are a lot of alternative medications out there, and even within talk-therapy there are a lot of different types, and each practitioner will be good for some and not-so-good for others.

The best thing to do, IMHO, is to keep trying until you find something that does work, and then tweak that until it works to the best level you can get it to work. E.g. I'm still adjusting my dosages for the various meds I take for ADHD, anxiety and depression, because my symptoms all inter-act, as well as my meds for one thing will inter-act with my symptoms for something else, and I have to balance benefits vs. side-effects, etc. But, each time I tweak the meds, I almost always get closer and closer to an optimal solution for my specific issues.

Put one foot in front of the other, as cj said. If one thing doesn't quite work, try adjusting the dosage. If it's just wrong for you, try something else. If that's not enough, combine it with something else. Try everything that seems like it has a chance in hell of helping in the long run. Of course do all this with medical supervision and support, but if you keep at it, eventually you'll find something that works at least to some extent, and that will be way better than your current feelings of 'not being able to survive'.

The great thing about Canada's health care is that it's genuinely there to help people. If you need help, that's what they are there for. Go ahead and find the help that you need.

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I don't know if it helps,

I don't know if it helps, but all of you here talking about your own personal depression has helped me. It won't ultimately solve my current fears, but it does help me know that I am not alone and that my problems are quite normal.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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You guys rule! The reason I

You guys rule!

 

The reason I got off of medication (I was taking citalopram) is in part because I started forgetting to take my medication, due largely to working every day for several months and waking up with no time to get ready before work. I figured at that point I'd be better off not taking it at all, so I quit when I ran out. So, I did, effectively, get off the meds without doctor supervision, but not cold turkey. As for therapy...clinical therapy is hard, up here in a very rural area, and it's exacerbated by the fact that I'm friends with one of the few counsellors up here (conflict of interest prevents him from being my counsellor) and due to my work schedule. My schedule is given every week on friday, and every shift is 12 hours, 1800-0600 with an available 0600-1800 shift Sundays only. I could conceivably schedule therapy for a day off, but with such short notice, it'd be impossible to schedule more than a few days in advance.

Talking with friends presents its own difficulties. I rarely talk to friends anymore due to my work schedule...and when I do, well, who likes people whining about being depressed? I think just being with friends generally helps every bit as much as anything else...

Do you know an online place where people don't get tired of hearing people whine about their problems? OK, aside from twitter and youtube. OK, where people don't get tired of hearing people whine about real problems.


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Again, I must state that

Again, I must state that this is my own opinion and I'm not an expert, so keep that in mind.

IMO, I would attempt to meet with the Dr. that prescribed your medication as soon as possible and consult as to how to get back on medication (whether the same one or different, I have no idea), because stopping anti-depressant medication without slowly tapering it off has very large side-effects. I've heard that it can put people into depression deeper than their actual depression, and this is probably why you're having such a hard time right now. It takes at least several weeks of controlled reduction of the dose, probably more like months to taper it off all the way. It is simply dangerous to stop abruptly, and IMO (again, not expert) you seem to have stopped too abruptly.

That's number one.

Number two is that if I were in your situation, I would try to find some way to make sure that I could get proper treatment by either working with my work schedule, or by making sure my work schedule is made around my scheduled health appointments. Depending on where you work, and especially depending on the laws of your province, you should be able to get whoever makes your schedule to accommodate whatever health-related appointments you need. Even though your friend might not be able to counsel you directly, s/he should be able to give you general advice regarding what your workplace rights are. If you're working for a decent company or if you have a union, they should have programs or processes for ensuring that you are able to access the health services you need.

Number three is that if you work for a company/industry that is too inflexible to accommodate you, you might want to think about finding another workplace or industry, if that's possible. Ultimately, what good is such a job if it means you have to suffer through depression just to work there? Imagine you had diabetes, and worked at place that required you to go long periods without being able to take insulin, or worse, required you to eat large amounts of sugar. Mental health has a kind of a stigma attached to it that physical health doesn't. The stigma is completely undeserved. There's really no difference between needing medical help for depression vs. medical help for heart disease or cancer or asthma or allergies or anything else. The brain is a part of the body. It is an organ. And a very complex one. It's no surprise that it sometimes gets sick, and there's nothing anyone should hold against you for that. Just like any other organ, the brain is allowed to get sick. Would you toss away your physical health for the sake of a job? How is mental health different? I know some people are critically dependent on their jobs and don't have much choice in finding accommodation from work. I'm not saying you should definitely quit or whatever. I don't know anything about your job. But I'm just saying it's worthwhile to consider things from a different perspective where you put your own mental health high up on your list of priorities. Really, is work more important than that? It isn't to me. I've had to go through a lot of rough times in (un)employment because I just couldn't manage maintaining my career in the face of my mental health issues. Again, my own opinion.

Good luck!

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 I've dealt with depression

 I've dealt with depression my whole life.  It doesn't really seem to matter that much what I believe.  I've found that therapy and anti-depressants help, but at this time I'm not using either of those things.  Actually right now I'm feeling pretty good for some reason.  I'm not really sure why.  Maybe it's because I haven't cared as much about things lately.  Caring about thing can be a big drain on you especially when no one else seems to care about the thing you do.  That is why I've been trying to care a little bit less about certain things lately.  I don't really want to give up caring completely, but maybe sometimes it's better to just not worry so much about the state of the world.  Hope this help or at least doesn't make things worse.  


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I second Natural's post.If

I second Natural's post.

If one anti-depressant is making you too sleepy, it is the wrong dose or the wrong anti-depressant.  A discussion with your doctor is your best bet.

Talk therapy in a small town is tough.  I once traveled 60 miles every week so as to avoid anyone in town knowing that I was seeing a psychiatrist.  Another time, in a slightly larger small town, I went to a counselor - no one seemed to care.  It all depends on the town and your neighbors.

Most counselors want to see you face to face.  They want to see your body language.  Maybe Skype?  I don't know as I have never pursued that option.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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The time I was most

The time I was most depressed about it all was when I was trying to make christianity work. It took deep thinking and time to quell it to a very tolerable level, if you can work things out in a more positive light it should help greatly but trying to fool yourself probably wont work. Since I left the empty husk of religion way back on the side of the road things have steadily improved and I am more optimistic about things now than I had ever been.

It was bad enough back then that I had little flash suicidal thoughts, common stuff like "hmm what if I just don't hit the brakes and slam into that pole" etc, things that just popped into my head seemingly of their own volition.

Now that I think about it it's been a long time since I have had any of these thoughts. The pills never seemed to do anything for me either, except the weird physical symptoms some of them can produce as a side affect.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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robj101 wrote:The time I was

robj101 wrote:

The time I was most depressed about it all was when I was trying to make christianity work. It took deep thinking and time to quell it to a very tolerable level, if you can work things out in a more positive light it should help greatly but trying to fool yourself probably wont work. Since I left the empty husk of religion way back on the side of the road things have steadily improved and I am more optimistic about things now than I had ever been.

It was bad enough back then that I had little flash suicidal thoughts, common stuff like "hmm what if I just don't hit the brakes and slam into that pole" etc, things that just popped into my head seemingly of their own volition.

Now that I think about it it's been a long time since I have had any of these thoughts. The pills never seemed to do anything for me either, except the weird physical symptoms some of them can produce as a side affect.

Well Said !

I have written a couple of blogs about the fact that theism was far more damaging to my mental health than atheism ever could be.

I have been thinking about writing another blog about the treatment center industry and they way that they push "god" or a "higher power" down the throats of those who seek help.

I feel that it is wrong, that people attribute the alleviations of their addictions and depression to a "god" or "higher power".

Higher Powers do not cure people, people cure themselves.

I recently experienced a motorcycle injury. I am currently on pain meds and having to go about the house on crutches (just about driven my girlfriend crazy with my somewhat childish attitude about this thing)and am coping with some depression.

I think, as long as I keep in mind,  their is nothing out there punishing me or rewarding me and life is my sole responsibility to myself and those that I care about, I have a far less problem with depression.

But after an entire lifetime of theistic beliefs and indoctrination, my deconversion is always a continual work in progress.

I found that believing in god and ultimate purposes was probably the heaviest contributing factor to my own unhappiness and depression in life.

Now, I am no expert or counselor, these are only my own personal experiences.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

 

Higher Powers do not cure people, people cure themselves.

 

That's a nice little nutshell. It just takes time and the ability to see things in a different perspective.

Those higher powers are the people. They manage to seperate these "higher powers" from themselves which of course detaches them from the reality that it is them empowering them in one hand and making them worthless in the other. When they realize it is them all along it creates a balance which will likely make them happier, very simple imo.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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My opinions. YMMV.

harleysportster wrote:

I have been thinking about writing another blog about the treatment center industry and they way that they push "god" or a "higher power" down the throats of those who seek help.

I feel that it is wrong, that people attribute the alleviations of their addictions and depression to a "god" or "higher power".

Higher Powers do not cure people, people cure themselves.

I recently experienced a motorcycle injury. I am currently on pain meds and having to go about the house on crutches (just about driven my girlfriend crazy with my somewhat childish attitude about this thing)and am coping with some depression.

I think, as long as I keep in mind,  their is nothing out there punishing me or rewarding me and life is my sole responsibility to myself and those that I care about, I have a far less problem with depression.

But after an entire lifetime of theistic beliefs and indoctrination, my deconversion is always a continual work in progress.

I found that believing in god and ultimate purposes was probably the heaviest contributing factor to my own unhappiness and depression in life.

Now, I am no expert or counselor, these are only my own personal experiences.

I agree about the depression associated with believing in this perfect god who created and loves me meanwhile is constantly pissed at me and only he can solve the problem by taking a chunk of his divinity and crucify it and that makes it all ok. Blood is required for god to forgive the time I stole a peppermint patty from a drug store. I cannot be in a relationship where I am always the one that is wrong.

My family and extended family was heavily dysfunctional where alcohol and drugs and Jesus were the answers. It sort of a chicken or egg thing. Did the dysfunction lead us to Jesus or was because we were Christians did that lead to the dysfunction. 

I think depression is a uniquely human emotion. Any animal associated with humans can also become depressed. I saw a real depressed Orangatan in the National Zoo. Stuck in a building where people stare at it during the day. No out and about in nature. Humans have boxed themselves in and poison themselves with chemicals and processed food. We live outside of nature or at least try to and Christianity is right there teaching that we are to be separate from nature. It is evil. The combination of eating unnatural foods in an unnatural environment breeds this depression. If we lived in nature we would be less depressed and maybe not depressed at all. I live in the country and the birds, squirrels, foxes, etc don't have any hang dog look. They are rather upbeat. Why isn't when we go for a nature walk we just feel so much better?

Then to fix this problem we have to take pills (more chemicals) into our body to relieve us of the nasty processed foods and unnatural living to balance it off. When I was taking chemo for NHL I had to take pills to counteract the side effects of other pills. The winner in all this is the food & drug industries.

So the answer is to sell all we have, give it to the poor and go out and find some natural environment to live in? Not for me. Too old. Too soft. Like the convenience of modern society. 

Recovering was getting into therapy and she told me I grew up in a violent, alcoholic environment and I should try Al-anon. It is so odd that I never understood that before. I started going and have been for years. They talked about me and my higher power and it could be anything I wanted it to be. It could be a rock and not THE Rock of Ages.  I was still into Jesus back then but angry. There were, as in most of these rooms, a mixture of beliefs. I started expressing my doubts and anger about this Christian god and no one got offended or try to straighten me out. That certainly would not happen in church. I eventually focused on my childhood and the abuse, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. In time I started to say and believe the only thing I need to know about god is that I am not him. I stopped trying to figure out who god was and what his will was. I did learn I could just let things go and feel my feelings, accept whatever was inside of me as good and valid. I no longer rejected me. Depression is anger turned inward. I had to learn to accept and air any anger I had. I did have a lot to be angry about and was no longer mr nice guy. 

It was a long road and only in the past year have I said in meeting things like I don't believe in a personal god and eventually that I am an atheist. I am grateful to another atheist alanon member and RRS that gave me the courage to say that publicly.

I think the higher power language is useful because so many people come into those rooms with major issues about god and family. Sorting out the god shit is a road to recovery. The great thing is they say god can be anything. That threw my arguing out the door and trying to prove I was right. I was left to figure it out on my own. I matured and became my own man, which doesn't happen in a alcoholic or fundy environment. I do see people who still cling to fundamentalism and they are stuck shaming themselves and not growing up. There are others who have dropped the fundy crap and accept some form of god and I see they are happier people.

I will be ever grateful to alanon. It literally saved my life.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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RatDog wrote: I've dealt

RatDog wrote:

 I've dealt with depression my whole life.  It doesn't really seem to matter that much what I believe.

 

Hmmm, sounds similar to my experience.  I never noticed much difference in my symptoms even when I was still a devout Christian.  Actually I used to spend a lot of time praying that God would kill me. 

 

RatDog wrote:
I've found that therapy and anti-depressants help, but at this time I'm not using either of those things.  Actually right now I'm feeling pretty good for some reason.  I'm not really sure why.  Maybe it's because I haven't cared as much about things lately.  Caring about thing can be a big drain on you especially when no one else seems to care about the thing you do.  That is why I've been trying to care a little bit less about certain things lately.  I don't really want to give up caring completely, but maybe sometimes it's better to just not worry so much about the state of the world.  Hope this help or at least doesn't make things worse.  

    It's hard not to care.  Certain things just tear me apart, issues like animal cruelty almost push me over the edge.  Very few people seem to give a shit.  It's a fucked up world. 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:   

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

    It's hard not to care.  Certain things just tear me apart, issues like animal cruelty almost push me over the edge.  Very few people seem to give a shit.  It's a fucked up world. 

 

It is a way to get through the day.  Some people don't care - I have lived in areas where people would say, animals don't feel pain like people do.  Nonsense.  Other people do care - but there are so many things to care about, you have to pick your battles. 

We work with someone who cares about every dog that is put down.  Even if there are no other options for the dog.  Even if it is ill, or injured, or crazy from abuse, and there are no foster homes available, she wants to save every dog.  It just isn't possible.  We try to do what we can, but we can not run a shelter from our house.  And this person has not made any concerted effort to start a no kill shelter herself.  So you do what you can when you can to the best of your ability.

And then you put it out of your mind, because otherwise, we would all be locked up together.

If you focus on what brings you despair, you will feel nothing but despair.  And that path leads to suicide as there is no way any of us can cure the ills of the world.  So focus on what you can change.  On making your corner of the world a little better - adopt a rescue dog or cat, volunteer at your local shelter or get involved with a rescue group.  (search <home area> <favorite breed> rescue)  One step..... another....... another......

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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cj wrote: It is a way to

cj wrote:

 

It is a way to get through the day.  Some people don't care - I have lived in areas where people would say, animals don't feel pain like people do.  Nonsense.  Other people do care - but there are so many things to care about, you have to pick your battles.

 

 

Oh, I'm aware of the existence of other animal lovers. We seem to be a minority ( like atheists )

 

cj wrote:
    So you do what you can when you can to the best of your ability.

  

  I'm a man of limited means but I seriously cannot remember how many feral / stray cats that I have captured and had sterilized over the last twenty years.  I used my own money and it's not cheap over the long run.  I keep a bag of food in my car in case I discover a starving animal. I do the best I can but I'm not Tippi Hedron.

 

 

cj wrote:
And then you put it out of your mind, because otherwise, we would all be locked up together.
 

     

                      Well, I've been locked up before.

 

 

cj wrote:
If you focus on what brings you despair, you will feel nothing but despair.  And that path leads to suicide...
 

 

                  Funny you should mention that.

 

 

 

 

 

cj wrote:
  ...as there is no way any of us can cure the ills of the world.  So focus on what you can change.  On making your corner of the world a little better - adopt a rescue dog or cat, volunteer at your local shelter or get involved with a rescue group.  (search <home area> <favorite breed> rescue)  One step..... another....... another......

 

        

   I've got six cats. I've had as many as twelve.  My girl friend has three.   All rescued.  On the word of a co-worker we went on a search and rescue mission even today.  My corner of the world is getting pretty crowded at the moment but I do get your point.  Thanks and I do appreciate your interest.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:  cj

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

cj wrote:
And then you put it out of your mind, because otherwise, we would all be locked up together.
   

                      Well, I've been locked up before.

 

Yes, I have seen your posts and I was not intending to be facetious or disrespectful.  I can not imagine where else I would wind up if I allowed myself to focus exclusively on those issues that set off my hot buttons. 

 

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

..............


        

   I've got six cats. I've had as many as twelve.  My girl friend has three.   All rescued.  On the word of a co-worker we went on a search and rescue mission even today.  My corner of the world is getting pretty crowded at the moment but I do get your point.  Thanks and I do appreciate your interest.

 

We have had as many as 14 dogs in the house - Australian Shepherds.  We were on five acres with decent jobs and good health.  Even so, it was too many dogs.  Now, we are living in town and my husband has been very ill recently.  So we are not accepting foster dogs at the moment.

I can not allow either of us to get down about it.  We will do more when we can.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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cj wrote: We have had as

cj wrote:

 We have had as many as 14 dogs in the house - Australian Shepherds.  We were on five acres with decent jobs and good health.  Even so, it was too many dogs.  Now, we are living in town and my husband has been very ill recently.  So we are not accepting foster dogs at the moment.

I can not allow either of us to get down about it.  We will do more when we can.

 

   

 

      I admire your compassion.  I can't help but to view with respect such persons as yourself.    I'm sorry that your husband is ill.  I hope he recovers swiftly.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

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Thank you. 

Thank you.

 


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:RatDog

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

RatDog wrote:
I've found that therapy and anti-depressants help, but at this time I'm not using either of those things.  Actually right now I'm feeling pretty good for some reason.  I'm not really sure why.  Maybe it's because I haven't cared as much about things lately.  Caring about thing can be a big drain on you especially when no one else seems to care about the thing you do.  That is why I've been trying to care a little bit less about certain things lately.  I don't really want to give up caring completely, but maybe sometimes it's better to just not worry so much about the state of the world.  Hope this help or at least doesn't make things worse.  

    It's hard not to care.  Certain things just tear me apart, issues like animal cruelty almost push me over the edge.  Very few people seem to give a shit.  It's a fucked up world. 

One thing I found that works for me is looking at the bright side of negative things.  If I find that I'm upset about something sometimes I'll remind myself that all of use are going to die eventually so why not try to enjoy life while I can.  Or another thing that kind of helps is to remind myself that my being miserable doesn't make things better for anyone else.  I don't know if these particular things will work for you.  I hope things get better for you, and for cj's husband as well.

 


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Re: Depression

I'm on meds, and have done mindfulness stress reduction training, and have and use social support. But I still struggle with it.

Cathy


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natural wrote:BenfromCanada

natural wrote:

BenfromCanada wrote:

For other atheists with clinical depression: How do you do it? I've been off my meds for maybe a month, and I'm barely able to survive...so how do you do it?

First, why are you off your meds? For a medical reason, or non-medical reason? Did you work with your Dr. to decrease your dosage, or did you stop cold-turkey? If the latter, then I imagine a large deal of your difficulty is from going cold-turkey. You need to taper off.

Second, if you are knowingly trying to taper off your meds with your Dr.'s help, then two issues:

1) You may not be fully ready to stop taking the meds. If you're not, you should talk to your Dr. about getting back on them.

2) The only form of therapy for depression that has significant empirical evidence in its favour is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which I highly recommend. Find someone (probably psychologist or social worker, but if you can get it covered from a psychiatrist, why not?) who knows how to do CBT with people, and start doing it. Eventually, you will learn enough to be able to do it on your own without help, and hopefully it will work for you. (The studies I've learned about show that CBT-alone is about as effective as medication-alone, but when combined together they are complementary and CBT-plus-medication is substantially more effective than either one by itself.)

By the way, I'm not an expert in any sense, no degree or anything, so my advice is strictly my personal opinion, although I have spent the last few years educating myself on my own issues (which includes mild but chronic depression), and I've been working with CBT for a few months now. #1 piece of advice I would give would be to get in touch with a competent mental health professional or organization such as CMHA which can help you find the resources you need.

I agree with natural. My wife is a psychotherapist and CBT is a good route to go. Personally since I am facing my own mortality because of acute leukemia I have found that facing the actual nature of death can be comforting. While we all want the idea of immortality it is simply a myth. What does death mean? Simply the end of all experience good and bad. Positively it is the end of any pain, suffering or sorrow... a chance to sleep forever. I am 56 with a 2 year old and a wonderful wife as well as a 22 and 17 year old son. Sadness comes only in what effects my passing would have on them.  But a life is like a story without an end the plot and the meaning of the narrative really sucks. Write a good story. If what you have written is good to you finish the ending so that the prior stuff becomes meaningful and fulfilled. 

Also on the other end fight like HELL for this life.  It is yours and worth keeping. Need meds? Find the right ones. CBT to habituate a different thought process. Do not drink excessively. While you may feel better at the time it washes out serotonin and increases the depression. Reduce anxiety with relaxation or meditation techniques. But beforehand in any of this get the right diagnosis by a therapist or psychologist. In some state social workers are the practitioners in others professional counselors.  The Menninger Clinic found exercise substantially reduces stress and depression.,,,even something as simple as badminton,  Stay away from computer games including Playstation, XBox etc.; as they have been shown to increase stress, anxiety and depression in many studies.  Best of luck.

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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cj wrote:  We have had as

cj wrote:

 

 

We have had as many as 14 dogs in the house - Australian Shepherds.  We were on five acres with decent jobs and good health.  Even so, it was too many dogs.  Now, we are living in town and my husband has been very ill recently.  So we are not accepting foster dogs at the moment.

I can not allow either of us to get down about it.  We will do more when we can.

 

Hope your husband is ok as well.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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I was suffering a bought of

I was suffering a bought of panic at work, feelings of insecurity and vulnerability, in the past couple days, and one co worker said "He needs prayer"

I FUCKING HATE THAT SHIT.

Wishing me a better mental state, fine. But to "pray" for me is as absurd as it would be to put a lucky horseshoe above my door.

Humans have always had a range of problems including depression. There is nothing abnormal or magical about our species, even the things we don't want affecting us.

This thread got me out of my state, not the magic bullshit incantation called "prayer". Knowing I wasn't alone in normal non magical human problems helped me, not a fictional being.

Whatever pain or pleasure I have in my life is due to life, not magic or fictional beings.

Prayer is about as useful as invisible toilet paper. If you want to help me out of a bad state simply say "I hope you feel better," or "You'll feel better, just give it time".

I find reality much more useful than crossing your fingers or rabbits feet or "prayer".

After reading this knowing what I know about life, whatever they think they have on me, or how much they think they are better than me because of belief, reading this confirms that I have nothing to fear or even be ashamed of.

My depression is merely a result of existence, not magic.

 

 

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Great general advice,

Great general advice, TG!

TGBaker wrote:
The Menninger Clinic found exercise substantially reduces stress and depression.,,,even something as simple as badminton, 

Ooh, another excellent point. There are, as far as I'm aware, a large number of different studies all pointing to the significant benefits of exercise on mood (e.g. depression/anxiety). Even just going for a walk around the block is better than no exercise at all. If you find it difficult to get motivated, try recruiting a friend to schedule a regular time to go for a walk with. Often having someone just being there will help you break through a motivation barrier.

Also, pets. (Only try this if you're reasonably sure you can take decent care of a pet.) Pets are also shown to help with mood, and a dog is a great motivator to get up and go for a walk (pet plus exercise = bonus benefits). A pet like a cat or dog is in many ways like having a human friend around, and if you are having a hard time maintaining relationships with humans, a pet can be a great substitute. (Personally, I love animals.  I consider cats and dogs as 'people' even though most humans wouldn't. To me it's just too obvious that they have individual personalities. Personality => Person. IMHO.)

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Hello

[Mod edit: Content deleted. Sorry Jean, this forum is Freethinking Anonymous. You're allowed to read, but not post. If you'd like to comment on this topic, you can post a separate thread in the Atheist vs. Theist forum or the Kill 'Em With Kindness forum.]


 

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:   

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

    It's hard not to care.  Certain things just tear me apart, issues like animal cruelty almost push me over the edge.  Very few people seem to give a shit.  It's a fucked up world. 

I agree, it is hard. In the end, I decided that I simply could not give up caring altogether (I know lots of people who have given up caring, yuck). However, I also knew that I couldn't continue to care about everything. So, I picked the one thing that I think is the most important root-cause of most of the problems I see, namely religion, and that's what I focus on.

Bin Laden dead? I don't have time to care, one way or another. If I really spent the time to think about it, I would be able to rant all day, but my mental health would suffer, and ultimately I would be less able to take care of the things that I really care about. I let it slide, knowing that my powers are very limited, being only one person. I choose to reserve those energies for working on the theism problem in my own little way.

Tsunamis? Tornadoes? Floods? Incredibly tragic, but I simply cannot put in the effort to really care about it. I wish I could, but again, my mental health would suffer, and ultimately, I would end up paralyzed and ineffective.

Politics? I stopped caring when Dubya got 'elected' the second time. That was the last straw. My camel's back got broken on that one. This camel ain't going nowhere if he doesn't dump that whole straw pile for the time being. Again, religion had a big part to play in it, so if I just focus on that, I'll indirectly be 'caring' about politics without going crazy actually caring about politics.

Etc. The list of nasty shit going on in the world is virtually endless. Gotta focus on what I have the best chance at influencing. Don't spread myself too thin. Pick one major issue and care deeply about that.

That's how I've managed to overcome a large portion of my anxieties. And then there's all the anxieties from just life in general, not to mention the global stuff. It's perhaps more challenging, but definitely worthwhile to pick and choose your battles in your personal life as well.

I can't care too much about what other people think, for instance, because other people tend to think really crazy shit, and there's nothing I can do in most cases to influence that. For me, I've chosen to focus on critical thinking and education, which is about influencing people to stop believing in crazy shit in the long run. Again, this is all tied to religion as well, so it fits nicely with my strategy for staying sane on the global level as well.

Anyway, I think that's what's meant by 'not caring'. It doesn't mean not caring at all (or at least it doesn't have to). It's about picking and choosing what you have the ability to influence and the capacity to care about deeply without sacrificing your mental health.

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Jean Chauvin wrote:[Mod

Jean Chauvin wrote:

[Mod edit: Content deleted. Sorry Jean, this forum is Freethinking Anonymous. You're allowed to read, but not post. If you'd like to comment on this topic, you can post a separate thread in the Atheist vs. Theist forum or the Kill 'Em With Kindness forum.]


 

 

ohhhhh...BITCH-slapped!  just when you thought you were gonna exploit yet another person's pain to sell your bullshit, you miserable fuck!  the pain!

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Brian37 wrote:Prayer is

Brian37 wrote:
Prayer is about as useful as invisible toilet paper.

Quoted for truth! The Emperor's New Toilet Paper: The little kid yells out, "But the Emperor's got shit all over his hands!"

Sorry to hear about your stress/panic, Brian. Here's wishing you a happier mental state. I'm not praying for you! Eye-wink

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iwbiek wrote:Jean Chauvin

iwbiek wrote:

Jean Chauvin wrote:

[Mod edit: Content deleted. Sorry Jean, this forum is Freethinking Anonymous. You're allowed to read, but not post. If you'd like to comment on this topic, you can post a separate thread in the Atheist vs. Theist forum or the Kill 'Em With Kindness forum.]


 

 

ohhhhh...BITCH-slapped!  just when you thought you were gonna exploit yet another person's pain to sell your bullshit, you miserable fuck!  the pain!

He's ragging my terminal leukemia as preparation for Hell on other threads. He has to bea completely brainwashed Calvinist that could be that hard hearted I would think. It is sorta like racism where people can really think of others without human compassion and as less than human (elect)... a religious xenophobia. Oh well I will continue to "discuss" with him until he is too insulting.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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TGBaker wrote:He's ragging

TGBaker wrote:

He's ragging my terminal leukemia as preparation for Hell on other threads.

yeah, i know.  i would be majorly pissed off by it if i thought it actually bothered you, but you seem as centered as a person can be under the circumstances.  but i'm glad he got put in his place here, b/c Ben is obviously not coping as well as he'd like and is reaching out.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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iwbiek wrote:TGBaker

iwbiek wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

He's ragging my terminal leukemia as preparation for Hell on other threads.

yeah, i know.  i would be majorly pissed off by it if i thought it actually bothered you, but you seem as centered as a person can be under the circumstances.  but i'm glad he got put in his place here, b/c Ben is obviously not coping as well as he'd like and is reaching out.

We are mammals which is a very positive thing.And we are human a glorious thing. With this we can share and comfort. We do it because it is our nature. It is our morality.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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BenfromCanada wrote:You guys

BenfromCanada wrote:

You guys rule!

 

The reason I got off of medication (I was taking citalopram) is in part because I started forgetting to take my medication, due largely to working every day for several months and waking up with no time to get ready before work. I figured at that point I'd be better off not taking it at all, so I quit when I ran out. So, I did, effectively, get off the meds without doctor supervision, but not cold turkey. As for therapy...clinical therapy is hard, up here in a very rural area, and it's exacerbated by the fact that I'm friends with one of the few counsellors up here (conflict of interest prevents him from being my counsellor) and due to my work schedule. My schedule is given every week on friday, and every shift is 12 hours, 1800-0600 with an available 0600-1800 shift Sundays only. I could conceivably schedule therapy for a day off, but with such short notice, it'd be impossible to schedule more than a few days in advance.

Talking with friends presents its own difficulties. I rarely talk to friends anymore due to my work schedule...and when I do, well, who likes people whining about being depressed? I think just being with friends generally helps every bit as much as anything else...

Do you know an online place where people don't get tired of hearing people whine about their problems? OK, aside from twitter and youtube. OK, where people don't get tired of hearing people whine about real problems.

We are here ta talk with ya. Find time for sunlight.  I was a second and third shift person for years and found some studies as to inadequate sunlight as contributing to depression. I like the night better than the day but you have to open those curtains and get outside a bit. Studies have found Seattle's populace to have higher levels of depression because of all the rain. There are studies on long term nights in Alaska I've seen. I am not saying that I am certain that these are valid but you can not dismiss them with out a try.  Find what the depression is about if anything. Share it with someone. Talk to friends about meaningless or funny stuff. It is the companionship and socialization that is therapeutic. Seriously relaxation techniques and meditation help. It changes oxygen levels because of learned breathing.  There are changes in serotonin and attitude. Research it with a google and find a method comfortable for you. I am producing specific relaxation technique CD's for my wife to sell.  Some people do well with guided meditation. Some with relaxation. Others with breathing or a combination of several. When you cahnge heart rate and oxygen levels as well as blood pressure it effects your endocrine  glands. Do not assume this is an end all solution. Check for different medication, socialize and watch very funny movies. My wife and I go through all 11 seasons of Frasier in a year's time because it makes us laugh more than most comedies. I love Community as well and Friends. Watch 'em with someone. WE are here a type away.

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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TGBaker wrote:   We are

TGBaker wrote:

 

  We are here ta talk with ya. Find time for sunlight.  I was a second and third shift person for years and found some studies as to inadequate sunlight as contributing to depression. I like the night better than the day but you have to open those curtains and get outside a bit. Studies have found Seattle's populace to have higher levels of depression because of all the rain. There are studies on long term nights in Alaska I've seen. I am not saying that I am certain that these are valid but you can not dismiss them with out a try.  Find what the depression is about if anything. Share it with someone. Talk to friends about meaningless or funny stuff. It is the companionship and socialization that is therapeutic. Seriously relaxation techniques and meditation help. It changes oxygen levels because of learned breathing.  There are changes in serotonin and attitude. Research it with a google and find a method comfortable for you. I am producing specific relaxation technique CD's for my wife to sell.  Some people do well with guided meditation. Some with relaxation. Others with breathing or a combination of several. When you cahnge heart rate and oxygen levels as well as blood pressure it effects your endocrine  glands. Do not assume this is an end all solution. Check for different medication, socialize and watch very funny movies. My wife and I go through all 11 seasons of Frasier in a year's time because it makes us laugh more than most comedies. I love Community as well and Friends. Watch 'em with someone. WE are here a type away.

 

 

    Seasonal Affective Disorder is the condition based upon lack of sunlight, I believe.    Speaking of breath control, when I was in the psychiatric hospital one of the things they were working with me on was something that they referred to as bio feed back.  Didn't have the patience for it back then ( I was 25 ).  

  Funny movies are good.  The old Andy Griffith show used to be my prozac.  I like some of the older British comedies ( The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, The Two Ronnies, early episodes of Red Dwarf crack me up. )  Now I'm hooked on Modern Family. 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

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ProzacDeathWish wrote:cj

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

cj wrote:

 

I have tried drugs - trazodone desyrel specifically - which seems to put a layer of cotton between me and the depression. 

 

 

   Interesting that you mentioned desyrel.  My shrink prescribed it for me back in the eighties.  Did nothing for my depression but one of the possible side effects was anger / hostility.    I threw a temper tantrum at work and smashed some doors and got arrested.

  As a very frustrated 28 year old it was the last thing I should have been prescribed.

 

  edit: I am currently prescribed an anti-seizure medication called neurontin / gabapentin.  It is being issued off label by shrinks because one of the unexpected side effects of gabapentin is that is sometimes has a significant calming effect.   A similar drug that worked for me ( in sufficient quanities ) was lyrica / pregabalin but withdrawal is tough unless you enjoy fever and chills.

 

I've tried drugs for my depression too. Nothing available in the 1980s would touch it. Eventually, the shrink said that was all there was, and he and I decided that I could and should try other things - mostly from talk therapy. It helped some.

I tried Paxil, started having mood swings (a possible side effect), so put on a mood stabilizer by a GP. Then, I attempted suicide. I've been suicidal before, but nothing like this. It was a job for me to talk myself out of it - it seemed almost a compulsion. I was taken off the Paxil, and the mood swings went away. I was taken off all psychiatric drugs 8 years ago, and have never looked back.

I've learned since that there are no studies that show that any antidepressant works for longer than 6 weeks. There are a lot of other long-term effects too. One of the most disturbing of these is that many antidepressants increase the risk of suicide - double or even triple. The whole "chemical imbalance" theory is week at best, but seems to be used in advertising that you will need them the rest of your life - which is accepted - even by doctors, almost the way a religion is. There are various places to read about this, but Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker is probably the best referenced book I've seen on the subject. Robert Whitaker is a journalist, not on either end of prescribing medication. Read the book, and look up at least some of the referenced research results. For a pretty good review, see http://www.randomhouse.com/book/189611/anatomy-of-an-epidemic-by-robert-whitaker/9780307452412/

I'm still depressed, and probably always will be. There are several safe, non-drug approaches to this, and they've made it all but unoticable most of the time. Here's the combination of things that seems to help me (in no particular order):

1) Get enough rest, and enough exercise.

2) Get enough full-spectrum light. Sunlight is best for at least a few minutes per day, but that may not be possible for everyone with daily schedules particularly at northern or southern latitudes in the winter.

3) Change your thinking habits. Everything isn't dire, nor the worst that's ever been. Material in the book Mental Health through Will Training by Dr. Abraham Low, MD, is excellent in talking yourself away from the "disturbing" issues and projections of the future. It teaches you to take a rational approach, and avoid illogical or even superstitious/magical approaches that can well lead into delusion. Rational approaches are also more likely to solve the problem at hand.

4) Eat a balanced diet. Nothing faddish. I'm suggesting eating things from all of the food groups in proper amounts each day in several meals - like your health teacher, school nurse, or mother would have been proud of. Taking supplements is okay, but do it wisely. A daily multi-vitamin probably won't hurt you, but excessive amounts of some vitamins and minerals might. Plenty of quacks tout the benefit of overuse of some supplement, which they often conveniently sell and recommend their own brand of.

5) (Probably the most important) Do something  Do anything that is worthwhile in some way, is important to you, interests you. It can be your job, but it can be a hobby, doing something to the place you live (cleaning or redecorating). It can be to do something in or for some segment of your community. Best if it's active, and also usually it's very helpful if doing this puts you in contact with other people.

6) Have someone, or several people, you can confide in about things that bother you. You can use a professional counselor for part of it or not. Several different people are best. They can be a combination of your partner, your parents, your friends, or others.

How's my proselytizing? Call 1-800-FANATIC

Beth


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

 

  We are here ta talk with ya. Find time for sunlight.  I was a second and third shift person for years and found some studies as to inadequate sunlight as contributing to depression. I like the night better than the day but you have to open those curtains and get outside a bit. Studies have found Seattle's populace to have higher levels of depression because of all the rain. There are studies on long term nights in Alaska I've seen. I am not saying that I am certain that these are valid but you can not dismiss them with out a try.  Find what the depression is about if anything. Share it with someone. Talk to friends about meaningless or funny stuff. It is the companionship and socialization that is therapeutic. Seriously relaxation techniques and meditation help. It changes oxygen levels because of learned breathing.  There are changes in serotonin and attitude. Research it with a google and find a method comfortable for you. I am producing specific relaxation technique CD's for my wife to sell.  Some people do well with guided meditation. Some with relaxation. Others with breathing or a combination of several. When you cahnge heart rate and oxygen levels as well as blood pressure it effects your endocrine  glands. Do not assume this is an end all solution. Check for different medication, socialize and watch very funny movies. My wife and I go through all 11 seasons of Frasier in a year's time because it makes us laugh more than most comedies. I love Community as well and Friends. Watch 'em with someone. WE are here a type away.

 

 

    Seasonal Affective Disorder is the condition based upon lack of sunlight, I believe.    Speaking of breath control, when I was in the psychiatric hospital one of the things they were working with me on was something that they referred to as bio feed back.  Didn't have the patience for it back then ( I was 25 ).  

  Funny movies are good.  The old Andy Griffith show used to be my prozac.  I like some of the older British comedies ( The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, The Two Ronnies, early episodes of Red Dwarf crack me up. )  Now I'm hooked on Modern Family. 

Yes my wife and I looked into it for the equipment but there a re competitors around our area already established. She is going to offer hypnotherapy instead.  I casn slow my heart for example with biofeedback as can you.


 

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BethK wrote:I've tried drugs

BethK wrote:

I've tried drugs for my depression too. Nothing available in the 1980s would touch it. Eventually, the shrink said that was all there was, and he and I decided that I could and should try other things - mostly from talk therapy. It helped some.

I tried Paxil, started having mood swings (a possible side effect), so put on a mood stabilizer by a GP. Then, I attempted suicide. I've been suicidal before, but nothing like this. It was a job for me to talk myself out of it - it seemed almost a compulsion. I was taken off the Paxil, and the mood swings went away. I was taken off all psychiatric drugs 8 years ago, and have never looked back.

I've learned since that there are no studies that show that any antidepressant works for longer than 6 weeks.

I'm sorry you've had bad side effects with Paxil, but that is not an excuse to spread anti-scientific claims about anti-depressant medication. That's a dangerous and irresponsible habit.

You claim there are 'no studies' that show 'any antidepressant' works 'longer than 6 weeks'. These are very specific claims, and are easily debunked. There are in fact many studies that show a variety of anti-depressants work much longer than 6 weeks. How could you make your claim when you could have checked Google yourself to verify whether you were right?

I tried a couple searches, such as 'antidepressant efficacy weeks', and found lots of stuff. Note, I also found lots of nonsense from 'Big Pharma' conspiracy theorists, but when you filter that crap out and stick to the scientific literature, it is clear that many anti-depressants, notably Sertraline and Escitalopram, have lots of evidence to support them.

This general report summarizes the research and provides references to dozens of specific studies that you can check independently: http://www.pswi.org/professional/pharmaco/depression.pdf

This report from an organization affiliated with the CFI discusses the 'controversy' and shows that, as usual, it is over-hyped and catastrophized by the media and conspiracy theorists: http://www.srmhp.org/0201/media-watch.html

It turns out that depression is much more highly responsive to placebo effects than other illnesses, but it is still true that anti-depressants are more effective than placebo! That report also includes many references to other studies which can be confirmed independently.

Furthermore, a quick glance at Wikipedia (also including multiple references that can be checked) quickly dispels the myth that there are no long-term studies showing effectiveness of anti-depressants:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_serotonin_reuptake_inhibitor

Quote:
A 2010 meta-analysis states that "The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo ... may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms. For patients with very severe depression, the benefit of medications over placebo is substantial."[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sertraline

Quote:
Sertraline is effective for both severe depression[11] and dysthymia, a milder and more chronic variety of depression. In several double-blind studies, sertraline was consistently more effective than placebo for dysthymia[12][13][14][15]

 


BethK wrote:
There are a lot of other long-term effects too. One of the most disturbing of these is that many antidepressants increase the risk of suicide - double or even triple.

Again, another anti-scientific claim. The studies which show increased risk of suicide are too small to show a statistically significant increase in suicide. When they report an increase, they clearly state that it is not statistically significant.

If your study has fewer than 1000 patients, and a single person commits suicide (by chance rather than by a side-effect of the drug), that single person will bump up the study's 'suicide rate' from 0% to 0.1%, because all of a sudden you have 1 in 1000 patients committing suicide.

But suicide rates in the US, for example, are already only about 1 in 10,000! So while a single suicide makes the rate go 'up' from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1000, there is no way you can call that a statistically significant result. The study is just too small, and suicide is too rare that even a single suicide would make it appear that there's a huge jump in the suicide rate.

In one of the wiki articles, a researcher was quoted saying that in order to really get a statistically significant result for suicide, you would have to have a study of more than 1 million people, which is totally out of the question in terms of cost.

Now, if you had something like 3 or 4 or 5 pople committing suicide in a study, then you'd have cause for concern.

The scientists are just being responsible when they report even these statistically insignificant results. You on the other hand -- and whoever you got that claim from -- are being irresponsible when you fail to report that the rate increase was not significant!

Quote:
The whole "chemical imbalance" theory is week at best, but seems to be used in advertising that you will need them the rest of your life - which is accepted - even by doctors, almost the way a religion is.

Right. Peer reviewed, double-blind studies from multiple sources (not just phramceutical companies) and comparing competing drugs. E.g. company A tries to prove that their drug X is better then drug Y from competitor B. Wouldn't company A love to find out that B's  drug  doesn't even work better than a placebo! Oh yes, company A would love that. But no, they find out that both X and Y are better than placebo, but X is better than Y under certain conditions.

So, what is it then, BethK? Is this a huge global conspiracy, with all the researchers (including non-profit and academic) in on it?

Oh yeah, and don't forget those drugs which have expired patents, such as Prozac and Zoloft (Sertraline). So-called 'Big Pharma' doesn't make shit off of those any more. They are sold as generic drugs, and they are still prescribed by responsible physicians who base their treatments on science and not conspiracy nut fear-mongering.

Quote:
Robert Whitaker is a journalist, not on either end of prescribing medication.

Wait wait wait. A journalist? Not a scientist? Not someone with a scientific reputation to uphold, but some hack looking to write a juicy conspiracy book to get famous with? Please.

Quote:
I'm still depressed, and probably always will be.

I'm sincerely sympathetic and sorry to hear that. Your other advice is good and helpful to just about anyone, I think.

There are indeed people who for various reasons do not respond to medication, or have too severe side-effects to continue taking them, or simply don't have access. And even for those taking medication, your tips would be beneficial to augment their treatment. But it is seriously irresponsible and dangerous to go around spreading fear-based rumours and anti-scientific claims as you did. This is depression we're talking about, and suicide is one of the increased risks from depression, and if someone is deterred from seeking professional medical help because they are afraid of the drugs, I hate to say it, but you're contributing to that problem. Stop it.

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An excellent video by

An excellent video by AngiAntiTheist on something similar to depression. Just to show that web celebrities also feel the same thing. We're not alone:

 

I'd also like to point out that natural is fucking awesome. I am probably going to take your advice...but my big problem is that, while I know this is an important thing to get figured out, depression destroys any initiative I may have to do just that. It's hard to give a damn about anything...

 

TGBaker: Sunlight isn't too tough to get, given where I live. I'm pretty far up north. This time of year, the sun goes twilight around 10, goes down around midnight and is back up by 3 AM. I don't drink, but I do sometimes meditate. The exercise isn't too tough either since I spend most of my shift walking. Not really intense exercise, but it's something...I should work out on my days off.

 

I kind of wonder what Jean said. I mean, I can take it. I'm depressed, but I can generally take the mockery of trolls.


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I had nasty depression the

I had nasty depression the past few years, about 6 months ago I woke up and the dark cloud lifted somewhat.  At first I lied to myself, almost the same as finding a religion, but I didn't go that far.  This just made the depression worse since it heaped loads of extra problems on me that I made up.  What I found helped me the most, other than withdrawing from everyone and everything and restarting my life from almost day one.  I question everything that was taught me.  I talked to someone that wasn't family or friend.  Someone who had no stake in my future, someone who could really give a rats ass about me.  That was a psychiatrist.  They were blunt when they needed to be, but they listened.  On most topics they agreed with me and said it wasn't wrong in any way to think that way.   I think it was because I was brutally honest with them.  My depression was so bad I actually looked like a cancer patient, with the hair of course.  We talked briefly one day about drugs to help, since I couldn't hold a job and was blacking out in my car while driving.  I was never prescribed anything though, since mind altering drugs should be for recreation not for healing.  I had quit drinking and everything during this time.

I guess my advice, find a place of security.  Be it your room, closet, mountain top.  Then once you are there relax, meditate, run around naked, scream at the moon, punch a baby.  What ever relaxes you.  Just be truthful to yourself and don't try to be an adult, the world be damned.  In the end only I could bring myself out of my funk, almost all the way there now.  I know have reset my career goals, and remembered what it was I wanted to do with myself when I was a kid.

 

____

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BenfromCanada wrote:An

BenfromCanada wrote:

An excellent video by AngiAntiTheist on something similar to depression. Just to show that web celebrities also feel the same thing. We're not alone:

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mTN1wfkJ7j0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

I'd also like to point out that natural is fucking awesome. I am probably going to take your advice...but my big problem is that, while I know this is an important thing to get figured out, depression destroys any initiative I may have to do just that. It's hard to give a damn about anything...

 

TGBaker: Sunlight isn't too tough to get, given where I live. I'm pretty far up north. This time of year, the sun goes twilight around 10, goes down around midnight and is back up by 3 AM. I don't drink, but I do sometimes meditate. The exercise isn't too tough either since I spend most of my shift walking. Not really intense exercise, but it's something...I should work out on my days off.

 

I kind of wonder what Jean said. I mean, I can take it. I'm depressed, but I can generally take the mockery of trolls.

Dude hang in there been there and done it with the alcohol though. I've done the anti-depressents about 15 years ago to 10 or 12. Finally quit drinking and realized it was just my previous marriage. Once I got a divorce I divorced my depression. So look at you situational stuff too.   And as I said post as ya need to..


 

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natural wrote:There are

natural wrote:


There are indeed people who for various reasons do not respond to medication, or have too severe side-effects to continue taking them, or simply don't have access. And even for those taking medication, your tips would be beneficial to augment their treatment. But it is seriously irresponsible and dangerous to go around spreading fear-based rumours and anti-scientific claims as you did. This is depression we're talking about, and suicide is one of the increased risks from depression, and if someone is deterred from seeking professional medical help because they are afraid of the drugs, I hate to say it, but you're contributing to that problem. Stop it.

  At first I was going to reply to BethK but then I thought why bother ?  Nevertheless, I appreciate that she was willing to offer what she considered to be helpful advice. ( thank you Beth )     At this stage I really don't put too much stock into what other people believe works best or any other anecdotal evidence they have to offer.  I am 52 years old and I have been consulting mental health professionals since I was 19.  None of this is new to me.  If any of these drugs and or protocols were going to work for me I would already know it. 

   The only new drug that I might consider taking now is called viibryd.  I believe that it's just now been approved by the FDA.

 

 

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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

natural wrote:

 

There are indeed people who for various reasons do not respond to medication, or have too severe side-effects to continue taking them, or simply don't have access. And even for those taking medication, your tips would be beneficial to augment their treatment. But it is seriously irresponsible and dangerous to go around spreading fear-based rumours and anti-scientific claims as you did. This is depression we're talking about, and suicide is one of the increased risks from depression, and if someone is deterred from seeking professional medical help because they are afraid of the drugs, I hate to say it, but you're contributing to that problem. Stop it.

  At first I was going to reply to BethK but then I thought why bother ?  Nevertheless, I appreciate that she was willing to offer what she considered to be helpful advice. ( thank you Beth )     At this stage I really don't put too much stock into what other people believe works best or any other anecdotal evidence they have to offer.  I am 52 years old and I have been consulting mental health professionals since I was 19.  None of this is new to me.  If any of these drugs and or protocols were going to work for me I would already know it. 

   The only new drug that I might consider taking now is called viibryd.  I believe that it's just now been approved by the FDA.

 

 

I have noticed as a side effect of ultrum (which I take for pains associated with my leukemia) that it completely rids me of my weakness and tired feelings.  It also displaces my anxiety. It is a non-narcotic pain reliever that works by altering the neuro-transmitters. It seems to effect my endocrine glands and gives me energy and happiness. I've been discussing its effects on me with my doctors. It has recently been found to relieve the effects of fibromyalgia which  is why I started using it thinking that my leukemia was fibromyalgia. Big WTF surprize. But it certainly took care of stress, pain and anxiety as well as the depression I had from it. It may be worth a stab since it is not highly addictive. If effective you will notice the difference within 1 and 1/2 hours after taking to tablets.

 

 

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                                  Thank you TG.  I will google it for additional info.

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BenfromCanada wrote:An

BenfromCanada wrote:

An excellent video by AngiAntiTheist on something similar to depression.

Angie's awesome. I'll have to check that video out. BTW: You have to select "Use old embed code" on YT to get the video to embed properly here. Also, have to switch to "Source" in the editor and paste the code in there as HTML. There may be an even easier way, but that's how I do it.

Quote:
I'd also like to point out that natural is fucking awesome. I am probably going to take your advice...but my big problem is that, while I know this is an important thing to get figured out, depression destroys any initiative I may have to do just that. It's hard to give a damn about anything...

Thanks, dude. Smiling After the theism problem, my latest thing has been to be more open about mental health, to challenge the needless and harmful stigma attached to it. Hang in there, keep looking for the help you need until you find something that works for you, and don't get sucked into the stigma. Mental illness is no worse than physical illness, and thank goodness we live in a time where there are real, effective treatments for many people's conditions!

I feel ya on the motivation thing. One thing that really helped me was getting in touch with the CMHA (website). Not sure if there'll be an office near you, but try getting in touch with them anyway. If they have an office, great. Otherwise just try email, I guess. They are non-profit and are dedicated to helping people find the existing resources that are out there. In my case, they were able to not only give me information but also to help keep me on track and motivated. Hopefully they could help you too on that front.

Also, investigate your workplace and/or union. They may have programs around mental health.

Quote:
I kind of wonder what Jean said. I mean, I can take it. I'm depressed, but I can generally take the mockery of trolls.

It was just bullshit. I kept a copy of it just in case. Would have to check with Sapient if I should post it somewhere. If you're super-interested let me know and I'll see what he says.

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TGBaker wrote: I have

TGBaker wrote:

 

I have noticed as a side effect of ultrum (which I take for pains associated with my leukemia) that it completely rids me of my weakness and tired feelings.  It also displaces my anxiety. It is a non-narcotic pain reliever that works by altering the neuro-transmitters. It seems to effect my endocrine glands and gives me energy and happiness. I've been discussing its effects on me with my doctors. It has recently been found to relieve the effects of fibromyalgia which  is why I started using it thinking that my leukemia was fibromyalgia. Big WTF surprize. But it certainly took care of stress, pain and anxiety as well as the depression I had from it. It may be worth a stab since it is not highly addictive. If effective you will notice the difference within 1 and 1/2 hours after taking to tablets.

 

 

    Did you mean ultram / tramadol ?    I checked it out and it does seem to come with some constraints that might prevent it being prescribed for psychiatric  ( off label ) purposes.  It's chemically similar to opiates, is somewhat addictive, lowers seizure threshold, yada yada.   It probably would make me feel better but I doubt that I could find a shrink whose willing to prescribe to me as I don't have issues with physical pain.

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