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?


TGBaker
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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

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.

That's what I meant. Just go to an Urgent care and ask for some for aches and pains maybe throw around myalgia like symptoms. I told the Dr. I had borrowed my sister-in-laws and it workdd. You'll probably get a script since it is non-narcotic. Of course the Dr did bloodwork and gave me the script. He found the leukemia. I still have the ultram/tramadol and it still works.  Ativan is good for anxiety but causes sleepiness and dizziness.  Ultram is much safer and makes you alert rather than woozy.


 

"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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ProzacDeathWish
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TGBaker wrote: That's what

TGBaker wrote:

 That's what I meant. Just go to an Urgent care and ask for some for aches and pains maybe throw around myalgia like symptoms. I told the Dr. I had borrowed my sister-in-laws and it workdd. You'll probably get a script since it is non-narcotic.

 

 

   You know, all of a sudden I'm starting to feel these strange aches and pains.   

  ( I used ativan once before, I took so much to quell my anxiety that I experienced double vision.  No effect otherwise. )

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


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

 That's what I meant. Just go to an Urgent care and ask for some for aches and pains maybe throw around myalgia like symptoms. I told the Dr. I had borrowed my sister-in-laws and it workdd. You'll probably get a script since it is non-narcotic.

 

 

   You know, all of a sudden I'm starting to feel these strange aches and pains.   

  ( I used ativan once before, I took so much to quell my anxiety that I experienced double vision.  No effect otherwise. )

If not you can visit the Atlanta area and of course I will not give you any since that is a violation of the law but we can discuss it :&gtEye-wink


 

"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: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?


 

Just snap out of it, what's wrong with you?

Actually think of the benefits:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=depressions-evolutionary

The advantage you have as an atheist is actually being able to understand the true nature and source of your condition(it's not demonic). You also have the capacity to find a solution through science and reason.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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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?

(Hopefully this isn't an egregious thread necromancy.)

Ben - I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time.  I've been there, and based on the other replies you've had, many others here have as well.

I have bipolar disorder not unipolar depression, however when I'm symptomatic, my illness overwhelmingly presents as depression.  Most of the "icky" feelings I have result from that mood state, and treatment / recovery is the same as for clinical depression.

I take meds (several of them).  They help, but aren't a panacea.

I did regular talk therapy for years.  I have mixed feelings about therapy outside of a structured therapy methodology.

What proved to be most useful for me was both CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavior therapy).  I had been informally introduced to both therapies by the psychologist I saw for talk therapy, but the real progress was made when I did DBT in a structured group setting while I was in the looney bin during an inpatient psychiatric stay.

Hang in there...

I'm going to hell.


BenfromCanada
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I think it's too good a

I think it's too good a thread to not raise from the dead.

 

That said, no, I'm not doing well. I haven't gone to therapy...I'm not motivated to do anything.


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BenfromCanada wrote:I think

BenfromCanada wrote:

I think it's too good a thread to not raise from the dead.

 

That said, no, I'm not doing well. I haven't gone to therapy...I'm not motivated to do anything.

Look dude I got about a 45-50% chance of being dead soon.  To hold on to the things that inflict sadness and depression is what we naturally do. We hold on to everything.  There is some merit to Buddhist wisdom and the idea of detachment. Then the consciousness sees every moment as of interest.  There is no value set by the future or the past but the moment in which colors may be intense and a child's laughter eternal.  We are as a story and apart from embracing and celebrating its ending their is  no climax.   Joseph Campbell said of myth whehter it was Star Wars or a Native American story, find your bliss.  I do understand where you are. I promise.  Value is what you make it. If you realize all things are fleeting the tortures of living and the beauty of a flower then you know your are the one who gives them worth. Observe both the good and the evil rather than being taken by them.  As such and in such a state even depression is but an even that you watch and does not effect you consciously. 

 

 

"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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Hi Ben,Sorry you're not

Hi Ben,

Sorry you're not doing well. I wonder whether you've considered finding other work that doesn't involve disrupting your normal sleep-wake cycles so much? A lot of depression is physiological if you can figure it out and make some changes.

I was going to suggest regular exercise but then I read that you walk a lot on your job. So it sounds like you're already doing some things that will help. And you're talking about it here, that's a plus, too.

There's a new book out you might want to look at: The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs by Stephen Ilardi that has gotten good press from Amazon reviewers.

 

On a philosophical note, I will share that I have been feeling some intense sadness this week, and a kind of aimlessness for a couple of months. Finally I went on a walk after trying and failing to get the support I wanted from my significant other. And in some way I made my peace with the sadness. I had a running dialogue with myself and realized that so often we rush to avoid the unpleasant feelings. But there is a danger in addictions and other foolish, unthinking choices of various kinds when we are so pressed to avoid the pain. Maybe if we can just allow ourselves to feel, and wait it out with patience and courage, and listen and wait for the good healthy impulses that will come in time, that will be enough.

"Love is everywhere, I believe it"   John Denver

"Love is everywhere, I believe it." John Denver


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BenfromCanada wrote: I think

BenfromCanada wrote:

I think it's too good a thread to not raise from the dead.

 

That said, no, I'm not doing well. I haven't gone to therapy...I'm not motivated to do anything.

 

No more nice guy.  You HAVE to help yourself.  No one is going to do it for you.  But, I have a suggestion.

Working nights, in Canada, you very likely sleep during the day.  Which means you are not seeing the sun except on days off and during the middle of summer.  And if you live near the west coast, you aren't getting any sunshine even during the day hardly.  Here in Portland, so far this year we can count the number of days over 80 on one hand.  Sunny days have been a little more common - but they have been hazy and partly cloudy.

So, see if you are suffering from a lack of vitamin D.  The old vitamin D recommendations are largely based on not getting rickets.  But long before blood levels are low enough for rickets, people are prone to depression if they lack vitamin D.  It is also used metabolically in the production of sex hormones.  It's why the mutation to have pale skin is successful in northern climes.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency

Scientific American had an article on vitamin D a while back.  You have to buy the magazine to see the article, so I can not post the entire quotation here.  But in the article, it said that a fair skinned person in a bikini, in the sun just until she turns pink - not sunburned, barely pink - her skin will produce 14,000 IU of vitamin D.

So you can supplement a lot more than most people - including doctors - believe you can before reaching toxic levels and you should supplement more than you probably are.  I don't remember exactly which book I read - I know, I know - but here is a list from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_adv_b/?search-alias=stripbooks&unfiltered=1&field-keywords=sun%2C+vitamin+d&field-author=&f...

If the link doesn't work for you, do advanced search, keywords sun and vitamin d, subject Health and Beauty.

This is what I usually buy - note, I am in no way associated with this company - as it is the least expensive that I could find.  Much less for the same brand from the local health food store(s).

http://www.vitacost.com/Carlson-Solar-D-Gems-4000-IU-360-Softgels

Take at least one every day and you may want to start with 2 and decrease when/if you start feeling better.  I felt a difference in just a couple of days.  If you want some verification, there is a blood test available to check your blood levels of vitamin D.  And this way you can be really sure not to over dose.

I have a friend with seasonal affective disorder, she swears by these light therapy products.  She loaned me one for when I travel back east.  I have a terrifically terrible time adjusting my internal sleep clock.  I will toss and turn until 2 am Eastern Time - my normal 11pm time West Coast - and then have to show up at a meeting at what was 5 am west coast time.  Turning on the light while I dressed for the meeting on Monday really helped me get to sleep earlier on subsequent nights and reduced the related head aches and muzziness.

http://www.lighttherapyproducts.com/

 

OKAY - get off your butt and CLICK ON THE GOD DAMN LINKS.  Take care of yourself.

 

-- 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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Good insight, cj. That makes

Good insight, cj. That makes a lot of sense actually.

Ben, sorry to hear you're still feeling depression. Cj's idea might actually make a good reason to go see a doctor about this. If I'm not mistaken, Canadian health-care should cover Seasonal Affective Disorder and you may be able to get a doctor to recommend a light therapy device or something related to that idea.

I know it's tough overcoming lack of motivation (trust me, I know it Eye-wink ). One thing I've found is sometimes just making a phone call is enough to start me on the path toward getting the help I need. For example, just call your doctor (find one if you don't have one yet) and before you know it, you'll be talking to the receptionist. Then it's the most natural thing in the world to make an appointment. Then once you have an appointment, you don't want to forget it right, so you write it down or put it in your phone or calendar (I use Thunderbird's Lightning plug-in, which works well enough). Then when the appointment day comes up, you just go to the appointment. Then you're at the doctor's office, and before you know it, you're talking to someone who wants to help. (Believe me, each of these tiny steps was torture for me when I first started looking for help.)

Don't think too much about it, just do it without thinking. Don't plan ahead or wonder how it may or may not turn out. Just get the phone number, pick up the phone and dial. All the stuff down the road will sort itself out. You only need to get over the hump of getting started. It's not as bad as it may seem to you in the moments when you are doubtful.

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Ben - I get what you're

Ben - I get what you're saying.  The nature of depression can make it really difficult to motivate to do things that you know are good for you - or to do anything at all.

It can seem like the path to recovery follows a rough road over nearly impassable terrain.  Sometimes it does.  I won't lie to you and say that it's easy.  It wasn't (and isn't) for me.

However, I can tell you that though the road was not easy, it began with a first step, and then another.  The road is conquered by taking it one step at a time - it doesn't have to be done at all once.  It becomes more manageable.

Take that first step, and don't look back.  It's worth it.

 

I'm going to hell.


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natural wrote:Don't think

natural wrote:

Don't think too much about it, just do it without thinking. Don't plan ahead or wonder how it may or may not turn out. Just get the phone number, pick up the phone and dial. All the stuff down the road will sort itself out. You only need to get over the hump of getting started. It's not as bad as it may seem to you in the moments when you are doubtful.

Good advice.

When I was at my worst, I self-rationalized not seeking help because I was afraid of where it would lead (I had twice before been placed in involuntary inpatient care and did not wish to repeat the experience).  In the interest of not triggering anyone, I won't get into the details, but in late December 2008, I was in a situation where not getting help would result in my death.  I realized that no matter what my fears were, whatever came of seeking help was better than than what I was going to do.

I made the call, and once the ball got rolling, the process of recovery got a little bit easier to do every day.

 

I'm going to hell.


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There are more than a few side effects with any antidepressant..

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mine

I look at depression as a condition that makes you more sensitive, especially to derogatory remarks especially by those you trust or see as role models or authority figures (assuming that you don't rebel against authority) that you put some sort of trust in.  I still worry about things I can't control, and am still so sensitive that movies make me cry.  Being alone is traumatic.  When people act like my opinion is invalid, it pisses me off so bad I could....  Just remember that it is just making you more sensitive.  Try to relax, take deep breaths and be calm.

 I suffered from depression increasingly over the years.  Much was brought on by feeling I was somehow not thinking right and unable to live right according to the book (you know what book).  I felt I was very different from others, because I seemed to think vastly different than everyone else.  I felt like an alien among humans.  I felt evil cause I wanted sex and the book said it was wrong.  Learning that I was not the only one who felt this way helped me tremendously.  I was lucky that when I checked myself into a mental hospital, they didn't try to push god on me.  I was sure THAT wasn't the answer and it wasn't going to help.  In fact, that was probably the first time I allowed myself to admit to others that I didn't believe in god.  That alone felt so good it helped tremendously.  I could be ME without being told I was evil and worthless.  

My depression is still here, it has a chemical basis, I m sure, but I am lucky.  Most of the time it is manageable, because I am strong willed.  I am downright stubborn.  Now that I know it is not my fault, I fight it.  sometimes I have to take a little Lexapro, sometimes more(especially during winter), but now I know I can get through it.  I still feel like giving up sometimes, but I just ignore it and tell myself I am tired or stressed.  I am most vulnerable in the winter when activity is limited.  My biggest part of managing mine is WORK.  I try to stay busy.  Physical exercise and sunshine are both great for fighting depression.  I work in my yard and get some sun.  The sun makes me smile, the work keeps my mind focused on other things besides how alone and different I feel.  Sometimes I don't want to get out of bed.  I do it anyway.  I do something.  I may have to set a tiny goal and do that.  Simply, "I am going to get out there and cut bushes for an hour." and dong it means I accomplished something.  The more you accomplish, even little things, the better you feel about yourself.  

For years I wrote.  I wrote my fears, my hopes, my dreams.  I analysed myself.  I showed it to counselors (it helps them get an idea where my head is without having to think of it on the spot).  I wrote poetry, short stories, rambling thoughts, evil thoughts, whatever.  I examined why I felt like I did.  Tell your therapist why you feel so worthless, scared, paranoid, whatever.  Maybe he can help you work through some of the mental aspects that are aggravating the condition.  Once you see why a feeling is irrational, you can tell yourself that it is not valid.  Believe it or not, telling yourself that you are worth something, that you have good qualities (make a list), and telling yourself positive things helps.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself how great you are.  It might make you laugh at least, and that is good.  Find reasons to laugh it helps emotionally and physically.

I despise a lot of the meds out there.  Many dull you down so you don't sink so low, but it also stops you from feeling very good, too.  Still, many meds now are far better than the old stuff, and some people need them to fight severe depression.

I try to find dietary supplements that might help.  Depression lowers your body's resistance to disease and makes you feel generally tired, sore and weak.  Find supplements to help build up your body's natural health.  Hell, even orange juice can help.  Get exercise.  I can't stress that enough.  It makes your body release endorphins that reduce pain and release serotonin easing some of your depression.  It keeps your mind busy.

I know this is really all over the place, but I worked thru a lot of this years ago, and now i just stay busy.  I am sure I am fortunate that my physical depression is probably slight.  Hope this helps some of you guys .


nude0007
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oh yeah

 PS:  NEVER go into a state hospital!  My wife's son tricked me into putting her into one and it was worse than any prison I've ever heard of.  These guys are still in the dark ages.  They have TOTAL control over you.  You have no rights and are completely at their mercy.  Thy put her into an unheated, open to the air cinderblock cell in the dead of winter!  When they moved her to the actual hospital, they damn near killed her several times with meds that adversely affected her blood pressure among other things.  A total nightmare.


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Well, Canada's hospitals are

Well, Canada's hospitals are better than that, but you'd still want to avoid being "formed" (committed in Canadian legalese). Generally inpatients here are those who are highly suicidal, or completely incapable of taking care of themselves and have noone to take care of them. Most psychiatry is outpatient based, which I think is the best option under the circumstances. It won't be pleasant at first, because it will almost certainly take time for the doctor to find the right combination of meds, but once he/she does it should get better quickly. I spent a lot of time as security in psychiatric institutions here, and had the horror and pleasure of being assigned to patient watches (24hr observation of the patient) for nearly ten years. I also have a father who was clinically depressed and spent time in a hospital until they found him the right meds combo.
One thing that is true is watching your meds VERY carefully if you are ever a patient. Nurses are highly prone to fucking it up. If patients were not as....

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vigilant as they tend to be

vigilant as they tend to be about their meds, there would be a LOT of fatalities from overdose or poor combinations of meds or just plain wrong meds. And yeah, you're basically going to be treated like a six year old. So definitely go for outpatient treatment as fast as you can. You don't want to be stuck in there unless you're really out of it and suicidal.

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Hey squire

Not entirely sure if this thread died again or not but I felt that I had to add a bit. You are not alone mate I've had chemical based clinical depression for years now and on meds meself, venlafaxine to be specific. That stuff you can't even miss one dose of as the body goes into withdrawel within a day or so.

 

That said I can only tell you how I cope and maybe that might add more ideas. I have 4 cats myself, which have a tendency to cheer me up amazingly, vitamine D supplementation is working quite well for me (I practically exist indoors). Exercise for multiple bnifits and read. In particular satire etc such as Terry Pratchett, truth be told I think that author kept me alive for a while. I have a fantastic circle of friends as well. Also This thread could do wonders as a form of 'talk theraoy' perhaps? A place where people can be there for you? Hell you're welcome to chat to me on here as well squire.

 

Hope you start or have styarted feeling better squire

Yay though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the bi9ggest mother%$&@#%$ in the valley and I carry a big stick
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brey wrote:What makes you

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

+1.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:RatDog

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

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.

+1.

Only difference is I ran off and became a Jew.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."