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depression stories
Posted: Posted June 1st by Ophelia

I've been struggling with moderate depression for many years now and have felt worse than usual lately. It seems like a good number of people here have experience w this (past/present), and I was wondering if you had any stories about what you did/are doing to overcome it. What seemed to work for you? What seemed to not work?

I encourage sensitivity as this is something for which I am particularly hard on myself. Thank you.

There are 13 Replies

Cayenne is fantastic for depression. Stops a depression episode in like 60 seconds. Also seems to reduce their frequency over time.

Posted June 1st by Xhin
Xhin
Ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery

I'm a believer in the influence behavior has on the mind. When I get dragged down, I try to force myself to take action, and hope my mind will pick up on those cues. "Action" usually means doing the opposite of what being depressed would have me do. Instead of isolating, I go out in public (I did a lot of studying in coffee shops) and/or make plans with someone. Instead of sleeping, I go for a walk. Instead of indulging in rumination, I seek out distractions or look to my hobbies. And so on. I'm sure it will be different for everyone.

Therapy can be very helpful or very damaging. My first experience with it made me feel much worse for a long time, so I avoided it for a while. But I've spoken with three other therapists since then, and they've all taught me various skills (including the strategy I outlined above). If you have the means, I recommend sampling the mental health practitioners in your area. Ask them about their specialties, and maybe look up different types of therapies so you know what you're looking for.

Look for licensed clinical psychologists. Psychiatrists are also helpful supplementally and for giving suggestions/referrals, but aren't necessarily trained to practice psychotherapy. Even if they are trained in psychotherapy, it's usually not been heavily emphasized in their education (though there are some shifts happening in the field towards this now).

EDIT:
Approach therapy with an open mind; don't let your preconceived notions about it get in the way of treatment. Representation of therapy in the media and public perception of it is generally wrong or incomplete. And "therapy" is an umbrella term encompassing hundreds of different treatments and philosophies. Do research and sample.

EDIT 2:
One of the founders of psychology called it "a nasty little science; an elaboration of the obvious," and a lot of people outside the field seem to feel the same way about it (and, by extension, the treatment they might receive in therapy). This happened to my sister, who quit therapy for depression because she felt like she "knew all those tricks." I could try to argue this was an example of hindsight bias, or maybe she really did, on an intuitive level, know all the tricks. In either case, I don't think people who "know all the tricks" need let that stop them from practicing them. As a psych major, I am arguably more familiar with "the tricks" than many people, but that doesn't mean I don't benefit from earnestly obliging those that suggest them.

EDIT 3:
Sorry for all the lecturing about therapy. It's just, I've noticed two trends in my experiences: not many people take it seriously, and those who do find – at least some – benefits. I'm not saying correlation implies causation here. But I think people should give it more of a chance than they do, so that's kinda been a personal project of mine recently, related to the destigmatization of mental illness and psychology as a whole.

Edited June 1st by Cetasaurus
Cetasaurus
formerly KM8

Cayenne is fantastic for depression.


The pepper? I haven't heard of this. But if it, or any plant you hear about, does contain chemical compounds affecting the brain, proceed with caution. Plants are not regulated as drugs and can therefore be dangerous, especially if you are already on psychotropic meds. It would be good to consult a doctor or psychiatrist before using them.

EDIT: Here's an example from Wikipedia–
Combining St John's wort with certain prescription antidepressants can lead to a "potentially life-threatening increase of serotonin."

EDIT 2:
Actually, on the topic of medications, I have a friend whose doctor recommended combining different types. He's on Paxil and Wellbutrin, one of which affects serotonin; the other, dopamine. Psychiatrists are good at finding which medication combinations will help you most, but it can take time and be hell until you find the right one.

Edited June 1st by Cetasaurus
Cetasaurus
formerly KM8

it slowly just went away. i take celexa so that probably helped

Posted June 1st by poptart!
poptart!
 

It took a long time for my depression to go away. While I had it it felt like I was falling into a pit of despair and what ever I tried to fix it only made the problem worse.


I had a lot of soul searching/ growing up to do. I still do really but I am in a better and happier place now.

keep fighting the good fight. And reach out to someone if you feel suicidal.

The only constant that did work for me was jogging/ working out. So try that.


Edited June 1st by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

I work through it, and remember to get out of the house and talk to people. Oh, and mine always gets worse when my sleep schedule is off. I do not actually recommend this, I'm sure actual medication and/or seeing a therapist would probably be better for you, but I'm contrary.

Posted June 2nd by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

Something that makes me feel much worse is hanging out with the wrong people (even if they might be great people and valued friends). If they are emotionally needy, depressed themselves, or otherwise neurotic, for instance, they invariably put pressures on me that I can't always deal with, and then I start thinking I'm a shitty friend and feel drained. People who are noticeably extroverted can do this to me as well. But on the other hand, keeping company with my more self-posessed, introverted friends helps me feel better.

Then, of course, there are individuals who will just always be toxic for you.

I should probably stop yammering on in this thread, but I do hope you'll find something helpful here. Sorry to hear you've been feeling worse. Like SOH said, reach out if you need help. You have my contact info if you ever need it. Best of luck.

Edited June 2nd by Cetasaurus
Cetasaurus
formerly KM8

I stopped depending on other people for happiness and I've felt pretty (generally) great ever since.

Posted June 2nd by Speed Bike Pro
Speed Bike Pro
 

Oh, and mine always gets worse when my sleep schedule is off.


My psychiatrist had prescribed a sleep aid on top of my anti-depressants. A solid, consistent sleep cycle is actually pretty critical to the overall health of your body, never mind your mental health.

The only constant that did work for me was jogging/ working out.


Physical activity is also a good way to treat depression symptoms. Granted, it's incredibly hard when your depression is causing you to lack energy, but exercise can do a good amount of work to improve your mental health.




For me, I found that years of therapy - mixed with several medications - really went a long way to allowing me to get my shit together in a way that I couldn't do with depression. Contrary to what people like to think, depression isn't often "just a bad mood." I would make decisions I knew were horrible, that I actively didn't want to make, and not really even feel like I actually had agency in it. I would skip social gatherings and avoid friends for months at a time, even when I desperately missed them. I would lack any and all energy and would go into social hibernation for months.

Some of these things still happen, of course. I still knowingly make bad decisions I regret the moment it pops into my head and I genuinely don't know why I just did something. I still go through bouts wherein I hide away from everyone and everything. I still experience some lingering depression through the course of the year. But those years of therapy and medication allowed me to start making additional lifestyle changes that made it possible to get over the borderline crippling depression I had experienced earlier in my life.

It takes a fair amount of work, and a lot of commitment and patience.




Posted June 2nd by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

And you guys aren't even addicted to drugs and are still as fucked up as this, I feel MUCH better about myself tyvm

Posted June 8th by trife
trife
 

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded. I did read everything and am taking in your advice. Sorry for the slowness. Thanks again.

Posted June 29th by Ophelia
Ophelia

Always find the next thing to look forward to. Never let the light leave the tunnle completely.

Posted June 29th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

I was depressed. I started eating healthier, exercising regularly, taking online education courses and seriously getting into music critique and online competitive games, all of which added some type of structure and fulfillable goals to my life.

Posted June 29th by nullfather
nullfather
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