to those with major depressive disorder. how do you cope?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2013 5:31 PM GMT
    has anybody in here been able to beat the disorder? help me out here.
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Apr 06, 2013 8:07 PM GMT
    This is something that needs professional treatment and advice. A site like this is ill-equipped to give you that. Nonetheless, I wish you all the best in beating this debilitating disease.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2013 8:13 PM GMT
    My psych put me on pills after diagnosing me, which really helped.
    I eventually realized that just talking to her made my day THAT much better. I never felt like I had anyone to talk to, therefore I kept everything bottled up inside. Being able to get EVERYTHING off my chest to one person felt really nice.

    Also, listening to music, jogging, workingout, and having a good cry always helps me out too.

    You should look into therapy or seeing a Psych if you have an actual depression issue. Most people just shrug off depression, but it's actually really serious.
  • TroyAthlete

    Posts: 4269

    Apr 06, 2013 8:29 PM GMT
    Have you been formally diagnosed? Are you under the care of a licensed mental health worker? They can guide you through some CBT therapy and also might refer you to a psychiatrist for medication. Read up on CBT as it relates to your condition here:

    http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-for-depression

    Do you have health insurance? If you cannot otherwise afford it, you could probably get free counseling at Rutgers or at the Gay Center in NYC. I can check for you if you are not already seeing a therapist.

    http://rhscaps.rutgers.edu/general-information/appointments

    http://www.gaycenter.org/health/counseling

    I am asking because if you are under the care of a professional then they should be helping you with a treatment plan. As the post above alludes, talk therapy itself has healing properties for most (though not all).

    I had dysthymia as a teenager, but I was never formally treated, I was "cured" by switching schools. But that was my unique situation.
  • GraffitiMySou...

    Posts: 139

    Apr 06, 2013 8:37 PM GMT
    I'm bipolar, but mostly depressive so I think I can relate. How do I cope? Therapy/counselling doesn't really work on me (apparently because I'm too intelligent...) so I only rely on drugs. I'd suggest seeing a good psychiatrist. If he's good he'll prescribe an antidepressant and if it helps, he should also prescribe a mood stabilizer. That does a lot to prevent further episodes. Helps me big time, that's for sure.

    It all also depends on the nature of the disorder, whether it's precipitated by an external cause or purely biological.

    MDD can be treated very successfully. Remember that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2013 8:54 PM GMT
    I'm less than fond of the pills, but if that's a positive way to cope, take them by all means. Two years ago during a health crisis, I was put on Pristiq because "I was obsessing over my health" due to a problem that went undiagnosed. Fortunately, an outside opinion diagnosed and came up with a treatment regimen for the illness. Going on the medication is one decision that I will always regret since using the last six months to wean myself from this addictive medication. The key for me was learning that there was a valid reason for the obsessive behavior and focusing on future goals.

    Unless you have some very good friends who will stand by you and not feel weighted by your challenges, find a professional, with whom you can talk to uncover the issues causing your body to produce inappropriate amounts of the chemicals needed for well being. I wish you the best.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 06, 2013 9:03 PM GMT
    Yes. I was depressed as a child and especially as a gay teen in a homophobic world. A lot of it had to do with that and an emotionally abusive family.

    It took years of therapy but I got through it. Was only on meds for a brief time after the death of my first LTR partner. I'm seldom depressed anymore but once in a while I just have to 'go there'. I know, however, 'this, too, shall pass' and I'm usually back to my normal self within a day or two.

    It takes time but it is possible. Good luck and if you have questions, email me.

    ETA: Yes, I find working out or being physically active a big help, too. For me, MJ also helps but I know that isn't for everyone.
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    Apr 06, 2013 9:12 PM GMT
    I just learned to stop caring and be very truthful with people to the point of being a dick basically stopped holding all the emotions inside and let it out when needed. I don't really care what people think of me its better then me hating myself because of negative thinking and trying to live up to others standards when they cant even do it them selves....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2013 11:34 PM GMT
    Well getting the right meds and the right dose seems essential.You also need a smart compassionate Psychiatrist.We wish you success and happiness!Ryan and Ruben.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Apr 07, 2013 12:12 AM GMT
    Prozac was a miracle-drug 4 me, 15 years ago; was able to taper off within 1 year. Orgasms of prozac were ethereal.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Apr 07, 2013 12:18 AM GMT
    The natural path is to deal with it, and undestand where those feelings of worthlethness came from. Pvt me.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Apr 07, 2013 12:26 AM GMT
    OK well if the rest of you are interested in healing, say so here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2013 12:52 AM GMT
    i've always been sad and depressive. though i've never had it seriously checked. as a teenager i was on and off paxil, but those pills always made me feel worst when they wore off or sick when i take them. i cope by distracting myself, even though my friends and co-workers say it's like i'm a zombie some times.

    or i just give in... i've learnt it only lasts for a few days at its worst
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    Apr 07, 2013 1:02 AM GMT
    It's all in ur head. Positive versus negative thought processes. All feelings n emotions are triggered by thoughts. If you don't have the thought you can't have the feeling. I was very negative without realising, altering your thought process from negative to positive has made a massive difference in my life but it's been hard work. Won't happen over night.
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    Apr 07, 2013 1:07 AM GMT
    Hard_gainer saidIt's all in ur head. Positive versus negative thought processes. All feelings n emotions are triggered by thoughts. If you don't have the thought you can't have the feeling. I was very negative without realising, altering your thought process from negative to positive has made a massive difference in my life but it's been hard work. Won't happen over night.


    it's not THAT simple
  • He_Man

    Posts: 906

    Apr 07, 2013 1:25 AM GMT
    I have dealt with clinical depression my whole life, but my depression causes me to sleep a lot, sometimes 10 - 12 hours a day. Fortunately, I don't have suicidal or hurtful thoughts. When I get depressed, and believe me, it can be over anything, I will immediately get sleepy and want to sleep for hours and hours. This is one of the main reasons that I'm a caffeine junky because I have to live off of coffee, energy drinks or fat-loss pills just to be awake throughout the day, which causes a vicious cycle because they also cause depressive episodes and lethargy whenever they wear off.

    I've been to therapists over the years, but I refuse to take psychoactive drugs, and no, I don't have anything against people who need them, especially if the person is experiencing everyday problems associated with said depression or psychological disorder. I am not anti psychiatry, believe me, because I have my degree in psychology, but I believe that medicine should only be used when all else fails. For me, CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy, seems to work fine, without all of the negative side effects with many of the leading drugs out there today.

    To be honest, the best thing that works for my depression is bodybuilding. Seriously, the gym has literally saved my life. There have been days that I have wanted to completely give up, live under a bridge and just slowly die because I hated my day-to-day existence or want to sleep away the rest of my life, but the gym kept me moving, literally, and gave me just a little motivation to keep going. Some people turn to religion to cope with the uncertainties of life, I, however, turn to the gym. It's one of the best meditations and contemplative exercises that I know of. Not only are you working out the body, but you are also working out the mind, plus releasing a shit load of endorphins and "happy" hormones.

    I wished every psychological approach to mental health incorporated exercise, nutrition and working out in their therapies. I honestly believe that many so-called psychological illnesses are related to our poor choices of foods, lack of exercise and our overall poor health nowadays. A healthy body is a healthy mind...
  • vj2004t

    Posts: 203

    Apr 07, 2013 1:26 AM GMT
    I had to deal with depression for years. Dr. put me on welbutrin and no longer deal with crying spells and wanting to killl myself. It was the magic pill for me. I have been on it for over 10 years I am fine as long as I keep takeing it....
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 07, 2013 1:35 AM GMT
    He_Man saidI have dealt with clinical depression my whole life, but my depression causes me to sleep a lot, sometimes 10 - 12 hours a day.

    Have you ever done a regressive therapy where you go back and re-experience your birthing process? The reason I ask is I used to have symptoms very much like this. When I got stressed (could be anything) I'd literally fall asleep. What I discovered through regression was that at the time of my birth my mother had been given a very heavy dose of anesthetics (she was 41 at the time) and this set up a chemical pattern in my nervous system: Stress = shut down. Wonder if it could be the same for you?

    I wished every psychological approach to mental health incorporated exercise, nutrition and working out in their therapies. I honestly believe that many so-called psychological illnesses are related to our poor choices of foods, lack of exercise and our overall poor health nowadays. A healthy body is a healthy mind...

    I totally agree with this. The standard medical approach treats symptoms in isolation when what we are are very complex systems. Diet and exercise play a big role in our mood and over all health.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2013 6:11 PM GMT
    scaredmidget saidhas anybody in here been able to beat the disorder? help me out here.


    Yes, I suffered from major depression for years--even to the point that I had suicidal thoughts and couldn't work for a while. Yes, I've overcome it. I haven't had any depressive episodes in years and haven't taken antidepressants in years.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind.

    It isn't your fault and sometimes it may be much more a biochemical thing than a psychological or mental thing. Many people suffer from it. Thankfully, today there are a variety of proven ways to deal with it. It can frequently be "cured" or at least minimized. Importantly, have you actually been diagnosed? If no, you probably want to visit a psychiatrist (not a regular doctor). Just because you feel very down for a lengthy period doesn't mean it's always depression. There are other possible causes.

    Here are a few things to try based on my experience and the experience of others.

    Talk therapy. Working with a skilled therapist can help you to cope with symptoms, examine possible causes, and re-structure your life to help minimize depression. Assuming the therapist is familiar with the technique, you may wish to pursue what is called Cognitive Therapy; it has been known to help many patients. There are also books on the topic.

    Medication. In stubborn cases you will want to see a psychiatrist (not a regular doctor). He/she can diagnose you and prescribe appropriate medication. Different meds work for different people; you and your doctor have to experiment. However, sometimes finding a good psychiatrist is challenging, so if you find one and don't like him/her, shop around.

    Physical exercise. Working out--whether strength training or aerobic exercise--helps improve mood. Even if you don't feel like doing it, do it frequently. Read the article here on RJ: http://www.realjock.com/article/1051/

    Educate yourself. There's a ton of literature on the topic. You may wish to start with the book Depression: Causes and Treatment by Beck and Alford. These experts discuss the illness in depth such that the non-expert can understand it well. They also make many worthwhile suggestions for dealing with it.

    Hope this helps.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2013 6:21 PM GMT
    Hard_gainer saidIt's all in ur head. Positive versus negative thought processes. All feelings n emotions are triggered by thoughts. If you don't have the thought you can't have the feeling. I was very negative without realising, altering your thought process from negative to positive has made a massive difference in my life but it's been hard work. Won't happen over night.


    Very frequently this not so. Very frequently it is biochemical in origins. Very frequently it is not as simple as thinking positively. I know from personal experience.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2013 6:40 PM GMT


    Psychology Professor here. There are different therapies that work for different people, or not. In the order from easiest to hardest/most invasive/extreme:

    Some people respond to just time (it goes away on its own).
    Some people respond to "alternative therapies" (light, yoga, etc.)
    Some people respond to diet changes and exercise.
    Some people respond to Cognitive therapies (change your thoughts).
    Some people respond to Behavior therapies (change your behaviors).
    Some people respond to psychoanalytic therapies (figure out what went wrong in your past, usually childhood)
    Some people respond to Pharmaceutical therapies (change your nervous system chemistry).



    For MAJOR depression, I wouldn't trust it to go away on its own. I would start with by talking with a therapist that you trust and go from least invasive therapies (diet, exercise, cognitive) and move upward to pharmaceutical therapies if those aren't working after several months.

    I have never had MAJOR depression. The "blues" are very normal. Sometimes we get stuck in a funk and don't feel like ourselves. Major depression, of course, is much heavier and more serious. If I did have major depression, I'd like to think that I would take appropriate action. I'd start with spiritual answers (what is The Creator teaching me right now?) and be sure to talk with people I trust to guide me along, like priests, pastors, spiritually-powerful friends, etc. I'd also make sure my diet was good and that I was being active in things that I really enjoyed. I would monitor it regularly, probably through journaling and setting daily goals for myself such as "walk briskly for 1 mile today" and "read 15 minutes of something very inspirational". If it persisted for a few more weeks, I would talk to a professional therapist.

    But, like I said, I haven't experienced major depression before so my knowledge is only based on my professional expertise and speculation about how i think I would respond. You can see that many of my solutions are based on logic and planning. This is often what people with Major Depression aren't good at while they are feeling depressed. Who wants to plan and run and socialize when you feel so down? Probably not many people. My best to you. Be well
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2013 4:18 AM GMT
    thank you for your responses, insight and help, everybody.

  • SHYUTGUY

    Posts: 40

    Apr 08, 2013 4:21 AM GMT
    Hang in there!

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  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Apr 08, 2013 4:24 AM GMT
    pills saved my life
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2013 9:00 AM GMT
    I deal with my chronic depression by becoming a hardarsed bastard and exercise.

    Oddly, it keeps me smiling during the day and being able to be chipper and up beat.

    And yes, I'm being serious!