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Posts posted by Saros

  1. I've struggled with depression most of my life, but wasn't truly diagnosed until I was well in my 30's, after having my first child.

    Post partum was the original diagnosis. The last medicine I was on was Zoloft, but I went off of it because I was going through a divorce.

    That was in 2005. I have been pretty successfully off of meds and doing well until recently. Some of it I think is dealing with the

    loss of my little brother in December of 2012 a few days before Christmas. Now my 16 year old son has came to me and ask to

    visit our family Doctor. He feels he is depressed, and hadn't bothered me with it until now, because he sees me struggling already

    and doesn't want to add to my troubles. He simply can't continue dealing with it alone.

    My concerns. of course, are what medicine will be safe for him, if the Doctor chooses to go that route. I remember so many

    I tried listed suicide as a possible side effect in teens and young adults. I'm scared for him, and really worried it is in fact my

    depression and inability to deal with it currently that is causing him to feel he is suffering from it.

    Are these worries justified?

    I don't know much about teen issues, but I wanted to recommend you might get a referral from your GP to see a mental health professional, like a psychologist or psychiatrist. My psychiatrist has had additional training and remains aware of current developments in mental health, and spends a lot more time diagnosing. I'd be concerned a GP would simply suggest medication, or not, after 5 or 10 minutes and then wait a few months to see what happened. Good luck to you.

    P.S. I've had mildly psychotic reactions to two mainstream SSRIs, one of which had a profound effect on suicide ideation. I think it's something to remain aware of whether teen or adult.

  2. ...I'm wondering if there is a particular disorder that can cause a person to worry about that which is seemingly going well. For all intents and purposes, I'm "doing fine." I am completely aware of this. My long list of good things was intened to draw out a point: that I have nothing to complain about.

    Disorders aside, it sounds like anxiety - worrying or apprehension that is greater in magnitude than the stressor would logically evoke. I don't know really anything about seeing a professional for anxiety, but it sounds like your thinking could be clouded by cognitive distortions or traps.

    ...I am miserable on the inside.

    I worry about everything. I fret constantly about the future. I envision crushing poverty and destitution and egregiously bad luck coming straight toward me like a freight train. Despite my liberal schedule, I spend most of my time thinking about these things and living on the internet. Because this makes no sense to me...

    Were you to see a therapist, I might recommend finding one who includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in their practice.

    It can come down to 1) identifying your mood (perhaps more specific than 'miserable'), 2) identifying the thought that is driving the mood (I worry about losing all my money and going into poverty), 3) listing the evidence that supports and contradicts the thought, 4) listing an alternative thought (a more positive one), and 5) listing evidence for or against it.

    It's through that sort of work one might be able to see these negative thoughts driving a negative mood are subject to or are themselves 'cognitive distortions'. Here are a list of a few under the heading "cognitive traps". Wikipedia lists a few more.


    or something like that.

  3. It doesn't mean anything. Like said above, why these drugs alleviate depression is not clear, and ADs and the atypicals all have off-label uses.

    If you have a serious problem with a psychosis, I think you'd discover it without having to check a box next to an antipsychotic. Whatever the case, you're the exact same person whether a drug works for you or not. Medication doesn't define you.

  4. ...

    I had some points I wanted to agree and disagree with.

    Yes, the brain is not just a matter of chemistry. I would guess there are some people whose anhedonia has a psychological basis - for example, anhedonia as a defense mechanism, even when no significant trauma event can be identified. And yes, this thread is focused almost exclusively on pharmacology, which I think is limiting. Medication alone may not always be a viable answer.

    I am unaware of any source that purports psychology and pharmacology as having an either/or relationship, or stating that, if many different medications have been tried, the issue must be psychological. There are likely many different vectors for the many different pathologies of depression, and the mechanisms are not well-understood. If I had to guess, I would hazard that most depression is a combination of environment and biology, though in varying degrees for everyone. And even in those whose depression is predominately environmental, medication may be a useful coping mechanism on the path to recovery.

  5. My intent is not to discourage, but I feel questions like these have no ultimate utility. When you're sick, there is no "well" you on the sidelines; you are what you are. The baseline adjusts to your circumstances. My depression is part of me, absolutely. The goal, in the absence of a recovery without effort, is to continue to look for ways to adjust the baseline (and myself) to a place I'd prefer.

    I would be concerned that saying there's a "me" that exists on a different level than my depression, aside from the logic I don't agree with, would invalidate the reality of the depression.

    Arguing about who I would be in the absence of depression would be like arguing to a teenager what he'd be like without living teenage years.

    I don't want to be told who I "should" or "would" be. Depression is enough of a hassle.

    So, I believe depression can be very defining. But it does not set a permanent barrier to recovery. People change, and I put effort into that.

    edit: i dunno.

  6. I think I typically reason that if a person is truly disagreeable, I wouldn't want to be their friend even if I was perfectly charming. It's just not worth my time trying to bridge a gap to a cranky person.

    If it's someone inexplicably acting hostile, I choose to believe there are some extenuating circumstances which might excuse their behavior, I don't take it personally and shrug it all away. I am reminded of David Foster Wallace's 'This is Water' commencement speech.

  7. Hertz has the right idea.

    Anything you're interested in makes a good starting point, and even some things you aren't interested in.

    Cooking classes. Painting instruction. Astronomy club. Chess tourney. Hiking group. Local music shows. Volunteering for environmental projects or for your community. Running or bicycling group.

  8. My knee-jerk reaction: I really don't think it matters. I define myself by the things that happen, not hypothesized causes. I can understand wanting to choose one so making sense of things is easier. But you'll go on to succeed or fail regardless.

    If you failed because you were depressed, that's what happened. A next step might be trying to figure out how to overcome it. Second-guessing yourself about the reason you were handicapped won't help you do better the next time you're in a similar situation, it will just make things more difficult.

    Or how about - a psychosomatic pain is as real to the brain as a pain caused by external stimulus. Neither is less "real" than the other. If you experience it, it's real. Discriminating against one because the cause is not apparent does not offer you a reprieve from the pain.

    Just thinking out loud.

  9. What do you mean by physical reaction to music? Tingling down your spine type feeling?

    Difficult to describe. Weightlessness, acceleration, elasticity, electric charge. More intense reactions tend to involve losing a sense of physical definition (i.e. my arms and legs feel like they alternatively swap around and evaporate).

    Now I am retraining myself to identify what emotions I am feeling when I feel them and if you're interested I can tell you exactly how I am doing it. It takes effort and homework but I am amazed at how...

    i can't say whether it would be applicable to me, but I would be interested in knowing what your process is, and perhaps it would be interesting to try.

  10. Just wondered if any current forum-goers have explored the topic of alexithymia. A google search turned up only a couple threads from years ago.

    I've identified myself as anhedonic for a while now, and would readily describe myself as having a very wooden affect. I believe I don't experience sadness or joy, not in any significant capacity. The only thing I get is agitated and confused.

    However, I've gotten a bit confused this week whether I'm anhedonic, or just unable to identify my emotions.

    I learned the word "alexithymia" this week when a psychiatrist tossed it in to the conversation. When she asks me questions, I have ongoing difficulty identifying and describing emotional responses, from recent days and going back years, from before severe depression settled in. I do have visceral reactions, though, but I can't consistently identify what sensation applies to what situation. Recalling distinct emotional states is difficult, putting it modestly.

    Anyway, feeling lost down the rabbit hole. Are emotions absent, or am I just unable to identify them? What a ridiculous question. Wondering if anyone had helpful anecdotes relating to same. Thanks.

    edit: parenthetically, I listen to music because it causes a physical reaction in me - the experience is sensual, not cerebreally emotional. It's difficult to explain. Anyone else?

  11. Stan,

    Personal threads about ECT show up not infrequently in this sub-forum and others. As best as I can recall, some stories have been positive, and others less successful. I think many people who haven't had reprieve with pharmacological methods are keeping the idea in the wings as a plan B. The possibility of memory loss or other side effects makes it a difficult decision (for me, at least).

    Glad you had some success with it.

  12. Sorry, I know I've been harping on therapy in some threads. And amusingly, I don't a have a ready answer for "what it is".

    For me, despite psychiatrists telling me "hmmm, looks like there may be a biological root to this depression" (maybe they are biased towards bio because of their pharma approach???), therapy has had some value in that it let's me explore different modes of cognition - how I view and deal with depression, despite its origin. (and it's an albeit expensive way for me to socialize out some topics I'd rather not discuss with the general public). Therapy has helped me organize some of my problems. For example, I've learned my definition of "anxiety" is too narrow, and that some of my experiences can be classified as anxiety. It doesn't fix my problem, but being able to put a label on things is helpful.

    90 bucks a month for internet is outrageous!

  13. Please don't pee in my punch bowl, JD. I'm already haunted by the imagery.

    Aaaaanyway, if enough of us bah humbug, then bah humbug will be the normative behavior by virtue of its popularity. Or at the very least, when within a subset of humbugs, such as might occur here, humbug is already normative. You are among a cohort.

    edit: despite my robust talk, I actually do feel a bit lonesome with thanksgiving looming and no plans of my own. Humbugger it.

  14. Sounds very difficult, I might suggest looking into the defining criteria of co-dependency, as suggested by spiritsage, and how people deal with them. I don't have any idea myself.

    Just wanted to offer that some people here deal with different levels of psychopathy and still try and live a good life. Having one or more psychopathies doesn't make someone an invalid. And the post seems to describe psychosis, not psychopathy? Plenty of people here giving it a go despite psychoses, too.

    That being said, your brother does sound like he needs more help than you can give, and it's not a "fair" position you're put in. Hope you can find some way to move forward.

    edit: Maybe I'm being overly sensitive about language. I've started perusing the internet re: psychopathy and there's a lot I don't know. I am sensitive towards calling somone psychopathic or psychotic because of the perjorative application in common language. Maybe better is "diagnosed with psychotic features"? Anyway, I apologize for derailing the topic.

  15. I'm as much a grinch as the next person, and am skipping Thanksgiving altogether and will spend the day alone. But I like to keep in mind that the commercialization we all react negatively to doesn't apply to everyone. While there are families who heap on the pressure to make the day a "special family memory", the local Salvation Army has a full staff of volunteers to work the kitchens.

    Just trying to avoid a "me vs. them" perspective, which I think depressive personalities like mine can be vulnerable to.

    Though if I lived around family, I would certainly be in a bit darker mood.

  16. ...because I had serotonin deficiency and that was what was triggering my emotional and mental behavior before..

    As far as I know, there's been no strong evidence that low serotonin levels cause depression (even though altering its levels may influence mood). There are some papers readily searched regarding serotonin versus risk-taking behavior and mood intensity.

    With that in mind, altering serotonin levels may only affect one of many proximate contributors to depression, without affecting the ultimate cause (if there is an ultimate cause). Or maybe serotonin is an ultimate factor. Point being, I think it's premature for anyone to be told they have a definciency of a neurotransmitter. Happy to be corrected if someone can point me to conflicting research.

  17. My strategy is not long-term since I'm unemployed, but I live well beneath my means.

    No smartphones, no data plans, no cable tv, no going out to eat (including fast food), eating very simple foods (nothing fancy), no unnecessary purchase of anything (no luxury purchases at all), no going out to movies or a bar. Entertainment requires using only the things I already possess. Cheap car, no driving around town, no traveling. No "regular" doctor visits, flu shots and the like, dental, etc etc. I cut my own hair. My furniture is all second hand. Laundry at the cheapo laundromat. Sometimes I wash something in the sink. I use little electricity and very little hot water each month. No pets.

    edit: fancy food includes any meat, usually. It's rice and beans over here.

    That's all that comes to mind immediately.

    Some pdocs have a sliding pay rate, based on income. I prefer to trap my psychiatrist's sympathies before asking about it.

  18. I like you guys. I'm like you. I've felt guilty about not missing people, funerals or otherwise. I have never missed my family, which seems to grieve them. My pdocs have been quick to throw out words like "schizoid", but I really like Epictetus' reference to Jung. I'd also point out that my pdocs agree that being "schizoid" is not something that needs to be "cured", and it's just a convenient label for those different from the supposed norm.

    Which is to say it's not necessarily unhealthy, or a problem needing to be solved. It's just a different point on the bell curve of human condition.

  19. As you describe it, it sounds like he acted in poor form. Maybe he's just been a jerk. I don't think there's a definite way to get over it quickly. In the meantime, I would be upset too. I would have to deal with it for a while, and then probably just let it go.

    Yes, your channel is not doing as well as it used to. Viewership has atrophied. But the channel will "fade away" only if you give up on it.

    I'm still uncertain - are you sticking with the channel because it's what you want to do, or because you feel obligated? Certainly, your language seems very happy in reminiscing the high points. Were you happy for the channel, or for the success?

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