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    SLC, UT
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    Science. Art. Programming.

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  1. Everyone is different so I wouldn't say the best. What may work for you may not work for me and vise versa. Initially I just went to my family physician, the same person that I had been going to since I was a kid. Eventually I found a cheaper place.
  2. Do you have a regular doctor that you can talk to about this? Stimulants may help like Adderall (popular among college students) which is given to people with ADD. I take Effexor, which may be good for you too, it affects serotonin and norepinephrine. http://anhedoniatreatment.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-to-cure-anhedonia.html The treatments that I have found through research to be successful in treating anhedonia are: Stimulants - Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, etc. Dopamine Agonists - Pramipexole, Ropinirole, Cabergoline, Apomorphine, Bromocriptine, Rotigotine, etc. Low Dose Antipsychotics - Aripiprazole, Amisulpride, Sulpride, etc. Serotonin Receptor Antagonists - Buspirone, Low dose Fluoexitine, etc. SSREs - Tianeptine Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors - Amineptine, Bupropion, etc. Norepinepherine Reuptake Inhibitors - Desipramine, Atomoxetine, Nortryptaline, Bupropion, etc. MAOIs - Parnate, Nardil, Selegiline, etc. Other - Amantadine, Nicotine, Testosterone, Levodopa, Phenylethylamine, Cyproheptadine, Thyroid Augmenting (lithium for example), L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, SAM-E, St. John's Wort, etc. I have personally been wanting to give Wellbrutin a go for the mornings.
  3. Just make sure you only take the melatonin around 8-9pm. I don't think it's very affective (at least directly) for sleeping personally, but if you keep taking it at the same time everyday it may help your body get its clock back on track. To accomplish that I've heard 10mg is good.
  4. I feel the same way about anhedonia. I have experienced it much in the past and sometimes I feel it's the major cause of my episodes of depression. The term "depression" is kind of confusing because people use it to describe two different things, the cause and effect: clinical depression (biological cause) and depression (effect / symptom). Lots of thing can lead to the symptom we call depression, which can be more biological, psychological or environmental in nature. Take the common cold for instance, over 200 viruses cause it. I wish I knew a way, some basic set of instructions to invoke to get rid of it. Sometimes I find that not doing anything until very later in the day, just sitting in a chair... (no laptop, no Internet, no TV) can eventually (it may take days of this to finally condition your brain) become boring enough that productive alternatives start to appeal to me. But this is something I have only tried when I wasn't working.
  5. This is a nice short video on the biological aspect of depression. AsapSCIENCE - The Science of Depression (3:46) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOK1tKFFIQI
  6. I do this sometimes too. Sometimes I can't sleep for more than 4 hours and other times I can't get out of bed. Maybe try to expose yourself to a lot of natural sunlight, open up windows if you can? Sometimes people treat issues with their circadian clock with light therapy. When you don't have a solid sleep routine for a long time sometimes things get out of whack. http://flinders.edu.au/sabs/psychology/research/labs/sleep/bas.cfm Your internal clock relies on cues to stay on track, sunlight during the day, darkness at night and melatonin levels. I found an article that state it better: "How It Works: What makes you fall asleep are changes in the level of the hormone melatonin circulating in your body. During the day, light stimulates a part of the brain. This brain part (known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus) tells the pineal gland to decrease the melatonin level when it is light out and to increase it when it is dark. The brighter the light, the bigger the decrease and the darker the dark, the bigger the increase of melatonin. By making your days lighter and your nights darker, you can improve both the quality of your sleep and the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep." http://longevity.about.com/od/sleephealthandaging/a/melatonin_sleep.htm
  7. I was just conversing with a friend a bit ago who also expressed feeling embarrassed. They have been dealing with tons of health problems and are having a hard time being self-sufficient as a consequence. "I don't know exactly why you feel embarrassed. But a lot of people feel that way. And they are usually people that have an "invisible" battle, like depression, insomnia, bi-polar, OCD, PTSD, fibro, functional GI disorder, schizophrenia, etc... It's funny because we get so mad when people don't take these things seriously. But then, at the same time, we often don't take it seriously when it comes to ourselves and as a result we feel ashamed of ourselves. What you are going through is very real, very difficult and very painful, and there is absolutely no shame in your struggle."
  8. The animal kingdom is a big place. There are indeed animals that rape, steal, torture, and yes, destroy their own, including infants, and have been doing so for millions of years. On a geological time scale it wasn't that long ago that we were almost indistinguishable from apes.
  9. My family doesn't get it either. My mom's father committed suicide because of depression and they still don't get it. I've cut my chest up so bad the wounds kept opening up and bleeding again for a week and they still don't get it. I could cut my head off with a butter knife and they still wouldn't get it. Why don't they get it? I have no idea, it seems crazy to me, but their brain just can't grasp clinical depression. It's the same with insomnia. Without my sleep meds (Seroquel) I would literally not fall asleep, I've stayed up for 3 days multiple times, but apparently I don't need sleep meds. The whole reason I was put on them was because I was going on 4 nights and the doctor at the psych ward was trying to get me to sleep again, and once it worked it only lasted 4 hours and I was awake again... until they tripled the dose, and even then I still woke up after 4 hours but luckily was able to fall back to sleep quickly... but still, my family thinks I don't need any of my meds. It's frustrating, but another part of depression. Another illness that people tend to write off is fibromyalgia (aka "the invisible disease"), I know a couple people with it and it causes a lot of physical pain, especially in the back. When it gets bad sometimes their skin becomes sensitive like a sunburn. And one of these people I know, their parents wouldn't take it seriously. If you go to their forums, you'll find that their friends, family and spouse often don't take it seriously. That's just how people are, it sucks, but at least we know that their are people like us out there that are fighting the same fight, and those people, like you, do get it.
  10. As long as you have your own room (people call mine the bat cave), you at least have a personal space for yourself. Sharing a room can suck. If you do go, see if you can start looking for therapists in the new area. Get yourself setup there. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed until they break things up and take it one step at a time. As far as the gender dysphoria goes, do what you need to do to learn more about yourself. Give yourself whatever time you need to figure stuff out. Forums are a good place to start, because it's anonymous and there are a lot of different communities on the Internet, it's just one step of many that you can choose to take.
  11. I was thinking more of in regards to learned behavior, as in the black/white thinking, I should have worded it better. But sure, there are plenty of examples where the brain cannot be fixed by thought alone. You can add clinical depression and pretty much all other disorders to that list, that's why so many of us take medication. Sometimes medication is enough, and other times changing the way we think is enough, and other times we have to do both. Much of the rest of our body behaves the same way. There are people that are told they will never walk again, but with persistence some of them prove their doctors wrong. What can or can't be fixed is difficult to know, the human body is so very complex and all of us are different. Plus, add to that, technology is constantly changing and we as a species are constantly learning more. One good example of that is Brodmann area 25: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brodmann_area_25 In 2005 Helen S. Mayberg and collaborators described how they successfully treated a number of depressed people — individuals virtually catatonic with depression despite years of talk therapy, drugs, even shock therapy — with pacemaker-like electrodes (deep brain stimulation) in area 25.
  12. Citalopram withdrawals are terrible. I've had them before, I experienced electrical shocks through my body, stomach pains and light headed as well. A lot of other people report having vertigo. You pretty much have to tough through it. Since this med is for serotonin, you could try to boost your serotonin by taking the amino acid required to create it: Tryptophan. You can try to find it in a bottle as a dietary supplement. More information on it can be found here: How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/ "Although purified tryptophan increases brain serotonin, foods containing tryptophan do not."
  13. When it comes to how people behave, maybe it would actually help to remember that we all have many facets/sides, good and bad, vices and virtues, we all have character flaws. Human beings are very imperfect animals. Black/white thinking may be part of the problem, but it's really hard to know. I mean... I can think of quite a few things a person could do that would cause me to not want to be around them anymore. Sometimes that's ok. All I do is remember that they exist and if I can't see it, I look for it, I try to figure it out. Overtime I get better at it.
  14. How antidepressants boost growth of new brain cells (2011) http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028083.500-how-antidepressants-boost-growth-of-new-brain-cells.html#.U_qkhPldV8E The hippocampus is one of just two brain regions known to grow new neurons throughout life - a process called neurogenesis. This process is disrupted in people with depression, although it is not known whether this is a cause or symptom of the condition. It is clear, however, that one of the ways that antidepressants work is by boosting neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Antidepressants could help heal brain injuries (2011) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110418114001.htm A new study found that antidepressants can help brain cells grow and survive after brain trauma, and can even lead to improved memory and brain function. *note* study only done using a tricyclic antidepressant Serotonin Receptors Offer Clues to New Antidepressants (2013) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/serotonin-receptors-offer-clues-to-new-antidepressants/ Scientists have been trying to decipher serotonin receptors for years. Armed with information on the atomic level, they might now be able to make breakthroughs in drug discovery and in understanding how the physical structures of the brain produce consciousness, says Roth.
  15. Friendship is one thing I've always had an easy time with. I don't expect anything from anyone. I don't care if they care for me as much as I care for them. I don't tell them my problems. I keep it simple. I am friends with people that are laid back like me, appreciate their company, try to have a good time, and just go with it. Whatever problems I do have, I keep that away from them, it's not something I want to drag people into, especially people who have absolutely no idea what mental illness is actually like.
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