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  1. i have healthy and unhealthy obsessions. The healthy obsessions are great. The unhealthy ones I try to head off at the pass, meaning I try to identify when they are starting and then consciously resist getting started. That's easier said than done, but I think I've gotten a bit better with practice. Once I'm into an obsession it's impossible to stop until the obsession runs its course.
  2. The very first thing I do when I get out of bed is to make coffee. While the coffee is brewing I make my bed. I live in a small flat, and this converts my space from a sleeping area to a living area. Then I have my coffee and I drink it while I read. Sometimes I read for hours unless I have to be somewhere. It takes me a long time to be mentally ready to face the world. As far as dishes, I try to do them immediately after I'm finished eating. When they start to pile up the become much harder to tackle.
  3. Zoloft messes with my sleep whenever I change a dose, or even when I change the time of day that I take a dose. That first night I can't sleep at all so I just get up and do something. If I get tired I'll lay down, but then of course my mind will start racing so I'll just get up again. I want to avoid being stressed out about not sleeping. Then I go through the next day without having slept. I do the best I can, and then that night (hopefully) I will be so tired that I will fall asleep. It may take a few days for it to all even out, but I get there eventually. If you just started on Zoloft I imagine that your dosages are changing all the time as you ease in. For me it's important to not get stressed out about the insomnia. One way I look at it that I suddenly have a bunch of energy after having been lethargic with depression. So if I can't sleep then I try to enjoy the feeling of actually having energy.
  4. I can understand that. It's a good metaphor. I guess I have one, which is that my moods are like the weather. They can change quickly and unpredictably. If a storm comes on I try hunker down at home and ride it out. You can't argue with the weather and make it change, it just is what it is. I make sure to have easy to cook food and that I have plenty of things to entertain myself, to try to keep my mind off of the raging storm outside.
  5. Atheism is the noun that most closely describes by belief in religion. Sometimes I will describe myself as Irreligious, because I just don't relate to it at all. Like irrelevant is to relevant, religious belief is just not relevant to me. But just because I'm not religious doesn't mean that I am not a good person. It is important to be a good person and to do good things for others. I don't need a religion to teach me that. At this point in history I don't think religion is even qualified to teach good, since so much of it seems to be the antithesis of good. I'm rather wary of the term spiritual, but there is something amazing about having a consciousness and being able to connect with other people on all sorts of levels. Life on Earth is amazing and special beyond my comprehension. I don't need a origin story to appreciate it. And finally, even though I don't believe in religion I have an interest in the history and literature of various religions. There's a lot of good stuff in there, and it can be absorbed without having to believe in a higher deity.
  6. Hi Oscar K, thanks for saying hi, it's nice to meet you. That's an interesting approach, and I like the idea of using a literary device to change my brain chemistry, because I do think the brain is ever changing. Can you give an example of a metaphor you might use? I agree, we aren't helpless towards Old Man Depression. I just wish I didn't have such antipathy towards myself. I've started thinking about (non-religious) forgiveness, as maybe a way of learning to be nicer to myself.
  7. I'm here so I can be around other depressives. Hopefully I can find some support and not feel so isolated in this feeling. About me, slightly: I'm from the United States and moved to Germany about 5 years ago. I'm a musician/artist and am lucky to haven't had a real job in many years. So I consider myself successful, when I think about it objectively. Also, I do good things for others. I try to be generous and supportive. I'm a hilarious person. People tend to like me. All good, right? But I have chronic depression that I've tried to treat it for decades; multiple talk therapies, multiple medication, meditation, exercise. Nothing seems to work and I continue to feel less than worthless. I don't ever feel happy, just less depressed or just flat inside. When people without depression give advice, it's often with the idea that deep down inside we all love ourselves. At my core I feel as if I hate myself. Feeling worthless is a positive, because then I don't feel like I am harmful to the world. If I'm harmful to the world, well then wouldn't the world be better off without... well you can see what that line of thinking goes. It's my litmus test, because when I feel that way I know I need to drop everything and put 100% into being good to myself. Lately that feeling has been happening a lot. Depression is a lie, and it is the most convincing liar you will ever meet. It's like having a a know-it-all dude, sprawled out on my couch as he delivers an non-stop commentary on what a loser I am. I've been able to partially separate that from me, which gives me a little space to breathe. Sometimes it actually gets funny because it's just so non-stop negative that it's ridiculous. Another aspect of depression is the physical symptoms: my body aches, my stomach hurts, food is disgusting. I have very little energy, I feel like I can't concentrate on things I should, and even if I enjoy something I don't really enjoy it. My last shrink diagnosed me as Bipolar II and put me on Lamotrigine and Sertraline. It worked for a while, especially with regard to the hypomania. I don't do the crazy risk-taking stuff as much. That's a relief. But it's never taken out the depression, just lessened it a bit. I've played around with the dosages enough to tell what Sertraline does for me. It helps me to concentrate, somewhat, and it makes it easier to ignore the negative know-it-all-dude sitting on a couch in the middle of my brain. But I can't say that I ever really feel happy, and I feel like it's working less and less lately. I've been on this cocktail for 6 or 7 years. Ok, this is enough babbling for an introductory post. It's long, and I apologize for that. I look forward to meeting some of you.
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