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Epictetus

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Epictetus last won the day on June 28

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About Epictetus

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    Community Assistant

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    Male
  • Location
    New Mexico, USA
  • Interests
    Philosophy. Theology. Jainism. Music. Comparative Religion. Poetry. Nature and animals. Fine Arts and Music. Cinema. Travel. Meeting people. Humor and cartoons. Neurobiology. Asian culture. Japan. Flying.
    Philosophical foundations of the natural and social sciences. Dining. Airliners. SimCity 4D. Learning. Aerodynamics. Jet propulsion and jet engine technology.

    Suffer from Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Also suffer from a hospital-acquired super-infection I am on the antibiotic of last resort and hanging in there. My meds are Citalopram daily and Clonazepam as needed.

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  1. Dose keeps on increasing

    Hi and welcome to the Forums Captain_right! Nice to meet you. I like your screen name.. Its' cool I'm so sorry you are struggling. I wish I knew what to say to help. I am 62 years old and on continuous antidepressant medication therapy. The way the psychiatrist explained it to me was that my clinical depression is a brain disorder like epilepsy or Parkinson's disease and therefore requires lifetime medical treatment. Of course I suffer extreme depression and I am unaware of the situation you are in. There are so many kinds and intensities of depression. What is appropriate for one of us might not be right for someone else. In any case, I hope you will find this site helpful to you. None of us are physicians or medical professionals, but we do try to help each other as fellow-sufferers. I regret that I could not be more helpful to you. Hopefully others here will make up for the poverty of my own response to your plight. I am so sorry that you are suffering!!!! - epictetus
  2. Comfort zone

    Nic, One thing that helped me was to realize that there is a depressogenic mindset, a way of looking at things that tends to cause low mood, anger, frustration, dissatisfaction and stress. I was raised to look at things . . . look at myself and others . . . and the the world in general from the perspective of: "could be better, but it isn't better." And then I tended to feel dissatisfied and frustrated and sad and guilty and generally unhappy. For example, I tended to look at myself and think: "I could be stronger, braver, wiser, more ambitious, more successful, more popular, more kind and generous . . , and so on. But there is another way to look at things: "Things could be worse than they are, but they are not worse." That kind of thinking calmed me, made me feel lucky, helped me feel happier and less stressed out. I could look at myself and think: "I could be weaker or more cowardly, but I'm not, thank goodness." "I could be lazier or less successful, but I'm not, thank goodness." "I could be less wise than I am or less morally good than I am, but I am not, thank goodness." I learned that part of the reason for my depression [because there were medical reasons too] was that I had a depression-producing outlook on things. I always looked at things and thought; "Could be better, how sad, how aggravating, how disappointing, how frustrating." This attitude gave me selective focus. I noticed the news of a plane crashing. I never thought about the tens of thousands of planes that don't crash everyday. I noticed when there was a student who went crazy and did violence, but did not notice that billions of students go to school each day without committing terrible acts of violence. I was quick to notice any defect in myself, my parents, or others, but did not notice the good things about them, their strengths, their positive features. There is a theory in cognitive psychology: Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. Sometimes we do not see the world as it is but as we are. Of course it is possible to look at the world in either the "could be better" mode or "could be worse" mode. But one mode causes sadness, disappointment, frustration, aggravation, hopelessness. It seems like in some depressions, one gets stuck in the "could be better" mode and can't figure out how to get out. For me, the "it could be better but it isn't" way of looking at things was deeply ingrained in my character and personality. It took work to see things differently. I had to teach myself, daily, hourly and minute by minute to take on a new attitude. But it helped my depression and it helped my anxiety. Someone here on the Forums called this change the difference between "attitude" and "gratitude." How one looks at things affects how one feels unless there is some organic pathology preventing this from working. In any case, it is something to think about. There is a 3 minute and 34 second video on the Internet called "Life Wisdom from Aaron T. Beck." You might want to see it if you are interested. Dr. Beck was one of the two founders of a school of psychotherapy called Cognitive Psychology. He is now very old, but perhaps you might find something of use in this video. Wishing you all good things Nic. - epictetus
  3. I Accidentally Threw Up In Front Of My Boyfriend

    Hi, Sorry this happened. You didn't do it intentionally. Why do you think it will ruin your relationship?
  4. Comfort zone

    Hi Nic, The word "depression" covers such a wide range of moods . . . so many possible causes and effects . . . so many degrees and intensities that it is difficult to answer that question simply, in my opinion. I have read of cases where "depression" remits on its own. I have read of cases where a first episode of depression goes away and depression never returns. I don't know of any cases of depression, long standing depression that goes away on its own. But that doesn't mean much because I am just a sufferer or depression myself and not a medical professional or researcher. There is plenty I don't know. What I don't know is vastly more than what I do. One can "fight" against depression by trying things, There and medical and non-medical treatments one can try. I personally have benefited from medical treatment for my depression and something called "cognitive therapy," although I got more from reading books by cognitive therapists that by face to face therapy. One of the fathers of cognitive therapy [Dr. Aaron T. Beck] proposed it as a set of experiments that could be tried to relieve depression. His attitude was not that such things would necessarily work, but that they had worked for some people and might work for others. His attitude was not dogmatic in the sense of: "Ok, here is something that absolutely is going to work." He just offered a set of things that one could try. Some of his techniques have helped me enormously. Others here have told me that they were not helpful for them. I know people personally who have "fought" against depression successfully and unsuccessfully, people for whom medical treatments worked and didn't work, for whom psychotherapy worked and didn't work. For whatever reason, I have not had a bad episode of severe depression for decades. Of course, I am biased and attribute this to medication and cognitive therapy. I do think there is hope for you, Nic. There are many treatment modalities today that you could try under the care of a physician . . . and researchers are working hard to come up with new treatments. There is always the possibility of "happy" surprises that cannot be foreseen and not only unhappy ones. I would be happy to share with you the titles of some books that helped me personally. I am not promoting these books or authors because I realize that different things work for different people and don't work for different people. I can only say what has helped me. I don't know what else to say. Hopefully others here will have things to say that are more helpful to you than my poor words! I hope this site is helpful to you. Sometimes it helps to just talk about these things with others who can understand them. I wish you all the best Nic. I look forward to reading your posts. Thank-you for posting your question. It is a profound one and it helps us feel a little less alone with our illness!!! - epictetus
  5. I sleep all day, lay in bed all day. Anyone else?

    I had the same experience during my worst bout of depression. You describe it perfectly. Its like a vicious cycle. I was helped by medication and CBT. I am so sorry you are suffering this. I have vivid, vivid memories of what you describe. Hopefully you will meet others here who also have shared or share this terrible experience. Sometimes it helps to know one is not alone with the horror of it. I do want to welcome you to the Forums. I hope you find this site as helpful as I have. My heart goes out to you. These are just devastating illnesses. - epictetus
  6. Afraid to cry

    I feel the same way you do about it Nic.
  7. loss of love and anhedonia

    Hi and welcome to the Forums Sharpie76, I am sorry you are going through this ordeal. I wish I knew what to say to help. Have you discussed what you are going through with your physician? If so, what did she or he recommend? Although I am not a physician or medical professional, I've heard that during an episode of depression or anhedonia, it is wise to avoid making any big life decisions. Have you also heard that? Hopefully this site will be of some help to you even though we are not physicians. Sometimes it helps to talk to people going through the same or similar things. I do not suffer anhedonia myself but many members here do and hopefully they will respond to your poignant post. I suffer from depression, anxiety and panic disorder and am on continual maintenance therapy for those illnesses. I am 62. I do want to tell you again how sorry I am that you are suffering and that I hope things work out for you in the best possible way. You deserve a life free of anhedonia!!! - epictetus
  8. I feel like it's impossible to change.

    Hi Molly Yllom and welcome to the Forums, I am so sorry you are suffering from severe anhedonia. What a terrible and brutal illness it is. Are you receiving any medical care for the illness? You mention mindfulness, are in the care of a therapist? Your life is too important to be burdened with anhedonia. Although none of us here are physicians or medical professionals, we are fellow sufferers. Hopefully you will find this site as helpful to you as it has been to me. Even though I receive medical care for my depression, I feel that there is a real need for communicating with people going through the same or similar things as myself. Several members here suffer from severe anhedonia so I hope you will receive some really helpful responses to your poignant post. It is heartbreaking that you are suffering so!!! - epictetus
  9. Is Unselfishness a 'Cure' for Anxiety?

    @Gandofication Because of pain in my hands this morning, which I hope will abate soon! . . .I am unable to respond as I would like to your profound statements and questions. I will substitute instead two quote of the great mathematician, scientist, inventor, philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal, realizing of course that it is not an "answer" to your questions and certainly not a justification for what I wrote before that you will find in any way adequate or compelling,: "The infinite distance between body and mind symbolizes the more infinite distance between mind and charity, for charity is supernatural. Out of all bodies together we could not create one little thought. It is impossible and of a different order. Out of all bodies and minds we could not extract one impulse of pure charity. It is impossible and of a different, supernatural order.""The heart has its reasons which the reason knows nothing of." This is sadly a poor and pathetic response to your question and I would not expect you to find it compelling or even correct, but its the best I can do this morning. Please allow me to substitute my best wishes in place of logic!!! - epictetus
  10. Insomnia

    Hi and welcome to the Forums Sam Swan! Nice to meet you. Sorry you cannot sleep. I had the same problem when I was on Sertraline. My physician prescribed a small dose of Temazepam for that. Later Ambien was substituted for this. Actually the best medication I have taken for sleep while on Sertraline was Benadryl, a non-prescription medication. I am reluctant to take it though because in some very preliminary studies, medications of this class [anticholinergics] have been linked to Alzheimer's Disease and I am 62 years old and would like to avoid risk factors for that. I was once hospitalized for severe depression, was put on Sertraline and Benedryl by a psychiatrist. My heart goes out to you because not being able to sleep is just horrible, just horrible. Please do not take anything I have said as advice. I am not a physician or medical professional. Please work with your physician who knows you and your medical history. Just sharing with you my story. I sure hope you will find a remedy for your terrible insomnia!!! - epictetus
  11. How to heal when a counselor isn't an option?

    Hi Matt and welcome to the Forums, Its nice to meet you. I am sorry you are suffering from depression. It is such a brutal illness. I wish I knew what to say that would help. When I was unable to see a counselor I was helped a lot by reading books by cognitive therapists. Many were written as self-help books. If you are interested, I would be happy to share the titles with you. Hopefully you will find this site as helpful as I have. People here are very understanding and compassionate. Is there anything I can do? epictetus
  12. Ramblings

    When I feel depressed, seconds turn into hours and seem like eternity. I hope you will have a better day/night, Nirah!!!
  13. Ramblings

    Hi and welcome Nirah007, I am so sorry you are suffering. I wish I knew how to help. I believe with all my heart that there is more to you that any failings you have experienced. And when I say more to you, I mean a lot more, trillions and trillions of times more to you than any faults you may have or mistakes you may have made. I think if I could see your entire life from the moment you were born until this very moment I wold find that you have done countless strong and brave things, countless wise and beautiful things, countless kind and good things. Those good things greatly out number any mistakes you may have made in your life or faults you may have. In addition, I believe with all my heart that you are a person of great worth and dignity . . . a dignity that can never be taken from you by mistakes or misfortunes. It is your being. You bring into this universe a truth, a goodness and a reality that has never existed before or since in all of time . . . in all of history . . . in all of eternity. This is not something temporary or dependent on things. It is your being, your very being. We all make mistakes big and small. I know I have. But those cannot erase the great dignity that goes with being a unique human person, irreplaceable in the universe. Suffering depression is one of the worst illnesses a human being can suffer and it takes heroic courage to bear with it. So to me you are not a coward but the very opposite! I feel honored and privileged to know you. I care about you. I am glad you exist and glad the universe contains a person like you. Please do not listen to the terrible words in your mind. They come from depression. And you are more, so much more. Is there anything I can do to help you feel better about yourself. Just let me know. I do not want you to suffer! - epictetus
  14. Am I Bulimic?

    Hi Max_That_Trans_Guy and welcome to the Forums, I cannot better the great advice given to you by others here. None of us here are physicians or medical professionals of any kind. We are all concerned for your welfare. One thing I would like to add is this: Whether or not you are bulimic or anorexic or something else; it is but one part of you. One part of the trillions and trillions of things are you. What I mean is: you are a complex human being made of up trillions of things and events. You cannot be reduced to a single part of those trillions without inaccuracy and unfairness to you. It would be like saying that 1/1,000,000,000,000th of you is the total you when in fact it is just a tiny part of you. You are so much more than any tiny part! Second I would like to add that you have an alienable human dignity because there has never been a person like you before and never will be again in all of time, history and eternity. This uniqueness is part of you "being." It is not something you merely "have" and could lose through misfortune or mistakes. It cannot be lost. It can never be lost because it is your very being, your very existence, your very essence! This is the source of your great dignity. Perhaps I could explain it to you with an analogy. In a royal family, a son is "born" a prince. No matter what that son does or doesn't do in life . . . no matter what happens or doesn't happen to that son . . . he is always a prince and will always be a prince. It is a dignity that cannot be taken away or lost. And it is not like something that goes up or down in value depending on externals, like the price of groceries. The same is true of you, but even more so. A princely title is a social convention, but you are literally a person of dignity by the fact that you are absolutely unique in the universe. I'm sure you have heard of laws of nature, like gravity for example. Well, you yourself are a kind of law. You are meant to be here and you have an inalienable dignity that should be respected. You are meant to have a space where you can exercise your free choices. You have rights. All of those things comes from the great dignity you possess as an individual. So even if you are suffering from, lets say an eating disorder; that would be something you have, not something you are. And it cannot take away your profound dignity as a person. We are certainly concerned about your health and want you to have the best that medicine can offer in the way of diagnosis and treatment if necessary. We would not want to lose you. I hope you will find this site of some help to you. It has helped me. Although we are no substitute for medical advice and you deserve the best medical advice, we are here as friends to lean on when you are in need of us. I hope you will be okay. Please see a doctor for a medical consultation. No one here wants to see you suffer or harmed in any way! - epictetus
  15. Hi and weclome to the ForumsSteMPak, Its nice to meet you. I'm sorry you are suffering!!! You've been through a lot and I don't know if I could be handling things as well as you are. I say that having been in a psychiatric hospital once. I think there is more to you, much, much, much, much more than the negative labels you have attached to yourself or that others have. You are a complex human being made up of trillions of things and events. There is no way you could be truthfully or fairly equated or summed up with words like "lazy" or "worthless" , "liar" or "failure." Such labels are gross over-simplifications of the richness and complexity of you. Such gross over-simplifications are not even half-truths or quarter-truths or 1/10,000th of a truth. You are much more than that regardless of any errors you may have made or misfortunes you have suffered. People often think that depression follows certain life mistakes. But researchers are finding more and more that depression often precedes such things. Sometimes the depression is just below the surface but powerful. For example, a person with sub-clinical depression might engage in risky behavior. She might take drugs to feel better. She might become pregnant before finishing school and drop out. After dropping out she might get stuck in undesirable job situations. To her, the depression started "after" those things, but research is starting to show that depression often "precedes' misfortunes and errors of judgment. Depression, even pre-clinical depression can cloud reasoning, and influence a person's free will in powerful and undesirable ways. Beating oneself up for those things will not really help but often make the depression worse. You are wonderful person. There has never been anyone like you before in time, history and eternity. This is the basis of your inalienable dignity as a person. It is something that cannot be taken from you. Nor can it be lost by mistakes or misfortunes. It is not in jeopardy. It is not subject to changes in value like the prices of groceries. It is something like being born a prince in a royal family. Once a prince always a prince. It is an inalienable dignity. You also have an alienable dignity regardless of your past, present or future. I wish I had an answer to your suffering. But sadly I do not. Hopefully you will find this site as helpful to you as it has been to me. Sorry if I do not have good words for you. Hopefully others will make up for the poverty of my words. I wish you only the best. Battling depression is heroic. Please hold your head up high!!! -epictetus