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Everything posted by americandownunder

  1. So do you have ideas about how not to do that?
  2. I've just started on Parnate myself. I found this guide online. My psychiatrist turns out to know of the doctor who wrote it - apparently he is cantankerous and sometimes controversial, but well-researched, and my psych thinks he is reliable. The basic premise of the guide is that pretty much anything is acceptable in healthy doses - which often means smaller amounts than we might be used to. So even most aged cheese for example, he says, is generally fine, as long as it's no more than 25g in a meal, and not combined with other high-tyramine foods. http://psychotropica...s_diet_full.pdf Just a caveat - I'm not a doctor, and I'm just describing my own experience!
  3. I don't mean in any way to downplay what you experienced - I would be offended too, and I wouldn't go back to that GP. But that's because of the stuff about God - because that's not the right solution for me, and I don't think someone should impose it on someone else. And I would consider reporting her for that too. I take medication - but I do it warily, because from my research there really isn't any proof out there of the chemical imbalance theory (there isn't even a measurement of a chemical balance, as far as I understand it, so it's hard to know what an imbalance is!) Lots of very well respected doctors, psychiatrists, philosophers, and religious leaders over the ages have argued that depression is a disease of the spirit. And I think in many cases they're right, or at least partly - though not always. Lots of people as well have argued that work makes people feel better - which is sometimes true as well, though not always. That said, it's definitely not sensitive to ask why you can't just do it - for some people who are depressed, 18 hours a week might as well be 80 hours a week! I guess what I'm saying is that your GP probably was trying to be helpful, not inhuman - she probably felt she was doing you a service, particularly considering that medications haven't worked for you yet - though it wasn't necessarily the most sensitive or best way to help you particularly.
  4. Actually that article is about a serious and respected, though controversial, author named Irving Kirsch. If you want to see a review of the same book from a more reputable source, you could take a look at: http://www.nybooks.c...agination=false Though it's clear that anti-depressants help many people - I'm on them myself - it's also possible that in many cases, people would do just as well on a placebo, or with therapy alone. Also, just because placebos are effective, doesn't mean depression is just in the head - it means that the power of belief is a major healing force. That's true with physical and mental illnesses.
  5. From the way you tell it, it sounds like the ball was in your court - she did ask what was up, and you said you would tell her later - and then you didn't. Maybe she could have asked again; maybe she felt that you were putting her off; maybe she was waiting for you to do what you said, and didn't want to bother you until you were ready to talk. I reckon it is a misunderstanding, but it doesn't sound like you're fully in a position to blame her....
  6. It's not totally clear that depression is on the rise - diagnosis of depression may be, and prescriptions, but that doesn't mean that depression itself is rising. (Diagnosis could easily be rising because there has been a huge increase in the number of mental conditions deemed illnesses by the DSM). Depression appears to have been present throughout history, and there is plenty of mental illness in villages and in third-world countries - and often the people who suffer from them are locked in cages or subjected to some form of exorcism. That's not to say anything about your watching the news or not - if it helps not to watch, that's great - anything we can do to feel better, hey?
  7. There are a whole lot of drugs in classes other than the ones you've tried which might be helpful: atypicals like Remeron, MAOIs like Parnate, anti-psychotics like Lithium or Lamictal, lots of tricyclics. Might be worth giving them a go, alone or in combination with others, to see if they help.
  8. Hi Ferdy, Thanks for the info - I've been taking seroquel and my cholesterol went up, and it's been a concern. Could you point me to where you got your information about the permanence or lack of permanence of the side effects? I've been looking for studies, but haven't been able to find any. Thanks ADU
  9. Actually the sleep effect often diminishes the higher the dose - though your mileage may vary. I found that the chewable tablets made me sleep more than the pill. I've recently been on Seroquel with the Remeron, and that combination knocks me out like nobody's business.
  10. While I do understand how you feel, I think that if you're sending someone a congratulations with the hope or expectation of getting a response, then maybe that's not the ideal motivation for doing it? I think it's better, where possible, to do those sort of things for the sake of being nice, and making someone else happy, without any need to get a thank you back....
  11. I'm not a lawyer, but I was raised by them, and I know how they think. Still, what I say below is no substitute for an actual lawyer's opinion. A couple of thoughts: 1. Does the contract specify what happens if you don't give 5-6 sessions notice? Does it specifically say, you will be liable for the charges? If there are no specific consequences, then I'd say it doesn't make a difference. 2. Even if the contract specifies that you are liable for the costs of the 5-6 sessions, it's very hard for me to believe that the therapist would pursue the charges. Maybe he could go to a debt collector, but that'd be pretty darn harsh; and taking you to court would cost much much more in time and money than they'd ever get back. My gut is that this is a non-issue; but as I said, I'm not actually a lawyer.
  12. Hi Trace

    Thanks for wishing me a good day - a long time ago! Sorry I didn't respond immediately, it's been a tough time and I haven't been on the site that much. But I do appreciate it. Hope you are having a good day yourself.

  13. Are you on any medications? The slow release version of Ambien/Stilnox is known to cause some people to be very active during the night and not remember a thing.
  14. I don't think so - I can already feel the effects fading, about two to three weeks after treatment ended. My psychiatrist, who referred me to the trial, said the patient of his who did the best on it only started to get good results after 3-4 full weeks of sessions - and I had to stop after 3. I'm going to see if I can get some more, but since it's experimental I don't know if I'll be able to....
  15. Can I give a contrasting opinion? Let me say up front that I don't in any way mean to minimize the pain you're experiencing. At the same time, I think it's often unrealistic to think that people will only be attracted to the person they're in a relationship with. It sounds like he is respectful about how he uses the porn - he doesn't do it when you're in the house, he isn't meeting up with anyone, he isn't doing it to the exclusion of spending time with you. And you didn't indicate that you think his looking at porn is having an adverse effect on your sex life, which would definitely be an issue if it were. The main thing is that he won't give it up - and I think you might benefit from looking at what he's getting out of it, and why you actually want him to stop. I guess my question is, what's the problem with him looking at the porn? Is it a practical thing or a moral one? A problem of his, a problem of yours, or a problem of both? It might be interesting to know as well WHY he's looking at it. Perhaps it's an outlet for fantasies he'd like to try with you; or perhaps it's an outlet for fantasies he doesn't want to try, but still wants to satisfy somehow. It seems to me that there are far more unhealthy things he could be doing....
  16. Hey all I just finished a 6-week trial of Direct Current Stimulation (DCS) and thought I'd report on my experiences. It was a blind placebo trial, so for the first three weeks, half of the participants got a placebo and half the DCS, and for the second three weeks, everyone got DCS. I thought sure during the first three weeks that I was getting the real thing, because I could feel the electric charge through the electrodes on my head (it was a 20-minute session five days a week). And it had a side effect of extreme fatigue. But it turns out I wasn't - I only got the real treatment during the second three weeks of the trial. And while it didn't cure me, I'd say the overall effect was positive - I noticed much less suicidal thinking, particularly towards the end of the treatment, and the dark thoughts I had seemed less powerful. Of course, this could be due to externals as well - including some uplifting work I was doing at the time. And I had to come off of Lamictal in order to go on the trial, so some of the effect could be due to that - I definitely noticed more anxiety, which could well have been because I was no longer on the Lamictal. But whatever it was, my friends and my therapist definitely noticed that my face was less drawn, I smiled more, and I generally seemed more up. So I'd say it's definitely worth considering if anyone has access to it as a treatment.
  17. Fortunately or unfortunately, depression isn't an exact science - in fact, it's nowhere near exact! So you're going to get a lot of different and possibly contradictory advice. For instance, there are some people who believe that anti-depressants make things worse in the long run - you can Google Robert Whitaker if you want to look more into that view. And there are others who believe that anti-depressants are beneficial - you can read a heap of stories here on Depression Forums for that perspective. It's a similar thing with individual drugs. They affect people differently, sometimes they work, sometimes not at all - and often it's not known exactly how they work - or indeed what the cause of depression is in the first place! For instance, my understanding is that Lexapro is not a stimulating drug - I believe that it inhibits rather than stimulating, it stops your brain from re-absorbing serotonin, rather than getting your brain to produce any more - that's why it's called a Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitor (SSRI). But that doesn't mean that it won't cause insomnia, though it never did for me. For yet another perspective on your problem (mine!) - there is a lot of research out there about the problems caused by long-term use of benzodiazapines such as Klonopin, and about their potential addictive possibilities, and about the difficulty people have coming off them. Perhaps what you're going through has to do with Klonopin issues?
  18. I find that I sleep better on the chewable tablets than I did on the swallowed pill - at 45mg.
  19. You might want to try googling Robert Whitaker, an American author. According to the surveys of research he's done, most people over time actually get better from depression - and people not on medication, on average, do as well or better than those on medication. Some cases definitely need medication - and there shouldn't be any shame about using it! - but there are lots of others out there who don't need it. And don't write off meditation and yoga - there are heaps of studies out there which show that those practices actually change the brain chemistry which may be screwed up in the first place - just like medication.
  20. Here's an explanation from crazymeds for why, for many people, Mirtazapine makes you more tired the LOWER the dose. (That's definitely the effect it has on me). "Remeron enhances the activity around the receptors for serotonin and norepinephrine, so unlike the SSRIs and SNRIs, Remeron stimulates your brain to release more of the serotonin and norepinephrine it has. It also antagonizes the H1 histamine receptor (i.e. it's one hell of a central nervous system antihistamine, sort of like super Benadryl), which is a big reason why you get so tired and so hungry. At 15mg it will also make you very sleepy, yet at 30 and 45mg the sleepiness sometimes isn't so much of an issue. My guess is that at the higher dosages the extra norepinephrine regulates your sleep, trumping the sedation that often accompanies messing around with serotonin and histamine. Then again, sometimes not." 'Course, these drugs affect everyone differently, for better or worse....
  21. Hi You might look up books by Daniel Amen, Daniel Siegel, Norman Doidge, and Stephen Larsen (The Healing Power of Neurofeedback). Hope those spellings are correct!
  22. Hey I'm not OCD (though my mind is quite O) - so this may not be helpful! But one thing I try, when I feel compelled to do something I don't want to be doing, is to try to put it off a bit at a time. That is, I'll say to myself, ok, I won't do ________ for another 30 seconds; then another 60; then 2 minutes; etc. And eventually maybe you get better at not doing them at all? Another thing I thought is maybe when you do do it, you could make a checklist and carry it with you, and mark with the date and time that you've checked the window/door/outlet - so then afterwards when you worry that maybe you didn't do it, you could just look at your checklist and be re-assured?
  23. I read this on a depression forum somewhere - it might have been this one, I can't remember. I have printed it out and I keep it next to my bed, and on really bad days I read it and I find it helpful. Thanks to whoever it was who wrote it originally. ADU STEP 1. OK you're majorly depressed. You cannot face the day or your life. You have been staring at the ceiling for 2 hours without mustering the ability to leave your bed unless bladder pressure got you to the bathroom. I want you to do one thing. Just one. Get up and make your bed. Do not take this as a sign to yourself that you have to stay up. Once your bed is made you can get right back in and stay there all day if you still want to. I will not say anything. Making your bed is a little gift to yourself. You are making that bed a haven, pleasant and comfortable to get into whenever you do decide to. Whether it is in 5 minutes or 16 hours. Remember it is your bed and you can get in it any time you want. Smooth out the bottom sheet and arrange the pillows nicely. Tuck in the blankets if you have them or just lay out the doona. Whatever it takes. If you are really at rock bottom and there are no sheets on the bed, go and get some and put them on. There, you have done it. Take a moment to admire your work. DO NOT look around at your messy room. We are focusing on the bed here. It is really nice and it is all for you because you deserve it. Right, now you can get back in bed if you still want to. But perhaps you feel you might be able to manage a small step forward? If so read on. STEP 2 We are heading for the bathroom. Brush your teeth and get under the shower. This is not the time to save water. Be generous with the hot water and let it relieve your kinked shoulders and aching back. Wash your hair if it needs it. It probably does. When you get out, don't just dry off and leave it there. Get yourself up as if you were going out or to work. Use your gel, mousse, blow drayer, whatever you use to make yourself look nice. Put on makeup if you wear it. Use your moisturiser. Shave if you're a guy. Spray on scent if you have it. Don't you feel better? Don't stop here, go back to your room and get dressed. Really dressed, in clean stuff from your closet, not trackies from the floor or under your bed. Jeans and a t-shirt is fine, but they should be clean ones, and you must wear your shoes. Don't be afraid to wear your shoes, you can take them off just as easily as you put them on. Get out a clean handkerchief if you use them. Now take a look at yourself in a mirror. A full length one if you have one. Smile. Come on you can paste one on your face. Notice how nice you look. Remember you are not looking and comparing yourself to someone you saw in some dodgy fashion magazine. You are comparing yourself to what you saw when you first walked in the bathroom (if you even let yourself look ) Don't worry about what anyone else thinks of your looks. How dare they even have an opinion? You will notice two things. One is that you are way, way better looking than you thought you were. The second thing is that you are a lot more capable than you thought half an hour ago. There you have done really well. Now, if you still want to, you can go back to bed.
  24. Sometimes I think the focus in therapy on the "negative" or "problematic" aspects of our personalities is not a good thing. When I started therapy - 20 years ago! - I had some serious problems, but they were isolated to a few limited areas of my life. After years of therapy, even though those serious problems are less serious, I actually feel in general like I am a much more unhappy person. For years I wanted to believe that the pain of therapy was actually necessary for healing - but now I am not so sure....
  25. This is not proven, and I think it's not a great thing to scare vulnerable people on a site like this unnecessarily. The American Psychological Association says there is no causal link between a single abortion and any kind of mental illness. If you're concerned about this, search "abortion and mental health" at Wikipedia, and you'll find a well-considered article on the subject with numerous citations from respected literature and studies.
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