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  • **DEPRESSION - SUICIDE/CRISIS INTERVENTION**
    • Suicide Help -- PLEASE READ THIS!! If you or someone you know are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location
  • ***FORUM ANNOUNCEMENTS***
    • Forum Announcements
  • THE DEPRESSION FORUMS WELCOMES YOU
    • **THE DEPRESSION FORUMS WELCOMES YOU AS A GUEST!**
    • **A Special Forum to Welcome our 'NEW MEMBERS'!!**
    • **Our Forums Terms Of Service (TOS) & FAQ**
  • IMMEDIATE DEPRESSION SUPPORT
  • DEPRESSION & ANXIETY MEDICATIONS - LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
    • Abilify (aripiprazole)
    • Citalopram (Celexa) / Lexapro (Escitalopram)
    • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
    • Effexor (venlafaxine) / Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)
    • Latuda
    • Paxil/Seroxat (paroxetine)
    • Prozac (fluoxetine)
    • Remeron (mirtazapine)
    • Viibryd (vilazodone)
    • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
    • Zoloft/Lustral (sertraline)
    • Other Depression and Anxiety Medications
    • Medications: Posting, asking and sharing
    • Depression and Meds News
  • OTHER DEPRESSION & ANXIETY RELATED ILLNESSES
    • MNESN - Members Needing Extra Support Now!
    • Anxiety, Panic, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, (PTSD)
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
    • Suicidal Ideation Forum
    • DEPRESSION CENTRAL
    • Other Borderline and Psychotic Symptoms
    • The Relationship and Depression Forum
    • Bipolar Disorder
    • Eating Disorders
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - OCD
    • Personality and Mental Health Disorders
    • Self Injury (SI)
    • Substance Abuse & Recovery
    • Bereavement
    • Other Depressive Health Disorders
    • Co-Dependency
  • DEPRESSION RELATED FORUMS
    • Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender Issues
    • The Depression and Religion Forum
    • Anhedonia
    • Bullying: Emotional and Physical Abuse
    • Depression and Families
    • Therapy
    • Mental illness and stigma: Coping with the ridicule
    • Psych Education 101
    • Clinical Trials Connection Plus More
  • DEPRESSION-ROAD TO RECOVERY
    • The DF Water Cooler
    • One Step At A Time
    • Breaking Stories
    • Mental health disability benefits (US/UK/CA) insurance, parity, etc.
    • Our Information Portal

Blogs

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Found 144 results

  1. Hey, new here. Third post. If you want context on my situation you can read my first post if you want. I am not suicidal, no doubt about that. I absolutely do not want to **** myself. Yet, every once in a while the thought just crosses my mind like "what would it be like if I did **** myself?" not in the sense that I want to commit suicide, just in the sense of imagining what it'd be like. Does anyone else get this too?
  2. On January 25th at 3 am my world shattered I lost my best friend, confidant, and support, when my bunny Wicket passed in my arms. Since that day my depression has been getting progressively worse. Until recently could not have imagined taking my own life, but as the days go on I can see why it has appeal. I have been on medication for depression since 2001 and for the most part have been okay. Even though I have had the dosages increased over the years. Wicket has been my whole life for the past 2.5 years as he had progressive paralysis in the lower body and even before that he was my source of joy. Without Wicket I no longer have any reason to get-up in the morning or go to work, I find myself questioning what is the point of anything. When Wicket was alive I would have said I have two reasons for living: Wicket and my mother (who is in her 70s). Wicket is now gone and my mother does not understand my grieving or sinking into depression. She feels I should accept that he is gone and be happy that he is no longer suffering, so there is no reason to grieve. She does not understand that he was my source of physical and emotional comfort that I was able to tell him anything and all I ever got back was love and affection. Without Wicket I no longer have any social life as my social life was taking him to his various appointments. And the people that I did socialize with a bit were related to his care, including one of his vets. She had told me when he passed that we would still get together and visit bet you can guess that never happened. I wish she had never said anything and gotten my hopes up. Nor do I have anything to spend my time on, his care and then just cuddling took-up my days. He required medication twice a day, needed to be taken to the bathroom, I assisted him with grooming, played with him, talked to him and most of all we loved each other. I started seeing a councilor after he passed because I needed someone to talk to and I was trying to make sense of it all. My last appointment with her is on March 29th and then I would have to find someone else as I accessed her through a work program. Other than her being someone to listen to me and a safe place to cry once week I am not sure she did anything for me. She was understanding but could not really understand how much of an effect Wicket’s passing had on me and why it hurt me so much. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist tomorrow and I am not really sure what to expect and I am worried that she will not understand like so many others why I am hurting so much. At this point I just want to get back to the kind of numbness that I generally felt before his passing. I had been talking with Wicket and trying to work of the courage to go see my GP to see if there could be any changes made that I might actually feel happy instead of nothing. Wicket’s death changed that completely. I had been coping somewhat with Wicket’s loss by doing physical work around the house, which seemed to be helping a bit. That all changed a week ago Monday as I slipped on some ice and dislocated my shoulder and I am no longer able to do anything physical. I have also been attending a support group for pet loss but even there I do not feel like they really get how much his passing affected me and how the depression plays a role (not that I am really keen to talk about that as well). I have gotten to the point where most days I can put on a game face, but inside all I want to do is cry. I tried reaching out to my brother looking for someone to talk to and an old friend as I really don’t have any friends. In a fight with my mother about my state I found out that the old friend went to my brother about our conversation, and that my brother then went to my mom, so I have no support for my grieving or depression. A few people have said well just get another pet, they do not understand that is was not just the animal but who he was and the connection we shared. To me it feels like they are saying after my child died oh well just get a new one. Even if I did want to find another there is no way I could care for one right now and I have no desire to have a fight with my mother (with whom I own a house with) about getting one. Also I have had other pets in my life and I never connected to them like I did with Wicket, his death has hit me harder than even the death of my father. Since his passing I have had no real physical affection nor have I felt truly safe, I have not been sleeping well (we slept together), and I spend hours on Facebook hoping someone will talk to me and ease my loneliness. Thank you for reading this all through, I was hoping that maybe if I wrote it all out I would feel better or at least gain some understanding, and I hope it was not too difficult to understand. I have a million things I want to write and my mind has not been tracking quite right since his passing.
  3. I've struggled with MDD and anhedonia for the past 6+ years. I am experiencing brain inflammation and a dysregulation in neuronal signaling due to chronic stress. Despite the fact that there are a host of studies that implicate glutamate (not serotonin or dopamine) in the pathophysiology of depression: [link removed] this type of depression is largely ignored by medicine. This youtube video does an excellent job of breaking this all down: [link removed] [link removed] This glutamatergic hyperactivity causes neuronal degeneration, compromising how glutamatergic cells excite the regions of your brain involved in emotion, reward, and pleasure: Hence, the emotional blunting, lack of energy, disinterest, amotivation, etc. I've read many studies that suggested NMDA (glutamate) receptor antagonists like ketamine, memantine, and MK-801 are highly effective in reversing the symptoms of depression. To test this theory, I bought an over the counter NMDA receptor antagonist, Agmatine. About an hour after taking it, I noticed a lift in my energy, mood, and mental clarity that no prescription drug (Wellbutrin, Remeron, Lexapro, etc) had given me. I had no response to these prescription drugs because they were all targeting the wrong mechanism. I now understand that my brain lacks the ingredients necessary to heal itself from chronic inflammation. You can read more about the effects of inflammation-induced depression here: [link removed] . Now, after doing some research into what molecules work best, I've developed a stack of supplements that are meant to eradicate this type of depression on a multimodal level: DHA-500 (500 mg, 2X per day): An omega-3 fatty acid that reverses inflammation and enhances neuronal communication. Acetyl L-Carnitine (1000 mg): An antioxidant that helps enhance cognition, reduce inflammation and elevates mood. Activated B-Complex (1 tablet) Vitamin complex that provides a sustained boost in mental and cellular energy. Agmatine (500 mg): Molecule that reverses glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. I haven't tried them all at once yet, but I'm too excited to wait until I do to share this. I know the title is a bit sensationalist because I haven't actually figured out if this will treat anhedonia, but my goal is to raise awareness of this mechanism that I feel is a very important piece of the puzzle. Modern treatment is heavily based on the monoamine hypothesis of depression, which although significant, is not all-encompassing. Feel free to share your experiences with these supplements and contact me if you have any questions and concerns. Best of luck.
  4. There’s a guy there who keeps only talking about using the cash register to me. The manager told him to stop a few weeks ago (after what he said led to me having a mental breakdown) but he still does it. Literally as soon as I walk in the shop, every week, he starts asking if I have used the cash register since last week and making me feel pressured. Today I stood up for myself and told him to stop. He kept apologising for upsetting but really? He does this every week. How many times does he have to be told? I am very mentally unstable so working on the cash register is not my priority. I only volunteer to get me out of the house and to do something ‘positive’! Then, a lady there who I thought was my “friend”… well I have only known her for 2 months but her birthday is coming up so I gave her a card. Today she was complaining that I didn’t put any money in the card like someone else did! I am so annoyed. This charity shop is for a mental health charity but some of the ‘staff’ there make me feel so s***. I am really considering finding a different place to volunteer.
  5. Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis Symptoms Depression can be difficult to detect from the outside looking in, but for those who experience major depression, it is disruptive in a multitude of ways. The symptoms of clinical depression usually represent a significant change in how a person functions. Sometimes individuals become so discouraged and hopeless that death seems preferable to life. These feelings can lead to suicidal ideation, attempts and death by suicide. The following are key areas where depression causes major changes in people. Changes in sleep. Many people experience difficulty in falling asleep, waking throughout the night and/or awakening an hour to several hours earlier than desired in the morning. Other people experiencing depression will sleep excessively–for much longer than they used to.Changes in appetite. Many people in the midst of depression experience a decrease in appetite, and sometimes, noticeable weight loss. Some people eat more, sometimes resulting in weight gain.Poor concentration. The inability to concentrate and/or make decisions is a scary aspect of depression. During a severe depression, many people cannot follow the thread of a simple newspaper article or the plot of a 30-minute TV show. Major decision-making is often impossible. This leads depressed individuals to feel as though they are literally losing their minds.Loss of energy. The loss of energy and profound fatigue often affects people living with depression. Mental speed and activity are usually reduced, as is the ability to perform normal daily routines. If you are living with depression, you will likely find that you response to your environment much more slowly.Lack of interest. During depression, people feel sad and lose interest in usual activities. You might even lose the capacity to experience pleasure. For instance, eating and sex are often no longer appealing. Formerly enjoyable activities seem boring or unrewarding during depression and the ability to feel and offer love may be diminished or lost.Low self-esteem. During periods of depression, people dwell on memories of losses or failures and feel excessive guilt and helplessness. “I am a loser” or “the world is a terrible place” may take over and increase the risk of suicide.Hopelessness or guilt. The symptoms of depression often come together to produce a strong feeling of hopelessness, or a belief that nothing will ever improve. These feelings can lead to thoughts of suicide.Movement changes. People who are depressed may literally look “slowed down” and physically depleted or, alternatively, activated and agitated. For example, a depressed person may awaken very early in the morning and pace the floor for hours.Causes The general scientific understanding is that depression does not have a single cause; it arises from multiple factors that may need to occur simultaneously. A person’s life experience, genetic inheritance, age, sex, brain chemistry imbalance, hormone changes, substance abuse and other illnesses all play significant roles in the development of a depression. It also may be that there is no observable trigger leading to the illness; depression may occur spontaneously and be unassociated with any life crisis, physical illness or other currently known risks. Our current understanding is that major depression can have many causes and develop from a variety of genetic pathways. The occurrence of mood disorders and suicides tend to run in families. However, your genetic inheritance is only one factor. Identical twins share 100 percent of the same genes, but both identical twins develop depression only about 30 percent of the time. Some proposed genetic pathways in the development of depression include changes observed in the regional brain functioning. For instance, imaging studies have shown consistently that the left, front portion of the brain becomes less active during depression. Also, brain patterns during sleep change in a characteristic way during depression. Depression is also associated with changes in how the pituitary gland and hypothalamus respond to hormone stimulation. Additional factors that have been linked to depression include a history of sleep disturbances, medical illness, chronic pain, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and alcoholism or drug abuse. We know that a biologically inherited tendency to develop depression is associated with a younger age of depression onset, and that new onset depression occurring after age 60 is less likely due to genetic predisposition. Life factors and events seem to influence whether an inherited, genetic tendency to develop depression will ever lead to an episode of major depression. Certain aspects of life, such as marital status, financial standing and where a person lives, do have some bearing on whether someone develops depression, but it can be a case of “the chicken or the egg.” For instance, though depression is more common in people who are homeless, it may be that the depression strongly influences why any given person becomes homeless. We also know that long-lasting stressors like unemployment or a difficult marriage play a more significant role in developing depression than sudden stressors like an argument or receiving bad news. Traumatic experiences may not only contribute to one’s general state of stress, but also seem to alter how the brain functions for years to come. Early-life traumatic experiences have been shown to cause long-term changes in how the brain responds to future fears and stresses. This may be what accounts for the greater lifetime incidence of major depression in people who have a history of significant childhood trauma. Other proposed genetic pathways in the development of depression include changes observed in the regional brain functioning. For instance, imaging studies have shown consistently that the left, front portion of the brain becomes less active during depression. Also, brain patters during sleep change in a characteristic way. Depression is also associated with changes in how the pituitary gland and hypothalamus respond to hormone stimulation. Other factors that have been linked to depression include a history of sleep disturbances, medical illness, chronic pain, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, alcoholism or drug abuse. Our current understanding is that major depression can have many causes and develop from a variety of genetic pathways. Diagnosis The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) is the current reference used by health care professionals to diagnose mental illnesses such as depression. This manual was first published in 1952 and has since gone through several revisions. The current edition was published in 1994 and lists over 200 mental health conditions and the criteria required for each one in making an appropriate diagnosis. In the DSM-IV, depression is classified as a mood disorder. The DSM-IV's criteria for a major depressive episode (which needs to last longer than two weeks) include: Major Depressive Episode Depressed mood (such as feelings of sadness or emptiness). Reduced interest in activities that used to be enjoyed. Change in appetite or weight increase/decrease. Sleep disturbances (either not being able to sleep well or sleeping too much). Feeling agitated or slowed down. Fatigue or loss of energy. Feeling worthless or excessive guilt. Difficulty thinking, concentrating or troubles making decisions. Suicidal thoughts or intentions.There is a strong possibility that a depressive episode can be a part of bipolar disorder. Having a physician make the right distinction between unipolar and bipolar disorder is critical because treatments for these two depressive disorders differ. The use of antidepressants, the cornerstone of treatment of major depression can sometimes activate manic symptoms or even worsen depressive symptoms, including suicidal thinking, in people with bipolar depression. At the same time, antidepressants do not appear to be particularly effective for treating bipolar depression. In major depression associated with bipolar disorder, mood stabilizers and psychosocial treatments-not antidepressants-have a strong evidence base and can often be effective. Speaking with a mental health care provider can help guide this process.
  6. If you’re feeling suicidal, please read this. I originally wrote this for World Suicide Prevention Day. It is aimed towards someone who may be considering taking steps towards ending their own lives. If this is you please read on and I hope that you can find something in these words that makes you see that your life is precious. I may not know you personally but if I could I would reach out and hug you first and foremost. You may feel alone in this world and like there is no point in carrying on but this is simply not true. While I don’t know you, the fact that you are struggling and feeling like this is the only option shows me that you are a person who can feel things so deeply and I believe that whatever you may have done there is at least one person who does care deeply for you. If you can not think of one then let me tell you that I care about you. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be writing this. If you are still reading then thank you for not turning and running . That shows that within you there is strength to confront what you are feeling and also hope that maybe there is something else you can do to avoid this, what to you may feel like is the only, course of action. You are doing so well just reading this and trying to see if there is something you can do and I hope you can hold on to this however tiny it may seem. Thank you for still reading. I’m now going to offer you some things you may like to do before you go any further. You don’t have to do them but I hope there is one thing here that may help you. Here they are: Call, text or email someone, explaining how you feel, if you can. This could be a friend, relative, medical professional or a charity helpline. The Samaritans offer non-judgmental advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Take a bath or shower and try to relax for an hour. In this time try to think about yourself and treat yourself with respect. Write one thing that you can do. It may be that you can take some lovely photographs, it may be that you make a brilliant meal or it might be that you always make yourself available to others. There is, I’m sure, one thing that you can do. Do that one thing that you can do. Go for a walk if you feel that you can do so while still remaining safe, If possible make sure that someone knows where you will be going and how long you plan to be. This gives you a chance to roam in mind as well as body but still keep in mind that people are waiting and wanting you. Draw, write or do something creative. Don’t worry about how it turns out. Exercise. Maybe lift weights or run. Sleep. I hope there is something there you can do. I hope upon hope that the first option is the one you choose. I believe that other people are our biggest weapon in fighting the thoughts that are currently pushing you to your limits. You still reading? Great. You’re doing really well to keep going and I’m proud of you. Truly proud of you. I know how hard it is to get this low but you’re still with me and that is a massive positive. I hope the intensity of your suicidal feelings is subsiding slightly or you have managed to find something to hold on for until you can get the support you deserve, and yes you do deserve it no matter what your brain is telling you. You are on this planet and that makes you special. There is probably someone, you may not know who, but someone who loves you and is glad you are alive. I’m glad you are alive as I know you have huge potential if you have made it this far, think about it you’ve read all this written by me; that is an accomplishment. I’m going to leave you now. I hope you make the decision to live. I know it is a big decision to make and may seem scary but I believe that it is the best decision you can make as it holds so much opportunity for the future. Please get help and if you feel that you are at immediate risk of hurting yourself then I ask you to go to Accident and Emergency so that you can be kept safe. You deserve to be safe and happy. Thank you for reading and know that I am thinking of you and hoping you can see the good in you that others can. One last hug. *hugs* -Lindsay
  7. Some have asked me what helps me in the struggle against depression. It's taken a while, but I put together some things that have helped me. I'm not sure how much use they will be to anyone else, but just in case they are, I'll put them out here. I've tried to put them in order of how they helped me, but some are really basic psychological precepts, and even though they may be lower down on the list they are still very important. 1. Find someone to talk to; a friend who can understand and support you without judgement, or a counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist. It is important to know that you are not alone. It is important to have someone there you can count on to help you see clearly when you cannot, and to help you recognize patterns of thought and/or behavior that you will not be able to see. 2. Learn to recognize and turn away from unproductive negative thought cycles. >Learn how to recognize negative thought cycles; learn how they affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Have a friend or counselor help you recognize them if necessary. >Be forceful, consistent, and persistent. This will not be easy; it will be an uphill battle, especially at first. >Negative thought cycles can be like a rut, and difficult to get out of. Either find a way to get out of the rut your mind gets into, or be ready to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. >>I use metal music I know the lyrics to. I focus on the loudness, intensity, & the lyrics. I let the music sweep me up, and focus only on the music and the lyrics. Any time the negative thought cycle tries to start up again, I renew my focus on the lyrics. I actually made a mix track of Chester Bennington’s scream tracks from different Linkin Park songs that has been very good for this purpose. 3. Look beyond yourself. I highly recommend pursuing spirituality, or a relationship with a Higher Power. If you cannot embrace a sense of spirituality or the concept of a Higher Power, I recommend focusing on the earth: as a whole, as a collection of intricately interdependent ecosystems, and in its place in the overall universe. >If you cannot embrace the concept of a Higher Power, I’m not sure how effective or helpful this step will be for you. It may lead to negative or discouraging thoughts. My personal sense of a Higher Power has been incredibly important to my fight against depression, and is strongly related to the complexity and individuality of life on earth, and the intricate interdependence present in ecosystems, how those ecosystems interact with each other, as well as the earth’s rather minor place in the universe as a whole. 4. Practice genuine gratitude – not reluctant gratitude, but true thankfulness. Be genuinely grateful for what you can – it is important that this sense of gratitude be genuine, and not have undertones of anger or bitterness. >Be aware that this may be a trigger point for you if you are struggling with a lot of anger or bitterness in your emotional life. >Do not look at what others have or do – if you do, look at it with a healthy sense of skepticism that all is not as ‘rosy’ as it looks. If you find yourself struggling with jealousy over someone else’s supposedly ‘easy’ life, remind yourself that you are not seeing everything about their life, that they have struggles you know nothing about. >I am a skeptic at heart, so this is not something I struggle with. I’m not sure what to tell you to help you get past any anger or bitterness you may have. All I know is that I do not believe what I see on the surface of other people. When I look at someone, I do not believe the presentation I am seeing; I know that there are secrets and struggles that person does not allow others to see. 5. Focus on what you can do, on what you can accomplish. Give it extra emphasis, & deliberately spend time feeling positive about whatever you have managed to accomplish. No task is too small to include here. >Do not allow yourself or anyone else to degrade you or ridicule you for any small task you put here. Trying to focus on your accomplishments will probably trigger negative thought cycles. Fight those negative thought cycles. >Be forceful, consistent, and persistent with this. You will have to give these tasks extra emphasis for a while, in order to make sure you become ‘aware’ of them on a deeper level. > >I still have difficulty with this, as it is related to my struggle with unrealistic expectations. My spouse used to get upset with me for leaving the clean dishes out on the counter, and not putting them up in the cabinets once they were done. When I explained to him that leaving clean dishes out on the counter was my way of reminding myself I had achieved something, he was able to look past it and it doesn't bother him anymore. So now I leave the clean dishes out for a while before I put them up. 6. Help others as you can. Volunteer somewhere that has meaning for you. Learn to make things you can donate for others to benefit from. Pray for or meditate on behalf of others you care about. Be aware of how others are struggling, and think about any small action or word you can use to either help alleviate that, or let them know you care and that they are not alone. 7. Be self-aware; be aware of ‘Cognitive Distortions’, and which ones may affect your thinking. Be aware of how your life experiences shape your perception and your way of seeing and reacting to the world around you. If possible, work through what life experiences left you with these distortions, and how you can overcome them. It would be helpful to have the guidance of a counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist. 8. Remember that depression and negative emotions don’t actually last forever. This can be impossible to remember while you are enduring them. You may even have to take this concept on ‘faith’ until you get to a point where you can see it in your own life. Journal or track your emotions throughout the day. Have a friend help you, so you can learn to recognize altered moods when you feel them. This point may be very important at first, especially if you have struggled with a depressed mood for an extended period of time. Recognize that you may no longer be able to see when and if your mood lifts, and recognize that you may have unrealistic expectations of what it means to ‘not be depressed’. 9. Develop small goals or achievable tasks that you can do or work toward each day. >Be aware of how cognitive distortions & life experiences may cause you to develop unrealistic expectations of yourself. >>This was a problem for me several years ago, and it took years for me to overcome my tendency to develop unrealistic expectations. In fact, it is something I still struggle with on a daily basis. It takes a lot of effort for me to fight this tendency, but I have seen progress and that helps me keep up the effort.
  8. Hi everyone. I wanted to share my story, and solicit any advice or personal experience you might have with this topic. I am 25 years old and have been experiencing brain fog for over 5 years now. I feel disconnected with things going on around me. Like everything doesn't make as much of an impression as it used to. When reading, I can't keep track of a larger theme, and pretty much loose track of what I read a few sentences prior. When I try and make complicated decisions or follow complicated thinking, I have a hard time keeping up, relative to how I used to be able. Even menus at restaurants or picking out a cereal at the grocery store takes significantly longer. My short term memory and recall are fuzzy and less effective. It started in college, and was the first symptom I noticed. Honestly, I can't pinpoint exactly when it started, because for a while I just wrote it off as being tired and over-worked or just having a hard time concentrating (I've always had a small problem concentrating on school work for more than an hour at a time). I made excuses for why I was feeling the way I was. Eventually, it got bad enough that I started trying to figured out what was wrong with me. I made several half-hearted attempts (I was in the middle of school) and investigated many potential causes (allergic reactions, eye problems, stress counciling). Nothing panned out. The stress of trying to keep up in school with my reduced cognitive state started to stress me out, and I started to feel several of the traditional symptoms of depression - things that I liked doing before, I didn't want to do, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, tired all the time. When I finally went on break from school, my GP put me on zoloft (100mg). The thing that zoloft has mostly done for me, is made me feel 'OK'. Most of the despression symptoms (disinterest, sleeping, loss of appetite) are gone, but the brain fog still remains. But I don't feel motivated to do anything about it. The zoloft makes me feel content to just muddle along. I will utilize stress or guilt of not 'working hard enough' to get me through tasks that I don't necessarily want to do, but its a poor substitiute for actual thought. This is the real reason I have put up with brain fog for so long. But it had really stunted my growth as a person, as you might imagine. I have stayed in the same job I got out of college because its fairly easy, and a known quantity. I know I can handle it. My condition embarrasses me so, I keep from forming meaningful relationships with people or revealing too much about myself. So there's a summary of my story and my condition. It literally took me a half an hour of writing/intermitent procrastinating to write all of that. Any questions/comments are more than welcome. Thanks!
  9. One in four people go through a mental or neurological disorder at least once in their lifetime Published: 08:00 May 12, 2016 Dona Cherian, Guides Writer According to World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), every forty seconds, someone commits suicide in the world. Mental health disorders, big or small, are so stigmatised that people never manage to get the right treatments at the right time. People in your family, social circle or work could be victims to mental conditions without your knowledge or even theirs. For mental health, ignorance can be fatal. In observance of the Mental Health Awareness Week, we list some of the most common mental disorders in the world. 1. Anxiety disorders Anxiety disorders come in many types and stages. Obsessive compulsive disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and behavioural disorders fall in this wide category. Minor forms of anxiety are common and can be treated with lifestyle changes and therapy. Medications are used when these methods fail to bring any change. All of the below disorders can trigger anxiety and so can genetic and environmental factors. Panic attacks are a common effect of high anxiety. Emma Stone, Lena Dunham, Amanda Seyfried, Elton John and Kate Moss are a few celebrities known to have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. 2. Depression Depression affects more than 350 million people globally and is a leading cause of disability. Lack of productivity at work, problems in relationships and increased risk of self-harm are some of the effects of depression. Chronic cognitive symptoms of depression which include indecisiveness, and lack of memory and concentration are what impair quality of life of people with depression even after treatment. Robin Williams, award-winning American actor and comedian, committed suicide in 2014 and was a victim of severe depression and a form of dementia. Deepika Padukone and Kristen Bell are popular actors who have recently come out with their depression stories. These announcements can help unravel the stigma around diagnosis of depression and its treatment. 3. Bi-polar affective disorder Affecting over 60 million people worldwide, bi-polar affective disorder can be manic or depressive. In manic episodes irritability, hyperactivity, lack of sleep, inflated self-esteem and speech issues are major symptoms. Stabilizing moods using treatment and psycho social support is essential to treat this disorder. Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most celebrated artists of all time and his death in 1890 is attributed to bi-polar affective disorder. He also suffered from depression and anxiety. Catherine Zeta Jones and Demi Levato were diagnosed with this condition and underwent medical treatment. 4. Dementia Dementia is progressive deterioration in cognitive function beyond the normal effects of ageing. It can be caused by other medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease or strokes. Around 47.5 million people in the world suffer from some stage of dementia. While completely curing dementia is not possible, treatments can give patients and caregivers some relief. Ronald Reagon, former president of the United States of America (1981-1989), announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s in 1994. Michael J. Fox suffers from Parkinson’s disease and dementia is a common condition in the later stages of this ailment. 5. Schizophrenia Delusions, psychotic hallucinations and cognitive distortion are what characterise this disorder. Due to the heavy stigma surrounding it, people often refuse to go in for diagnosis or treatment. It affects around 20 million people worldwide. What many people do not know is that with effective medical treatment and support, people with schizophrenia can lead a normal and productive life. John Nash, celebrated mathematician and Nobel laureate was diagnosed with schizophrenia as was Albert Einstein’s son Eduard Einstein. Parveen Babi was an Indian actress who was rumoured to have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and depression. She was found dead in her apartment in Juhu, Mumbai in 2005. Along with these, developmental mental disorders such as autism are quite common globally. These have an earlier onset, showing signs in infancy or early childhood. Such conditions have a steady progression rate and can affect adult life of the patients. Optimal mental health results in the opportunity for a great quality of life. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 17 per cent of the entire U.S. population is in a state of optimal mental health. Awareness and diagnosis can help people with mental disorders to live a complete and productive life.
  10. Peer support offers promise for reducing depression symptoms February 15, 2011Media Contact: Ian Demsky Peer to Peer support showed better outcomes for depression than traditional care and similar results as cognitive behavioral therapy, study finds Peer support offers promise as an effective, low-cost tool for fighting depression, a new study by the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and University of Michigan Health System finds. Programs in which patients and volunteers share information were found to reduce symptoms of depression better than traditional care alone and were about as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy, researchers found after analyzing 10 randomized trials of peer support interventions for depression dating from 1987 to 2009. The analysis was the first of its kind to look at peer support specifically for depression, says lead author Paul Pfeiffer, M.D., M.S.,an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School and researcher at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. “Peer to Peer support is much less likely to be incorporated into the treatment of depression than for other conditions such as alcohol or substance abuse,” Pfeiffer says. “Our study combined data from small randomized trials and found peer support seems to be as effective for treating depression as some of the more established treatments.” The findings were recently published online ahead of print publication in General Hospital Psychiatry. Peer support has been found to decrease isolation, reduce stress, increase the sharing of health information and provide role models, the study points out. Since peer support programs often use volunteers and nonprofessionals – and can be done over the phone or Internet as well as in person – they have the potential to be widely available at relatively low cost, Pfeiffer says. The need for additional coping options is important when one considers that one third of patients taking anti-depressants for major depressive disorder still experience significant symptoms after trying four medicines, and more than half of people who achieve remission of their symptoms relapse within a year, he adds. “As a field, we should be looking at how to integrate peer support components into primary care and specialty treatment of depression,” Pfeiffer says, noting that additional, larger studies could also provide more insight. Funding: This research was supported by VA Health Services Research and Development Service, Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center and the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research. Additional U-M authors: Michele Heisler, M.D., John D. Piette, Ph.D., Mary A.M. Rogers, Ph.D., Marcia Valenstein, M.D. Heisler, Piette and Valenstein have VA appointments. Reference: “Efficacy of peer support interventions for depression: a meta-analysis,” General Hospital Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2010.10.002 Source: http://www.uofmhealth.org/News/peer_psychiatry_0215
  11. Up to 45 percent of antidepressant prescriptions are for another condition entirely. 05/27/2016 02:37 pm ET Anna Almendrala Senior Healthy Living Editor There’s been a lot of concern over the “skyrocketing” use of antidepressants over the last 20 years. Many experts believe that these rising numbers indicate either higher depression rates or an over-diagnosis of mental illness. But there is at least one more factor, courtesy of a new study published in the journal JAMA: An increasing number of people are taking antidepressant medications for completely separate conditions, according to an analysis of nine years of prescription data in Quebec, Canada. Only about 55 percent of antidepressant prescriptions were written to alleviate depression symptoms, while the rest were written for a wide variety of other conditions that aren’t related to depression. Some of these were prescribed in what’s known as “off-label” use — when a medicine is prescribed to treat a condition for which it wasn’t officially approved, or when a medicine is taken in a different dose or method than the manufacturers originally intended. While using medications for unapproved conditions is common and perfectly safe under the care of a doctor, the increasing rate of off-label antidepressant use is an important reminder for experts not to assume that patients who are taking antidepressants have depression, said lead study author Jenna Wong, a PhD student with the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill University in Montreal. Other reasons people take antidepressants We’ve known for a while that there are an increasing number of reasons to use antidepressants off-label, but Wong’s study is among the first to break down the most common reasons by percentage. Wong and her colleagues analyzed over 100,000 antidepressant prescriptions written from 2006 to 2015 for approximately 20,000 patients in prescription databases in Quebec. These databases are unique because they contain a field that allows the doctor explain why the medication is being prescribed — a feature Wong says should spread to more prescription databases. Though the study data came from Canada, off-label use was determined using both Health Canada and U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifications. The FDA has given approval for antidepressant use in treating some of the other conditions, but interestingly, doctors also prescribed antidepressants for conditions which are off-label for all antidepressants as a class. In all, 29 percent of antidepressant prescriptions were prescribed for off-label use, Wong notes. Here are the most common alternate uses: 1. Anxiety Certain classes of antidepressants are FDA-approved for anxiety disorder treatment. And Wong found that 18.5 percent of antidepressant prescriptions were in fact written to address anxiety, instead. 2. Insomnia About 10 percent of prescriptions were written to address insomnia. People with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression, while insomnia or other sleep problems are a common symptom in people with depression. That’s why they sometimes share the same treatment, notes the Sleep Foundation. Doctors in Wong’s study tended to prescribe mostly off-label antidepressants for insomnia and pain; though there is one FDA-approved antidepressant for insomnia, about 97 percent of the prescriptions written for insomnia were off-label. 3. Pain The Mayo Clinic calls antidepressants a “mainstay” in chronic pain treatment for their ability to dull the perception of pain — an ability that is not fully understood by researchers. Pain disorders made up six percent of the antidepressant prescriptions in Wong’s study. A few antidepressants are FDA-approved to help alleviate chronic pain, but 83 percent of the antidepressants prescribed for pain were off-label, according to Wong’s analysis. 4. Panic disorders Four percent of antidepressant prescriptions were indicated for panic disorder, which includes agoraphobia, social phobia and widespread anxiety and can lead to physical symptoms like a racing heart rate, trembling, chest pain and shortness of breath. The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that antidepressant medication can alleviate some of these symptoms and can even stop the recurrence of panic attacks. Several antidepressants are FDA-approved for treating panic attacks. 5. Fibromyalgia The treatment of fibromyalgia, a disorder with symptoms like musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and sleep issues, made up 1.5 percent of antidepressant descriptions. Antidepressants can help with the pain and fatigue that fibromyalgia can cause, the Mayo Clinic notes, and some of them are approved by the FDA for treatment of the condition. 6. Migraine Migraines, which are severe headaches that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and what’s known as “aura” (dizziness, visual hallucinations and light sensitivity), can sometimes be treated with a certain class of antidepressant known as a tricyclic antidepressant. Using any antidepressant to treat migraines is an off-label use of the medication, but experts believe that it changes chemical levels in the brain, which in turn helps prevent migraines. Prescriptions for migraines made up 1.5 percent of the prescriptions in Wong’s study. 7. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder made up 1.1 percent of the prescriptions analyzed in Wong’s study. Several antidepressants have been approved by the FDA to treat OCD because it can help make symptoms more manageable. They are a first-line pharmaceutical treatment for the disorder, the Mayo Clinic notes. 8. Menopause symptoms Just 0.8 percent of the prescriptions in Wong’s study were written to address vasomotor symptoms of menopause like hot flashes or night sweats. Treating these menopausal symptoms are off-label use for all antidepressants, but recent research from 2014 has shown that taking antidepressants was more effective than a placebo at treating them. However, antidepressants did not outperform the standard of care for hot flashes and night sweats, which is estrogen supplements. Off-label use is perfectly safe While “off-label” use might seem alarming, the FDA notes that it can be an option when approved treatments don’t work, or when prescribed for people with conditions that don’t have an approved treatment. Many off-label uses are backed by scientific evidence from clinical trials, just not full government approval, as the list above demonstrates. Off-label drug use is also common in certain populations, especially among children, because most drugs prescribed to pediatric patients were never tested in children. This makes many pediatric prescriptions necessarily off-label. Why antidepressants are so commonly used for other conditions While she didn’t talk to doctors about why they prescribed so many antidepressants off-label, Wong’s team has two theories about why this is such a common application. The first is that pharmaceutical companies may be aware of clinical trials that test their drugs beyond approved use, and could be promoting and marketing the findings to doctors, Wong said. The second theory is that doctors are simply observing changes in their patients after they start taking certain medicines, and then applying these insights to other patients in their practices. Neither of those two drivers of off-label use are unique to Quebec or Canada, Wong concluded, which means that even though this database only has information about patients in Quebec, there’s no reason to think that this is a Quebec-only phenomenon. But her research does underscore the need for more experts to recognize that simply having an antidepressant prescription is not a proxy for a depression diagnosis or depression treatment. Wong also called for more research on the off-label uses of antidepressants. Source: HuffPost
  12. ITV Report 16 July 2015 at 2:52pm Marie Barry's partner Steve became depressed following the death of his dad A mother of two from Lincoln, whose partner took his own life after battling depression, says too many people aren't willing to talk about the illness. Marie Barry's partner Steve became depressed following the death of his dad. Steve became depressed following the death of his dad The 48-year-old farm worker was also worried he was about to be made redundant. Marie who has two young sons says society brushes depression under the carpet or hides it away treating it as a stigma. Marie believes that society brushes depression under the carpet or hides it away treating it as a stigma. Credit: ITV Yorkshire She also believes men in particular suffer in silence and aren't willing to talk. She's now desperate to help others to speak to their loved ones so they don't ever face the loss she has. She also says telling her children how their dad died was one of the hardest things she's ever had to do. Marie has spoken to Calendar on the day 'Shine' - the mental health network for Lincolnshire said that it is time businesses and society at large realized that people who have severe depression, or who are bipolar or suffer psychosis, are as "disabled" as people who have a physical condition. When someone talks about disability, people tend to think of them having a broken arm or leg, or having suffered a stroke or a life-changing heart attack."They don't see someone who is trying to recover from a nervous breakdown, coping with long-term depression, schizophrenia or psychosis in the same way, yet these conditions often last longer than a physical illness and they may require life-long medication. Source: – SHINE Director Charles Cooke Last updated Thu 16 Jul 2015
  13. This class of drugs, which includes Xanax and Valium, helps control anxiety and panic attacks. A recent study found 1 in 20 adults received a prescription for benzodiazepines in 2008. By Kirstin Fawcett Feb. 19, 2015 | 10:28 a.m. EST+ More The mere thought of climbing into a car sends Jenn Waterman spiraling into a state of agitation and fear. Waterman, a 30-year-old freelance book editor who lives in Arapaho, North Carolina, survived two near-fatal car accidents as a teenager. Since then, she’s battled post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks. Waterman has visited a therapist, and she regularly takes Zoloft, a medication that treats depression, anxiety and other conditions. But the only thing that truly quells her nerves before sliding into a vehicle’s passenger seat, she says, is Valium. “I notice that once I go ahead and take it, I feel so much better – like I can finally relax,” she says. “Sometimes that makes all the difference in the world.” Valium is a medication that’s part of a larger class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed for anxiety and agitation. They can also be used for insomnia, seizures and alcohol withdrawal. Some types of benzodiazepines are instantly recognizable; Ativan and Xanax, for example, have infiltrated popular culture and are now colloquially considered “quick fixes” for everything from poor sleep to panic disorders. But other forms include – but aren’t limited to – the drugs Klonopin and Valium. Benzodiazepines are some of the most common medications in the world; a recent study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that about 1 in 20 adults received a prescription for them in 2008. They’re extremely effective for patients like Waterman, who have crippling anxiety. Unlike medications like selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which take several weeks to reach full efficacy, benzodiazepines work almost immediately. They can also be good for treating chronic anxiety in patients who have adverse reactions to SSRIs and similar medicines. The drawbacks? Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming. And they carry a host of dangerous side effects – including impaired cognition and mobility in older individuals, and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in people with severe addictions. A study sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health recently linked long-term use of benzodiazepines to a heightened risk for Alzheimer’s disease. And data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that benzodiazepines, along with opioid pain relievers, are the prescription drugs most often responsible for emergency department visits and drug-related deaths. So are benzodiazepines helpful or dangerous? Like most pharmaceutical drugs, experts say, they’re a mixed bag. Despite studies suggesting that physicians over-prescribe them, even those in the medical community tend to disagree on whether the benefits of benzodiazepines outweigh the risks. For every doctor who writes a prescription for Xanax, there’s another who refuses to do so, says Jerrold Rosenbaum, chief of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. “It’s amazing how polarizing the conversation gets,” Rosenbaum says. "There is a constituency that views [benzodiazepines] as evil and harmful; they tend to come out of the substance use disorder community. They’re not perfect drugs, but they do work for conditions for which nothing else [is as effective].” Benzodiazepines can be safe for short-term use. “Benzodiazapines are very effective, particularly in the short term, for the treatment of acute anxiety and insomnia,” says Larissa Mooney, an assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the Addiction Medicine Clinic at the University of California-Los Angeles. “They calm people down, and they help people fall asleep and stay asleep.” Most doctors say benzodiazepines should not be prescribed for more than a few weeks. The body slowly builds up a dependency to the pills, which can be averted by not taking them for an extended duration. Patients should also make sure to follow their doctor's dosage instructions, and to slowly taper off the medication instead of stopping cold turkey. In some cases, though, long-term use of benzodiazepines can be acceptable, Mooney says. “There are a subset of people who seem to respond very well to long-term benzodiazepines,” she says. “They may be maintained on a low dose and never need anything higher – meaning they don’t develop a tolerance. They may be intolerant to other classes of medications. And it seems to augment their treatment for anxiety.” All of the above are true for Waterman, who has sporadically taken Valium over the years. She sticks to a low dosage, goes periods of time without taking the medicine and says she’s never felt any physical side effects. She’s also had bad reactions to other antianxiety drugs; Valium is the only medicine she’s taken that hasn't produced physical side effects. And while Zoloft helps her anxiety, Valium is more effective at halting her nightmares and panic attacks. Benzodiazepines are not a cure-all. Many people with panic disorder or acute anxiety use benzodiazepines as a first-line method of treatment until they’re able to find another coping mechanism. But they might also have underlying issues that contribute to their anxiety, Rosenbaum says. These problems might be best addressed by tackling life stressors, taking an antidepressant that helps with anxiety or trying cognitive-behavioral therapy. Certain people should not take benzodiazepines – or they should take extra precautions. People with a history of alcoholism or drug addiction are advised against taking benzodiazepines. Similarly, elderly people face an increased risk of falls, cognitive disturbance, sleep apnea and a potentially heightened chance of dementia, says Charles Reynolds, a professor of geriatric psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. However, he says, certain factors that often appear with aging – for instance, bereavement, insomnia and low-grade depression complicated by anxiety – mean benzodiazepines “do have a place in the management of emotional distress in older adults.” In these cases, he says their best bet is a short-acting benzodiazepine prescribed for a limited duration. And it goes without saying, he adds, that anyone taking benzodiazepines should avoid depressants such as alcohol or opioids. Doctors should carefully monitor patients’ use of benzodiazepines. “In most cases of benzodiazepine dependence, addiction begins with a legitimate prescription,” says Tiffany Jones-Rouse, a licensed social worker and substance abuse counselor based in the Baltimore-District of Columbia metro area. “Folks seek intervention for a variety of conditions, from muscle spasms to chronic anxiety disorders, and they're often issued a prescription for Xanax, Valium, Klonazepam, Ativan or another tranquilizer.” These drugs, she says, can be beneficial for people who have never demonstrated drug or alcohol dependence. In this case, their dosage should always be time-limited and closely monitored by a physician who addresses the potential for addiction. The problem, Jones-Rouse says, is that while many physicians impose prescription time limits and address the risks and side effects, others might not. Over time, a patient will sometimes develop a tolerance toward the benzodiazepines. Their negative symptoms will return, and they will either request a larger dosage from their doctors, buy the medicine illegally or turn to another substance, like alcohol. In certain cases, Jones-Rouse adds, people don't recognize that they're dependent until they make the decision to stop taking the medication. They’ll quickly find that they experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, agitation and irritability, and changes in appetite and sleep patterns, among others. In worst-case scenarios, unmonitored benzodiazepine withdrawal can lead to stroke, seizures and heart attacks. And benzodiazepines, when combined with other drugs, can result in overdose and death. It's possible to safely withdraw from benzodiazepines, even after extended use or abuse. According to Jones-Rouse, hospitals and treatment programs provide medical monitoring for the detoxification phase. Therapists, social workers and psychologists trained in dealing with substance abuse can provide longer-term psychological care. And public support programs such as the 12-step programs Narcotics Anonymous and Chemically Dependents Anonymous provide a social support network that aids in recovery. SOURCE: Lloyd Sederer is medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health, adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and medical editor for Mental Health for the Huffington Post. Follow him @askdrlloyd and visit his website www.askdrlloyd.com. The opinions expressed here are his own However, experts say most physicians agree on the following guidelines – independent of whether or not they themselves prescribe benzodiazepines.
  14. Hi there, Just signed myself up for the first time after years of occasionally wondering if an online support group would help. I was diagnosed with depression over 10 years ago and have responded very well to medications (various SSRI's) and have put a fair bit of work into doing all the "other stuff" (exercise, eating right, sleeping well etc) but I'm still struggling with the need to take medication. I've tried stopping a few times (once cold turkey and you learn that lesson the hard way... don't do it!) and since then a couple of times while taking a program on mindfulness as a relapse prevention tool etc... Over the years I've also realised that while my problem was depression back in high school (I'm now 30), it's anxiety that has stuck and bothers me most now, if I don't take my meds and be very aware of my mood. Basically I'm on a pretty low dose of Celexa and I'm a totally "normal" person as long as I take it and use other strategies that I've learned over the years. My desire to stop taking meds came about mostly because I'm convinced that taking SSRI's has killed my sex drive. I'm in a reasonably long-term relationship, we live together, and I think he's the one I want to marry. I think I had an average sex drive over the years but now it's pretty much the last thing I ever want and has been for a few years now... I worried that it was because my oppinion of myself had dropped over the years and so I didn't want to be seen naked etc except that's not really true. I worried that it was because I wasn't sexually attracted to my boyfriend but despite years of not wanting to have sex with him, I've had no desire to cheat and no attraction to anyone else. And no desire to *********. It's like I'm a 90 year old woman, trapped in the body of a 30 year old (no offense to horny 90 year old) and it's one of the most embarrassing things to talk about, so I don't (which causes all kinds of relationship problems). So I went to my GP and she suggested trying a different medication and switched me to Wellbutrin. I was thrilled that I lost weight almost right away, could concievably have quit smoking, and convinced myself that I was starting to feel slight sexual urges again. Except once the Celexa completely wore off, my anxiety level started to build and I couldn't think properly; the best way to describe this is that it was like my brain had been put in a blender. I don't know if that was caused by anxiety or if my brain just needs more serotonin to function. The other symptom that comes back when I stop taking Celexa is my irritability... what finally convinced me to sign up for this site was going searching for ANYTHING about depression, anxiety and irritability because I just tried to set up my new iPhone, that I've waited forever to get... not being able to get it out of the case and get the SIM card out almost made me throw it against the wall in frustration. WHen I googled the topic, I found a post on this site from a few years ago and it completely describes the way I feel... Becca158 wrote: " I am fine and perfectly calm if on my own, but if I have to go out and eg go shopping I tend to slowly start to get tense and angry. People just seem to wander aimlessley and get in my way. I start screaming in my head "for god sake get out the ****** way" and just stand there, fists clenched. Or if someone doesn't hold a door when they have finished etc again the comments begin in my head. I get aggitated and irritable very easily, if for some reason I am doing my coat up and the zip gets stuck I try once or twice and then I can' t stand it anymore I will physically just rip the thing of and chuck across the room my anger is so fierce. It scares me sometimes. If I am driving and someone cuts me up, I am a lunatic! I used to be calm, but I feel like a frayed peice of rope. My control isn't what it used to be. Even now, when I sit next to my mom in the evenings and she is watching tv, the rustle of her newpaper has my eye twitching and fists clenching and I long to scream at her "be quiet". I don't of course, because that is rude and its not her fault. But I can rationalise myself till I'm blue in the face but I still can't control my temper. When no one is around and something happens I punch walls, kick things. I just wondered if anyone else was like this? I am cheery and cheerful, but quick to temper is someone says something I think is stupid, even if its a valid question. i get angry and think "why are they wasting my time" I don't understand why I am like this. Like I said before i have always had anger issues but the pills to begin seemed to rein in that side of my temper. I do lots of physical activity like go to the gym and go out running and cycling just to try and burn of some of the energy because it feels like a ball of flames trying to consume me. Sometimes its almost like ants crawling up my skins, just everything is an irritation. its not fair on me, but mostly its not fair on others around me." A few people responded but most offered suggestions and like Becca158, I've tried so many of the CBT techniques and other things, I just need to know if other people feel the same way. It makes me cry just writing all of this because I know I'm completely irrational when I'm like this (my beloved cat kept jumping up on my desk when I was trying to fix the iphone and I wanted to just throw him across the room... yet I love him so much it hurts. I also kicked and put a huge dent in my car when I was fighting with my b/f once) and I'm too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. So now I don't know what to do... it seems like an obvious fix to just start taking the Celexa again and not be anxious or angry (I should mention too that my dad had huge rage issues when I was growing up and used to exhibit the same behaviour so I worry too that it's just learned behavious) but I so badly want to know once and for all if the medications are causing other side effects (ie. preventing me from losing weight and more importantly, ******* my sex drive). I don't know which is worse for my boyfriend, never getting laid or having screaming matches with someone totally raging and irrational. Most of all, it just feels like this is a symptom that no one ever talks about.... it seems like it's becoming more okay to say that you couldn't go to work etc because you were depressed but I feel SO alone with things like the anger/irritability and trouble thinking or processing information. I think I partly just needed to spew all of this and get it out of my system but it's making me feel depressed again that I've worked so hard over the years to manage my depression and now my anxiety, to still be feeling like I'm the only person in the world who gets irrationally angry like this. :o( And so so alone.....
  15. Hi guys, I'm (obviously) new here, but I've been looking for somewhere I can pour out my anxieties without feeling too judged, or judged at all if I can avoid it. I'm female, 29 living in the UK and have suffered depression since a young age. I think I was first aware I was suffering low moods when I was fifteen, but never thought too much about them. As I look back now, I have always had major avoidance issues with people, out of fear of being judged and reprimanded and I just don't work well with strangers. Over the years I've been to university twice and gained two seperate high qualifications, but each has been a dark struggle with wanting to lie in bed, cry and sleep all day. Over the next few years I've yo-yo'd with what I call 'highest highs and lowest lows'. I don't think I'm bi-polar, but let me explain a bit more. On a 'high' day, I consider myself active, functional, chirpy and happy. I don't often have days like these so I find it increasingly neccessary to fake it to those who love me and know me well. I know it's never a good thing, I recently found out. On a low day, I stay in bed, stare at the paint and I find my mind blank and numb. I interact with people but I feel so dead inside, nothing they say has absolutely any impact on me whatsoever. I had a big episode last year, in the middle of march. This was set off by me catching pnuemonia. I worked in customer service at an open window (I think we can all guess where this was...) and the extreme cold in the UK coupled with me constantly going in and out of hot to cold, made my chest and illness worse despite me telling management I was too wheezy to work at the window day after day. The outcome was predictable, I began coughing up blood and spent a considerable time at home, feeling like crud and wishing against hope I could drag myself out of the despair. This year, after limping onward with a mood I could feel getting lower and lower, I began to suffer stomach pains. My boss then fired me without cause and it felt like something in me finally snapped. I don't remember too much, which is probably for the best. I know I made out my will and settled my funeral arrangements. Despite being caught writing the note and frantic calls from my mother to the doctors, I attempted to take my own life. I was seen by an emergency assessor who diagnosed me with 'major depressive disorder' with 'extreme social anxiety'. It's taken them a long time to arrange counselling, almost two months, and in that time I've tried three further times. Each time I've been stopped by someone else. I feel at the end of a long dark road. I haven't showered or brushed my teeth since mid january. I dont think I've even washed my clothes or changed my bedding. I either sleep all day or come down to my desk like a ghost and fill my head with video games and documentaries about people who suffer. I seem to find it soothing watching those. My mother has attempted to lighten my day with aromatherapy and I know it's hard on her, hearing me cry and knowing I get 'out of my mind' sometimes. When I have days of insomnia, I stay awake doing nothing at all. My anxiety is probably even worse; I've never been good with strangers and lately this has become almost crushing. I don't leave the house, I haven't in almost three weeks. I know I have to soon because there is my counselling coming up. The last time I left the house, I tried to brave the outside and hit Asda. The bus journey was deafening in silence, and I was sure everyone was looking at me. I can't help but imagine their eyes boring into my skin and the things they;re thinking about me, the words they're whispering about me. In Asda, with so many people in a tighter space, I could feel the panic starting to rise and I avoided looking at faces, trying not to notice their eyes or their lips and pressing myself against shelves to avoid touch. I was bumped into and I had a full blown panic attack. It felt like my windpipe was closing and no air could get in. My hands were shaking and the blood was pounding in my ears, and I went to my knees and then I blacked out. I haven't been out since. One of my qualifications is as an illustrator, digital. I can't even bring myself to put a pencil onto paper. Art was my greatest passion, now I can't even face it. On a lighter note; I hope one day that I can manage this properly. My aim is to be able to go into a cinema filled with people and sit there alone with them and watch a film. It's nothing grand or fancy, but if I can manage that step one day (hopefully soon) - then I can finally see some light on my road. (ps sorry if this depressed anyone, I'm having such a hard time right now and I'm struggling like mad to cope, thanks xx)
  16. In the video link below, Bradley Cooper, star of Silver Linings Playbook, an Oscar-nominated film about a man living with bipolar disorder, joins former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy for a press conference at the Center for American Progress to discuss how this recent film is making progress toward removing the stigma of mental illness. Cooper and Kennedy are joined by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, president and founder of Give an Hour, a nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to U.S. military and their families affected by Iraq and Afghanistan, and Topher Spiro, Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress. _______ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bradley-cooper/silver-linings-playbook-mental-health_b_2595390.html This is a matter of the Stigma that surrounds our illnesses. Please feel free to discuss...
  17. Aug 6, 2015 01:05 PM By Ali Venosa @AliVenosa Urine could hold important biomarkers for determining a patient's mental illness. Diagnosis of mental illness is an entirely different animal than diagnosing a physical one. There are not blood or urine tests that can neatly identify who suffers from a mental illness, and there aren’t x-rays or MRIs that can alert one immediately that something inside isn’t working how it should. We’ve been able to identify some neurological markers that can indicate certain disorders, but as a general rule, diagnosing mental illness comes from interviews and assessments with the patient. A doctor bases his diagnosis on emotional symptoms, reports of social or functional problems, and his own observations of the patient’s attitudes and behavior. As if this wasn’t already a touchy process, many mental illnesses have similar symptoms, with only subtle differences to differentiate between them. A perfect example is the common misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). There are many opportunities for bipolar disorder to be misdiagnosed as MDD — one reason is that bipolar disorder is often first notable when the patient is experiencing a bout of depression. This leads that person to seek help and describe their symptoms, leading a clinician to believe that depressive symptoms are the only thing the patient has. Bipolar disorder only affects about one percent of the population worldwide, so clinicians often forget to question patients about hypomania — the hyperactive, euphoric state that opposites depressive states in bipolar patients. This oversight often leads to patients walking out with an incorrect diagnosis — problematic, since a correct one is crucial for them to receive the treatment they need. Knowing this, researchers set out to find a more objective test to identify the difference between bipolar disorder and MDD, and they just might have found it. How They Did It The researchers took a look at urine samples of patients who had been successfully diagnosed with bipolar disorder or MDD. They combined a couple analytical techniques to examine the metabolites in these samples, hoping to find some biological markers that could differentiate between the two sets of patients. The team went with a combination of gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance — a bit of a mouthful, but no one said this was a simple process. These chemical analyses allowed them to come up with biomarker panels for all of the patients, and they found that 20 differential metabolites were responsible for discriminating bipolar disorder from MDD subjects. Bipolar disorder patients had higher levels of these metabolites, 14 of which were “significantly changed.” The researchers note that their study had limitations, including a small subject pool and the fact that all of the participants came from the same hospital. They also suggest that future studies in this vein should aim to collect multiple samples, including cerebrospinal fluid and plasma to ensure that the same biomarkers are elevated in bipolar disorder patients. Source: Peng X, et al. Divergent Urinary Metabolic Phenotypes Between Major Depressive Disorder And Bipolar Disorder Identified By A Combined GC-MS And NMR Spectroscopic Metabonomic Approach. Journal of Proteome. 2015.
  18. How to Help Someone with Depression August 1, 2014 • By Allison Abrams, LCSW, Depression Topic Expert Contributor Letting go of days tensions, watching the sunset An estimated one in 10 adults in the United States reports currently experiencing depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people are affected globally. If you have a friend or loved one whom you suspect may be battling depression, there are a number of things you can do to help. But first, let’s start with what not to do: Don’t Minimize Most people have experienced a case of “the blues” at one time or another. Whether caused by heartbreak, loss, or for seemingly no reason at all, symptoms may include decreased energy, sadness, or a general “down in the dumps” feeling. Clinical depression can mirror these symptoms to a significantly higher degree of severity, so it is crucial to recognize the difference. A reactive depression in response to a crisis or simply to a change in external circumstances is often to be expected. The sadness one experiences from time to time under such conditions will generally not interfere with the functioning of daily living and will pass fairly quickly in time. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is not so simple. It is not something someone can simply “snap out of,” and telling someone to “cheer up,” or that “it’s not as bad as it seems,” is not helpful. Find a Therapist for Depression The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) describes symptoms of a depressive disorder as persisting for more than two weeks with a significant impairment in daily functioning. Symptoms may include persistent feelings of worthlessness and suicide ideation. If someone expresses thoughts about wanting to hurt themselves or exhibits any other risk factors for suicide, take the person seriously. A large percentage of those who committed suicide told someone of their intentions, so such expressions should not be minimized. Other risk factors for suicide can be found on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website, which warns not to preach with remarks such as, “You have so much to live for,” or, “Your suicide will hurt your family.” Don’t Stigmatize Take an honest assessment of your thoughts and views on depression. Do you question its legitimacy? Do you question whether it is an issue at all, or simply a weakness that can be overcome if only the person was stronger? If this is the case, please read on. Depression has nothing to do with strength or weakness of character, any more so than cancer or any other physical ailment. Studies have shown that stigma is one of the primary obstacles in one’s likelihood of reaching out for help. By taking steps to reduce stigma, you are helping in many ways. Depression has nothing to do with strength or weakness of character, any more so than cancer or any other physical ailment. Studies have shown that stigma is one of the primary obstacles in one’s likelihood of reaching out for help. By taking steps to reduce stigma, you are helping in many ways. Now for what you can and should do: Legitimize Estimates place the risk of suicide among those with major depression at about 3.4%. If someone you care about expresses thoughts of hurting themselves, please take these seriously. According to Stella Padnos-Shea, social worker and volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, depression is one of the most frequently cited risk factors for suicide. If you suspect that someone is at risk of suicide, it is crucial that you take action. You can escort the person to your local emergency room or call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Get Educated One of the best things you can do to help your loved one is educate yourself about what clinical depression is. According to the DSM-5, certain criteria must be met in order for a person to be diagnosed with a depressive disorder. These are signs that you want to look for in the person you are concerned about. They include a depressed or irritable mood for much of the day, nearly every day, for more than two weeks; changes in weight, sleep, and/or appetite; difficulty concentrating; decreased energy; and decreased interest in activities that once seemed pleasurable. Psychiatrist David D. Burns, author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (an excellent resource for anyone who would like to better understand depression), describes one of the primary indicators of someone experiencing a clinical depressive episode is the pervasiveness of symptoms and distortion of thoughts and self-image. Keep in mind the words “pervasive” and “distorted.” Unless someone has experienced clinical depression, it is very difficult to fully appreciate and understand what it feels like and how debilitating it can be. Imagine walking around wearing a pair of dark glasses; everywhere you turn, everything looks dark. This is where the distortion comes in. Those around you may try to convince you that what you are seeing is not accurate, and may even point out the beauty and the colors around you, but wearing those lenses, it’s impossible to see. When you are depressed, your perception of the world is often so clouded that it is almost impossible to see the positive in anything or even to recall that there were good times. Be Prepared Although most will not seek help unless they are ready and encouraged, it would be helpful to have a list of possible referrals to offer. When someone is in the throes of clinical depression, the idea of researching and seeking professional help could seem like a herculean task, especially with all the changes in managed care. You would be removing a huge obstacle in having a few resources available to hand over. Sites such as GoodTherapy.org can be excellent sources for finding a mental health provider. If insurance will be used, you can call the insurance company for a list of preferred providers. Be There According to Padnos-Shea, one of the most important things you can do for someone you believe is experiencing clinical depression is to be there for the person and to let him or her know you are there. It is not uncommon for friends and family to avoid a depressed loved one—not out of any malice, but rather as a result of feeling impotent or not knowing what to do. The worst thing you can do for a depressed person is to abandon him or her. This only reinforces the false belief that he or she is alone in a world where no one cares. Your loved one may push you away and isolate. This is common in depressed individuals. Regardless, be sure to let the person know in no uncertain terms that, when and if he or she is ready to reach out, you will be there. It is important to note that a majority of people diagnosed with mental health issues, including depression, do not end up attempting or committing suicide. Despite the statistics mentioned above, the vast majority of those who experience clinical depression will improve with treatment. The determining factors in recovery include whether they choose to get professional help and the support they have in their lives. So, know that your support and your presence can absolutely make a difference. References: Current Depression Among Adults – United States, 2006 and 2008. (2010, October 1). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5938a2.htm?s_cid=mm5938a2_e%0d%0a Depression Fact Sheet. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/ Lifetime suicide risk in major depression: sex and age determinants. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10628886 © Copyright 2014 by Allison Abrams, LCSW, therapist in New York City, New York. All Rights Reserved.
  19. By Abigail Elise @theabigailelise on April 21 2015 12:56 PM EDT Depression Awareness Week is sponsored by the Depression Awareness Alliance. Reuters Depression Awareness Week runs April 20-26, a seven-day observance run by the Depression Alliance and dedicated to spreading awareness of the mental disorder. Depression is often characterized by low moods, low self-esteem and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities one typically enjoys. Depression is an often misunderstood disorder, but organizations like DoSomething.org and the National Alliance on Mental Illness hope to help people understand what it’s like to struggle with the disease. Last year, game developer Zoe Quinn launched interactive fiction game “Depression Quest” on Steam, a game that helped players understand what it was like to engage in everyday activities when dealing with depression. Want to learn more about depression? Here are 10 basic facts: 1. Approximately 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from depression every year. That’s more than twice the population of New York City. 2. One in four adults will suffer from an episode of depression before the age of 24. 3. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men. 4. Symptoms of depression can vary, but typically include feelings of guilt and hopelessness, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy and fatigue. 5. St. John’s Wort, a flowering plant and medicinal herb, has been shown to help with depression in typical cases. 6. More than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression worldwide. That’s more than the entire population of the United States. 7. The World Health Organization predicted depression will become the second biggest medical cause of disability in 15 years, second only to HIV/AIDS. 8. Depression often occurs when other psychiatric health problems are present, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. 9. Most prescription antidepressants increase the user’s serotonin, dopamine or norepinephrine levels. Some of the most popular antidepressants are Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro and Effexor. 10. Many famous, creative people suffered from depression, including Robin Williams, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent van Gogh, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jon Hamm. Think you may be depressed? You can take this quiz or call the National Depression Hotline. Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/depression-awareness-week-2015-10-facts-about-depression-symptoms-medication-more-1890701
  20. Okay, I'm am physicly healthy 20 year old male who never had bouts with depression/anhedonia before. However, I have always been considered a oversensitive person. About 2 months ago I was I was taking a 60 mg every day (for 2 weeks) of prednisone, along with an antibiotic to treat a spreading rash. During this time I was EXTREAMLY stressed about a girl whom I loved (really my first true love) who wanted nothing to do with me. One day I tried talking to another girl to get my mind off of the girl I loved and EVERYTHING STOPPED. As crazy as it sound I stopped having ANY emotion. No love, happieness, sadness, stress, nervoussness. Simply nothing. I must say that during the time I was stressed and on medication I did drink a little alcohol and smoke an illegal substance (stupid I know, but I was stressed at the time. However I am not a substance abuser). Over time, through exercise and trying to keep up with school and social life even though i had no interest I was SLOWLY getting my joy back. But then, stupid me decided to go out and party/ drink one night only. I FELL into a deep, deep hole of depression after this. I could feel sadness but still no feelings of stress, anger, happieness/joy. Just sadness. I planned out my suicide because of what happend to me. The worst part is knowing that I have such amazing family and friends around me and who love me and I can't love them back. I feel nothing but worthlessness in my life. I am screaming for help to get back to the old me. I just want to know what happend. I know I used to drink alcohol and smoke but that was only occasionaly. Im not abusing anymore substances. I just want to recover. I havent talked to any psychitrists yet but im not sure how well they can help. I am having trouble sleeping now also. I started taking SAM-e because I was told it can help bring back emotions, but its not really helping. WHAT HAPPEND TO ME ANYONE? WILL I STAY LIKE THIS FOREVER!? I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK. I'M TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH IT BUT MY MIND IS SIMPLY NOT LETTING ME ANYMORE. I'M DEAD INSIDE.
  21. I wake up almost every day feeling uneasy, but there isn't anything wrong. It's been like that since the 1st grade. Reasonless anxiety. I thought happiness was something I could mimic and eventually feel, like a formula. But the more I mimic, the more alone I feel. I make friends easily. Good friends describe me as "the happiest person alive." Strangers come up to me and ask how I am so happy. That is what makes me feel the most alone. They have no idea. And I don't want them to. It feels like I have two options--either tell the truth and sadden the people around me, or let them believe what they want and deal with it on my own. I eventually feel better temporarily, and I convince myself that I have worked at it and that is why I feel better. You have good days and bad with depression; it is a chemical imbalance. I am reassuring myself right now. The depression isn't triggered by anything. I mean, sometimes there are events which make me upset, but the depression is different. Ii is an ache. I don't leave my house for days at a time. I don't answer my phone. And then it passes, but then being around people gives me anxiety. Then I am around people for days and feel great. But it always comes back for seemingly no reason. Most of the time, I would rather have a conversation with 20 strangers than my closest friends. And I think I know why. I am trying to find someone who feels as empty as I do most of the time. I know they are out there; this forum is an example. Most of my friends are very upbeat and if I open up to them, they listen, but become annoyed that I don't "try to change my life." They don't understand that changing my life has never worked. I have been able to achieve anything I have tried, pretty easily. I keep trying new things, but the depression follows me, even if I do those things well. So I stopped bringing it up. Objectively, I know that I have a lot going for me. But nothing seems to change my state of mind. It's like whatever i do will never change what I am feeling. And I think about how whenever we create something; the world adapts. No one can change human nature. The evils of society will always come out, just in another form. So, essentially, I feel like no matter what good i put into the world, the same balance of good and evil will remain. I try to cheer myself up, but without a purpose, it is impossible. It might be impossible regardless. Maybe purposelessness is a name I've given to the depression. i don't know at this point. I probably need medication. Worth a try, right?
  22. Continuing treatment of patients with major depressive disorder following acute-phase cognitive therapy works equally well regardless of whether patients are given fluoxetine or additional cognitive therapy, according to a study released today in JAMA Psychiatry. The researchers randomized 241 adult responders out of a total of 523 who began treatment—86 to receive another eight months of cognitive therapy, 86 to receive fluoxetine, and 69 to receive a placebo. Relapse or recurrence rates were almost the same for the continued cognitive-therapy and fluoxetine groups during the eight months of treatment, said the researchers. However, the cognitive-therapy patients were more likely to accept randomization, stay in treatment longer, and attend more treatment sessions than those in the other two cohorts. While both forms of treatment demonstrated benefit over the course of the trial, the researchers cautioned that some patients may need further help. “After active therapies were discontinued, the preventive effects of both treatments dissipated, suggesting that some higher-risk patients may benefit from additional continuation/maintenance therapies,” concluded Robin Jarrett, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and colleagues. For more information in Psychiatric News about treatments for depression, see “Brain-Area Activity Might Predict Depression Treatment Response.” http://alert.psychiatricnews.org/2013/09/two-continuation-treatments-found.html
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