Depression [Aware Helpline 1890 303 302] (1 Viewer)

MDR

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Re: Depression

I can honestly say I'm surprised at this thread. I had no idea you people suffered in this way and am genuinely sorry to hear it. Yiz usually come across as quite sussed and non-vulnerable and stuff. I didn't put that very well but you probably know what i mean.

Anywho, here's big love from me.
 

the bongo

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Re: Depression

While the above is all good advice, and talking to friends is a good thing, we don't know the exact circumstances. Probably the best thing you can do for a start is go to a GP and try to rule out the possibility of a biological cause. Exhaustion and depression (often simply linked to the former) can present as a symptoms of another condition.

If nothing else, the GP can give you a referral to a counsellor or some other specialist.

With all the good will in the world we can't offer much more than ad hoc advice without the appropriate training and a knowledge of the person and circumstances. This is partly because the state you describe can be attributed to many causes: social, physical illness, mental health, each with varying degrees of seriousness. Basically, the best thing you can do is seek professional help as soon as possible to evaluate it.
 

buck

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Re: Depression

I took some speed one night after lots of drink and it fucked my head up and led to going to hospital for five months with depression. there was lots of contributory factors besides the drink and speed but they knocked me over the edge. since giving up the drink a year ago things are much better...so i recommend anyone who binge drinks to give up. even though it took me years to realise how bad i was and eventually stop. in saying that my pschchiatrist is referring me to a pyschologist. is there anyone prescribed stelazine out there?

i remember not even enjoying music at the height of depression...thats when u konw things are bad...and i still can't read books cos my concentration is gone.
 

avernus

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Re: Depression

buck said:
I took some speed one night after lots of drink and it fucked my head up and led to going to hospital for five months with depression. there was lots of contributory factors besides the drink and speed but they knocked me over the edge. since giving up the drink a year ago things are much better...so i recommend anyone who binge drinks to give up. even though it took me years to realise how bad i was and eventually stop. in saying that my pschchiatrist is referring me to a pyschologist. is there anyone prescribed stelazine out there?

i remember not even enjoying music at the height of depression...thats when u konw things are bad...and i still can't read books cos my concentration is gone.
Shit, thats awful. sorry to hear that. :(
 

kraster

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Re: Depression

As well as the booze knock out all other stimulants/depressants. Hash,yokes,pills etc. etc. They'll all screw with your head. The best advice is go to a doctor. He'll then refer you to a specialist if you need one. There's an awful stigma attached to sickness of the mind. It's part of our culture to hide this stuff away. I commend you on your courage to go public and seek help. You're on the right track, mate.
 

TheDonnasTurn21

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Re: Depression

Anyone ever tried or care to comment on hypnotherapy/kenisiology? Am considering it to break a worsening vicious cycle of random fear > panic > flushing > sweating > muteness > self awareness (obviously) > ever deepening fear > hiding > fear plus...that has been at me for several years now. Taken the pill route (helpful in the short term, but not a kind thing to do to myself in the long term) and the counselling route (I'm a cynical fucker, kept arguing).

Squawk, be good to your body as many have said, personally found exercise to be helpful and you're sure to have at least one friend kind enough to talk anything through with you. It's less than a burden than you'd imagine.
 

Squack

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Re: Depression

thanks guys for all your concern and kind words, just a rough time right now and am seeing someone next week about it
billy has been a brilliant support so next time you see him buy him a pint and tell him he's brill bill
ta again
 

billygannon

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Re: Depression

Squack said:
thanks guys for all your concern and kind words, just a rough time right now and am seeing someone next week about it
billy has been a brilliant support so next time you see him buy him a pint and tell him he's brill bill
ta again
If only you guys knew my sis better. She's probably the coolest person in Dublin.

Mental health is one thing that us Westerners never got to grips with.

I think depression/anxiety/panic attacks etc. is kind of like a cold or a flu.
When you go out in the lashing rain and come back in and don't change your clothes, you'll end up with a cold or, even worse, a flu.
And if you go through a lot shit and stressful situations, or if you're taking or consuming something that will make you stressed, then you're going to get depressed or anxious.

And one thing I can say for certain is that Squack has been through some pretty serious shit this year.

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like it's a lot more common than people like to admit.
 

avernus

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Re: Depression

It'd probably be nicer if people werent suffering from these problems. But hey, I guess its comforting to know that youre not alone.:)
 

jane

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Re: Depression

avernus said:
It'd probably be nicer if people werent suffering from these problems. But hey, I guess its comforting to know that youre not alone.:)
I think people suffer just that little bit less when they know they aren't the only one. I just mean I wish it were made easier for people to talk about this stuff than it normally seems to be in Ireland.

Although I'm not all that trusting of the mental health profession, and I do have my criticisms of the way it is used in the US, it's as normal there to be in therapy as it is to go to the dentist.

Your friends and family can only help you so much, and they will, but the important thing is get on the road to owning your own sense of well-being. Support and reassurance from people around you is really important, but it isn't an end in itself. It's too bad mental health services in this country are so appalling.
 

ElderLemon

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Re: Depression

First port of call is your GP - he or she can assess the extent of your depression/anxiety and recommend appropriate treatment. Many people diagnosed with depression don't any more (medical) treatment than a course of anti-depressants, but you will also have to look at your own lifestyle and counselling can help there. I obviously don't know the background to your depression (and it's none of my business) so I don't know what job/life/love pressures you have (that can't be easly changed), but here are a few hints :

1. Take at least some light exercise every day. It gets you out in the Fresh air, and hopefully sunlight.
2. If you're drinking too much, cut down or cut it out completely. Having a few pints out with friends is actually helpful though, as it will help you to...
3. Laugh. Sounds stupid, I know. But anything that cheers you up will have a positive effect. Socialising (moderately), watching comedy on TV etc, whatever gets you going.
4. Go to bed earlyish, and get up earlyish. Don't fuck around unnecessarily with your body chemistry. Get into a good routine, stick to it, but don't get over upset if you occasionally fuck up.
5. If you are stuck in the house all day (for whatever reason), make a point of going somewhere at least once a day where you're likely to have a decent conversation with someone. Again, sounds stupid, but the obsessive nature of anxiety means that in the absence of communication, continually thinking about whatever it is has you worried, will inevitably lead to a disproportionate anxiety.
6. If you find you are more likely to get depressed in winter months, there are special (Sunlight-simulating; UV?) lights you can get which apparently stimulate the brain's mood centre. Unfortunately, I don't know where you get them or how much they cost but your doc might know and can advise you if they would be helpful in your case.
7. Drugs. Big no no (in my opinion) - especially ecstacy.
8. Have something to do. If you're not working, get some kind of hobby that will keep your mind occupied (i.e. less time for obsessing about things)

Hopefully, you will find some of the above helpful.....
 

Goff

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Re: Depression

Mine is clinical depression, so what follows refers mostly to that.



Fist off, talk to your GP about it.



When I "came out of the 'depression closet'", I was surprised by how many people said to me, "Yeah, I've been on the tablets myself," or one of their family members is, or was, etc.



My counselor calls it the "common cold" of mental illness.



Although, I'm smack bang in the middle of a bout right now, I'm trying to be positive. But it's so damned hard sometimes.



The advice given by so many above is spot on. The first and most important thing you need to do, if you drink, is to cut it out completely. Not cut down, but cut it out. You'll soon find when you go out and you're only drinking water or rock shandies, or whatever, that people won't pass comment and will be quite positive about it, when you just say to them, "I don't want to take a major depressant when I'm on anti-depressants," (If you are!). I'm convinced that depression is so common in Ireland because of the drink culture we have made for ourselves. You'll find the level of suicide amongst men is high in most countries where there is a similar drink situation (e.g., Russia and Finland).



I'm not a big fan of how GP's handle it in this country. It's very much a "Take these tablets and get out of my sight" and that's it. If you want to see a counselor, you need to push them into it. Most I've dealt with just seemed too busy to be bothered with a proper system of getting you better. But then, that's doctors for you (First, do no harm to my money/budget/gravy train - don't start me).



But definitely, counseling is a necessity. There are many causes of depression and you'll often find that the one you think it is, is not the real reason. It's usually a deeper problem. What tips you over the edge is just an added pressure you don't need.



Exercise, any form of exercise, is also a must. Go for a walk. Get out of the house. Don't stay in bed if you can help it. It does you no use in the long run. Exercising will naturally release (some of) the serotonin you're missing.



Read books about it; educate yourself. Arm yourself with the questions you need to ask your doctor/counselor/shrink. A great introductory book on the subject is by an Irish guy who works out of St. James’s Hospital called Tony Bates. It’s: Depression. The Common Sense Approach. (http://www.aware.ie/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=53) It’s a small, cheap, handy guide, which really helped me at the start, way back when (I’ve suffered for the past few years, on and off).



Actually, that’s a great book to read if you have a family member or friend who suffers. There’s a short 8 Page chapter (Chapter 9 - “Living With A Depressed Person”) that really helps you get a better understanding of the illness. Having been on both sides of it, I can recommend reading that chapter. Just go into Eason’s and read it, if you have to, but do read it. I’ve hurt people unintentionally as a result of depression and that chapter has helped them to understand my actions a bit better. It can be such a hurtful, destructive, illness to people you love and care about. People who don’t suffer can suffer as a result. Be wary of that. Talk to them; help them understand.



Another great book is this one: Depression: Keeping Hope Alive (http://www.aware.ie/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=38) which is an AWARE publication specifically written for family and friends. It’s actually 41 pages, not fifteen as it says on their online shop. But it’s well worth a read. I bought that for The Love Of My Life after a particularly bad episode. She said she found it very helpful, and I’m glad, because I didn’t have the words myself to explain.



Some people find the group therapy sessions that Aware organize up in St. Pat’s to be very helpful, but it wasn’t for me. But there were some people there who found it helpful.



Diet is incredibly important. Carbohydrates are good. Forget the Atkins Diet because if you starve your body of Carbs, and you suffer from depression, you’ll just feel worse. Eat sensibly. Take EPA’s; they’re amazing. Expensive, but amazing. But still cheaper than Anti-Depressants. Read up on them on the net. You’ll need at least 1000mg a day for the first three months, so I recommend MorEPA (http://www.1stvitality.co.uk/morepa/), which is the strongest I can find out there. You can get Veggie ones as well. At the very least your concentration will improve.



Stop drinking “Diet” drinks, the aspartame that’s in the artificial sweetener might just possibly be a huge link to the rise in depression among westerners in the past few years. It might be all rot, but there is evidence to support the assertion that it doesn’t help. And if it does make you depressed, you’ll probably resort to comfort eating anyway!



Talk to your friends about it. Some might not want to listen. Don’t force them on the issue. But, it can be quite helpful to help them understand.



Keep a mood diary, and analyze it at the end of the week to see if you can work out what a) bothered you and b) lifted your spirits. Then try and repeat the thing that lifted your spirits.



Smile. Smile as much as you can. Try and keep your sense of humour about you. It’s easier said than done. I’m not too bad right now. But a few hours ago, the idea of being happy just annoyed me, because it sometimes seems so far out of reach.



Remember, that although it seems like it, you’re not alone. About 7 percent of people will have a depressive episode sometime in their life. But it can be beaten. Sometimes easily. Sometimes not so easily.



Be positive even if you don’t feel like it. Force yourself to be positive. Be nice to other people. Give presents. Even if you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it. Pay It Forward.



And have someone you can call if things get really, really, bad.



Put this number into your phone book:

The Aware Helpline
1890 303 302


(http://www.aware.ie/helpline.htm)
 

ElderLemon

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Re: Depression

In light of what Goff has said, I'd change my advice and echo his opinion on cutting out the alcohol completely if you are drinking too much - cutting down isn't a viable option.

I suppose in fairness GPs see so much of it one day to the next... there's no question that pills can bring about rapid improvement in four to six weeks.... I don't know much about counselling, but what I do know is that the first depressive attack is by far the worst. The next time you recognise the symptoms earlier, take appropriate action quicker, and seek help (if necessary) quicker. It becomes a minor rather than a major factor in your life.
 

spady

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Re: Depression

Hey,
Just wanted to say that this is the actual best thread ever here.
Ta, to everyone who came on with an opinion - being in a similar boat myself it means alot to hear so many others share how they feel.
About counselling, it's really not that bad at all. The dude I went to was a total depressive - it was fucking hilarious. I sat down and I was like "yeah so it starts when..." and he'd be finishing my sentences and shit. I even convinced him to get out Donnie Darko... which I thought he might find interesting for some reason.
Actually, counselling rocks. Like someone said earlier - its like talking to a friend about it, except they don't start to feign interest (and lack of discomfort) after 20 mins. Basically they have to sit there and listen to your shit - and they can't gossip about it to anyone, or in my case they'll actually join in.
I felt so much better after only five minutes talking to him.... I think part of that might have been due to the fact that I was thinking "hey, he's even more fucked up than me" - but it was mostly to do with the kinship, just knowing someone else knew. Which is why this thread is so cool because there's about 20 people here who feel a lot better and a lot less fucked up as a result.
Don't want to get too gushy about it and wreck it n' stuff.
Ta. :)
 

spady

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Re: Depression

If you ever need to find solice in the shape of a song -
24 by Red House Painters - depressing as hell but its definitely got the kinship buzz going for it.
Probably best to avoid track 9 on the new Elliot Smith album - its a beautiful song though, so I suppose it could remind you of things of great beauty.
I'm going to bed now.
 

david

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Re: Depression

one thing to be aware of with counselling is that it can be a long process and sometimes quite frustrating.i know a few people who went to 1 or 2 sessions and walked out after that because they didn't feel like they were getting any results.some counsellors have a tendency to answer your questions with another question which can be really off-putting, esp. if you're at a low ebb.and some counsellors might just not be the one for you, so you sometimes have to check out a few.but once you do find the one for you, stick with it and don't be put off if you feel like you're not making as much progress as you'd like to.

the aware helpline do really good work, sympathetic phone people and the anonymity is a plus if you're feeling a bit sensitive. however (and this is only my experience) i went to an aware meeting once and it really did my head in, so they don't always work.

hope i'm not just stating the obvious here!
 

ook

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Re: Depression

lol, me too!!1!

Ahem, seriously just a few quick points based on my experiences with the stuff which weren't really covered in any of the excellent advice above.

Make sure you are completely happy with your doctor and treatment. Originally I was seeing a gp in the student health centre at the uni I was in. I really wasn't happy with him and the medication he put me on had some pretty nasty side effects including severe panic attacks far worse then any I have had before or since.

In the end I ended up taking a year out of uni to try and get it all sorted so I moved to a gp recommended by a family friend. He was far nicer and more understanding about it all. When I explained my reservations about the medication I was on he admitted he hadn't a clue about that sort of thing other then what he was told by the drug companies so he referred me to a psychiatrist he knew. The first thing the psychiatrist did was change my medication to something which worked far better for me.

A while later when I had it all alot more under control, was back in uni etc. the psychiatrist asked me about counselling or therapy. Like a few other cynical bastards up above I'd tried counselling but found it wasn't for me after 2 or 3 sessions. The fact it was the overworked under resourced student health centre counsellor and I was pretty miserable probably didn't help. So he suggested I try a course of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBP).

There's (or at least was) a 9 month waiting list for CBP even if you go private and it's not cheap but I found it well worth the wait. There's no guarantee that you'll be accepted even after you wait 9 months, you have to do a written test and an interview with your potential therapist. It's a pretty tough course of treatment. Alot of homework and stuff to do. Having said that if you find yourself with reasonably long term depression and you are suitable for treatment then it's well worth the work. It worked well for me, I've been off medication for ages and the only reason I go to a gp now is to get a cert for work after I've had a flu or something.

So just to reiterate because I ramble on a bit:

1) Make sure you are happy with your doctor and your course of treatment, don't be afraid to ask for a referral to someone else or a second opinion.

2) There are alternatives to or treatments complimentary to medication. For me it was CBP but I know friends and family who have found alternative medicine like reiki and acupuncture very useful and others who swear by counselling.

3) It is definitely something which is treatable and which you can get over.
 

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