Author Topic: Depression  (Read 59081 times)

Eamonnca1

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Depression
« on: October 25, 2013, 09:11:55 PM »
I'm starting this thread to talk about something that I think should be talked about more openly.

I've suffered from depression in the past and had a particularly nasty bout a few years ago when I was wondering what was the point of going on and would the world be any worse off if I just abandoned ship. That was a bit of an extreme case, but it usually hits me in winter, and it doesn't take much to trigger it (in my case it's usually my relationships with women). The fact that I've been through it before meant that I was reasonably well equipped to deal with it.  I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but I decided to embark on "Operation fight back against it" in the following way:

  • Stay off the drink (which is a depressant, particularly gin which was an old favourite of mine).
  • Interact with friends at least once a week no matter how much of a pain in the neck it is to go out.  If you stay in the house when in that state it's very easy to forget that you even have friends, so getting out there and meeting them reminds you that they're always there.
  • Get out of the house and mingle at weekends, no sitting in the house all weekend with no human contact, even if I'm not hugely enthused about the idea of going to whatever party is on and even if I'm going to have that "alone in a crowd" sensation for some of the time.
  • Try to strike up conversations with strangers when doing business with them - Californians are friendly like that and are happy to chat instead of just taking your money and saying thank you and have a good day.  Sometimes you can have a bit of crack at the cash register at the most unexpected of times if you just make the effort to converse.
  • Cardiovascular exercise (in my case long haul rides on the bike with my club) to get some endorphins flowing and keep the appetite working.
  • Make sure to eat at regular times during the weekend as if it were a week day (easy to forget that sometimes).
  • Watch old comedy shows that I know I'm going to like and will make me chuckle (in my case shows like Blackadder).
  • Keep the lights on and blinds open in the office during the day.
  • Have as much light as possible in the house in the evening.
  • Use sleeping aids at night if necessary, and try to get up early enough to maximise the amount of sunlight you get
  • Speak to a counselor once a week, which becomes a bit of a highlight of the week.

Finally, keep a diary of all of the above.  Record all the positive things I did in a week, award myself points for different types of activities, and try to keep a consistently high score each day and each week.  So if it's nearing the end of the day and my score isn't what it was the previous day then I might think "okay, better fire up Netflix and watch a funny show", or if it's nearing the weekend and I'm lacking in points then I'll make an effort to go out dancing with friends.  It's a bit like what app developers call "game mechanics", incentivised behaviour brought on by making a game out of it.

It took me about a year or more to fully recover from that bout which was probably the most intense I've ever had, and I kept up the diary thing for a long time afterwards until I felt confident enough to do without it.

Like I said, that's not a system that'll work for everyone, and no one of those things is going to fix it all, but each one helped a little and collectively it added up.  It also helped that I have pets to take care of.  I don't have a wife or family, but in the darkest days of winter it's nice to have a bit of company in the evenings, even if it's some small furry animals that are always happy to see you no matter what.  There's something soothing about a cat sitting purring on your lap.

Anyone else have similar experiences or coping mechanisms?

Respectful comments only please.

All of a Sludden

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Re: Depression
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 09:34:05 PM »
That is a very honest and brave post Eamonn. I sincerely hope everything works out for you. Stay positive and good luck.
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Mickey Linden

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Re: Depression
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 09:57:58 PM »
Great post. Well done

ONeill

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Re: Depression
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 11:48:10 PM »
Admirable post. I still find it difficult to deal with those in depression in the same way as with alcoholics or any addiction, as in working hard to empathise with something you cannot experience.
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Fear ón Srath Bán

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Re: Depression
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2013, 12:08:27 AM »
Completely correct, it should be talked about more openly, and fair dues, enlightening.
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Asal Mor

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Re: Depression
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2013, 12:36:20 AM »
Great post Eamon. I've had similar experiences and staying off drink is the big one for me, along with plenty of exercise. I found that psychiatrists and doctors in Ireland(and presumably elsewhere too) are much to quick to throw medication at the problem when a healthier lifestyle can often sort out the problem. And of course talking to someone and telling them what's going on is the most important thing of all. You see these tragedies with Niall Donoghue, Darren Sutherland and Gary Speed and you'd think that maybe it's even harder for them to open up because they're heroes and everyone looks up to them. But I think the stigma is being lifted and in future people won't be so afraid to say they're depressed.

theskull1

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Re: Depression
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 01:20:16 AM »
Always appreciated your contribution to the board Eamonn. Honest to the end. You should be proud of that post. Life's not all sweetness and light. A lot of it you need to negotiate without instruction. Life's worth living that's all I know...and I feel its my job to ensure the next generation think the same, That keeps me alive. We all benefit.


As a fellow atheist...I'd be interested in your perspective on living without a deity and how that affects your: consciousness. Do you think the lack of a god figure has the potential to bring about  a level of melancholy?

For me its doesn't but each of us harbour that catholic guilt in different ways..

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Wildweasel74

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Re: Depression
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2013, 02:41:44 AM »
Worrying thing about depression is how do u know u have it, did think i had it possible in the past, looking at that list eamon put up, there would have been a fair few of them boxes which i would have ticked in the past worryingly

ballela-angel

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Re: Depression
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2013, 03:23:55 AM »
Eamon - Great post - Have a close family member who has had a serious fight with it over the last year and they never did before and they're as auld as I am - I wanted to jump in on two points associated with it, although I am far from being an expert on it - First, their condition had a brain chemistry/electrons component to it and required electric shock treatment to get sorted out, followed by Lithium treatment - Second, they now are aware of some early indicators of it, one being, starting to drive slowly, which I though was interesting
As regards the question : As a fellow atheist...I'd be interested in your perspective on living without a deity and how that affects your: consciousness. Do you think the lack of a god figure has the potential to bring about  a level of melancholy?  My  family member believes in a deity and would be quite a spiritual person
That awkward moment - Not sure if you do have free time or if you're just forgetting everything!

Maguire01

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Re: Depression
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2013, 09:06:05 AM »
Good post. I'm fortunate not to have suffered from depression. The two points below did ring a bell with me however - the difference natural light, and a bright house can have on my general mood is phenomenal - I imagine it would be much more significant in dealing with the likes of depression.

  • Keep the lights on and blinds open in the office during the day.
  • Have as much light as possible in the house in the evening.

CD

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Re: Depression
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2013, 09:36:26 AM »
Good luck with the battle Eamonn! Thanks for the very frank and honest post. There's a lot of fantastic advice that would also apply to anyone suffering from stress - particularly re. abusing alcohol, getting sufficient sleep, reducing adrenalin through good cardio activity and maintaining a social life.
Who's a bit of a moaning Michael tonight!

Over the Bar

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Re: Depression
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 09:48:09 AM »
Brave post Eamonn.   Don't anyone be afraid to lift the phone to Lifeline 0808 8088000 - save the no in your phone, its 24/7 and not just for those who are suicidal.  If you're feeling at a low ebb you'll be glad you made the call.   
 

ONeill

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Re: Depression
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 10:55:25 AM »
I'm interested to hear how people should deal with depression in their home….as in what is the best way to help someone with depression.
I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.

maddog

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Re: Depression
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2013, 12:01:51 PM »
I'm starting this thread to talk about something that I think should be talked about more openly.

I've suffered from depression in the past and had a particularly nasty bout a few years ago when I was wondering what was the point of going on and would the world be any worse off if I just abandoned ship. That was a bit of an extreme case, but it usually hits me in winter, and it doesn't take much to trigger it (in my case it's usually my relationships with women). The fact that I've been through it before meant that I was reasonably well equipped to deal with it.  I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but I decided to embark on "Operation fight back against it" in the following way:

  • Stay off the drink (which is a depressant, particularly gin which was an old favourite of mine).
  • Interact with friends at least once a week no matter how much of a pain in the neck it is to go out.  If you stay in the house when in that state it's very easy to forget that you even have friends, so getting out there and meeting them reminds you that they're always there.
  • Get out of the house and mingle at weekends, no sitting in the house all weekend with no human contact, even if I'm not hugely enthused about the idea of going to whatever party is on and even if I'm going to have that "alone in a crowd" sensation for some of the time.
  • Try to strike up conversations with strangers when doing business with them - Californians are friendly like that and are happy to chat instead of just taking your money and saying thank you and have a good day.  Sometimes you can have a bit of crack at the cash register at the most unexpected of times if you just make the effort to converse.
  • Cardiovascular exercise (in my case long haul rides on the bike with my club) to get some endorphins flowing and keep the appetite working.
  • Make sure to eat at regular times during the weekend as if it were a week day (easy to forget that sometimes).
  • Watch old comedy shows that I know I'm going to like and will make me chuckle (in my case shows like Blackadder).
  • Keep the lights on and blinds open in the office during the day.
  • Have as much light as possible in the house in the evening.
  • Use sleeping aids at night if necessary, and try to get up early enough to maximise the amount of sunlight you get
  • Speak to a counselor once a week, which becomes a bit of a highlight of the week.

Finally, keep a diary of all of the above.  Record all the positive things I did in a week, award myself points for different types of activities, and try to keep a consistently high score each day and each week.  So if it's nearing the end of the day and my score isn't what it was the previous day then I might think "okay, better fire up Netflix and watch a funny show", or if it's nearing the weekend and I'm lacking in points then I'll make an effort to go out dancing with friends.  It's a bit like what app developers call "game mechanics", incentivised behaviour brought on by making a game out of it.

It took me about a year or more to fully recover from that bout which was probably the most intense I've ever had, and I kept up the diary thing for a long time afterwards until I felt confident enough to do without it.

Like I said, that's not a system that'll work for everyone, and no one of those things is going to fix it all, but each one helped a little and collectively it added up.  It also helped that I have pets to take care of.  I don't have a wife or family, but in the darkest days of winter it's nice to have a bit of company in the evenings, even if it's some small furry animals that are always happy to see you no matter what.  There's something soothing about a cat sitting purring on your lap.

Anyone else have similar experiences or coping mechanisms?

Respectful comments only please.

Good post Eamonn, while I don't know a lot of what you refer to I can agree with 2 of them, the long bike rides especially after work really help clear the head and make you feel much more alive and the winter months particular the nights drawing in I think definitely have an effect on people. It is a serious serious issue and effects so many families. I often wonder how many over the generations maybe suffered with it their whole lives. Everyone has a grumpy older relative be it uncle or grandad that has the most morose view of life and were of the "just get on with it" generation. Good luck with it anyway.

muppet

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Re: Depression
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2013, 12:37:06 PM »
I'm interested to hear how people should deal with depression in their home….as in what is the best way to help someone with depression.

Good post and good thread Eamonn.

Luckily I have never been depressed in the way the OP described but have definitely thought I might be on the slippery slope to depression once or twice.

I only had one rule for myself and thankfully it seemed to keep me out of trouble:

1. Get out of bed.

For me the world improves dramatically within minutes of getting out of bed. I start doing things and I will get out and about etc. As you get things done you start to feel better and do more and the cycle continues.

It is interesting to read about the daylight comments and I would completely agree.

However I always felt there is a chemical or medical aspect to serious depression that could mean that whatever worked for me or others wouldn't necessarily work for someone else.
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