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Thread: When one is depressed is it true one turns inward. Is that necessary. Is it good to do so.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    When one is depressed is it true one turns inward. Is that necessary. Is it good to do so.

    It was true for me back in the day. I contend doing so is not necessary. But whenever I'm confronted with the thought I turn inward.

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    I think it goes with the territory, as in it’s a very common symptom.

    Introspection is like most things, you can indulge in too much or too little of it, imo.

    The problem with introspection during depression is that it tends to involve negative thoughts and personal judgements. I speak from experience.

    As such it can reinforce the problem, because if you are depressed you are not the best judge of things.

    Of course, it could be that those prone to introspection are then more prone to depression, rather than the other way around. Or perhaps it’s a two-way thing. But I don’t think a tendency for introspection is necessarily, of itself, a cause of depression.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    By one turning inward one needn't be introspecting. One may just be looking for excuses that depression is a reality based feeling. Perhaps a cycle of deceits. As for connecting depression with introspection one is proving that introspection isn't valid research.

    just sayin'

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    Deus Meumque Jus
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    Depends how many beers I had on the weekend. I used to be firmly in the 'you can't decide to be happy' camp, but now I'm not so much with the caveat that overcoming a depressed physical state cognitively takes solid expertise in mindfulness techniques. I spent about 6 months studying ACT and Zen, which are opposites of the same coin, and they help tremendously. Some without such mental tools don't do as well.

    But then there's mild depression and there's my life is in ruins depression, or diagnosed chronic depression. I think that's an important distinction.

    Lately I only experience the former, but if, for example, my wife died in childbirth along with my son I would turn inward for a long time.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    We've got all these nice little 'good feel' drugs coursing through our systems. Might as well corral them somehow. Deciding and acting 'being happy' is one that works for many. Much better than letting the other kind dominate.

    I'd expect you'd turn inward for about as much time as it takes to whistle 'blowinin the wind' then you'd steady yersef and begin 'movin on'.

    again, just sayin'

    I'm not predicting nature here. Just observing outcomes.
    Loss, Trauma, and Human Resilience http://www.public.asu.edu/~iacmao/PG...ng%20%231A.pdf


    Many people are exposed to loss or potentially traumatic events at some point in their lives, and yet they continue to have positive emotional experiences and show only minor and transient disruptions in their ability to function. Unfortunately, because much of psychology’s knowledge about how adults cope with loss or trauma has come from individuals who sought treatment or exhibited great distress, loss and trauma theorists have often viewed this typeof resilience as either rare or pathological. The author challenges these assumptions by reviewing evidence that resilience represents a distinct trajectory from the process of recovery, that resilience in the face of loss or potential trauma is more common than is often believed, and that there are multiple and sometimes unexpected pathways to resilience.

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    You may be right. It wouldn't take that long, it's a little more static and impermanent than something like being a social outcast or homeless.

    My larger point is that certain circumstances may make it impossible to not think negatively. Being able to avoid turning inward may depend on your mental ability to let anxiety dissipate, as well as the severity of the depression. In some cases, physical, chronic depression warps the mind, in other cases life circumstances are so bad that it's near impossible to stay positive.

    But don't forget that the feelings of solitude and isolation have a kind of survival value for many, a feature, not a bug. They force us to seek companions rather than being content with our dearth of life circumstances.

    I agree with you, not necessary, and avoidable for the strong, but most of us aren't the strong.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    My larger point is that certain circumstances may make it impossible to not think negatively. Being able to avoid turning inward may depend on your mental ability to let anxiety dissipate, as well as the severity of the depression. In some cases, physical, chronic depression warps the mind, in other cases life circumstances are so bad that it's near impossible to stay positive.

    But don't forget that the feelings of solitude and isolation have a kind of survival value for many, a feature, not a bug. They force us to seek companions rather than being content with our dearth of life circumstances.
    My life for about two years after we left FSU with dissertation data accumulated and writing underway is a circumstance right out of your book or horrors. Depression was so thick around me that I nearly faded into a sort of catatonic state. A meeting with a former prof at UCLA wasn't meant to be anything more than an introduction to the aerospace scientific community.

    No such luck.

    I met and interviewed with Marianne Olds recent widow of Jim Olds who was struggling to keep their lab going at Cal Tech. We hit it off and I joined her team there. A year later I was back in Florida writing and defending my dissertation even though about 20% of the data had been lost somewhere between FSU and Covina CA.

    Unbelievable.

    I always kept in touch with past academic connections is the only rationale I can come up with how this turnaround took place.

    Marriage saved. Good life followed. Never returned to those thoughts again.

    I don't know if it was a turning inward. The whole period is a blur now. Selective amnesia? Perhaps.

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    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    It was true for me back in the day. I contend doing so is not necessary. But whenever I'm confronted with the thought I turn inward.
    I didn't. I'm an extroverted person. I just stopped doing things. Doing regular things became exhausting and I just didn't have energy. But I felt like I was in a good mood. I just didn't do stuff. According to my psychiatrist, that is also a normal form of depression. I should also add that he also said that he didn't think I had any depressive tendencies. I was just traumatised, and the depression came as a result of the trauma. Which was pretty extreme in my case. So it didn't need years of therapy to figure out that cause and effect.

    I wasn't suicidal and didn't have suicidal thoughts. I was pretty happy and cheerful about life. Just incredibly mentally tired all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    My larger point is that certain circumstances may make it impossible to not think negatively. Being able to avoid turning inward may depend on your mental ability to let anxiety dissipate, as well as the severity of the depression. In some cases, physical, chronic depression warps the mind, in other cases life circumstances are so bad that it's near impossible to stay positive.

    But don't forget that the feelings of solitude and isolation have a kind of survival value for many, a feature, not a bug. They force us to seek companions rather than being content with our dearth of life circumstances.
    My life for about two years after we left FSU with dissertation data accumulated and writing underway is a circumstance right out of your book or horrors. Depression was so thick around me that I nearly faded into a sort of catatonic state. A meeting with a former prof at UCLA wasn't meant to be anything more than an introduction to the aerospace scientific community.

    No such luck.

    I met and interviewed with Marianne Olds recent widow of Jim Olds who was struggling to keep their lab going at Cal Tech. We hit it off and I joined her team there. A year later I was back in Florida writing and defending my dissertation even though about 20% of the data had been lost somewhere between FSU and Covina CA.

    Unbelievable.

    I always kept in touch with past academic connections is the only rationale I can come up with how this turnaround took place.

    Marriage saved. Good life followed. Never returned to those thoughts again.

    I don't know if it was a turning inward. The whole period is a blur now. Selective amnesia? Perhaps.
    Any depression I've experienced falls into the chemical imbalance type, mainly two separate responses to extreme mania. I don't recommend this at all, particularly when you're a new grad, your girlfriend isn't interested in you anymore, and you have no idea what you're going to do with your life, so decide to be a teacher of all things.

    To my credit I fought through it both times and largely did what I needed to do. In first instance I pulled up my bootstraps and finished my final year of university (luckily with some financial help from my parents). In second instance I managed to find work and make it through volunteer experience to get into teacher's college.

    No serious depression since then, which was about 12 years ago. But that last episode I tell ya.

    The closest thing I got since was when I was a 24 year old in a small town in Quebec trying to finish a 10 month stint of teaching, with no car, no friends, and drinking heavily on weekends. Why I didn't wait a week and go to Montreal instead, only a 24 year old could answer. I lasted until October until my introversion, drinking problem, and solitude could go no further, but when I quit it was relief, not depression. I still recall walking down a road in Thetford Mines after I'd quit and feeling a sense of my life being a great unknown, liberation. No plan, not even an inkling of a plan of how I was going to support myself in the future.

    A year later I was back in school happily typing functions into software IDEs, a few feet away from my future wife, living on a futon in the room I'm sitting in as I type this.

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    Deus Meumque Jus
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    It was true for me back in the day. I contend doing so is not necessary. But whenever I'm confronted with the thought I turn inward.
    I didn't. I'm an extroverted person. I just stopped doing things. Doing regular things became exhausting and I just didn't have energy. But I felt like I was in a good mood. I just didn't do stuff. According to my psychiatrist, that is also a normal form of depression. I should also add that he also said that he didn't think I had any depressive tendencies. I was just traumatised, and the depression came as a result of the trauma. Which was pretty extreme in my case. So it didn't need years of therapy to figure out that cause and effect.

    I wasn't suicidal and didn't have suicidal thoughts. I was pretty happy and cheerful about life. Just incredibly mentally tired all the time.
    These days I feel like I may be a functional depressive like this, in some respects. I have enough energy and motivation to do very well in day to day, critical tasks, but when it comes to pushing myself beyond boundaries to experience the world in any kind of joyful way, it's difficult.

    I rarely have the motivation to see friends, travel, go to movies, or really do much of anything other than hang out with my wife and read. Maybe it's just because those are the only two things I actually like doing? Who knows.

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