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

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shobha View Post
    Depression is a huge spectrum, ranging from feeling upset, hurt, or just lonely, right upto chronic and clinical depression. Obviously, if you are towards the right end of the spectrum, then it is far more serious.
    Humans are social creatures, by nature. We may end up doing a lot of things online and alone, but the fact remains that we need social contact, and human interaction fairly regularly.
    Yes, we don't want to be constantly bombarded by personal attention. But human interaction, especially if it is with people we like, and respect, very much can, and does, cheer us up.

    Introspection, IMO, is a different subject altogether. We can do it when we are happy, when we are depressed, or when we are somewhere in between.

    What we call "introspection", when we are depressed, IMO, is more like "wallowing in our misery". It is usually not productive. I would personally prefer talking it out.
    You are right! I have been trying to decide which type of depression is being discussed in this thread, the mlld type that most of us feel now and then, the short term situational depression that is often helped by medication and/or time, or the severe type, usually coded as Major Depression that some people suffer from for most of their lives.

    For example, depression and bipolar disorder run in my family I had an uncle who suffered from Major Depression for as long as I knew him. Sometimes he was with drawn. Other times he was hospitalized for his depression, and given whatever treatments and medication were available back in those days. Once he wrote a book about the history of our family. The last time I saw him was at a wedding. He appeared to be trying to be upbeat. But, sometime later, he committed suicide.

    I had a brief bout of postpartum depression when my son was born nearly 50 years ago. But, I think it was more a situational depression as my ex was drafted when our baby was 2 weeks old. It didn't last long and we ended up living in Texas during his time in the army.

    We all have some bad days when we feel down. I can't say that I'm introspective when. feel down. I just try to find ways to escape, like listening to music or watching some good comedy etc.

    I don't think we can generalize about depression. It comes in many different shades and people respond in different ways. While medication is sometimes useful, that's not always the case. I believe that my late father was helped for awhile after he received ECT. He didn't think so, but I could tell by his attitude and increased energy, that it appeared to help.

    A person can lose a spouse and never get over it, or they can grief for awhile, and then move on. We are all victims of genetics and the circumstances in our lives. When it comes to depression, some people never find a cure, while others do. But, unless you're an extreme introvert who hates being around people, sharing your life with others sometimes helps.


    If one experiences mild to moderate chronic depression, being around others usually helps, as long as your don't burden others with your problems too much. When someone constantly complains about everything that brings them down, they can become too difficult to keep supporting emotionally.

  2. Top | #22
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    Ultimately it's a neurological problem, and a continuum. Mild and Major depression are very similar chemically, but they differ in severity and cause. For some people it's a problem with brain structure and function - major depression - for others it can be a result of environmental influences - poverty, winter, drugs, lack of positive social interaction, stress. The ipso facto cause is hormonal, the difference is what's producing the imbalance, and how severe it is.

    One of my good friends who is a psychiatrist tells me this is what makes depression, specifically, very difficult to treat. All the doctor really knows is that there is a hormonal imbalance, but it's very difficult to isolate the cause, or maybe multiple causes. Whereas with something like Bipolar there is usually a pretty clear cause / effect / treatment.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Prickly subject being broached.

    ...and why do I love my psychiatrist friends so much? They don't wrap themselves around such as 'hormonal imbalance'. Think about for just a short second. Our 'natures' aren't general, nor are they unique. Our makes ups are neither either. So why should our biochemistry be general?

    (Dramatic pause to let effect of obvious sink in)

    Hull proved we weren't determined by bollae over 70 years ago, else there would be college students today observing rats in lifted cages. Students would be using Jungian archetypes as something meaningful rather than what they are, a shorthand for a fanciful literary construct. Jung? Philosophy, bad philosophy, better literary mechanism. Thank the greeks.

    We do have things that can be systematized medically they just aren't mood constructions. My neurons won't fire as well if I don't have adequate levels of potassium. So doctors giving me water pills to remove build up of liquids around my heart and lungs to relieve lethargy and fatigue symptoms of congestive heart failure monitor it.

    I'm pretty sure we don't have a complete catalog of effects of improper liver functions either. I'm also pretty sure there aren't moods treated with lithium or it's stylish equivalent for that organ system. We shouldn't be doing such for the nervous system either.

    Just sayin'

    A while back I broached the subject of learning and found it is most likely inherent in nervous function that has ascending and descending aspects rather than a locus or engram.

    I say rather than prescribe modern witchcraft and leading edge discoveries we barely understand let's just relax and let humans be humans with all their diversity. Would you like your grandchildren blaming you for the equivalent of putting women away for 'hysteria' for just being women who have money?

    We are making progress. However we aren't personality or behavioral surgeons yet, nor will we be for the next century or so at least.

  4. Top | #24
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    The human spirit is tremendously resilient. Happiness research has shown that even after the worst personal tragedies or losses, people get back to their normal levels of happiness after a few months. But remember, we evolved in hunter gatherer tribes, a huge extended family. We were never alone. So it was much harder to get into deeper depression, do something silly like commit suicide etc. But now there are a lot more people who are alone, without even a nuclear family, let alone extended family, and friends.
    Also, nutrition levels are much worse. Lot more refined carbs, lot less healthy fats and protein, plus lots more toxins. All of that contributes, IMO to more depression and its repercussions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Ultimately it's a neurological problem, and a continuum. Mild and Major depression are very similar chemically, but they differ in severity and cause. For some people it's a problem with brain structure and function - major depression - for others it can be a result of environmental influences - poverty, winter, drugs, lack of positive social interaction, stress. The ipso facto cause is hormonal, the difference is what's producing the imbalance, and how severe it is.

    One of my good friends who is a psychiatrist tells me this is what makes depression, specifically, very difficult to treat. All the doctor really knows is that there is a hormonal imbalance, but it's very difficult to isolate the cause, or maybe multiple causes. Whereas with something like Bipolar there is usually a pretty clear cause / effect / treatment.
    Isn't that almost exactly what I said in my last post? . Of course, I used different wording but that's basically what I meant, other than your remark about bipolar disorder, which can also be extremely difficult to treat, depending on the severity and whether or not it includes other aspects of mental illness along with the mood swings. I had two former patients that had severe types of bipolar disorder. One had hallucination, delusions of grandeur as well as mood swings. The other one suffered from paranoias to some extent. She was always convinced that one of the female workers was having an affair with her husband, for example.

    I sometimes think that it would be better if we didn't label mental illnesses like we currently do, as the individuals who suffer from these brain disorders have so many different symptoms. Maybe all mental illnesses should just be referred to as brain disorders, and then an attempt could be made to treat the symptoms that each individual exhibits. All I know is that we have never been successful in finding adequate treatment for these diseases. There is a good book called, "Nobody Cares About Crazy People" that gives the sad history of how society and the medical profession have failed the victims of these diseases. Considering how many now live on the streets, it doesn't seem as if we've made nearly as much progress as we might think we have in helping the mentally ill. But, I digress. Sorry.

    And, imo, there are a lot of terrible psychiatrists out there, including the one that my sister has used for almost 40 years. I've seen how they've treated or sometimes mistreated my former patients. I've seen them be angry, judgmental or simply incompetent. And, despite years of research and FDA approval for new anti depressants, chronic depression is a very difficult condition to treat. Hopefully, now that we have brain scans and MRI's, we will learn more about how this condition impacts the brain and maybe find a more effective way to treat it. Maybe..........

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    Veteran Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post

    ...I sometimes think that it would be better if we didn't label mental illnesses like we currently do, as the individuals who suffer from these brain disorders have so many different symptoms. Maybe all mental illnesses should just be referred to as brain disorders, and then an attempt could be made to treat the symptoms that each individual exhibits...
    I suffered a bipolar breakdown about fifteen years ago, reacting to some major personal catastrophes all occurring in my life at the same time. My psychiatrist treated me with some very effective drugs that eliminated the excessive paranoia and the excessive risk-taking mania, without any unfortunate side effects (one of the drugs makes me sleep a lot, but that's an OK trade-off as far as I'm concerned). My psychiatrist said, when she first prescribed these drugs and I expressed fear of being turned into a zombie: "Let's be clear. I'm treating your brain, not your mind." I noted the apparent dualism, but I knew what she meant. Fix the brain and the mind comes along with it. I still see her bi-monthly so she can assess my condition before renewing my prescriptions, and I find the talk therapy part of it to be fine. No complaints.

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    I am new here and this will be my first posting.
    I think that being depressed IS being inward and difficult to get out of it. I do have fond memories of my past, but crappy ones overtake the good ones. I am over 60 now and have been depressed for I dunno how long. But eventually my therapist described my brain as Dysthymia with major depressive episodes. It is hard to strain the energy out of the cesspool, but for now I think just being in the sunshine will help if I could only wake up in the mornings.
    I do have one important thing to pass onto our friends, I recently started on my BiPap machine and there is an improvement in my energy reserves. The sleep specialist diagnose me me sever sleep apnea and suffered it since a toddler. It will take several month of stable use to feel more energy. Anyway, perhaps try seeing a sleep specialist for a sleep test and see what they can do for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReneSummers View Post
    I am new here and this will be my first posting.
    I think that being depressed IS being inward and difficult to get out of it. I do have fond memories of my past, but crappy ones overtake the good ones. I am over 60 now and have been depressed for I dunno how long. But eventually my therapist described my brain as Dysthymia with major depressive episodes. It is hard to strain the energy out of the cesspool, but for now I think just being in the sunshine will help if I could only wake up in the mornings.
    I do have one important thing to pass onto our friends, I recently started on my BiPap machine and there is an improvement in my energy reserves. The sleep specialist diagnose me me sever sleep apnea and suffered it since a toddler. It will take several month of stable use to feel more energy. Anyway, perhaps try seeing a sleep specialist for a sleep test and see what they can do for you.
    Welcome Rene. Surprised I'm the first one to greet you as there are usually tons of friendly types here. Lately it seems the world is under some surrealistic depression, not entirely of the economic variety. It's been difficult getting any discussions going lately let alone sustaining them. I've been trying to figure it out regarding my own behavior. Just don't take our underwhelming response personally. As for myself I've always been rather introverted and would rather adopt an objective perspective than rely too much on subjective involvements. That said I find this forum and what's normally a very interactive group very useful to me as a way to gain perspective on disappointments in how my own life has unfolded. I think it's necessary for each of us to develop our own philosophy on life and our place in it and only through such knowledge that comes through our ability to reason and explore our feelings can we find peace. Of course there can be medical aspects such as sleep apnea or chemical imbalances that can have huge effects. I imagine the two approaches must work together and that at the fundamental level they involve the same mechanisms and processes in the brain. Anyway, I wanted to say hello and encourage you to stick around.

  9. Top | #29
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    Welcome. I am new here as well ... was an active member of IIDB ages ago, need to get used to the new forum
    I suffer from frequent depression and anxiety too, although so far they have not been debilitating. I am 48.
    My mom, who died recently, had several issues with anxiety and depression as well, and I think I get some of it from there.
    Good to here that you are having better energy levels now. One step at a time, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReneSummers View Post
    I am new here and this will be my first posting.
    I think that being depressed IS being inward and difficult to get out of it. I do have fond memories of my past, but crappy ones overtake the good ones. I am over 60 now and have been depressed for I dunno how long. But eventually my therapist described my brain as Dysthymia with major depressive episodes. It is hard to strain the energy out of the cesspool, but for now I think just being in the sunshine will help if I could only wake up in the mornings.
    I do have one important thing to pass onto our friends, I recently started on my BiPap machine and there is an improvement in my energy reserves. The sleep specialist diagnose me me sever sleep apnea and suffered it since a toddler. It will take several month of stable use to feel more energy. Anyway, perhaps try seeing a sleep specialist for a sleep test and see what they can do for you.
    Welcome! Thanks for sharing your own personal problems. I've never heard anyone say that their sleep apnea caused depression, so you've taught me something new. I hope you will stay with us and add some more interesting things to the discussions. We certainly need new members and more activity, as things have slowed down quite a bit recently, so look around and find a comfortable place.

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