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It won’t go away immediately. But it won’t stay with you like this forever too. I have had a long first-hand experience of depression, depressive moods and I have also dealt with my brother’s depression too.
My brother has been under medications for almost 10 years. He has changed many psychiatrists and medications. The last psychiatrist was the worst, he was the most hateful thing a doctor could be. He told my brother his prescriptions were the last thing my brother could try and there were no more cures for him! The medication the guy had prescribed included so many strong drugs that I threw them away! The side-effects were awful. My brother is now using his previous medication (Zoloft) but has reduced his consumption.
Now he is visiting a psychologist for the first time in his life. He is learning that his problem is not physical and incurable and unique to him, but is based on his mentality and the wrong way he has been thinking about life so far; and a human being can get in control of his mentality. However, not every person knows how to do that. That is when you go and visit a psychologist.So I have to tell you the reason you haven’t been cured so far is because you haven’t tried all options. Not all options work for all people. Some people get cured by simple medications, some others by CBT (and visiting psychologist) alone and some others need a combination of both.
You life can affect you. I am telling you the followings out of experience.
—Your surroundings and people :
-Try to change you living habits and environment. Do you have free time? That is not good. You must be busy doing something productive all the time.
– Do you have real friends in the real life? I am not talking about the Internet life. People who can be with you physically. Do Not underestimate the gift of good positive friends.
– Stay away from negative people, even if they are physicians! Remember that they are humans too with many mental problems. They might say meaningless things that would ruin your mood. They might say things and take no responsibility later on. Stay away from them.
– Stay away from negative news, media, etc. You are not responsible for all the events happening in this world.
– Cut your the time you spend on the Internet by 1/10th. Make a habit of just allotting a fixed time each day to your internet activities. Set up goals (for example which websites to visit and for what reason) before connecting to the online world.
-Many say there is no diet to cure depression. I say there are some foods you can avoid to avoid sudden mood changes. My list includes any food with high sugar content, pure carbohydrates and foods with chemical additives including Ice-creams, cakes, white sugar, white bread, white rice, sweets, candies, etc.
-Never go to bed hungry. Eat a good dinner, like a piece of bread and vegetable or fruits before sleeping. Avoid caffeine as much as you can. Drink light tea instead of coffee.
-Never stay hungry. Whenever you think you are hungry eat a small snack. Something like an apple, pear or banana can do the job.
-Avoid over-eating. Avoid high calorie foods with too much fat.
-If you can, cook for yourself. It is serious fun. And very rewarding for a person like you!
I am not talking about Facebook, Instagram and having thousands of virtual followers and virtual friends. I am also not talking about being very rich and throwing expensive parties. I say you should have short trips and outdoor activities every once in a while. No need to have friends for this. Go travel to anywhere you can, with or without the company of your friends.
Changing the living environment (even for a week) and seeing or experiencing new things is very calming.
Remember that if you resist the worst days of life with depression you would enjoy the rest of your life. These days come and go and are not going to be so regular like what you are experiencing now. Life changes, moods change, you will change, and these dark states of mind that sometimes take you in are not permanent.
Sometimes there are physical factors that support depression – BUT, largely depression is really simple, and the longer it is allowed to persist the more damage it can do.
Depression is a NORMAL EMOTIONAL /PHYSICAL RESPONSE to any environment that fails to meet your NEEDS.
It is a signpost to hungers inside you that need to be fed – not by socialising for the sake of it, not exercise, and definitely not by meds (that said you must not stop taking meds you are on without support and advice from your doctor – they are powerful and going cold turkey is not the way to do it).
Feeling hopeless and despairing is driven by a core belief inside us that we are both POWERLESS and UNWORTHY to get our needs met by others. This belief is damning, and held in our being like our belief in gravity, woven into the way we live automatically. It turns up every day inside us. So we continue pretending to the world that there is nothing wrong, that we are whole already and that we have no needs. Depressed people generally wear a smile in public.
We are born demanding to have our needs met but that doesn’t last long. We learn to ignore and repress our needs and hungers. We are taught this from early childhood not just by parents (“man up”, “don’t cry”, “don’t get mad”, “People won’t love you if…”, “you’re bad”, “you’re naughty”, “you should be more like your brother/your sister/your friend”, “ignore the bullies,” and worse) but by peers too, teachers and all manner of voices in the world. Our core negative belief is reinforced over and over again and we compare ourselves to others who “seem to have it handled” and this convinces us further that there is something really very wrong with us that can never be altered.
So most people have no idea how hungry they are, they have no idea what needs are – and these yawning deprivations get worse the longer they remain unfed. You are starving my dear friend – and while vitamin B12 might contribute something to this, you need to be fed in ways specific to the inner existential hungers that you have carried for too long already.
Chocolate will never hold you while you cry – only being held will satisfy that. Running marathons will never solve feelings of isolation – only significant and accepting contact with another human being will start to feed that one.
Someone in you needs to be heard and responded to with love and acceptance.
Depression can go away – mine has. When it returns, it is simply a sign that I have been ignoring my needs. I wish you every success in your journey – you are obviously a deeply courageous person to have gone on sol long carrying this enormous burden. There are ways, and EMSRP is one of them.
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First I like to answer the question you asked initially:
1. Depression can be complicated. If you take antidepressant medicine, this may help for a low serotonin or low dopamine level in the brain. But it will not help against the “stinking thinking” that is going on in your mind. You need cognitive /behavioral therapy for that.
2. Exercise and socializing are marginally effective against depression, but this is obviously not enough for your depression.Let’s talk about depression in general
Depression is common: 10% of all men and 20% of all women have a period of depression in their lives. In people with medical illnesses depression is more common: 20% to 40% (Ref.1).
The peak age for depression is usually the age of 25 to 44. There are special groups where depression is also common. In adolescents 5% are affected with depression and 13% of women tend to get depressed after delivery, a condition called postpartum depression.
In any age group with depression there is a risk of suicide, but with adolescents this is particularly true.
About 10% to 15% of people with general medical illness are developing depression, such as patients with Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiac disease, HIV infection, end-stage renal failure and cancer.
Causes of depression
Officially it is not known what causes depression. That is what medical textbooks say. However, other books like Datis Kharrazian’s book “Why isn’t my brain working?” offers several scenarios that can cause depression and he has examples of cases that were cured of depression (Ref.2). He points out that deficiencies in two major brain transmitters can cause depression: serotonin and dopamine.
- Serotonin is produced in the midbrain from the amino acid tryptophan in two biochemical steps. These biochemical conversions require iron, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, folic acid and magnesium as co-factors. But you also need the “large neutral amino acid transporter” (LNAA) to transport tryptophan through the blood/brain barrier into the brain.
- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced in the frontal lobes of the brain. It is also necessary for learning. Dopamine is synthetized by the brain from tyrosine, which has to be manufactured in the liver from the amino acid phenylalanine. You need to have a healthy liver to produce tyrosine, which needs to be transported through the blood/brain barrier into the brain; similar to tryptophan this requires the “large neutral amino acid transporter” (LNAA). People with hepatitis, fatty liver, insulin resistance or diabetes may have problems with the LNAA transporter, which can cause dopamine deficiency (Ref.2). But as mentioned earlier they may also have low serotonin because tryptophan was not transported into the brain. This will happen with sugar overconsumption, as insulin resistance develops and affects the LNAA transporter resulting in both low serotonin and dopamine (Ref.2).
- Since the 1990’s it is known that inflammation is also a possible factor in the causation of neurological disease including depression. Ref. 2 points out that gut issues can become brain issues as inflammatory substances can leak through a leaky gut into the blood stream and trough a leaky blood/brain barrier into the brain. Hypothyroidism can activate brain inflammation and lead to an imbalance of the neurotransmitters. Gluten sensitivity is also an important cause of depression through the inflammatory connection, but few physicians recognize the full impact of this.
Tests for depression
There are no laboratory tests that would define depression. However, every patient should be checked for hypothyroidism, a common cause of depression. If hypothyroidism is found, this can easily be treated by thyroid hormone replacement.
Otherwise the diagnosis of depression is made based on mental status examination, history and review of symptoms. A good start is to ask: “In the past 2 weeks how little interest or pleasure in doing things have you had?” and “Have you been feeling down, depressed, or hopeless in the past 2 weeks?” (Ref.3).
There are detailed psychometric questionnaires available such as the Beck Depression Inventory that can assist the physician to establish the diagnosis.
Myths of depression
One of the myths regarding depression is that it would be contagious. A study on 2000 high school students showed that depression was not infective. The contrary was true: human interaction with friends who had a “healthy mood” improved depression. By the same token, when youconstantly compare yourself with your Facebook friends, and you are not in the best mood, your mood may worsen and you could become depressed.
Treatment of depression
Despite advances in the treatment of depression the response rate with antidepressant therapy is limited to 60% to 70%. According to Ref.4 inadequate dosing and misdiagnoses account for the fact that 30% to 40% of treated people with depression have treatment failures. Typically the first antidepressant involves a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), but newer trials have shown that the oldermonoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) have a higher success rate when treating depression initially (Ref.4).
A good antidepressant for mild to moderate depression is St. John’s wort, which is recommended by Ref. 5 as having less side-effects as other antidepressants.
In treatment resistant depression the psychiatrist often employs other combinations of antidepressants. In addition cognitive/behavioral therapy is added, which makes the overall treatment more successful. It goes without saying that complicated cases of depression belong into the hands of an experienced psychiatrist.
Unfortunately there is still a stigma attached to have a mental disease like depression and people are in deep denial. Friends who do not understand depression may inadvertently say things that make the symptoms of the depressed person more severe and distance themselves at a time when they would need support from friends. The end result is loneliness, feelings of being misunderstood and having suicidal thoughts. Often it is men who will resist seeking treatment for depression, women are better in getting treatment started.
This is where a psychiatrist needs to intervene. If this does not happen, people start attempting suicide and finally commit suicide. In the US committed suicides have a gender ratio of male to female of 3:1 to 10:1. These situations become very difficult. The family needs to step in and talk to the patient. It is best to accompany the patient to the hospital for an assessment. Going to the hospital may be done privately or by ambulance. Don’t be shy to call 911 for an ambulance. Better to be cautious than have a major crisis that ends in completed suicide.
Alternative depression treatments
There are alternative treatments for depression.
1. Magnetic therapy for depression: This therapy is also called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and was approved for Canada and in 2008 by the FDA.
But it is not as powerful according to Ref. 3 as unitemporal electroconvulsive therapy.
2. Bifrontal electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): Electroconvulsive therapy with two pedals applied to the front of the skull appears to have the best results in terms of treating depression.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, which will take care of the inflammatory component of depression. Both fish oil and krill oil in combination give the optimal response.
4. Vitamin D3 is also anti-inflammatory and will contribute to an improvement with existing depression, but it also helps prevent the development of depression when taken in regularly as a supplement.
5. Light box therapy: The observation of seasonal affective disorder (SADS) can develop as a result of lack of light. This has led to the discovery that light boxes are helpful for treating depression and also for prevention of depression due to seasonal affective disorder. A light box should be used for 30 minutes every morning during the fall and winter months. The box should emit at least 10,000 lux. Improvement can occur within 2 to 4 days of starting light therapy, but often it takes up to 4 weeks to reach its full benefit.
6. It is known for a long time that alcohol is a depressant; it can actually cause depression and in persons with bipolar disease it can trigger a flare-up of that disorder as well.
7. Finally it matters what you eat: sugar and too much starchy foods (high glycemic index carbs) lead to insulin overproduction and insulin resistance. This causes inflammation, and this will cause depression. As mentioned earlier it also lowers the two key brain transmitters, dopamine and serotonin.
The solution is an anti-inflammatory diet, the Mediterranean diet without sugar and high glycemic index carbs; only low glycemic index carbs are allowed. This will normalize insulin production and eliminates inflammation.
8. Vitamin supplements: Folate and vitamin B12: Up to 1/3 of depressed people have folate deficiency. Supplementation with 400 mcg to 1 mg of folic acid is recommended. Vitamin B12 should also be taken to not mask a B12 deficiency (Ref.5). Folate and vitamin B12 are methyl donors for several brain neuropeptides.
9. Electro acupuncture has been shown in many studies to be effective in ameliorating the symptoms of depression and seems to work through the release of neurotransmitters in the brain (Ref.6).
10. Exercise on a regular basis helps to equalize the mood and seems to exert a slight anti-depressant effect on the person who engages in regular physical activity.
I have attempted to show the complexity of depression and what is known about its causes and treatment. Very likely there are several causes for depression and further research will hopefully bring more clarity to this. Treatment modalities, both conventional and unconventional have been developed over the years by trial and error. The physician and patient need to use common sense: if a treatment is working, stick to it and use it. If it does not work, move on and try something else. More difficult cases should be referred to a psychiatrist who has the most experience with difficult to treat cases. Do not neglect life-style factors and alternative depression treatments as they can often help to stabilize depression significantly. We all must be vigilant about suicide risks in depressed patients and act by calling 911, if necessary to intervene.References
1. Depression, Major: Fred F. Ferri M.D., F.A.C.P., Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2016, by Elsevier, Inc.
2. Dr. Datis Kharrazian: “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” © 2013, Elephant Press, Carlsbad, CA 92011
3. Goldman-Cecil Medicine “Major depressive disorder” 2016, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc.
4. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry, Second Edition: Theodore A. Stern MD, Maurizio Fava MD, Timothy E. Wilens MD and Jerrold F. Rosenbaum MD © 2016, Elsevier Inc.
5. Rakel: Integrative Medicine, 3rd ed. © 2012 Saunders.
6. George A. Ulett, M.D., Ph.D. and SongPing Han, B.M., Ph.D.: “The Biology of Acupuncture”, copyright 2002, Warren H. Green Inc., Saint Louis, Missouri, 63132 USA
Depression is like a really insidious parasite; a demon, even. You have to remember that. Recently, I’ve been dealing with the aftershocks of it, which consisted mainly of suicidal ideation despite being otherwise quite satisfied with life. I let it get to me. I deconstructed it as best I could, I broke it down to the point where I knew that there was no reason for it, that the only reason I could ever have for actually attempting it was sheer misery caused by it. But that was enough. That allowed it to maintain a hold, and when I next saw my psychiatrist, she told me the symptoms were exactly those of an obsession, in the psychiatric sense. It was a residual effect, one that was persisting because I was treating it with too much importance.
Make no mistake, mental illness can’t simply be wished away like that, but as I said, it’s an insidious thing: you must be aware that it doesn’t last forever, and that part of recovery is rooting out and destroying all of the negative ideas it has planted, rather than being tricked into nurturing them as if they were healthy thoughts. The hard part is making sure you don’t destroy the positive stuff instead. They can, in fact, be hard to distinguish.
It doesn’t last forever. You must hold on to that idea until you truly believe it. It’s not the only one you’ll need, but it’s one you can’t do without.
Another one you’ll need: when it’s all over, and depression is gone? You are going to have a huge amount of mental strength left to you. You’ll be able to find comfort where others can’t, to continue where many would quit, to see things through a lens shaped by experience that many don’t have. Did you know that there’s a correlation between how realistically a person sees the world and how prone they are to depression? Just think what you could do with that realism once you’ve fought off mental illness. It doesn’t go away or anything. That’s the silver lining to it. But you have to keep fighting. You will win.
First and foremost, if you have strong suicidal ideation with a plan, you should seek help immediately. My hint however, is that you really do not want to die, and that you in fact love life, but you find it hard. That is not unusual, life could be very hard, so it is important to acquire good coping skills. I think it is important to recognize that you are capable of feeling happy. The problem might be that you want to make those feelings permanent, and that is impossible. Feelings are like seasons, always changing. So the first step towards clearing the clouds in your mind, is knowing that nothing is permanent, and accept where you are now without judgment. At this point you might feel like you have no control over your blues, and that you might be living in an eternal winter. So accept your blues, welcome them because they are already there, but then think about how listening to those feelings, and self defeating thoughts is serving you. One of my favorite quotes states that “pain in life is inevitable, but suffering is optional”. While you might not have a choice in many of the events that happened in your life that make you sad, you do have a choice in the amount of attention you want to give to your sadness and rumination. Learn to identify your triggers, and your thought process. Create some space, and decide that you would no longer want to pay attention to those thoughts that are dragging you down. You have the power to chose the thoughts, and activities that would empower you, because the incredible thing is, that our mind has the ability to shape the reality that we perceive. Thus, make a conscious effort to erradicate all those thoughts that are destructive. They might never stop talking to you, but like anything that is annoying in life, and you have no control over it, learn to ignore them and carry on. Challenge your thoughts. Are things ALWAYS bad? learn how to Re-frame your thoughts. For instance, out of 7 days in a week, 2 of them are bad for you. That means that actually you have more days of feeling ok than not, so it is possible not to feel depress. Focus on the present moment, and the things that are working in your life. If the present moment calls for a cry, then cry, you might be going through something difficult, and there is a powerful reason why we were given a rainbow of emotions.
Accept that life is hard AND easy at the same time because all you need is your brain to create a better reality for your self. Recreating your own reality is not to say that one must live in a world of fantasy, or be a delusional optimist. It means that you are able to accept and recognize those things, or events that you might not have no control over it, but you choose to pay less attention to the negative.
To give you a personal example: I went through a pailful devastating divorce. Soon I learned that I had no control whatsoever over my Ex, but I did have an option on how I would respond to the pain of his lost. As I sawi at the time, I had 3 options: #1 kill my self, which I really did not want to.
#2 adopt a victim attitude, and become a bitter , jaded person, or #3, take it as an opportunity to grow, gather strength, and become a better person. I learned that forgiveness is not something that you do for others, but for yourself. I learned that crying is ok, but overindulging in it is destructive. One thing that helped me a lot was to schedule rumination-crying time and Mindfulness meditation. Everyday I would allowed my self to cry pathetically as need it with no judgement for about 3o minutes. I used a timer on it. Then no matter how depress I would feel, I would wash my face put on make up and go out. I would then consciously choose to focus on others, and not on me. Feel grateful that others are concern about you. That itself makes this life worth living.
“Fake it until you make it”. Believe it or not acting like you are happy would rewire your brain. There are lots of studies that find that even faking a smile in front of the mirror would release “happy” chemicals. Thus use your body to embody the type of person you want to be. Play pretend, it is actually fun! and don’t beat your self thinking that you are not being genuine. Look it this way is not about deceiving people, is about practicing and cultivating being a happy persona..
If you want to learn more, read about Mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy and the the work of Dr. Richard Davison. EMRD is also very effective. The thin is that you have to keep trying every day. But take it like one day at the time. Best wishes!
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Dear friend, depression is difficult. It is an insidious disease that has entirely too much control of us. The reasons that you have difficulty getting rid of it are numerous. Obviously, there are neurological reasons – I could sit here all day long and expand on, what I consider to be the wonderfully exciting, neurological chemical imbalances that take part in your brain that would end up boring you to sleep. I know that medication helps, not always quickly, and many times it takes a number of different medications. Also, and I think, in your case, if medication alone isn’t helping you, I think talking to a therapist WOULD. I think you need that very much. Clearly, it appears that you’ve done everything that you’ve been able to think of to beat this, and maybe it’s time that a professional can look at what you’ve done, and see what if anything you’ve missed, perhaps see things that we can’t, and help you.
Your desire to kill yourself distresses me greatly. I beg of you to seek help immediately!!! There is absolutely no help available to you if you give up – but there are a million options available to you if you reach out your hand and try again. We all have reached moments where it seemed so much easier to give up and, trust me, no one in the entire world would have blamed me if I had…but I didn’t and I’m so glad I did. I was 31 years old, I had a nervous breakdown, I was suddenly faced with Bipolar Disorder Type 1, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, self mutilation, and agoraphobia – all of which I had had my WHOLE life but I had been ignoring because I was forced to. I was agoraphobic so I couldn’t leave the house…I didn’t have a job, I was living with my mom, I didn’t have a car – I had NO money of my own. I had nothing. My mom had been the ONLY person I ever had in my life, and I had discovered (RIGHT before my nervous breakdown) that she was actually using me, she hadn’t cared about me, she didn’t love me, she had spent my entire life pushing me down so I would be there for HER. For example, when I was 5, the first time I had depression, I went to her, desperate for help, and she told me that she had too many problems of her own for me to have a problem. I suffered quietly, putting on a happy face FOR HER, until all I ever did was look happy and die inside…and I had done that for my whole life. I had never had ANYONE. And I’m 31 with nothing and no one…and now trapped in the house by fear with no one BUT her. You bet I wanted to kill myself. But I wanted to die NOT because I didn’t believe things could get better – I KNEW things could get better – I KNEW I could live with mental illness, I had done it rather well for 31 years, after all – but I didn’t want to live with the knowledge that my mom had betrayed me. I couldn’t stand to wake up every morning knowing that I had been SO stupid as to not see she was using me. But I didn’t kill myself because I couldn’t give up. I couldn’t allow myself to be beaten after all the things I had lived through. My father is a narcissistic sociopath with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 who has told me to my face when I was 4 that he hated me and that I was ugly and stupid and a waste of life. I lived through all of those years of abuse…why in the hell should I quit now? I had NO ONE. I had NOTHING. But…why quit? And why should you? You’ve fought through at least 2 years of it…why should you quit? It took me TWO YEARS just to get someone to HELP me because I was poor and had no insurance…but I didn’t stop fighting. You are already in a better position than I was…don’t give up!!!
I know what you feel. It feels hopeless – it is the disease. The disease is hopelessness itself. The cure is hope. Believe in hope and you have already taken a step to fighting it. Get help, it’s out there – therapists can teach you how to focus on the positives and not the negatives. Trust me, there are negatives all around and it’s easy to get lost in them. Learn to focus on the positives, hold onto those positives, believe in the person inside of yourself!!! The person that has battled this disease for two years and has come out on the other side. You are reaching out for help which shows me that you WANT help and that you are completely capable of beating this disease. Will we fight this disease the rest of our lives – fine, we probably will – but it’s better than leukemia. Depression can’t kill us unless we let it. I don’t think anyone who is reaching out for help is someone who is going to let depression kill them. I believe in you!! I believe you have the power to beat this. You just need someone to help you find the strength that is already inside you. If you ever need someone to talk to…I’m here. I wish you the VERY best in your struggle. You have my thoughts and prayers!!!
Depression doesn’t go away. It is a physical illness just like diabetes or cancer. Perhaps if one medication didn’t work for you maybe a combination of medications might work. I am currently on 3 medications for my depression and they are helping a lot.
The one thing that is honestly helping the most is my new therapist. He has gotten me to stop letting the past affect my present. When you feel the most depressed it is most likely because you are giving attention to the past or anything other than your present situation. For example, if you are sitting in your living room watching tv and you feel that life-sucking crushing depression, stop and pay attention to what you are thinking about. If you are thinking about anything other than the television show you are watching force yourself to stop thinking about it. When you first start doing this It takes a lot of effort and concentration but the more you do it the easier it becomes until it’s almost a reflex. This method also works extremely well for anxiety.
Another thing that caused a lot of depression for me is remembering who I was in the past. I was an abuse and assault victim. I was a drunk and a drug abuser. I was an outcast who was bullied all through school. At one of my lowest points, when I was desperate for money, I was a prostitute for a few months. However, I am none of those things anymore. I am now a recovering addict/alcoholic. For the first time in my life I actually like myself and who I am (most of the time). I do occasionally get down on myself because I’m on disability because of my depression but when that happens I have to change my train of thought and concentrate on the good things about me.
I hope some of this helps you. I know exactly how you feel. I’ve spent most of my life there. It is possible to get away from it.
It can go away. For most people, that can take a long time. For some, it takes years or even decades. I’m sorry if this is news to you. It sounds like depression is fairly new to you.
To learn to live with depression takes every ounce of desire you have in your body. It takes learning mental and emotional jujitsu. You have to learn you can’t fight it and that by not fighting it, and accepting it as a true part of you, that you can live with it more peacefully, and even be happy from time to time.
The opposite of depression is not happiness. It is being content. Depression is about goading you and goading you with all the ways you are deficient. To live with depression, is to figure out how to be content with yourself. When you stop fighting, and accept your depression as a valuable part of yourself, you will start the road towards being able to be content with yourself.
I know that depression is a horrible black hole in your guy; a feeling of living in a dark, oozy haze, where you can never love yourself or believe anyone else can love you. It is impossible to imagine ever overcoming depression, and in fact, that is true. You can’t overcome it. You can only integrate it into yourself, and through that integration, learn to be content.
Oh, and the meds and therapy do help in this process. Exercise is another key. Meditation is good, and doing activities that get you in a state of flow.
I’m not in the business of psychotherapy. I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist. My adoptive mother was severely depressed and psychotic. She was hospitalized 2/3 of the time over more than a decade following nearly killing herself via anorexia and after two miscarriages with worsening postpartum depression both times. The tricyclic antidepressants and major anti-psychotic medications of the 60s to early 70s did very little, if any, good. After a decade of completely useless treatments, multiple suicide attempts, she was sent to a psychiatrist and hospital out of state. He was the first psychiatrist to interview all of us children. He figured out the problem, took a different approach and in two weeks she was transferred to their halfway house, on grounds, where she was retrained in life skills which she lacked after 2 decades of depression and psychosis. She was off all medications and never had another episode of depression or psychosis for the rest of her life, another 30 years. Both depression and psychosis had been turned off like a switch.
I’m 67 now. I was depressed from early childhood until May 21st, 2003 at about 7 pm with about 6 months total off for good behavior from 1979 to 1981 in several 2 month or so segments, for known reasons. It wasn’t a “cut my throat wish I was dead” type depression. It was more “the lights” were off or on type of depression. I know what time the depression came to an end because I know what I did to end it, like throwing a switch. I know of thousands of people who ended their depression about as quickly and have kept it gone, like me. My adoptive mother’s solution was similar but different from mine. What worked for her wouldn’t have worked for me but what worked for me would have worked for her. I have a particular genetic situation which she did not have.
So now for the answers if they are not already totally obvious.
The psychiatrist who solved the problem for my mother realized the cause of her problems. He gave her a multivitamin, a b-complex and additional cyanocobalamin (official B12 and the only one available in the early 70s.) She had B12 deficiency psychosis and depression earned the hard way, self starvation. Her psychosis and depression ended in several days after starting the vitamins. She was taught how to eat and plan proper menus for nutritional completeness.
I was just recently diagnosed with adult onset CblC disease which induces severe B12 deficiency with low cellular methylfolate for various reason, however there are many causes of B12 and folate deficiency but they all cause a multitude of symptoms that carry many different diagnoses including depression. For me the very first sublingual methylcobalamin (human active B12 that participates in methylation reactions immediately without conversion) started making a noticeable difference in 5 minutes and by the end of an hour the depression was gone and the lights turned on. For me to sustain it over the next 4 years I added adenosylcobalamin (mitochondrial B12), l-methylfolate and L-carnitine fumarate (specifically needed by 90%, ALCAR specifically needed for 10%, approximately). In the process I was cured of FMS, CFS, congestive heart disease, IBS, lots of neuropathies and about 10 years worth of sub acute combined degeneration damage reversed. However, I still have considerable demyelination damage. What I am not is depressed.
Now it isn’t that easy. I had severe refeeding syndrome from the nutrient starvation for my whole life. That can kill a person so it has to be done in a planned way that corrects the hypokalemia (low serum potassium) that starts on about the 3rd day after starting cell formation with effective vitamins.
In the context of people with CFS, FMS and ME symptoms, including some degree of depression, those that also have anxiety in the context of a “Parkinson’s personality” have a special challenge. When the AdoCbl and l-carnitine fumarate (or ALCAR by individual trial, usually only one of them will work) start the person has a hyper sensitive reaction usually to the carnitine as ATP production ramps up. They have an experience that from a small dose of carnitine they have a 36 hour or so experience in which the anxiety increases seriously, then fear and even terror, anger, rage, homicidal rage and then severe suicidal depression as the serum level of the carnitine goes up and then down.
It is repeatable and happens with the same selection and order of symptoms over and over. It appears to be caused by the damage done over decades to the limbic system in the brain from lack of AdoCbl/carnitine making ATP for the neurons and the neurons become damaged. These severe reactions of the ATP startup can be minimized by doing a microtitration, starting at 100 mcg (in 3 divided doses) per day of oral l-carnitine. Some people who have continued have been able to increase to normal doses of l-carnitine and no longer have the extreme physiological psychology response. People without anxiety tend to have increased irritability, but usually not anything overwhelming.
None of this has been studied. The active forms of the vitamins, MeCbl and AdoCbl instead of CyCbl or HyCbl, l-methylfolate instead of folic or folinic acid, and the specific form of carnitine that the individual responds to, have mostly only been available for 10 to 15 years.
In addition CyCbl, HyCbl, folic acid, folinic acid, glutathione, NAC, whey and in a small fraction of people, vegetable folates, can cause folate and B12 deficiencies in some percentage of people via mechanisms that have not been adequately researched. One cause recently found is adult onset CblC disease which exists in a multitude of genetic and symptoms variations being “extremely heterogeneous” and is just being to be studied.
However, regardless of the causes of these deficiencies, the symptoms set of several hundred symptoms is the same for all causes.
There is no such thing as a disease named “depression”, but I do know a lack of cannabinoids.
Based on the scant knowledge available regarding the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid science overall, some researchers have theorized that many diseases, like multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia, may be caused by a simple deficiency of endogenous (internally produced) cannabinoids (also called endocannabinoids). This condition has been labeled Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, or CECD (it is also sometimes called Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome).
Researchers understand that the body’s endocannabinoid system maintains homeostasis, meaning that it controls and regulates pain, appetite, sleep, inflammation, and cell metabolism (including the lifecycle of cells).
Thus, a lack of cannabinoids could cause disruption to multiple systems in the body. It is theorized that this disruption, or lack of homeostasis, then leads to more significant and life-threatening problems e.g. depression.
Are patients who gain relief from their symptoms from cannabis simply supplementing a deficiency in their endocannabinoid system with cannabinoids from Cannabis? Can cannabinoids from Cannabis be thought of as simply supplements — or even, in extreme cases, replacements — for human endocannabinoids?
Several notable researchers have proposed that an endocannabinoid deficiency may be responsible for ailments like migraines, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and many more.
According to Dr. Ethan Russo, the Senior Medical Advisor at GW Pharmaceuticals, the British company that manufactures Sativex, a synthetic form of THC,
“Deficient cannabinoid levels may be the underlying cause of numerous conditions alleviated by cannabis.”
First step, keep living! I know it seems like you are “dragging everyone…” but believe me, if you give people a chance, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much the people who love you want to help and support you.
I don’t know why it doesn’t go away, sweetheart. I am not a doctor, just a sufferer of depression.
Talk with your doctor as soon as possible about trying to adjust or change your medications.
I still take meds, and have had two “rounds” of ect treatments (usually once a week for a couple of months). That was two yeras ago and now. It helps alot. ALOT. Shock treatments are really amazing. The first time 2 years ago it made me confused and forgetful, but this time I have had hardly any problems at all. Ask your doctor if this is something he may consider for you.
Helpful ect hints: Ask for lidocaine before they put the IV in, because it burns a little without it.
Ask them to hold the air mask up an inch or two away from your face, it is less scary that way.
Good luck, my dear. Hugs. -V