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  #51  
Old 01-13-2018, 07:27 AM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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. I think before we can determine that a person has a physiological problem preventing them from having a proper balance of all the chemicals we need to maintain a sense of well being on this planet it would be necessary for them to accept a long list pf premises that are known to be conducive to good emotional health. The first one is. Do you really want to get better? Are you willing to go to any length to get better? From that point on they could simply start following instructions. Obviously what they have done in the past hasn't worked, if they can admit that maybe they would be willing to try something new. Life is difficult for nearly all creatures on this planet, humans have it easier than most, start off with gratitude.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:54 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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. I think before we can determine that a person has a physiological problem preventing them from having a proper balance of all the chemicals we need to maintain a sense of well being on this planet it would be necessary for them to accept a long list pf premises that are known to be conducive to good emotional health. The first one is. Do you really want to get better? Are you willing to go to any length to get better? From that point on they could simply start following instructions. Obviously what they have done in the past hasn't worked, if they can admit that maybe they would be willing to try something new. Life is difficult for nearly all creatures on this planet, humans have it easier than most, start off with gratitude.
Are you under the impression that recovery from mental illness is as straightforward as following a list of instructions and that it's simply a matter of being willing to work hard at it?

You are mistaken.

I'm not grateful for depression. Not even a little. There is a lot of evidence that the expectation for people to think positively about genuine suffering causes greater psychological harm. People are allowed to be angry about their suffering.
  #53  
Old 01-13-2018, 08:06 AM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Are you under the impression that recovery from mental illness is as straightforward as following a list of instructions and that it's simply a matter of being willing to work hard at it?

You are mistaken.

I'm not grateful for depression. Not even a little. There is a lot of evidence that the expectation for people to think positively about genuine suffering causes greater psychological harm. People are allowed to be angry about their suffering.
I think for some it is just a matter of getting some new tools and for others it is not. I think it can be very difficult to distinguish between the two. I also think that a person suffering from depression might be about the worst judge there is of what she or he might need to fix it.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:28 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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I think for some it is just a matter of getting some new tools and for others it is not. I think it can be very difficult to distinguish between the two. I also think that a person suffering from depression might be about the worst judge there is of what she or he might need to fix it.
That's fair.

I'm speaking as someone who has done psychodynamic therapy, group psychodrama, group therapy, DBT, CBT, cognitive therapy, EMDR, prolonged exposure, behavioral activation and ACT in an attempt to treat my problems. Most of them gave me some tools that help, but none of them disappeared the problem.

I'm addition to therapy I've also done TMS to the tune of $10,000 and tried somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 different medications, one of which worked fantastically, but lowered my seizure threshold and resulted in a three day hospital stay for a grand mal seizure cluster.

I'm unusually proactive about mental health. Nobody could tell me with a straight face I haven't been trying hard enough.

As mentioned upthread, I keep it under management through a combination of things, including mood stabilizers, behavioral activation, exercise, proper nutrition, meditation, monophasic birth control, regular socialization, and internet restriction. It would be difficult for a mentally healthy person to do all that. For me, it's impossible. I'm always spinning some plates and dropping others.

I've made peace with it. I am no longer on a fruitless search for a cure. I'm always on the lookout for new tools and ideas, but life is more about managing crises when they come up less than trying to fix myself.

I don't know why I am this way. I don't know what percentage is genetics or my mother or any number of things. Trying to figure that out is rather pointless, because knowing why, we still wouldn't know how to treat it. Mental illness treatment is still a trial and error thing. There are some treatments known to work the best for most people, but mine falls into a category called "treatment-resistant" and that's the case for many. That's why Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) helped me so much. It taught me how to live with chronic depression.
  #55  
Old 01-13-2018, 09:51 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Threads like this one remind me that all too often, people fail to differentiate between feeling down/sad a large proportion of the time, but coping with it to allow one to keep a job and interact socially - as opposed to severe depression, where the black cloud covers your life and makes normal functioning impossible.

The latter is a serious, life-threatening illness. Blathering about "unmet needs" in such a circumstance makes no sense. Those people need active intervention, generally including antidepressants with close monitoring. Later on, you can analyze their "needs".
  #56  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:14 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Mental illness treatment is still a trial and error thing.
Singled out and bolded for TRUTH.

Too many people think it's all solved and you just need to go to a doctor who will give you the right drugs and you'll be fine.

Not even remotely true. It's all guesswork and all too much of modern medicinal pharmaceuticals is "well it appears to work this way in some people even though we originally thought of this drug for something completely different". Far too many of them have dangerous or unhelpful side effects (and lucky me, I seem to be the guy who always hits the "less than 1% will experience this" side effects). Or they may work fine for some people and have deleterious effects for others.

There is no cure-all. There's very little "exact science". We're still in the age of "hey, here's a new chemical compound, let's see how it affects the human body!".
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  #57  
Old 01-13-2018, 11:18 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Disclaimer: I've read part of this thread and just skimmed the rest.

Here's a detail I'm not seeing discussed about the "unmet needs" hypothesis, or maybe I've just missed it:

Some people may be depressed about "unmet needs", and some on those people may just simply be plain flat-out unable to ever get those needs met -- for whatever reason. The people who are pushing the "unmet needs" theory, AFAICT, aren't offering much of a constructive solution beyond advising that people with "unmet needs" should get their needs met. And perhaps with the corollary that the therapist's job is to help them get their unmet needs met?

Hey, if you're horribly poverty-stricken and your family has been for generations, there are probably a lot of things you'd like to have happen in your life that just aren't going to happen. What solution does the "unmet needs" therapist offer for this? Lottery tickets?

Hey, if it's your life's ambition to be a star Major League baseball hero but you just aren't (see: Damn Yankees), and you're depressed about that, what's the solution? How ya going to go out and get that need met (especially if you're a middle-age has-been wallowing in your fantasy might-have-beens).

Are the therapists of the "unmet needs" school just peddling fantasies?
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  #58  
Old 01-14-2018, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
The people who are pushing the "unmet needs" theory, AFAICT, aren't offering much of a constructive solution beyond advising that people with "unmet needs" should get their needs met.
I don't have any reason to buy into the unmet needs camp, but I think being right and having a constructive solution aren't necessarily related. The old joke about the man looking for his lost watch under a lamppost because that's where the light is springs to mind.
  #59  
Old 01-14-2018, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Threads like this one remind me that all too often, people fail to differentiate between feeling down/sad a large proportion of the time, but coping with it to allow one to keep a job and interact socially - as opposed to severe depression, where the black cloud covers your life and makes normal functioning impossible.

The latter is a serious, life-threatening illness. Blathering about "unmet needs" in such a circumstance makes no sense. Those people need active intervention, generally including antidepressants with close monitoring. Later on, you can analyze their "needs".
[emphasis mine]

Thank you. Depression is not just being depressed about something.

Depression frequently has 'triggers', but they are more likely to be a week of bad diet and no exercise as a sad event or circumstance.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:13 AM
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And there is nothing wrong with it being both.

I'm a victim of a chemical imbalance. But that triggers when my environment gets out of control, then feeds itself like a hurricane. My needs are security and stability - and life is not going to be 100% secure and stable, so once in a while I'm going to spin out of control. Medication helps, but I also need the stable and secure environment. Both my environment and my brain chemistry need to keep steady for me to remain mentally healthy - when either goes out of whack, so does my mental health until both can get back into balance.
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  #61  
Old 01-14-2018, 11:18 AM
Leo Krupe Leo Krupe is offline
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And there is nothing wrong with it being both.

I'm a victim of a chemical imbalance. But that triggers when my environment gets out of control, then feeds itself like a hurricane. My needs are security and stability - and life is not going to be 100% secure and stable, so once in a while I'm going to spin out of control. Medication helps, but I also need the stable and secure environment. Both my environment and my brain chemistry need to keep steady for me to remain mentally healthy - when either goes out of whack, so does my mental health until both can get back into balance.
I can relate to this 100%. My problem is the environment that gets out of control is a work situation. What I have to do then is try to figure out a way to get and keep a job that will be stable and secure.

Honest, but rhetorical question: How in the hell do I do that?
  #62  
Old 01-14-2018, 06:41 PM
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This seems about right to me. I think rather than depression being caused by unmet needs, it may actually be that unmet needs and the woes of modern life can produce temporary symptoms that in some ways resemble those of clinical depression.
I agree. And I would add, depression is sure to cause unmet needs. When you can't do anything but sleep and cry, you don't get exercise, healthy food, and interaction with other people. Certainly forcing yourself, to the extent possible, to get those things can help manage the depression, but... what's that thing about correlation and something else?
  #63  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:18 PM
vivalostwages vivalostwages is offline
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I think it's way more complicated that either of the binary positions. I think it's likely that many cases of depression are caused by unmet needs--sometimes as simple as poor diet or too little fresh air and sunshine, but also by poverty, poor expectations, toxic people, tragedy, etc.

But sometimes depression just happens. Brain serotonin levels go wrong, and it's no one's fault and behavior therapy isn't going to help it.

Twenty years ago when I took psych 101 (crikey, I'm not young anymore) they told us that schizophrenia was really a myriad of different disorders lumped under one heading. I'm pretty sure depression is the same.
Yes, it is complicated and I have been through different types of anxiety and depression.
Several years ago it was the result of carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, with the numbness and tingling driving me out of my skull, causing lack of sleep, and yes, anxiety. Getting surgery resolved that one.

Later, perimenopause struck, causing me to feel weepy for no apparent reason. Blood tests revealed hormones out of whack. Gabapentin helps, though I don't need to take it as much now.

I also had quite a bit of anxiety while my mom was suffering through the final stages of cancer and dying. This came on top of the aforementioned peri menopausal mess. No wonder I had to go back on lexapro.
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  #64  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:22 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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I went through a bad period in my life at 40, divorce, lost my business etc. The real problem was what led to those things in the first place. The best advice I got was to become an actor, fake it till you make it. I won't go into a bunch of boring details but the bottom line was my new attitude was getting me positive responses that I was emotionally feeding off of. Relationships at all levels, socially, professionally, family and casual relationships all got better. I am pretty sure the right kinds of chemicals were being generated and I was having a good response to them. My creativity levels picked up enormously and that was also generating even more of the good chemicals that opened new doors for me socially. 30 years later I feel like a different person than I was.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:05 PM
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I'm glad that worked for you. It sounds perfectly hellish to me.

Exercise, specifically walks, long walks, always worked for me. Swimming was good, too.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:15 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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I dunno, that's something I learned too. I've worked Security, I've worked helpdesk, I've worked IT database support. You have to 'put on a good face' and work from a positive attitude, even when you just hurt inside. You have to learn and recognize that throwing your pain at other people, who have nothing to do with it and don't deserve it, isn't going to help you or them. So you smile, and be pleasant, and be polite.

The best part of that is learning that being positive and pleasant and smiling in people's faces when they're being complete assholes only makes them angrier, but they can't complain about you, because you're not returning the bad behavior. You may want to seriously fuck them up and tear them a new asshole because of the way you feel inside and all that, but after the fact, that "wow, I didn't break down and do something I regretted, and that guy just went completely mental when I smiled and said no was way more than worth it!"
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  #67  
Old 01-14-2018, 09:35 PM
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Good manners are one thing, and a very good thing, but I can think of nothing more depressing, in either sense of the word, than being liked only when one is pretending to be something one is not.

Kind of like being to told to "smile" for no reason.

Last edited by j666; 01-14-2018 at 09:35 PM.
  #68  
Old 01-14-2018, 09:41 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Well, as I more or less said in my post there; Other people haven't done anything to deserve your pain being thrown in their face. Being unpleasant because you hurt inside is being unfair to yourself as well as other people.

Yeah, took me a very long time to learn that. I too thought I was just being who I was, but who I was, was unnecessarily being an unpleasant jerk to people who very often had done nothing to deserve it. People aren't going to be your friend if they find you unpleasant to be around, so you're sabotaging your own life by doing so. Which then only feeds your depression and social anxiety.
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  #69  
Old 01-14-2018, 11:26 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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I'm not impressed by bogus blanket statements like "Now, if your baby dies at 10am, your doctor can diagnose you with a mental illness at 10.01am and start drugging you straight away."
That business about getting rid of the bereavement exclusion made me pay no attention to the rest of the article. I am neither a psychologist not a psychiatrist, but my understanding was that getting rid of the bereavement exclusion was not for the purpose of diagnosing all bereaved people with major depressive disorder, but rather to allow clinicians to diagnose MDD when the patient met the criteria even if he or she was recently bereaved while the exclusion discouraged such a diagnosis within two months of a loss.
In other words, one can be bereaved and in the midst of a major depressive episode at the same time - which seems to be basic common sense to me. After all, having major depressive disorder doesn't mean you can't lose someone close to you and it seems to me that loss of a loved one might trigger an episode.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:42 PM
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But no one is going to have all their needs met. I want world peace, and until then I will remain depressed? No, depression is a mental health condition. It has to do with brain chemistry which is why people have good and bad days not tied to any events. Clinical depression is like someone having their oxygen supply severely limited, and it isn't because they simply aren't taking big enough breaths.

There is depression from an event such as someone close to you dying, losing your job, you have your home foreclosed on, your car being repossessed, your pet dying. This might be called depression which is a temporary condition, but this isn't the same as clinical depression which needs to be treated with medications such as Antidepressants and Anti-anxiety drugs and psychotherapy for coping. Clinical depression isn't about needs not being met.
  #71  
Old 01-15-2018, 06:20 AM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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But no one is going to have all their needs met. I want world peace, and until then I will remain depressed? No, depression is a mental health condition. It has to do with brain chemistry which is why people have good and bad days not tied to any events. Clinical depression is like someone having their oxygen supply severely limited, and it isn't because they simply aren't taking big enough breaths.

There is depression from an event such as someone close to you dying, losing your job, you have your home foreclosed on, your car being repossessed, your pet dying. This might be called depression which is a temporary condition, but this isn't the same as clinical depression which needs to be treated with medications such as Antidepressants and Anti-anxiety drugs and psychotherapy for coping. Clinical depression isn't about needs not being met.
I think over time you will be proven wrong in the majority of cases. I agree on the chemical imbalance thing but I also have seen too many instances where behavior modification radically changes the chemical balance.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:04 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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I think over time you will be proven wrong in the majority of cases. I agree on the chemical imbalance thing but I also have seen too many instances where behavior modification radically changes the chemical balance.
Behavior not only can affect brain chemistry, it can stimulate neurogenesis. Some of us are screwed no matter what we do, but it can make a difference for many. For me, my depression is sometimes affected by my behavior and sometimes not. I do what I can.
  #73  
Old 01-15-2018, 08:54 AM
JackieLikesVariety JackieLikesVariety is offline
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if you add together all the people in our society who have depression and/or anxiety to a clinical extent, I wonder if it's more than half? it sure seems like it.

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Old 01-15-2018, 09:25 AM
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I imagine that at least a couple of people in this thread think unfavorably of me, my views, and/or how I expressed them. (I myself might not be thrilled with same.)

If you are one of those, do you think me an asshole? An unpleasant person lacking compassion? Or someone experiencing a mental/emotional condition?

Ought I do something myself to change my views and behaviors? Or ought individuals and society as a whole welcome, accommodate, understand, and enable me?

Does your response differ whether I perceive and present myself as someone responsible for my own behaviors, as opposed to someone who desires/expects to be accommodated?

I do not question the fact that there are SOME people with profoundly limiting mental/emotional conditions. Just about EVERYONE experiences transient difficulties, or problematic perceptions/personality traits. I suspect many people differ as to where they make distinctions along those continua.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:35 AM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
I imagine that at least a couple of people in this thread think unfavorably of me, my views, and/or how I expressed them. (I myself might not be thrilled with same.)

If you are one of those, do you think me an asshole? An unpleasant person lacking compassion? Or someone experiencing a mental/emotional condition?

Ought I do something myself to change my views and behaviors? Or ought individuals and society as a whole welcome, accommodate, understand, and enable me?

Does your response differ whether I perceive and present myself as someone responsible for my own behaviors, as opposed to someone who desires/expects to be accommodated?

I do not question the fact that there are SOME people with profoundly limiting mental/emotional conditions. Just about EVERYONE experiences transient difficulties, or problematic perceptions/personality traits. I suspect many people differ as to where they make distinctions along those continua.
I tend to mostly agree with you and I consider myself to be a compassionate person. Maybe I tend to favor tough love but I do feel empathy for those suffering. It reminds me of a lady I knew about 30 years ago, she was going through a divorce the same time as me and I met her in a support group I attended for a few weeks. We became friends and continued to talk for several years. When I first met her she was sad and somewhat depressed about her husband leaving her for a thinner, prettier woman but overall seemed pretty normal with a pleasant personality. Over a period of about 3 years the doctors had her so drugged out and diagnosed with every multiple personality, dual diagnosis, manic depressive thing you can imagine. She had basically become a zombie and was never really given a chance to recover. I lost track of her after a while but she was on a steep downhill slide from the time she started seeing doctors for her depression.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:40 AM
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Most of the conditions are probably physical, rather than personal history. It is a trait. Some people are affected by events more than others but it was all in there to start with.

Taking myself as an example, I can only get anxious, rarely anything called depressed. Sad at appropriate times.

Last edited by Poto; 01-15-2018 at 11:41 AM.
  #77  
Old 01-15-2018, 12:04 PM
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.. Other people haven't done anything to deserve your pain being thrown in their face. Being unpleasant because you hurt inside is being unfair to yourself as well as other people. ...
That does not come within my definition of good manners.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:46 PM
vivalostwages vivalostwages is offline
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Do you tell that to people with diabetes? Cerebral palsy? Hey, your blood pressure's out of wack? Suck it up you big baby, we've all got problems!

Why is it so weird to think that our brain chemistry can be messed up as well? The brain is just another organ, isn't it? What makes it somehow immune?
I'm not saying people should just fall all over and whine, "oh woe is me!" but "snap out of it!" or "get over it!" is NOT going to work for people with depression, and is one of the most offensive and disgusting attitudes a person can have.

Depression is not merely "whining and fucking up". A lot of the time it's lack of caring -- you don't care period. You're numb, no matter if things are going good or bad. It's a hell of a lot more complex than you seem to think. Yeah, you definitely have people who want to use it as an excuse -- but you have that with any illness. But there's always been a stigma against mental illness, and we're only now starting to attack that.
I don't pretend to have all the answers, and trust me, I loathe people who go around saying, "you can't pick on me, I'm SICK!", but trust me, if I could just "snap out of it", I would. I wish it were that easy.
This. We don't tell people with a broken leg to snap out of it and go run a marathon. Yet some will tell folks with depression to snap out of it and stop moping around.

Why? Because it's not visible like a cast on a leg. And they don't get it, and so on.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:50 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Just as some people will tell people with huge back problems* that they should get over it and they're just faking their pain. Because it isn't visible like a broken leg.

* Five herniated disks, four of them in my neck, one just above the waist, two of the ones in my neck impacting my spine. With permanent left hip damage and bad knees to round out the Skeleton of Terror.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:25 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Originally Posted by vivalostwages View Post
This. We don't tell people with a broken leg to snap out of it and go run a marathon. Yet some will tell folks with depression to snap out of it and stop moping around.

Why? Because it's not visible like a cast on a leg. And they don't get it, and so on.
It has nothing to do with snapping out of it. There are behavior techniques that can be learned which can help to balance out our brain chemicals and hormones. We are generating these things 24 hours a day in response to most every sensation we have. If you are not generating the right chemicals you will be depressed. Synthetic substitutes can help to alleviate this but can't possibly act on us on cue. A more natural approach can be a lot more effective. The first step is just accepting this premise and then acting on it.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:53 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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Speaking only for myself, and not reading any other replies to your questions...

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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
I imagine that at least a couple of people in this thread think unfavorably of me, my views, and/or how I expressed them. (I myself might not be thrilled with same.)
Not really. The first thing you said was prickly, but you clarified your view. Way better than people who come in and don't want to learn or budge an inch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale
If you are one of those, do you think me an asshole? An unpleasant person lacking compassion? Or someone experiencing a mental/emotional condition?
None of the above.

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Originally Posted by Dinsdale
Ought I do something myself to change my views and behaviors? Or ought individuals and society as a whole welcome, accommodate, understand, and enable me?
A little of both, right? Ideally, we'd all be trying to learn from one another while making room for opposing viewpoints.

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Originally Posted by Dinsdale
Does your response differ whether I perceive and present myself as someone responsible for my own behaviors, as opposed to someone who desires/expects to be accommodated?
No, in my view, you're either right or wrong, how you present yourself doesn't impact your rightness or wrongness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale
I do not question the fact that there are SOME people with profoundly limiting mental/emotional conditions. Just about EVERYONE experiences transient difficulties, or problematic perceptions/personality traits. I suspect many people differ as to where they make distinctions along those continua.
No doubt about that. And as I am often prone to saying, being an asshole and being mentally ill are not mutually exclusive concepts.

Full disclosure: Severe, debilitating mental illness runs in my family. My uncle was schizoaffective (that's schizophrenia with bipolar), couldn't hold down a job, routinely kicked out of apartments due to violence against imagined enemies, banned from several grocery stores - absolutely no contact with reality, like stereotypical homeless guy muttering in the street crazy. One conversation with the guy would leave you reeling. I was perplexed by the expectations some people seemed to have of him, as if his mental illness were a character flaw rather than a biological condition. The dude thinks people are actively trying to kill him on a regular basis, is subject to daily auditory and visual hallucinations and has been hospitalized eight times in one summer. Yet the conversation around him was always how lazy he was because he doesn't do his laundry or whatever. What, exactly, did they expect? (He has since passed away.)

In addition to my uncle, there is my mother (Borderline Personality Disorder), calling her functional is a stretch, she's one of the people who harped the most about my uncle's laziness and now she's on disability for a back injury. I really doubt she could hold down a job at this point, while possibly able-bodied she lacks the emotional regulation required to interact with people in a consistent and stable manner. I haven't spoken to her in two years but it sounds like she's becoming increasingly more delusional and paranoid even though she's not as violent as she used to be.

My great-grandmother was bipolar and I think also had PMDD (a little-understood disorder in which hormones profoundly affect mental health - think PMS from hell. I have it too but fortunately, I live in the era of monophasic BC. People do not take this seriously at all, but it is absolutely debilitating when untreated.) She was permanently institutionalized and sterilized, and my grandmother went to a girls' home for the remainder of her childhood.

Compared to these people, I am in great shape. I have recurrent major depressive disorder, PMDD, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified), and inattentive type ADHD. I know, it sounds like a bullshit number of disorders, right? But no, I am the real deal. I've been living with it and in treatment for these things for almost 20 years and I have been under the medical care of experts. I have a good breadth of knowledge in all of these issues including some graduate school education in mental health treatment, and I'm married to a clinical psychologist who has a very low tolerance for bullshit. You're going to have to take my word for it that these are all accurate diagnoses. I am just that lucky.

People on the outside cannot comprehend this struggle. I look excellent on paper. I've been married for 12 years in a highly stable, loving, violence-and-conflict free marriage (my Mom has been married 5 times, I take a lot of pride in my marriage.) I have a Master's degree despite big (1+ years or longer) interruptions in my education due to depression. I'm friendly to people, I have no obvious social dysfunctions, I can control my temper, I'm reasonable. I do not seem like a person who struggles with mental illness (the fact that there is an assumed ''type'' is a society problem I'm working on.) It's almost funny how well people assume I can function compared to how well I actually do.

I guess the question I would posit to you, Dinsdale, is if I am so lazy (and I'm not saying you're accusing me of being so, I'm engaging in a thought experiment with you), why did I even bother going back to school at all? If you look over my life history, this is what you see: intensive periods of effort, high achievement, followed by frequent interruptions of a year or longer in which I became virtually non-functional, withdrew from college, lost my job, watched my life fall apart, became suicidal, and then I dusted myself off and resumed where I left off. My brain came with some great gifts as well as curses, so all I can think about when I discuss this issue is how much better I could be if I didn't have to deal with this shit. I've done some cool stuff, but I was capable of so much more. I'm a valued member of my team, but if I wasn't mentally ill, I could be running the organization I work for. (Whether I would want to is another story.)

Life has been good for the last two years. Very little by way of serious depression. Last night I was so anxious I woke up at 2am and haven't been able to get back to sleep. My entire day is now fucked due to PTSD, I certainly couldn't drive to the doctor without risking a collision due to sleep deprivation, so there's another piece of my self-care puzzle knocked out of whack. I can't eat when I'm sleep deprived, so there goes nutrition. Since I have chronic insomnia and cannot easily recover from a disrupted sleep schedule, this is going to affect, at a bare minimum, the rest of my week. I'm already feeling depressed about it, and panicked as I have people coming over in five hours and feel totally unprepared for what's coming ahead tomorrow and so on.

This... is typical. Standard. Everyday life for me. Good life for me. This is my life when things are going well.

I have a part-time job. It seems that every time I attempt to go without meds, I end up unemployed. The last medication I took was effective but it lowered my seizure threshold to the point that I had three grand mal seizures in one day and then I couldn't drive for six months. Kinda puts a ding in the old employment plans, right? Fortunately, I could work from home. Except the anticonvulsant they put me on made me acutely suicidal. After six months of trying to make that work, I was put on an anticonvulsant that does wonders for my depression. Go figure.

I now work part-time. Part-time is better because it can prevent the depression from spiraling out of control without affecting my employment status. Most people don't have the luxury of part-time. I have no intention to apply for disability or anything. I'm just trying to give you insight into the life of a smart, capable person who really, really, really tries, and still falls flat on my face on a regular basis, because I have several chronic illnesses, and many of them are psychological. Given what I've been through since the age of 13, it's hard to blame people who suffer from similar problems for wanting to step out of this productivity game once and for all.

Even my husband, the enlightened mental health professional, forgets this sometimes. I haven't talked to him yet today, but I predict he's pissed at me for not going to sleep last night, given the fact he whacked me in the nose with his sock this morning and muttered a terse, "Be good." (he means: "Be good to yourself.") He knows how much it messes me up when I don't get sleep. As if you can possibly sleep when you feel threatened and feel like you have a gallon of coffee circulating through your system. I will point this out to him, he will remember, and there will be no harm done. But not even he can fully understand this at times. Nobody gets it until they have lived it. And I'm deeply influenced by sleep deprivation right now, but my general take on chronic mental illness is that it's sheer hell.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 01-15-2018 at 02:00 PM.
  #82  
Old 01-15-2018, 08:12 PM
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All over the world, readers were being told that...
Quote:
Then, as the years and decades passed, doctors on the frontline started to come back with another question. All over the world, they were being encouraged to tell patients that depression is,
... by some author who was being paid by the word, not for getting their facts right.

In the USA, the most popular view was, for a very long time, that it was all in your head. And American doctors needed to be repeatedly told that there were effective drug treatments for mental conditions. Some had always believed that. More came to the realization. But it has never been the case the "all over the world" or even "in America" that "all doctors" believed anything in common about mental health.
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