A question about depression

Bear with me, this is going to require some background:

I am a good-natured fellow. I love to laugh and play around, and I am a funny guy. But I suffer from depression. It blows.
At least part of this I feel is that my life is all out of order. I attend UNC Greensboro, and I really feel like I don’t belong here. I hate it. I get out of Greensboro whenever I can, either home to Winston-Salem, or to see some friends at NC State in Raleigh. I LOVE Raleigh, and I always have a great time. When I get sick of and depressed in Greensboro, I go to Raleigh and really enjoy myself. So I am transferring to NS State University. I leave Greensboro in 4 days. I couldn’t be happier. Just being there usually puts me in a great mood.

But last night I went up there and it didn’t work. I couldn’t pull out of my funk. It kind of worried me. I considered the fact that I am stressed. I have exams and several hundred dollars worth of debts to pay off before I can leave Gboro, and I don’t have the money. Also, I’m having a tough time finding a job in Raleigh.
I slept at my buddy’s place and drove home this morning. I was still quite depressed, and on I-40 I felt like I was about to fall asleep and I didn’t really care if I did. Part of me decided this would not do, so I pulled over to get some Mountain Dew. I got a 20-ounce, and immediately guzzled half of it, somewhere between Burlington and Durham (for anyone familiar with the area). Within 5 minutes, I felt GREAT. Not only was I awake, but my little episode had lifted and I was my usual self again.

NOW, this could be coincidence. I know that with depression, it’s all in my mind, no matter how much I convince myself otherwise. Usually, if I can remind myself of this, then with about 30 min of concentrated effort, I can essentially “talk myself out of” a depressive episode. I had been working on this for some time, so it might have lifted because of that. (If you’re curious, yes, I am on antidepressants as well). But I occurred to me that, in an effort to drain all the money off my meal card in the next, I have been buying roughly 30 sodas per week as of late, and finishing them within about 4 days. I love sodas. I have a hostory with a caffeine dependency, however. I had to kick it my senior year of high school because I drank about 3 cups of coffee per day and it screwed up my sleep habits.

IN CONCLUSION: (if you have stayed and read this whole thing, thank you) anyone out there who is an experienced depressionist or has a training in psychology, Is it likely that my depression may be related to or quite so dramatically aggravated by a caffeine dependency?


It might be a good question to ask your doctor. I haven’t experienced that myself, but I’m not really heavily into caffeine. Caffeine doesn’t work well when your problem is actually more anxiety than depression.

As TroubleAgain said, you should talk to your doctor.

Speaking as someone who has no idea what he is talking about, it sounds to me like the caffeine was helping you, not aggravating the problem. Considering the circumstances, it may have even been the sugar (assuming it wasn’t a diet soda) that had the biggest affect.

You need to keep in mind that any major life change, even one that is wished for, is hard on the body and the emotions. You need to take care of yourself as much as possible. Use whatever support (friends, family, etc.) that you can.

Be aware that unpleasant feelings during this transition do not mean that you are making a mistake. You will feel better once you get used to your new situation.

Biggest effect, darn it. Effect. I do know the difference.

flup I empathize with your situation. My two cents worth: As as a non-professional but fellow sufferer I’d recommend discussing with your treating physician the possibility that Greensboro was, until your imminent transfer, an escape from the stresses at school. Now that those same stresses you mentioned will be there your recent visit was not as much of a relief as had been previously.

Just a thought, of course. Use all the support you can, and good luck.

I think MonkeyMensch meant to say the Raleigh was the escape and now that you will be attending school there, you may begin to feel the same way about it as you do about Greensboro.

Having attended school in Chapel Hill and being a chronic depressive I know wherefrom you speak (literally). In regards to caffiene and/or sugar; I must have hot chocolate every morning to get my day going. It wakes me up and calms me down. However, after a while the sugar wears off and I become sleepy again. Then if I eat too much chocolate I get wired from the caffiene and get anxious. It’s a viscious cycle. I know I would be better off eating organic veggies and having wheat grass enemias…but not in my lifetime.:slight_smile: Moderation in everything.

I’ve taken a ride on the caffeine train before, like I said. I had to ditch the stuff my senior year, and I did well without it. My sleep schedule was easier to maintain and I was less irritable. College leads to some bad habits though. I ran out of drinks about 2 days ago and hadn’t had any since until this morning. I was wondering if it was the withdrawal that had me down and once I chugged me some of the ol’ Dew, I was spiffy old flup once again.

Yeah, this is goin on the list of stuff to get mentioned at my next appointment with the Wellbutrin Man. Just figured it’d be nice ot get it for free here first.

Thanks guys.

It is quite common for depressed people (at least of my aquaintence) to self-medicate with caffeine, and IANAPychologist but that’s what it sounds like you are doing. Do you smoke by any chance?

I agree that moving will not solve your problems although it may seem like the perfect solution now. Please don’t go through life always searching for that one “magic bullet” which will magically make you happy. I happen to have a friend who falls into this pattern and it is very depressing to watch (no joke intended). His mind works in mysterious ways when he is depressed and he has been known to do odd/foolhardy things seeking his Grail. Please seek therapy and do not discount the possibility of chemical help to get you on a even keel.


I can understand some of what you are saying as I am a fellow depressee. Is there such a word?

I wish I had some advice for you but unfortunately I can’t even take meds as I am pregnant and choose to breastfeed my children. So my only option is therapy, which is not viable at this time because of money. Mtgman is a big help especially when I have a really bad day.

Back to you, I would just like for you to know that as long as you can see some of the problem then you are one step ahead of the depression. Being able to talk about it and knowing when something helps and when something doesn’t is a step in the right direction.

Talk to your doctor. Talk to other people whom you feel confortable with, like a real close friend. This is what always helps me. Wish I could say more.

I’m depressed, and I get kind of the same effect from caffeine.

Caffeine, to put it short, makes me high. It makes me euphoric. A shot of espresso makes the whole world look sunny and good and makes me so happy I want to sing and dance and do all kind of silly stuff. I can’t believe this stuff is legal. Euphoria for a buck a shot. I am amazed every day.

Usually I don’t drink caffeine one week out of every month so that I can hopefully keep from getting too dependent. My caffeine of choice is espresso…soda and regular coffee don’t give me the whole euphoria thing quite as strong, even if I drink large amounts. I try not to drink after fourish, or else I’ll be up all night.

All in all caffeine has been really good for me. Cheap. Legal. Availible everywhere. Minimal negative side effects. Sometimes I quit for a while, and then I feel all good about quiting. Then I start back up and I feel all good because of the caffeine. I can’t lose.

Yeah, good therapy is probably best, but if you can find a way to use caffeine responsibly, I say go for it. The trick is finding out your limits and understanding what you can do before negative stuff sets in.