T Nation

Treating Depression


No, but it's quite natural for people being in that dark state to avoid seeking help despite feeling terrible.

I would say go see him. What do you have to lose? He might be able to help.


Go to your GP & tell him/her exactly how you've been feeling for the last sixth months + any other relevant info which might in some way have a bearing on how you've been feeling (That in-itself will likely be a weight off your mind).

No need for anything drastic.

You may well benefit from some form of talking therapy/counselling (I personally believe the more sceptical/resistant people are to such therapies, the more they can benefit from them, CHALLENGE is almost always going to be a part of your recovery process) & maybe at some stage you'll be prescribed meds.

Other than that, maybe try doing something new, go for a really long walk somewhere unusual, read some kind of material you wouldn't normally think to read, write down how you feel, write down positives things about yourself, imagine yourself as a non-depressed person giving yourself advice (preferably not someone who thinks too much like yourself), do something helpful, look-up visualisation techniques/NLP etc/'anchorring' etc.

& above all, remind yourself, as much as this may hard to believe RIGHT NOW, in the future you will learn from this. In ten years time, if you start to feel down again, you WILL be that much more prepared & know what to do in circumnavigating your emotional landscape.

Good luck fella, one step at time:)


No one here can tell you whether or not you need medication. Some are against it some are for it. If you are worried about side effects, look up the drug Wellbutrin (Bupropion). It has less intense side effects. I have been on this drug and havent noticed anything even at the highest dose. I have been on two different SSRI's and an anti-psychotic which have cause a few unpleasant side effects. The worst two for me personally are dry mouth and the dreams. Sounds pretty small...But trust me its not fun. I wake up and my mouth is so dry I cant feel my tongue, its almost difficult to even breathe.

And the dreams... holy shit. I thought dreams were cool until I started taking psyc meds. Im talking killing people, stabbing people, dying, sinking on the titanic and getting your arm bitten off by a swimming tiger... yeah shit like that. The most violent dreams I can imagine. Maybe thats just me lol. Sometimes I feel like I never sleep because I go through my day and then have vivid dreams all night. Some of which are boring things about everyday life. I wake up confused if what happened was a dream or reality.

And also, not to sound discouraging, but I havent noticed any positive effects from any medication. It takes a long time. You gotta stick with it I guess. Some people can go months on meds and have nothing happen, and then find that one that makes all the difference. Overall, the side effects for ME are manageable. I reached a point where if I didn't take meds and get help I would die. And it sounds like you are in a situation similar to mine. At least in terms of hopelessness. Stay strong man. Ask me anything if you want. This is one topic that I am absolutely confident in speaking on.


I don't think meds are necessarily necessary. Really it depends on the source of your condition.

I just started taking Prozac, or the generic form of Prozac.

I went into it understanding that it's not going to solve the problems in my life, and it won't alter the sources of my unhappiness, but it will cover the symptoms until I'm at a point in my life where I can deal with those issues. I'm not at that point right now.

Do you know why you're unhappy, do you think it's existential, or is it a toxic fog that you can't get to dissipate, so to speak?


Practical stuff to do besides going to the gym would be:
-cut off masturbation and sex with ejaculation
-drink green tea
-meditation ( aypsite.org )

I don't know about any other.


Medication along with counseling is shown to be more effective than either alone. Not all men have difficulty with side effects on mild antidepressants, and many find sex better with medication because of improvements in mood and energy levels. Maybe medication is for you and maybe it's not, but it's not something to be feared. Wishing to be dead before morning, on the other hand, IS something to fear.

I get really irritated with knee-jerk reactions. Talk to a doctor (general practice, psychiatric, whatever). See what they think. If you decide to take something and have side-effects, stop taking it and try something else. But it's silly to jump at shadows, and even sillier to contort yourself looking for "natural" remedies. It's all the same, chemicals derived from various places. Difference is, some of it has been tested for efficacy and safety and some of it has not.


I dont take any meds, but this sounds exactly like what ive been dealing with for some time now. It's kinda horrible when you die every night, or spend your "dream" being chased or avoiding death. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact im depressed about a lot things, and constantly in a angry state of mind 98% of the time.


I've thought about that too. I have no scientific evidence off the top of my head but that frame of my must contribute to my dreams, meds or not. Like some inception type shit where my unconscious comes alive while I sleep and anger overtakes everything.


I just got out of a deep funk that lasted for at least 6 months, probably closer to a year. The whole thing culminated into a stomach ulcer from all this stress, and I lost 20lbs in a week. There was honestly 5 days where all I ate was 3 saltines and about a tablespoon of water. And that coupled with some speeding tickets and moving to a new part of the country I'd never been to before and didn't know anyone, I wasn't feeling too well.

The thing is though, I never told anyone about any of this, I always figured I could just internalize my problems and muscle through them and they'd go away. Eventually I hit rock bottom and called my mom and told her everything, and asked her if she thought it was a good idea if she could prescribe me some antidepressants, and then the amazing thing is that from that moment forward I started feeling better, and I never got the medication. Just talking to my mom about it really helped me. So if I can suggest anything, talk to someone about it, but make sure the person is a good listener. Don't talk to someone who will interrupt you and tell you your problems are stupid and that they have all the solutions in the world without thinking for a second, talk to someone who will just sit there quietly and nod and be sympathetic.


Have you ever personally been on any high doses of medication? You don't realize how much the side effects can effect someone until you experience it yourself.. There are also sometimes permanent problems even after the medication is completely out of the system.. SSRI Post sexual dysfunction is a problem for many as an example... There are changes in mood patterns, behaviors, and blocked chemicals of the brain when you introduce a substance that is above normal regulation levels of the body there is going to be an adverse effect one way or the other... Plus getting off medication is a nightmare in and of itself... I suggested other forms of therapy to the OP because I have had dealt with the adverse side effects of medication many times myself especially coming of them.. I'll mention this again for anyone looking into getting medication for mood imbalances.. Try you're best with cognitive behavioral therapy first.. I recommended Dr. David Burns "Feel Good" because it is literally prescribed to patients before alot of doctors even consider using medication... Its cheap and definitely worth at least giving a chance... As well as the Power of Now.. It is about bringing yourself into the present moment and stops the incessent chatter of the mind, just like OP said about the gym to stop thinking.. Well when you are present there is no stream of thought running.. It is also important to apply Unconditional acceptance and to allow yourself to feel whatever it is fully and be present with it.. Running away from those scary feelings and medicating does not answer the right path to recovery.

As human beings we chase pleasure and avoid pain, we try to make those negative dark emotions go away and we fight them.. That does not work.. You need paradox so that is why you must allow yourself to feel those emotions fully and without fear and not judge them... Just see it as an overlying emotion and it is what it is for that moment.


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My assumption would be that the OP would start on a low dose of mild anti-depressant, if he took that route. In a risk/benefit analysis I rank constant suicidal ideation slightly higher than the very remote risk of sexual dysfunction after discontinuing a medication.

"High doses of medication" is not what I recommended, and in fact did not suggest that medication is the solution for OP. I merely state that in my opinion, medication is not the devil and it's silly to Chicken Little about it to someone who is expressing major depressive symptoms, which include thoughts of - and longing for - death. Does anyone ask what the OP is doing at the gym 12 times a week? I suspect there is danger in hitting the gym more than once a day as well. Perhaps we should all be saying "beware the life-threatening inguinal hernia!"

Chushin, yes, ADs should be titrated both on and off, though I again note that we don't know that OP would have more than a very low dose, which for many people does not require titration. But doctors handle that all the time and we're not in here prescribing, so I don't see a need to give the "black box warnings." Just saying let's not rule out a possible effective avenue of treatment.


I've suffered with pretty bad depression since I was a kid, been in the hospital a few times from suicide attempts, etc. From my experience try therapy first. Find someone you click with and COMMIT to it. They will give you homework, and its not easy especially in your state but it can help a lot.

Unfortunately therapy alone doesn't always work, I was in it for a while and still had pretty severe depression. My psychologist suggested meds but I was pretty against them due to all things I hear from ppl and from studies showing only marginal differences in many cases.

Well I finally tried meds and after a few different ones I got on a low dose of wellbutrin. This med changed my life, no more depression, no side effects, I just feel normal. No personality changes either and its cheap. So if therapy doesnt work id def recommend trying some different meds. Also therapy is much different when you are on meds and you make progress much faster.

I know you hear all the time about "ohhh you just need to eat right, sleep, exercise, get more omega 3s" but if you are suffering to the point of wanting to override the biological urge to stay alive then you need more than holistic stuff.

I know you are scared of side effects but trust me being happy and not wanting to jump off a bridge to stop the pain is worth taking slightly longer to get a boner.

Wanting to die > mild side effects


I understand Emily did not mean to offend, You are correct in that it is important to address these issues but I only mean that medication even a low dose is not needed.. thoughts of suicide are pretty common in anxiety and depression cases but that does not mean someone is carrying out the steps to do it, medication does also have side effects of suicidal behavior and thoughts as well though.. In fact thoughts in themselve mean nothing they are just brought on from habit or an exhausted mental state.. He can handle and recover if he faces it head on with unconditional acceptance and allow himself to be as the moment is.. nothing needed but awareness of what is, by gaining awareness he can literally rewire the brain and break the negative vicious cycle.

Meds are just a band aid of symptoms but it does not make the mental state vanish it just covers things up and leaves you foggy.


Been "diagnosed" with depression 3 different times by professionals, attempted suicide when i was 14 or 13. Chances are this isn't the first time your feeling like this. For me It would pop up and i would shove it back down deep, with either drugs or something else. Whatever you choose to do deal with it. If you have to take medication then take it no shame in that. Would you just "deal with it" if you had a broken hand? no. Depression can be very real. The chemicals in your brain are no joke, and not fully understood. However, just like people are all different shapes and sizes, brains can be different too. Maybe for whatever reason you brain is producing enough serotonin. That being said i would recommend counseling before and medication.


Yeah just love yourself and be in the moment, that's all you need to stop wanting to hang yourself so much.

Those PET scans showing antidepressents curing depression really just show ppl becoming fuzzy.

I understand feeling frustrated when gps immediately hand out antidepressents for the most minimal of depression cases, but saying meds just make you fuzzy is so ignorant its almost criminal.


I am far from ignorant my friend... I was put on three different medications to treat myself before I speak from expirence... I was on Ativan, celexa, and a nuerontin anti convulsants.. I had crippling anxiety; emotion numbing De personalization, and feelings of depression as well... Those "scans" are not proof of anything nobody truly understands how the brain works and medication only works in about 40% of patients.. The placebo effect alone can cause on to feel better... Yeah I am well aware of how severe symptoms are, I've had plenty myself... But medication does not cure a person, it I discussed in many different books such as Dr Harry Barry of Ireland, Dr David Burns, Some others I have read before... There is a section in "when panic attacks" that disusses the issue with medication.. The chapter is called placebo nation... He is a specialist in mood disorders from Pennsylvania and has been treating patients since the seventys, Dr Victor Frankl also discusses medication issues in his book, as well as plenty others.. The issue is you have pharmaceutical companies making billions of these drugs so it's no wonder it's still so widely prescribed... I have seen plenty of those dark days myself so it's not like I'm speaking out of ignorance... But I fully recovered and it wasn't that meds that did it, it was an internal shift of consciences, will power, and perserverance. The two most powerful tools I used were unconditional acceptance and surrender.


Sorry for misspellings but on a phone... Look the biggest thing about practicing mindfulness is it gives you space between you and those feelings no matter how severe and it dis identifys you from the suffering.. You don't have to religious but there is truth in spiritual power.. Just like the Buddha mentions suffering is not necessary it's 99% in the mind made self.. Anybody can self actualize as well.. And those dark emotions are a great initiative to wake up from a nightmare. Dissolve ego and pain body and what are you left with, just peace and serenity... I lost my emotions before and my thinking skills.. Yet I was still alive.. I then noticed that we can simply live through the breathe and it brings peace, no more negative patterns, no separation, no conflict, no problems.. You are completely aware of yourself as the whole... Or rather you become the deep vastness of the ocean an live there rather then the little ripple on the surface of illusion.


1/ Get a health check-up. First you need to know if there are medical problems that could cause your depression.

2/ Sleep: Go to sleep at regular times and get up at regular times. Don't sweat it if you think you're not getting enough sleep. But... if you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes get out of your bed and do something boring, but NO screen time (no tv, no pc). If you stay in bed and ruminate all night long, chances are that your bedroom will become a negative valued stimulus (bedroom = rumination = not feeling good).

3/ Eating: Eat at regular times. Get something in your system. If eating is difficult, then start with two meals a day, with one being something warm. Drink enough water! Try to build up from there.

4/ Get outside for at least 15 - 30 minutes. Doesn't matter what you do. Take a walk, get on a bike. Make it a habit. Do this at regular times.

5/ Divide your activities into 2 categories: leisure (L) vs need-to-do (D). It doesn't need to be something big. Pick one of each category and do them that day. No more no less. The name of the game is SMART-goals, standing for specific, measureable, agreeable, realistic, time-bound goals. Like vacuuming the living room (D), or a short walk in the park (L), getting groceries (D). Build up from there. This is behavioral activiation.

6/ Don't make the mistake of thinking you should feel a certain way before you can do something. Like I don't feel like... this is a trick of the mind and a lot of people fall into this. But don't be too hard for yourself. Just when you notice this, treat yourself like your best friend does: comfort yourself and gently pick yourself back up.

7/ Observe your feelings and your thoughts, but see them for what they are, just products of your mind. They are not real, but don't expect that you can change them, or to try to think differently. That doesn't work in the long run. This is where practicing mindfulness can be very useful.

The only choice you have is acting upon your thoughts and feelings or acting upon what you see as valuable.

8/ Reach out! It's a good thing that you're posting on this boards. Keep contact with your peers.

9/ Get into therapy, preferably Behavioral Therapy. Look in to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

In essence: DO something everyday, do something you don't feel like doing.


I appreciate the advice everyone I really do.

"So if I can suggest anything, talk to someone about it, but make sure the person is a good listener. Don't talk to someone who will interrupt you and tell you your problems are stupid and that they have all the solutions in the world without thinking for a second, talk to someone who will just sit there quietly and nod and be sympathetic."

I think this is what I really need. I don't have anyone like this...

As for the whole topic on medication, I'll speak to my GP/therapist and see what they recommend, (unless I get a prescription for prozac after only 2 minutes of talking.

Oh and EmilyQ, I'm actually making progress on going 12x a week actually, no need to worry about a hernia :slight_smile: