T Nation

Treating Depression


It really bothers me how resolute many people are in their opinions and how their experience and solutions to depression should be the solution to everyone's dealing with the disease, yes disease.

FTR, having been diagnosed with clinical depression among other stuff I never used it to absolve myself of any responsibility of my actions or somehow free myself of any of my adult responsibilities. I will say that when I am having an episode I may say to myself "why me" but everyone has moments of weakness at some points in their life in some aspect of their life where they do feel like a victim.

My decision to go on medication was/is an attempt to continue my life as a productive good person...NOT to absolve myself of my adult responsibilities.

When your suffering from depression, the following off the cuff advice such as...go for a walk, exercise more, find a goal, find meaning is sheer NONSENSE. Depression and other mental / emotional illnesses do not allow you to find meaning in life that easily. If it were that easy Depression wouldn't be an issue.


I completely understand where you are coming from man, I am all for whatever helps people as well I just want people to know the best direction... I used medication to stabalize for about 4 to 5 years myself initially.. I still would not consider it an illness in any terms though, yes it all can feel very intense and no doubt it is very difficult to deal with but there is always salvation and as I said before everyone can recover no one is forced or doomed to live a life like that or to take medication for the rest of their lives.. I had OCD like symptoms with my anxiety and feelings of depression as well, many, many different sensations and feelings arose... But the right help is always there and it does not always need to be that meds have to be done as a complete end... As mentioned before it is a tool that can help with certain symptoms and if severe enough it can give people relief from the hardest times, though an end sight of liberation is always there.... I went and researched everything I could to recover myself.. I read Dr Claire Weekes Calm your nerves, A great book for easing the issue of sensitized nerves and over reactive ness, "Mans Search for Meaning" Dr Victor Frankls book on well basically finding great meaning in even the most dire circumstance, he was a psychiatrist that was in the Holocoust.. Dr Reid Wilsons "stop your obsessing" which is probally the best thing I have ever read for OCD like symptoms FYI his other book "Stop the panic", Dr. David Burns books "when Panic Attacks" who also wrote "feel Good", There was also "At last a life" by Paul David.. Among many, many other research based professional insight literature in the specialization of mood disorders.. All pointing to the same central message as well... Anyone can completely recover permanently from their mood disorder without medication.. Believe me I had suffered immensily and then researched and studied my ass off to get over it, as well as worked harder then I could ever imagine possible.. But there is always a way.. On a final note.. If the meds work for you and you don't mind the side effects or handle them well awesome!! There is no reason not to use something designed to help you recover, I just want people to be aware of the temporary effects it has and long term use damage.. Used in the short term combined with therapy it can give people the extra boost they need to make it to the light at the end of the tunnel, I have no specific views or hard placed judgements on any topic I am neither for or against.. I am just trying to see things as they are and place the most benifit to all, If part of my writings don't agree with some that is fine.. I do not speak as if saying this is the way or that is wrong, I just want to offer more insight and light to the topic so everyone can benefit because no one needs to suffer like that.


^ Thank you for the in depth and well thought out post. I have been on meds for a very long time and am terrified of going off of them, They have been of great help when I was in my most darkest days. I am very leary of meds as well however I feel they are a necessary evil as it was in my case. I'm at the point of being on them so long that I don't even know if I have side effects or not lol. In my case the main issue of trying to get off the meds is I become uber - sensitive to my feelings, constantly checking to see if I am going through some sort of withdrawal or relapse. I am going to purchase both "Calm your Nerves" and "Stop your Obsessing."

My post was not directed specifically at you but more in generalities to the posts on this thread.


Great man glad to hear! You sound just like me too!! I weened off those drugs for a total of 12 months and the lower it got the more paranoid and compulsive I became, as well as dealing with hyper sensitive nerves, exhausted mind, and onslaught of constant panic attacks, though the hardest to deal with was dissociation or Dp/DR lol.. I was on them for 5 years, and a low dose of an SSRI when I was younger.. What happened to you as you weened to me sounds like you got right back into those obsessive and constant dwelling patterns.. I had absurd ridicolous fears in my head playing like a broken record for months on end, as well as recurring nightmares when it was at the worst... I was hit with every nook and cranny of anxiety and its symptoms, You're depression was probably also similiar to mine, where I felt a crippling blow to my life and everything went black, Needless to say I needed to go through what I went through to learn true wisdom, I don''t regret a single minute of it.


So you took meds to help change chemical imbalances in your brain, and it made you feel better. BUT depression and mental illness is still not a result of said chemical imbalances....riiiiight


No I used ssri drugs, anti convulsonts, and tranquilizers prescribed to a doctor that did nothing but leave me feeling so utterly numb I could not feel a single thing let alone feel fear.. I still had pretty severe panic attacks while on those drugs and the habits were still very there though... It did nothing to help I still had anxiety even on the medication... don't let anyone fool you into saying you have a mental illness thats not right man.. I was on ALOT of drugs and still had serious mental challenges that was over a year ago I am no longer on drugs and I have not one single mental challenge left.. I fully recovered, not from a disease of mental illness but a disease of raw habit and obsession.. I had to recover from withdrawals for a while after the symptoms were gone which was another challenge to deal with left over from previous medication use..


Thats just YOUR experience. How do you explain depression in confident, intelligent, outgoing, positive, socially active, goal orientated people? Im not saying it its a chemical imbalance, like i said i have no medical experience, but i do believe it is a medical problem. It cant be treated by "setting goals", "being positive", and being a happy smiley person for everyone. I have seen it happen to the most ambitious, hard working, confident person I have ever known, there was no "stupidity" or running away from responsobility on their part. And im not saying drugs are the answer, i have seen that they can turn people into zombies. Like i said before everyones experience will be different but i do believe that it is very much a medical problem.


Sounded like you were saying that as you were lowering the dosages you got worse.. Anyways, I partly agree. I think I might have some of the same problems, I don't know. Various meds that I have tried don't seem to work for me either. Makes me wonder if I truly am depressed or if its something else. That being said, there are some people out there who simply cannot function without the help of meds. They do work for some people, that much is true. (I find it odd that they don't work more frequently but I don't know enough about ssri's or other meds to say why that is). Just because meds didnt work for you and you found another way doesn't mean that mental illness does not exist.


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If you guys are very inclined to see more of what I am talking about there is a chapter made in the book "When Panic Attacks" by Dr David Burns called Placebo nation.. It talks about the myths and misunderstandings behind all these different exagerrated moods and why they are not actually disorders per say.. Look I never said its not real, the symptoms of anxiety and depression are very, very real.. That is true, but that doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you're brain thats beyond repair or damage done no matter HOW long you have suffered... I am not saying this as my own thoughts this is well researched and documented sources from PROFESSIONAL people... Saying I am some sort of extreme exception also implies that for some there is no hope.. That is simply not true, I had the most extreme case of dealing with it and I also had the expirence of using medication and not, I am someone that went the meds route and didn't see results because behavioral habits were never changed I was never given proper knowledge about why I was stuck in a vicious cycle.. The reason I got better is because I became extremely well educated on the subject and understood exactly what was going on that kept everything together, I also learned exactly what to do to break the cycle... I became a master on the subject and studied and learned as much as possible so that I would have nothing left to say I did not try... Depression and Anxiety although two different emotions are the same basis for habit, usually you don't have one without the other either... If anxiety is not an illness that doesn't mean that depression is... I learned about depression too it just did not apply to me as much because it was not the main issue with myself.. They are both just functions that take over though, both a bit different but the central basis exactly the same.. You don't need meds to control stuff like this, why defend something you don't even entirely believe in anyways, I speak from a certain place and it seems people are quick to defend the multi billion dollar making corporations that will do everything and anything to make damn sure they don't lose money.. You already said yourself you don't know the meds work.. They keep bouncing you around different medications and its all hit or miss right? There is no miracle cure or pill , the only place recovery happens is from within your self not a damn place else... I don't care what anyone says to disagree here but I have never respected someones opinion on a topic they have never been through themselves and came out fully recovered.. I also know this is going to sound very crass but I also actually know truly more on the topic of this stuff then most "medical professionals" as well.. You can say what you want or get angry or upset or tell me I am wrong, However you introduce yourself to me in person and tell me exactly whats going on and I can pretty much gurantee I know what to do to help that person get full recovery themselves, Have helped many others overcome their stuff as well besides myself... its not that complicated.. It is a simple process to get better but the facts are it takes TIME, and EFFORT, but very far from impossible..

I kind of like this quote when referring to the whole medicine debate


Its not that I believe that the mental health field does these things on purpose or anything.. Most doctors are very convinced about the the theory of chemical imbalance and medication because that is what they are taught when they are going through school.. I am only saying it is an old theory that served its purpose and no longer needs to be here and should be let go.. I am only stating that there is another way, A way to full recovery without the use of medication.. It takes alot of work but it is very, very possible... On another note as far as other mental challenges such as bipolar disorder, schizo, etc.. I have no knowledge about those topics so I will not state anything on it.. Everything I learned and dealt with had to do with anxiety and depression and their collective by products, as well as addiction, but that is all.

I could also go on to describe about separation, awakening, and enlightenment and how it all plays a role, though this is not the time nor place and can get to be a very touchy topic for some which doesn't make sense... Lol the whole defensive nature of politics and religion and taking sides of belief structure is also kind of collective insanity but not the time nor place..


can you guys realize that i do not care about extending the duration of sex? i do not care how long i last. i used some very colorful metaphors and you guys keep thinking "well he must mean he wants to last longer". i dont know where you got that from. equating sex to ejaculating out a cork, i dont know why you think this is a mundane thing to say.

that is why i am recomending this, because despite my trying to convey this experience you guys dont know what i am talking about.

i dont want to be a prick but i was just warning this guy that if he uses ssri's he can expect some interesting changes with sex. as with other drugs it is may not be better or worse than normal, just different. i thought it was important to say because some people hate ssri's for that sexual side effects, because you cant jack off because you need more sexual stimulation.

i only brought this up because we are talking about antidepressants, but if you guys know any other ways to chemicaly enhance sex then i think that surely deserves a thread.


I had similiar things happen when I was having sex while medicated.. Sometimes the girl would get upset because I wouldn't go fast enough but I could do it for hours or until they got to sore or dry lol, then when I went it was just like a cork like you said... Pressure release etc.. The only thing that SUCKED was when I got off meds and dealt with withdrawals for whatever reason my sex drive went so utterly pathetically low.. That is the down side to it... Took a bit of time to build that back up.. why i mentioned post SSRI sexual dysfunction before... thankfully wasn't permanent... though off topic I hear alot of people that use proprecia and proscar to treat MPB had permanent changes in sexual function like sex drive and ED.


castration2 or whatever,

You had anxiety, not depression? Is that what I read in your long, stupid post?

How is depression a habit or a behavior?

When I am manic, when I'm a god and can fuck for days and smell colors and see music and control the weather and cause earthquakes, what behavior or habit causes me to eventually want to kill myself? I would really like to know so I can avoid that habit/behavior in the future.


I am speaking specifically of anxiety and depression as they stand alone, I said this before and if you read my long stupid post again you can see I said... I have no knowledge on the topic of advanced disorders like manic depression, bi polar disorder, and schizo.. etc... That stuff I have no real comment on because I have no experience.. I will not comment on a topic I have no experience of myself.


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Clinical Major depression is what I am involving in this when I say depression... I don't have the knowledge to speak anything about any type of psychosis behavior.. I am just speaking on cases in depression and anxiety in all forms even pronounced and acute.


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no I have no doubt you are right that would not surprise me, seems there are alot of by products such as a friend that went catatonic from depression and another woman who I had spoken too that started with post trama stress, turning into panic attacks, generalized anxiety and at her worst point extreme obsessive compelsiveness, paranoia and psychosis .. how does it happen in some cases though? Genetic? I don't know much about psychosis but I have no doubt you are correct... Actually is it not a bit different though is the type of psychosis in that sense the temporary version that is brought on through being a susceptible person under extreme stress?


The problem with making these broad statements is that everyone's situation is different. There is situational depression, and some people that were in the psych unit with me seemed to have this. Their lives were disasters and they were put on some pretty heavy cocktails of drugs. I felt that if they just had a different life situation, but same personality, chemical balance, etc, they would probably be okay for the most part.

Maybe this is why some people come off meds and are okay, despite similar coping skills, etc. I don't know, all I know is medication changed my life. I've seen the placebo studies and whatnot but I was on various meds before and when I switched to this last one I noticed a total change in my symptoms and am now symptom free with no side effects. I was anti meds for a long time. I read all the self help stuff, tried various forms of therapy but while it may help a small amount I still suffered greatly. My last psychologist finally convinced me that in some cases, therapy just wont do much without medication.

I got on meds and after finding the right one I see what he means. My therapist has been hinting that its time to stop with therapy as i'm so happy and positive now that I have nothing to talk about. The thing is, everything I have learned in the past few months in therapy I already knew before I got on meds. I understood all the coping skills and attempted to use them, I was great at analyzing when I needed to or distracting when necessary. As much as I used them that dark feeling, that overwhelming feeling of depression was still there. Id still find myself fantasizing about taking my life to stop the overwhelming feelings and pain.

Medication was the key for me. But I know everyone is different, some people probably can just use therapy, or meditation, or whatever self help stuff you are preaching and it will work for them. I really wish that had been the case for me... but it wasn't. And to be honest if I had continued following the advice of everyone saying meds aren't needed, its just big pharma making money, doctors don't know shit, they just read about this stuff for 15 minutes in med school 15 years ago... I would most likely be dead by my own hands at this point.

So while I understand your viewpoint, and as someone who has been through bad depression like you I am glad to hear you defeated it... but being so anti medication to strangers on the internet is a bit on the irresponsible side. Some people need meds. Some people don't. Id rather have someone considering them and not need them then have someone end up taking their life because they needed them and didn't have them.

So respectfully, I disagree with you.


Also... squats and milk.