T Nation

Treating Depression


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Nothing wrong with that man, I am glad you found help and found the meds to be so beneficial! I am not trying to take sides or start a debate or anything I am just putting thoughts into it is all.. For whatever reason whatever you are doing seems to be working great so thats fine, I am happy to hear bout your success!


Now skimming the recent posts I hope I don't regret offering my experience here but....

I lost a friend to suicide on Friday so I feel the need to pipe up on what worked for me.

I don't intend to give this as instructions really because everyone is different. I did not seek help or get medication but worked things out in my own brain but for all I know maybe my circumstances were not that serious. But I don't know since I have only ever been inside my own head. But if these things help someone then I should share. I think I got lucky that I found a way without help but I know if I had the internet back then and was reading suggestions I would have skipped over and ignored the suggestions to seek a pro, as unwise as that may be.

Going back waaaay back even as a kid growing up I recognize now that I was chronically depressed and had thoughts/fantasies of suicide or never waking up again.

But eventually I learned to visualize, learned to recognize 'wallowing' and learned to feel passion from the feelings that gave me sadness and pain or how to light a fire under my ass when I was feeling flat, empty and pointless etc.

It's been a long time since I've managed to fall deep enough for concern but when I feel it approaching I use my logic and imagination to 'warm' my brain and purposely stimulate the parts of my mind that give me warmth and pleasure.

Sometimes it's a very literal visual--I put on some loud music, go for a walk and think about the colour rendition of my brain which is showing me dark and murkiness, then I slowly with the music think it into a better state and visualize the rest of my body pumping my blood into my mind to help it along. Of course that is only temporary and quick fix that just pulls me out of the worst. This is obviously more than a single thing to fix everything, this is just the start or the reminder if things are going in the wrong direction (on a tangent I've found I can use similar techniques before a lift or when sprinting to fire things up)

If I'm needing that then I'm needing more and so I have to work at:
1) correcting my thoughts if they are self-defeating or self-pitying
2) correct my perspective--use my logic and reasoning and see that it isn't as gloomy as I am thinking. This is tricky because sometimes it's just a blah and not easily identifiable thought pattern causing problems because it's subtle. But subtle is dangerous because it's easy to slip further. I really had to learn to become very self-aware and vigilant that my feelings were based on reason because when you do that the evidence is there that things are alright.
3) recognizing loops and thought patterns that feed the depression (similar to 2)
4) Change--I often need some change--something to look forward to. Something to build, paint, write or accomplish. A plan! And I have to visualize succeeding at this thing I've set my sights on. It doesn't need to be a major thing, just something that feels good to think about accomplishing. This is to pullout of a crisis so I take whatever works. I always do this while walking. I don't know why but I can't seem to fully disengage to get to a good place without it. My visualization must be convincing enough to motivate me or light a fire under my ass. I have to make myself want it and beleive I'm not just playing a trick on myself to fix my state of mind but I fully intend on committing to this thing.

It's really important that I remember I have been here before and it's come and gone and good things have been at the other side and this is a fact and this darkness is an illusion. Not sure how I did that the first time! All emotions are illusions--so you have control and you make them what you need to get the shit you need to get done. That's not to dismiss hard factors and I'm not stating that as a fact but more of what is true for me--those are the things I believe that make it possible for me to move past depression. It's just chemicals and neurons and shit and they respond to stimulation and feedback. Simple as that.

It has taken a bit of self-discipline to stay here in a place where I am happy and motivated and feel a lust for life but thinking back at how it was seems so crazy to want to give it all up when there was so much to experience and enjoy. I don't even remember the last time I was seriously depressed so I think it is working for me. Who knows, maybe that means I was never that depressed. In retrospect it's hard to imagine it ever being that bad. But I know I had a lot of thoughts about getting in my car and driving away, never to be seen again. Or as a teenager hitchhiking until I met my own destruction. You get the idea.

I don't know if this is a common trait among people who are prone to depression but I extremely sensitive. I don't mean emotional, because to me that means reacting from the heart not the brain and I don't beleive that is me. But I do feel a lot. When I am not depressed, I feel so much all of the time that I am sometimes overwhelmed (touched) by the smallest things. I have recently begun to wonder if this is part of my problem--that when I am too receptive to things it takes a toll and I blocked it all out. Because when depression hits I seem like I feel nothing for anyone or anything. Maybe I'm just crazy :slight_smile: I can accept that too--because I like it now.

In hindisght, I'm not sure I accomplished anything doing it all on my own and not talking to a pro. I really don't know. I think I avoided that because I didn't want to be an inevitablity and have a hard unchangeable diagnosis. But I really wish my friend reached out and we knew he was going through this before it was too late. He was so important to so many people he probably didn't even realize.

Also, forgive me if I come to my senses and come back and delete this post in half and hour :stuck_out_tongue: I usually keep my self-mind control tricks to myself and don't like anyone knowing what madness is going on in there!


Sounds like you were dealing with some form of de personalization on top of your feelings of depression, Dp causes a disconnect in emotion and feeling of numbness ... here is an interesting video anyone can benefit from depression or anything else for that matter... Bout a change of perception.. Its quite long but if people are open to it I am sure anyone could benefit!


Ha that dude seems a bit too yoga flakey for me.

I don't think it was depersonalization, at least from the descriptions I just found on the web.


Related to the topic of perception: supposedly those who are prone to depression are actually more realistic than those who are not (some studies some where I don't have links). So, are the depressed just seeing the truth? There's a depressing thought for you :slightly_smiling:


Specifically, mild to moderate depression.


Okay so I'm not just making that up--someone else has heard this too.


It is common held knowledge that people that are highly intelligent to inner workings of the world are sometimes more prone to neurosis or depression, sensitivity etc... And not necessarily in the analytical or emotional sense.


I agree with what Cstratton2 posts. Medication has it's place. Sometimes it takes meds to stop the downward spiral of negative thinking that continues to worsen the depression. But I believe it all starts with thoughts. I also believe that having the habit of identifying with your thoughts is what leads to this problem, especially anxiety.


Exactly why I recommend Eckhart Tolle and other teachers of enlightenment... Dis identifying from the mind and its pattern is so crucial not just for general well being but for life itself... It does not mean the feelings and sensations will stop instantly but the point is its not seen from the perception of the thinking mind anymore which is extremely limited and self defeating, In short it makes purpose out of suffering and makes things feel much more light and bearable..

On the other hand some are for meds and I had used them in the past as well, didn't help for me but if someone truly believes its working and they are okay with it and feel well then thats fine too..


I think it's hard to believe that someone with serious depression and suicidal thoughts can just think happy thoughts and get better but that's a major oversimplification of what you're talking about--it's hard work and takes some discipline and determination. The trouble is I imagine that part of the nature of depression whittles away at determination.

I tend toward OCD so I can make myself do anything if I exploit myself properly :stuck_out_tongue: I don't know if I could have 'made myself' better without that part of my nature. "Use your faults, use your defects!"


ITs not thought replacement or thinking happy thoughts, its unconditional acceptance, learning not to self judge this does not mean you start to love yourself because its still an illusion and opinion of mind, Instead you flat out stop having a relationship with an imaginary image of yourself.. not pushing the negative and dark moods away and learning to just be aware... Its loving the dark ugly emotions too... bringing it to light... Its takes a lot of discipline and it is all about breaking the whole system down, then if you can simply allow things to be as they are no matter how devastating they may be it opens the way for space between you and the suffering.. You are pulled away and can literally alter you're behaviors because you will see any sort of cycles you may have been doing to keep yourself in the vicious cycle.. its mindfulness and a bit beyond... hard to explain really but it is basically like this.. You carry around this story of yourself and your opinion and you bring it everywhere with you... suddenly when things go dark and turn scary we run away and hide, we indulge in anything to stop the pain.. but presence strips every and anything away... its basically the same as having this massive weight some people carry suddenly completely dropped from their shoulders.. They no longer grasp, or push away.. they see things very, very clearly... its all very simple and easily practical but not always an easy path its extremely destructive and breaks away everything but truth..


This is definitely not something for everybody perhaps even a tiny tiny minority, but a couple psychadelic experiences gave me that kind of perspective and having experienced that, I was able to then learn how to do that sober. Granted, I would be very down and depressed and experiencing mild hallucinations for between a couple days and a couple weeks because how the drugs forced that perspective on me and it was disturbing without having prepared for it.

Again, for a lot of people with any kind of mental illness, it's a horrible idea to take that kind of stuff and simply put, I rolled the dice and got lucky.


Your personal enlightenment sure made you incredibly chatty. Or you might just stop taking amphetamines.


Am just trying to help guys.. never said I was an enlightened person myself or anything of that matter...


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True, and your above example is what would justify medical intervention. But once medication is in place I think that would be the time to focus on "enlightenment" by reading and working on changing habits.


One thing I forgot to mention earlier is no matter who you are or what you're goals are NEVER stop taking meds without doctor supervision... I know It is common sense but you would be surprised to see how many people just try and stop taking their meds cold turkey, That has got to be one of the most irresponsible things a person can do with medications.... Withdrawals are no joke and medication must be weened under a supervisors care as to create as little side effects getting off as possible, Took me a long time to get off meds, not that it was an issue coming down but just so I could prevent any un needed complications, even weening at a moderately slow rate I was still sensitive to the meds and expirenced alot of really weird stuff getting off it, some serious some just kinda odd.


Just as a general FYI, since I've seen this a few times around this site... you "wean" off something, not "ween".