T Nation

Treating Depression


In oversimplified terms, my current experience.

I'm much happier when I'm living in a world of thoughts. If I move away from that into the world of just sheer experience, my mood is absolutely horrible. If I keep myself working on something, creating something, learning something, I'm better off. If I have the novelty of a new project, or the companionship of a new girl; really, anything to keep my mind spinning, I'm happier (or at least, less unhappy).

That's not to say I'm happy.

I see people in movies and on TV, and I see what happiness looks like. It's familiar because I'm exposed to it, but not because I can relate to it.

But I see some of you saying that it's the thoughts that cause the problems, but for me, it's the thoughts that keep me going.

What's going on? How do I deal with this? Fix this?


Because its just personal will, you feel better with each accomplishment and personal pursuit and give you satisfaction... But suddenly when you just put all your attention and discipline into strict attention, where there is no grasping and pushing away suddenly the mind is not utilized and you can't help but feel so utterly empty.. if it makes you feel good, or bad... its still insane, your living with a little story and image of yourself in your head... Thats why in Buddhism there is the talk of Anatman... No self, meaning that there is a complete breakdown of conditioning, there is no longer someone home in your head.. It all just start to sound like crickets.. There is no structure everything is just removed.. Every time you bring someone else down and you get that sort of electric charge of feeling good, every time you have to win or be right, defend you're way of thinking, something you seem to be doing now.. etc... all that shit just is not there it just goes away... Self Actualization, enlightenment, awakening, whatever its all the same thing... It is just a breakdown of structure and conditioning.


I like Tolle as well but am more familiar with Dr. Wayne Dyer. I listened to a tape of his once during a long drive and he was talking about the spiritual relationship to thoughts.

He was explaining that back when he was a practicing psychologist he was treating one particular woman with clinical depression. He proceeded to ask her for details describing her symptoms as well as when and where she noticed it more. Evidently the word "noticed" was being used strategically. After she answered the questions, she was then asked "Is the 'noticer' depressed?" This is where she got stumped and (according to Wayne) the healing began.

I think that example points to the heart of spirituality. Cultivating the ability to step back and noticing your mind/thoughts dissolves your identity with it. It also really coincides with what Eckhart Tolle wrote about in "The Power Of Now".


My experience is that people treat the brain differently than other organs. There too much taboo associated with it. You're either bat shit crazy or just a whiner. It's difficult to understand if you haven't experienced it.
A true clinical depression is out of the experiencer's control. You cannot out think it, you cannot talk yourself out of it, you cannot change your life and make it go away. That's the difference between a periodic sadness and a clinical depression. The depression doesn't go away when the stressor is gone.

There are a lot of branches to the depression flow chart.


That is because the entire subject is still taboo in society. Most people without experience with clinical depression think it is just like when they feel "sad"....a slight mood alteration that goes away with time.

It seems to be news to many that clinical depression means the sadness has become so devastating that it does not go away and hinders the ability to live life.

I can understand being less tolerable to people who literally use drug treatment as an "escape".....but I am positive that many people benefit from treatment just like many would benefit from aging therapy.

Right now, we are too primitive to understand "quality of life" apparently.



Psychiatric Drugs, Not A Lack Of Gun Control, Are The Common Denominator In Murderous Violence

Lawrence Hunter, Contributor - I write about the intersection of economics and politics.

In 2000, New York legislators recognized the ubiquitous and unambiguous connection between violence, especially gun violence and mass murder, and the widespread prescribed use of psychiatric drugs. Senate Bill 7035 was introduced in the New York State Senate that year requiring police agencies to report to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) on certain crimes and suicides committed by a person who is using psychiatric drugs, including assault, homicide, sex offenses, robbery offenses, firearms and other dangerous weapons offenses, kidnapping and arson. The preamble to the bill read, in part:

There is a large body of scientific research establishing a connection between violence and suicide and the use of psychotropic drugs in some cases. This research, which has been published in peer reviewed publications such as the American Journal of Psychiatry, The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and The Journal of Forensic Science, has shown, among other things, that: certain drugs can induce mania (a psychosis which can produce bizarre, grandiose and highly elaborated destructive plans, including mass murder);. . .and certain drugs can produce an acute psychotic reaction in an individual not previously psychotic....>>MORE

Given the mass of supporting data linking psychiatric drug use/withdrawal and violence, and given the fact it has been ignored studiously by the U.S. Congress and federal agencies, it is well past time that Congress and state legislatures and government agencies at all levels formally investigate the well established link between prescribed use of psychiatric drugs, school shootings and similar acts of senseless violence.

This video reveals the indisputable connection between psychiatric drugs and violence, especially young "lone-wolf" shooters in gun massacres.

As psychiatrist Peter Breggin observes in the video:
"One of the things in the past that we've known about depression is that it very, very rarely leads to violence. It?s only been since the advent of these new SSRI drugs that we've had murderers even mass murders taking these antidepressant drugs."

Instead of intimidating the NRA into negotiating away Americans? Second Amendment rights through its seat at the table in Washington, the government should be demanding answers and explanations from PhRMA and the pharmaceutical companies.

Instead of extorting NRA chairman Dave Keene and NRA president Wayne LaPierre into participating with the gun snatchers? efforts to nullify the Second Amendment in the name of reducing gun violence, why aren't the White House and Congress putting former Business Roundtable President and current head of PhRMA, John Castellani, along with the presidents of the pharmaceutical companies on the hot seat?

Why isn't Castellani sitting in on White House and congressional meetings about the connection between his products and mass shootings instead of Keene and LaPierre of the NRA?

Why isn't there a White House Task Force on the connection between psychiatric drugs and violence, suicide and murder, both gun related and otherwise?

Why aren't there congressional hearings on the connection between violence and psychiatric drugs?

Why aren't there bills being introduced in Congress and state legislatures to tighten down on the indiscriminate, unmonitored use of these killer drugs?

Why is the government still suppressing information about the shooters? psychiatric drug use at Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech?

Why is the government turning America into a police state in the name of protecting us against nonexistent ?reefer madness? while it turns a blind eye to the real, deadly med madness created by psychiatric drugs and the uncontrollable violent rages they produce in some people?

Could it be there is a quiet conspiracy afoot among pharmaceutical companies, the government and the gun grabbers to make Mr. and Mrs. Gun Owner of America the patsies for the violence and to blame lone-wolf violence on guns rather than psychiatric drugs?

Could it be that power-hungry politicians and gun snatchers are out to exploit rare tragedies such as Sandy Hook and use the blood of innocent children to scare America into giving up its constitutional rights to own and bear arms and use them as a deterrent against tyranny?

Could it be that big pharma is today's big tobacco?

Could it be there is an intentional effort underway in the centers of power in Washington, DC to hide the truth from the American people about the strong connection between psychiatric drugs and violence and to protect the pharmaceutical companies from civil and criminal charges for their responsibility in these heinous crimes?

Could that be the explanation for why there continue to be lawsuits against gun manufacturers ? not for defects in their products but rather for the misuse of their products by drug-addled individuals ? and why there are few lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for the obvious flaws in their products, which are producing violence and mayhem?

Could it be the Gun Control movement is simply a blind; just an effort by the triple alliance of left-fascists, big-government politicians and big-pharma prescription-drug dealers to dose and oppress the American people in the name of public safety, ?officer safety? and social order?

The gun snatchers such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg all shamefully exploit the bloody murder of children as a pretext to nullify the Second Amendment and short arm the American public with their so-called ?assault-weapons? ban and ammunition/clip restrictions. The fact is, the kinds of guns used by mass shooters are far less relevant than the kinds of drugs they were prescribed.


The first comment to that article sums it up:


Suicide Rates Have Decreased With Increased Use of SSRIs, New-Generation Non-SSRIs

Laurie Barclay, MD

Feb. 7, 2005 � Suicide rates have dropped in association with increased use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and new-generation non-SSRIs, according to the results of an analysis of a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national vital statistics study published in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. However, the investigators acknowledge that this type of data cannot demonstrate causal relationships.

"Approximately 30,000 people die annually by suicide in the US," write Robert D. Gibbons, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues. "Although 60% of suicides occur during a mood disorder, mostly untreated, little is known about the relationship between antidepressant medication use and the rate of suicide in the US."

Using data from all US individuals who committed suicide between 1996 and 1998, the investigators extracted national county-level suicide rate data broken down by age, sex, income, and race. They also determined national county-level antidepressant prescription data, expressed as the number of pills prescribed. The main outcome was the suicide rate in each county expressed as the number of suicides for a given population size.

After adjustment for age, sex, race, income, and county-to-county variability in suicide rates, antidepressant medication prescription was not significantly related to suicide rate. However, within individual classes of antidepressants, prescriptions for SSRIs and other new-generation non-SSRI antidepressants, such as nefazodone hydrochloride, mirtazapine, bupropion hydrochloride, and venlafaxine hydrochloride, were associated with lower suicide rates, both within and among counties. There was a positive association between tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) prescription and suicide rate. In rural areas, higher suicide rates were associated with fewer antidepressant prescriptions, lower income, and relatively more prescriptions for TCAs.

"The aggregate nature of these observational data preclude a direct causal interpretation of the results," the authors write. "A high number of TCA prescriptions may be a marker for those counties with more limited access to quality mental health care and inadequate treatment and detection of depression, which in turn lead to increased suicide rates. By contrast, increases in prescriptions for SSRIs and other new-generation non-SSRIs are associated with lower suicide rates both between and within counties over time and may reflect antidepressant efficacy, compliance, a better quality of mental health care, and low toxicity in the event of a suicide attempt by overdose."



x 2 to X and Pat's comments.

I feel like I have to repeat myself, but I do believe medication should be your last not your first option, every-bodies experience in mental / emotional illness may have similarities but they will always be different. What worked for people on this thread may not work for another person.

I dont wish mental / emotional illness on anyone, but to have an mental / emotional illness is the only way to understand.

I remember I went out to eat with a friend I havent seen in a while, a close friend and I discussed my recent issues with Depression, and a trip to an inpatient mental facility for a short stay. He responded..."so you were feeling a little blue huh?"

I was close to being a statistic that advocated violent behavior for those who were on SSRIs...to say the least the reunion didn't go well


The situation is the same here in the UK. I'm not sure anyone can understand how crippling clinical depression can be, until they've experienced it for themselves or seen a loved one go through it.


Man I can relate to this so much! I've been dealing with depression and anxiety of some sort since I was about 11. This last summer from May-Aug. I couldn't be around peoople. Not even my own close friends. I would lock myself in my room and like you would just wish that I would not wake up one day. I even got to the point that my dad sent me $500 for bills and I was gonna spend it all on morphine and hope it would do the trick. But there was something inside me, something small that just wouldn't let me do it. And I just had to keep enduring and one day I just started feeling better and slowly got back to normal where I am right now. Next tuesday I start working again for the first time in like 3 years other than side jobs. And my manager already told me if I bust my ass for the first 6 months I can apply for the manager-in-training program. And if I get hired as a manger I start out at 30 grand a month. That ain't shit to a lot of people but to a felon with no college I can't be happier. So my point is please man, please don't give in. I promise you there will be light at the end of the tunnel.


In high school, my mom brought me to a psychiatrist because I punched a hole in the wall. They gave me a 10 question questionairre and speaking to my mom for 15 minutes they decided I was bipolar and gave me a cocktail of 3 powerful psychoactive medications including a high dose of wellbutrin, an anticonvulsant with off the label use for depression (Lamictal), and an antipsychotic (risperdall). These drugs totally zombied me out and stunted my social development, but I was 'easier to get along with at home'. The problem wasn't my head it the crazy home environment that none of the psychiatrists bothered to ask about.

These medications are dolled out way to quickly.


I agree with you. It happens way too often.

I used to teach and I saw kids whose parents drugged them like yours to make them easier to handle. A few kids REALLY needed the meds and were totally better people when on them, but the majority were just being zombied out.

I also worked for child-protective services in Texas. I'd say 80% of my case load were medicated. Foster parents get more money for "difficult" kids, so they had incentive to keep them diagnosed and medicated. Due to their chaotic upbringing and abuse, a lot of them needed the drugs, some of them VERY badly needed the drugs, but a lot of them were just being doped for the money or to make it easier for the foster parents to handle a houseful of emotionally scarred kids.

Hell, the first shrink I went to gave me a questionnaire that had to have been written by the makers of Adderall and then wrote me a prescription for Adderall. I was in his actual office less than 7 minutes. I never filled the prescription because I knew enough to know that wasn't going to fix what I had. I was working my way up into a pretty good manic phase at the time, jittery with forced speech and all, and he just wrote it off as adult ADD without asking about anything else. Looking back, I wish I had gone back and kicked the dude in the nuts. I did call the Texas Medical Board and complain, but I'm sure nothing came of it.

It took three shrinks before I found one that I thought was listening to me and understood what my issues were. There isn't a doubt in my mind that I would be dead now if I hadn't kept looking for a good one.

With all that said, what happened to you sucks, what happens to many kids today sucks total ass, but it doesn't have anything to do with true depression. You can't "happy-happy joy-joy" your way out of clinical depression.

Side note:

I've been on that exact combination of drugs. I no longer take lamictal, but I still take welbutrin daily and use risperdall to sleep when I'm starting to swing into a manic phase. That shit knocks me out cold within an hour, without the good, potentially addictive feelings I get from easily abused-by-me Ambien. I really am sorry that they put you on that shit as a teen.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Now I do actually have ADD and mild depression, but the bipolar deal was decided simply because my dad had it. And his case was very very unusual because the onset was in his 40s.

Both the ADD and depression are being handled very well with ginkgo biloba, panax ginseng, and a little caffeine through the day never exceeding 500mg in one day and depending on how much I need to do. Usually 0-250mg. I just need a subtler approach chemically and had to work out some self-defeating attitudes.

Now I'm fully aware that some people do need a high dose cocktail, but the decision should be last resort and not made lightly. Anyone been around a schizophrenic bipolar (brother's ex)!? It ain't pretty and there's only so much behavioral modification will do with that!


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Maybe it was separate diagnosis by different doctors. Can't say that I want to contact the woman to clarify lol.


Schizoaffective disorder?, i know people who have been Dx with everything from axis 1 to axis 2 disorders.

Bi-polar sometimes is a more acceptable term for some people from particular social classes, the increase in the amount of people with the Dx of bi-polar has been incedible in the last decade


nope, common practice.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.