jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Will Moore RIP. The comments are insightful, particularly CassandraLeo's, particularly when paired with Five Lies Depression Told Me.

I don't know. At this point I feel confident in saying that I was depressed by summer 2012. That I was probably depressed by September 2011, and likely October 2010, and back and back and back with a little less certainty at each milestone. That being laid off eased up certain pressures but not others, and that after six months, being off work had done about as much good as it was going to. That I remained depressed up through last summer and on into the start of fall.

Still, I'm reluctant to identify as "depressed." I guess maybe I am, if frequent suicidal ideation and sporadic self-harm are anything to go by. I don't know. I feel pretty okay these days, but then oxytocin is a hell of a drug. Ask me in a month.



Too, I'm reluctant to try antidepressants for several reasons. In no particular order:

One, I am not the most reliable observer of my own mental state, and would prefer not to lock myself into something that maybe works with unpleasant side effects.

Two, finding a doctor in this town is a fool's errand.

Three, I would much prefer to sort out the external stressors in my life and see what's left after that.

Four, I've tried drugs once. I was on Prozac for a little over two years, from the end of high school through the first two years of university. It clipped the highs and lows of my emotional state, which I guess was a tradeoff I was happy to make at the time, and also sharply limited any pleasure I took from sex. Not the drive, mind you, just the physical pleasure.

This was under the direction of a terrible, terrible counselor chosen by my parents, at a time when their worry was "clearly there's something wrong with our son, he's not keeping up with his schoolwork." (A caricature, but not, I think, a wholly unfair one.) It's possible that that whole experience has made me averse to the idea of being depressed.



I don't know what the point of this post is, either, other than leaving a record where I can find it later. At about this time, Tucker began to consider that maybe he was clinically depressed and had been for well over a decade.

Eh.

Date: 2017-04-22 01:37 pm (UTC)
thanate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thanate
Argh, yes. (We are fighting some of these battles here, I think.)

Things to consider:
*there are lots of SSRIs; maybe a different one would work better.
*I'm really enjoying Martin Seligman's books on cultivating optimism & more useful brain toolsets. (which I think I got out of someone else's comment on one of your previous entries)
*Just sorting out the issues in your life is great if you can do it! Probably worth periodic reconsideration is whether it might be worth trying (SSRI/whatever) to give yourself a better brainspace to sort from.

Sympathies on the finding doctors thing; is all of the no fun.

Date: 2017-04-22 02:31 pm (UTC)
kailing: self portrait of me in front of my bedroom door, with purpled [and blued] hair, being very heart shaped (Default)
From: [personal profile] kailing
ya...ive been too scared to try any antidepressants either.

Date: 2017-04-22 03:00 pm (UTC)
marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
From: [personal profile] marcmagus
All the sympathy.

I also had the clipped emotions effect from an SSRI in high school, in a way that didn't balance out to making things better. I'm told some of the meds can balance you in a better way if you don't need your highs clipped due to mania, but unfortunately I ran into potentially dangerous allergies when I tried so I can't confirm from experience.

I wanted to gently note that, regarding #1, part of the doctor's job is to help you with that, if you think you need more consistent help a therapist can certainly help with that, and a good therapist will point out (as mine is, constantly) that your partners can and will likely be very happy to help. Of course all but the last cost money.

(Not trying to urge you into meds at all; I read you as contemplating options out loud in a way that welcomes input but I'm trying to limit the wall-of-text response potential. Hopefully it doesn't read as pushing you in any particular direction.)

Date: 2017-04-22 04:01 pm (UTC)
queenoftheskies: queenoftheskies (Default)
From: [personal profile] queenoftheskies
I'm sorry to hear that another life was lost to depression.

I sympathize with your desire not to take antidepressants. In some situations, I think they work, but not all.

I hope you can find a GOOD doctor and work on those stressors, too. You are a very brave man for wanting to deal with it actively.

If there's any way those of us who consider you friend can help, please let us know.

::HUGSLL

Date: 2017-04-22 09:57 pm (UTC)
ckd: two white candles on a dark background (candles)
From: [personal profile] ckd
I hear you.

My own depression is definitely heavily affected by external forces, but I was fortunate to find a med that worked to help avoid the "this external event knocked me for a loop and now I'm in a serious episode" failure mode I was very prone to while not blunting the "this external event is great and I am feeling good" side.

I feel pretty okay these days, but then oxytocin is a hell of a drug.

It sure is, though I'm in a bit of a withdrawal from it for external forces reasons (geography, not breakups) at the moment. Penguicon should help.

Date: 2017-04-23 03:31 am (UTC)
thirzadragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thirzadragon
*hugs* Yeah, that realization can hit pretty hard.

I had a good therapist who helped me a lot... but i know the bad ones can do a lot of damage

here's hoping you can find something that helps

Date: 2017-04-24 01:06 pm (UTC)
xiphias: (Default)
From: [personal profile] xiphias
Have I mentioned my conceptual model of "depression", before? It's one of those things I intend to write up some time so I can just link to it, but I haven't gotten around to it. Or, if I have, I've forgotten that I've done it and don't know where it is.

One trouble with understanding depression is that there isn't any one monolithic thing called "depression", any more than there's one thing called "cancer". "Cancer" isn't one singular disease which is caused or can be treated or cured in one singular way; rather, it's any time that a cell forgets how to stop replicating. And "depression" isn't one singular disease which is caused or can be treated or cured in one singular way; rather, it's any condition in which one's mood, energy, and/or mental state is lowered to a point of relative incapacity.

On the whole, I think that the causes of depressions fall more or less into three categories -- those caused by external events and situations, those caused by maladaptive thought processes, and those caused by physiological disregulations. Even within each category, there are many possible causes, and so even if you've correctly figured out that your depression is the result of physiological disregulation, knowing WHICH ONE is vital, because some medications will help and others will have no effect. Or if you are dealing with maladaptive thought processes, some people might be helped by post-Freudian-school analysis, by understanding what underlies the reactions, and others might be helped by dialectical behavioral therapy, and others might be helped by spirituality, and others by philosophy. And of course situational depressions are ALL completely individual.

What makes it even more complicated, though, is that each of those types, external, physiological, and psychological, leads to the other two. Thought patterns lead to physical changes over time. A negative living environment leads to negative thought patterns. And a physiological depression causes you to be unable to deal with your situation, making that deteriorate. So all of those lead to all of those.

That's the bad news. The GOOD news is that that means that working on any of the three areas will therefore HELP the other two, because the cycle works the other way, too.

Everyone is different, but my instinct is that, when there is good evidence that physiology is part of the mix, to start there. Because a pharmacological intervention is the one which takes the least amount of the types of mental and psychic energy (in the non-mystical sense) that depression removes. Of course, if there ISN'T reasonable evidence of a significant physiological component, this isn't a great idea, and I do feel that the fact that this IS the easiest place to start DOES lead to a tendency for overworked doctors to go to psychopharmacology first, even when it isn't the most appropriate choice.

But I do feel that most people benefit from a combination of all three things.

For me, that's lamatrogine, dialectical behavioral therapy with mindfulness training and Stoicism, and a kanban with all my household to-dos stuck on the wall of the kitchen.

What works best for me is to attack all three methods simultaneously.

Date: 2017-04-22 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com
*wishing you strength*

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"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

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