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2008-04-06 8:11 PM

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Subject: Depression and Moods- Check in!

Here it is folks.

the new location of the thread formerly called Anyone Battling Depression? :

Mike just said that when it starts to get super long, it is hard on the server, so maybe we can revisit if necessary.

Let's use this to support one another, and keep tabs on each other if someone suddenly goes AWOL. We all know that checking out on hobbies, activities, friends etc is a sign of trouble.

Another  thing we can do is "friend" each other in our own blogs, or add links to one another's blogs in our goals section..

Way to come on out, my fellow Moodies!   

 



2008-04-06 8:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

Thanks everyone for all the positive input. I was so amazed a few months ago when in my log, I came out about my Depression and everyone was so supportive. I am one of the lucky ones to have a really supportive family and friends. But it doens help to have yall' here also.

Blessings to all,

Chris

 

2008-04-06 8:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
Possum - thanks for moving the thread and the great ideas on "friending" each other.  It was very interesting to me how on my first bad day in quite some time this thread popped up.  I made it to the pool for 2000 yds.  Nice job BT!
2008-04-06 9:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

Sweet!  This is awesome!  I think this is going to be such a valuable support for us - all of us!  I had an idea - maybe a bit premature, but I'll throw it out there anyway - is anyone interested in forming smaller groups, kinda like the BT mentoring, where we can really get to know each other, watch each other's blogs, do inspireds, etc.? Or maybe it would be better to just leave is as a free for all for now and see where things go.... just some thoughts to ponder!

To Anthony's wife - I'm in Austin, and I'd be happy to refer you to my therapist, and get you in touch with some resources that can help you.  PM me and I'll get you the details.

Love to all of you, and thanks for sharing the journey!

2008-04-06 9:47 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

Mike is actually working on this, I think. A kind of Groups application, for all kinds of subgroups. I guess since BT has gotten so huge it is a nice way to find kindred spirits, on the other hand it could serve only to segregate us all further, and keep people from "corss pollinating" or finding what they need. I dunno. I am content to go with this for awhile until Mike suggests otherwise.

I also think that, by speaking out about this, we are, in a sense educating others. But what do I know.  I don't even train anymore, lol! BT is a social outlet for me now!


katzchen55 - 2008-04-06 9:29 PM

Sweet! This is awesome! I think this is going to be such a valuable support for us - all of us! I had an idea - maybe a bit premature, but I'll throw it out there anyway - is anyone interested in forming smaller groups, kinda like the BT mentoring, where we can really get to know each other, watch each other's blogs, do inspireds, etc.? Or maybe it would be better to just leave is as a free for all for now and see where things go.... just some thoughts to ponder!

To Anthony's wife - I'm in Austin, and I'd be happy to refer you to my therapist, and get you in touch with some resources that can help you. PM me and I'll get you the details.

Love to all of you, and thanks for sharing the journey!

2008-04-06 10:34 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
Hi All,

I wanted to share my story and hopefully inspire some of you to pursue a drug free treatment of your depression and/or anxiety.

In the summer of the 2005, my body basically shut down physically. I had no idea what was happening to me and and although I did not have suicidal thoughts...I wished that something like an automobile accident would just wipe me out and put me in hospital so someone else could take care of me. I honestly have no recollection of how I ended up at counseling but I was diagnosed with clinical depression. It was strongly recommended I take some time off work so after consulting with my Doctor...I took a three month leave.

I wasn't really excited about taking drugs but I did anyway to satisfy disability insurance requirements. I also did online research, continued counciling and went to see a well respected chiropractor. One thing that everyone agrees is that exercise works but I want to mention one thing...it has to be VIGOROUS exercise to have the most benefits. Probably the most important thing I learned is that if you are depressed...you have poor thinking styles. The good news is that these can be changed. The best resources for me were a book and a website. The book was "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns (He also has a new one for anxiety). The website is...
http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/Treating_Depression/alt_treat.... ....interesting stuff.

The end result was I was able to return to work two weeks early and quickly tapered off the drugs while feeling better all the time. I made it more than two years with nothing more than some "blue" days then had a less severe depressive episode that I am just working out of.

Beating depression is very similar to running your first triathlon. You need a plan a lots of new information. You put in a base (learn some new info) and day by day you get in better shape (learn new thinking patterns). Just like training...some days will be better than others but if you can continue to move forward and even get a little bit better on most days...you can beat depression and live depression free...I'm living proof.

If you ever want to chat about it...please send me a message.

Cheers

Wally


2008-04-07 7:13 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
88Wally - 2008-04-06 10:34 PM

Hi All,

I wanted to share my story and hopefully inspire some of you to pursue a drug free treatment of your depression and/or anxiety.

Wally


While I have also learned how to deal with my illness drug-free (I have come off my medications by using acupuncture along with therapy/exercise/meditation), I would encourage those who are in a severe depression to look at all options, including medications. While studies show that for mild to moderate depression therapy/exercise work just as well as medications, the studies also show that for severe depression, medications tend to work better. So, while drug-free may be the way to go for some of us, medications may be the way to go for others. Everyone reacts differently.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories.
2008-04-07 9:22 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

phillybarb - 2008-04-07 7:13 AM
88Wally - 2008-04-06 10:34 PM Hi All, I wanted to share my story and hopefully inspire some of you to pursue a drug free treatment of your depression and/or anxiety. Wally
While I have also learned how to deal with my illness drug-free (I have come off my medications by using acupuncture along with therapy/exercise/meditation), I would encourage those who are in a severe depression to look at all options, including medications. While studies show that for mild to moderate depression therapy/exercise work just as well as medications, the studies also show that for severe depression, medications tend to work better. So, while drug-free may be the way to go for some of us, medications may be the way to go for others. Everyone reacts differently. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories.

Agreed.  IMHO medications can provide the stability the brain chemistry needs to think properly and deal with whatever issues surface in the depressive episode.  While medications are rarely a cure on their own, they can certainly keep the boat from rocking while the underlying issues are dealt with!  Everyone is different, and everyone should get the advice of licensed professionals they trust before making decisions one way or another.

I think that one of the most important things us depressives can do is learn to slow down and really look at the way we think and what we think about ourselves and the world we live in.  I've discovered that there are a lot of false assumptions that I've internalized over the years from my childhood and other experiences that I never really examined to see if they are true. So, when I'm thinking that I have to do everything perfectly, for example, if I slow down and really think about that, I'll realize that no, I don't have to be perfect and no one is so I can give myself a break. My Christian faith plays a really big role in that for me, but I think anyone regardless of faith can identify false thought patterns that can get them into trouble if we can just get the brain thinking rationally and not just reacting out of habit or emotion.

Did that make sense?

2008-04-07 9:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

I think you are right on the money Kat.  I have had to work hard at rethink many things through.  It is kind of funny now when my mom plays the guilt game I am so disengaged.  My sister asks me all time "How do you do that?"

My faith has played a big role in my recovery.   Most women would have left long ago but my wife also has a strong faith and even though she didn't (and doesn't totally) understand she never gave up the ship.  She is a big part of my support system.

 Also having good Christians friends has helped me down a more stable path.  Yesterday was a good example.  I had two of my buddies check in on me when I didn't show up to church. Fortunately it seems to have been a short episode.  I can run but I can't hide and that is good.

2008-04-07 9:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

my therapist called this "cognitive distortions" and the way to work through them was to recognize it when it was happening, write it down, and then label which of the distortions it was.  Then we went over my list each week.  Haven;t done this in years, but I bet it would help me from time to time still:

Cognitive Distortions 

2008-04-07 10:45 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
possum - 2008-04-07 9:52 AM

my therapist called this "cognitive distortions" and the way to work through them was to recognize it when it was happening, write it down, and then label which of the distortions it was. Then we went over my list each week. Haven;t done this in years, but I bet it would help me from time to time still:

Cognitive Distortions

Also note that it's important to get a counsellor who is well versed in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (the Burns book is all CBT ). CBT helps address actions, symptoms, and emotions that come as a result of thoughts/beliefs. I went through a number of workshops that spelled it all out. It's important to stay in the present and address what is inhibiting us right now. I had the misfortune of seeing my first therapist ever who was all about regression therapy and inner child stuff...none of it helped me in my everyday life and made me worse because I started to dwell on the past even more.

Anyway, great idea of a thread! Especially for the check-ins because when I start avoiding or isolating, I'm headed for trouble if I don't change something quickly.



2008-04-07 11:19 AM
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Hi folks....I started seeing a psych doc in January/February and have been on meds since that time. I am feeling a lot better than I was, but I dont know yet really if its just the meds or what. I am new to this depression sort of stuff, so I am still trying to sort things out a bit.

I still get in mood funks, motivation funks, etc. Am in one now--no real motivation at work--but they arent as bad as they were and I can come out easier.

My thereapy is all about tasks--setting goals, trying to complete things, manageable things. I dont know how enamored I am with it all yet. Seems pretty simplistic, but I am going with the flow.
2008-04-07 12:14 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

I'm using Feeling Good and When Panic Attacks by Burns. It's helped alot. I find myself questioning my thoughts quite often now. I think the problems are part chemical, part environment and part just bad habits.

Following a training plan is going to help me alot too I think--setting and meeting daily goals, getting exercise, socializing a bit when training with friends.

Mary



Edited by A Little Madness 2008-04-07 12:28 PM
2008-04-07 1:07 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
katzchen55 - 2008-04-06 9:29 PM

Sweet! This is awesome! I think this is going to be such a valuable support for us - all of us! I had an idea - maybe a bit premature, but I'll throw it out there anyway - is anyone interested in forming smaller groups, kinda like the BT mentoring, where we can really get to know each other, watch each other's blogs, do inspireds, etc.? Or maybe it would be better to just leave is as a free for all for now and see where things go.... just some thoughts to ponder!

To Anthony's wife - I'm in Austin, and I'd be happy to refer you to my therapist, and get you in touch with some resources that can help you. PM me and I'll get you the details.

Love to all of you, and thanks for sharing the journey!



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2008-04-07 3:58 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
I went through a series of EMDR treatments with my therapist since my depression was/is primarily related to PTSD. It was extremely helpful to me in disconnecting from the memories causing the stress/depression.

While I am drug-free now, I definitely agree that medications serve a very important role in dealing with mental health issues. I know they played a very important role for me when I was going through the roughest part of my depression.
2008-04-07 8:11 PM
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This thread will help so much!! I think everyone is so great for being able to talk about this and deal with this...

For the longest time.... (probably not that long) but long to me, I felt like it wasn't ok to talk about it..

But anyone deal with medication and not the right one for them... and going through that process and still trying to train...

Training and racing are probably the best thing for me but sometimes I have no energy... any suggestions on that?

Thanks guys



2008-04-07 9:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
gj50 - 2008-04-07 8:11 PM

This thread will help so much!! I think everyone is so great for being able to talk about this and deal with this...

For the longest time.... (probably not that long) but long to me, I felt like it wasn't ok to talk about it..

But anyone deal with medication and not the right one for them... and going through that process and still trying to train...

Training and racing are probably the best thing for me but sometimes I have no energy... any suggestions on that?

Thanks guys

Ah, yes....the joys of finding the right medication.  The first one that my dr put me on resulted in me having panic attacks, in addition to not helping my depression.  That was discouraging.  But I went back to him and he put me on a slightly different class of antidepressants and the difference was night and day.  I'm on cymbalta now, and after tweaking my dosage just a little bit in the first couple of months, I've been steady for over a year.  That is attributable to both the meds and the year of counseling that I have just completed.

If your meds aren't helping at all within the first week, definitely talk to your dr again. There are a TON of options to choose from, and it may be that you, like me, need a slightly different kind of med or a different dose. Mine made me a bit nauseous for the first 2-3 days, but other than that, no side effects. Hang in there...you'll find the right stuff for you.

As for the training, try to do what you can, but don't beat yourself up if you just can't get to it on a given day. Some days just getting out of bed is a major accomplishment.  On those days, you can't expect to run a half-mary or swim 5000m or something like.  Cut yourself a little slack and shorten a session if you need to, but try not to skip it altogether if you can.  Especially if the weather is nice - nothing like a bit of sunshine to improve your mood.  Even if all you do is get a walk around the block, that will make a difference.

One step, and one day at a time.  We're with you in this...just keep putting one foot in front of the other....

2008-04-07 9:38 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
gj50 - 2008-04-07 8:11 PM

This thread will help so much!! I think everyone is so great for being able to talk about this and deal with this...

For the longest time.... (probably not that long) but long to me, I felt like it wasn't ok to talk about it..

But anyone deal with medication and not the right one for them... and going through that process and still trying to train...

Training and racing are probably the best thing for me but sometimes I have no energy... any suggestions on that?

Thanks guys

Finding the right med can be difficult. I went through 2 others before ending up on Wellbutrin. The others made me feel like a zombie - I wasn't sad, but I wasn't happy either. Very weird and un-natural. I'd been on Wellbutrin before and insisted we try it. My doc relented, and it worked for a while. Then I had a very bad episode - near mental break down - and we added Cymbalta to the mix. Long answer to say, it may take several trys to get the right drug(s) for you.

yes, there are still days with no motivation. They aren't even bad days - just can't seem to get going. Usually, I try to do something, even if it's just a long walk or a short swim. I have never felt worse for getting out, and sometimes that's about the best argument I can find. And then some days, I just blow it off, have a nice dinner, glass (or more) of wine and go to bed early. Usually, the extra sleep makes the next day better.

Hope that helps,

 

2008-04-07 9:47 PM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
gj50 - 2008-04-07 8:11 PM

This thread will help so much!! I think everyone is so great for being able to talk about this and deal with this...

For the longest time.... (probably not that long) but long to me, I felt like it wasn't ok to talk about it..

But anyone deal with medication and not the right one for them... and going through that process and still trying to train...

Training and racing are probably the best thing for me but sometimes I have no energy... any suggestions on that?

Thanks guys

I haven't been on medication for years...but figuring that out was not fun.  I was on Zoloft for a short while and it worked great...then I had a break through depression...OMG that sucked.  Switched me to Lexapro (both of these being SSRIs) and that worked.  But then I hated the fact that I couldn't feel ANYTHING.   I hated that I felt that anytime I should have a normal reaction I felt like I was hitting a wall.  I switched to Wellbutrin XL and felt normal again.  Like I said, I haven't been on anything in  years, but know that having to try different meds is pretty common when you're looking for the one that works for you.  Just make sure not to stop most of them cold-turkey.  A lot of anti-depressants (ie, Prozac) have some NASTY withdrawal symptoms... 

2008-04-08 12:47 AM
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2008-04-08 7:06 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!
gj50 - 2008-04-07 8:11 PM

This thread will help so much!! I think everyone is so great for being able to talk about this and deal with this...

For the longest time.... (probably not that long) but long to me, I felt like it wasn't ok to talk about it..

But anyone deal with medication and not the right one for them... and going through that process and still trying to train...

Training and racing are probably the best thing for me but sometimes I have no energy... any suggestions on that?

Thanks guys



I agree with the others that it takes some time to find the right medication. I have been on Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Zyprexa (an anti-psychotic that caused me to gain 10 pounds in 2 weeks!!), Effexor (worked well for me, but caused my blood pressure to rise), Lamictal (a mood stabilizer that can also be used for depression), and Lexapro. What worked the best for me was a combination of Lexapro and Lamictal.

Trying to find the energy to do anything, lone enough train, is difficult. When I was at my worst, I spent a lot of time in bed. I remember one time that I had to go to a charity event that my sister was organizing and I could not find the energy. My Dad had to drive me because I couldn't focus enough to do it. At the event, my Dad had to stay by my side to make sure that I didn't fall over, since it took so much energy to even sit up.

My suggestion to you is to try to get yourself out the door for even 5 minutes. After 5 minutes you might feel good enough to keep going. If you don't, then it's time to just be flexible with your training schedule.


2008-04-08 7:22 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

Lot's of good advice here on the meds front.  I was on Lexapro at first.  the first three weeks were like a blur and was dogged.  I slept a lot (which I probably needed since sleep is an issue for me).  Things did level out and I was able to resume a more normal workout schedule.

 I switched to Celexa due to insurance issues and we upped the dose after the first year because I was start to not sleep well again (a sign of trouble for me).

I have days where there is no mojo (last Sunday was one).  I try and do what I can (Sunday I got a shortened swim in - tried a trainer ride but had no zip).

Every year my doc and I talk over where things are at. We've talked about weaning off the meds when spring comes, we've talked about switching to a different drug to help with my sleep.  In the end I keep coming back to I don't want to mess around with what is working.  That comes from the fear of ending up back where i was - I never want to go there again!

Talk to your doc. You pay them to help you out. if certain meds aren't working there are other that might. 

2008-04-08 7:27 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

Thanks Guys!!!

I actually have an appt. coming up and going to ask for something different or see if I can go without!!!

 

Training is increasing and with the weather getting better that might help!

 

But I really love that I know that I can get some great advice here... you guys are the best. And hopefully I can give some advice sometime!

 

 

2008-04-08 8:23 AM
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Subject: RE: Depression and Moods- Check in!

I have been on celexa now for 5 years- exclusively celexa- and it has so far been the best for me- NO side effects, NONE.  There were times when I was on combos of things (including the aforementioned dreaded zxprexa) and the side effects (zombie like, loss of libido, weight gain) were untenable for me.  I am now down to just celexa, with emergency stashes of ambien and ritalin, neither of which I have had to touch in years. In fact, it is probably well past potent.

The thing is, you have to give each regimen a chance to work, a few weeks sometimes, and that tinkering period is very very difficult. OTOH, you have to speak up to your doc if  you are not happy (heh heh.)  I could not work with a doc or a therapist that I didn;t both trust and like, the ability to talk through options, to feel listened to, etc has been really important for me.

So yeah, hard work+the right drug="managing" vs "battling" 

Hang in there, Moodies! 

2008-04-08 9:05 AM
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This really confuses me and I guess its just because I am new to the game. I am pretty old school too I guess: If something's wrong, go to the doc, get your pills then feel better. Its been weird for me so far on this journey because the docs are like "what do you want to do? you could take Xmg of ABC or Ymg of DEF or a little of GHI and JHL then if the ABC doesnt work, just take more, but if you feel side effects, take less--its up to you"

I get confused because its like, Your the doc, what am I paying you for? How do I know what I need, what will work, what pills are right and what dosage? Ive been on Fluoxetine for about 10 weeks now. But, when I see the guy he starts in on the options and throws it to me. I dont know what to do?

Its also very hard for me to speak up becuase I have always been the type of person who cant tell you things. I could be an inch from the brink and still tell you "everything's fine" So, its hard for me to go into a shrink session and tell him "how things are going." I try, but I find it extremely difficult to talk about this stuff.

How did/do you get past this?
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