Depresion - Not Something one can beat with will power alone


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Big Wall climber
Apr 5, 2010 - 07:02pm PT
Start by closing your eyes and thinking about someone you love.

Compassion meditation involves silently repeating certain phrases that express the intention to move from judgment to caring, from isolation to connection, from indifference or dislike to understanding. You don't have to force a particular feeling or get rid of unpleasant or undesirable reactions; the power of the practice is in the wholehearted gathering of attention and energy, and concentrating on each phrase. You can begin with a 20-minute session and increase the time gradually until you are meditating for half an hour at a time. If your mind wanders, don't be concerned. Notice whatever has captured your attention, let go of the thought or feeling, and simply return to the phrases. If you have to do that over and over again, it is fine.

•To begin, take a comfortable position. You may want to sit in a chair or on cushions on the floor (just make sure your back is erect without being strained or overarched). You can also lie down. Take a few deep, soft breaths to let your body settle.
•Closing your eyes or leaving them slightly open, start by thinking of someone you care about already—perhaps she's been good or inspiring to you. You can visualize this person or say her name to yourself, get a feeling for her presence, and silently offer phrases of compassion to her. The typical phrases are: "May you be free of pain and sorrow. May you be well and happy." But you can alter these, or use others that have personal significance.
•After a few minutes, shift your attention inward and offer the phrases of compassion to yourself: "May I be free of pain and sorrow. May I be well and happy."
•Then, after some time, move on to someone you find difficult. Get a feeling for the person's presence, and offer the phrases of compassion to her.
•Then turn to someone you've barely met—the supermarket checkout woman or UPS man. Even without knowing his or her name, you can get a sense of the person, perhaps an image, and offer the phrases of compassion.
•We close with the offering of compassion to people everywhere, to all forms of life, without limit, without exception: "May all beings be free of pain and sorrow. May all be well and happy."

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 5, 2010 - 07:07pm PT
That sounds like good stuff. Have you tried it? Does it work, or are you just scratching your back?

Bend OR
Apr 8, 2010 - 05:07pm PT
whattever works for you

yeh, it works >>> there is a forward vision shift from gloom to clear picture of wat would be a non-gloom future

Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2010 - 06:26am PT
I went and met my new physicist Fri afternoon. He told me I was being giving the wrong meds. He wants me back on a SSRI I have had so much help with in the past.

He wants to give me new meds to get my sleep under control.

Will maintain my Xanax until I can be weaned off it.

Whats to spend am hour a week doing cognitive therapy as I see a very distorted view of the world. I see a world of fear.

So I am feeling better.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Apr 17, 2010 - 06:37am PT
You'll be a democrat again in no time buddy!

Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2010 - 06:46am PT
Where you off to Dingus?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Apr 17, 2010 - 07:15am PT
Not sure buddy. As you can see I don't sleep normal patterns either. In my case I generally go to bed quite early by human standards. I gave up, a long time ago, being upset with myself for getting up so early.

I've been sitting here trying to decide what to do LA. Gonna climb with Ang tomorrow, and the kid is otherwise busy today (Papa, I intend to SLEEP... Saturday... OK there kid, sleep on!).

Thinking about tossing the ole planks in the back of the jeep, head up to Carson Pass, see if I can avoid claustrophobic death on the white stuff. Maybe go do some bouldering down Woodsford way afterward.

Or maybe not, can't decide!

Say... you will like this LA. My f*#king Jeep just quit working this week. I parked it one evening and the next morning I turn the key, nothing.

Well not quite nothing, I got 'woltage' but the starter won't do sh#t.

So I troubleshoot over the course of a couple of days.... battery is good, can't really tell if the alternator is... f*#ker won't start!

I eventually concluded the solenoid wasn't firing. Last evening, as a test, I turned the key on and using a long piece of wire, with one end attached to the solennoid firing terminal, I touched the other end of that wire to the batter + terminal.



Kidding! Just Kidding!

Damn Jeep started right up!

Ah... something in the firing circuit. Soe googlosity reveals cheap assed Jeep construction - Jeeps have a notorious problem with the Transmission Neutral Safety Switch - the gizmo that tells the car computer the tranny is in park or neutral so as not to engage the starter when the engine is running.

That switch, or the computer down stream, was bad. A couple more minutes revealed a dark secret - the switch replacement is around $200!


A few more minutes research revealed the "Tennessee Fix."

Down at Kragen (Woulda gone to Radio Shack, cheaper and more choice, but farther away at 5 PM on a Friday, f*#k THAT) - I bought some wire, an inline fuse holder, some fuses, and a push button switch.

Poked wire through the firewall and mounted that switch on the plastic bezel beside the steering column. The other ends of those wires went to a 12v batter wire and the solenoid terminal, respectively. Fuse in there to keep things honest.

Bing bang boom - turn the key, push the button voila! Starts right up. Switch is unobtrusive so Jeep is now somewhat Jack Proof, though no one is going to steal it anyway.

So there you go - major Jeep outage, $20 repair. I was in an unfortunate mood all week cause of that Jeep... then a big UP last evening. Got so happy I took the family out to dinner!

Now I'm gonna brew another cup of Joe, fire some sacrifical herbs in a small religious brazier I keep in the garage for predawn road trip prayers to the gods... oh maybe I should get dressed and throw some sh#t in that sh#t Jeep of mine.... I'm outta here bro!

Cheers LA
(has we REALLY been kibitizing online for 17 years Wan? SEVENTEEN????


Social climber
Apr 17, 2010 - 08:01am PT

I suffer from similar patterns in sleep. Sometimes I have to go to bed as soon as I get home from work, sleep a few hours and awake until the wee hours, then fall asleep long enough to say I was asleep before the alarm goes off for work.

That is one pattern and is ok to live with. The other phase is when I sleep from about 11 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. and up until the next night at 11... this goes on for 6 or 7 days until I am so exhausted I sleep for 16 hours or so.

This is tough to deal with because I am wired while I am awake. I had a big rig hauling logs & mail for awhile and it was ok because driving a truck at night is much easier than daytime driving; besides less traffic it is always a quick unloading process and less personality to deal with. As a teacher this pattern is disastrous.

The other pattern is interrupted sleep but normal hours; every once in awhile 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. When that happens I feel 15 years younger and usually have a great day.

I tried all the sleep meds and my own. I did a lot of reading and research about how to deal with it and discovered the best thing to do is just live with it. The myth that humans need and usually get 8 hours of interrupted sleep is baloney. The wonderful world of advertising has convinced us that we should sleep like babies and something is wrong if we don't. Agreeably it is wonderful to sleep like that; people that do are fortunate. Historically speaking it hasn't ever been part of life.


Trad climber
Aug 2, 2010 - 05:13pm PT
From Jeff in April (in the original post of this thread):

For the last month I have been trying to beat my depression with will power alone. This is not working, I cannot sleep, I grow more fatigued each day and start thinking dark thoughs.

I have family mememeber telling me to just snap out of it. I wish it was that easy.

Its like getting up a climb without the necessary strenght to do the moves.

I had to call in sick to work as I sleept 1 hour.

Whats the next step I need to take. New Doctor. Hospital.

I am starting to give up hope.

A little compassion and suggestions would be very nice.


Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
Aug 2, 2010 - 05:34pm PT
Aug 2, 2010 - 02:31pm PT
There's so many resources needed to support a suicidal person. Please make a note of this toll free 24 hour number for someone you know who may be struggling. They might not use it but giving it will let them know you care that they live

1(800)273-8255 (TALK)


Bend OR
Aug 11, 2010 - 07:31pm PT
re reading this thread - but I am on metered net cafe time and gtg soon

myself - prob too much offering underqualified advice , to little asking questions ... but that has to do with using a bulletin board for comm
The user formerly known as stzzo

Social climber
Aug 11, 2010 - 10:52pm PT
It's a shock to my system to see this thread resurrected... Not that it's bad, just disturbing.

RIP, Juan.

Aug 11, 2010 - 11:03pm PT
Jeff's post on April 17th was telling. Something didn't work out by the time May 25th rolled around. So terribly sad that he felt compelled to end his life.

"I went and met my new physicist Fri afternoon. He told me I was being giving the wrong meds. He wants me back on a SSRI I have had so much help with in the past.

He wants to give me new meds to get my sleep under control.

Will maintain my Xanax until I can be weaned off it.

Whats to spend am hour a week doing cognitive therapy as I see a very distorted view of the world. I see a world of fear.

So I am feeling better." Juan

Trad climber
san diego
Aug 13, 2010 - 05:00am PT
Daphne- "Please make a note of this *TOLL FREE 24 HOUR NUMBER* for someone you know who may be struggling."


Thanks, Daphne!!

Jun 3, 2011 - 03:52pm PT

Been riding high on Wellbutrin for the last 2 1/2 weeks. The crash came hard last night. There is no free lunch.

Just trying to make it through today (and no, alcohol feels good but does not help...

More later.

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jun 3, 2011 - 04:20pm PT
Sometimes it's darkest before you see the light.

What means the most to you in this life?

Trad climber
los angeles
Jun 3, 2011 - 04:44pm PT


Funny how many climbers are depressives too. Explanation: depressed people seek solace and mood elevation in the outdoors, especially in mood-altering "adrenaline based" activities.

The more credible responses here are from people with actual diagnoses of depression, and who have tried the various tx options. Yes, that would include me.

My observations: Paxil works great, takes about two to three weeks to gloriously kick in. If you do NOT actually have a serotonin uptake issue, you may as well be taking a sugar pill; it will not affect your mood.

Paxil is too expensive so I take the generic form; 10mgs of paroxetine daily; you only need to see a shrink once every 6 mos. for an Rx.

The meds give you a baseline of solid, normal feelings, so you can cope like "normal" people do. But now you may have to deal with external factors, like a horrible, shitty job, or a merciless husband or wife, or a teenager who is an absolute monster. Those "issues" can surely de-stabilize, but at least you have a foundation for coping "normally"...sometimes you just have to permanently remove obnoxious people from your life, one way or another.

SUI's will make you crave carbohydrates; which means you should exercise and diet, a lot. All the running you do will help elevate your mood; I'm addicted to running and training now; never felt better.

genuine depression is REAL...not something you can shake off or deal with thru exercise/fresh air regimens. I know that genetics and biochemistry AND life circumstances combine to cause it...perhaps in that order.

best of luck, juan



hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Jun 3, 2011 - 04:55pm PT
Very depressing to see how the cycle formed before he took his own life. He really was a great guy...

It's ridicules to tear apart others as if people are indestructible. We are not. Words can kill and... They can save. Be careful what you say.

We need each other, we need to be there because it does count in a million ways.

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jun 3, 2011 - 06:01pm PT
toadgas, I suspect depression is at least as common in the broader public as it is within the climbing community. One difference we might note is that people feel more comfortable sharing with "strangers" in this forum more readily than walking down the street or with someone you met 5 minutes ago climbing. So we actually become aware of the issue here, where we normally walk past it in our tangible life. How many people meet your eyes when you walk down the street? Mostly people are too busy or too afraid to see or be seen.

I think there is something therapeutic in these forums, something that makes it easier for some people to connect in a personally meaningful way more frequently than they are able to do in tangible life (either because of personal inhibitions, or work schedules, geographic isolation, or whatever). I think this is true for me at least.

+1 for what Anastasia said.

Social climber
Jun 3, 2011 - 08:31pm PT

You hit the nail on the head. The days I feel "good" are the ones that at the days end I am completely exhausted from activities out of doors. It isn't always aerobic or fast paced activities like running. Mainly tasks like splitting wood, moving dirt or any other energy depleting activity. Activities that are more aligned with work than pleasure. Leisure activities per se seem less fulfilling than stacking stones.

I don't get the endorphin rush as I do with something like a long run; more of a satisfied mind because I have earned my salt or something like that.


May your kindness seep through all the posts on this forum.
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