Depresion - Not Something one can beat with will power alone

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JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 02:42pm PT
For once, I strongly agree with Dr. F's advice: get professional help. While Largo is right (as usual) -- not all depression is the same, and not all responds to the same treatment -- depression is not something you can easily diagnose or treat yourself.

I have dealt with depression since 1994. Mine was entirely endogenous -- nothing on the outside caused it. In fact, the first symptoms manifested themselves when everything was going well. I mistakenly thought that I must be an adreneline junkie having withdrawals from risk. Not so. Mine was what Dr. F describes -- a chemical imbalance.

I've been very fortunate in that medication worked perfectly for me. Its only side effects have been vivid (and exceedingly entertaining) dreams -- and phenomenal recovery. While I was depressed, and before I got professional help, I did (or mostly failed to do) enough to cause any objective person sufficient grief to cause exogenous depression, but family, friends and professionals all helped that recovery.

As others have said, you are not alone. A great many climbers suffer from depression and don't hide it. I'm available to talk, email, or do anything else I can to help anyone who is suffering from depression, or the people who care about them.

John
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Apr 1, 2010 - 03:07pm PT
Depression is such a life sucking activity - attack it on all fronts. Yes, some beat it without drugs and some don't. The mind and body are very connected. They can spiral up or down together.

Many suggestions are very good to help with depression and are constructive anyway. Exercise and caring for another living being affects your body chemistry, and improves your life. I was amazed to see how much improvement happened to my daughter's depression as she took care of a stray animal. Taking care of my little kids helped me. You need a purpose to getting out of bed and going through the motions of life.

Surround yourself with positive people. That is the one suggestion I have that is new compared to the very good suggestions others had.

Recognizing that you are depressed, saying so out loud, and allowing people to help you are very positive steps. That one was very powerful for me, too. Suffering in silence gyps people of the opportunity to help you. SOmeday, you will be able to pay it forward.
Bronwyn

Trad climber
Not of This World
Apr 1, 2010 - 03:39pm PT
Juan, you are NOT alone. Depression is real, and it hurts. Bad.
Get to a health care provider ASAP. There is nothing wrong with using some meds to get through this. Sometimes you have to try more than one. I was good on the first one for several months,and then one day I was even worse off than before. I called my MD, she changed my scrip, and the second med (Wellbutrin) worked wonderfully. Depression meds are not a "happy pill" as some seem to think. The right one will make you feel like YOURSELF again. Get some counseling, and if finances are an issue, there are various county programs available. Some churches and synagogues also offer free secular counseling with qualified professional volunteers. Get in touch with the spiritual aspects of life. I agree with others here that having a pet to care for goes a long way to helping yourself. Talk to your friends...seek out others who understand.

I have been off of all meds for several years, but depression IS an imbalance and you have to monitor yourself. Some simple dietary changes can also affect brain chemistry, such as giving up sugar, and adding fish oil supplements to your diet. Staying away from artificial ingredients and other food additives seems to help me as well.

Please seek help. Asking for help is a sign of strength. You CANNOT "tough this out" on your own.

Please keep us posted...people's concern here is real.
Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Apr 1, 2010 - 03:53pm PT
When one of my family members came down with depression and anxiety I thought they could just "buck up" and get over it. Soon I realized just how serious of an issue it can be. Reaching out for help is the first step. May you find the happy light soon.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Apr 1, 2010 - 03:54pm PT
Juan, like Jingy said ..... you are not alone and as long as you are alive things will change.

I can remember my husband Dan and I driving down the on ramp onto the freeway with our 4 kiddos. We were all packed and ready to rock for a great camping/climbing trip. Halfway down the on ramp it hit, out of nowhere.....what I call the dark hole of depression. I started falling down the dark hole. There were no holds to grab onto, no way to stop, it went from light to gray to black. I was helpless against it.

After years of dealing with this when I was in my 16 to @ 40's I noted that it eased. EVERY human being is different which is why it is so grate that there are so many different responses on your thread. You have alot of ideas and info you can now pull from.

For lynnie, psychiatrists and meds did not help or work. It was getting to meet and know my best friend jesus and getting to be better and better friends with him over the years until now he is the bestest friend that has been life changing for me. I never could have survived my husbands death two years ago as well as I did without my best friend.

I am thinking of you and praying for you and care. If you ever want to email please do so. I will listen. Peace .....lynnie
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:19pm PT
juan ive not got a coin in my pocket nor a hope in my heart.
but i can give you (1) of my (2) dreams.

hang in there buddy.
scooter

climber
fist clamp
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:23pm PT
me and dasiy, I was so weak it was hard for me to pick her up!
me and dasiy, I was so weak it was hard for me to pick her up!
Credit: scooter
I am in total agreement with Coz. I was hurt bad a few years back and had a tough time for a bit. I did get a dog from the pound and it was the best thing for me. The MD that was taking care of me had prescribed me an anti-depressent and it did not work for me it made me cry all the time for what ever reason, and I felt out of control. So I stopped it. Started rehabing like crazy. Haveing to walk the dog made me rehab myself and made me accountable to the dog (which is funny). I also stopped slugging beers for a while, that helped too. Also the days getting longer that spring helped. I made sure to hang out in the sun. Take the steps Coz recomended. From my expirence it worked! And I still have DaisyDog my best friend. Try it take control by checking things off the Coz list. You got! The anchors are in sight! And the feeling of beating this will make you a stronger and more whole person. Go get some vibrantly colored oil pastels and acrilics sit in the sun and make a little art. Take care Brudda'. You are going to win!

Pat
WBraun

climber
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:24pm PT
Dr F is hoping there's no Jesus Christ.

When he finds out that Jesus Christ is real and actually exists he will become depressed.

He will then have to suffer so much embarrassment ......
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:27pm PT
werner,
dare i say that you're speculating?
you always get down on us when we do that.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:29pm PT
Last year, I lost my job of 3 years, found out my back was broken, had to move in with friends etc....

I never sought help, rather tried the will power approach. The depression lasted 6 months, almost cost me my relationship with the lady.

I hated everyone and everything, and never thought I was gonna make it out.

Dad told me "You will find the light my son, just don't forget what you love in the journey"

I snapped out of it. But now I can see how depression can take hold and govern your life.

I have never taken medication, to which I am happy, yet I went about treatment the wrong way.



Keep your head up and do what you think is necessary for improvement. Climbing did it for me.

I can say that you have taken the first step by talking about it, keep up the positive thoughts, and never give up.

Mucci
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:30pm PT
There "might" have been a Jesus Christ but there never was a Jesus Christ Almighty.
WBraun

climber
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:35pm PT
I guarantee Jesus Christ exists beyond all forms of mental speculations.

Jesus Christ is Saktavesa, ever liberated, nitya siddha, never falls down to the contamination of the 3 modes of material nature.

Only fools and rascals says he does not exist.

Jesus Christ exists eternally and he is proven so ......

Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
ok,
im happily a fool and a rascal at times.
and other times im miserably a fool and a rascal.

i can roll as such.

how does one convert opinion into fact?
just curious.
sounds like something jesus might do.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:40pm PT
Sleep has been mentioned several times. Melatonin is very inexpensive, same stuff your body makes, and may help you get some sleep. That helped my daughter, too. She wouldn't take any of the other meds. But a little sleep, a pet to take care of, better diet, some simplification of her schedule, a little talk therapy, and she was doing so much better. A year ago, I wondered if she would live to graduate high school. Now we are planning for college this fall.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:46pm PT
There may be some good advice above but I didn't have time to read. Just want to offer you some Love and Support and a couple tidbits.

1. Don't beat yourself up for being depressed. Real depression can be tough to beat so first accepting that it's a part of your life that you can live with if necessary is a huge step. Whenever it improves, that's bonus.

2. See above

3. Honor yourself. have compassion for yourself. Depression can be yourself eating yourself. We're all wacked bro. It's April fools day, the birthday of us all.

4. Pray for others. Try to make somebody else happy in some small way. Give something. It's somehow easier to be blessed by blessing than by seeking for yourself.

We're with you man

Karl
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 05:15pm PT
Juan,

Don't worry about Dr. F's anti-Jesus trolls. Just realize that you have a medical condition no different morally from any other medical condition.

Probably because so many of us feel (in contrast to think) that being helpless comes from our own decisions, we blame ourselves for our condition. That's like blaming yourself for getting, say, Lupus. There is no blame, only help.

Perhaps depression is more insidious because we often feel like there's nothing really wrong with us, and that we'll just return to our normal selves. That usually doesn't happen without a very bumpy ride, if at all.

I have no threory for why so many climbers seem to suffer from depression, but perhaps climbing affects our brain chemistry. I know in my own case, there's speculation that it's genetic; I have two first cousins who suffer from virtually the same symptoms if untreated. One is in Paris, and one in Mexico City; neither climbs. Since I've only lived in California, I doubt that ours has much of an environmental link.

Again, many of us fight the fight, and our stories differ, but I'll bet almost all of us have this in common -- we care about you, and would be delighted to do anything we can to help.

John
Mason

Trad climber
Yay Area
Apr 1, 2010 - 07:21pm PT
What about the Androgel?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2010 - 07:40pm PT
There are millions of people with depression that ONLY drugs can help
------


Not so. In fact I don't know of anyone who will ONLY be helped by drugs, no matter how grave the depression. This is very simplistic thinking about a normally very complex condition involving past, present and future, physical, emotional, mental, social, economical, behavioral, psychological and spiritual factors.

There is every reason to want to stick with a strictly reductionalistic belief that our brain chemestry is the ONLY factor that CAUSES moods. In believeing this, you can also believe that if you only can control the biochemestry, you can likewise control the mood. This is an often disasterous and self-limiting tact that assumes a few rather glaring falacies.

If you believe that only drugs can help, this precludes you from seeking changes in lifstyle, habitual ways of thinking and feeling, ingrained response patterns, old behaviors, and so forth.

Wish I had more time but I can say that while the meds can be a life saver, usually in the short run - and often not, as well - other methods - usually requiring sweeping changes across the board - will almost always prove most effective in the end. It's very American to believe that we can "fix" a problem with a pill, and that any effort beyond that is not only unnecessary, it's catagorically ineffective.

A common situation worth mentioning can be trotted out by anyone who has regularly attened al-anon meetings. Many, many - if not the majority of people - arrive at al-anon in full crisis mode, completely cooked and feeling totally hopeless. Many can't stop crying at all. But if they stick with program and do the work, look at them a year later.

A rule of thumb worth remembering is: You will only start feeling different when you change your behavior. Thinking or analyzing things will have little to no effect on mood whatsoever. Contrary action is key here. And as Coz pointed out, a lot of it has to do with being "bound by self," or being crazy self-absorbed. That cycle also has to be broken by various means, one of which is being of service to others.

But this is VERY heavy lifting for sure.

JL
ME Climb

Social climber
Behind the orange Curtain
Apr 1, 2010 - 09:08pm PT
From my experience Largo is right on about saying meds alone won't do the job. They need therapy and counseling to work. My wife still has her "homework" and is constantly challenged by her therapist to work on issues. She must force herself out of the house when she wants to curl up into a ball. She must go shopping by herself.

What has worked for my wife is the combination of the meds and therapy. Sometimes therapy alone will work, while other times meds and therapy are the answer. Meds alone are not the answer.

The mind is so incredibly complex and we know so little about it.

Depression is such a horrible condition, but help is out there. Ask for the help and it will come.

Juan, I sent you my number call whenever you need.

Eric

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, but have many years experince with depression and know how to find resources.
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Apr 1, 2010 - 09:12pm PT
I came home from school today; a long day with 6th graders, after school faculty meeting, PTO after that.

I arrived at school in the morning in my usual anxiety heavy persona; teeth huring from the gritting. Worrying how I am going to get through the day; how I am going to hold up with my peers and not melt down from the previous day of the same as day as the day before.

I feel that collapse that Lynne eloquently described earlier as I drive home. I think about trying not to go down the chute into the duldrums of my depression.

To dark tonight to get to play outside so I come in to try to escape on the taco. I see a fellow sufferer of the same crippling disease, screaming out over the thread for some reassurance, advice or whatever response he can get to help alleviate the pain.

The people that have posted a response that can identify personally with depression offer some kind words and what helped them. That is compassion and love of your neighbor at it's best.

Clearly there are no two cases of depression that are alike; so there is no magic cure. No one formula that works. I agree with many here, you can't do it alone. I don't know about the talk therapy, I did it for years and it didn't help or maybe I was talking to the wrong people. No meds helped, as I have stated before.

I know I am going to have to start the med search again. I can't do it alone, I can't do it with prayer alone. I can't do it with the taco alone.

Some of the posts are not helping anyone. Dr. F; go find another thread. You are dangerous and twisted. Besides that you haven't a clue. I don't know what life experiences you have but whatever they are they haven't given you one iota of insight into this problem or people's faith, or the almighty.
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