Depresion - Not Something one can beat with will power alone


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Apr 1, 2010 - 01:17pm PT
I've been there myself, and man, it sucks! I really feel for you.

The worst for me was the "snap out of it" crowd, I hated them and they made me feel like sh!t. Worst thing is, before my own depression, I used to be one of them myself...

For me, (a little) medication combined with counseling worked. I also started doing things I like doing more, climbing, hiking, walking in the woods. I got up from that couch, even though it was hard. I got pills that helped me fall asleep, and that was golden. Sleep, for me, was key. I still get bad days, but not like before. The most important aspect I found, regarding counseling, was that the counselor was an outsider, someone I didn't know, who didn't know me, and in a sense didn't give a sh#t about me, but took me seriously.

Take care, and remember: There is light on the other side of depression and it's not that far away

Trad climber
Portland, OR
Apr 1, 2010 - 01:22pm PT
I have had depression for a long time (decades?) but didn't get treatment until 3 years ago. After that I had the energy and desire to change my life and do thing I wanted. I started climbing (yay), moved to a new location, and now I am going back to school. It took me a long time to go to the doctor and say that I have depression and that I wanted help, partly because of the social stigma with depression. Stigma like a person is weak if he cannot fix this on his own, and all the people who just don't understand what it means for unhappiness to be the norm.

The good news is you can get drugs prescribed directly by your primary doctor - no referral is needed in most cases. Depression is common enough that they will give you drugs to keep you from going over the edge while you also get counseling. I never liked counseling because I couldn't seem to cry to a total stranger, and that there wasn't a single thing or bunch of things that bothered me - I was just unhappy - but after a few tweaks in drugs and dosage, I can say I am much happier and feel like I can go and do things. It does take about 2 weeks for the drug to start working and if it doesn't you will usually talk to your doctor again and try another one or another dosage.

Get help. It's the only way.


Apr 1, 2010 - 01:23pm PT
Dr. F, I think it would be best if you just stopped posting in this thread since your really not helping. In fact the pretentious nature of your post is frustration and I hope that you don't actually try to help people in this manner outside of the internet.

I felt dead, didn't really care what happened. I wanted to ask my friends for help but could only do so, we are seen as weak with such a situation. I didn't really hate anything but myself, but I didn't really care either. It was a null feeling and it felt the most dangerous to my mind since I couldn't figure out what we worth hanging around for when I no longer had anything to feel? This went on for years, personally I couldn't give a crap if you labeled me or Juan as depressed. What do you know? Juan's trying to make it in life on his own will telling his brain to make what it needs to keep going and it had damn well better make it good! I think its a great idea but I think if your feeling depressed then something is missing, look real hard Juan and try to find what that is!


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.


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.

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 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.

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
Dr. F.

So Cal
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:16pm PT
I wouldn't recommend talking to a supposed "Jesus" in your head

Since it might not be Jesus, he just says he is Jesus, it could be anyone, Or it could be your own inner voice, as any Psychologist would tell you

the guilt of finding out you weren't talking to Jesus all that time, may make you more depressed

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.
Dr. F.

So Cal
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:19pm PT
I think years of climbing is some how involved in chemically caused depression

Was there any reason to be depressed, No

Am I right?

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!


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 ......

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

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.


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.

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 ......


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
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.
Dr. F.

So Cal
Apr 1, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
Even if there was a Jesus Christ, no one talks to him

He died, and is dead, and dead people do not talk to other humans in their heads

When you hear someone talking inside your head, it is your own inner voice

Try an experiment

ask your voice something you don't know, and it won't know either

Like everybody did for 60,000 years, is the earth round? No,
do bad spirits cause disease? Yes
Does God answer prayers? yes, the bible says so

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.
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