Depresion - Not Something one can beat with will power alone

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WBraun

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:19am PT
oH ..

This thread is making me depressed. Juan will send me sample of the nice new drug from psychiatrist.

I will be happy then. I will be able to free solo the Nose in a day after taking the nice new miracle drug.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:09am PT
There is a pill that can make me a climbing god??? Woot for pills.


Juan,

I'm going to give you the shortest version that I can of what I believe can help you. Though looking down at it, I see that it is pretty long, but I am putting a whole lot of info that fits in numbers of books, so it really is the short version. haha..

First. Everything is about Truth. Lack of Truth leads to suffering. Unwillingness to follow Truth leads to suffering.

This is what I believe the Truth is.

We are spiritual beings made by and out of God's energy. ( It is more complicated then this, but I am giving you the short version )

There is a spiritual world made up of very high energy, and there are progressively lower worlds made up of progressively denser energies. We are in the material world which is currently the lowest form of energy.

All energy flows from the spiritual world to create the material world. It is stepped down gradually and there are processes that do that.

As beings made of energy, we have four bodies. The body closest to the spiritual world is our belief body, below that is our mental body. Below that is our emotional body, and below that is the densest body, the material body. Surrounding that is our Auric field, which is an energy field meant to protect us on our journeys.

So our beliefs create our thoughts. Our thoughts create our emotions, our emotions create our experience of life.

Depression is manifest from a series of untruths lodged in our belief bodies. So the only way to completely cure it is to look for all untruths. This is a process and will not occur overnight.

In the meantime you have brought depression all the way down into your material body, so you also have to deal with it on the material level. That includes seeing if meds will help, looking at your diet, looking at your lifestyle, seeing if you get adequate exercise and rest. Looking at how you respond to stress and what are the things you could do to relieve stress. And actually many more things that can help you such as ECT and light therapy in the form of sseasonal affective disorder lights which many people find helps them through the winter. These are just some of the basics.

Currently you are on meds. That is a decent place to start, but I hope that you don't stop there as sometimes meds don't work well, plus they can be hard on the body and so it behooves you to do everything you can to strengthen your general health and thus perhaps allow you to take lower doses of meds, or even get off them.

I am completely off meds. It required a lot of work and I haven't achieved a full recovery from depression, but have made a lot of progress.

So that generally covers the material world.

You also need to do something for your other bodies. You need to seek truth. Which you are doing in part here. And you need to become aware that your auric field is an energy field that can be broken down by the daily stresses of life, by malicious forces, and by our own bad habits. So you need to start working on building your energy field. One thing you can do is pray and seek help from the spirits to guide you to truth and to protect you from malicious forces.

Part of learning the truth is to learn about the negative habits you have that leave you open to malicious forces.

Then there is prayer and meditation that can help us clean up our emotion body, our mental body, and our belief body. The thing that I find works best is to concentrate on the Truth and do a mediation on it. It is amazing how messed up we can get when we concentrate on negative things. The more we think about bad things, the more stress we create, and thus the more stressed out we get. So taking a break from your daily stress is a really good thing for your well being. You might have heard of the power of positive thinking. Well there is a step beyond that and it is prayer and meditation that connects you to the spirit world and hopefully, eventually, the truth.

A workbook that I highly recommend to get you started on this process is "the course in Miracles" workbook. There is a manuscript and work book and they are two different things. The manuscript is full of teachings and personally I don't think that they are of the highest sort as the writer allowed her own lower consciousness to get in the way, and thus they are tainted by it. But the workbook is magical. It is easy to do and at the start involves about 15 minutes a day of prayer and meditation involving mantras. It helped me a lot.

You have stress in your life. It is exacerbated by focusing on it. So take a daily vacation from it. It is wonderful to take that vacation nightly just before bedtime. It will help you sleep.

If you really think it helps you to keep thinking about your problems, then realize that you need rest and you do this best when you put down your problems. So if you find it really difficult to put down your problems, then try promising yourself that you will pick up those problems the next morning, once you are rested. This is one way I have found to help me sleep and find rest. I don't always get to sleep, but I learned from experience that you can still feel rested if you don't spend the night ruminating on your problems. Surrender them nightly to God, and then relax.

I'm certain that Dr F will tell you that there is no god, so my theories are whack, but it is up to you to decide.

One last thing. I have shown you how to work on the physical and the spiritual and in part on the mental and emotional, but it can also be helpful to get counseling to help you learn how you mentally exacerbate your stress through poor thinking habits. So I also suggest finding a counselor.

I hope this helps you find your way. Depression is a hard row to hoe but there is a way out of it. I hope that you keep looking.

John
AllezAllez510

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:19am PT
"True happiness is the expectation of being being happy."

-Virginia Woolf

Pretty sure I screwed that one up, but whatever...

As someone who has been battling depression more or less since jr. high, I can say that some days are worse than others but what has helped me A LOT recently has been meditation. I was very recently turned on to Vipassana meditation and I feel SO much better and happier now. If I had told myself five years ago that I would find some spirituality I would have slapped myself...

What the above helps me with is living in the present moment. I used to fear the future and long for the past, but those feelings are slowly, and I mean slowly fading away....It is a long and DIFFICULT journey and I'm not there yet.

Not saying becoming "spiritual" (I really hate that word...) will help you, but it helped me...

Buena suerte...
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:29am PT
I wouldn’t say that I “know everything” about depression. Not remotely. But I have been exposed to the standard medical model my whole life, seeming that half my family are MDs, including my father and now my daughter. Plus my sister is a psychologist who deals with psychiatric and psychological challenges daily, adn I frequently talk to her about this. What’s more, a decade ago I went back to grad school (nights and weekends), strictly for my own interest, and did the whole clinical psych thing. Lastly, I’ve been involved in various incarnation of Al-Anon and “recovery” work for years, and in those groups there’s a large population who have suffered incest, physical abuse, wildly dysfunctional relationships and home environments, deadly addictions, and so forth, these being some of the common, contributing factors to depression.

That much said, I don’t look at Dr. F’s statements as anything but examples of how he processes information, as well as a cognitive style that forces him into all-or-nothing conclusions.

For example, when Dr. F. approaches matters of religion, spirituality, “God,” and so forth, the all or nothing thinking is most obvious. Since there is no God (“nothing”), according to the doctor, EVERYONE, from the beginning of time, from sage to seer to Indian chief, and ALL proponents of a power higher greater than our own brain, have been deluded and wholly mistaken. They are “all” wrong and the doctor is “all” or and entirely right in this regard. Case closed because he said so.

Now we come to the business of depression, bio-chemestry and meds, where once more, Dr. F declares that ONLY brain chemistry is a factor, and that “ALL” other modalities are “ALL” wrong and totally useless and misguided. That means that ALL psychologists, social and body workers, therapists, 12 Step programs, recovery houses, rehab centers, personal coachs, and so forth – NONE of their efforts work, or have ever worked, or ever will work, AT ALL. They too are entirely full of sh#t – ALL of them.

The main problem with an all or nothing cognitive style is that it is so transparently distorted that the vast overstatements and oversimplifications undermine the necessity of taking brain chemistry seriously. What’s more, insisting that said chemistry “produces” our experience, like a stamp produces a coin, is to fundamentally misunderstand causality as it occurs in human life. But that’s another discussion.

Trying to lick depression with chemistry alone is like trying to beat alcoholism through will power. You chances are less than average.

JL
WBraun

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:38am PT
WOW !!!

What a comeback.

One of the best I've seen in a while.
locker

Social climber
Desert
Apr 2, 2010 - 01:58am PT

IS the BEST I've seen in a while...

Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:05am PT
Tobia, you have been such a help to me on the "music" thread, truly awesome really ! So tho it's late and I need to get up at 4:00 am I want to run this by you.

I have this crazy theory that many suffer from angst and related problems simply because we are not doing what we were created for. Each of us have special gifts, skills and personalities that are meant for us to live our lives, making a living and being happy.

Of course life throws us problems both huge and small, but I am talking generally here. What I have observed with others and lived for many years myself is that a human gets pushed, prodded or thrown into doing something totally unsuited for them. They may even make a bad decision to pursue a life goal that is not right for them. The bad thing is they may do well at it, but it robs them of really living the life they were created for.

Then angst sets in. Some can tolerate this "wrong life infliction" for a long period and some absolutely cannot. In either case their lives and the lives of those around them suffer the effects.

I worked at a job for 20 years that I Really did not like. I did it to make someones life dreams and goals come true. Now that I have a "new" life and I am making my own choices I have never been so at peace and have real honest to goodness joy in my life. Hey, I may have to live under a bridge if I can't find a job I love......and I am trying hard....but you know what, no one is ever going to own my soul again.

My motto given to me by a climber friend that has helped me immensely...."Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." Thoreau

You know, Tobia, jesus is my best friend and he is always with me, but we need to learn and grow and listen and make the tough decisions to be the person ..... really be and live the person....he created us to be.

Thanks for the songs Dude that helped me process the toughest part of my life. Peace, lynnie
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:24am PT
I have a number of friends who have been on and off several of the drugs, several times.

I've seen those meds help pull them out of the dark hole but once the darkest clouds have passed, It becomes a crap shoot whether the side effects of the drugs (and cost) are worth the questionable benefit (which seems mostly to keep you from getting deep in the hole at the expense of your clarity) Going off or on any med is tricky, risky, and rough, and no drug is without side effects, significant ones.

A common twist of the psyche that we should see within ourselves is this: When we are kids, our parents are Gods and it seems they are giving us exclusive Love. At some point, we disappoint them, or another sibling starts getting some of the love that was all ours, or our parents shatter our illusions in some way. They teach us what we need to be to earn their Love and we envision an idealized self that will earn this Love we need. We project this ideal self to the world to gain this love.

Deep down, nobody can forever live up to the lofty images we project for ourselves. We feel the fraud between who we are and the image we project and thus judge ourselves inadequate. We punish ourselves for not living up to our impossible ideals.

Give yourself and everybody else a break and know that the only normal people are the ones you don't know very well

This is just one consideration. We are spiritual, we are chemical, we are psychological. We live in a house of mirrors and Karma is a bitch.

Like climbing, Life is epic and the game is spiced by the potential for pain. The upside is evolution.

Much Love

Karl
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:25am PT
I won't comment on that comeback only because I think depression is too dangerous an issue to risk getting sidetracked.

So many of us urge you to seek professional help because a single all-purpose solution eluded our experience and knowledge. You may be someone like me, for whom medication is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for recovery. Similarly, again for me, therapy was also a necessary but not sufficient condition for recovery. They tackle different things. The medication deals directly with my brain chemistry. The therapy gave me a "tool kit" to deal with the practical problems my years of improper brain chemistry caused (those on the Left might think I'm using the wrong tense!). And I, like Lynne, experienced the love of Christ in an amazing way. All of this, though, was just my experience.

An author of other, excellent, posts on this thread used the same medication I use (and probably will need the rest of my life) with completely unsatisfactory results. We share a passion for climbing and even, I believe, the same faith, but what worked for me was harmful to him. Most of us are experts on our own experiences. The professionals have the benefit of experience of many different people.

Again, though, the big thing to remember is that there are a great many of us who care about you (and at least in my case, about any climber dealing with depression). Before I was diagnosed and began treatment, I saw no way out, and was actually planning a convenient soloing "accident" so that my family would have the (then fairly substantial) life insurance proceeds and not really know I'd offed myself. Fortunately, I was too depressed to act on those plans. With treatment I've survived all the consequences of my depressed behavior, and come out better than before. I'm confident that you can, too.

John
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:50am PT
For me , overcoming depression was a matter of patience, connection and light.(in that order) I won't say I'm cured, as life can cut like a knife and I'm not done with life yet...
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:56am PT
I'm frequently depressed, and I notice that simple things like just getting out of bed can make an instantaneous difference. Literally - I'll feel really miserable lying there - sad, hopeless, whatever - and when I stand up out of bed it's like a switch was flipped. Point being - when you're feeling like that, try just pushing yourself to make some change even if you really don't feel like it.

So does turning on some music that I really dig, getting out into some semblance of nature (doesn't need to be wilderness, just being around a bunch of "natural" things).

As others have mentioned, sleep makes a big difference for me. If I'm fatigued and feel down, taking a nap often makes me feel *much* happier.

And frequent cardio exercise makes a big difference, too.

Consider cognitive behavioral therapy.

In case your doctor didn't tell you: people often experience worse depression right after they start taking meds. Supposedly it's b/c your brain chemistry has to re-equalize.
locker

Social climber
Desert
Apr 2, 2010 - 03:18am PT

what must it be like to be born and raised in a third world country...




slevin

Trad climber
New York, NY
Apr 2, 2010 - 06:45am PT
There is a pill that can make me a climbing god???
Almost. It's called Anavar - little secret of pro gymnasts and figure skaters. Works for climbers too.

siberian sleeping potion
--How do Russians eat cereal in the morning?
--With vodka
--Really?!
--Yes! And without cereal!
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Apr 2, 2010 - 07:02am PT
I woke up this morning at my alloted hour only to do the "roll over" and go back to sleep.

I still have to drink my coffee and look at the taco before getting on with the day.

Wow, too much posted on this thread to process without the proper dosage of coffee and time.

Juan, I am glad you are trying another med; hope it helps!
Lynne, thanks for your words and I will get back later.

To all others. This is an interesting discussion of a problem that has plagued me since birth. Positively I have to take responsibility for not helping myself as much as I could. The concepts, other than meds and exercise written about here need to be explored.

I am interested in the workbook and the meditation.

I hope this thread continues in the direction it is going. It could lead to some help for all that suffer from this problem; not only that I am starting to believe that the time I have spent on the taco, when I should have been doing other things is looking like time well spent... )and I haven't gotten to the music thread yet to see what new music I might find).

Dr. F I wish I had of expressed my disagreement with your opinion with some other words.
hunter

Trad climber
NYC
Apr 2, 2010 - 11:14am PT
Lots of wisdom here, particularly from Largo.

I'd like to point out to Dr. F and other chemical fundamentalists that few if any neuropharmacologists (and yes, I am one) believe the strict chemical imbalance hypothesis of depression any more. In fact there is a substantial amount of data to suggest that most of the SSRI's are merely active placebos (that is they do something because they feel like they are doing something). Of course even that effect is useful, but to imagine that serotonin re-uptake is the reason for some or all depressions is almost as unscientific as the belief in jesus you deride. Depression is profoundly complicated and we scientists do not understand it very well at all. What is evident is that talk therapy is as effective as drugs in the short run (less than a year) and that the combination of drugs and therapy is better than either alone. Longer term it is not clear if drugs are useful at all: the few studies that have been done on longer term anti-depressant treatment have shown that patients are more likely to be depressed if they are on the drugs for more than a year. It is also clear that exercise and social support are equally important in predicting the outcome of a depression. That is the science, the rest isn't subject to our scrutiny as yet and much of it may never be, as our present scientific model isn't well adapted to the study of our inner lives.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Apr 2, 2010 - 11:44am PT
JL - your last post was really (from my perspective) excellent. You took a series of totalistic diatribes (from Dr. F), and brought reason and reflection back into the mix. I've really come to respect (for lack of a better term) your "appreciative agnosticism" on matters of spirituality and psychology.

And Juan, hang in there, man. You've got some great support from some pretty thoughtful and caring folks here. There are clearly quite a few who can look back at moments that seemed pretty bleak, and recognize how they got through--and are getting through. I hope their stories encourage you.

Tom Patterson
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Apr 2, 2010 - 11:45am PT
Thanks for all the feed back, it was lovely

and of course I have something to say

Of course I don't see things as right or wrong, black or white, good-bad

That is ridiculous evaluation of me, or my comments
We will leave my concept of god to another day.


My disagreement has been all around one single point, which Largo, and the rest of you miss.

Why the depression.

There is no other reason for me, and most others to be depressed.

But we are depressed, Why???

ITS NOT about thinking depressing thoughts, its not being in a depressing situation, not climbing enough

Our life can be unbelievably great, everything is perfect, spiritually in tune with God and your self, but we are still depressed

The why for me is brain chemistry, and most others, they bring you out of it, to an extent, and you can live a normal life again

So Largo's advice to change things, get out of your self, see a therapist, blah, blah
does not help, all those things were done, 1000x times

So when you get to the point of Juan, after he has realized that his will power, pulling himself up by his bootstraps, or anything else has not helped, that he should try drugs

since its his brain chemistry, that has made him depressed

But I also suggest you should also go without the drugs, to mix things up, if you feel inclined

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:34pm PT
Dr. Hunter wrote: "Depression is profoundly complicated and we scientists do not understand it very well at all."

Another factor with depression and other challenges that have a strong physical aspect, is that the symptomology changes a lot, meaning you're often looking at a moving target. One day it can be a sleep disorder, another day, anxiety, yet another, the blues, and so forth and so on. The reason why the strict medical model isn't especially useful for this is beause actual diseases don't present like this. For example, diabetes doesn't look like gout one day and influenza the next. So in this regards, listed to the scientist: "Pofoundly complicated."

It's my impression that understanding how causality works in human life is totally key in treating depression and other disorders like this. What's more, changing how we feel is the consequence of doing things diffrently - a little understood dynamic, and one of the reasons that talk therapy is often of little use in this. Also, the idea opf working a "program" is very useful in this regards.

JL
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:44pm PT
Dr Hunter,
Thanks for an excellent and succinct post! :-)
Thanks to Moosie, Allez, Largo, and others.

This can't be good:
"FAA: Pilots allowed to take antidepressants on job"
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100402/ap_on_bi_ge/us_pilots_antidepressants
pa

climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:49pm PT
What is Chemistry, then?

The term comes originally from Arabic, then was latinized to
"keme" = "value". It is the science of matter. (Wikipedia)

Odd how the science of matter is named in terms of value.
A very insubstantial term to describe our most staunch idea of density.


One asks, Why the depression?
Perhaps, it is not a "matter" of Why, but of Who...
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