Depresion - Not Something one can beat with will power alone


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Apr 1, 2010 - 08:56pm PT
Dr. F

You skipped my first step

Step 1: Re-read Largo's post.

Largo wrote

In fact I don't know of anyone who will ONLY be helped by drugs, no matter how grave the depression.


the meds can be a life saver, usually in the short run


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.

I think it's clear--correct me if am I wrong John--that he has said (1) drugs can be helpful, but (2) if you rely only and simply on drugs you are not getting at the whole problem.

Your reductionistc view of human psychology--correct me if I am wrong Dr. F--seems to suggest that the whole problem is chemical, and this is where you are, I believe, dead wrong.


Bend OR
Apr 1, 2010 - 08:57pm PT
siberian sleeping potion

valerian infusion - 2 parts
apple vinegar - 1 part
clear honey - 3 parts
vodka - 2 parts
hot milk - 2 parts

regular dose = one tablespoonfull of valerian infusion, 1/2 tablespoonfull of apple vinegar, 3 tablespoonfull honey, 2 tablespoonfull vodka and 2 tablespoonfull of hot (not boiled) milk, mixed well together and taken 20 minutes before going to bed.

( the valerian infusion: one teaspoonfull of valerian root to one glass of water, infused for one hour then strained. valerian is sold in drugstores [ & perhaps at the food coop, chico] in the form of a tincture - if bought there, use 10 to 20 drops. ) if sleep does not occur in one hour the dose can be repeated.

mustangs after hours / history / equivalencies to a legitimate HS diploma

John Moosie

Beautiful California
Apr 1, 2010 - 09:01pm PT
I have a question for you Dr F.

What if the meds don't work for you? I have dealt with depression my entire life. I lost count of the number of different meds and combinations I have taken over the years. Last I remember it was over 35 different meds. Some work for a very short time. Some work longer. Some don't work at all. Some make me extremely aggressive. Some make me suicidal. Most make me very sick. If there is a side affect, I probably have it.

So what would you do? Since you seem to believe that drugs are the answer.
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 1, 2010 - 09:08pm PT
Thanks for all the wonderful responses. I went to my Psychiatrist and picked up a new antidepresent to try. God I pray this brings me piece and sleep.

I will keep you posted.



Apr 1, 2010 - 09:19pm 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

Beautiful California
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:09pm PT
There is a pill that can make me a climbing god??? Woot for pills.


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.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:19pm 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...

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:29pm 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.


Apr 1, 2010 - 10:38pm PT
WOW !!!

What a comeback.

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

Social climber
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:58pm PT

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

Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:05pm 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 1, 2010 - 11:24pm 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


Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:25pm 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.


Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:50pm 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

Sneaking up behind you
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:56pm 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.

Social climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:18am PT

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


Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Apr 2, 2010 - 03:18am PT
Before the meds were invented, (and after, in blind studies) a single statistic has often been quoted.

Of those given only one of the various "talk" therapies, One third got better, one third got worse, and one third stayed the same.

This ratio was the same among the people who received no talk therapy at all.

This is often used to show that the various talk therapies were of no actual benefit, except as they passed time and generated hope in the patient, while time and the passage of life created the real progress or failure of the illness.

Dr. F's argument is a common on nowadays, that depression, long term clinical depression, is purely a chemical response to seratonin and other levels in the brain. Phycologists are moving from having patients to carrying out research everywhere.

As a counter to this, some are saying that a lot of the modern antidepressants effects are largely psychosomatic and not actual long term effective.

Even Newsweek in their good article on Depression and antidepressants, titled their coverage "Do antidepressants work?", in a issue from a few weeks ago. They concluded that a lot of Docs that prescribe drugs are afraid to really discuss issues, because if a drug is working for certain people because they are expensive and create an expectation of efficacy, it would seem to be cruel to point it out, and destroy the benefits that the placebo effect is actually providing.

My own wife uses a drug for a few months or a couple years, then mores on to the next one, and is constantly on the look out for side effects. The one most ill advised and annoying from my point of view is the ugly weight gain that many experience, including apparently Juan Defuca. Are you gaining a lot if the drug that makes you happy gives you heart disease and all the rest that comes from obesity?

Very little seems certain in depression. Even in modern times, the arguments are quite controversial.

Trad climber
New York, NY
Apr 2, 2010 - 03:45am 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
--Yes! And without cereal!

Social climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 04:02am 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.

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Apr 2, 2010 - 04:26am PT
I wonder what the percentage of the general population that considers themselves to suffer from depression? It seems a pretty high percentage of climbers consider them selves to so suffer. Perhaps this is significant? Could a larger percentage of climbers feel its effects than the general population?

My intuition would have considered a lower percentage of climbers than the general population, before I read this thread.
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