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  1. #51
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    I think the evolutionary psychologists make a good point that deserves to be listened to regarding depression, if you consider the kind of blues or depression that strikes the majority of people from time to time in their life span. In my limited perusal over the years regarding depression, I'm not sure how well scientists have been able to tease out the different kinds of depression, but I'd bet that it wouldn't be unlikely for the types of depression to have different etiologies. Currently a major depressive episode can be diagnosed as 1)melancholic, 2)atypical, 3)catatonic, 4)postpartum, 5)SAD. Furthermore, the following can also be in existence:

    dysthymia, adjustment disorder with depressed mood or bipolar disorder. Dysthymia is a chronic, milder mood disturbance in which a person reports a low mood almost daily over a span of at least two years. The symptoms are not as severe as those for major depression, although people with dysthymia are vulnerable to secondary episodes of major depression (sometimes referred to as double depression).[112] Adjustment disorder with depressed mood is a mood disturbance appearing as a psychological response to an identifiable event or stressor, in which the resulting emotional or behavioral symptoms are significant but do not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode.[116] Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, is a condition in which depressive phases alternate with periods of mania or hypomania.
    Personally, I think 1,2,4,5 of the previous MDD could be explained by adaptive processes, but that catatonic depression has entered into the biological realm. I think unstopped or uncured depression that goes on for months>years also probably causes some sort of brain lesions, since it appears that the cycle of depression can worsen (and as morgan pointed out). I see no reason why the beginning stages of depression cannot be beneficial in an evolutionary sense, and I've seen examples of these types of depression over the years in people I know, and where a soul searching change could be a lot more effective than taking the easy way out with a pill.

    The ones who cannot spontaneously ruminate and 'get over' their depression in a reasonable amount of time must also have some sort of brain morphology that is not very conducive to mental well-being, that most of us possess; a deficit of some sort in protecting against normal psychological trauma or negative experiences. In which case, they might only be helped by medications. Just as some people with immuno compromised immune systems need help with medications from time to time.
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  2. #52
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphrodite-gone-awry View Post
    Personally, I think 1,2,4,5 of the previous MDD could be explained by adaptive processes, but that catatonic depression has entered into the biological realm. I think unstopped or uncured depression that goes on for months>years also probably causes some sort of brain lesions, since it appears that the cycle of depression can worsen (and as morgan pointed out). I see no reason why the beginning stages of depression cannot be beneficial in an evolutionary sense, and I've seen examples of these types of depression over the years in people I know, and where a soul searching change could be a lot more effective than taking the easy way out with a pill.

    The ones who cannot spontaneously ruminate and 'get over' their depression in a reasonable amount of time must also have some sort of brain morphology that is not very conducive to mental well-being, that most of us possess; a deficit of some sort in protecting against normal psychological trauma or negative experiences. In which case, they might only be helped by medications. Just as some people with immuno compromised immune systems need help with medications from time to time.
    And I think you're making some pretty bold and ungrounded, even dangerous assumptions there that not even your evolutionary psychologists would make.

    Why is it that people with no appropriate psychiatric training and no personal experience think that they are qualified to guess about how best to treat mental illness? Do members of the public come up to you whilst you are delivering a baby (or whatever you do) and shout "UR DOING IT WRONG"? Or "Why don't you just let nature take its course?"

    Their evolutionary perspective, however — they see the mind as a fine-tuned machine that is not prone to pointless programming bugs — led them to wonder if rumination had a purpose.
    So they manufacture an untestable hypothesis to support a personal bias? That's really scientific. We know that human genome is riddled with "pointless programming bugs". The fact that something persists does not mean it's advantageous or adaptive, it just means it isn't disadvantageous enough to kill you before you reproduce. And in a sense, they defeat their own argument: if the mind is a fine-tuned machine, then it is fine-tuned for the life of a savannah ape, not a city-dwelling office worker. Why would they not expect it to malfunction on a regular basis, subjected to stresses and strains for which it was never designed?

    The argument they advocate is essentially that depression causes rumination and rumination solves problems, therefore, depression solves problems which makes it adaptive.

    But most clinical psychologists would turn that argument on its head: Depression doesn't cause rumination, rumination causes depression.
    Or more specifically: If certain patterns of ruminative thinking lead to depression (and they do), then those patterns are unproductive and maladaptive.
    If certain patterns of ruminative thinking lead to problem-solving (and they do) then those patterns are productive and adaptive (and unlikely to lead to depressive symptoms).
    I.e. by the time one is depressed, one has already failed to solve the problem. Something has gone wrong with the problem-solving algorithm. (Btw, that doesn't mean the computer is broken! Brain morphology? Srsly?) Running the algorithm over and over again but expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Actually, this is what most people do when they don't seek help for depression but try to solve the problem entirely on their own. Many get worse, some commit suicide.

    That's why I think articles like the ones published here, which encourage people to consider depression as healthy and adaptive and something they should just get on with, are not only entirely unscientific and speculative but also deeply irresponsible.
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  3. #53
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    That's why I think articles like the ones published here, which encourage people to consider depression as healthy and adaptive and something they should just get on with, are not only entirely unscientific and speculative but also deeply irresponsible.
    Sure, Clinical Depression is a psychosis and the clinically depressed are psychotic.

    And being psychotic, they are out of touch with reality. But they are out of touch with reality in a distinctive way.

    For instance, the thinking of schizophrenics is out of touch with reality, while the emotions of the clinically depressed are out of touch with reality.

    And while the thinking of schizophrenics is out of touch with reality, more often than not, their emotions are in touch with reality.

    But it is the other way round for the clinically depressed, for although their emotions are out of touch with reality, their thinking is usually in touch with reality.

    So we might say that schizophrenics have delusions of thought, while the clinically depressed have delusions of emotion.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Sure, Clinical Depression is a psychosis and the clinically depressed are psychotic.

    And being psychotic, they are out of touch with reality. But they are out of touch with reality in a distinctive way.

    For instance, the thinking of schizophrenics is out of touch with reality, while the emotions of the clinically depressed are out of touch with reality.

    And while the thinking of schizophrenics is out of touch with reality, more often than not, their emotions are in touch with reality.

    But it is the other way round for the clinically depressed, for although their emotions are out of touch with reality, their thinking is usually in touch with reality.

    So we might say that schizophrenics have delusions of thought, while the clinically depressed have delusions of emotion.
    Victor, Clinical Depression is not a psychosis. Fail.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Victor, Clinical Depression is not a psychosis. Fail.
    It's true that depression, or feeling sad, is not a psychosis. But DSM IV tells me Clinical Depression is a psychosis accompanied by emotional delusions.

    Of course those who suffer from Clinical Depression don't like to be told they are psychotic and will vigorously resist being told that their emotions are delusional.

  6. #56
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    clinical depression would fall under the neurosis category, not psychosis, unless we're talking about psychotic depression, which is a lot more rare and usually has an underlying cause... I'd know, I've experienced psychotic depression and normal bipolar depression... they're VERY different from each other!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  7. #57
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    lucky people who get depressed for a reason that CAN be treated I'm quite jealous

    of course, antidepressants suck... I tried a few a few years ago and all succeeded in preventing me from sleeping, making me nauseus and making me feel the need to eat the brains of others For those they work for and make them functional though, I have no problem if they use them!

    I really can't see an upside in constantly feeling guilty with no reason, feeling absolutley dispaired and wondering how best to die so that your family gets your life insurance money though
    Did you try Zoloft too? Some work differently.. Zoloft, I believe (don't hold me to this), is more suited to bi-polar and regulates energy levels, while meds like Prozac or Wellbutrin are better suited for depressives and have an energy boosting effect.

  8. #58
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    yeah... medicines in general don't effect me in a very good way... I was prescribed zoloft first... I accidentally took a double dose once and was dead to the world

    never place your antidepressants next to your sleeping pills if you have a tendancy not to read the bottle when taking them
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #59
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    i was prescribed Zoloft for awhile too, but i'm not bi-polar.. i don't think it affected me right. i wasn't dead to the world, but my appetite boosted..i gained a lot of weight, and acted like Spock. not really a good combo

  10. #60
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    *pictures a chubby spock*



    yeah, I've tried out a variety of psychiatric medications... ranging from antipsychotics to antidepressants to lithium... all make me feel like my brain has turned to pudding

    Hence the fact that I live a rather straight edge lifestyle now!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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