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Thread: Depressives

  1. #21
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hmm View Post
    I think it should be stated that I don't think there are any depressives who are happy to be depressed.

    However, there is one type that is depressed because it feels comfortable to them. Comfortable in the sense that depression is familiar to them. And they may fear living in a different way. A more happy way. A way that they may have never experienced before in their life and thus it is unknown to them. Fear of the unknown can be a very powerful force for many people.

    I also don't think they seek to draw others into depression with them either, but rather, to protect and/or defend their own depressed (=comfortable) state. And they do this because depression is viewed by society as an uncool way to be and society says that those who are depressed are to be relieved of their depression right away.

    That said, I don't think anyone is immune to having moments of sadness or depression. Life is full of ups and downs. And we all need someone to connect with in these moments, maybe to help. Sadness simply an emotion. So people who are depressed deserve compassion. But of course, only to the point where giving compassion begins to depress you, the giver, particularly if you are sensitive to that.

    I am uncomfortable when I feel sad/depressed and desperately try to get out of that state, usually with success (knock on wood), but this is a testament to how important a persons comfort zone is to them. So I understand the type of depressed who like to stay there.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I'm chuckling and some alarmed as well.

    The view of depressives plotting to drag people with them smacks of paranoia. Makes them sound like evil folks, indeed. Imagine! Making one's self so diabolically unhappy just to "get" others! That is truly evil.

    But there are some good points made regarding the effect that clinical depression has on others. I had a friend in the psych biz who once said to me, "When I'm treating a person with depression I always ask them who else in the house is depressed." I suppose in that sense, depression could be viewed as "catchy."

    People with depression need to get out of themselves and reconnect with the human race to heal and their unpleasant aspect works against them. They can be very difficult people to spend time with.

    I do see a tendency to negativity in the States. Whining has become a national hobby. Our alternative hobby? Finding someone to blame for our unhappiness.

    It becomes difficult to stay on top of the positivity wave with so much pain, personal irresponsibilty and grumbling afoot.



    So I just thought to remind readers that clinical depression is a result of a change in brain chemistry which the sufferer has no conscious control over. It's a thought disorder which means the person's motives and ideas will become unhealthy and twisted. But the person's spirit? Damaged, but certainly not evil. . .
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  3. #23
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Sure, and I am sure you are right - there are no depressives who are happy.

    And you are right that sadness is an emotion that passes like any other emotion.

    And you are right - we all like someone to connect with - to share our happiness and joy as well as our inevitable sadnesses.

    In fact you wrote to me the other day asking me to be your friend. I replied but you made it clear you wanted to be a MySpace friend - the kind of friend you have when you are not having a friend.

    I felt sad at this but the feeling is slowly passing - and I think it the talking about it that helps me to watch it pass.

    But what a shame, what a shame that the Noosphere has made talking to one another so easy but has debased friendship.
    I'm sorry you were saddened by my friendship invite. I didn't intend to cause sadness. I have never had MySpace or FaceBook.


    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    [Depression] is a thought disorder which means the person's motives and ideas will become unhealthy and twisted. But the person's spirit? Damaged, but certainly not evil. . .
    I agree.

  4. #24
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Just to login in on the empathy and sympathy thing, my working definitions are:

    empathy = being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and see the situation the way they do (i.e., your "perspectives" have come into alignment with each other)

    sympathy = feeling bad for someone who is feeling bad (i.e., your "emotions" have come into alignment)

    Sometimes these overlap.

    Overall:
    If you want just affirmation, then sympathy is not a bad thing.
    If you want actual advice/perspective, well, I think that empathy is far more useful.

    - - - -

    I have had deep depression for much of my life, starting at least by my teen years but possible before. Usually there were just waves of it, so I'd either be "neutral" and coping, or I'd be horribly depressed and swallowed by it.

    The official diagnosis in my early 30's was "major depression w/o psychosis." Perhaps it would have been nice to be psychotic too, since then maybe I wouldn't realize how depressed I was; but then I would not have been able to get better easily or hold my life together. For a number of years I was on Wellbutrin, which stabilized me and got rid of the suicidal feelings for awhile; but it wasn't until I made big changes in my life that I was able to stop taking anti-depressants.

    I also admit to being a severely passive person by nature in the sense of taking my sense of identity and motivation from the world around me. So when I get no cues, or I get negative cues, I am extremely vulnerable to them. It is a hard hole to climb out of. It demands your ENTIRE life perspective be rewritten. I can't say that I think most of my perspective as a depressed person was WRONG... the problem rather is that it was limited to only part of the picture. I had to realize other truths to add to my perspective in order to be able to move forward.

    So I'll say that, yes, depressed people sometimes need medication to take the edge off their pain and give some energy to cope.

    And I will say that depressed people in general need to change their life perspective.

    And I will also say that I've met a few depressed people who piss me off to no end (I can think of 3-4 of them, only to THAT degree), who seem set on complaining about their lives and then attacking those who try to support and comfort them and nudge them from the social exile that is at least partly self-imposed. I hate to say that, but I've seen it: Maybe it's a desire to express anger and just to feel powerful, but they complain constantly about their lives, then lash out at anyone who has been suckered enough to move towards them out of sympathy or empathy. That is frustrating to no end to deal with: Partly because it hurts the helpers, and it also means you basically have to watch a person ruin their life because of their own choice and you can't do anything to help.

    But it will still take even a willing and good-hearted depressed person a long time to get out of their old way of thinking, if they even can, and get to a point where the depression and anxiety ebbs consistently and they can be much more productive in life. It's like being air-lifted and dropped into a foreign world where nothing makes any sense, and yet you feel like to let go of your old ways of looking at things will get you killed quickly because you were depending on it for your survival before.

    Everything is new, everything is scary, and it's like being at the top of a rollercoaster and being able to do nothing but shut your eyes, hang on, and have faith that the tracks don't end in midair even if it feels that way.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #25
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I like that idea of putting one's life into a new context, Jennifer.

    And I think those who walk that dark path truly have much to gain if they can travel it without self-destructing. The average unaffected citizen has no concept of the amount of courage those among us who deal with major depression need to muster every day to simply step out their door.

    And that idea of trying medication for a short period of time to give a person some sense of balance so they can learn some different living skills is valuable.

    I think at a certain point in everyone's life it's a good thing to re-evaluate and put one's life into a context one can live well with. Many of the formulas for assisting people with mental illness are super-useful for the mentally "healthy" as well.

    It is my experience with friends who have dealt with mental illness and found their balance is that they become very self-aware and accepting of their abilities and their limitations. They have a genuine humilty which is very attractive and a good tool for living well.

    For part of my career life I worked in a mental health facility and when people asked me how I liked working with crazy people I used to say, "Well it's really hard to work with crazy people, but I like the patients quite a bit."

    Some of those people who were forced by sheer need to survive had adopted mental health practices which put a few staff members to shame!
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  6. #26
    Senior Member norepinephrine's Avatar
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    To start from scratch here - I have (quite fortunately) lived most of my life without depression. Some forty-odd years. So I have a pretty good understanding regarding the difference between depression and just being an irritable INTP. As a matter of fact, prior to the last few months I would not have considered this depression, although for the last several years, certain people I have known or worked with have advised intervention, suggesting I may, in fact, have been a pain to be around.

    But that certainly is not my intention. I would not drag anyone here. What the hell good would that do? I hide when I can, compose my persona when I can't, and adjust my expectations. So I don't clean, don't cook (or cook meals I end up scraping into the trash), but I do not leave the house without makeup, clothing and pasted-on smile in place. Fake it 'til you make it. I think that does help.

    What also helps, a lot, is that I've been dealing with intermittent "chronic" pain for the last six or seven years. Is that a earlier manifestation of the depression? I don't know. Can't walk today without without limping? Eh, maybe tomorrow - next month at the latest - just keep walking. I know it will pass.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Hello, norepinephrine.

    I sometimes think about the torture people had to go through living/dying with depression. Some of the "cures" were torturous.

    Tie you in a bath in ice cold water, strap you to a board until you "calmed down."

    I'd be whispering, "I'm calm. I'm calm already. Yeah, I really am. I'm calm now."

    Fortunately there are many good methods which work these days.

    You know life stages can really complicate diagnoses too. I think of teens and all the hormonal stuff they have to deal with.

    Then when we get on a roll - Surprise! - Mother Nature comes to visit again. Changes. . .
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I have had deep depression for much of my life, starting at least by my teen years but possible before. Usually there were just waves of it, so I'd either be "neutral" and coping, or I'd be horribly depressed and swallowed by it.
    I don't know whether to be angry at you or apologise to you.

    But both impulses come entirely from myself because I have a bubbling spring inside me, that just keeps on bubbling. Sometimes it shoots up into the air in droplets that sparkle in the sun.

    And quite naturally I want to share my excitement and delight - so I told you a little story about the panther - but you were unable to respond. I immediately felt disappointed then angry. Then I started to wonder why you didn't respond. And I guessed you were suffering from a hidden depression.

    But I was wrong and you are suffering from an open depression.

    So in future I will not make the mistake of trying to stir you to delight. And I will also not make the mistake of interpreting your flatness as a rejection of myself.

    I think my response of anger was a good response, as anger is a way of reaching out. Unfortunately when I reached you, I found you were flat.

    I do think, though, it is good of you to be open about your depression - it avoids misunderstandings and false starts.

    You and I are emotionally very different - sympathy between us is probably not desirable and empathy may be difficult to achieve.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    It's [Clinical Depression] a thought disorder which means the person's motives and ideas will become unhealthy and twisted. But the person's spirit? Damaged, but certainly not evil. . .
    As I understand it, the psychotic is out of touch with reality.

    The schizophrenics thoughts are out of touch with reality, while the emotions of the Clinically Depressed are out of touch with reality.

    And it is fairly easy to understand what it means to have your thoughts out of touch with reality. But it is much harder to understand what it means to have your emotions out of touch with reality.

    And this difficulty is compounded by the fact that often the emotions of the schizophrenic are in touch with reality, even though their thoughts are out of touch with reality.

    And that often the thoughts or the Clinically Depressed are in touch with reality, even thought their emotions are out of touch with reality.

    And we are further confused when depression is used to describe mere sadness.

    When the mentally ill were disinstitutionalised from the mental asylums, they were supposed to be cared for in the community. But funds were never made available for this to happen.

    So the mentally ill are amongst us and we have no idea how to care for them. And they can't care for themselves.

  10. #30
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    Well said.

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