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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Intermittent depression...maybe...

    If you think you've had occasional low-level episodes of depression over the past seven years, interspersed with much happier times and also with non-"depressed" times but times when you've been lower than you probably should be...would you go to the doctor about it now?

    I'm not quite sure what I'd say to the doctor. I had a checkup recently and a bunch of blood tests and basically everything is fine. I constantly have very low energy, though. I'm more prone to negative thinking than I probably should be and at least three times in the past seven years I've been thrown into dark periods which have lasted for months. I think the first one, seven years ago, lasted for well over a year and I should definitely have gone to the doctor over that, but I don't think I realised what I was in the middle of till later.

    At the moment I feel...ok, but not terribly upbeat. I think I've gotten too used to feeling this way over several years. I've blamed it on stress and the cumulative effect of various difficult and unpleasant things happening in my life over many years...some of them 12 years ago or more.

    I do seem to get sick (with colds, flus etc) an awful lot as well and lack motivation for things like my job (which is a pretty good one that generally I should enjoy) and activities with my church (very important to me as a general thing.)

    I just don't feel that bad RIGHT NOW. It would have made more sense for me to go to the doctor to talk about depression in the spring, when I probably did have at least a low-level episode. I'm not that keen to go on meds either. I've had therapy a couple of years ago, but it wasn't for depression, it was for a phobia. I've never talked to a doctor about particularly feeling depressed.

    I sort of feel like I should go to the doctor but it seems a bit weird to go and say "I think I've been depressed a few times in the past seven years, but probably not right now, and I'm a bit scared of the dark winter coming up, and I lack energy."
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  2. #2
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Try to develop an exercise habit that is easy enough that you are likely to keep it up. Jogging, cycling, fast walking are all good.

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    Try to develop an exercise habit that is easy enough that you are likely to keep it up. Jogging, cycling, fast walking are all good.
    I remember you mentioned exercise to me before... I do it intermittently but not nearly enough. I lack the motivation I know that's not a good excuse, but it's true. (I do walk fast a lot when I'm out walking, which is fairly often, but it's probably not regular enough.)

    It's one of the things that sucks about being on my own. I have no one to motivate me. Or to help me motivate me. I notice even when I have a visitor from time to time that I get out of bed more easily in the morning.
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  4. #4
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I remember you mentioned exercise to me before... I do it intermittently but not nearly enough. I lack the motivation I know that's not a good excuse, but it's true. (I do walk fast a lot when I'm out walking, which is fairly often, but it's probably not regular enough.)

    It's one of the things that sucks about being on my own. I have no one to motivate me. Or to help me motivate me. I notice even when I have a visitor from time to time that I get out of bed more easily in the morning.
    I hear you on that. I prefer to drink beer, but it won't make me happy in the long run...I ran and cycled a lot over the summer, and got pretty fit in the process, but I've been on a recidivist slide into beer and pot since then, and my body is showing it, along with the concomitant depressive state that is my particular cross-to-bear.

  5. #5
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    A balanced diet can go a long way. Make sure you're getting adequate exposure to fresh air and sunlight, and make sure to mention any medications, supplements, etc that you take regularly however common and insignificant they may seem, as well as any dosage changes. Also, think about what wa or was not happening in your life during these high or low periods.

  6. #6
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Hmm...pot in particular will not help you with feeling depressed, from what I've heard...

    I'm at least starting to eat better due to having become one of those annoying people who gets an organic fruit and veg box every week. It's a good start for sure, and easier for me to get into the habit than with exercise.

    The doctor did applaud the fact that I was starting to eat better and suggested I get more exercise (also because I have some musculoskeletal pain in my shoulder/chest). I might need to actually sign on for Pilates or something - again, sometimes the only way to get myself to do something is to prepay for it.

    I have definitely had episodes of depression though. The one seven years ago, in retrospect I have no doubt. I was crying all the time and feeling fairly hopeless. And the crying all the time etc lasted for more than a year. It was in the wake of a breakup. I couldn't sustain a positive mood for more than a few days. That was a long time ago and I have never had anything quite so bad, but I have had a couple of similar (though shorter and somewhat less severe) episodes. Including one earlier this year. They tend to be triggered by...disappointment of some sort (usually romantic!). I have tried to work on positive thinking and controlling my thoughts, as they trigger painful feelings and downward spirals, but there are times when it has felt nearly impossible.

    I sort of told myself that if I have another episode even like the not-too-horrible-but-not-good one earlier this year, I should go to the doctor about it. But I'm scared to even contemplate another one of those, as they are so debilitating. And wondering if I should pre-empt it.
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  7. #7
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairdoug View Post
    A balanced diet can go a long way. Make sure you're getting adequate exposure to fresh air and sunlight, and make sure to mention any medications, supplements, etc that you take regularly however common and insignificant they may seem, as well as any dosage changes. Also, think about what wa or was not happening in your life during these high or low periods.
    Thank you. I hope the improved eating habits will help (and having lovely vegetables arrive on your doorstep every week sure motivates you to cook at least decently.) The low periods have always had triggers. But it has seemed as though I have at those times gone very low in comparison to the actual event, which may have been unpleasant and sad, but not horrific.

    Fresh air and sunlight are a challenge too... I live in the UK, where it gets very dark in the winter, and it tends to be grey a lot (I've also lived in the Pacific Northwest and in Ireland, where it's basically the same.) And I live in a big city with a serious lack of fresh air... It also means my stress levels are high.
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  8. #8
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Docs will just put you on meds.

  9. #9
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    Docs will just put you on meds.
    Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of. Although, I was impressed that when I came to them about a phobia, they sent me to a therapist instead of prescribing meds. In the UK you can get that free on the public health service - bless the NHS.

    But then I wonder if I shouldn't just give in and take a low dose if they prescribed me that. I know friends who have been helped by it.

    Basically I don't feel too bad about my life. It's just that I have had a few episodes that have scared me and been debilitating and I'm afraid to have another. And I do feel tired and lethargic a lot and unmotivated, but maybe the lack of motivation is just my own thing to deal with.
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  10. #10
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of. Although, I was impressed that when I came to them about a phobia, they sent me to a therapist instead of prescribing meds. In the UK you can get that free on the public health service - bless the NHS.

    But then I wonder if I shouldn't just give in and take a low dose if they prescribed me that. I know friends who have been helped by it.

    Basically I don't feel too bad about my life. It's just that I have had a few episodes that have scared me and been debilitating and I'm afraid to have another. And I do feel tired and lethargic a lot and unmotivated, but maybe the lack of motivation is just my own thing to deal with.
    I was on meds for years, and it never really helped much. Side effects were fairly debilitating too. Now I'm trying to beat this little monster through therapy, and lots of it. It seems to be working a little, but only time will tell. Basically, confronting bad shit that happened at the dawn of my life is the goal, but I cant' remember a lot of it, so catch-22, in some ways. I'm going to try hypnosis as well, and ayuwasca in December. Might as well hit it from all angles...

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