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  1. #11
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    I think we should to take care before stating things as an evolutionary advantage, you can suggest anything is an evolutionary advantage, it's really only limited by your imagination.
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  2. #12
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    I think we should to take care before stating things as an evolutionary advantage, you can suggest anything is an evolutionary advantage, it's really only limited by your imagination.
    Well N's are famous for our imaginations

    But I see your point. Anyway I guess that's the purpose of the discussion, to try and figure out if, after examining what we know, we think that it could be a important in terms of evolution.

    Or do you feel that the article is just kind of sensational in its phrasing?
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  3. #13
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy View Post
    They diagnosed you and started medicating you at 14?

    That kind of thing drives me crazy. I mean, the brain is still developing at that age right? Being 14 is tough, it's ok for someone that age to not be perfectly happy go lucky. I think it's nothing short of irresponsible to do that to a kid, especially instead of looking to manage the problem through normal means.

    Not that I think all medicating is bad in all situations, but I don't think it's needed nearly as frequently as it's prescribed.
    Absolutely--it's the dumbest, most harmful thing a doctor can possibly do, to put someone that age on medication when they don't need it. As a result of what happened, I seem to have lost the ability to produce normal levels of serotonin; all those years while my body developed, it learned to rely on pills for that, and now that I've stopped taking them, I'm tired all the time and seldom happy. I would've been much better off if my doctor had let me be a little picky and a little depressed, as many well-adjusted people are. So let this be a lesson to any parents, patients, or physicians who might be browsing.
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  4. #14
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    I'm depressed right now, I don't have a job, I can't sleep in a regular manner, I'm extremely anxious and I lack purpose. The anxiety just feeds into the depression, and I just keep thinking about it hoping to think of an easy solution to my problems, but I'm not getting anywhere. Instead what happens is I override the depression, I cover it up by distracting myself with things that won't help me at all. I feel better, but I'm still fucked. That means that there is a huge wall keeping me from getting anywhere, would drugs help in this case or do I just battle it out with my thoughts until I give in and go back to distracting myself from the problem?
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  5. #15
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King-Of-Despair View Post
    I'm depressed right now, I don't have a job, I can't sleep in a regular manner, I'm extremely anxious and I lack purpose. The anxiety just feeds into the depression, and I just keep thinking about it hoping to think of an easy solution to my problems, but I'm not getting anywhere. Instead what happens is I override the depression, I cover it up by distracting myself with things that won't help me at all. I feel better, but I'm still fucked. That means that there is a huge wall keeping me from getting anywhere, would drugs help in this case or do I just battle it out with my thoughts until I give in and go back to distracting myself from the problem?
    I'm sorry to hear that

    I never took medication for my depression, I didn't have any choice (in my mind) but to work through it as it was a combination of grieving and disillusionment. I worked through the grief and just sort of...let go of the existential crisis I was having. A friend of mine was going through almost the same thing, went on medication for a while and seemed to really...well, enjoy it. It altered his personality though, which was weird. He stopped taking it and was alright for a while, but now he's dealing with similar issues again, only now he is treating them through various means of escapism...

    I don't know, I spent a lot of time sitting on hilltops figuring things out and eventually I sort of agreed to a truce with my problems, as they couldn't be addressed right away. Also I found considering worst scenario situations surprisingly helpful. I got a job in food service and realized the worst that would happen if I didn't figure out what I wanted to do (there was more to my problem than that, but that was a major point) was that I'd end up working food service, which really wasn't the end of the world...and I found that kind of comforting.

    I guess in the end you have to do whatever you honestly think is best for you while looking for a job.

    (I do have some super lame sounding suggestions for managing it though. Exercise is a good way to relieve anxiety and it'll help you sleep better, eating well is also important. If you're already doing all of that, then your body thanks you and I have no more advice)

    * Disclaimer: That's just my thoughts based on my experiences. Other people might think I'm totally off base. Also, I apologize for this increasingly lengthy and not quite on topic post.
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  6. #16
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy View Post
    I'm sorry to hear that

    I never took medication for my depression, I didn't have any choice (in my mind) but to work through it as it was a combination of grieving and disillusionment. I worked through the grief and just sort of...let go of the existential crisis I was having. A friend of mine was going through almost the same thing, went on medication for a while and seemed to really...well, enjoy it. It altered his personality though, which was weird. He stopped taking it and was alright for a while, but now he's dealing with similar issues again, only now he is treating them through various means of escapism...

    I don't know, I spent a lot of time sitting on hilltops figuring things out and eventually I sort of agreed to a truce with my problems, as they couldn't be addressed right away.

    I guess in the end you have to do whatever you honestly think is best for you while looking for a job.

    (I do have some super lame sounding suggestions for managing it though. Exercise is a good way to relieve anxiety and it'll help you sleep better, eating well is also important. If you're already doing all of that, then your body thanks you and I have no more advice)

    * Disclaimer: That's just my thoughts based on my experiences. Other people might think I'm totally off base.
    Thanks , my dad was suggesting medication, doctors and shrinks, but I didn't/don't really think it's a good idea. I'm thinking that it's a better solution to take care of the depression first, namely by doing the exercise and eating thing, and then putting in more effort to resolve things while in a better state of mind. It should work out fine as long as I don't go back to escapism
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  7. #17

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    I have often described my depressive episodes as feeling like being "stuck on a problem I cannot solve, but must." Incidentally, I would also describe my hypo-manic episodes the same way, except that I have a lead on a solution, so all the energy goes to that.

    Imagine having a problem that you have been trying to solve for years. Let's say, the problem of finding your place in the world.

    It is a tough and very important problem indeed...and warrants a great deal of soul searching and rumination.

    Let's say that no matter how much you try, no matter what permutations you come up with, nothing quite sits right...nothing feels like your place, and ultimately you are looking to find somethings that feels right.

    There come a point when you are "stuck" on this problem. You seem to be making no progress, and it seems like it will require more time and more effort.

    Nevertheless, you need to quite often put the soul-searching on hold so that you can go to work and keep yourself fed. You cannot spend all our time in bed, dreaming, thinking, and ruminating.

    You can certainly see a therapist to help you find your place. It will likely help. But lets say you work on this problem together and no progress is made still...and at this point you actually miss several days of work "out sick" on a repeated basis because you are too depressed and ruminating. What if you start believing the "solution" is that you have no place in this world...that you were simply not meant to be? What if you biology decides that it will lead you do nothing else besides work on this problem...not even eat.

    At this point, perhaps, moving on (temporarily) to other aspects of life...despite the critical importance you current problem is what is needed...despite your biology aiding you in expending all your effort toward this critical problem...the solution is not forthcoming, but you need to do other things.

    Would medication seem like an OK choice at this point?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  8. #18
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    Ygolo, if I try to imagine being in such a situation, I think I still would not be able to accept medication as the answer (for myself). However if one had exhausted all ways of working through the problem and had made the decision to relax and accept the life they have (but was unable to get themselves into this state of mind) medication would be a viable option...but I still think of it as a last resort. I don't know though. Looking back on my depression I see it as a point where I learned a lot about myself. It was a growing experience in many ways. If it had gone on indefinitely though, my life would have become very stagnant.

    I don't know if taking medication would produce the same "coming to the surface" effect that I felt upon returning to a more normal state of mind (I certainly never felt it during my very brief attempts at self medication, but I imagine that's at least a little different). It would be great to hear from people who had a positive experience with medicating their depression (especially older individuals as I think age and where one is in life are big factors).
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  9. #19
    Senior Member Sacrator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    As described by a recent article on scientific american... depression may be the evolutionary approach to serious analytical problem solving?

    Theory... we get depressed because we have a problem we need to sit down and solve. Ruminating over it directs our energy/resources towards this problem. Then once the solution is found, the depression goes away. If this is true... does it point to cognitive therapy being a "better" treatment than antidepressants? That is, resolve the problem rather than covering up the symptoms?

    Depression's Evolutionary Roots: Scientific American
    Interesting I've thought about this also after i fell into a depression once after being confronted with a potential life changing problem. I was thinking that genes for depression are awakened which cause things like negative thinking which make you analyze your current problems in a attempt to relieve yourself from the depression. If its evolutionary then wouldn't it be the result of a mutated gene somewhere along the line?

  10. #20
    Senior Member Kangol's Avatar
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    *taking it back to the original topic, nudging others to the "new thread" button*

    I agree that there is an advantage to being depressed. In addition to what the article already said, I found it interesting in history classes that periods of sociopolitical tumult breeds geniuses, lending meaning the saying that "necessity is the mother of invention." Or, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going." This brings me to something that I think may also be true about depression, evolutionarily speaking.

    In another thread about pain I agreed with the notion that pain, particularly chronic pain, helps to weed out unfit individuals. Pain itself not being necessarily advantageous, but to the species as a whole.

    I think the same notion can be applied here. Those who can deal with depression are better fit than those who cannot. There are two reasons I can think of why this is true:
    1) Individuals who are especially vulnerable to depression, whether they suffer from severe bouts or chronically, may also be poor at making decisions or suffer from hormonal and neurological imbalances. Counselors target the former, psychiatrists target the latter. However, evolutionarily speaking, this may not be ideal for the group if the depression is genetically dependent.
    2) Individuals who aren't genetically prone to severe or chronic depression but become so anyway may be in an environment they aren't well suited for. As a farmer may be unsuited for being a pop musician, or even an elephant unsuited for flight, some individuals may not be suited for the environment they are in. If they are fit, they will survive, and perhaps either adapt or move to a less threatening environment.


    I don't mean to imply that those who are chronically or severely depressed are unfit for survival, but I think that this notion does add to the role of depression in the evolutionary process. While some depression is normal and indeed advantageous for some situations, it also helps to select more fit generations for the constantly changing demands of the future.

    As for doctors' premature prescriptions: If not done so already, I think prescription protocols definitely ought to be reexamined by a board primarily concerned with human well-being than with healthcare finances. However, this may be impossible in the U.S. ... unless there is reform. BUT THAT'S ANOTHER THREAD.

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