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Good news about depression

Good news about depression

Old Jun 15th 2007, 10:43 am
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Default Good news about depression

There have been lots of posts recently about depression, some people have, I believe given misleading accounts, such as depression is created, or its all in your mindset etc etc. Before I changed to teaching I worked in the mental Health team at the local hospital. Now, while I don’t profess to be any kind of expert on the subject, I do have some experience and knowledge and the quote below explains our teams philosophy,
Here goes,
What causes depression?

At the most basic level, nobody really knows what causes depression. The dominant theory is that it is a result of low levels of certain neurotransmitters (messenger chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to the next) in the brain. This is called the 'monoamine theory' of depression — monoamines being the group of chemicals that these neurotransmitters belong to.
The neurotransmitters thought to be involved are serotonin (which helps regulate emotion, sleep and appetite), noradrenaline (which is linked to arousal and alertness), and dopamine (which is associated with pleasure and reward). People with depression are known to have lower brain levels of these chemicals, and drugs that elevate them can help lift mood.
So the theory makes sense. But it is not known for sure whether monoamines are the primary cause of depression, or whether other factors are causing both the lowered neurotransmitter levels and the depression.
"The brain is such a complex organ," says Dr Petros Markou. "Lowered amine levels could be the problem, or they could be an indicator of some other problem. What we do know is that raising these levels (using antidepressant drugs) has an effect in 60 to 70 per cent of people." (cut and pasted from one of many Dept heath websites)


So, this is why it is very unhelpful to look at depression as something “brought on” by the sufferer. If you have low levels of serotonin, it is a PHYSICAL problem manifesting itself with symptoms of mood/behaviour change. Depression affects the mind, but this doesn't mean "it's all in your head." Depression is a medical illness linked to changes in the biochemistry of the brain.

If we can all look at depression in this way, it removes the stigma so it becomes viewed in the same way as any other illness. Depression is not a weakness of character. Being depressed doesn't mean a person is inadequate. It means the person has a medical illness that is just as real as diabetes or ulcers. Like other medical disorders, clinical depression should not be ignored or dismissed. A clinically depressed person cannot simply "snap out of it" any more than a person with an ulcer could simply will it away.

Now, I may use Ibuprofin for a headache, you may use aspirin. So what? Whatever it takes to make it better. If you are depressed, go with what YOU have faith in – but go with something. The good news is depression is highly treatable in the vast majority of cases. Up to 90% of depressed people respond positively to treatment. Sometimes psychotherapy or counseling is all that is needed, but there is also a wide array of effective antidepressant medications and alternatives available.

Once that mood begins to lift, then you can trust your judgements more. Do I really want to leave Oz etc? Whatever conclusions you make when you are well, you will feel more confident about.Then you need to listen to yourself and act on your conclusions, be it deveoping coping staegies or changing your life. I am not suggesting, medication or SJW should be used to cover up problems but it should be used to put you in a better frame of mind to address them.

You might be unwell, but believe you are as normal as the rest of us and YOU WILL get better. Tell yourself that every day. Look after yourselves, those of you that are unwell – I really do empathise with you as its something that was very personal to me as well.

And it got better!

Good luck
Chrissy x

Last edited by chance to be; Jun 15th 2007 at 11:23 am.
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Originally Posted by chance to be
There have been lots of posts recently about depression, some people have, I believe given misleading accounts, such as depression is created, or its all in your mindset etc etc. Before I changed to teaching I worked in the mental Health team at the local hospital. Now, while I don’t profess to be any kind of expert on the subject, I do have some experience and knowledge and the quote below explains our teams philosophy,
Here goes,
What causes depression?

At the most basic level, nobody really knows what causes depression. The dominant theory is that it is a result of low levels of certain neurotransmitters (messenger chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to the next) in the brain. This is called the 'monoamine theory' of depression — monoamines being the group of chemicals that these neurotransmitters belong to.
The neurotransmitters thought to be involved are serotonin (which helps regulate emotion, sleep and appetite), noradrenaline (which is linked to arousal and alertness), and dopamine (which is associated with pleasure and reward). People with depression are known to have lower brain levels of these chemicals, and drugs that elevate them can help lift mood.
So the theory makes sense. But it is not known for sure whether monoamines are the primary cause of depression, or whether other factors are causing both the lowered neurotransmitter levels and the depression.
"The brain is such a complex organ," says Dr Petros Markou. "Lowered amine levels could be the problem, or they could be an indicator of some other problem. What we do know is that raising these levels (using antidepressant drugs) has an effect in 60 to 70 per cent of people." (cut and pasted from one of many Dept heath websites)


So, this is why it is very unhelpful to look at depression as something “brought on” by the sufferer. If you have low levels of serotonin, it is a PHYSICAL problem manifesting itself with symptoms of mood/behaviour change. Depression affects the mind, but this doesn't mean "it's all in your head." Depression is a medical illness linked to changes in the biochemistry of the brain.

If we can all look at depression in this way, it removes the stigma so it becomes viewed in the same way as any other illness. Depression is not a weakness of character. Being depressed doesn't mean a person is inadequate. It means the person has a medical illness that is just as real as diabetes or ulcers. Like other medical disorders, clinical depression should not be ignored or dismissed. A clinically depressed person cannot simply "snap out of it" any more than a person with an ulcer could simply will it away.

Now, I may use Ibuprofin for a headache, you may use aspirin. So what? Whatever it takes to make it better. If you are depressed, go with what YOU have faith in – but go with something. The good news is depression is highly treatable in the vast majority of cases. Up to 90% of depressed people respond positively to treatment. Sometimes psychotherapy or counseling is all that is needed, but there is also a wide array of effective antidepressant medications and alternatives available.

Once that mood begins to lift, then you can trust your judgements more. Do I really want to leave Oz etc? Whatever conclusions you make when you are well, you will feel more confident about.Then you need to listen to yourself and act on your conclusions, be it deveoping coping staegies or changing your life. I am not suggesting, medication or SJW should be used to cover up problems but it should be used to put you in a better frame of mind to address them.

You might be unwell, but believe you are as normal as the rest of us and YOU WILL get better. Tell yourself that every day. Look after yourselves, those of you that are unwell – I really do empathise with you as its something that was very personal to me as well.

And it got better!

Good luck
Chrissy x
i don't think the people on here are interested in such intelligent talk. i worry that many people migrating are trying to get away from the way they feel and would be better off sorting their heads out rather than ping ponging across the world. Perhaps the thought of migrating is actually a manifestation of mental illness. "my life is going to be so fantastic" ummm
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Originally Posted by chance to be
There have been lots of posts recently about depression, some people have, I believe given misleading accounts, such as depression is created, or its all in your mindset etc etc. Before I changed to teaching I worked in the mental Health team at the local hospital. Now, while I don’t profess to be any kind of expert on the subject, I do have some experience and knowledge and the quote below explains our teams philosophy,
Here goes,
What causes depression?

At the most basic level, nobody really knows what causes depression. The dominant theory is that it is a result of low levels of certain neurotransmitters (messenger chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to the next) in the brain. This is called the 'monoamine theory' of depression — monoamines being the group of chemicals that these neurotransmitters belong to.
The neurotransmitters thought to be involved are serotonin (which helps regulate emotion, sleep and appetite), noradrenaline (which is linked to arousal and alertness), and dopamine (which is associated with pleasure and reward). People with depression are known to have lower brain levels of these chemicals, and drugs that elevate them can help lift mood.
So the theory makes sense. But it is not known for sure whether monoamines are the primary cause of depression, or whether other factors are causing both the lowered neurotransmitter levels and the depression.
"The brain is such a complex organ," says Dr Petros Markou. "Lowered amine levels could be the problem, or they could be an indicator of some other problem. What we do know is that raising these levels (using antidepressant drugs) has an effect in 60 to 70 per cent of people." (cut and pasted from one of many Dept heath websites)


So, this is why it is very unhelpful to look at depression as something “brought on” by the sufferer. If you have low levels of serotonin, it is a PHYSICAL problem manifesting itself with symptoms of mood/behaviour change. Depression affects the mind, but this doesn't mean "it's all in your head." Depression is a medical illness linked to changes in the biochemistry of the brain.

If we can all look at depression in this way, it removes the stigma so it becomes viewed in the same way as any other illness. Depression is not a weakness of character. Being depressed doesn't mean a person is inadequate. It means the person has a medical illness that is just as real as diabetes or ulcers. Like other medical disorders, clinical depression should not be ignored or dismissed. A clinically depressed person cannot simply "snap out of it" any more than a person with an ulcer could simply will it away.

Now, I may use Ibuprofin for a headache, you may use aspirin. So what? Whatever it takes to make it better. If you are depressed, go with what YOU have faith in – but go with something. The good news is depression is highly treatable in the vast majority of cases. Up to 90% of depressed people respond positively to treatment. Sometimes psychotherapy or counseling is all that is needed, but there is also a wide array of effective antidepressant medications and alternatives available.

Once that mood begins to lift, then you can trust your judgements more. Do I really want to leave Oz etc? Whatever conclusions you make when you are well, you will feel more confident about.Then you need to listen to yourself and act on your conclusions, be it deveoping coping staegies or changing your life. I am not suggesting, medication or SJW should be used to cover up problems but it should be used to put you in a better frame of mind to address them.

You might be unwell, but believe you are as normal as the rest of us and YOU WILL get better. Tell yourself that every day. Look after yourselves, those of you that are unwell – I really do empathise with you as its something very personal to me as well.

Good luck
Chrissy x

Thanks for explaining all the above Chrissy.
I am one of those people that have clinical depression and have had it most of my life but over the years it has come and gone with medication which has been such a relief to me. as I have aged (?) the depression has become longer and harder to control with medication. I have been on lots of tablets sometimes they work, sometimes they dont and for me to try and explain all that you have written above is so very hard because people do think that I should be able to 'snap out of it" so in the end I don't talk about it to anyone other than immediate family, then they wonder why I am unsociable and don't go out when offers are made.

I am now seeing a wonderful Doctor for counselling and tablet sorting as I call it which I would advise anyone to have as things come up that you don't think of at home. Its not a sign of weakness asking for help, as I have realised, but an inner strength telling you to get help. Whether you decide to go on tablets or not its purely a personal choice but get help regardless.

Can I just say that a lot of people do not understand depression and I so wish they would, if they were to sit in my shoes for a week they would understand and be more sympathetic.

And just in case my other half comes on here and reads this, can I say what a trouper he is to put up with me all these years. I wouldn't know where I would be without him.

Thanks for reading

Di
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 11:38 am
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Default Re: Good news about depression

I thought this was an excellent thread and will say that anyone who thinks that depression is 'created' or that it is simple to snap out of, are not only deluding themselves but it makes me seriously question their own intelligence.

After working in a psychology clinic and going through my own bereavement issues when I lost my Mum, I quickly realised that control of the mind is 'loaned to you' in a manner of speaking.

I was so overwhelmed with grief when Mum was diagnosed with cancer, I organised bereavement counselling as soon as she was diagnosed.

I couldn't believe it when the counsellor said I was 'text book' in my feelings and recovery and that the grief I was feeling was normal. How could it be normal when it was so painful?

Things for me are so much better and it is getting easier, I put that down to counselling and being receptive to it. But I cannot imagine how awful it must be for someone to develop depression and have to live with it on a long term basis. Bloody hell grief is hard enough to cope with.

A traumatic event can tip the scales and the stability of your mind that you may have fiercely defended or took for granted. This stability can be shaken up so badly that you are alarmed at how mentally vulnerable you can become.

So to anyone who says 'snap out of it' or it is created, don't be too smug because you never know what might happen in your life that can tip the scales against you.

We all have our own emotional weaknesses, its just some of us are lucky enough to never have them manifest themselves into depression.

It isn't a joke, its very real and if untreated, can be serious so lets not attach any more stigma to a condition that makes the lives of many a misery.
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Over the years i have developed a mindset to deal with people who make ridiculous comments or say and do nasty things. I consider this attitude often comes with age.
I always ask myself this question. What made that person say or do that?

I have come to this conclusion about people who poo poo depression and mental illness.
They have to take their stupid attitude towards it because intellectually it is either in the too hard basket, or they have very little insight not only to other people, but also themselves.

So its either "cant be bothered" or "too stupid"
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 12:01 pm
  #6  
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Hey Chrissy - well done for bringing this subject to the forum - I think it is quite often stigmatised when it shouldn't be, and there does seem to be quite a few of us who have suffered in the past or who indeed are suffering now.

I spent sometime studying depression as part of my degree and indeed have been a past sufferer (thankfully I am over it for now!) - there are many theories on the subject and as Chrissy has said most experts believe physiology and biochemistry are at the root of the symptoms of depression but it is often triggered by psychological 'stress' factors such as bereavement, divorce, having a baby or indeed migrating and not liking your new life!

In terms of the cure - again experts believe the chemical imbalance in the brain should be treated with AD's but also the pyscholgical aspect needs treating through counselling (cognitive behavioural therapy) - this type counselling teaches the sufferer to think and feel positive about all aspects of life again - not an easy task but over time it can work.

Anyone who has suffered from depression will know how easy it is to become negative about all aspects of their life and it is impossible to 'snap out of this' without help hence the need for AD's and counselling.

To anyone who thinks they maybe depressed take the first step and seek help through your doctor - also as many have said St John's Wort is a proven herbal remedy which acts as an excellent AD for MILD depression (remember though it can affect the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill) - again there is much proven research on the effectiveness of SJW so we don't need to listen to posters who say it is just useless pills in pretty packaging!!

Anyway waffled on enough now, but just remember we are all human and every now and then we crack under the strain of modern life, doesn't make us weak just makes us human!
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Originally Posted by PLANTS
Thanks for explaining all the above Chrissy.
I am one of those people that have clinical depression and have had it most of my life but over the years it has come and gone with medication which has been such a relief to me. as I have aged (?) the depression has become longer and harder to control with medication. I have been on lots of tablets sometimes they work, sometimes they dont and for me to try and explain all that you have written above is so very hard because people do think that I should be able to 'snap out of it" so in the end I don't talk about it to anyone other than immediate family, then they wonder why I am unsociable and don't go out when offers are made.

I am now seeing a wonderful Doctor for counselling and tablet sorting as I call it which I would advise anyone to have as things come up that you don't think of at home. Its not a sign of weakness asking for help, as I have realised, but an inner strength telling you to get help. Whether you decide to go on tablets or not its purely a personal choice but get help regardless.

Can I just say that a lot of people do not understand depression and I so wish they would, if they were to sit in my shoes for a week they would understand and be more sympathetic.

And just in case my other half comes on here and reads this, can I say what a trouper he is to put up with me all these years. I wouldn't know where I would be without him.

Thanks for reading

Di
Its great you have such a supportive husband who loves you during the bad times as well as the good

My doctor told me that some people just have a low level seritonin uptake. He said some people, (maybe like you?) should liken their seritonin level to a car battery. As the car battery starts to get older, it takes longer and longer to charge up, and it doesnt stay charged up for as long as time goes on. So, you give it some help to "top itself up" and ADs are one way of doing that. No different to some insulin for a diabetic really. So, if you look at it like that, you're like everyone else with "conditions" but yours happens to be depression.

You're a very brave lady
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Originally Posted by chance to be
There have been lots of posts recently about depression, some people have, I believe given misleading accounts, such as depression is created, or its all in your mindset etc etc. Before I changed to teaching I worked in the mental Health team at the local hospital. Now, while I don’t profess to be any kind of expert on the subject, I do have some experience and knowledge and the quote below explains our teams philosophy,
Here goes,
What causes depression?

At the most basic level, nobody really knows what causes depression. The dominant theory is that it is a result of low levels of certain neurotransmitters (messenger chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to the next) in the brain. This is called the 'monoamine theory' of depression — monoamines being the group of chemicals that these neurotransmitters belong to.
The neurotransmitters thought to be involved are serotonin (which helps regulate emotion, sleep and appetite), noradrenaline (which is linked to arousal and alertness), and dopamine (which is associated with pleasure and reward). People with depression are known to have lower brain levels of these chemicals, and drugs that elevate them can help lift mood.
So the theory makes sense. But it is not known for sure whether monoamines are the primary cause of depression, or whether other factors are causing both the lowered neurotransmitter levels and the depression.
"The brain is such a complex organ," says Dr Petros Markou. "Lowered amine levels could be the problem, or they could be an indicator of some other problem. What we do know is that raising these levels (using antidepressant drugs) has an effect in 60 to 70 per cent of people." (cut and pasted from one of many Dept heath websites)


So, this is why it is very unhelpful to look at depression as something “brought on” by the sufferer. If you have low levels of serotonin, it is a PHYSICAL problem manifesting itself with symptoms of mood/behaviour change. Depression affects the mind, but this doesn't mean "it's all in your head." Depression is a medical illness linked to changes in the biochemistry of the brain.

If we can all look at depression in this way, it removes the stigma so it becomes viewed in the same way as any other illness. Depression is not a weakness of character. Being depressed doesn't mean a person is inadequate. It means the person has a medical illness that is just as real as diabetes or ulcers. Like other medical disorders, clinical depression should not be ignored or dismissed. A clinically depressed person cannot simply "snap out of it" any more than a person with an ulcer could simply will it away.

Now, I may use Ibuprofin for a headache, you may use aspirin. So what? Whatever it takes to make it better. If you are depressed, go with what YOU have faith in – but go with something. The good news is depression is highly treatable in the vast majority of cases. Up to 90% of depressed people respond positively to treatment. Sometimes psychotherapy or counseling is all that is needed, but there is also a wide array of effective antidepressant medications and alternatives available.

Once that mood begins to lift, then you can trust your judgements more. Do I really want to leave Oz etc? Whatever conclusions you make when you are well, you will feel more confident about.Then you need to listen to yourself and act on your conclusions, be it deveoping coping staegies or changing your life. I am not suggesting, medication or SJW should be used to cover up problems but it should be used to put you in a better frame of mind to address them.

You might be unwell, but believe you are as normal as the rest of us and YOU WILL get better. Tell yourself that every day. Look after yourselves, those of you that are unwell – I really do empathise with you as its something that was very personal to me as well.

And it got better!

Good luck
Chrissy x
Great post Chrissy, good on you for posting it.
Plants.....you are so lovely, just wanted to say that
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Great thread Chrissy

I totally agree with Flea and I'd go as far as to say that 99% of people who make silly comments about depression are just plain stupid!

Life is often simple for them - black or white, no grey areas. They don't understand things that they haven't experienced.
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 2:02 pm
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Thank you Chrissy...great thread.

I have been through a couple of bad times in my life and managed to 'pull myself together'...but immigrating just knocked me side-ways. I didn't expect it either. I have always been a strong person...I could always rationalise my feelings. This made me feel even worse because I couldn't control my emotions the way I always have...a double failure.
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Good thread. I'm a card-carrying bi-polar sufferer myself. I'm fortunate to have a very understanding wife, who puts up with me during my, ermmm, 'down' days. I was medicated for a while, but I came off it when I moved to Australia and I've never regretted. Not to say that's right for everyone, but was for me. Ironically enough, our best friends here are an Australian couple, one of whom's bi-polar as well. It's great for Catherine to have someone to talk to who knows what's it's like to live with people like 'us'.
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Can I just say good on you guys for coming on here and being so open and honest about your experiences of depression, sometimes it takes an enormous amount of courage to admit you have a problem. For me (and for a lot of people I think) the admission of the problem was the biggest hurdle.

I knew for months I was depressed before I had the guts to admit it and do anything about it - I had all the classic symptoms, sleep problems, very low self esteem and I felt negative about EVERYTHING - the hardest thing I think I have ever done is going to the GP and asking for help.

I was brought up to believe life is hard and you just have to 'pull yourself together' and get on with it, well life is hard but sometimes you need a little bit of help to negotiate its twists and turns!
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Old Jun 15th 2007, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Good news about depression

thanks Chrissy for taking time to write that,i havent suffered from depression(so far!) but im quite aware it can sometimes come upon you b4 you realise it.
My niece suffered with it from a very young age(this included self harm which i suppose is another story).
It gets all sorts of people,from all "classes" and all walks of life.
oh........and BANANAS to those of you who suffer.

I read that eating bananas helps improve your seratonin levels.

Good for all of you who are up for talking about this in the open,it will help so many sufferers i'm sure.
I wonder if some of the women on here,who have young kids,are actually suffering from post natal depression aswell? just a thought.
good luck everyone.!!
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Old Jun 16th 2007, 7:41 pm
  #14  
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Originally Posted by Hutch
Good thread. I'm a card-carrying bi-polar sufferer myself. I'm fortunate to have a very understanding wife, who puts up with me during my, ermmm, 'down' days. I was medicated for a while, but I came off it when I moved to Australia and I've never regretted. Not to say that's right for everyone, but was for me. Ironically enough, our best friends here are an Australian couple, one of whom's bi-polar as well. It's great for Catherine to have someone to talk to who knows what's it's like to live with people like 'us'.
It strange Hutch but despite our negative experiences in Oz (losing all our money, daughter buggering off home after 6 weeks and hubbys work being inconsistant and low paid), my husband totally chilled whilst there. Before we went he was quite moody due to the after effects of depression 6 years ago. Oz totally chilled him out and he seems to be his old laid back self again now thank goodness. It's one the really positive things to come out of our emigration.

Hope it continues to go well for you
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Old Jun 17th 2007, 2:12 am
  #15  
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Default Re: Good news about depression

Originally Posted by Hutch
Good thread. I'm a card-carrying bi-polar sufferer myself. I'm fortunate to have a very understanding wife, who puts up with me during my, ermmm, 'down' days. I was medicated for a while, but I came off it when I moved to Australia and I've never regretted. Not to say that's right for everyone, but was for me. Ironically enough, our best friends here are an Australian couple, one of whom's bi-polar as well. It's great for Catherine to have someone to talk to who knows what's it's like to live with people like 'us'.


good for you- well done

i stopped my depression medication the day i got on the plane too! some said to me - "silly idea", but i had reduced the amounts over the few months prior to the flight date. I felt it was great excuse, fresh start and all that, i did take some herbal remedies ( scared to mention that type again!!! lol) for nine months, but have now been medication free for 5 months, using exercise as a way out! and i hate to admit it but its working! so far............ with everything crossed

good luck to all those plagued by drepression, i dont think it ever goes away! even on good days and weeks the slightest down moment, and i feel sick in the pit of my stomach, thinking its coming back........... hopefully this gets better with time?
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