Depression, Anxiety and SSRIs

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • I suffered depression for about 2 and a half years until a few months ago. I had only told 2 or 3 people before January when I started being more open about it; I hadn't told my parents or my housemate but he said knew, or guessed at least that was the case when he first met me. I had been working on helping myself for a while before I saw a professional, who told me that I had developed some advanced techniques and treatment. Apparently I've done a lot of groundwork for CBT myself and I was doing everything that any psychiatrist would be recommending, and they said there was little doubt and concern that I could overcome it.


    Anyway, I'm feeling much better now. I haven't really relapsed since, and I'm starting to build confidence in myself again. Onwards and upwards. :)

  • Well done Olly, I'm very happy for you :)


    If you'd feel comfortable sharing the techniques that helped you, I'm sure people would be really grateful for the information. x

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Thank you. :)


    The first things I did included writing a short letter to myself that I stuck on the back of my bedroom door so that I had something positive and inspiring to read when I woke up, instead of having the negativity crash down on me first. I focused on making sure I had plenty of fresh fruit and veg and water in my diet; The food I've eaten has never been particularly unhealthy but during that time I wasn't really eating much. Meditation was very useful too of course. I started taking control of my thoughts. For example, I used to be quite anxious in public. If something happened that I perceived to be embarrassing for some reason (it rarely was, of course) I would be saying to myself along the lines of "Get out of here, people around here saw that" or whatever. But I learned to stop thinking those things and to laugh instead. If I felt that sort of emotion coming, I would say to myself "No, I won't think like that." I'm told that's basically the groundwork of CBT.


    There was a time when we were recording dialogue for a video soundtrack and I was called up to do one of the characters. Normally, I wouldn't want to do anything that involved recording my voice or public speaking etc, but that time I thought "Sod it, I'll do it." and went into the booth. Basically, I messed up one time and sounded ridiculous but instead of losing confidence and feeling bad I just laughed at myself without thinking and tried again, and I learned that laughter is a great healer.


    As well as laughter, some great advice I've learned from is to take more risks and simply have confidence in yourself. Even if you take on each of those things one at a time, it does a world of good for someone trying to overcome an issue like depression.


    *edit* I almost forgot; be open and talk to people about it! I kept it bottled up for a couple of years and the relief from just talking to friends about it was great. It was particularly good for me, I think, because one friend I spoke to has suffered it worse than me and we had a bit of a heart-to-heart that night. :)

  • Yep, what you're describing is the basis of CBT - you have the cognitive element (working out why you think a certain way and challenging those beliefs) and the behavioural element (choosing behaviours which are healthier and facing situations that make you uncomfortable, so you can learn to overcome the discomfort and have a more enriching life).


    Depression and anxiety are both very common these days, it's still very much a taboo subject in many senses, so can be difficult to talk about. I agree that being open and talking is the best way to go -good friends will always sympathise/empathise and be there for you as much as they can. I do say that with the caveat that talking about it all the time can send people running for the hills though, because it can be quite emotionally draining for the listener.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • As someone who has had depression on and off for much of my life, I would like to offer my empathy to the original poster. My depression started in the early 1980 when homophobia destroyed a promising career as an aircraft engineer, a situation from which took over twenty years to get over.


    The thing about depression is they way it creeps up on you in a way that doesn't feel out of the ordinary. That's the thing about depression, you see, the very ordinariness of it, the sense of normality, the feeling that this is how life is meant to be. Eventually, I became engulfed in it.


    People think it's sadness - only it's not. It's something other than sadness - a sort of low mood and lack of willingness to do much. Wading through mud is how I would describe it. Everything becomes too much trouble. People and relationships become hard work.


    Nowadays, things are much better but depression can still be a nuisance sometimes. I take an antidepressant which has helped me enormously (I take tricyclics because the work well for me - everything else just makes me feel numb and sleepy). I have a strategy for coping as well. I try to eat well and get some moderate exercise (I walk to work). I sing in a choir as well, and that has helped enormously.


    Two things are important though. Firstly, I think it's important to feel part of a community of people that do care. Friends are priceless and my partner, who I love very much, is my rock.


    Secondly, when I feel low, I try not to fight the depression, but just try to slow down a little and to take life in bite-size chunks. Mood soon lifts and I tend to feel better again. Exercise, fresh air and daylight all help.


    Therapy didn't help me because it wasn't (for me anyway) a proper substitute for close, caring friendships with people I love. If there is one lesson I've learned from all of this is that my friends and family are what matter most to me.


    Dave x

  • I do say that with the caveat that talking about it all the time can send people running for the hills though, because it can be quite emotionally draining for the listener.


    Aye, I think that's part of the reason I didn't talk about it. But yes, I know now that to at least get it out in the open with the people close to you is important.

  • The social aspect of depression is something that really interests me, it's very common for people who suffer from depression to report some form of social factor contributing to it - whether it's being the victim of social norms/expectations, difficult interactions with others, even a sense of hopelessness resulting from feeling powerless to change the state of the world/society we live in.


    Currently, depression and anxiety are so widespread they're actually statistically normal. A lot of mental health professionals are beginning to challenge the idea that they're disorders, seeing them instead as a natural response to living in social environments that generate isolation, low self-esteem and a level of competitiveness that means each day, most people are treating each other badly. It's an idea that makes a lot of sense to me. After all, our mood, our understanding of the world and how we and other people fit into it is directly linked to our experiences. If those experiences are more negative than positive, doubt and withdrawal are natural responses. When there's nowhere to withdraw to, which is very much the case in modern society, unhappiness follows.


    It's my hope that as more and more research demonstrates the normative nature of depression and the extent to which social factors contribute to it, people will begin to see sufferers more as normal people dealing with a very normal problem. I think that'll really improve things, on many levels.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Currently, depression and anxiety are so widespread they're actually statistically normal. A lot of mental health professionals are beginning to challenge the idea that they're disorders, seeing them instead as a natural response to living in social environments that generate isolation, low self-esteem and a level of competitiveness that means each day, most people are treating each other badly. It's an idea that makes a lot of sense to me. After all, our mood, our understanding of the world and how we and other people fit into it is directly linked to our experiences. If those experiences are more negative than positive, doubt and withdrawal are natural responses. When there's nowhere to withdraw to, which is very much the case in modern society, unhappiness follows.


    This is very true. Life is so hard, it's bound to be very isolating and a struggle at times.


    So much more needs to be done to offer patients mental health support, I feel that patients are being abandoned, the NHS wouldn't leave somebody with a broken arm on a waiting list for 18 months, how come it's okay to leave somebody with a mental health difficulty for that long? Mental health is seen as less of an emergency, but it's very painful and can be life-threatening, there's no sense in the system:S.


    This thread has really blossomed, I'm so surprised by the amount of people who are in a similar position to me, or who have previously been in a similar position, who have offered advice and support and their own experiences, I feel much less alone and less of a psycho in battling with this now, thank you all so much.

  • Currently, depression and anxiety are so widespread they're actually statistically normal. A lot of mental health professionals are beginning to challenge the idea that they're disorders, seeing them instead as a natural response to living in social environments that generate isolation, low self-esteem and a level of competitiveness that means each day, most people are treating each other badly. It's an idea that makes a lot of sense to me. After all, our mood, our understanding of the world and how we and other people fit into it is directly linked to our experiences. If those experiences are more negative than positive, doubt and withdrawal are natural responses. When there's nowhere to withdraw to, which is very much the case in modern society, unhappiness follows.

    I have no idea why it takes a "professional" to see this - seems like a bit of a "no shit sherlock" statement tbh.


    Depression, anxiety etc. seem like a standard "fight of flight" reaction to me, but instead of wanting to run away from real predators, the new 'predator' is modern day living. It's not natural or healthy to spend our lives in a permanent state of stress.

  • I have no idea why it takes a "professional" to see this - seems like a bit of a "no shit sherlock" statement tbh.


    Depression, anxiety etc. seem like a standard "fight of flight" reaction to me, but instead of wanting to run away from real predators, the new 'predator' is modern day living. It's not natural or healthy to spend our lives in a permanent state of stress.


    Absolutely, Paul! That's why I walked out of my last job. I was in a permanent state of anxiety. Ultimately, though, I could see what was happening and made a conscious decision to change things. I have another job now which I enjoy very much.


    What I think is important to emphasise here is that people do have choices. I can't honestly say that people don't have choices in how they live their lives or how to respond to the challenges they face. Well, that's my honest opinion anyway.


    You also mention about depression being a consequence of the stress of modern day living, but we can change that. Never, not once, would I accept working all hours to get the job done, unless there was a genuine emergency. That was a choice I made and have never regretted it. But it also seems that people sense a lack of belonging, a sense of community. I have always believed that love is everything, because without that, there's not else left worth fighting for!

  • I have no idea why it takes a "professional" to see this - seems like a bit of a "no shit sherlock" statement tbh.


    It doesn't take a professional to see it, but it does take professionals saying it and proving for it to have any real impact on treatment options. Currently, within the NHS, depression is defined as a disorder and so other treatment options aren't taken as seriously. This has a huge impact on the relative budget allocated to different treatments.


    Quote

    Depression, anxiety etc. seem like a standard "fight of flight" reaction to me, but instead of wanting to run away from real predators, the new 'predator' is modern day living. It's not natural or healthy to spend our lives in a permanent state of stress.


    That's definitely part of it, but there are so many interacting factors that contribute to the "flight" tendency that it's impossible to reduce it to anything as simple as "this = this" ... changing the way you live can help a lot, but changing the way you think is equally important.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti


  • So much more needs to be done to offer patients mental health support, I feel that patients are being abandoned, the NHS wouldn't leave somebody with a broken arm on a waiting list for 18 months, how come it's okay to leave somebody with a mental health difficulty for that long? Mental health is seen as less of an emergency, but it's very painful and can be life-threatening, there's no sense in the system:S.


    It all comes down to resources, "mood disorders" such as depression/anxiety are increasing at a rate the NHS simply isn't equipped to deal with and the view that these problems are medical disorders means that more expensive treatments aren't budgeted for and factors that contribute to the problem aren't identified or managed. Doctors have been complaining for some time that they're having to hand out anti-depressants to patients they feel would benefit far more from alternative treatments, because they're just not available. Hopefully, as professionals continue to challenge the way mental health is perceived, that'll improve.


    There was a really good report published this week addressing the problems with accessing mental health services, which will hopefully have some effect.

    Mind is also a very good resource for people who are struggling and can't find help elsewhere. I can't recommend them strongly enough :)

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Yup. I've pretty much had as a running theme through most of my "wellness" type posts over the last couple of years.


    T'is good advice :)

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Hi ferrine, still not feeling to good, have a little paranoia going on now...have the crisis team visiting every other day but I think they will stop soon. my psych is coming (I hope) on friday....they did say I would be better off in hospital, but I don't think so..I have BPD.....life is just passing me by Iam 56 on friday not much time left....feel like ending it. not long to go.

  • Sorry to hear things are so bad, I'm glad to hear you're getting help though. Maybe a spot in hospital could be a good thing? I know looking at time that's passed by while you've been struggling with things makes it feel like the clock's running out if you want to get to the stage where you can have a good life and it's a natural response to try and push harder to get there, but sometimes the best thing you can do is rest, seek out all the help you can get to regroup and get back on your feet, then you're in a better place to start building things.


    I used to think I was too much of a mess to ever get to the point where I'd feel content, never mind happy, but I did get there in the end. Just keep doing whatever it takes to get through the day, try to make some time to really enjoy something every day (even if it's just a nice biscuit, or a hot bath) and bit by bit, you will get there. In the meantime, if there's anything I can do to help ...

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Hi ferrine, still not feeling to good, have a little paranoia going on now...have the crisis team visiting every other day but I think they will stop soon. my psych is coming (I hope) on friday....they did say I would be better off in hospital, but I don't think so..I have BPD.....life is just passing me by Iam 56 on friday not much time left....feel like ending it. not long to go.


    Hariclia, I just want to send you some love. If you need a short spell in hospital, that isn't the worst thing in the world, it might really help you get the support and care that you deserve. Thinking of you.

  • Hi hariclia just wanted hi keep talking, people on here will always listen, try and concentrate on a small task you enjoy, indulge yourself. Want to wish you well and lots warm thoughts, take care and post again. :)

  • Thanks firrine for your support........... today they discharged me from the crisis team......I really can't get out and I'm hoping my psych will visit me tommorow, I don't really know if he will I haven't had any confirmation yet....its my birthday tommorow and I feel crap and old.....you are young and have your whole life ahead of you...please don't take this the wrong way..I don't want to be young again I just feel its all been a waste of time.......thank you again its very comferting to get your posts x

  • Haricila nice to hear from you, glad things are happening, keep in touch, are you reading anything at the moment? I'm reading Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, which is all about a boarding house in San Fransico in the 1970's, sounds boring but it's quite a lark. If you've nothing to read, have a read of the blogs and forum, and you'll see we are very mixed in age, experince, opinion etc but you judge by some of the reminiscence on here like the festivals I've been to thread. Look forward to hearing from you again, MF:D

  • Thanks firrine for your support........... today they discharged me from the crisis team......I really can't get out and I'm hoping my psych will visit me tommorow, I don't really know if he will I haven't had any confirmation yet....its my birthday tommorow and I feel crap and old.....you are young and have your whole life ahead of you...please don't take this the wrong way..I don't want to be young again I just feel its all been a waste of time.......thank you again its very comferting to get your posts x


    I felt the same way about my life hon, I was marked a genius as a child and expected to be super successful at everything. I got scholarships to the best schools and was the top of every class. I had a nervous breakdown in my teens, left school without any qualifications ... it wasn't until I was 30 that I was stable and happy enough to go back to uni and start moving forwards. I felt guilty and ashamed of wasting all that potential and all that time and used to get really miserable about it. But I realised that surviving and overcoming the depression and anxiety was a heck of an achievement in itself. There's always time to do something meaningful, just focus on getting all the help and support you can to get there and it'll happen, I promise. xx

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Thanks firrine for your support........... today they discharged me from the crisis team......I really can't get out and I'm hoping my psych will visit me tommorow, I don't really know if he will I haven't had any confirmation yet....its my birthday tommorow and I feel crap and old.....you are young and have your whole life ahead of you...please don't take this the wrong way..I don't want to be young again I just feel its all been a waste of time.......thank you again its very comferting to get your posts x


    I was just wondering if you have a Mind drop-in centre near you? I don't know if you're able to leave the house at the moment, but Mind is a place you could go for some company, understanding and comfort, and you could just sit and have a cup of tea with others who are in a similar position to you. Thinking of you.

  • hi firrine, I had an appt to see my psych today at 11.30, and I just can't get out I'm feeling realy scared to go out....so my psych rang at home and said if I can't be bothered to come he will discharge me......well that has made me a lot worse.....is there anyone out there that can help me.......xx

  • No I don't have a mind drop in centre, at least I don't think there is one around here....thank you elfie, I don't really kmow what to do anymore I think I'm at the end now. x