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Stress/Depression

Steve
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Stress/Depression

How can we overcome It or live with It? My relationship with the love of my life was at breaking point tonight, I suffer severe depression, I have battled It for 5 YRS roughly yet I am no where near defeating It or learning to live with It. And I detest It.
How many of you have had It or have It and can you pass on great techniques for us out here that really need help to be at the very least  able to cope with It.
This topic Is for to help us out here who find life hard to deal with every minute of every day. And hopefully pass on some great advice to other's along the way. Its not meant to be a heavy sad thread but more of an enlightenment If you will.
I've ran out of hope and feel I need to get In touch with God as a way of coping and getting better, I think he Is the only one that can save me as all other help has tried and failed. But I am scared people may think I have lost the plot as not much people around me are religious.
To the Moderators If you think this thread Is to heavy then delete It but please If you delete It explain to me why you have done so.
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Re: Stress/Depression

@Mods: Please do not delete, this is nothing to be ashamed of or brushed under the carpet.
Steve, I've suffered with it for what.. 10 years. I'm not very good with this meaning of life stuff but I'll try. At this point I'd like to point out that I wrote quite a long post then decided some of it would be better sent by PM.
I got so low once I found myself at a railway bridge. I'll spare you the details that you don't need to know but the laser zapping sounds of the electricity in the rails scared me more than the train itself so that ruled that out. The next day something really good happened to me which had been a problem for 14 months (one of so many different things dragging me down but it was still a big weight off my shoulders).
In the ten years I've suffered with it I've found it very hard to cope and been off work loads of times. Two different doctors used to see me walk in the door and just ask me how long I wanted them to sign me off  Shocked I knew I wasn't well but I didn't think I was that bad (and when I did think I was that bad the Dr didn't  Crazy). Tablets never seemed to do much for me either. I could be on them for months and feel no better deep down. Tablets can't get rid of your family, financial, employment etc problems.
I find life incredibly hard to handle sometimes. I have only one real hobby - the computer. I can watch videos, listen to music, do a bit of programming etc but the real plus side is that it doesn't moan at me, it doesn't want money from me, it doesn't try to stitch me up and get me fired etc. I have other interests, none of which I can afford as a hobby and that is quite crushing for me deep down. It makes me feel like a failure that I can't enjoy life and have fun like so many other people seem to have. I don't even have a smartphone like so many folks these days just a basic £15 thing. To add to this, I get bored easily. I can sit at the computer for hours.. and get bored. With nothing else to do I end up thinking through all my troubles whilst staring at the screen wondering what to do next. I guess thats my strategy for coping really.. sit at the computer and think about things. How it could be worse or better.. the good, the bad.. etc.
I've come to accept my life won't change now. Ever since I can remember I always held out a bit of hope that things would get better. They always do eventually for everyone yet for me it never really did. I'm still in the same situation I've been in for years on end. Nothing got any better for me, I had no opportunity, I worked hard and ended up with a boss that would call me a f****** **** just for saying good morning etc (ex army sargeant stuck up arrogant type). I crumbled so many times it's beyond belief.
What I've realised lately is that everyone needs something to keep them going. Something good, something positive, something fun and something you can look forward to. Last year I found an interesting site called 28dayslater which is about urban exploring abandoned places etc. I stumbled onto a site about railways which reignited my childhood fascination. I went out and found some old disused railway sites to explore (tunnels, bridges, routes, etc). I find myself looking at old railway photos and videos quite a lot which helps me to pass the time. I've also found a local heritage railway nearby who say they can't get enough volunteers and they even have my favourite model of train so I'm off to see them soon. Truth be told I can't wait but its made me feel a lot better this week knowing that I can go and do something I WANT to do and not something that other people want me to do which dominated nearly all of my life.
I was often punished in my young years for trying to have any form of fun. Anything I wanted to do was frowned upon. Even trying to watch something on TV I really wanted to see would result in it being unplugged for the hoover (on purpose) along with many other demoralising things. At one point I was so low I'd just sit in my room on my bed and stare at the wall - I was 13 / 14 and looking back, showing signs of depression back then! Everyone has the ability to deal with and live with a certain amount of negativity in their life but there is only so much you can take. When your life is constantly being made negative by others you can't stay positive and eventually it beats you. Mental blocks can occur, you find yourself unable to talk about some things and gradually more and more unable to cope. Even now I still find myself slowly unwinding and telling my partner about things that have happened to me in the past, who caused them etc. The person that did me a lot of harm has a degree in pshychology too so there is no excuse really is there  Sad I'm only now starting to understand what went on and how it affected me. Fun was ruled out of my life, I was made to feel guilty for any resources I needed (books, heating, water etc) and often just for being alive. I was always treated as an expense and always stitched up to owe that person money for something even though in reality its something that every family just accepts as part of life. It's taken me YEARS to overcome this. Even now I still don't really know how to enjoy myself properly and when I meet people with an interest I share and they offer to help me or do an activity with me I still hold back instinctively thinking that I can't, musn't, shouldn't etc. I still question myself and feel guilty whenever I do something or spend a few quid on something I want. Likewise I find that whenever I have dealings with people who want to sell me something or provide me a service I am always very defensive about them scamming me and I loose my rag very easily too because I instinctively see them as the enemy. I'm not proud of it either. I've recently found a program on Quest called Auction Hunters about two blokes that buy contents of storage lockers and sell them on at profit. They find all sorts of cool stuff - snowmobiles, quad bikes, even a hovercraft in one show. They take the stuff to experts and haggle the price - and then try the stuff out. Thats something I'd never even ask - "Can I have a go?" because it was put in my head that I wasn't allowed to and must never ask. The reality is people like it when you take an interest in their interest and most of the time (unless you need to be taught and learn it) most people will actually be happy to let you try something thats fun. It's taken me years to understand this and even now it's still alien to me. When I was learning to drive my driving instructor once asked me "Are you having fun now?" I honestly had no idea how to answer the question  Undecided I only really noticed that driving could be fun a year or so down the line.. and then realised why everyone seems to love top gear. How much else have I missed out on?
What grinds me down is people who say things like "Cheer up" or "get a life" or "Think positive" etc. You can't be cheerful when you feel mentally crippled. You can't get a life when you don't know how to fix your current one. You can't think your way out of a grotty situation.. however I have noticed that when I am rarely in a good mood, sometimes good things seem to happen. Just like those bad days when you think to yourself "how much more.. what else can go wrong?" something else bad seems to happen within minutes that you really don't need. It's strange.. I have found myself wondering if there is something in the happy-go-lucky lifestyle recently especially after watching Derren Browns show about luck and the lucky dog.
More being sent by PM.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
annerimmington
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Re: Stress/Depression

Thanks for sharing your story Sprite - you do sound a strong person.
I`ve had many periods in my life where I have been affected by anxiety (which in turn leads to depression).I used to be anxious about everything, the thought of not being able to cope at work, how people perceived me. Worrying about everything under the sun led me down the path to depression (although not as severe as Sprite) and insomnia.   Eventually I started having panic attacks which are truly terrifying and you actually believe you are going to die.   Knowing that the attack WILL pass and you are NOT going to die helps and I have found breathing techniques that really work for me and thankfully they are rare now.  For me tablets from the doctor was not an option - I saw too many people turned into zombies by tranquilisers.    I had my own coping mechanisms.    I found that being in the fresh air, going for long walks helped me enormously and calmed me..........being aware of nature - the trees, the birds - just everything around you.   I also found that by not concentrating on myself so much - I started doing volunteer work at weekends, helping out in our local RSPCA and a local homeless shelter and seeing how those poor people cope with just surviving each day an eyeopener.    It taught me to be thankful what I had and to be more positive which in turn helped me turn my depression into optimism.............I know trying to think positive is so hard when you are suffering depression but I had this mantra I kept repeating to myself every day no matter how bad I felt................positive mental attitude.     It worked for me, that and helping others less fortunate made me focus on something other than myself and how I was feeling.        

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Re: Stress/Depression

jim:post This thread will not be locked or removed
However I will be moderating it very strictly for unhelpful and off topic posts
Remember that anything posted here will be scraped by Google and others so please be a little circumspect in what you post mod:end
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Re: Stress/Depression

Although I have never suffered from depression in the clinical sense of the word I have suffered from certain problems that have invoked periods of feeling extremely down along with low self-esteem.
A few years ago I was introduced to the benefits of Mindfulness which I found extremely helpful and would recommend anyone suffering from some form of mental health problem or low self-esteem to investigate.
With the right councellor treating you with a combition of Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) I believe huge improvements in quality of life can be achieved.
A couple of links that may be helpful:
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
The Mindfulness Approach
There's a good self-help book on low self-Esteem which I would also recommend: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem by Melanie Fennell
There's also a little more information here
Edited for wrong link

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David_W
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Re: Stress/Depression

I'm 35 now and have suffered from severe anxiety, panic attacks and depression since I was 15 so more than half my life has been controlled by a stupid illness that doesn't even have a fancy Greek or Latin name.  I could probably accept it more if it had a fancy Greek name.
There are charities out there designed to help though, usually under the umbrella of Mind.  They do lots of social activities together, like walks and such, walking is very good as it's exercise which is good for the brain chemistry.
The thing I find worst about this illness is that it's possible to feel better but to do that you have to want to get better but by the very nature of the illness you find it really hard to want to do anything.
It also doesn't help that people don't understand the situation you're in.  If you have a broken leg or broken arm, people can see that and can understand when you say "nah, can't come out with you" but can't understand when you're unable to leave your house because of mental health issues.  So your close friends get on with their lives and you're stuck in a rut unable to move forward and life passes you by.
I would recommend getting in touch with Mind though, or your doctor can refer you to a local charity (mine was Pentreath or something) who have specialists that can give you options to suit your needs.  My own one was a gaming nut so we spent lots of time talking about games and err, more games.
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Re: Stress/Depression

Because others can't see a physical injury such as a cut or bruise you can get things like "pull yourself together" or "snap out of it" and " there are thousands of people worse off than you", but that shows a complete lack of understanding of the condition and really annoys me.
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Re: Stress/Depression

I have had a period of deep depression and low esteem..... I can`t remember how it started, nor the specific way I came out of it, save to say, that, one day, I just seemed to say to myself.... OK.. so things ain`t going well, accept it and try to find something nice happening today...  I tried to think this way, every morning when I woke up... to face a new day of challenges.... I began to believe in myself again, and accepted that I was never going to be rich enough to enjoy life as the "life" coaches expect us to live up to, but that my life, was so much better than many others.  I have my health, and am reasonably fit... not overweight (too much), for my age, and appreciate the "nice" things around me in life. These include ... Fresh air, the weather, (all kinds) being able to drive my car, and the freedom it gives, sunshine, and flowers, in fact just about everything... I think I appreciate these things much more since I took up Photography as a hobby, and carry my camera around EVERYWHERE, so I don`t miss a chance shot.. (although I still do) ! ! ...Seeing the world "through the lens" so to speak, gives me a different outlook to most others  (I assume)... and I am generally happy "with my lot".... having said all that,. I am also aware of the deep depression mentioned by Steve M and Sprite. as I am "on the outside" of someone who is showing and giving the same "symptoms" coupled with a recent bereavement, and halucinations after a couple of operations, due to too much anaesthetic in a short space of time.  We have help from the local Community Mental Health service, and the possibility of taking pills to help reduce the depression was offered, however, this has been declined, and I spend about 1 to 1.5 hours a day, just talking and trying to find some way of helping to change the way this person sees life and also to try to introduce some form of "interest" or hobby to get really "into" ( like Sprite, with his railways)...to take the mind off the depressing thoughts. Unfortunately, this person is not "active" as I am, and find that walking any distance without the support of a walking frame is very painful in the knees.... this only adds to the depressional thought processes, and is difficult to combat or suggest "lifestyle changes" that would (could) possibly improve the minds eye on themselves, or the world as it seems.
I realise that it is going to be a very very long time, before I see any great improvement, however, there have been some small personal achievements, which I keep referring to in my discussions, to show them that thing are improving, even if it seems like nothing changes.
To climb a mountain, you must take small steps, and despite the difficulties encountered along the way, small achievements will start to add up to achieving the whole. ..... Eventually... ( I hope).
Agree wholeheartedly with Strat comment, and as for being told " get a life "..... (erm where do you get one of those from?)  and "get a grip",,, (on what?) pathetic remarks, which bear no resemblance to the suffering and no help whatever, in fact, probably the direct opposite..
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Re: Stress/Depression

I Do not suffer from depression but have met many people who have and there are no simple answers.
The advice given in previous posts is very good and what works for one person may not work for another.
Depression appears to fall into two main camps, reactive depression as a result of a particular incident(s) such as the loss of a family member or long term depression caused by incidents that happened long ago, often in childhood, and were never resolved.
Medication should only be seen as a short term fix and should be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy such as Behaviour Therapy but the Skills and qualifications of people offering Behaviour Therapy vary and it is important to find some one who you have confidence in and can trust. A Long List of Qualifications does not equal the best Therapist.
Transactional Analysis has also been used with success by some people.
From my own observations of those with depression I am convinced that negative feeling get reinforced by more negative feelings and it builds up to a point where the person feels they cannot go on or cannot go on much longer so it's important to break this cycle as the longer it has gone on for the harder it will be to break.
I assume you have already approached your GP but have you enquired about mental Health Teams in your area as they may be able to offer you further advice.
My own advice for what it's worth is get out and about and do as much as possible to distract your mind from focusing on negative thoughts, try to mix with people who come across as positive rather than those who constantly moan about everything, don't read articles in the press or watch programs that constantly harp on about all the negative stuff in the world and as previously said get out and about, to stay in and lose contact with people is also a no, no.
Depression is a major problem and by raising this topic you have taken the first positive steps in attempting to deal with it. 
Steve
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Re: Stress/Depression

I take pills and many of them every night, Have done for 4-5 YRS now, They help me a fair bit, Without them I am not sure I would still be here typing right now, I was seeing my CPN but she retired earlier this month and I don't want to see another one, I'm not  starting over...Not now. I see my psychiatrist every 3 months about life and medication, Without medication I would never sleep,Not even for an hour.
I have had and receive good support but there Is only so much I can do, I have became a shadow of the man I used to be. I hate going out, And I lose my temper to easily, My girlfriend Is very supportive and actually I don't think there Is any other women on the planet who would put up with what she has to put up with.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel or Is It the lights of an oncoming train?
David_W
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Re: Stress/Depression

There is light, I have a friend who was in a pretty bad state, even had a spell in an institution.  A few years ago she said to herself that she has to change.  Now she's moved from a small town to a city, gone through college and is working part time while going to college.  She still fights the condition but instead of letting it control her, she controls it, so much so that recently she was very sick but her thoughts were not of the usual "argh, I'm sick, I'm sick, I'm sick" but "darn, I want to stop being sick so I can get back to work".
There is only so much the meds can do, they are not a cure or really a treatment, they are designed to take the edge off so you can work with forms of therapy, without the meds it'd be a lot harder to do CBT for instance, but with the meds taking the edge off therapy becomes easier on the person.  Going outside (for instance) makes me have anxiety attacks, if the meds can take the edge off those attacks to make them less severe than going outside becomes easier, so I can go outside repeatedly which in turn trains the brain into noticing nothing bad is happening which makes going outside easier and easier.