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Depression; Does anyone suffer from it or has?


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Scots anti-depressant use rising

More people in Scotland are using anti-depressants, the latest figures have suggested.

 

The Scottish government statistics showed a 7% increase in daily use of the drugs in the past year.

 

The largest rise was seen in Shetland, where there was a 10% increase in the numbers using the treatment.

 

It would be interesting to hear suggestions from folk as to why this is, and what could be done to change it.

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It could be that more people are seeking help from medical practitioners, which would be a positive reflection on the statistic and , though counselling and other non-drug therapies would of course be preferable, it would be nice to think that this was the case, rather than decline or self-medication.

 

If the above hypothesis has any truth in it, I don't think anyone would want to change it. :wink:

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Being a naturally quiet person who does not like to 'bother' people about what is going on in my head has meant that I have never sleeked help for depression though I certainly suffered from it when I was younger. Sometimes it was brought on by hormones, my doctor changed the brand of contraceptive pill I was on and suddenly I would be hyper & happy one day then sobbing my eyes out another for no reason at all. Nothing had changed in my life from one day to the next but inside I felt totally different. Luckily that time I put together what was causing it & got them to change the prescription but at other times there have not been easy answers to my depression. Looking back I would say that isolation did not help and made it easier for the depression feeds on itself. Though I made it out I can see where I could easily have got to a point where I couldn’t have done it on my own. I admire the people who have depression and find the real nerve it takes to ask for help, I am not sure it is something I could ever have done. My depression was I think rooted in a deep seated sense of inferiority that wouldn’t allow me to ask for help...I felt at the time that I deserved to feel the way I did. Happy to say I no longer feel like that. We are all the same flawed creatures & all deserve to feel happy & loved. If you feel you are drowning ask for help, it will be there for you.

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Scots anti-depressant use rising
More people in Scotland are using anti-depressants, the latest figures have suggested.

 

The Scottish government statistics showed a 7% increase in daily use of the drugs in the past year.

 

The largest rise was seen in Shetland, where there was a 10% increase in the numbers using the treatment.

 

It would be interesting to hear suggestions from folk as to why this is, and what could be done to change it.

 

Currently I'm south of the border rather than North of it, but I think there's 2 possible reasons why this is.

 

Firstly, the current economic situation is putting a lot of stress on people - both those who have lost their jobs already & those who's jobs are in the firing line - so that could be causing a rise in depression/depressive symptoms.

 

Secondly, on my side of the border, the NHS has withdrawn a lot of the funding for community mental health teams & mental health services. This has left a lot of those who are living in rural areas or away from big cities with no mental health services at all so GPs are often left with the choice of either prescribing anti-depressants or putting the person in question on a waiting list that can be anything from 2-5 years long for talking therapy.

 

I would imagine, that it may well be a combination of both the above if the NHS in Scotland have faced similar funding decisions & pressures....and whilst living off prozac is far from ideal, it does at least mean people are admitting that they're have problems rather than trying to bottle them up & go it alone (which tends to have far worse consequences).

 

Edit to add: oh and yes, I do suffer from depression and have done on & off for about the last decade or so. As much as there's no miracle cure for it, I do think that there is some truth in what Twerty (?) wrote about it often being unresolved issues that can be the underlying cause of it.

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I'm not really sure where to start with a reply here, for many reasons, among those being that I'm now far from anonymous on here, and because I've experienced depression in so many ways.

 

Without any detail, I knew/know quite a few people, both those definitely suffering badly from the disease, and those who seem to think it is some kind of badge or rite of passage.

 

What is almost impossible to describe is the realisation that you have this disease/condition, whatever you want to call it, and to watch almost from the outside as you slip further, unable to do a damn thing about it. My "way out" was self harm.

 

I realise now I did a not too bad job of hiding things when they were at their worst, mainly since I began talking openly about my experience, something I do not just in the hope of helping others, but because it helps me focus and keep things in perspective.

 

I realise now that I am lucky to have had a very strong network of friends, relations and workmates who were supporting me without really knowing they were doing so. I also met someone who really pulled me back to my feet and let me speak openly about it for the first time.

 

Now - I have the logic that any disease or affliction, if kept entirely to yourself, could drive you suicidal, yet for some reason we have no problems talking openly about bowel disorders and boils, both way more distasteful than depression!

 

To save any questions - yep, I still have bad days/spells, and try to treat every one as a chance to learn and equip myself to cope. Sometimes it's still frustrating to think that suicide isn't an option due to being so messy and unfair on family and friends, but thats life!

 

As for medication - I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. To me it's like offering an alcoholic a drink to make them feel better.

 

Well, guess I have said enough. I hope this made sense and maybe helped someone somehow.

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I think that there's often and indeed perhaps a growing confusion between real depression and people who find themselves struggling a bit due to a bad patch in life.

 

Real depression is literally hell on earth and there seems to be no miracle cure for it. And what causes it?. The medical community debate if it's "nature or nurture" i.e you are born with it or things that happen to you as you grow up. The answer is it's both.

 

And yes mhutch you are 100% right - the treatment from the NHS is pitiful and society's attitude is as ignorant and poor as ever.....

 

But what I would add is that life is now so fast and pressurised that it's no wonder there's an increase in depression or depression related symptoms. I also detect that we are expected to sacrifice our lives for our jobs to the point where we are "living to work" rather than "working to live".

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The trouble with depression is that some who are depressed do get missed by the system.

And the close family is the last they need to talk to. And need a councillor outside the family

To be objective about the list of things that are causing the problem. Which all lead’s back to say

A fall down a set of very high steeps a few years ago. To which they have been thinking about the whole time,. And any other troubles just come along and it all pile up on the top of the first.

 

As my friend has found out. It has taking over 6 months with a councillor to admit everything started with the fall and why it happened. And has opened up with the rest of the family about it and got it out in the open. Depression affects those around the unhappy person as well.

Keeping it to yourself is the worst thing you can do . So go and talk to your GP it is at least a start

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But what I would add is that life is now so fast and pressurised that it's no wonder there's an increase in depression or depression related symptoms. I also detect that we are expected to sacrifice our lives for our jobs to the point where we are "living to work" rather than "working to live".

 

oh so very very true, one coping mechanism breaking down in ever so many people is coping with this bar steward system , the same kretin system that employs mental health staff to try n get you in bother wi the same stinking system(yep grassing you up), really really messed up world , any thinking reasonable person , especially a white single male of working age, has a bra braa lot to be depressed about

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What is almost impossible to describe is the realisation that you have this disease/condition, whatever you want to call it, and to watch almost from the outside as you slip further, unable to do a damn thing about it. My "way out" was self harm.

 

I realise now I did a not too bad job of hiding things when they were at their worst, mainly since I began talking openly about my experience, something I do not just in the hope of helping others, but because it helps me focus and keep things in perspective.

 

To save any questions - yep, I still have bad days/spells, and try to treat every one as a chance to learn and equip myself to cope. Sometimes it's still frustrating to think that suicide isn't an option due to being so messy and unfair on family and friends, but thats life!

.

 

I can definately relate to these three paragraphs of your post Spinner especially the part about talking about your experiences to keep things in perspective.

 

khitajrah - that is an interesting read actually and I think there is some merit in the idea that because the expression of grief is becoming less & less acceptable in society (where we're all supposed to be happy all the time if certain strands of the media are to be believed!) leading to a rise in depressive symptoms. Although that's not to say that all depression is simply ordinary grief that has been bottled up.

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I hadn't spotted this thread - well done khitajrah for reviving it. I'm another one who suffers from depression, and who knows very well that it really isn't just "feeling low" - you really can't just "keep a stiff upper lip" and "pull yourself together". On a good day, and they do occasionally happen, you can seem quite normal to those around you, but on a bad day you can just sit without moving for an hour or more because just moving to get up is out of reach. When you do finally manage to get up, you realise that your mind has only an hour of blankness there. It's horrible. It feels as if half your intelligence, or even more, has evaporated.

 

I have to agree that medication is at best a holding tactic, not a cure. My own experience of modern SSRI's was very short-lived, as my body rejected them all in short order by sending them straight back the way they went in - the record holder being Seroxat (12 minutes). About the only thing which helps me at all is an old tricyclic, nortriptyline, of which I'm on almost the max dose.

 

I think from my own experience that Twerto's point about "issues" comes in, for sure, some of which you may be aware of at some level, but very possibly some which you wouldn't have suspected. That's where it can be helpful to talk with someone with a bit of expertise in spotting likely culprits, and who isn't going to be as judgmental as friends or family can be. Twerto's other point, though, about an imbalance in brain chemistry, is what I'm looking at at present, and I'll try to outline why.

 

A large contributor to my own "black dog" - and one I cannot escape from - is tinnitus, which set in after an attack twelve years ago. For someone used to lifting his spirits whenever they needed it by listening to music, the effect is shattering. Not only do I have a sound like a dentist's drill piercing my head every waking hour, it's partially deafened me as well as making pain appear at quite normal levels of sound. Listening to music now is an ordeal, and only makes things worse because I know what it should sound like. Over the last decade, my long-suffering GP has sent me to every ear doctor in the area, to no effect, as well as testing all those antidepressants on me. About the only thing these days which keeps me sane is mucking about with my radio equipment, although again, through the noise inside my head, I'm really only able to experiment with types of transmission which no longer require good hearing - pictures, keyboard modes and the like.

 

Now, a friend of mine, after his own physical and psychological crash some years ago, found himself in a similar, very low, state with no apparent help in sight from the experts. He decided to try and work out for himself what was causing it - it was "kill or cure", and as any true depressive will know, you really don't care which. The route which worked for him - which took him a year and a half to get to - was diet. Whether the problem was the increasing number of additives in modern food or what, we'll probably never know, but he discovered that his body seemed to have built up a "food intolerance" response to everything. Fortunately, the intolerance effects only last for a few days, which means that he can't eat any food on two successive days, but can return to it - again, only for one day - after five or six days. He now lives on an astonishingly strict diet cycle - and if he hasn't cooked it, he won't eat it - but is very recognisably a lot closer to his old, chipper self.

 

The reason why I've started wondering whether internal chemistry mightt be driving my own cycle of tinnitus and depression is this. Looking for stuff about tinnitus on the net, after all those experts have failed, I came across a book on it, mentioned on a "comparison" page, which scored 5 stars out of 5, where none of the other treatments mentioned there came close. It's written ... by a nutritionist. And, the killer for me, about halfway down his own page, is that he specifically mentions nortriptyline by name - and that stuff, remember, is in me 24/7. The little cogs in my brain are beginning to turn (even if very slowly on some days), levers falling into place, and, if this book rates 5/5, it sounds very much like he has actually worked something out - in his case, as in mine, via the toxic combination of the cause of one problem appearing to be the effect of the other. He's getting some of my money when I next put some on my prepay card, and if he helps me to work out how to cut through my own "vicious circle" and I note any improvement I'll post some results here as encouragement to others. We all "know" that body chemistry both affects moods and can cause physical symptoms, but how much do most of us really know about how the chemistry actually works out inside ourselves?

 

I know full well there is other stuff contributing at a conscious level - I find the environment of the city very hostile and unwelcoming these days, with security gates and guards everywhere, hardly a square inch where you can scratch your backside without some goon in a concrete bunker recording it on CCTV, and, and ... I get weakness and quite bad pain down one side, where the same attack seems to have brought back some effects of the polio I had as a child: the painkiller for that is another pretty effective way of turning your brain into Blutack, which really doesn't help on a day when the depression's doing the same. But, as I said, I'm going to start looking into my own biochemistry and trying to work out what's going on in there. In me, dammit. I've seen it work in one case, so I can certainly recommend it to my fellow sufferers as worth a try. Kill or cure. I'll let you know.

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It rears its head when you least expect it. I remember talking to my dad as he slipped away with Alzheimer, saddened eyes as he scanned the pictures on the wall. He had his ups and downs, but tried to joke his way out, sadly he forgot the jokes. I don't know if folks with Alzheimer get depressed, though sending him pictures from his youth brings a little spark.

It was during this time he realised my depression was a tangible thing.

We have to deal with it one way or another, you cannot chastise folk for being depressed, you can only help them before they turn to other methods to try and alleviate the feelings they have. And if they do step over that threshold, call em back, as a friend, relative or both.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've suffered from depression since I was about eighteen years old and, like a lot of people, I masked it with alcohol. After about thirty years I realised my mistake, discovered that I had become an alcoholic and am now dealing with it. The depression has become worse again but I am now in a position to do something about it. Anyone reading, please think about how you cope with your depression, don't do what I did, don't mask it over.

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