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Old 06-01-2007, 08:32 PM   #1
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Question If...

biology, heredity, genetics, and chemical imbalances as regards depression and anxiety are still considered just theories, as some of us seem to believe, why is it that quite a lot of people swear that medications have saved their lives, and that they wouldn't be alive right now if it weren't for medications? why are there millions of people who need to be on medications for the rest of their lives, and some who are not able to function in the world without them? why is there such a thing as treatment-resistent depression, where even meds (let's not even mention talk-therapies) cannot bring relief, and then more intrusive treatments methods are warranted (ECT, VNS)?

i am very respectful of people chosing the treatment option that suits them best, but i'm honest when i say that i'm starting to get a bit nauseated here whenever i see others (especially those who have not had to take any meds as part of their treatment plans for depression or anxiety) talking about medications as if these are some sort of evil, horrible, fearful, poisonous concoctions thrown at us unwillingly by the big super-powers that be--i.e., doctors.

the fact is, there is more to depression/anxiety than just one, single, root cause. and there are, without doubt, myriad ways in which to treat this illness.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: If...

BRAVO! i salute you. i know exactly what you are saying. i face this very problam with my own husband, three of my sisters, and one of my brothers. they just don't seem to understand that we are not all the same, some of us need the help of medications to feel better and there is nothing wrong with that. i tell my family that if there's anything out there that can make me feel better then by god i'm going to take it. there is not need for anyone to suffer if you can get relief. i don't think they realize just how bad depression can get. if they had any idea then they would think different.

that was a great post
harmony

 
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: If...

Dakota, your post is a timely one in that I have just been faced with two friends who just don't understand what I'm going through. One is a nurse and the other is a former premed turned social worker and they keep trying to figure out what problem of mine is so bad that I have to turn to medication. One friend asked what I was so depressed about and I told her nothing, that it's a chemical imbalance. Then she shrugged off my feelings of being defective with a careless or even insulting comment that I should just get over it and keep taking my happy pill. I feel alienated that my two friends do not understand at all and look down on medication. Thankfully my third closest friend is starting med school in the fall and she totally gets it.

Thanks for sharing, girl. Although some of us share your feelings, sometimes it helps to explicitly express them to bring about awareness and compassion.

 
Old 06-01-2007, 09:34 PM   #4
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Re: If...

My dad didnt want to see me make an appointment for medication and treatment. His round abut answer to me was going to church and communicating with God.

Thankfully I have a handful of friends that can relate, and have been on some from of medication before.

Im not one to judge whether or not you should take medication I say if it helps then so be it! It's whats right for you.

 
Old 06-02-2007, 05:01 AM   #5
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Re: If...

thanks for validating my feelings--harmony, lilme, piranna....

harmony--i'm very much like you. i believe that if there is anything out there that would bring me out of the abyss, then by God, i will try it.

lilme--be thankful for your 3rd closest friend, and let the other ones see to their business...

piranna--you're a lucky one, to have friends who understand! stick with them, girl!

i'm only going to ask this of lilme, since you've been on these forums the longest, and you're one of the few people who has replied. however, any of you are welcome to share your thoughts and please do...

i'm also getting the impression that even on this board here, we (as posters), are starting to withold our thoughts about meds, especially when they have worked for us. most of the time i hear how bad they are, like i've said before. and i think the major reason for this is because therapy has taken precedent over everything. sure, therapy is one part of getting better, but it isn't the end-all, be-all! yes, we do learn much about our past, but there sure are certain things we can never undo. so, let them lie in the past; if you've done all you could with and about them, then you've reached a point where you've GOT to let it go. that's why we have what freud called defense mechanisms, and they are GOOD to have. depressives don't have them anymore, that's why they suffer too much. not all of us on here are "just a little bit neurotic." probably quite a few of us have more at stake than that, and many of those issues cannot be "fixed" just by examining a part of our past (basically psychoanalysis), and realizing we are in control over it. besides, not everything in our past has a direct link to our present. why are there so many therapeutic methods then? why do we have cognitive-behavioral therapy, rational emotive therapy, humanistic psychology, gestalt therapy, and so many more? none of these really deal with the past.

i'm also getting a bit put off here when i hear people making such hateful and sarcastic remarks about their psychiatrists (i.e., they don't know anything, they're stupid, moronic, everything they do is for money, they don't care about the patient, they just throw out 'happy pills,' without explaining what they're doing, a person is just a number to them, and much more). well, what if we didn't have any of these p-docs who specialize in "the head?" what if there were only therapists out there? only GP's with very minimal knowledge about mental health issues? what if we go on talking ad nauseaum and still not get any benefit whatsoever? lest we forget, psychiatrists--before they become such-- go to medical school, then they go through specialization, after which they do their internships, pass the boards, and finally get to be able to practice in a hospital/mental health center/etc. they become attending physicians later on. these people spend their whole lives studying this field. they MUST keep abreast with the volumes of new information about mental health that comes in nonstop, due to research in the field.

maybe some people become doctors (and choose psychiatry as their field) because someone in their family had a mental health problem? just as a cardiologist may have had someone in their family that had heart problems...

it's good and wonderful for people to share experiences, but i don't know why it is that most of the time people choose to talk only about "bad" or negative experiences in their lives. maybe talking about some good "lessons," and telling a good story once in a while will give others out there some hope.
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Old 06-02-2007, 05:58 AM   #6
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Re: If...

Dearest Dakota, I would not want to upset you but I come here to help people and if I upset someone in the process of pushing them to get better I think that it is worth it and I don't even mind being the bad guy if it is going to help someone get better. I have successfully traveled the long road. I can look back now and see what it takes. I can look at many of you here and see things because I have been there. Dakota, I see you wanting to hold on to things. I have never once told you to come off your medications, I just try to get you to see this or that to see if it will help. I do not look down on you because you take medications, I swear! I wonder how much projection is going on with you here? I understand a lot about how you grew up with your mother and how you were made to feel. I can certainly see how this would cause depression. I can see if you could just move beyond this upbringing, resultant thought/feeling processes, that you could get better. I think where we differ in thought is that I see you need the support of the medications until you can change ingrained thoughts/feelings and you see the medications as changing your chemical imbalances that are permanent. I see the chemical imbalances as accompanying your thoughts and feelings until they change to be more functioning. And Dakota I have taught you a lot about yourself!

I represent my opinions here and this is all that they are. You are the one who is internalizing my opinions too much for your own comfort. I feel that it is important to represent a different theory that I truly believe in. I also feel that this opinion is also more hopeful. But no one here has to take my opinion as there own. I like to debate this opinion because debate is good for people to find their own truth. Once the debate is over everyone is free to choose their own answers. I just feel that there needs to be a debate. Others may disagree, this is fine. But debate is good. I just dislike seeing people say that this is genetic and that they are stuck with this and cannot change. I am only trying to push people to see that no, there is hope and you can get better. This is only for their own good. I invest myself here to help others but I would never use my energy against someone's will. I will push to get them to see another way so that they can have hope to get better but there is a limit and I will certainly back down if this is what someone else wants - that they do not want to be pushed to see a different way. I guess it is a line and I will not cross it if anyone tells me to stop. I will certainly respect that but I need to be told STOP, leave me alone.

Do you feel like you are a failure? Is this what this is really about?

 
Old 06-02-2007, 06:17 AM   #7
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Re: If...

Dakota, really and this is true unless you have suffered first hand anxiety and depression you have NO idea what it feels like. it really is true..look at peoples faces when you tell them you are depressed they are baffled. some say why? than i want to smack them, alot of the time you cant give a reason why. im sure not going to start telling them about genetics so i learned to take my meds and keep my mouth shut. simple as that. to me even when i talk to my therapist i feel that she is telling me things right out of a textbook..so i asked her if she ever suffered from depression she told me no. i just started seeing her about 6 weeks, sometimes things that happen in my life with my kids etc... make me feel worse and i need to double my antidepressant for a while..than lower again.

 
Old 06-02-2007, 06:24 AM   #8
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Re: If...

Jules, if you had all the answers now you wouldn't be depressed. Getting better is finding your answers. Why is there this resistance to seeing another way? The way that you have now is not working.

 
Old 06-02-2007, 06:31 AM   #9
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Re: If...

Dakota, I see you wanting to hold on to things

holding on to my illnesses, sannah? i think that is a very unfair thing to say!! holding on to the past? that is not right either. do you really think in your heart sannah that i want this misery? this hell? this nightmare? do you think it was a wonderful experience not to be able to go out the door when i was in college, because i was afraid of fainting in the streets, b/c of my very real panic attacks? that when i was ready to go to class, i'd go to the door, but turned right back because i thought i couldn't face another day? that i cried in my pillow every single night, and felt nobody in the world understood me? that i actually thought about that it would be better not to exist than to live in hell?

I wonder how much projection is going on with you here? I understand a lot about how you grew up with your mother and how you were made to feel...I can see if you could just move beyond this upbringing, resultant thought/feeling processes, that you could get better

i am beyond projecting my feelings toward my mother on this board, sannah. i've dealt with my mother for many year, and i've gotten to understand her. i told you that i even feel sorry for her now. i see her more as a person who is suffering in her own way. yes, she may not have been the best parent in the world, but there comes a point where one must let that go. people don't change. i know that. i'm not even THINKING about my mother as much anymore, sannah, yet you always bring her up for some reason. like i said before, problems, issues, stresses do not ALWAYS come from the past!!! they are very real NOW. they have nothing to do with the past.

I see you need the support of the medications until you can change ingrained thoughts/feelings

sannah, you see me this way. i've been and lived with generalized anxiety and clinical depression for years, you know that. i've been to counseling, therapy, whatever you want to call it several times throghout those years, with different therapists; i've tried my best and my hardest to work on my "issues." and even if i found the causes of my problems, my anxiety and depression did not go away, sannah. i don't want to have these problems my whole life. i don't know anybody in this whole word who wants to live with these illnesses. it's just that for some people, therapy alone is NOT enough, sannah. if it works for some people, fine. i'm glad it worked for you, really.

And Dakota I have taught you a lot about yourself!

yes, you did, sannah, and i'm truly grateful for that. thank you!


I feel that it is important to represent a different theory that I truly believe in

well, i feel that it is equally mportant to represent another theory that i truly believe in, and that saved me (just like therapy saved you, sannah). mind you, i do not disbelieve in therapy. not at all. i just don't think it is the ONLY thing to focus on, that is all!

Do you feel like you are a failure? Is this what this is really about?

Sannah, does everything always boil down to people feeling like "failures" and is this the ultimate theory for you and the reason you always push for therapy? and exactly--failure in what, sannah? my response to you is that i do not feel like a failure in everything that i am, do, or think. there sure are things that i want to improve in my life (after all, don't we all??--none of us are perfect!! we all learn about ourselves and the world until we die, and we may still not know much about either). you constantly tell me that i feel like a "failure." why do you always do that?
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:51 AM   #10
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Re: If...

Dakota, I see you wanting to hold on to things[/I]

Holding on to your way of thinking.

I wonder how much projection is going on with you here?

Projecting your feelings onto me.


I understand a lot about how you grew up with your mother and how you were made to feel...I can see if you could just move beyond this upbringing, resultant thought/feeling processes, that you could get better


You were shaped by the past. This "shape" is what is affecting you now, not the past anymore.

I see you need the support of the medications until you can change ingrained thoughts/feelings

You can change Dakota. You can understand things but this is not enough. Change is what needs to happen.

And Dakota I have taught you a lot about yourself!

yes, you did, sannah, and i'm truly grateful for that. thank you!

And I still have more to teach you but you don't want to listen anymore. This is fine and it is your choice. Just tell me what you want.

I feel that it is important to represent a different theory that I truly believe in

well, i feel that it is equally mportant to represent another theory that i truly believe in,

Then represent that theory. We can both be here. I do not have to be silent everywhere for you to speak.

Do you feel like you are a failure? Is this what this is really about?

Sannah, does everything always boil down to people feeling like "failures" and is this the ultimate theory for you and the reason you always push for therapy?

Dakota, I am only asking you if you feel this way, I am not telling you. It is just a question.

I get the feeling that you are angry because you think that I have the world just too mapped out here and categorized. Categorizing things makes things easier to understand and this is the only purpose of it - to sort info out into groups for understanding. The world does not function like this, however, and I don't think that you realize that I understand this. Models for thinking are just tools for understanding. All of these models mix and flow in real life. Real life isn't so easy to categorize and understand just the knowledge. I do see life as more complex than this Dakota, I do.

Last edited by Sannah; 06-02-2007 at 06:57 AM.

 
Old 06-02-2007, 08:31 AM   #11
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Re: If...

sannah, whoa let me back up a minute..im not depressed any more..i take 100mgs zoloft a day and im doing well. i came on to this site to learn what i can . my son suffers from depression,anxiety possibly bipolar..so hes been on alot of different meds. But, in my years of dealing with depression ive come to realize that most people are not familiar with the feeling.

 
Old 06-02-2007, 09:40 AM   #12
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Re: If...

Happy Saturday to you all!

I thank you, Dakota, for being brave to post a conversation rather than the typical help-seeking, advice-giving, informational posts. I appreciate that you are using your voice for what you feel, think, and believe. I also thank the rest of you for sharing and responding so respectfully and empathetically. This shows what good-natured people we have here on the board and it personally makes me feel much safer to post.

So hereís what I believe and where I come fromÖ

I believe in both disciplines of psychology and medicine, with a degree in biochemistry & molecular biology (premed) and a minor in psychology. Itís a matter of nature vs. nurture and there is now the new consensus in research that neither one alone is responsible for the way a person is, for they both influence behavior more or less equally. Yes, your childhood makes you who you are, but so does your body, which is completely controlled by chemicals that are dictated by your genes.

My story is that Iíve had many issues growing up and Iíve sought psychological therapy to help me with them. Bottom line that Iíve learned is that I need to be aware of my feelings in the moment, analyze them to see where they are coming from, and then let them go. Itís easy for me to let them go now, because I have forgiven my parents and all the other people associated with my issues. For example, I posted several days back that I was upset that my dad wants to pass his son off to me because he doesnít want him anymore. Of course I was terribly angry because this is the same thing that always happens. But I realized why I was angry, understood that my father is just being him, and I let it go so that I can positively find a solution to the problem. Eventually, I believe that I will come to a point in my life that I will be so used to letting go of the past and the bad feelings they cause me that the whole thought process will be so instantaneous and I wonít even be aware that circumstances in the present are even bringing up the past.

After being in therapy off and on for 10yrs now, I hit an all-time low that I just couldnít explain with my issues. I talked to my therapist and she said to go see my doctor immediately. Nothing changed with my issues and my life was looking up, so why did I feel so depressed? I saw my family doctor and he comforted me so much. He was very compassionate and understanding, granted he is a close family friend because my mother had helped him through his internship and residency. It was in this conversation with him that I found out that depression runs in my family just like migraines do. Little did I know that my mother and brother have been on medication for 2yrs; my mom is on Zoloft and my brother is on Wellbutrin. My doctor admitted to me that even he was on Celexa for 9mos for unexplainable depression. I also found out from my mother that my cousin was hospitalized when she was young for depression. It certainly runs in my family and it all makes sense to me now. Coincidentally, the onset of my depression and that of my brotherís started at the same age when we were 22yrs old. Now, is our depression due to issues or genetics? This looks like genetics to me.

So yes, while I do believe that one should start off with seeing a therapist to discover any possible environmental causes (i.e. childhood) for mental illness, I think that in some cases medication is the ultimate solution. I am now on my third month of medication and I feel wonderful. I have noticed that my emotions are more leveled. Sometimes when I forget a dose, my emotions that Iím feeling that day are exaggerated. For example, if I happen to be feeling down that day and forget a pill, then I become depressed. If I happen to be feeling happy that day and forget a pill, then I become super hyper and happy. Medication levels me off and it has nothing to do with my issues. I feel that before I got on meds, I had all the tools to work through my issues. But the reason why I wasnít successful was because my brain got in the way. Now, please note that I also think that your past will always try to jump into your present! That is simply how humans are made. The only thing we can do is learn how to deal with it in the present. If you deal with it time and time again, it will become so second-natured that you will eventually feel like youíve overcome the issue. Am I making sense?

Also, my first-hand experience of the med school process does in fact show that the majority of students wanting to become doctors do it only for the money, prestige, and respect. Only a handful like myself are truly in it for the great empathy they want to share with patients. So when I see people, especially Pucca, complaining about docs, I totally understand what they are going through!

Before my post becomes a true novel, I shall stop here.

 
Old 06-02-2007, 11:11 AM   #13
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Re: If...

Hi Lilme, yes, I agree that there is a genetic component. Every website that I have ever checked on depression states that there is a genetic predisposition THAT IS TRIGGERED BY THE ENVIRONMENT. In other words if there is no environmental trigger there is no depression. I read this on several web sites. When I talk to you all and you have issues that are unresolved, until you get all of these cleared up and then you are still depressed then I will believe you......

I agree that meds can help but they are not a cure. No medicine except chemotherapy is a cure. Meds alleviate symptoms. Issues cause thinking/feeling that interferes biochemically. Meds help this biochemical imbalance.

I certainly don't want to force anyone to face issues and solve them so that they can get better, I just want this info to be out there in case anyone wants to take this route.

 
Old 06-02-2007, 11:14 AM   #14
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Re: If...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jules3 View Post
But, in my years of dealing with depression ive come to realize that most people are not familiar with the feeling.
Jules, I am not talking about how you are feeling, I am talking about dealing with the issues (or the effects of the issues on your functioning) that are causing the depression. IMO, dealing with the effects of your issues is a cure. Taking meds is dealing with symptoms. Everyone here has their own choice which route to take. I just want the info out there so that whoever comes along has different info to choose from.

 
Old 06-02-2007, 02:24 PM   #15
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Re: If...

i have more to say, but till then.... you wrote,

"I get the feeling that you are angry because you think that I have the world just too mapped out here and categorized."

dear sannah, i get the feeling that you are trying to over-compensate for something that is lacking somewhere in you, so you are trying to overdo it at times, on these boards here.

the sentence up above is a prime example. my dear friend, do you really think that you know everything there is to know about the world? did God/Buddha/Mohammed/etc., relate their never-ending knowledge to you my dear, because if they did, you are truly a very special and very unique woman ! and if it's so, i'd be more than happy to continue our conversations.
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