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-   -   Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression? (https://www.healthboards.com/boards/depression/210342-really-chemical-imbalance-situational-depression.html)

Donna 2854 09-23-2004 03:37 AM

Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
I am just curious to know what people think. I have come off of Celexa and have decided that perhaps it could be my reactions to life's negative events - thus "situations". I don't feel much different now that I'm off meds entirely.
In fact , I feel more energized and determined to help myself deal with life --without meds. Change daily patterns, definitely exercise more and try to face my problems rather than take a pill and hope that it solves everything ...

I just wonder what the difference is between chemical imbalance and situational. Just wondering if we realistically can expect a med to relieve us? Did I ever REALLY need the med to start with? Can I really improve my life on my own without these chemicals ? I sure hope so and want to at least try...

The media puts out ads from drug companies that suggest they can "help" us . I don't know. Just putting out some thoughts here and hoping to get some feedback...

Red Al 09-23-2004 04:42 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
I totally believe you can change your life without meds. I think it's about good balanced nutrition, exercise and having a belief in something bigger than yourself. I've found acupunture very useful for getting things back in balance. The thing is when you're ill it's true that there are chemical inbalances in the brain, but I believe emotions are what control these chemicals not vice versa. It's only when things get chronic that you can't control this any more. I took meds for the first time in my life when I was 27, having no need for anthing else like this before in my life. I had total burnout from living a million miles an hour. But I believe that if I'm kind to myself I can get myself back in balance. I seemed to work fine for 26 years before I git ill...so why not again?

MrOwl 09-23-2004 06:35 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
Way to go Red Al! Try to stay drug free. Many hold that how we think at things greatly influences the brain chemical balance, and that we can control how we think about things. This includes how we think about situations. Instead of saying, "He makes me mad" say "I choose to get mad about what he says and does." Take ownership of your feelings and moods. Since you own them you can change them, and in changing them, you are changing your brain chemistry. Donna, simple thought pattern changes now will most likely save you from major problems down the line.

Kaitrin 09-23-2004 09:14 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
Your question is a good one, and it's very hard to answer! I think that doctors and psychiatrists are still, unfortunately, quite a ways away from being able to determine the exact cause of a person's depression. If they try a few antidepressants and they don't work, they say "well, maybe it's situational" and if you go to therapy for a while and it doesn't help, they think it must be chemical. Basically, although they do they best they can, it's still pretty much a guessing game. But, in any case, it's fantastic that you're feeling better, and if you don't need to take meds, then that's even better still! Feeling good with no side effects - pretty terrific. Take care -
Kaitrin

Sandalla 09-23-2004 09:19 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
OK, so now I know you've probably read more info than you cared to on my other thread ;) but Donna, to answer your question "Is it really a chemical imbalance ..."

FACT (Not opinion): Are you aware that the term "chemical imbalance" is absolute hogwash! It is a phrase manufactured by pharmaceutical companies in order to promote their own chemicals, and unfortunately has been "embraced" by the psychiatric community and filtered down to us mere unsuspecting laymen! Quite simply - there is NOT ONE PHYSICAL test available to measure and diagnose depression. NOT ONE!!!

Don't be fooled.

I can follow up with many, many sources of reference if you wish to do your own reading up, and then armed with both sides of the debate, you can make up your own mind.

In the meantime, I know they're very long threads, but a few of us here have done a lot of debating on this subject, and you may want to look at the Effexor Nightmare thread too.

The sad, sad thing ... not only with depression, etc ... but with ALL illnesses today (physical too) ... is that the majority of the necessary $$$ required to finance research ... comes from the huge and incredibly affluent drug companies. They are in the business for business reasons, not for altruistic purposes! They need to make profits and the way they make profits is by manufacturing drugs. That's what they do! They're not charitable organizations. So it doesn't take a "brain surgeon" (couldn't resist that! :D ) to figure out what's what.

And it sucks, but that's life. As long as we try to stay informed, keep out heads above water, and not get sucked into all this garbage, that's about all we can do! :angel:

SOE 09-23-2004 09:24 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
Hi Everyone!

Good question Donna. I believe that it is the situational depression that affects our brain's ability to deal with depression -- not vice versa. If doctors were more encouraging to their patients in the direction of getting serious counseling/therapy -- dealing with their issues instead of trying to drug them -- and support healthier living (exercise, vitamins, etc.), we would all be in better places. But when we get drugged, numbed, "zombied", whatever you want to call it, plus now you're dealing with numerous side effects, I think that only makes the depression worse.....

Just my experience....

mjss 09-23-2004 11:47 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
Excellent question!! There's actually been quite a debate about this for a long time. In the end it's really what works for you. If you don't need meds, GREAT! I take medication, participate in therapy, meditate, do yoga, etc. BUT I would not and could not survive without meds. The unfortunate thing is most doctors diagnose in 15 minutes. Other treatments sometimes are not available or are too expensive. This question usually elicits very passionate responses. My thoughts are ONLY concerning my experience, and I hope by continuing this thread we can SHARE experiences, not tell people what is wrong and what is right. Thanks.

mjss 09-23-2004 11:54 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
JUst to add to my thoughts. I'm not suggesting anyone HAS said what is right and what is wrong this thread. My experience has been with a topic like this it CAN elicit that behavior. Thank s and good thoughts to all!

Donna 2854 09-24-2004 04:04 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
[QUOTE=mjss]JUst to add to my thoughts. I'm not suggesting anyone HAS said what is right and what is wrong this thread. My experience has been with a topic like this it CAN elicit that behavior. Thank s and good thoughts to all![/QUOTE]


Really, its just a discussion for us all to participate in. For us to vent out frustrations of this illness and how meds might or might not help. In my case , I have been on so many different meds for so long that I started wondering if it was situational or chemical.
I have not yet answered my own question but am trying life right now without the meds. It remains to be seen , ya know?

*music23* 09-24-2004 11:29 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
I have heard about what Sandalla said about the term "chemical imbalance". I just read it in a book in fact. It appears to be a misnomer. I would have to agree. Look at it this way... antidepressants help "situational" depression; those people supposedly don't have a "chemical imbalance".
Also, a lot of times, situations can trigger what people call "chemical imbalances". Like people may have a depressive or bipolar gene or whatever, and it's a stressful event that triggers the onset of the disease, and they're like that for life. It doesn't mean necessarily that that event continues to be the root of the problem.
Kristina :wave:

Donna 2854 09-26-2004 11:28 PM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
[QUOTE=MrOwl]Way to go Red Al! Try to stay drug free. Many hold that how we think at things greatly influences the brain chemical balance, and that we can control how we think about things. This includes how we think about situations. Instead of saying, "He makes me mad" say "I choose to get mad about what he says and does." Take ownership of your feelings and moods. Since you own them you can change them, and in changing them, you are changing your brain chemistry. Donna, simple thought pattern changes now will most likely save you from major problems down the line.[/QUOTE]

I am really believing what you are saying, Mr O... and Red Al too. I am Celexa free for about 3 weeks or so and am not "crashing" down. In fact , I feel more in control of my emotions. Sure , I'll get frustrated but I take a deep breath and then think through how I'll react to a situation.

I am aware of my thought patterns and try to stop the negative thoughts from taking over. Its an interesting"'exercise for the mind" and its also a big challenge .

I did not like the drugged feelings I got with the meds. They fuzzed the thinking process and one needs to be clear when fighting the negs..
Thanks for sending along your thoughts. Makes sense to me. It takes more than meds to help yourself. You can't pop a pill and hope it goes away.

Thanks to all for replying to this . Whilst its a hot topic , I think one of the points made is that meds alone will not "cure" the illness. Its gonna take more than that to help fight it . And in MY case , I don't think the meds really helped.
I'm just trying my best to shake off lifelong depression , taking different medications didn't help and in fact they only helped me avoid what I need to do - attack the problems I have and deal with different situations.. Remember that this is only MY opinion.

MrOwl 09-27-2004 10:52 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
Donna, I am glad you are doing better.

There will be days when things seem rough. Just take the emotional energy and direct it into something that is both positive and productive. Just keep working at it. Maybe make a game of seeing how creative you can be.

Keep us posted.

mjss 09-27-2004 11:36 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
Donna2854-you've got a great attitude. Situational depression can be treated successfully with treatment that doesn't include meds. If you can do it without meds then GO FOR IT.

mjss 09-27-2004 12:01 PM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
As far as the answer to chemical imbalance/situational, it depends on who you talk to or what book you read.

Donna 2854 09-28-2004 03:31 AM

Re: Is it really a chemical imbalance or is it situational depression?
 
Thanks ya'll for the comments.

I have been so determined to fight this thing that I am totally exhausted this morning. I feel that if I am on my feet and running here and there, I can outrun the mood swing. Just gonna have a "vent minute". And then I'll go away and hush.
In the last week , I have put in alot of hours at work , helped take down a fallen tree in my yard thanks to Ivan, gone to the dentist, the gyn, the football game Sat, had my dad here Sunday , and worked again yesterday .

On top of that , I am doing a holiday craft show ( I am a decorative painter and have been burned out all year due to depression ). The dang show is in a month and I have yet to start my painting production. I also stock shelves at a retail store ( took that job to get out of the house and away from painting. uh, to balance myself. Now, the balance is way too much to the retail job). Am trying to get my hours reduced a tad so I can focus on painting but they KEEP ON giving me more hours. Am just really tired today. hmm , am thinking of calling in today. Funny tho' I actually LIKE that job! Its very hard physically but I do it anyway to prove to myself I can. It is also a way out of the house for a few hours every week.

These things really are not negative, its just that I feel "wound up" or something. This is what I mean by situational. No way any meds would help me with these things going on. grrrrrrrrrrrr

Anyway, just wanted to gripe and whine today. Thanks for listening..


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