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  • Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

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    Old 12-13-2004, 10:51 AM   #1
    joebloggs2
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    Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    I just finished reading the Depression Learning Path. ....deleted....It seems to make a lot of sense. It talks about how a chemical imbalance is a symptom of depression and NOT a cause. This is why drugs have to be continued for sure a long time and why the risk of relapse of depression is very high when treating it with drugs as opposed to therapy.


    It says the cause of depression is our way of thinking, that we ruminate over things throughout the day, and dreams are a mechanism our mind uses to flush out thoughts by playing scenarios in our head about the problems on our mind. So we (depressed people) over-dream and are in REM sleep most of the time, this is why we wake up feeling extremely exhausted (I do at least) and have no energy during the day. because we aren't supposed to be in REM sleep for long, it uses a lot of energy. It also says the body sometimes makes us wake up early if we are in REM sleep for too long, this explains why we wake up too early or during the night (again, this is about my symptoms.)


    It says therapy which involves going over the past and trying to find the reason depression started will just worsen the depression. The therapy that works is teaching the patient a new way of thinking, to think positively and not ruminate over events, as ruminating does not get the problem solved, and causes you to stay in REM sleep most of the day, which causes you to feel exhausted the next day. Feeling exhausted can get you to think negatively.. and the loop goes on.


    I did not know this is what REM sleep was for.. but it makes sense now. I used to stay up at night ruminating.. I would think for hours about a problem. I don't think about SOLVING it or moving on, I think "Why me?" or "This always happens.." Eventually I would feel really bad and start crying about the problem, but after getting some sleep, the next day the problem isn't so bad anymore.


    This makes sense to me because when I started ruminating over the past, is when I started having trouble sleeping and when the depression set in. I myself will never in my life ever try medication or herbs to treat the depression, so this is good news to me. Has anyone else here read this? What do you guys think?

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    Old 12-13-2004, 07:16 PM   #2
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    If you can make yourself better just thinking happy thoughts more power to you! Its seems a lot more comlex than just a sleep disorder. I have not noticed any changes in the amount of time spent in the dream state. Good luck.
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    Old 12-13-2004, 07:26 PM   #3
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalan

    I noticed that I dream A LOT. I almost always wake up suddenly from a bad dream. I also ruminate almost all the time I am awake. I can not think happy thoughts. I try, and I can do so for maybe 10 minutes, as soon as I pass by a shiny surface and remember my physical self or if anything reminds me of bad thoughts, I start ruminating.

     
    Old 12-13-2004, 07:35 PM   #4
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    Thumbs down Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    Reallllyyy????? I think that book has a very narrow-minded, simplistic approach to a very complex and increasing problem - even epidemic. I've found that my thoughts FOLLOW my feelings. If I feel angry, then angry thoughts will follow. If I feel sad, then sad thoughts follow, etc. I've felt this way since I was a very small child, and I had a relatively happy, secure childhood (at that point, anyway). I truly believe that depression is physical, but then, I don't separate physical from mental. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Who cares? They're both inextricably bonded.

    There are different kinds of therapy. Psychoanalysis is probably the kind you're thinking of - I've never tried it and never will. Other kinds involve getting in touch with your breathing and trying to work on making it deeper and more energizing. Those are two among hundreds of methods.

    I'm curious - why are medicines & herbs out of the question for you?

    Last edited by kerry1; 12-13-2004 at 07:38 PM.

     
    Old 12-13-2004, 07:42 PM   #5
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalan

    It's not a sleep disorder. It's just caused by a way we think about things, the chemical imbalance is a side effect. It's a good read IMO. It's short too.

     
    Old 12-13-2004, 09:35 PM   #6
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    I've read that life path article and it makes a lot of sense but doesn't explain everything. My personal theory about depression and anxiety is the seeds of depression and anxiety are in our genetics, that we must have a predisposition for our problems that is physical in nature. This predisposition might not mean we have to have depression/anxiety though. Through life experiences and thinking styles we set ourselves up for depression and anxiety to manifest itself the way it does which throws our chemistry off, which in turn produces more anxious and gloom and doom thoughts. To cure anxiety/depression it's necessary to attack it on many fronts. Through diet/excercise/lifestyle change/change of values/change of thought patterns etc. Like Kerry says it's a complex problem that requires a complex solution which differs for everyone. The day when a pill or some scan that cures us all for good is probably at least several decades away if that soon.

    -Frank

     
    Old 12-13-2004, 11:23 PM   #7
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    The way you explained the book's premise of the cycle...
    ruminating --> too much REM (ruminating in sleep) --> exhaustion --> and so on
    ...makes a lot of sense to me, personally.
    I can remember ruminating about every bad thing that ever happened to me while lying awake in bed at age 4! And calling to my parents almost every night because of nightmares. And crying every day at least until age 10.
    I'm probably not explaining it very well, myself, but the description from the book really describes my experience.

    As far as the chemical therapy vs. behavioral therapy debate:
    I agree that it's not a simple 'either-or' or a 'right-wrong.'
    When behavioral therapy works, it can actually alter the brain chemistry.
    On the other hand, if behavior therapy is not an option or has not given positive results, medication can provide relief that enables the depression sufferer to work on thinking more positively.

    Speaking, again, from experience.

     
    Old 12-14-2004, 10:04 PM   #8
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    Frank186 pretty much summed up my opinion. It's complex. I don't think behavioral therapy goes against medical therapy - they can work together. The thing is to attack it from all angles. If one thing isn't working, you can add another thing to the program, but it doesn't mean you have to drop the first thing.

    Some people would say that your troubled sleep is caused by the wrong brain waves. You need beta waves (???) to sleep well, I think. Meditation, certain music, certain exercises can induce these. In fact, you might try Transcendental Meditation. I did that for a while and it made me sleep deeper than I ever had. Warning: I stopped because it got really addictive. I wanted to do it all the time.

     
    Old 06-25-2006, 01:15 PM   #9
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kerry1
    Frank186 pretty much summed up my opinion. It's complex. I don't think behavioral therapy goes against medical therapy - they can work together. The thing is to attack it from all angles. If one thing isn't working, you can add another thing to the program, but it doesn't mean you have to drop the first thing.

    Some people would say that your troubled sleep is caused by the wrong brain waves. You need beta waves (???) to sleep well, I think. Meditation, certain music, certain exercises can induce these. In fact, you might try Transcendental Meditation. I did that for a while and it made me sleep deeper than I ever had. Warning: I stopped because it got really addictive. I wanted to do it all the time.

    Hello there,

    Did you have excessive dreaming or excessive REM sleep? I have too many dreams and don't feel rested.

     
    Old 06-25-2006, 01:34 PM   #10
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    Joe, it sounds like you are talking about cognitive behavior therapy -- which has been very helpful to me.

    Interesting theory about the sleep issues... I'll have to look into that more.

    SOE

     
    Old 06-25-2006, 04:27 PM   #11
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    Wow this thread was started a long time ago but I'm glad its come back around. Since I started the Lexapro I dream everynight and they are soooo stupid. I think this thread makes alot of sence!!

     
    Old 06-25-2006, 06:12 PM   #12
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalance?

    John, you may have gived me a little insight of what my psyciatrist tried to tell me ten years ago. To my knowledge, I don't dream. However, I know I do because everyone has to reach that state. I slept very well, but when I woke up I had o run for a xanax. I was also very shakey. I fel terrible untin the xanax kicked in. I tole my psych about this and she said I was having nighgtmares or disturbing dreams. Since I couldn't remember dreaming, she told me to put a pad of paper and a pen in my night stand, and when I woke up I shoud try to remember a little of my dreams.

    That never happened and I honestly thought she was a little off on that that one. After reading the things here, I think she might have been right. I wish I had persued it further with her.

    As for it being heredity, I hink to a point it is. Both of my grown daughters have it, but to a much lesser degree. They don't remember having any kind of anxiety before the age of 22. They are hightly functioning. One is a dentist and the other words for the county accessor's office. Neither have had to take AD's or antianxiety drugs.They both dream, also.

    This is really making me think. i would like to go back to the days when I wanted to hear nothing about dreams, and turn it around and learn all I could have.

    Thanks for taking me down memory lane. I think I know what my psch was saying now and I understand it.

    Best Wishes and Good Luck...........WW

     
    Old 06-09-2007, 04:21 PM   #13
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    Re: Dreams and depression. Is it known now that it's not caused by a chemical imbalan

    Interesting thread!

     
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