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  • Confused about what's "normal"

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    Old 05-14-2007, 05:21 PM   #1
    life for rent
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    Confused about what's "normal"

    2 years after I was first diagnosed with depression, I feel like I've lost all perspective of what is "normal" and what isn't...

    The main reason being that my "depression" (or whatever it is) is never a constant thing. Sure, there have been periods of time when I have been undoubtedly depressed. Days, weeks at a time, sometimes. But it fluctuates so much - I can also be fine for weeks, a couple of months at a time. And then sometimes (like for the last five weeks or so) my mood has been changing, even within the space of a day or two days, going from depressed to OK again. And I feel like I have no idea of the difference anymore - between having depression, and just coping with a normal spectrum of moods... I worry that when I say I'm "depressed" I might just be experiencing a normal bad day, and just not realising it because the label of "depression" has already lodged itself in my brain, you know?

    Over the last 2 years, I have had some experiences with counselling. Having been to see my counsellor again the other day, it transpired that I would probably benefit from going back again for a longer period of time, as I'm not so great at maintaining the feelings of being OK in the long term - hence the depressed episodes (however long or short) continually coming back. But I have such a hard time trying to justify it, thinking that I'm just over reacting and maybe, there's nothing wrong with me after all...

    The last time I talked to my doctor about it, a few months ago, anti-depressants were considered. I'm considering going back to my GP this week to ask her advice - but really, was just wondering if it's worth it... I don't know - I just feel like I can't really tell if I'm depressed or not, which sounds kind of stupid, but there you go. One of my friends was telling me the other day that it's the nature of depression to be up and down, but... is it?

    It's one of the reasons I'm reluctant to go on antidepressants - because I always kind of thought that it had to be really severe and a constant thing for to really "need" it. (despite the fact that this is clearly been a recurring issue for the last 2/3 years..)

    Sorry for rambling - I just feel kind of confused about it all...

     
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    Old 05-14-2007, 09:43 PM   #2
    firenice
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    Re: Confused about what's "normal"

    Hi,
    Medication management for depression is based on the idea that the depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and the medicine attempts to adjust that. In some cases it works. But, sometimes, more often than not, the depression is psychologically based and medication just addresses the symptoms but does not remove the cause. Therapy can help in that area.

    Seeing a counselor is probably a good idea, especially if you have had positive results in the past. If you have not yet become familiar with cognitive behavior therapy then I would recommend that; you can do a net search on it; there's lots of free information and some good books. It's basically stating that our thinking causes depression and when we change our thinking from irrational to reasonable, depression tends to subside or vanish.

    At least doing some net searching on that topic is free and it might give you some more insight into the depression. It's certainly normal to have some mood fluctuations over time. If you depression is such that you cannot function, have difficulty getting out of bed, don't eat, etc...then it's severe; but id you just feel down and somewhat melancholy for a few weeks or a month, then that's more normal. Being constantly happy and excited and upbeat is just as abnormal as it's other side, being depressed and melancholoy all the time.

    Also, keep in mind that we can get depressed about being depressed. We start to feel melancholy, don't understand why and then get depressed about feeling sad or tired or melancholy...Sometimes we feel down and that's normal; we really don't need to feel down about feeling down....

    Hope that helps some...

     
    Old 05-15-2007, 06:03 AM   #3
    marian100
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    Re: Confused about what's "normal"

    I too have been dealing with depression and anxiety off and on over the last 3 years. I believe that alot of it is due to hormonal changes due to perimenopause. I seem to start getting down in feb or mar and continue until i hit bottom in May. I am in counseling but I would like to get more out of it. Maybe I'll look at some of the cbt. I know I need something and anti's don't seem to work well for me. God bless

     
    Old 05-15-2007, 07:35 AM   #4
    Sannah
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    Re: Confused about what's "normal"

    LifeforRent, what issues have you worked on so far in counseling? What issues in your life are still bothering you?

     
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