A Success Story

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Hey guys, 

I'm writing because I want to share my story. As brief as it may be, I hope it helps you guys. 

Depression sucks. I've been depressed for around 7-8 years. On and off. To lesser and greater extents. 

August 2015 was my limit. I was exhausted with the mental gymnastics. My anxiety was getting the better of me. My focus was non-existent. My social life was chequered at best. My sense of worthlessness has hit critical levels. I simply did not see the point of going through the same sh*t every single day. 

To be totally transparent, I wasn't suicidal but I was getting there. The phrase 'What's the point?' ended almost every trail of thought. 

I've never taken pills. Not even for headaches. My mum's a hippy. However, I knew that I couldn't continue. 

I went to the doctors, got some citalopram and referred to a therapist. The waiting list was long. So the drugs would have to do for now. 

Citalopram, for me, numbed my anxiety. It also numbed every other aspect of my life. No gym, no stress, no appetite for life. Just numb. Floating through life in order to not take my own. 

My job is stressful (everyone's is) and I knew that it would, at least, help me put words on paper and ensure I wasn't let go. There was no love in those words. Just a facade in order to carry on. 

Other than work, I did nothing else. It's probably worse than depression. Although, you could argue either way. 

January 2016 arrive and, whilst I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions, I changed my diet, got to the gym and started therapy. 

The funniest thing happened. It all disappeared. The anxiety, the depression, the lack of focus, the lack of appetite for life. Everything. Gone.

I did a little research and, being moderately gluten and dairy intolerant, found that Gluten and Diary act like drugs in 30% of the world's populations brains. They are broken down in the gut into Glutomorphone and Casomorphine which enter the brain and mimic the effects of heroin. 

I had been on an 8-year come-down. But this isn't a testament to a diet change. 

The gym helped relieve the anxiety and simply being extremely open and honest to everyone about my depression opened so many doors. I know it's hard to tell people your depressed when you're depressed. You'll avoid anything to make your day any worse. I've lied, covered things up and avoided all sorts of situations just to make sure I didn't feel any worse. 

All that happened in the first couple of weeks whilst still on Citalopram. Then, serendipitously, my pills ran out. This was about 8 days ago. 

I made the bold (probably silly) decision to quit cold turkey. 

The brain zaps ensued. The headaches occurred. The sweat filled my bed. 

That was 8 days ago. 

What I've learned over 8-years of depression is that it really isn't you or the person you are. I haven't changed the person I am in the past month. I'm still the same. I'm just able to handle life better. 

Depression removes our tools to handle life. Therefore, we ignore what's good for us in an all-hands-on-deck mission to avoid feeling any worse. 

So, if you're still deep in the dark and looking for answers. Stop looking at yourself. You're fine. 

Look at the food you eat. Look at what you do to your body. Look at how much time you spend alone. Look at anything other than you. 

Because you will and forever be you. And that rocks. 

4 likes, 11 replies

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Thanks Partridge,

    Great story and so good to hear things are better. You are so right we are what we see, read, watch on TV, eat, drink, the drugs we take and the air that we breathe (there is more).

    I hope everyone reads your testamony and learns from it!

    One question are you still doing cold turkey?

    Best Regards and thank again!

    David

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  • Posted

    No worries. I just felt I had to write it. Didn't edit or re-read. Just wrote and published.

    Yup, cold turkey. My girlfriend has been really great with the entire process. 

    Cold Turkey Symptoms:

    Brain Zaps - Frequent, unsettling but manageable. Subsiding now but occurs when I smoke or encounter trigger events (things that make me anxious). 9/10 days in and they still occur. 

    Headaches - Mild. Towards the end of the day. Easily sorted with paracetamol. 

    Tiredness - Bad at first. Falling asleep at desk. Napping helped. Completely gone after 4 days. 

    Extremely occasional irritability - I've had two 'out-of-character' moments where I really didn't handle a situation the way I'd like. 

    Other than that. I have a clarity and focus in my day. 

    I have honestly never felt better. 

     

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  • Posted

    Great story!  Yes indeed, the medication, exercise and good food all contribute towards our well being.  It's hard, but with determination like yours, people can make huge changes to this horrible illness.

    Depressions absolutely sucks! 😄

     

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  • Posted

    Amazing story Partridge, really gives me hope that I can come of the meds too. Waiting on the hubby to return from his draft abroad and will come off them.

    The anti depressants have helped but there not for life for me.

    Good luck with everything and as always Katecogs replies are fab

    Sam xx

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  • Posted

    Hi partridge,

    Thanks for your story of success

    Can you tell me more avout the gluten and dairy diet..you mean we should include it in our diet,,,

    Thanks

    Jv

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    • Posted

      Hey John, 

      I'm no nutritionist and I would feel uncomfortable giving direct advice. However, in my experience and understanding...

      -  ~ 30% of people have a gluten/dairy intolerance (if you have one you usually have both)

      - Gluten and dairy intolerances have been linked to depression 

      - This is because (in 30% of people) the proteins get broken down to their 'morphine' states (see story above), escape from gut and make their way to the brain. They mimic the effect of drugs and therefore have negative effects on the brain. 

      My advice would be to cut both gluten and dairy out completely, see how you feel after a couple of weeks. Then reintroduce it and you'll be able to see the effects in much purer way. 

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Partridge Well said !! I started up at the gym and the zap my brain gets is way better than any muscle gain although that helps once we start getting older haha! exercise and reducing the stress hormones effects on our bodies is going to help anxiety depression everytime ! 
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    • Posted

      Exactly! I love the clarity I get afterward.  Work could be incredibly stressful (like today!!), but, with the clarity, I'm able to remember all the advice I've read about and action it. 

      It's so hard to listen to people when they say 'go to the gym, you'll feel better' when you're super in the depressed mind. 

      I guess you just have to do it in your own time and hope that time comes as soon as possible!!!

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