What do we expect from life and ADs

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Hello - I joined this forum as I suffer fro MDD and a bit of SAD, normally triggered by life events and having a 'fragile' personality. I primarily want to share my experiences to help, bearing in mind that I am not a professional (sometimes not a bad thing).

I've criticised the drugs available and the lack of a simple but effective process to help people come out of bad depression using drugs, advice, life changes and CBT - all in a simple format that a severely depressed person can manage. Some of the posts simply highlight the lack of support for someone put on a drug for the first time.

Enough said criticising the current system. GPs, in particular, have a hard job and the fact they have a list of pills they try one at a time is not altogether wrong. Change needs to happen from higher above. My experience of GPs is that they are willing to see you frequently and suggest different drugs. Unless you believe you have a particular problem do not waste your money going private. I was on Valdoxan which I believe will be a thing of the past fairly soon.

It's maybe a cliche - but happiness comes from inside a person - NOT what happens to him or her. Depression is often caused by stress and it's important that stress factors are identified and reduced or removed. However, depression is also caused by our expectations of life. If you believe your life is missing several things then we become inward thinking, disappointed in what life has given them. This is why CBT is so important - to change ways of thinking is the most powerful tool you will ever have to lead a happy life. But it takes discipline to become adept at CBT - hence my previous comments - start small - even one thought at a time and gradually develop the skill. It may take months but someone who has mastered CBT techniques has put in the effort and will benefit throughout life. Another cliche - enjoy the small things in life. People are looking for a rush, or experience things that make them feel wonderful all the time. Life allows us these moments - it's when we rely on them for happiness we become depressed. Without being too deep 'the pursuit of happiness is NOT the pursuit of happiness' Maybe think about that one. It comes back to our ability to enjoy small things in life - again we have to rewire our thoughts sometimes to do this. But a person who gets enjoyment from little things does not crave excitement that very often people waste time trying to achieve.

Another expectation is what ADs will do. Those who feel they will feel on top of the world after a week are very often disappointed. ADs do not give you a rush (if it does contact your doc). Their purpose is to lift your mood to a level where normality is restored and a person is more able to review and make life changes. If people want a rush then illegal drugs will do that. It would be good if we could take a pill that made us feel superb for a couple of hours, maybe to get through a tricky day etc. Unfortunately those drugs will eventually make our lives even worse.

Life grinds on. There are ups and down throughout. By balancing the different aspects of our life and using medication/CBT etc when required help us through those lows. By all means make goals but the person who is realistic as to what life will provide is more likely to be happy.

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  • Posted

    Hi David

    Thanks for very sane and sensible contribution to a discussion about depression and its treatment. I agree that almost all the time GPs are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances. I also agree that it is unreasonable to expect antidepressants to solve the problem straight away. Any effective drug will have side effects, which will vary from one person to another. There is no magic bullet, and looking at how we experience life and the effects of life on us are always going to be helpful.

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  • Posted

    Hi David , I don't disagree with what you have posted but I do have a problem with some of  the assumptions that we all have the capacity to resolve the complex aspects of  depression ourselves. I am articulate , fairly intelligent , employed , have  family and close mates who get me thank goodness , motivated to help myself and am fighting for a what I think is a reasonable request to be properly assessed by a pyschiatrist so that I have a chance of making informed choices about how May move my life forward having dealt with my mental health over 30 plus arduous yrs . 
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    • Posted

      Jo and Lynne - thanks for your replies. I probably won't post much more on this site unless there's someone who I felt I could share experience with. I have to start practicing myself what I've been saying. I've started up my own company and tomorrow onwards I'll focus very much on that

      Lynne - I don't disagree with what you said. I've recently left a £60K job and most of my family are there to support me. In a previous post I made the point that any solution had to educate close relatives as well. Support from people around you is a big part of a person being able to recover - whether that be spouse, other close famil, friends and even your doctor. That in itself deserves a post.

      The point I was making was that our expectations of life are very often a trigger for depression. We've all heard that lottery winners are sometimes the most unhappy people - I would disagree - it depends on the how the person thinks. Someone who believes that several things they don't have will make them happier if they did have them are leaving themselves open to frustration and stress. On the other hand a person who expects little more than they have at present and is able to enjoy life in the present instead of planning how to get things in the future will not have that stress and less likely to become depressed. I added the fact that people expect too much from ADs - a magic bullet as Jo says. When they take them and the first 2 weeks are worse followed by a period where they feel a little better, more normal is a disappointment to some. It's a small platform to start making changes in life and looking at techniques such as CBT to change negative habitual thinking. Having a support network around you will make that easier. it's maybe those that don't have any support that need more intervention by the medical profession and possibly volunteers.

      There's no right or wrong answers. A person may find a pyschiartrist a big help. I spent £500 going to one and was put on Valdoxan which didn't work. What I do know is that identifying and removing triggers that exacerbate stress, developing skills such as CBT and rebalancing other factors in life such as fitness will make us more resilient to depression. I agree that having people around you that you trust is a massive aid to this process.

      Thanks again and take care. 

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    • Posted

      Hi David , just to say I wish you well with this next phase of your life and to encourage you to keep plodding away at all the stuff that you like me are putting into practice.Remember possibly one step forward two back at times but again like me you're determind to keep going.Has it crossed your mind to write a book from a personal/experience/medical services/medication perspective ????? I do reflective practice/mindfulness meditation i guess because even though tough suits my ways of dealing with stuff whereas how you write is clear ,concise and very readable.I have never thought about the people out there that don't have the family/friend network that you describe yet the impact my breakdown in february caused them was very plain to see once i'd started to improve on sertraline.Anyway it would be nice to hear how you are doing from time to time but if you'd rather not that fine.Best Wishes David ,today is the begining of a new chapter for you and 2 magpies have just landed in my garden !!!!! 2 are for joy xx


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    • Posted

      Lynne - thank you for you kind words. I have made a few posts - hopefully highlighting the fact that I am not a doctor and do not have all the answers. In a nutshell many people suffer from this illness - this time in my life if proving to be one of the worst. There is no magic pill, no alternative treatments that suit all. But there is a gap between how people are treated and a more structured approach to people that includes the right medication, and maybe more importantly support and the development of techniques to make people mentally stronger and more able to resist falling back into that 'black hole'

      I wouldn't dream of writing a book - lots of reasons - primarily a lack of time and the fact I don't feel qualified to do so. Depression is complex and I think there are better people than me to make a change. What I am going to do is identify a mental health charity that focuses on changing the way people receive treatment. I've recently developed a website and will try to support the charity through that.

      As I said, time is now against me and visits to forums will be very infrequent unfortunately. But I think I've found a cause that I would like to promote - blast the stigma into outerspace.

      Thanks to eveyone who has commented on some of my lenghty posts. I wish I had all the answers but the truth is life grinds on and a more structured approach to helping depressed people will allow them to enjoy what is around them.

      The fact that you noticed 2 magpies is great in itself. Smiling at little things like that are signs that your mind is balanced to appreciate that. There's a wonderful, interesting world out there - I wish everyone could appreciate it instead of devoting most of their life to a company that has no care except bottom line profit.

      Again Lynne - thank you for the kind words. I hope you stay healthy mind, body and soul. Take care.

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  • Posted

    Although for the most part I agree with what you say.  Happiness does inevitably come from within.  However there are times when some chemicals in the brain get out of balance and you can not control your emotions and thoughts well enough to get yourself back on the road to happiness without a little help from drugs and/or therapy.  I know I was in this spot.  I knew what all I needed to do but I just could not make myself do it.  Long story short drugs did help me get focused back on finding contentment and helped me stay on the journey toward happiness.  I am still on this journey but now I am at it alone without the help of meds.  Thanks 


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