• Quote of the Day
    "Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair."
    George Burns, posted by David Baxter

jamie_2004

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Hi,

I'm Jamie - a 43 y.o. male from the U.K., married with two teenage daughters. It's great to be able to join a forum like this and I've already been able to get lots of new ideas and insights from reading posts and various recommendations to sites and books.

It's been 20 years since my first encounter with the mental health services. I've suffered many bouts of major depression. Having reached the 20 year mark, I've realised that my constant quest to beat depression once and for all seems less likely in the near future. My doctor agrees with this. I thought that if I ever admitted this I would feel as though there was no point in going on, but in fact I feel a great sense of relief.

My perspective on my depression seems to be changing day to day and new things are occurring to me. Chief amongst these is the fact that my depression probably started about 30 years ago after what seemed like a psychotic experience when I believed that my thoughts were audible and visible to other people. Why I have never told anyone about this I'm not entirely sure. Anyway here on this forum seemed like a good place to start so I hope you will bear with me!

Best wishes,

Jamie.
 

David Baxter

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Sometimes, it's not about "beating" depression (or anxiety, or shyness, or phobias, or chronic fatigue, or chronic pain, etc.) but learning how to manage it and cope with it.
 

ThatLady

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I heartily agree with Dr. Baxter, hon. Depression (and other chronic conditions) isn't something you beat. It's something you learn to manage by finding the method that works for you. This is found, usually, through a combination of therapy and medications. Once you've got your "sea-legs), so to speak, you learn to use the methods you've found to work to manage the depression and lighten your moods. For me, these days, it's just a matter of self-talk. If I feel the "downs" coming on me, myself and I have an internal conversation about what's happening and how we intend to cope with it. Then, we put our plan into action and the "downs" crawl back under their internal rock.

With effort, therapy and medication, you can find what works for you. It takes work, but the end result is well worth it. My daughter and I can both testify to that. :eek:)
 

jamie_2004

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Thanks to David and ThatLady for your replies. I really appreciate it and it's good to feel support in the attempt to manage rather than beat depression.

I did a quick survey on some of the books that I have or those that are available on the internet on depression. Whereas there are a few with words like "manage" and " cope with" in the titles. Many more seem to have words like "overcoming", "beyond", "antidote", "healing", "way out of", "recovery", "conquer".

They seem a bit misleading to people like myself, perhaps it's a better way of selling a book.
 

David Baxter

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I agree. I think it is misleading, but as you say it sells.

The reality is that some the same personality features that make you vulnerable to depression also make you attractive as a friend, partner, etc., to other people: interpersonal sensitivity, empathy, a certain amount of introspective self-doubt or at least self-questioning, an interest in cross-checking your own opinions and perceptions with the people around you, a desire not to unnecessarily hurt other people's feelings, a desire to help/support/rescue other people... all of these increase your vulnerability to depression but I doubt that you would want to destroy those features of you or eliminate them.

Philosophically, it has also been observed that people who are capable of great sadness and depression are also capable of great joy.
 

jamie_2004

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Thanks for that, it's a really encouraging way to look at things. I hadn't thought of it from that perspective before. I certainly am capable of feeling great joy and in fact I wouldn't say I was unhappy most of the time. Although most people appear to equate depression with unhappiness, I've found it just happens, The last bout started in November, I was feeling so happy and confident that I really did think "Perhaps it's behind me once and for all". The onset of depression in those circumstances gave me the jolt to start thinking about managing depression rather than beating it.
Anyway many thanks once again, that post has really given me a lot to think about.
 

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