Living with depression w/o meds - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-14-2006, 07:18 PM
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I know there are a few people here who have mentioned dealing with depression. I, myself, have been dealing with it since I was 7 years old. I've tried paxil, wellbutrin, prozac and zoloft - all left me either still depressed, or rather than depressed simply emotionally flat. None really worked. 3 years ago I started CBT with a great therapist who I still see every 2 weeks, and this has made a big difference. I still have severe episodes, however, about every 4-6 months, which are fairly incapacitating. I've missed work twice in the last 3 weeks, and all the days I DID make it to work it was only just barely. I think I maintain a pretty strong brave face while there, but it's probably obvious that I'm making a lot of mistakes and have gotten pretty quiet. I don't know what to do at this point. I seriously question my ability to make it (no, not suicidal at this point - just thinking of practical things). How can I survive when I get hit with these episodes that jeopardize my job and everything else? I know there are a few other meds I could try but I really would rather not, given my experience. It doesn't help that I'm pretty ashamed of the whole thing, whether that's rational or not. My family were not very sympathetic to my problem when I was growing up and frequently indicated it was pretty much a moral failing (they've gotten much better about it now that I'm an adult and able to articulate what I'm actually experiencing - in fact, my brother has been diagnosed as well, and my mother diagnosed with anxiety). So I have some difficulty seeking help or disclosing the problem to anyone.

My question, then, is - how do you cope with depression? Did you have trouble finding meds that worked for you? Have you decided to go without meds, and if so, how are you coping with that? What has worked for you? What alternatives might I be missing?
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#2 Old 09-14-2006, 10:01 PM
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I've developed a list of things that seem to help for Me, without psych-drugs (some over the counter though). 5-htp, valarian, B vitamins, melatonin, hoodia, running, yoga, meditation, art and mellow music, a new pet--
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#3 Old 09-15-2006, 01:21 AM
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5-HTP has been really helpful. MRM makes a vegetarian capsule. If you get the bottle of 60, it's a little more reasonably priced.
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#4 Old 09-15-2006, 04:10 AM
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I do it the stupid way; by not going to a doctor about it.

Exercise helps a lot. Have you tried using St. John's Wort? It works on some people, but doesn't work for everyone of course.
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#5 Old 09-15-2006, 04:59 AM
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I've been off and on various antidepressants over the years, most of which didn't work at all. I've just gone back on Effexor, after trying to go without it for a few months. I figured it wasn't doing much anyway, but turns out it was,mostly for severe anxiety. So I just started back on it yesterday. But I've always had a lot of depressive symptoms even with the med. I find keeping busy helps a lot, though it's difficult. Gardening helps. Remembering that the feelings and negative thoughts aren't "real" but just a symptom of a brain disorder has helped enormously.

Have you decided not to try the new medications, Cassiel? What does your physician/psychiatrist say when you mention the medication hasn't worked?
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#6 Old 09-15-2006, 07:05 AM
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After my experiences with those drugs, my doctor and my therapist have been pretty understanding about not pushing the meds issue. I really haven't wanted to try meds again, but if there are new ones which operate differently, maybe I ought to.

I do run a lot, so exercise isn't a problem - in fact, there are times I have to really watch it or I run so much it has the opposite effect (sometimes post-long-run hypoglycemia can kick me into a depression). I agree, though - since I started running 5 years ago, the change has been tremendous.

I just don't know where to seek the coping skills I need to get by without drugs. My therapist has been great, but I'd like to do some work on this myself. I have a lot of questions about how I should arrange my life, I guess (disclose to my boss or not? Do I try to wrench myself out of depressive episodes, or let them run their course and pick up the pieces afterward? Do I try to allow for them in my life, or hope that I can continue on through them and try to let my daily activities pull me out of it? Though that doesn't seem like a very good solution...I'm so unfocused at times like this I almost think I'm dangerous...)
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