VeggieBoards - Reply to Topic
Thread: "Choosing" Mental Illness Reply to Thread
Title:
Message:
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-02-2005 02:20 PM
ebola >>I don't accept that. But I'm a bit of a cogsci heretic. I think that talking about the brain as isolated in the skull is a bit misleading.>>



I was actually a bit unclear and am inclined to agree with you. There was a reason I said that the mind is "seated in BUT NOT LIMITED to the brain". The non-brain body is integral to the emergence of subjective experience. The most glaring example I can think of off the top of my head is the role of activity in the sympathetic nervous system in the experience of emotion. I would also wager that if we ever have brains in vats, we would need some sort of device that simulates the body's input to come near to approximating human experience.



ebola
03-01-2005 09:50 PM
kirkjobsluder
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebola View Post

If we accept that the mind is physical, seated in but not limited to the brain,



I don't accept that. But I'm a bit of a cogsci heretic. I think that talking about the brain as isolated in the skull is a bit misleading.
03-01-2005 09:27 PM
ebola >>BTW, I meant to post this a couple of days ago: There have been studies that show that thought patterns will actually establish a kind of "groove" in your brain that makes it more likely that the same patterns will repeat/become stronger. That is, negative thoughts will, in effect, establish a physical propensity for continued and increased negative thoughts. That's why cognitive therapy/cognitive awareness is so important. By focusing on the negative, by letting negative thoughts be, you are actually creating a downward spiral that makes deprssion worse, which of course leads to more negative thoughts, which...etc., etc. And that's something that can be physically tracked in your brain.>>



If we accept that the mind is physical, seated in but not limited to the brain, then this is necessarily true. What else would experience be but pattern of neurochemical activity elicited in response to the body and external environment? Anyway, if you've seen the same studies I have, these go so far as to argue that CBT will have a measurable effect on neuromodulatory function (e.g., levels of serotonin).



ebola

np: atom heart
03-01-2005 06:19 PM
GhostUser BTW, I meant to post this a couple of days ago: There have been studies that show that thought patterns will actually establish a kind of "groove" in your brain that makes it more likely that the same patterns will repeat/become stronger. That is, negative thoughts will, in effect, establish a physical propensity for continued and increased negative thoughts. That's why cognitive therapy/cognitive awareness is so important. By focusing on the negative, by letting negative thoughts be, you are actually creating a downward spiral that makes deprssion worse, which of course leads to more negative thoughts, which...etc., etc. And that's something that can be physically tracked in your brain.
03-01-2005 04:57 PM
bethanie Yup organica, keep working on it.



B
03-01-2005 04:21 PM
GhostUser Don't give up, Organica. It may also be a matter of finding the right combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle.
03-01-2005 04:07 PM
organica
Quote:
Originally Posted by mouse View Post

The article also says that 20% of people with severe depression don't respond to any current form of treatment, including ECT.



Thank you for this stat. It explains why all my efforts to "think positive" have failed, along w/ SSRIs, benzos, exercise & CBT.

Still trying homeopathy & meditation though.
03-01-2005 04:07 PM
bethann
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnamon Girl View Post

Kiz~ Thanks...I have not really heard any star reviews about St John's so I think I will stay away for the time being.



Mouse~ Maybe I will ask my Dr about Celexa. I was on Zoloft for three years and in the end I felt it did not help so much anymore. It did at first and for a long time. I think it made me so tired out, that eventually being tired, combined with not having a schedule which would allow me to rest much (unavoidable, with kids...), made me even more depressed. Were you tired on Zoloft and how about on Celexa?



AngelOfDance~ ((((hugs)))) If you ever need to talk to someone, feel free to PM me. I know what that slicing impulse is all about, and the feelings that lead to that point. I'm glad you feel better now off the meds.



If I can add my two cents, I would suggest you ask your doctor about Lexapro too, not just Celexa. According to my psychiatrist, Lexapro is one half of the Celexa molecule, and tends to cause fewer side effects than Celexa. I know when I switched over, some of my issues went away.
03-01-2005 03:08 PM
GhostUser This article, about an experimental new therapy involving electrodes implanted in the brain, is interesting: http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/heal...out524275.html



The article also says that 20% of people with severe depression don't respond to any current form of treatment, including ECT.
02-28-2005 07:15 PM
bethanie Today I went back to my yoga class and I feel much better than I usually do with no meds. The instructor was saying how what we think effects us even at a cellular level, so to think positive. Being around lots of positive people was great, also. I think part of my process with be to continue to involve yoga in my life.



yes yes yes....your yoga instructor is right!



B
02-28-2005 05:11 PM
Cinnamon Girl
Quote:
Originally Posted by mouse View Post

Cinnamon, I get very tired from time to time, but I work a lot of hours at a stress filled job, and I also find that when I'm depressed, that really tires me out. In short, I don't think I've ever felt tired from antidepressants; it's when I'm down despite antidepressants that I become really exhausted. When I'm managing my depression properly, with medication and lifestyle, I have loads of energy.



I think its well worthwhile to talk to your doctor about switching to Celexa (or something else, if he prefers). One of the reasons my doctor switches my medication periodically is because he thinks that people generally build up a resistance over time, and the antidepressant becomes less effective.



This makes a lot of sense. I had not heard that, thanks for mentioning it! It makes sense that the effectiveness decreases because at first it seemed to help so much. I am beginning to think my Dr, though a nice man, is not on the ball. He does not think of such things. When I told him I was tired from the zoloft and it seemed to not work he only said..'Well, we can increase the dose'...which would make me more tired!! So, I said thanks, and went off it cold turkey (also not good!).



I like what you say about managing the depression. I need to do that more. My sleep is not so swell and I drink way too much caffiene. I think those two are maybe linked (hee hee *wink*). But it is difficult to give up caffiene!!!



Today I went back to my yoga class and I feel much better than I usually do with no meds. The instructor was saying how what we think effects us even at a cellular level, so to think positive. Being around lots of positive people was great, also. I think part of my process with be to continue to involve yoga in my life.



Thanks for sharing with me.
02-28-2005 04:17 PM
GhostUser I'm not sure, ebola. I just know that he won't prescribe it, except as a last resort. I have my annual "checkup" on Friday, so if I remember, I'll ask him.
02-28-2005 04:09 PM
ebola just wondering...why does your doctor dislike prozac in particular?

Prozac is unique among other SSRIs becuase of its very long half-life and relative unselectivity (it will increase levels of the other monoamines, dopamine and norepinephrine, more than other SSRIs).



ebola
02-28-2005 01:17 PM
GhostUser Cinnamon, I get very tired from time to time, but I work a lot of hours at a stress filled job, and I also find that when I'm depressed, that really tires me out. In short, I don't think I've ever felt tired from antidepressants; it's when I'm down despite antidepressants that I become really exhausted. When I'm managing my depression properly, with medication and lifestyle, I have loads of energy.



I think its well worthwhile to talk to your doctor about switching to Celexa (or something else, if he prefers). One of the reasons my doctor switches my medication periodically is because he thinks that people generally build up a resistance over time, and the antidepressant becomes less effective.
02-27-2005 02:42 AM
catgirl67 Mental illness is as real and as deadly as cancer. Nobody chooses to live a life of depresson and bi-polar disorder.



Telling someone to snap out if it is just a sign of ignorance. Don't judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.
02-27-2005 12:21 AM
Cinnamon Girl Kiz~ Thanks...I have not really heard any star reviews about St John's so I think I will stay away for the time being.



Mouse~ Maybe I will ask my Dr about Celexa. I was on Zoloft for three years and in the end I felt it did not help so much anymore. It did at first and for a long time. I think it made me so tired out, that eventually being tired, combined with not having a schedule which would allow me to rest much (unavoidable, with kids...), made me even more depressed. Were you tired on Zoloft and how about on Celexa?



AngelOfDance~ ((((hugs)))) If you ever need to talk to someone, feel free to PM me. I know what that slicing impulse is all about, and the feelings that lead to that point. I'm glad you feel better now off the meds.
02-25-2005 10:33 AM
GhostUser Angel, and others who've had a negative experience with meds, please don't give up on them just because of one or two bad experiences. Medications have different effects on different people. The secret is having a good psychiatrist who knows medications well, and who also knows you well enough to know what is working and what is not.



My doctor hates Prozac and will not prescribe it. He keeps current with advances in antidepressants, and when he finds one that he thinks will be better for me, he switches me over gradually, carefully monitoring my progress. Over the past 18 years, I've successively been on about 4-5 different medications. About 2 years ago, I switched from Zoloft to Celexa. I will most probably be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life. My doctor and I have come to a point where we have an understanding that, if I find myself starting to "slip", I come in for therapy. Otherwise, I just go in for an annual "mental health" check up. Antidepressants, and my doctor, have literally saved my life. They enable me to function, and by using cognitive awareness and taking care of myself, I can actually enjoy life. I still have problems, but I am able to deal with them, and when they start to get out of hand, I make an appointment with my doctor.
02-25-2005 07:36 AM
AngelOfDance ... and medications don't help for some people.



I was on prozac for a while... it fogged up my mind. I didn't want to do anything. i was worse than I'd ever been before. and I have the physical scars to prove it.



When they took me OFF the stuff and told me I was going to be okay on my own, I WAS. for nearly a year and a half, pretty much my only issues had to do with eating. I stopped cutting, stopped wishing I were dead, and did better in school.



Right now I don't know where I am, though. I'm not so sure I'm a "normal kid." I'm hoping I'm just going through a (very) rough spot and it will pass, but I'm really not sure I see a light... but there's NO WAY I'm going back on meds.
02-25-2005 06:38 AM
bethanie I think there's a difference between obsessive exercise and hoping that will somehow 'cure' you....and...walking instead of taking the car, going on a morning bike ride to feel the air on your skin, planting seeds in the spring and getting ones-self outside not as a 'cure' for depression...but as part of an all around healthful lifestyle.



I really try holistic approaches to all over physical/mental health and have found that sometimes the best 'help' for issues I'm having is to get outside my own brain. Off the computer, away from television/cell phones....business. Camping works wonders. Living a more natural life helps me in so many ways.



Of course, MEDICATION helps my mother. And I don't want to see my Mom off medication again. It also helps my sister, and was very effective with my brother for the time in which he needed it.



But I wanted to point that out...by exercise, what some of us are referring to is not going to the gym and making oneself nutty on the 'whatever' machine for thirty minutes...this is not a natural approach to living, this is totally unnatural. But to be outdoors...meditation, quietness...communing with nature in the morning on a jog or a bike...as part of a healthy life.



B

B
02-24-2005 09:50 PM
Gracie
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebola View Post




Also, we should keep in mind that medication alone is no substitute for therapy.





And therapy alone is no substitue for medication.



I've done therapy, and it worked wonders when I had situational depression. But for the deeper depressions, the ones that didn't seem to have any cause that I could find, Zoloft and Effexor were the answer for me. Within a few days of starting Zoloft, I could start doing my normal daily activities again.
02-24-2005 09:26 PM
Kiz CinnamonGirl - I've tried St John's Wort and it did nothing for me except cause me skin problems. One of the side effects of hypericum is photo-sensitivity, which I got in abundance!



ebola - I do not have links to the articles because I read them in paper form. One was in New Scientist, one was in a large book on depression I found at the library, and whose name I cannot remember off hand. When I remember the name, I will post it here. I think I may have that copy of New Scientist... I'm not sure... I'll have a look



With my depression, fluoxetine (prozac) worked (works) wonderfully, as not all of my symptoms were mood-related. Some of my worse symptoms were major sleep disorders. I swing from weeks of insomnia to weeks of hypersomnambulism, and fluoxetine just makes that all disappear. Don't worry, I do other things for my depression, I feel I have largely beaten it through a number of techniques. I really must say, SSRI's made an enormous difference to my quality of life. It was the difference between being in a darkened room, and someone throwing a switch and flooding it with golden light.
02-24-2005 01:41 PM
ebola >>Agreed. Exercise, relaxation techniques, and being aware of and stopping negative thought patterns are good additions to, but are in no way a substitute for, medication and/or therapy in cases of severe or chronic depression.

>>



Well, taking into account the effect of exercise on serotonin, it may well be a substitute to medication in those with mild to moderate depression.



Also, we should keep in mind that medication alone is no substitute for therapy.



ebola
02-24-2005 01:06 PM
GhostUser Cinnamon Girl, I've never tried St. John's wort. I've been on other medications for years, and you're not supposed to mix St. John's wort with those.



It sounds as though you were doing better when you were on Zoloft? If so, maybe you should discuss with your doctor whether you should still be taking it or something else.
02-24-2005 01:02 PM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

The bit that ebola left out, and a lot of articles leave out, is that it as effective only in cases of mild to moderate depression. Not severe depression. SSRIs are generally more effective in severer cases of depression. They don't seem to have much of an effect on mild, seasonal, or situational depression.



Agreed. Exercise, relaxation techniques, and being aware of and stopping negative thought patterns are good additions to, but are in no way a substitute for, medication and/or therapy in cases of severe or chronic depression.
02-24-2005 11:52 AM
Cinnamon Girl
Quote:
Originally Posted by organica View Post

I'm really quite sick of the way certain parties on here (& elsewhere) state that mental illness is a "choice". You apparently "choose" to be depressed, bipolar, schizophrenic, borderline, what have you.

And recovery is also a "choice". If you do what Dr Phil/David Burns/Oprah/etc tells you to do, you will recover, apparently.

What a load of crap.

Mental illness is as real as diabetes, heart disease or any other *biological* illness.

Just because it's "mental" doesn't mean it's *imaginary*, but some people seem unable to make that distinction.

The fact is, mental illness is real, & while Dr Phil may help a mildly depressed person with the means to treat themselves well, you try that approach with a homeless schizophrenic, & I think you'll see unsatisfactory results.

I speak from experience, & I don't see how anyone who hasn't experienced severe, persistent mental illness (& the usual accompaniment, grinding poverty) can say that all I (& other ill people) need to do is join a gym, read "Feeling Good" & have an aromatherapy bath, & I/we will be all better.

Let's leave the fuzzy Chicken Soup for the Soul self-help for the mentally well people who are feeling a little down. Nothing wrong with that.

Next time you feel like belittling a seriously mentally ill person whose life has been derailed by symptoms, side effects, hospitalizations & stigma, why not just bite your tongue.

Real mental illness is life-threatening & needs serious treatment, not ignorance & lectures.



Thank you. This makes me want to cry ... and I am serious.



I am off Zoloft for about six months now and people want me to be like I am now.. the 'real me', with more energy. Excpet each morning I wake up so sad, the minute I open my eyes. People tell me all that crap about 'get outdoors', 'find a different hooby', etc...and it makes me just stop talking to anyone. They just do not get it. So I go inside my thoughts....



Instead of telling me to read Feeling Good...they should say..."Please stay clear of Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and too too much Warren Zevon"...that would be more helpful.



I don't know if this is off subject, but have you guys had luck with St Johns Wort?
02-24-2005 10:49 AM
ebola >>Not trying to discounr what you are saying ebola, but I attended step aerobics & kickboxing classes 5 days a week for 3 consecutive years religiously but continued to feel so bad I had multiple hospital admissions, self-injured/made suicide attempts & spent the time I wasn't working out paralyzed in bed due to anxiety/depression.

Why didn't exercise help me?>>



Because everyone's neurobiology is different. Have SSRIs helped much? I am highly skeptical of the serotonin hypothesis in its vulgar form. More serotonin pretty clearly does not directly entail less depression (although MDMA is obviously a blast!)



>>The bit that ebola left out, and a lot of articles leave out, is that it as effective only in cases of mild to moderate depression. Not severe depression. SSRIs are generally more effective in severer cases of depression. They don't seem to have much of an effect on mild, seasonal, or situational depression.>>



Thanks. My prof left this out as well. Do you happen to have any links to any relevant studies handy?



ebola

np: NIN
02-24-2005 08:00 AM
Kiz The bit that ebola left out, and a lot of articles leave out, is that it as effective only in cases of mild to moderate depression. Not severe depression. SSRIs are generally more effective in severer cases of depression. They don't seem to have much of an effect on mild, seasonal, or situational depression.
02-24-2005 07:41 AM
organica
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebola View Post

I'm just going to chime in and say that exercise has a definite neurochemical effect. Unethical studies on rats have shown that exercise will increase levels of intercellular serotonin. Other studies have shown exercise to be as effective as SSRIs. On the other hand, SSRIs are piss-poor in their overall efficacy (that's not to say that they don't work for some people).



ebola



Not trying to discounr what you are saying ebola, but I attended step aerobics & kickboxing classes 5 days a week for 3 consecutive years religiously but continued to feel so bad I had multiple hospital admissions, self-injured/made suicide attempts & spent the time I wasn't working out paralyzed in bed due to anxiety/depression.

Why didn't exercise help me?

I tried it again a year ago, doing classes & weights 4-5 days a week. It made no impact on my symptoms so I gave up.
02-23-2005 06:44 PM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

i know that, for myself, i do not think of mental illness as a choice--but i do think of certain aspects of it as a choice. People have a choice as to whether or not to take meds (which has so many of it's own factors, such as appropriateness for the individual, whether or not it really helps them or has so many side effects that the 'help' is far less than the 'harm,' and so on), they can choose to really do the work of therapy and use those tools to help improve their mental state (which is different than 'going to therapy' and then, as in many cases that i've seen and even experienced a bit of myself, 'fighting the program' instead of doing it), they can choose to participate in activities that edify them and their therapy or not to.



While i'll say that a person doesn't 'choose mental illness--there are elements that a person with mental illness does have control over that can decrease the symptoms and begin to solve both the daily and the big-picture problems of their disorder.



i've seen people really turn their lives around through very hard work and making positive choices for themselves. This is not to say that they necessarily chose the genetic predisposition, that they chose the 'trigger occurance' that may have started them (biochemically) on the road to severe mental illness, but many psychiatrists and psychologists have written/said that many of the choices that a mentally ill person makes on a daily basis can impact their mental illness positively (making the situation better), negatively (making the situation worse), or neutrally (keeping the situation the same). So, while there is no "choosing" to become mentally ill, there may be 'choosing' to be mentally ill, to continue in mental illness.



But, it's not a blame game either. It's an attitude of empowerment. Any person--severely depressed, bipolar, schizophrenic, or any other mental illness--has the personal power to overcome any adversity and become and live how they want to live. they will need the help of others (professional help particularly), but most of it, they do by their own work.



And it requires constant effort, as I know from my own experiences.
02-23-2005 05:32 PM
zoebird shambhala meditation is great. it is a difficult path, so it does require dedication.



it is my experience (as a meditator and a meditation teacher) that people will start meditation, and if they 'don't get results' then they quit. Surprisingly, most of the results of meditation you don't see for many years, but you may 'get' immediately. and similarly, what are the results expected? sometimes, the expected result and the actual result are completely different (and often, the actual result is better). So, it can be a difficult spot.



i think that the advice of 'sticking to it thick and thin' is really great advice. there is a lot of thick and thin in meditation. this is part of the benefit. it's powerful stuff.



i would love to hear how you, organica, feel that it's working for you *right now* and not in a 'results based' sort of way--but what you're going through and how it feels and if you've noticed any totally minor changes.
This thread has more than 30 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off