Well put MM, many cases could have a biological component and it is poorly understood. Damp dark winters don't help that's for sure. Stress could also be linked.
It's both. Palliative in that it allows you to function and feel normally. Curative because it allows normal functions to return to the point where the brain and mind can once again function and feel normal without the medication.
Many people who suffer severe depression also suffer from anxiety. Anxiety in many cases is the real self-esteem killer as it makes it incredibly stressful just to go about your daily life without developing phobias, and panic attacks. Not sure if you've ever suffered panic attacks but they leave you afraid of returning to the place or situation you had them. Have them long enough and there aren't many places you can go after a while. It's disheartening in the extreme and makes you feel weak, cowardly, stupid and worthless. Hence the high level of disfunction you see in many depressives.
Most anti-depressants also work to reduce anxiety. That's the palliative part. The curative is that the reduction of anxiety allows you to make permanent changes to your behavior and thought process. But that takes time. Psychiatrists refer to something called "ghost anxiety" which is the feeling you get when you first start taking ant-anxiety medication. You approach a common stressful place or situation and your muscles and mind react in fear, but bizarrely your nervous system doesn't. You think you should be anxious but you really aren't. After a while your whole body no longer reacts to the situation and you can stop taking the medication. You are in fact cured.
BTW, this is an extremely timely topic. I've been on the maximum dose for fluoxetine (aka, Prozac) for far too long, and things seem to be going swimmingly.
So, a couple weeks ago I got it into my head to start weaning myself off of the stuff.
Hopefully, by summer, I'll just be my naturally charming self.
You love it?
Something basically wrong with that.
Not least of all, how one can fathom "... when people who don't actually suffer from a major depressive disorder..."
I guess that must take some practice, or maybe even some schooling.
Who needs experience, right?
But maybe you got the gift, yeah?
Just saw this on a friend's Facebook page. A very interesting re-look at anti-depressants. For mild to medium depression placebos seem to have as good an effect. For severe depression they are highly effective.
The British NHI is now issuing new guidelines for doctors. Great to see exercise and talk therapy being used for the first line of treatment in mild cases.
Funny thing is, this is the advice my psychiatrist was giving me 25 years ago: exercise and diet can give you half the benefit of an anti-depressant.
I suffer from Bipolar 2. I went to the local hospital and saw a very nice, understanding doctor who prescribed medication (some kind of mood stabiliser) and I feel much better now. This was 6 months ago. I see the doctor once every 3 months now and he checks everything is ok, takes a blood test to test no toxic build up of the medicine. Great service and it transformed my well being. Go to the hospital and don't worry about language. I've never met a doctor in Taiwan that couldn't speak English.
Mine is in remission. After a month we will start tapering off the meds. (not a major depression)
I want to suggest you something.. you might feel disappointed because you have had some expectations when you came, or feel refused to be accepted in the way you are. I am the same, but I can tell you solution for this: CREATE GOAL, set some goal and time limit to reach it. Make sure you can accomplish this goal only when you are in Taiwan. Remember that no every person has such opportunity as you to travel and live in Taiwan. And if you are here, try to get as much from this island as you can. Once you return or stay or move, whatever, at least you will feel you have not waste your time here because you reached your goal. My goal is Chinese language, finish book vol.3 within 6 months. And whatever how-ever I will be depressed or whatever happened to me, it does not matter as long as I reach my goal at the end!
I'm bumping this thread because it's now September of 2013 and I'd like some more current information if anyone has it.
I live in Pingtung/Pingdong, but wouldn't mind traveling to Kaohsiung if anyone knows of services available in the area.
I'm looking for therapy/counseling as well as medicine; I'm a firm believer in the two-pronged approach.
This is not a post for you to say "Try yoga" or "Get more sunshine and exercise" or "Just think happy thoughts." That's not how clinical depression works.
I am asking for resources in my area, please and thank you. Preferably ones that speak English because my Mandarin is still pretty bad.
Thank you in advance for any help.
I went to a standard pharmacy here in Taichung and got fluoxetine. They didn't have it in stock, so I had to wait a few days, but still got it over-the-counter without a problem. Sorry I can't help you about the counseling.
I think you could start by visiting the Kaohsiung Medical University Chung Ho Memorial Hospital. They have a large department of psychiatry. Some is bound to speak enough English there to point you in the right direction.
kmuh.org.tw/english/Departme ... ices.html#
I'm in an absolute tailspin.
Sorry to hear that, dear.
Reduce thrust. Controls to neutral. Glide.
Don't disconnect the communications or transponder.
Get your copilot to help.
Maybe change directions.
Flying away from China may be your best option.
Check out the latest VIz magazine from your local library.
It may be time to adjust medications.
Less Patti Smith; more B52's.
You can't hear or see this, but it's Love Shack.
Thanks both. Stabilised slightly so not in crisis. Just need to wait it out and try not to get fired / punched.
I've been off all meds for three years so I'm due an episode.
A few years back I was staying in Hong Kong and going through a really bad time due to not being able to see my first son. I felt that I really couldn't cope, didn't know how I would make it through every day, and I needed help urgently. The local GP would not prescribe me anything, I was told to book an appointment with a psychiatric specialist but the first available appointment they had was in six months time ! I really fear for people suffering mental health issues in Hong Kong.
And then I remembered that a few years back, when I had been suffering from mild depression, I tried St John's Wort (Hypericum) and it worked. So the next day I went to a health food shop and bought some. It made a big difference.
I am not sure if St John's Wort is effective for serious depression, but it's herbal, has virtually no side effects (except increased sensitivity to the sun), and German clinical studies have proved it to be effective for mild or moderate depression. I would recommend it to anyone who is going through a tough time and doesn't know how to cope.
pg, it does exactly the same as SSRI drugs, it's just not very strong. Stuff like Prozac doesn't often work if you are feeling bad in response to an event because different things are happening in your brain than the cyclic stuff (However, the 'danger' is that extreme stress can become cyclic so it's important to control it with behavioural changes ).
Part of long term depression is knowing what is the illness and what is a sane reaction to a horrible situation. It's never a good idea to medicate the second because you'll fuck yourself up, long term. Medicating loss firstly doesn't really work, and secondly leads to less ability to cope next time.
St John's Wort affects hormonal birth control, so it's not always the best plan for women.
(disclosure time: I wasn't depressed upthread, I was just sad because a guy I really liked lied and treated me badly. )
Depressions... every once in a while. People, sport, time. Those used to work.
PG daddy, I see your "recommends" and my "recognized", and now I understand how much you secretly admire me