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Old 06-03-2019, 05:16 AM   #16
The_Doc_Man
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Re: Best help for depression

I'm somewhat of a latecomer to this thread, but I've gone through clinical depression more than once. In both cases, it was situational, brought on by family stress. The second round of it was tougher because the source was a more intense situation.

My therapist decided that I needed cognitive therapy rather than drugs because my situation wasn't chemical. My stresses were due to being my mother's primary caregiver while she slowly sank into the depths of Alzheimer's Disease. I was alone at that time because my father had already passed and I have no siblings. My closest family was at least five hours of hard driving away and at the time I wasn't married or seeing anyone. The latter (not having a special lady) was at least partly due to being overwhelmed by suddenly having the situation pile up on me.

I am glad to say that I eventually worked through it with a good therapist. But being in the downward spiral of depression is no joke.

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Old 06-03-2019, 11:32 PM   #17
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Re: Best help for depression

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My stresses were due to being my mother's primary caregiver while she slowly sank into the depths of Alzheimer's Disease. I was alone at that time because my father had already passed and I have no siblings.
This must have been dreadful. My mother-in-law had dementia and passed away last year. Her's was not classic Alzheimer's but anxiety and depression which is really common among the elderly. We looked after her at our place for a while but eventually she asked to go to a nursing home where there was 24/7 support. Fortunately the facility where she wanted to go was only about a mile from our house.

MIL had outlived her husband, siblings and most of her friends. My wife was her only surviving child. She was miserable and systematically alienated everyone who cared about her. Some left in tears and said they couldn't handle visiting any more. The worst was saved for my wife because "she could be herself" with her.

My wife had me for support yet she still suffered with depression. She still has guilt feeling like she didn't do enough.

Watching someone you love go down to dementia is horrible. It was a slow deterioration that we eventually realised had started long before it became really apparent. We were spared the worst that would have come because of a stroke but the last few weeks between the first stroke and her ultimate passing were particularly harrowing.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:17 PM   #18
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Re: Best help for depression

Yes, watching the slow decline of a loved one is a form of slow torture. In my case, it dragged on for at least five years when I was the caregiver, but Dad before he died also saw changes and talked to me about them.

The depression in such cases comes from the feeling of helplessness and a desire to abandon the hopeless situation. It leads to major cognitive dissonance with family duty, love, and personal honor to not abandon a loved one in dire need. Mom wanted to stay home and I did my best until the day that she became so impaired that she no longer appreciated that she WAS home. She went through classic Alzheimer's, all four stages ending in a persistent non-responsive state in fetal position.

Three days during that time stood out as hitting me with near physical force.

First, the day that I took her to the nursing home and left her there. Driving home alone was incredibly more lonely than I ever imagined loneliness could be.

Second, the first time I walked in to visit her and she no longer knew me. That was when I learned to put on the blank mask and swallow all emotion, because the first time led to ME crying, and that set HER off, so it took us a long time to calm down. After that, I learned to bottle it all up and take it home before letting it out.

Third, the day her doctor called me regarding her kidney failure and how to proceed, and I had to ask for non-surgical actions only plus a Do Not Resuscitate order. That last one was the day I grew up and realized that sometimes you have to let go of the past no matter how desperately you want to cling to it. Clinging to that past with the result of prolonging someone else's agony is purely selfish. But I let go and 19 days later, she passed in her sleep.

It often hurts to remember those times, but one thing is true: I can still look at myself in a mirror in the morning and not hate myself for what I went through or the crazy thoughts I had during that time. I stayed true to family.

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Old 06-27-2019, 12:04 PM   #19
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Re: Best help for depression

I have learned over the 20 odd years of being a carer for my wife with Multiple Sclerosis and watching her slowly deteriorating that people (friends, neighbours etc) have not got the slightest interest in your depression / situation.

They have their own problems, and think your problem/ depression is a pain in the bum. After a while they avoid or ignore you because they are not interested.

The answer? Keep your gob shut and stop moaning on, and cope with it - as whatever you do - like therapy doesn't make it go away, you still have the same situation when you get home.

One answer is to end it all then the authorities will have to act.

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Old 06-27-2019, 05:55 PM   #20
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Re: Best help for depression

To be honest, Colin, I was indeed suicidal during that dark time. But I realized that to end it all before Mom was gone was merely passing the buck with ZERO guarantee that what was left to do would be done right. I had that much strength of duty to realize that if I ended it all, no one would know how to take care of the final arrangements, and at that time, funeral planning wasn't something you did ahead of time. (Times HAVE changed in that regard...)

Yes, you do have the same situation each day, or perhaps a slightly worse situation each day. Hard to tell sometimes, but long-term it was a slow decline. However, friends can be helpful sometimes. I agree, they won't take over for you. But sometimes if you have a good enough friend, you can get a sounding-board session.

Perhaps it was marginally close. I'll never really know, and I'm OK with not knowing just how close I was to ending it. But I had a strong enough sense of duty to family to not leave Mom's final wishes in someone else's hands. And once she died, the pressure was off because I didn't have to go see her in bed, non-responsive in fetal position, unaware of my presence or her surroundings. That was the gut-wrencher. I just felt a sense of relief that there was an end to her suffering and degradation.

It took me several months to come out of the funk - and it WAS a sheer black funk that I was in - but eventually I saw that life could go on, perhaps differently than before. At least there was an end to that ordeal. I found my dear Linda and suddenly life wasn't so bad any more. It happens. What is it they say? When one door closes, often another one opens. That is what happened with me.
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:11 PM   #21
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Re: Best help for depression

I suppose in the USA, people look on therapists differently to the UK.

Here, we read or see on TV that almost all Americans have some kind of therapy as the norm. In the UK, therapy (psychiatric or psychology) is often treated as a weakness or failure.

I'm not saying they do no good, I'm saying that the British 'soldier on' attitude is more common. There is a strong reluctance to give in, as criticism from friends and colleagues may consider you as some sort of nutcase.
Plus the fact they are often private and are bloody expensive, if not on the NHS for free.

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Old 06-30-2019, 02:32 PM   #22
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Re: Best help for depression

Hi Colin, your post reminded me of a video I watched just the other day:- American Soldier (USA) vs British Soldier - Military Comparison about the difference between American and English soldiers. If you go to time index 5 minutes 30 seconds, you will see why I thought it was relevant to your post.

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Old 07-01-2019, 01:13 PM   #23
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Re: Best help for depression

Brilliant. Good laugh

Shame the narrator couldn't speak English, obviously not his first language.

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Old 07-01-2019, 07:26 PM   #24
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Re: Best help for depression

Colin, to clarify...

Quote:
Here, we read or see on TV that almost all Americans have some kind of therapy as the norm. In the UK, therapy (psychiatric or psychology) is often treated as a weakness or failure.
I would say that your TV image of Americans with regard to therapy is skewed. Not all of us go to therapists. But there was a time when I did.

When I was in that terrible depression, I found a therapist who could help me sort out my feelings so as to know which ones were legitimate and which ones were not justified. During that time, I had a lot of confusion and my mind was often awhirl with really extraneous thoughts that somehow just clouded my whole thinking process. The therapist helped me to focus on what needed to be done and what could wait for a more convenient time. He helped me recognize that I was reverse-projecting Mom's issues onto myself. Perhaps I had a bit too much compassion, a bit too much of trying to understand what was happening to her and why.

It was during that time that I finally gave up on deity-based religions - though there were some nuggets in some Buddhist variants. Sometimes, asking "WHY" is totally wrong because it is an open-ended question that in such cases admits of no deep philosophical answer. Sometimes you need the simple answer... Why was it happening? Because she got sick. Why did she get sick? Something in her body chemistry. After that, any more "WHY" questions is like a petulant four-year-old objecting to being punished.

My therapist helped me get through that torrent of emotions by steering me clear of the downward unending spiral questions. When I finally DID come up for air, I was able to go on with my life again. So yes, I did have a therapist. But no, not every American has a regular therapist on call.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:32 PM   #25
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Re: Best help for depression

The other main difference between the British soldiers and the American soldiers is that American soldiers have to be able to sing.
They seem to spend a lot of time jogging round in a group of about 12 but have to sing some strange chant.

The British of course rely on stealth and quiet which could explain why so many Yanks are killed in battle - too much noise and singing.

Doc, it's not just my opinion, it's a general opinion of Americans by the Brits.

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Old 07-05-2019, 04:55 AM   #26
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Re: Best help for depression

I've noticed in American war type films some other essential qualities you need to be a US soldier.

a) you have to say ' son of a bitch' a lot. Why? I have no idea.

b) you have to say 'god damn' a lot.

c) you have to spit a lot.

d) you need to be able to chew on a matchstick whilst doing other things without choking on the matchstick. This of course makes spitting somewhat tricky whilst having a half chewed matchstick poking out your mouth and singing at the same time.

I'm guessing here as I've no evidence, the compulsory chewing of chewing gum is also performed as we know all Americans chew gum all the time for some reason.

I think all in all, it's pretty awkward being a US soldier with lots to remember.

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Old 07-05-2019, 05:15 AM   #27
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Re: Best help for depression

I have never watched an episode of Wallace & Gromit and thought to myself, UK citizens are all made of clay.
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:41 AM   #28
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Re: Best help for depression

Does that mean Morphs an immigrant?

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Old 07-05-2019, 01:42 PM   #29
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Re: Best help for depression

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I have never watched an episode of Wallace & Gromit and thought to myself, UK citizens are all made of clay.
Well, we do eat a lot of cheese. You have to wonder.

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Old 07-05-2019, 07:58 PM   #30
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Re: Best help for depression

Quote:
Well, we do eat a lot of cheese
I knew there was something about you folks that was sensible.

But then again, Colin, there HAVE been times when your comments have been pretty cheesy.

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