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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » All Saints   » chasing the Black Dog - a depression support thread (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: chasing the Black Dog - a depression support thread
Heavenly Anarchist
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# 13313

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I can relate to what you say about cyclic depression, I have mild bipolar disorder which I can usually keep under control by arranging my life to be low stress, avoiding too much socialising and recognising when I'm symptomatic and responding. My down episodes tend to be short these days and like you I get tired and anxious and I get melt down if things go wrong (I'm having an unusually deep depression at the mo and keep falling to pieces). Not much I can do but I try to pace what's going on in my life until I feel better, get plenty of rest and make sure I go for a walk every day to get some fresh air. Exercise is good for depression, it releases feel good chemicals, likewise healthy foods help whilst carbs make you sluggish. I also have interrupted sleep, in either my manic or depressed modes, These days I get up and have a cup of tea and a read rather than lie awake.
Obviously I don't know your background but it is worth visiting the practice nurse when you feel depressed to get some bloods done in case it has a medical origin. I've had a slightly underactive thyroid in the past and that causes a very muzzy head, inability to concentrate, a general slow down in metabolism (I stop sweating!) and weight gain. Ignore me if you've already checked this out though.

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St. Stephen the Stoned
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I don't see it as a black dog. More like a wave I can see on the horizon. It's just a dark line now. I don't know whether it'll turn out to be a little ripple or a fuck-off big tsunami.

The last one was a sizeable breaker, but I'd seen it coming and was running fast enough not to get too wet.

I like doggies.

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Beautiful Dreamer
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I have bipolar as well...I liken the depression to a black cloud that follows you around and rains on you when the rest of the world is sunny.

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Pomona
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At the moment I find my anxiety worse, and they feel quite different - anxiety is a sort of rabbit-in-the-headlights, frozen with terror feeling, depression is like heaviness weighing me down.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Beautiful Dreamer
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quote:
Originally posted by St. Stephen the Stoned:
I don't see it as a black dog. More like a wave I can see on the horizon. It's just a dark line now. I don't know whether it'll turn out to be a little ripple or a fuck-off big tsunami.

The last one was a sizeable breaker, but I'd seen it coming and was running fast enough not to get too wet.

I like doggies.

I like the wave analogy, because it describes my anxiety...whether it's a ripple or a tidal wave, it's *not knowing* that gets me. At least you can brace yourself against the tidal wave.

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More where that came from
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rolyn
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Researchers say that just 6 hours of gardening per week can cure depression . Time to have the decking and paving slabs up so that it can be returned to a growing medium .
Maybe even a window-box ?

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Ariel
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Gardening is a nice idea and it can be helpful. However, not everyone has access to a garden, allotment or is even able to have a windowbox. Getting out in nature is probably one of the next best things.

I found that signing up for a photography website where people are encouraged to post one photo a day for a year, taken that day (as far as possible) really did help. It gets you out in the fresh air every day, actively looking for something beautiful, interesting or unusual. Of course there are days when you feel despair and think your work is crap, but overall, it was a really positive and enriching experience. And you can make new friends that way too.

Photography isn't everyone's cup of tea, of course, but being creative, if you can, is no bad thing.

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Sioni Sais
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A friend of mine was almost ordered into the garden by his consultant! Along with that he was asked to make a plan of weekly physical activities such as going fishing, playing tennis and walking the dog.

The problem he finds isn't the practicalities - he has a garden and a dog, plus all the equipment and memberships to play tennis and go fishing but, he says, he lacks of energy and "get up and go". Then he feels guilt about not doing what he feels he needs to do, but depression isn't a simple thing to understand or easy to cope with.

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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
depression isn't a simple thing to understand or easy to cope with.

I do accept that , and have said on the Hell thread I have no wish to make presumptions regarding people's state of mind or state of affairs.

Periods of rest are probably just as important as periods of open-air activity where the recuperation of any ailment is concerned.

I was brought on a farm, and worked in farming for 20 years . Farmers used to have a high incidence of depression and suicide ,(not sure if this is still the case). Yet ironically you couldn't get much more of an outdoor, active occupation than farming.
Again, I agree these thing are far from simple , and one has to resist the temptation in becoming the amateur psychiatrist.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Zacchaeus
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I read last year about the hight incidence of suicide in farmers.
One of the reasons given was the loneliness of farming.

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rolyn
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Long gone are the days of community in farming when harvest time saw teams of helpers bringing in the hay or the corn.
Mechanisation has made farming lonely . Technology has though taken the back-ache out of the job as well as providing communications in the form of computers.

One study of suicide among farmers revealed that family, not financial, issues often lay behind it . The family farm, where the off-spring is expected to take it over without question, places a unique kind of pressure on an individual not always found in other occupations.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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North East Quine

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I have a friend who has a long history of depression. I have had many a coffee with her trying to be generally supportive. Recently I have been concerned that her perception of reality is going off-kilter. I'm starting to feel out of my depth and worried I could actually be harmful. She sees her doctor regularly, but I don't know if he sees her enough to pick up what I'm picking up.
Suggestions?

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Anselmina
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Currently, I'm coming off anti-depressants that I've been on for some years. I don't know if my bad moods and other negative feelings are to do with that, or to do with how I am naturally without the meds. Either way I don't like feeling this way and don't relish having to spend the rest of my life having to cope with it.

But OTOH, if, given time, I learn to cope without meds quite happily, I don't want to go back on the tablets.

Any experience/advice that might apply here, would be very gratefully received!

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QLib

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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
I have a friend who has a long history of depression. I have had many a coffee with her trying to be generally supportive. Recently I have been concerned that her perception of reality is going off-kilter. I'm starting to feel out of my depth and worried I could actually be harmful. She sees her doctor regularly, but I don't know if he sees her enough to pick up what I'm picking up.
Suggestions?

My brother was seriously off-kilter for quite a long time, and I was always worried that I might say or do the wrong thing - and, from time to time, I did say things that were unhelpful, but he recently told me that what he remembers from the worst times was that I kept contact with him and did 'normal stuff' like going out to the pub with him. It meant a lot more to him at the time than I thought - he seemed fairly indifferent.

Although your friend's doctor won't discuss her with you, I don't think there could be any objection to you flagging up your concern.

Anselmina - I guess there's bound to be a kick-back. I hope you can work through it and that it turns out well for you.

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North East Quine

Curious beastie
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I have a very dear relative with a psychotic illness and we've always done normal stuff. But I've never felt confused or out of my depth with her.

Whereas my friend seems to be "all over the place" and I don't understand it or know how to react.

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Jengie jon

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Firstly all mental illness puts someone out of kilter with what is commonly held reality*. However in my experience most people fight very strongly to keep some sense/appearance of contact with commonly held reality.

Two things follow from this. Firstly that it is not necessarily psychosis (which is I think a particular way of being out of kilter). Secondly if the person is not managing to keep the contact, they are probably quite seriously ill.

However I am no expert on dealing with mental illness. I do however know that I am grateful for the close friend who told me explicitly to tell the doctor when I started to enter this state. Even more fortunate that she was one of two friends who could tell me to do this and I would because I acknowledged they had earned the right to.

Jengie

*One problem I have is that it is not clear to me that some people whose mental state is off might not actually have a more accurate sense of reality than the healthy population. Our day to day existence involves a fair bit of self delusion.

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Surfing Madness
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Just bumping this thread up. Looking for some very vague advice, about how to be supportive to someone within my house group at church. I've been in house group about 6 months, and about 70% of that time this person has given me a lift. We therefore have texted most weeks to make practical arrangements. He's just been diagnosed with depression, and isn't coming for the moment. Any thoughts on how to be supportive would be appreciated. It sort of feels like I should text/ e-mail but have nothing to communicate. I also know from friends in the past that within the church you can become invisible when you have depression, and aren't around as much.
Any thoughts people?

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infinite_monkey
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I think I'd send a message letting the person know, hey, you've been there for me when I needed a ride. I appreciate that; I appreciate you. And if this is a time when you could use someone's support, I'd like to be there. I might also, depending on how well I know the person, give little bits of contact every few days--with social media, that's as easy as "please enjoy this adorable cat picture on your facebook wall", but maybe it would be little anecdotes from your group that you email him? I dunno--just something little to remind the person that he's still "in the loop" despite the depression.

[ 22. April 2013, 14:32: Message edited by: infinite_monkey ]

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His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

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Lamb Chopped
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If you've been texting, carry on. Only now it can be things like "Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you," "Praying for you," or "If you ever want to get coffee, let me know..."

Do this even once and it will help immeasurably (saith she who is currently in the depths of depression herself). Do this every week and the person will eventually tell you how much your texts meant to him, and you will be left [Hot and Hormonal] and saying, "Aw shucks, it weren't nothing..."

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comet

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"I'm thinking of you. Here if you need me."

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Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

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Surfing Madness
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Thanks guys. I guess it's the remembering to stay in contact every week or so, even when I've not a lot to say that I need to remember.

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I now blog about all my crafting! http://inspiredbybroadway.blogspot.co.uk

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infinite_monkey
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Warning there are cuss words:

This, from the blog Hyperbole and a Half, is perhaps the bravest, most hilarious, most insightful first-person account of depression I've ever come across.

Sharing it in the hopes that others find it useful, in terms of either understanding a loved one or feeling less alone oneself.

[ 10. May 2013, 02:49: Message edited by: infinite_monkey ]

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His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
Obligatory Blog Flog: www.otherteacher.wordpress.com

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Welease Woderwick

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That resonates almost too much - thanks.

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Surfing Madness
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Just read that, it's a great help for trying to get an insight in to the world of depression. Thanks for sharing.

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I now blog about all my crafting! http://inspiredbybroadway.blogspot.co.uk

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Surfing Madness
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Just thought I would check in and see how people are doing?

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I now blog about all my crafting! http://inspiredbybroadway.blogspot.co.uk

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Huia
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Infinite Monkey I just read the link you posted (normally I couldn't because of being in dial-up). It's brilliant. I felt that someone had posted my life [Paranoid]

Thanks, Huia

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Uncle Pete

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I swept this up, as I may be an intermittent visitor.

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Even more so than I was before

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Welease Woderwick

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At the moment it seems I am everybody's Go To person - a role I've played quite a bit over my lifetime - and sometimes it just gets All Too Much!

I feel like screaming I love you all, now Fuck Off!

Of course, I don't, I just smile and carry on although I am trying to spend more time out of the house. Going for a walk is great therapy - see the thread elsewhere and is a darned sight more use than retreating to bed, as I did this afternoon.

I am fairly adamant that I don't want to go back on the meds, after many years off them but sometimes I just need to vent!

Thanks for listening.

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I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Fancy a break in South India?
Accessible Homestay Guesthouse in Central Kerala, contact me for details

What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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Zoey

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Over the past couple of weeks, I have suddenly dipped back into more marked symptoms than I can remember experiencing for a number of years - crap sleep, lack of concentration, ridiculous tearfulness, etc. I think one of the main causes is work, but now I'm in a vicious circle. I have an important report overdue. My symptoms are so bad, I'm not getting anything done on the report. Worry about not doing the report is making my symptoms worse. I've managed to get a referral to Occupational Health, but I don't think anybody in my team feels well supported at work at present. Last week I read some of the disciplinary hearings on the Health and Care Professionals Council website. I don't want to get struck off by the regulator. I can identify for myself that that's catastrophising, but I don't seem to be able to do anything about it.

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Pay no mind, I'm doing fine, I'm breathing on my own.

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Francophile
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quote:
Originally posted by Zoey:
Over the past couple of weeks, I have suddenly dipped back into more marked symptoms than I can remember experiencing for a number of years - crap sleep, lack of concentration, ridiculous tearfulness, etc. I think one of the main causes is work, but now I'm in a vicious circle. I have an important report overdue. My symptoms are so bad, I'm not getting anything done on the report. Worry about not doing the report is making my symptoms worse. I've managed to get a referral to Occupational Health, but I don't think anybody in my team feels well supported at work at present. Last week I read some of the disciplinary hearings on the Health and Care Professionals Council website. I don't want to get struck off by the regulator. I can identify for myself that that's catastrophising, but I don't seem to be able to do anything about it.

Big hug Zoey. I had a similar experience in 1985 when work got on top of me and I feared that my then profession's regulatory body would take action. I sought help and things got better. It's a long time ago, but I still remember the panic. My fears were, I now realise, overblown. You seem to be doing the right things, keep reaching out for help.
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Paul.
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Since completing my CBT course I've been doing quite well. However this weekend I got some sort of flu-type thing that put me in bed most of the weekend. It seems this also triggered a relapse of some of my anxiety/depression symptoms. I think it must've been feeling ill and alone.

I keep telling myself that I'll feel better when I feel better. I just hope that's true. It sucks to be ill but it sucks more to think it's another thing I've got to watch out for.

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Odd one but seems to work. When I am ill with colds etc I along with tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil put jasmine oil in the mix. The reason for doing that is jasmine oil seems to support my mood so I do not go down so low.

I treat low mood as one of the symptoms of a cold.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Starbug
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I don't know if this is depression or something different, but I have been struggling lately. I feel trapped in my job and there have been various disciplinary issues with my staff which I'm struggling to deal with. HR haven't been very supportive – they’re so afraid of tribunals that they keep erring on the side of caution and making it hard to take action. How many chances can you keep giving the same person?

It’s mainly one person who is causing the problem, but this morning I had to speak to another member of the team about something that he did on Friday. Before I met with him, I ended up sobbing in the loo because I was dreading the thought of yet another 'informal advice' conversation. I can't keep doing this. This person is supposed to be my friend outside work and I want to scream at him ‘You are not being my friend!’

I don't know if I'm depressed exactly, but I looked at the cartoon that infinite_monkey posted and I recognised the ‘nothing really matters’ feeling that it talks about. I sometimes find myself wondering what the point is – you live and you die and then, so what?* I don’t think I believe in God any more (I don’t think about him very much) and that doesn’t seem to bother me as much as it should.

Sorry, I’m not expecting a diagnosis or anything and I suspect I should see my GP. I just wondered if this sounds anything like depressions, as I feel stuck and can’t see what to do about it.

*I haven't had any suicidal thoughts, though.

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“Oh the pointing again. They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?” ― The Day of the Doctor

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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Yep, see the doctor.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Silver Swan
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I'm not sure if I am depressed but I am seriously a-motivated. Getting behind with the housework feeds into a loop - the house being untidy depresses me and because I'm depressed I don't feel like tackling it. I waste many hours each day on the computer -a pity it is such an unending source of entertainment.
I worry a lot about my adult son who spent a month in hospital in Oct/Nov being treated for depression and since then has quit the medication and cancelled the visits from the case worker and only comes out of his room to collect meals and for showers and occasional medical appointments. He will talk a little with me but doesn't volunteer anything and doesn't like to be questioned. He doesn't read or watch tv, listen to radio or use the computer and when I asked him if the medication helped him to think more clearly he replied there is nothing to think about. He isn't very unhappy but rather just flat.
For a while, when he was getting medical intervention, I kept thinking it was like leading a horse to water but not being able to make him drink but then I made what seemed to be a breakthrough and I decided I need to help him ride it through rather than try to lead him at all. I don't know whether I am doing the right thing but it seems there is nothing else I can do except have patience.

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Christ Jesus came to be Immanuel, not a manual.

Posts: 31 | From: Australia | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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Silver Swan I think there's an Australian website called something like "The Black Dog" that may offer some suggestions about possible help for your son.

For what it's worth, my life when I am depressed sounds like your description of how things are for you.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10163 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Silver Swan
Apprentice
# 17957

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Huia, thank you for that advice. It would be good to speak with somebody about J and no doubt they could help me as well.

Peace be with all who suffer depression and with those who love and care for them.

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Christ Jesus came to be Immanuel, not a manual.

Posts: 31 | From: Australia | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged
Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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Silver Swan, a couple of links for you.

Beyond Blue

I had a black dog short video

You may have seen both of these. The video is really good. BAsed on a book of the same name which is also good. One of my sons is bi-polar and was very depressed. After seeing this he realised he definitely needed help. He had been on medication but hated it and the psychiatrist would not change it. So he stopped taking it and for years self medicated one way or another. Went to local GP after he realised he needed something. It's been a slow journey but he is now heaps better and admits he is better. He also realises the medication is almost certainly a lifelong thing.

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Posts: 9516 | From: girt by sea | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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Sorry SS, The Black Dog is a NZ site. I have heard good things about "Beyond Blue" too.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10163 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Silver Swan
Apprentice
# 17957

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Thank you, Lothlorien, for those links. I'd seen the black dog video before but watched it again. I see that Beyond Blue has a forum and phone service. I'll give them a try. (I'd heard of Beyond Blue but somehow thought it was only for people in Victoria.)

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Christ Jesus came to be Immanuel, not a manual.

Posts: 31 | From: Australia | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged
Erroneous Monk
Shipmate
# 10858

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So tired I just want to switch myself off

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

Posts: 2884 | From: I cannot tell you, for you are not a friar | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Am job searching, recently had a hope/ hope dashed, and was doing the whole stiff upper lip jokey breezy thing, and then over the weekend I just --crashed. Intermittent crying spells, lack of initiative. And I am having a hard time pulling out of it. I feel like I am in jail.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

Posts: 35057 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Erroneous Monk
Shipmate
# 10858

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((Kelly))

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

Posts: 2884 | From: I cannot tell you, for you are not a friar | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Very, gracious of you, EM, considering I just stepped over you. Sorry about that, I was in a state. Hope you are hanging in there. [Votive]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

Posts: 35057 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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Erroneous Monk [Votive] I hope you cam get some rest.

Kelly [Votive] So what's wrong with American employers? - you have so much to offer.

(yes I know it doesn't feel like it now, but I've read your attitude towards the kids and they deserve someone like you in their lives).

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10163 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Erroneous Monk
Shipmate
# 10858

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For me, physical symptoms are often the first sign of low mood. Still tired, deeply tired, like even my bones are tired. And I have a persistent pain in my left shoulder. It's always in the same place. I should be doing something to help myself, to fight it off. But I'm so tired, deeply tired...(repeat to fade)

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

Posts: 2884 | From: I cannot tell you, for you are not a friar | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
Shipmate
# 16710

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My SADS has been alleviated this winter by dropping alcohol from my diet, losing 11 lbs, learning to curl and starting a new job. Unfortunately, I can't do this every year. I hate it when the black dog nips at my heels.

[ 11. March 2014, 12:11: Message edited by: Caissa ]

Posts: 925 | From: Saint John, N.B. | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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From a purely physical point of view, would one of those light-box thingies (or daylight light-bulbs) be any help in alleviating the SADS?

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 19766 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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My SAD faded dramatically when I no longer had to deal with the short winter days in UK - mind you this coincided with my retirement so difficult to say which had the greater effect on my affect.

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I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Fancy a break in South India?
Accessible Homestay Guesthouse in Central Kerala, contact me for details

What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

Posts: 48139 | From: 1st on the right, straight on 'til morning | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
daisydaisy
Shipmate
# 12167

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quote:
Originally posted by piglet:
From a purely physical point of view, would one of those light-box thingies (or daylight light-bulbs) be any help in alleviating the SADS?

Having a SAD clock has made a huge difference for me. Much more than the lamp that I have on my desk. As well as gently &slowly lighting up in the morning, there is also the option for the light to gently and slowly fade out at night.
Posts: 3179 | From: southern uk | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged



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