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re: Depression on the rise
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Sun Feb 06, 2011 07:07 AM
RileyA indicated that one can be involved in a situation without being affected by it (and, impliedly, that one so involved can be affected to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the individual).

For this reason, I had better reword my answer to the war, recession, and tragedies question:
Why should we have opinions on this question when we can have facts? By a carefully conducted survey, we can measure the correlation, if any, between depression and such circumstances. We can compare those most involved in such circumstances to those least involved, and we can compare the times when such stresses would be greater with the times when such stresses would be lesser.

RileyA wrote
Many years ago these foods [foods containing chemicals common in today's readily available foods] were eaten rarely or never

Not true unless one goes back to before World War II. By 1950, there were just about as much harmful chemical in US typical diet as there is today, including some chemicals that thankfully have been banned, so the increase in chemicals cannot account for the 23% p.a. reported in the 2002 publication cited by the OP.
re: Depression on the rise
By Iamalittlefishie
On Sun Feb 06, 2011 01:04 PM
Where I am (in the US) it's not easy to get on medications unless you actually ARE depressed. You can't just go to a psychiatrist and get on medications. First you need a therapist, then a referral to a psychiatrist, then some observations from family and friends and the psychiatrist may give you meds, then you have to come in to see them every week or two weeks, then every month, then three months so he/she can watch your progress. It would be pretty hard to fake multiple professionals and fake through several levels of observation and treatment until you get medications.

And no one ask you to sit down and circle which of the classic depression symptoms you're feeling. They just have you talk and tell them why you think something is wrong. If they OBSERVE your symptoms as being depression, they'll treat you. If you tell them you're depressed, probably not.

So it's not like people are duping doctors into writing perscriptions willy nilly, which seems to be what people have a problem with.
re: Depression on the rise
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Sun Feb 06, 2011 01:07 PM
There are a lot of ethical doctors out there like that, but many people who want drugs can and will find a doc who will just write them a script.
re: Depression on the rise
By aerial
On Mon Feb 07, 2011 06:23 AM
Iamalittlefishie wrote:

Where I am (in the US) it's not easy to get on medications unless you actually ARE depressed. You can't just go to a psychiatrist and get on medications. First you need a therapist, then a referral to a psychiatrist, then some observations from family and friends and the psychiatrist may give you meds, then you have to come in to see them every week or two weeks, then every month, then three months so he/she can watch your progress. It would be pretty hard to fake multiple professionals and fake through several levels of observation and treatment until you get medications.

And no one ask you to sit down and circle which of the classic depression symptoms you're feeling. They just have you talk and tell them why you think something is wrong. If they OBSERVE your symptoms as being depression, they'll treat you. If you tell them you're depressed, probably not.

So it's not like people are duping doctors into writing perscriptions willy nilly, which seems to be what people have a problem with.



Really? I am in the US and my Mom and friend both went to their regular medical doctors and got on anti depressants. Granted they asked them to do follow up visits from time to time but no therpist or even psychiatrist were ever invloved.
re: Depression on the rise
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Feb 07, 2011 09:10 AM
Edited by Heart (21721) on 2011-02-07 09:17:13
aerial wrote:

Iamalittlefishie wrote:

Where I am (in the US) it's not easy to get on medications unless you actually ARE depressed. You can't just go to a psychiatrist and get on medications. First you need a therapist, then a referral to a psychiatrist, then some observations from family and friends and the psychiatrist may give you meds, then you have to come in to see them every week or two weeks, then every month, then three months so he/she can watch your progress. It would be pretty hard to fake multiple professionals and fake through several levels of observation and treatment until you get medications.

And no one ask you to sit down and circle which of the classic depression symptoms you're feeling. They just have you talk and tell them why you think something is wrong. If they OBSERVE your symptoms as being depression, they'll treat you. If you tell them you're depressed, probably not.

So it's not like people are duping doctors into writing perscriptions willy nilly, which seems to be what people have a problem with.



Really? I am in the US and my Mom and friend both went to their regular medical doctors and got on anti depressants. Granted they asked them to do follow up visits from time to time but no therpist or even psychiatrist were ever invloved.


Unfortunately, some doctors are idiots. But generally you will need a referral to a psychiatrist, who will have you see a therapist as well, and if the psychiatrist is worth his or her salt, they'll be very hesitant to put you on anything and see you every two weeks until they are satisfied with your dose. I've seen a GP to refill my dose when seeing a psychiatrist was too expensive, but they filled it only because I could prove that I was on that medication and they knew me very well.

Unfortunately many MDs are very ignorant of mental illness and how diagnosing and treatment works. This is why you'll see the BS antidepressant commercials as well. In fact, while I was in partial hospital treatment, our Med Management class received handouts showing clips of antidepressant ads and received a lecture on "that's not how depression works!"

Advertizing is advertizing, anyway, you can't really blame it for being unrealistic... a doctor is supposed to know the difference and explain that to you.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 2)
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Feb 10, 2011 03:51 PM
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2011-02-10 15:53:01
I think happiness is a place we all have to find on our own. There are no pills or doctors for that. That's not at all what struggling for your mental health is about. It's just the ability to cope with anything, both joy and sorrow, well just life basically. Yes being mentally healthy also means you have a chance of happiness, just like everyone else, ability to potentially be. But realising that potential will still be up to you.
re: Depression on the rise
By RileyA
On Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:57 PM
CarabosseK wrote:

I will buy the idea that the chemicals in food can be causing this, but when you go to a doctor to be diagnosed, is the first course of treatment a change in diet?


It should be, our nutritionist has seen miracles and depression disappear overnight when diet is changed. But most people are not prepared to change their diet because it is too much effort and requires quite a lifestyle change. Also the chemicals in foods are addictive, which is why we crave certain foods. Giving up these foods is just like trying to give up smoking.
re: Depression on the rise
By RileyA
On Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:01 PM
madmilt wrote:

RileyA indicated that one can be involved in a situation without being affected by it (and, impliedly, that one so involved can be affected to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the individual).

For this reason, I had better reword my answer to the war, recession, and tragedies question:
Why should we have opinions on this question when we can have facts? By a carefully conducted survey, we can measure the correlation, if any, between depression and such circumstances. We can compare those most involved in such circumstances to those least involved, and we can compare the times when such stresses would be greater with the times when such stresses would be lesser.

RileyA wrote
Many years ago these foods [foods containing chemicals common in today's readily available foods] were eaten rarely or never

Not true unless one goes back to before World War II. By 1950, there were just about as much harmful chemical in US typical diet as there is today, including some chemicals that thankfully have been banned, so the increase in chemicals cannot account for the 23% p.a. reported in the 2002 publication cited by the OP.


The chemicals in foods has actually changed significantly in the US much more recently than in world war 2. Disposable income increases significantly every decade leaving people eating out a lot more, the availability if foreign foods and brand choices have increased significantly and the amount of pre packaged food increases yearly. As does the variety of fast foods available.

Also many so called healthy foods are in fact packed with chemicals that are highly associated with depression. bread is in fact one of the worst contributers.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 1)
By Shnaynaymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Feb 21, 2011 05:31 AM
Edited by Shnaynay (34931) on 2011-02-21 05:34:09
Depression is a part of life. It's not a pleasant part of life, but it is something that EVERY person will deal with at some point in their lives. You will NOT grow to old age without having felt depressed, whether it be for the short-term or longer.

I feel that what may have changed from eras past is society's way of dealing with the depression of individuals. First of all, we amplify depression - through commercials for anti-depressants, through advertising for all different types of therapy, through television programs that feature Dr. Drew or Dr. Phil or anyone else who delves into the human mind and exposes it in quasi-professional manner for the world to see - and with the creation of REALITY television, people find themselves relating to characters ("people"?) on TV more so than they might if those portrayed were clearly actors, depicting made-up situations. This applies not only to depression, but many other problems and challenging situations that may pop up throughout the lifespan of the average human being. So, we have emotions, problems, addictions, coping mechanisms, self-destruction, and the like AMPLIFIED. We relate. We take unto ourselves problems that have been projected from the media in all forms. We mix these reactions with our actual REAL LIFE problems. Woe is me.

ME. That is the next problem. Today, in mainstream, industrialized cultures, nobody cares as highly about others as they do about ME! Everything is about ME! It doesn't matter what disaster is taking place in the world, it doesn't matter who is out there in the struggle - if I am not content in my happy place, I don't care half as much about anything else that's going on because I'm figuring out how to cope with ME - instead of getting OUTSIDE MY HEAD and focusing on something else in the world. To remove oneself from ones mind (problems) is the most revitalizing proposition.

Its understandable. But I feel that its contributing to the depression problems that many human beings may be suffering from.

The notion that doctors, psychiatry, and medication can help may also be hindering the process of removing oneself from one's depression. I don't feel that taking prescription medication is any more productive or viable as a treatment method than taking street drugs. I felt GREAT when I was geeked out of my mind after a night of cocaine, and you best believe my homework was done, and I had solved ALL the world's problems, and was doing crunches at four o'clock in the morning, but that only lasted as long as I continued ingesting the drug. The same for prescription pills. You become reliant on the pills to solve your internal problems - but they're not CHANGING your way of being/thinking/reacting/processing or your attitude. These are the dynamics that must change - not the chemical balance of your brain. That's BS in my book.

I have been diagnosed bipolar. This is a label. What it means is, "YOU'RE INSANE AND YOU GO THROUGH FITS OF RAGE AND YOU DON'T SLEEP AND NO ONE CAN TALK TO YOU SOMETIMES BECAUSE YOU'LL FLIP OUT FOR NO REASON AND OTHER TIMES YOU'RE OKAY." Fine. That's how I am. No need to take medication about it. That describes the way I behave at times. It describes how short my fuse is, at times. I have learned to control my reactions to the rage that builds up inside me. When my blood is boiling, I run, or write. I stay away from people for a short time until I calm down. I even let people who are close to me - like my mother - know that I can't talk right now, to avoid an explosion that I feel I cannot control, and then I remove myself from the situation and go for a drive or something. These are ways in which a person can deal with their mental health.

You're not broken or damaged just because your personality or feelings or state of emotions can fit into a box that a doctor might label as "depressed", "bipolar", "obsessive" or anything else. It's a LABEL.

peace out
sh'naynay
re: Depression on the rise
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Feb 21, 2011 04:59 PM
I have plenty to say about that steaming pile, but I must run now; suffice to say that #1 is that you can indeed change your brain chemistry. Not temporarily; permanently. You can train your brain to permanently change the levels of your neurotransmitters. Cognitive behavior therapy does this and antidepressants (etc.) will over time as well.

Don't have time to cite; Google it if you don't believe me.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 3)
By ChristinePremium member
On Sat Feb 26, 2011 03:15 PM
Dear Ones,

I've read this thread with interest and I have a few questions for several posters.

First of all, why in g*d's name would anyone want "attention" of this kind? Anyone who has ever struggled with the dark corners of depression can tell you that the LAST thing they want is attention. When you are truly depressed you want to crawl under the covers and never get out of bed.

Does anyone really think, "What are you depressed ABOUT?" is a remotely helpful question? Outside events are rarely the "cause" of depression. Dealing with long term illness or other hopeless situations may trigger depression, but as far as I know, the "cause" is not clearly understood. The brain chemistry is upset, healthy coping mechanisms do not click in, and the day to day life of the sufferer is diminished.

Learning strategies to cope with difficult events and other "talk therapy" can be a big help, especially cognitive therapy to help the depressed person find different ways of evaluating stressful situations, but often these therapies work best when combined with drug therapy. The idea that there is a "happy pill" is a myth. Most anti-depressants don't make you happy. They take the edge off your pain so you can manage your life so feelings of failure or extreme anger don't add to your depression. They help you get out of bed and feed yourself, or exercise. Truthfully, they can be lifesaving in many cases although they need to be carefully monitored. Sometimes, people are so depressed they can't get it together to end their pain with suicide. Sometimes, the medication raises their level of functioning to a point where they CAN kill themselves.

Taking medication isn't the "easy way" to navigate life. These medications often cause weight gain, loss of sex drive, they age the skin, they interact with other medications so you may have to choose one or the other, and usually you must abstain from alcohol. Additionally, they are expensive. Many people who take them attempt to get off them, sometimes successfully,sometimes not, because they would RATHER live drug free. Unfortunately, like diabetes, some people can control it with diet and exercise, some people require insulin all their lives. There is no shame in being diabetic, but often if people know your are depressed they judge you harshly so it becomes a person's "dirty little secret" adding shame and feelings of lack of self worth and failure to the mess.

Although a GP can prescribe these medications, they usually refer the patient to a mental health professional, who usually does an evaluation and refers the patient to a psychologist or clinical social worker who then makes their recommendation to the referring psychiatrist. It also takes a long time for the medication to work. Six weeks is not unusual. So, pills are not a "quick fix" by any means. Talk therapy is usually part of the treatment plan and often dietary adjustments are suggested if indicated as well as substance abuse control if the patient is self medicating.

All of this self care takes a lot of time, patience, and some money, even if you have good insurance (which also costs money) To suggest that there is anything "easy" about any of this is hurtful. Why would anyone go to all this trouble if they felt good? They wouldn't.

It is no wonder people avoid treatment when they need it or keep their struggles a secret while they manage them. I've noticed that here on DDN the community is usually kind, understanding, and enlightened about such issues, yet there is an astounding amount of misunderstanding about depression, which by the way, can be a fatal illness.

Keep On Dancing*
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 2)
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Feb 26, 2011 06:32 PM
Edited by Heart (21721) on 2011-02-26 18:34:38
This is long. Sorry. I went all Pringles up in here- once I popped I just couldn't stop.




Shnaynay wrote:

Depression is a part of life. It's not a pleasant part of life, but it is something that EVERY person will deal with at some point in their lives. You will NOT grow to old age without having felt depressed, whether it be for the short-term or longer.

The type of depression that the severely (or even moderately) mentally ill experience is NOT something that “every person will deal with at some point in their lives.” The vast majority of individuals have never experienced that kind of depression and have a near complete inability to comprehend that state of mind. It is not something that is within the normal scope of life experience.

I've had this happen to me personally more times than I could think of counting. And if you doubt it, try telling someone that you cut yourself. The response is going to be disgust and complete incomprehension - unless they've cut or know someone who has. It's not normal.


Shnaynay wrote:

and with the creation of REALITY television

You did not just compare mental illness with reality TV. Seriously? I feel like I don’t even have to elaborate on the ridiculousness of that.

Shnaynay wrote:

So, we have emotions, problems, addictions, coping mechanisms, self-destruction, and the like AMPLIFIED.

Or we’re discussing issues that were previously just shoved under the rug because they weren’t “that bad,” that the sufferers should just “deal with it”… oh right, what you’re saying we should continue doing. Because that’s a healthy way to live life.


Shnaynay wrote:

We take unto ourselves problems that have been projected from the media in all forms. We mix these reactions with our actual REAL LIFE problems. Woe is me.

You do realize that the way the depressed mind experiences life is different from the way the normal mind does, correct? That’s because it’s a mental ILLNESS. Reactions are exaggerated or, at times, completely unrelated to life events.

Personally, I don’t get a lot of say about how I react to something. It’s very common for a mentally ill individual to get really upset about NOTHING AT ALL. That’s because it is in the mind, not linked to external events. (Ladies, if you have ever experienced an episode of PMS where you just sat and cried for no reason whatsoever, or because they played that commercial with the dogs looking sad – that’s it exactly.)



Shnaynay wrote:

ME. That is the next problem. Today, in mainstream, industrialized cultures, nobody cares as highly about others as they do about ME!

Considering that depression typically manifests as self-hatred, and that suicide would pretty much be the epitome of not caring about oneself (as caring about oneself necessitates one’s being alive), I find this to be pretty unrelated to the topic at hand.

Shnaynay wrote:

Everything is about ME! It doesn't matter what disaster is taking place in the world, it doesn't matter who is out there in the struggle - if I am not content in my happy place, I don't care half as much about anything else that's going on because I'm figuring out how to cope with ME - instead of getting OUTSIDE MY HEAD and focusing on something else in the world. To remove oneself from ones mind (problems) is the most revitalizing proposition.

Few things here.

1) If you are in a state of heightened depression, you are incapable of experiencing the external world. Picture, if you will, how you would feel if someone chopped off your leg, then sat you down in front of some disturbing footage of the Rwandan genocide. How empathetic would you be feeling towards the Rwandans? You wouldn’t. You would be screaming, “YOU CHOPPED OFF MY FLIPPING LEG! I AM IN EXCRUTIATING PAIN!”

Depression is mental pain. The brain processes physical pain in the same way it processes emotional pain. It is a completely natural reaction to be unable to react to external stimuli when you are in pain. It is not selfish and it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to “get outside” one’s head when in such a situation.

2) Some mental illness patients get upset because they are too empathetic. I have mentioned before, I have borderline personality disorder as well as depression; to make a long story short, they overlap. From Valerie Parr’s Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder:

Harold Koenigsberg of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine mapped the brains of people with BPD and normal controls in fMRI scanners while they looked at photographs from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). These are photos of situations that evoke emotional responses, such as pictures of children in a war-torn village or a happy family scene. Dr. Koenigsberg found that people with BPD processed more IAPS pictures as self-referential than did normal controls. Additionally, their emotional responses were more intense or heightened than those of normal controls. Their reactions to other people or situations may be due to their greater personalization of negative emotional situations. They may also have attempted to inhibit their emotional responses during the processing of negative words. Thus, a person with BPD personalizes a negative emotional situation, such as a fire next door or a tsunami in Asia, processing it as self-referential.


So two things here: (a) yes, some people’s brains literally do process information self-referentially, though not at all in a selfish way; and (b) when you do that, you get more upset, and experience more emotional pain, which means you can’t focus externally; see point (1).


Shnaynay wrote:

The notion that doctors, psychiatry, and medication can help may also be hindering the process of removing oneself from one's depression. I don't feel that taking prescription medication is any more productive or viable as a treatment method than taking street drugs.

Thankfully, scientific studies, as well as common sense, prove this to be thoroughly false.

Shnaynay wrote:

You become reliant on the pills to solve your internal problems - but they're not CHANGING your way of being/thinking/reacting/processing or your attitude. These are the dynamics that must change - not the chemical balance of your brain. That's BS in my book.

Nuerogenesis is the term for your brain’s growing of new neurons (brain cells, for those following along at home). Humans have the ability to grow new neurons and formulate new neuronic pathways – ways of processing thoughts, emotions, and basically everything – regardless of age. In other words, your brain can change. You can train it to change by changing your behavior. From Parr again:

Sabine Herpertz, of the University of Heuidelberg in Germany, conducted fMRI brain scans periodically on people with BPD who were in DBT[Dialectical Behavioral Therapy] as their treatment progressed over 1 year. After intensive DBT treatment, the patients showed reduced activation in their amygdalas.


But that’s not the only way: antidepressants cause nuerogenesis.

A number of studies on lab rats have shown that antidepressants stimulate new brain cell growth, and are affective in relieving anxiety and other symptoms.

In this study,
Administration of several different classes of antidepressant, but not non-antidepressant, agents was found to increase BrdU-labeled cell number, indicating that this is a common and selective action of antidepressants. In addition, upregulation of the number of BrdU-labeled cells is observed after chronic, but not acute, treatment, consistent with the time course for the therapeutic action of antidepressants. Additional studies demonstrated that antidepressant treatment increases the proliferation of hippocampal cells and that these new cells mature and become neurons, as determined by triple labeling for BrdU and neuronal- or glial-specific markers.


And in this study,
Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression have been linked to atrophy or loss of hippocampal neurons. A few years ago, Hen’s colleague and co-author Ronald Duman, Ph.D., Yale University, reported that some antidepressants promote hippocampal neurogenesis. But to what effect? To begin to demonstrate a causal relationship between these newly generated cells and relief from depression, researchers would have to find a way to prevent their formation in a behaving animal.
The researchers first showed that mice become less anxious—they begin eating sooner in a novel environment—after 4 weeks of antidepressant treatment, but not after just 5 days of such treatment. Paralleling the delay in onset of antidepressant efficacy in humans, the chronically-treated mice, but not the briefly-treated ones, showed a 60 percent boost in a telltale marker of neurogenesis in a key area of the hippocampus.


Shnaynay wrote:

I have been diagnosed bipolar. This is a label. What it means is, "YOU'RE INSANE AND YOU GO THROUGH FITS OF RAGE AND YOU DON'T SLEEP AND NO ONE CAN TALK TO YOU SOMETIMES BECAUSE YOU'LL FLIP OUT FOR NO REASON AND OTHER TIMES YOU'RE OKAY."

Well, no, actually, not at all; it means that your symptoms most closely correlate with the DSM-IV’s criteria for bipolar disorder. Psychiatric diagnoses help us to understand the issues at hand but are more to the point, guidelines as to how to treat the problem. In other words… so you don’t do the crazy.
As a sidenote, back to the “normal people don’t do that” point.

Shnaynay wrote:

I have learned to control my reactions to the rage that builds up inside me. When my blood is boiling, I run, or write. I stay away from people for a short time until I calm down. I even let people who are close to me - like my mother - know that I can't talk right now, to avoid an explosion that I feel I cannot control, and then I remove myself from the situation and go for a drive or something. These are ways in which a person can deal with their mental health.

In other words, exactly what those pointless therapy programs teach people who are unable to, for various reasons, teach themselves how to cope in those ways. But those don’t work, right? (I’m not even going to bother touching on the “but you should totally be able to force yourself to dramatically change your life behaviors without any external support from anyone” argument, because that’s stupid.)

Shnaynay wrote:

You're not broken or damaged just because your personality or feelings or state of emotions can fit into a box that a doctor might label as "depressed", "bipolar", "obsessive" or anything else. It's a LABEL.

You don’t have a disease just because your blood sugar falls below a marker that a doctor might call “diabetes.” It’s a LABEL.




Image hotlink - 'http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2490/4118002405_39e27afb1e.jpg'
re: Depression on the rise
By imadancer2member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Feb 26, 2011 07:35 PM
Heart: I love you.

Also, topphilly great points!
re: Depression on the rise
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Sat Feb 26, 2011 07:57 PM
Edited by madmilt (172013) on 2011-02-26 20:14:54 Addendum and correction of typo.
Topphilly wrote
Sometimes, people are so depressed they can't get it together to end their pain with suicide. Sometimes, the medication raises their level of functioning to a point where they CAN kill themselves.


Sorry, I don't buy the concept that one can be in a state worse than suicidal, and I don't buy the concept that suicide is any evidence that the patient benefited from the drug.

Will you claim next that the mass murders committed by recently fired US Postal workers, who had been on Prozac, constitute evidence that those murderers benefited from Prozac? This is how we got the expression, "Going Postal."
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 1)
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Feb 26, 2011 09:26 PM
Edited by Heart (21721) on 2011-02-26 21:27:37
If you can't grasp that extremely well-known and pretty damn basic fact, madmilt, you really shouldn't be talking about depression like you have any clue what it's about.

In any case, it's not rocket science. When you're depressed, you're extremely lethargic and tired. Antidepressants give you enough energy to act on your thoughts.
re: Depression on the rise
By ChristinePremium member
On Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:33 PM
madmilt wrote:

Topphilly wrote
Sometimes, people are so depressed they can't get it together to end their pain with suicide. Sometimes, the medication raises their level of functioning to a point where they CAN kill themselves.


Sorry, I don't buy the concept that one can be in a state worse than suicidal, and I don't buy the concept that suicide is any evidence that the patient benefited from the drug.

Will you claim next that the mass murders committed by recently fired US Postal workers, who had been on Prozac, constitute evidence that those murderers benefited from Prozac? This is how we got the expression, "Going Postal."


Hum...kind of harsh, dear. I didn't say that there was a state "worse than suicidal", I said that depression can be so debilitating that a person who is suicidal isn't capable of doing ANYTHING. It is a FACT that when people on anti-depressants kill themselves it is unfortunately not because the medication makes them suicidal but because it is actually working to restore some of their functional abilities and they unfortunately kill themselves before the medication has a chance to do all its work. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand this and avoid medication because they fear it will make them suicidal.

To answer your other concern, "What will I say next??"...No, I would never say that the senseless violence in these and other events are a benefit to anyone. They are tragic and point to the need for more compassion where depression is concerned so people who suffer seek help before things reach such a terrible point. When people deliberately argue about medical conditions like depression without any medical knowledge, and deliberately twist words, it is no wonder many people shy away from seeking the help they need.

If you re-read my post more carefully I think you might find your attack is ill considered.

Keep On Dancing*
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 1)
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Feb 27, 2011 04:11 AM
I think there is a big language problem here. Yes everyone experiences depression in some point at there lives, as in low mood, sadness, combined with lack of energy. No this usually passes on it's on, no you shouldn't take medication for it.

No, not everyone experiences clinical depression, or has any clue what that is about from being the kind of depressed as in common non clinical terms as this thread very well demonstrates. Clinical depression comes also in various degrees, major depression can make you virtually catatonic, unable to do anything at all in a hospital. It has absolutely nothing to do with not being able to cope with common everyday problems and sadness, it's a mental illness, as in your mind doesn't function normally, sometimes hardly in any way at all.
re: Depression on the rise (karma: 1)
By ChristinePremium member
On Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:08 AM
Shnaynay wrote:

The notion that doctors, psychiatry, and medication can help may also be hindering the process of removing oneself from one's depression. I don't feel that taking prescription medication is any more productive or viable as a treatment method than taking street drugs. I felt GREAT when I was geeked out of my mind after a night of cocaine, and you best believe my homework was done, and I had solved ALL the world's problems, and was doing crunches at four o'clock in the morning, but that only lasted as long as I continued ingesting the drug. The same for prescription pills. You become reliant on the pills to solve your internal problems - but theye not CHANGING your way of being/thinking/reacting/processing or your attitude. These are the dynamics that must change - not the chemical balance of your brain. That's BS in my book.


There is a huge difference between being "geeked out" on cocaine and needing drug therapy to manage the chemical imbalance in your brain. This is not "BS", it is science.

Drugs like Celexa or Lexopro do not make you euphoric like cocaine or amphetamines. They are serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. This means that if your own brain does not produce enough serotonin to assist in mood management, or if it produces too many serotonin re-uptake chemicals, the anti-depressants will work by binding to the "business end" of the re-uptake compounds, thus allowing the patient to hang onto their own serotonin longer. It doesn't make anyone high, doesn't distort reality, in fact, it helps prevent reality distortion. To suggest that, "You become reliant on the pills to solve your internal problems" is like suggesting that you become "reliant" on anti-biotics to fight infection. This kind of arm chair medicine is hurtful and damaging. Unlike people who turn to drugs for fun, people who struggle with real medical conditions like depression are not looking to get high, they are looking to get well.

There is a great danger in equating recreational drug usage with legitimate drug therapy. People who abuse street drugs may have a great knowledge about how they felt when they were doing drugs but it does not translate to the real world. Duh...there is nothing "real world" about abusing street drugs. That's one reason why they are illegal.

Pharmacology is a complex science and the professionals who study it spend years and years learning the many interactions of many different chemical families and their effect on the body's own chemicals. I never knew a cocaine addict who could identify the chemical structure of the drugs they took, nor did they care to closely examine the complex interaction of those chemicals with the extremely complex chemical make up of their own brains. True scientists, on the other hand, continually study and learn the SCIENCE of the compounds they develop, how the human body is affected by those foreign compounds, and how the brain adapts to the introduction of drug therapies designed to alleviate suffering, NOT bring about an easy "high".

*end of rant*

Keep On Dancing*
re: Depression on the rise
By Bridgetbeemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:20 AM
Heart and Shnaynay both wrote interesting posts, but the huge neuroscience fails ruined them for me

Firstly, this is incredible misleading:
'Humans have the ability to grow new neurons and formulate new neuronic pathways – ways of processing thoughts, emotions, and basically everything – regardless of age.'

This statement firstly makes me think that you are under the impression that neurogenesis and the formation of synaptic connections (I’m assuming that’s what you mean by 'neuronic pathways'?) are one and the same; where as in fact they are totally different. Neurogenesis refers to cell proliferation: the actual creation of new neurones, where as the formation of a new pathway refers only to synaptic connections being formed between existing neurones.

Your statement about neurogenesis made me cringe; because it implies that neurogenesis in the adult brain happens throughout, like new neurones are just popping up all over the place. In actual fact adult neurogenesis only happens in two areas of the brain, the olfactory bulb (associated with smell) and the hippocampus (an area associated with learning and memory). You can't just grow new neurones wherever your brain needs them, that idea is ridiculous! If you're going to talk about things from a neuroscience perspective and use that as a basis of your arguments please try and avoid making fundamental errors. Throwing big words around is all very well, but please try and be specific, what you said was very confusing. You may well have been entirely aware of this but it definitely didn’t come across that way and in neuroscience there isn’t really any room for ambiguity.

Moving on, recent research shows that synaptic connections in the brain are actually a lot more plastic than even previously thought. New connections are formed, effective connections are strengthened where as ineffective ones are destroyed. One of the ways antidepressants act is to enhance the effects of neurotransmitters (norepinephrine of serotonin) by either preventing their enzymatic destruction or blocking their reuptake (MAO inhibitors and tricyclics respectively) so postsynaptic receptors can be activated. So, Shnaynay, your comment that

'They’re not CHANGING your way of being/thinking/reacting/processing or your attitude. These are the dynamics that must change - not the chemical balance of your brain'.

Is just false, plain and simple. What on earth do you think drugs DO if not change what is going on in your brain? How else would they have their effects? How do you think that your way of being/thinking/reacting/processing/attitude is controlled if not by chemical processes in your brain? At the end of the day, that is all that your feelings boil down to, and if you do not agree please explain what you mean by dynamics?
re: Depression on the rise
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Feb 27, 2011 02:19 PM
Bridgetbee wrote:

This statement firstly makes me think that you are under the impression that neurogenesis and the formation of synaptic connections (I’m assuming that’s what you mean by 'neuronic pathways'?) are one and the same; where as in fact they are totally different. Neurogenesis refers to cell proliferation: the actual creation of new neurones, where as the formation of a new pathway refers only to synaptic connections being formed between existing neurones.

Your statement about neurogenesis made me cringe; because it implies that neurogenesis in the adult brain happens throughout, like new neurones are just popping up all over the place. In actual fact adult neurogenesis only happens in two areas of the brain, the olfactory bulb (associated with smell) and the hippocampus (an area associated with learning and memory). You can't just grow new neurones wherever your brain needs them, that idea is ridiculous! If you're going to talk about things from a neuroscience perspective and use that as a basis of your arguments please try and avoid making fundamental errors. Throwing big words around is all very well, but please try and be specific, what you said was very confusing. You may well have been entirely aware of this but it definitely didn’t come across that way and in neuroscience there isn’t really any room for ambiguity.

I know that; I kept it simple as I figured the majority of the posters and readers here wouldn't be able to go into neuroscience specifics (and probably would be lost by the quotes I posted already!). "Keep It Simple, Stupid," right? Sorry for not clarifying ;) I figured the links would sort out the specifics for anyone who was more interested, as the post was sort of exceedingly long anyway.

CBT changes synaptic connections. "Neuronic pathways" that was a phrase used in the book and articles I found, don't blame me! I thought it was a funny phrase but went with it. The book I quoted from had this lumped in the same section as neurogenesis and I didn't think of specifying the difference between the two.

Antidepressants cause neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Anxiety and stress can cause neurons in the hippocampus to die, or to quote the first article I cited, "stress-induced atrophy and loss of hippocampal neurons may contribute to the pathophysiology of depression." Antidepressants stimulate regrowth of said hippocampal neurons which in turn change behavior.

Said neurogenesis is pretty thoroughly linked to the antidepressant use and change in behavior. In the second cited study,
To find out if the observed neurogenesis is involved in antidepressants’ mechanism-of-action, Hen and colleagues selectively targeted the hippocampus with x-rays to kill proliferating cells. This reduced neurogenesis by 85 percent. Antidepressants had no effect on anxiety and depression-related behaviors in the irradiated mice. For example, fluoxetine failed to improve grooming behavior, as it normally does, in animals whose behavior had deteriorated following chronic unpredictable stress. Evidence suggested that this could not be attributed to other effects of x-rays.


Again I do apologize for any confusion. I was just trying to keep it palatable :)

By the way, to get the quote boxes, you can use [ q ]Blah blah blah text you want to quote[ /q ] without the spaces. Makes it easier to read. Use [ q=username ]Blah blah[ /q ] to get the "username wrote:" thing.
re: Depression on the rise
By dancin_til_death
On Tue Mar 01, 2011 04:00 AM
Mental health issues are set to become one of the bigger disease burdens along with the chronic health problems. This is because

a) we are understanding mental health and how to treat it better
b) infectious diseases, sre becoming less of an issue (in the developed world), while depression along with the anxiety disorders they account for a whopping 7% of human disease. That's huge!
c) we're getting older

The world is not getting scarier. Most of us live in a world safer then the one our grandparents lived in. The GFC was bad, but it wasn't as bad as the depression was. While afghanistan may freak you out, its no where near the scale of WW1 or WWII.

The science around epidemiology, pathology presentation of the mental illnesses is just emerging now. We are seeing research coming out demonstrating depression with MRIs, and CTs. Not simply self report. Its crazy how fast its going. I sat in on an assessment of a man who had suffered from classic PTSD for the last few decades, after watching his friend getting blown up in Vietnam. He was such a textbook case, moreso he was friendly, practical and likely to benefit from treatment. Why hadn't he been treated by the army? Understanding of PTSD was still in its infancy in the 70s. They didn't know what to do. Many armies still don't.

Did you know for every man in the US army who dies in combat, an additional 15 men kill themselves. Clearly we've got bigger problems then the enemy.

One of the main treatment regimes against depression (and the anxiety disorders) is CBT. However in my opinion it should be used as a preventative treatment as well as a treatment. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Thiis treatment is about behavioural activation, cognitive restruction, problem solving and assertiveness skills. Learning these skills helps depressed patients break the cycle of depression.

Unfortuantely the majority of people do not access these treatments do cost or access issues. We are now seeing many groups overcoming this by offering CBT online. eg. ANU offers moodgym and e-couch, and beating the blues in the UK is now standard frontline treatment.

I'm surprised people are describing difficulties getting SSRIs. Here all you have to do is visit a GP...
re: Depression on the rise
By ChristinePremium member
On Tue Mar 01, 2011 06:47 AM
^You make several good points. I do need to add however, that the world is still a scary place. Afghanistan may seem far away now but let me assure you that on September 11th 2001 many of us had good reason to be scared. In the days that followed the entire city of New York felt depressed (and no, it was not clinical depression but it felt awful just the same)Until you've been hit with a hand or other random body part falling from the sky while you're walking to work in the morning you don't really know what a "bad day" is. Did we recover? Yes. Humans are remarkably resilient. Were we changed? Also yes..

I might also point out that events unfolding in Egypt, Lybia,and even Wisconsin, are frightening for those living there. Many people fear that this is only the beginning. The political situation may very well evolve to be like Europe in 1848, but that is a debate for another time.

Thanks for your informative post.

Keep On Dancing*
re: Depression on the rise
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Wed Mar 16, 2011 08:18 PM
In an obvious attempt to deny that psychotropic drugs were the cause of suicides, Heart wrote
Antidepressants give you enough energy to act on your thoughts.

Fact: The body does not burn psychotropic drugs as fuel, nor do they exhibit nuclear reactions, so they cannot give energy to the recipient. If they act as a stimulant and thereby induce the recipient to create energy by burning up its own sugar, fat or cells, then ordinary stimulants, such as caffeine, would produce the same effect. If you still doubt that the suicides that follow introduction of psychotropic drugs are plainly and simply a side effect of the drugs - and would contend that such suicides merely result from waiting too long to start such drugs or did not give them sufficient time to work, consider how drastically psych drugs have increased suicide rates. Example: date coincident with the introduction of prescribing Ritalin to juveniles, the suicide rate among those under age 16 skyrocketed from (are you ready for this?) zero. The statistics are in Dr. Marshall Barron Clinard's book, "Sociology of Deviant Behavior". Just compare earlier printings against later printings.

Also, it has not been proved that chemical imbalances in the brain cause depression - or any mental illness for that matter. In fact many psychiatrists disagree:

This one is long:
Spoiler: Show
“…modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly prove the genetic/biologic cause of any single mental illness…Patients [have] been diagnosed with ‘chemical imbalances’ despite the fact that no test exists to support such a claim, and…there is no real conception of what a correct chemical balance would look like.” —Dr. David Kaiser, psychiatrist

“There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, ‘I have a biochemical imbalance,’ I say, ‘Show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?” —Dr. Ron Leifer, psychiatrist

“All psychiatrists have in common that when they are caught on camera or on microphone, they cower and admit that there are no such things as chemical imbalances/diseases, or examinations or tests for them. What they do in practice, lying in every instance, abrogating [revoking] the informed consent right of every patient and poisoning them in the name of ‘treatment’ is nothing short of criminal.” —Dr. Fred Baughman Jr., Pediatric Neurologist

“Psychiatry makes unproven claims that depression, bipolar illness, anxiety, alcoholism and a host of other disorders are in fact primarily biologic and probably genetic in origin…This kind of faith in science and progress is staggering, not to mention naïve and perhaps delusional.” —Dr. David Kaiser, psychiatrist

"While there has been no shortage of alleged biochemical explanations for psychiatric conditions…not one has been proven. Quite the contrary. In every instance where such an imbalance was thought to have been found, it was later proven false.” —Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist

“The theories are held on to not only because there is nothing else to take their place, but also because they are useful in promoting drug treatment.” —Dr. Elliott Valenstein Ph.D., author of Blaming the Brain

“There is no blood or other biological test to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness, as there is for most bodily diseases. If such a test were developed…then the condition would cease to be a mental illness and would be classified, instead, as a symptom of a bodily disease.” —Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, New York University Medical School, Syracuse

“I believe, until the public and psychiatry itself see that DSM labels are not only useless as medical ‘diagnoses’ but also have the potential to do great harm—particularly when they are used as means to deny individual freedoms, or as weapons by psychiatrists acting as hired guns for the legal system.” —Dr. Sydney Walker III, psychiatrist

“No biochemical, neurological, or genetic markers have been found for Attention Deficit Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depression, Schizophrenia, anxiety, compulsive alcohol and drug abuse, overeating, gambling or any other so-called mental illness, disease, or disorder.” —Bruce Levine, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Commonsense Rebellion
“Unlike medical diagnoses that convey a probable cause, appropriate treatment and likely prognosis, the disorders listed in DSM-IV are terms arrived at through peer consensus.” —Tana Dineen Ph.D., Canadian psychologist

Yes, you read that one right. "Disorders" are VOTED into the DSM. Somehow I don't call that the scientific method.
re: Depression on the rise
By Gloxinia
On Sun Apr 17, 2011 02:48 AM
I apologise for not having read all the replies on here, so what I am about to say might already have been said, but just wanted to give my two pennies worth.

I believe there was just as many people with depression years ago, but now we are getting better at talking about it. It's not something to be ashamed of anymore. More help is available and therefore we hear more about it. In my humble opinion. :)
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