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I'm depressed again....

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I just woke up and lay in bed for about an hour pondering where I went wrong in my life, so many times, to lead me to this depressed pitiful state I'm in now. I'm 26 and I rent a small house, on the same property as my dad's (the guest house). I should say "rent" since I haven't paid him in months, as I haven't been working. I usually work for him, doing website work and warehouse stuff for the family business. Now I only put in hours when I have to (which is when he basically threatens to have the police throw me out). He's been trying to kick me out for a while. I've been inside this place for a solid week now, surviving off the bare minimum of food. Yesterday I had some oatmeal and some pasta with butter. Today I haven't eaten yet. I usually wait until I get unbearably hungry. This is mostly just because of laziness. My wall is has a cork board tacked with quotes from Ayn Rand that I used to look at when I was trying to get better. My head however is filled with suicidal thoughts and pathetic excuses.

This isn't how I wanted to say all this. I wanted to try to write about how I get depressed for months, then snap out of it by making some drastic change or traveling somewhere. But then I get dragged down again because I can't really run from the inherit problems that lead me to depression. I think the main ones are social phobia, which I've tried (unsuccessfully) to get therapy for, for a year; and lack of purpose. Social phobia I've dealt with since childhood. It's not something I care too much about anymore...but lack of purpose is my latest theory and is probably the reason I give up on life so many times.

Over the last 10 years or so I've gone through about 5 or 6 periods of intense depression, usually lasting 6 to 9 months. When I'm not depressed I'm usually in some kind of job that occupies me, or college. I have a purpose...but what I went to college for (physical therapy) isn't what I'm interested in doing anymore. The current job available to me, I hate. Working for my dad has been my main job since I was 15, and I'm tired of it. We get along terribly.

When I have a purpose, I'm too busy to be sad I suppose. I did well in college, and I wanted to get a job that would challenge me and that would allow me to use my mind to its fullest. I wanted to create music but I feel like peter keating trying to paint. Don't get me wrong, I think I could do it and that I"m good (unlike keating) ...I just don't think it's a viable field. Then I thought that I'd enjoy teaching kids music—I've always enjoyed working with kids—but that it'd be a low paying job I'd end up hating because of how screwed public education is.

This is the most haphazard BS I've ever written. I'm usually a better writer but it's hard enough to even write about this. It's hard to think it has a point. It's hard to admit how low I've come, especially to a group of objectivists. I always envied the mindset of Hank Reardon when he was walking home from work, wondering how people could be unhappy, and how he never understood it. Or roark, who seemed to be able to be happy working in a quarry, since that's probably the only type of job I can get right now. But whenever I think about being reduced to some shitty mindless job the thought of suicide immediately pops in my mind, since I never saw myself being reduced to that, and couldn't live that life. Course I'm sure there's people working in quarries or McDonalds who are a lot happier than me.

I'm tempted to just Ctrl + A and delete but hell with it. Curious to see if any of you have experienced this.

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Seems to me your biggest problem right is you have subjugated the power over your life.

You are living by the grace of your father right now. You live off him, and you work for him, and by your description of your relationship he is being self sacrificial for your 'benefit'.

You need to get a job you can stand, don't worry about liking it, you can worry about liking your job when your able to take care of yourself. Move into a place that will make you pay rent on time.

I experienced some short term 'depression' when I was in my early 20's, an independent life and full time job fixed that for me quick.

Edited by TuesdaysThursdays
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Every viable plan to achieve something great begins with the smallest of steps. For instance, Rearden didn't get a job because working as a day laborer made him happy, but because it was the first step in his long term plan. And he was content doing his menial job because he knew it was a part of something important. That meant it wasn't menial at all.

You're right, you shouldn't get a shitty McDs job to try and make yourself happy, and such a job should not make any Objectivist happy. You should get a shitty job as the first step in a plan to achieve something worthwhile with your life, in the long run. You don't even have to know exactly what that something is for now, because no matter what it is, it requires you to take this first step. You should think about what exactly you wish to accomplish, eventually, but that certainly shouldn't be your priority. The one important thing you need to understand is this simple fact: every great human achievement necessarily starts with one small step. That is the only way to start yours.

Your mistake is that you are trying to come up with a first step that's as important as possible. You should do the exact opposite: come up with a first step that is as easy as possible. I'm not 100% sure what it should be, but based on what you wrote, I would suggest considering getting a very basic job. Don't worry about it being a good job, just take whatever job is the easiest to get. The significance of having taken the first step makes the quality of the job irrelevant: the job is not your primary goal, taking the first step is.

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What you're describing doesn't sound like dysthymia (simple depression).

Have you looked into treatment for unipolar recurrent depressive disorder?

Been to a doctor at all about this?

The kind of depression you're describing often has organic causes.

Reading this could be helpful:

http://www.sh.lsuhsc.edu/fammed/OutpatientManual/Depression.htm

If that's the case "getting out and doing something" won't cure you any more than it would cure a cancer patient.

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Find a good psychiatrist in your area. Get money to go see said psychiatrist. Go see the psychiatrist. You need to seriously start tackling your depression issue before you can deal with anything else with any long-term sufficiency.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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I agreed, you should look for a good psychiatrist, even if your past experience hasn't been so good. Try again.

Also, as you yourself have pointed out, you need a purpose. Even if you can't get another job right away and must continue working with your father, isn't there some exercise thing you can get involved in. First of all, exercise if great for depression. Also, it would force you out of the house. Find a gym. Best of all, is there a sport involving a partner you can play, like tennis. Or maybe some ball team. I think if you "had" to be around other people with some activity that would get you out of the house, it would do you a world of good and would get you in contact with other people. BTW, don't worry if those people are "rational" or objectivists. Find someone who can knock a ball around or a bowling team, or somehing. Just tryst it. MAke a call. Take it one step at a time. And good luck

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I have not experienced much of that, but I have experienced at least a sense of purposelessness and that sometimes going to school was almost like fooling myself into having a purpose. I think I've dealt with that alright by changing my majors, plus acknowledging just how I can apply the variety of knowledge I do have in a way that interests me. You already mentioined you think you'd enjoy teaching kids music, but thought you might end up hating it because of it being low paying and how screwed public education is. Well, if that's what you think you enjoy, on top of the fact that this is the only thing you even mentioned that you might enjoy, it would probably be a good idea to think about that feeling. The public education part and low paying part are at best secondary considerations, being that those are pretty inessential things. You could work at public schools, but you wouldn't *have* to, for instance. In any case, you said physical therapy no longer interests you; take that for what it is. Based on what you say, that feeling isn't a result of some attempt to avoid work, but may simply be a case of changing values. It's important to realize that a feeling can be neither right nor wrong, and that there's nothing improper about using emotion when you have no reason to suspect your emotions are a result of some irrational premise. For instance, I can appreciate that thinking about math makes some people happy, but the subject bores me. I know that feeling is not because I think math is detached from reality or something like that; it's only because I prefer working in aesthetic-type fields.

However, you mentioning going through several periods of intense depression would make me suspicious that there's something a little more at work here than just a lack of purpose. Whatever the problem may be, similar to what CapitalistSwine mentioned, it would probably be helpful to see a psychiatrist or psychologist (sorry, not sure the difference between the two really).

Edited by Eiuol
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I wouldn't discount your diet as an influence on your depressive habits, either. There is no dichotomy between mind and body, and both directly influence eachother. Your diet is likely wreaking havoc on your endocrine system, which will directly affect your emotions and mood swings.

Cut out the pasta, bread, grains, and other carbs, and you'll avoid continually spiking your insulin. Avoid vegetable oils and margarines (soybean, corn, canola, etc) and get more omega-3 fatty acids, and you'll improve your response to serotonin (more info). Start eating red meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, dairy, eggs, berries. Folks have had impressive results with ridding themselves of psychological problems simply by correcting their diet.

Edited by brian0918
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I agree that the professional help route is the best way to go.

But, I'll offer this: you're not alone. What I mean to say is that the last thing you should do is take a hit in your self esteem because of your situation. You're not in your situation because you're any sort of failure.

I know countless young people, particularly males, including at times myself, who struggle with the exact same set of frustrations.

I can't offer a good solution, serious, try the advice people have given here.

Still, remember that we now have a healthcare bill one of whose main selling points is that it covers peoples' kids until, guess when, 26! Our whole society is sick, and by understanding Ayn Rand you can be there to work towards a solution.

But as for yourself, there may be much for you to do, but only a rational understanding of the problem via a psychiatrist will help you chart a path forwards.

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Thank you all so much for your responses. I read them all, several times. You pointed out a few things I had to agree with. I have given up my power over my life, by mooching off my dad. I of course feel terrible about it but hadn't thought of it that way.

And maybe getting a "easy" job is a good idea...I do tend to try to make grand plans and figure out everything I'm going to do with my life, then end up sitting around depressed, doing nothing, because I can't figure it out. I guess I just envied the mentality of those who know what they want to do. I used to know, but I gave up on music because it's not really viable in my opinion. But like Jake and a few others mentioned, I have to start somewhere, one step at a time. The idea of getting a simple easy job appeals to me actually, as it might get me around people (I have no friends to speak of). And some money for food would be good.

All I've been doing is sitting around, playing piano or stupid world of warcraft on my computer (I just cancelled the subscription before posting this).

As far as the depression thing being biological, this is something I've suspected, too. Because It's very difficult for me to feel happy, ever. I can't really remember the last time I was. And there's no memorable period in my life of enduring happiness. Social anxiety for me started around 4th grade...so I always wondered. I tried several antidepressants for months, to no avail. I was also diagnosed with ADHD, but I haven't taken my meds for months, because the idea of having ADHD always pissed me off, and I don't feel like I should need meds. I do have extreme difficulties staying focused. I'm the master of non—sequiturs in social situations. Xanax is very effective for dealing with social anxiety, but taking xanax kind of scares me and makes me ashamed usually.

I really do appreciate the time you've all taken to write. Each post gave me a lot to think about. Cancelling that video game was one thing I accomplished today. Maybe tomorrow I'll apply for a job at wawa (local convenience store chain).

I'll have to think about therapy. The only kind I'm interested is Cognitive Behavioral, as it's proactive and doesn't harp on the past. It's expensive tho. I did buy a self help book that was...helpful at first, but I haven't looked at it in a while.

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In the same boat, kind of. I am 21 years-old, I do not like my job, I make enough money to eat and put gas in my car to get to work, My father pays my rent (which is depressing), I don't like my one friend who is probably the biggest a-hole on the planet. I have my degree, but it will never make me any money. I am rather miserable like you. I spend most of my time thinking about what I'm going to do and how I'm going to get from A to B and I never end up acting. I believe if I think about something long enough the answer will magically pop in to my head and all the dots will perfectly align. Unfortunately, life doesn't work that way.

I can honestly say though, that if I didn't have my job. I would be a lot worse off. My job sucks, but sitting alone in my room is absolute torture. Probably why I also use to have a World of Warcraft subscription (Hey! My Troll Hunter just got a sweet piece of gear, see I'm achieving things...) I complain about going to work, but on my days off I am so bored I end up calling work to see if I can pick up a shift. Anything to get out and do something. I have made new friends since starting my job. I may not have a lot in common with most of them, but they are at least good people.

Set goals for yourself and get crazy about them. It will make you much happier. Take something that you really want badly and work on achieving it. For me, getting in really great shape is my goal, so its all I do when I'm not working. I monitor everything I eat, I exercise everyday, I take supplements, I read up on new products that can help me get to my goal, I do everything and anything to achieve it. This has brought me happiness I haven't experienced in a long time.

I hope this helps you in someway. Just get out and do something. Sitting around will make life seem hopeless. Nothing is going to fall in to your lap and most things don't happen over night.

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I've been depressed/sad twice in my life. The first time, I made a big change and then the depression lifted almost immediately. Another time I had an episode of merely existing and was sad about it. I made another big change and I'm happy again.

So I think that temporary depression/sadness can be really good. But if this is your constant state then I agree you should go to a doctor and actually take the meds he prescribes (and not be ashamed to do so!).

I'd recommend getting any job, staying in your Dad's house and paying the rent, and then save as much as you can to start your own business. Business owners are the happiest people although they work longer hours often for less pay. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/the-self-employed-are-the-happiest/

Edited by Ryan1985
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As far as the depression thing being biological, this is something I've suspected, too. Because It's very difficult for me to feel happy, ever. I can't really remember the last time I was. And there's no memorable period in my life of enduring happiness. Social anxiety for me started around 4th grade...so I always wondered. I tried several antidepressants for months, to no avail. I was also diagnosed with ADHD, but I haven't taken my meds for months, because the idea of having ADHD always pissed me off, and I don't feel like I should need meds. I do have extreme difficulties staying focused. I'm the master of non—sequiturs in social situations. Xanax is very effective for dealing with social anxiety, but taking xanax kind of scares me and makes me ashamed usually.

Well, there's a problem right there.

Taking yourself off a medication is going to have effects. Many ADHD drugs have stimulant qualities. When you take a drug that produces a chemical rection in your brain your brain shifts its own production of those effects to compensate. When you took yourself off of the medication you not only deprived yourself of some stimulants that your body and brain were accustomed to having you also likely sent yourself into withdrawal.

Ativan might be a little less "scary" as far as anxiety meds go. It's pretty mild and there isn't a whole lot of rebound (relatively)

Cognitive/behavioural is indeed going to be a pricy route. Any universities in your area? Med schools? Teaching hospitals? You should look into that. There will often be offers of free sessions.

Edited to add- symptoms like yours can get worse in winter due to lack of sunlight. Getting a full-spectrum lamp could be helpful in additional to taking D and B vitamin suppliments.

Edited by SapereAude
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Getting a full-spectrum lamp could be helpful in additional to taking D and B vitamin suppliments.

Beware: full-spectrum lighting is probably pseudo-scientific. See the Independent Verification section in the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-spectrum_light#Independent_verification. I have also heard that the benefits of vitamin supplements are questionable, so I would look for a credible scientific/medical source which can verify their usefulness before trying them.

Just a caveat; I have no objection to the rest of your advice/observations.

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Ben,

Never underestimate your ADD/ADHD.

I'd recommend a great book 'Driven to Distraction', by a Dr Holliwell - I think that's the spelling.

Depression is a side effect of many with ADD, he says; which makes sense, as one is living in a world of limited focus, dreaminess, and wandering attention, most of the time.

Which leads to mistakes, and then feelings of inadequacy and inefficacy, at study, work, and relationships - and of course to a sense of uselessness, depression, and low self-esteem.

The meds today are very effective, and unintrusive, but they need months or years to show their full potential; also, maybe you should ask a psychiatrist to try you out on different ones.

I was diagnosed (finally giving in to my wife's insistence!) late (in my 50's), and it finally made sense of everything I'd done, and not done at school, and ever since - explaining my ongoing general feeling of apathy and depression. This understanding alone was absolutely brilliant, and I've learned not to be so hard on myself, for past failures.

Of course, ADD was not known back in my youth..

What I went through never has to happen again, because of increasing knowledge about this crippling disease, and the improving medications.

Holliwell knows it well as he has it himself, and his insights are rational and empowering. Despite it being a disease for life, it's not all gloomy, since it is usually accompanied by what he calls 'hyperfocus' - short periods of intense concentration, that most 'normal' people cannot experience. That's when one can produce one's best work and best thinking.

As an afterthought, I found that a daily dose of the mineral magnesium is incredible effective for light depression. If you can get off anti-depressants, it might be good idea, but I don't know enough to say for sure.

But stay on those ADD drugs!

Good luck, and keep us posted.

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Beware: full-spectrum lighting is probably pseudo-scientific. See the Independent Verification section in the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-spectrum_light#Independent_verification. I have also heard that the benefits of vitamin supplements are questionable, so I would look for a credible scientific/medical source which can verify their usefulness before trying them.

Just a caveat; I have no objection to the rest of your advice/observations.

My source is my wife's professional reference books & research she's done regarding depression in her professional practice (licensed mental health clinician) (edit to add- not attempting argument from authority, post I'm responding to asked for sources)

We aren't talking about suppliments here- we are talking about reversing the OP's admitted malnutrition (there is a difference) his post refers to his not eating and that when he does he eats things of little nutritional value. That malnutrition and vitamin deficiency impair proper brain function has been decisively proven.

That serotonin production is adversely affected by lack of sunlight is also medically proven.

My internet connection has gone down twice trying to type this- it was initially better written, more thorough and provided professional links. On my third retype I've lost some patience but you will find many medical journal studies more reliable than wikipedia fairly quickly.

http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/43/21/20.1.full

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WB5-4MS99W5-3&_user=10&_coverDate=04%2F15%2F2007&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1529007399&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=389d2793656ea2765d489e8a2b69dbff&searchtype=a

http://www.vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms.com/vitamin-b5-deficiency-alcoholism-and-depression.html

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0140673602117375

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/39157/

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=clinical+study+vitamin+deficiency+brain+chemistry&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/ajcn;80/6/1678S?gca=80%2F6%2F1721S&sendit=Get+All+Checked+Abstract(s)&

http://chronicfatigue.about.com/b/2009/05/23/sunlight-serotonin-sleep-with-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome.htm

Some of these are less than ideal, like a said, lost patience.

Anyway, some psychiatrists advise (for persons who due to depression have trouble controlling their nutrition) certain vitamins and sunlight or if sunlight isn't an option sunlight replacement in addition to conventional medical treatment and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

If you don't attempt to treat the cause (improper brain function) all other therapies are just covering the symptoms.

Edited by SapereAude
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One thing I've learnt in life is that isolation almost inevitably leads to depressive tendencies. For instance right now I am fine, but for the next few months I'm working on an MSc project, mostly by myself. Sometimes I feel down, but it passes, and I remind myself of that simple fact. It probably wouldn't matter how great or accomplished an individual I was, if I spend too much time alone depressive thoughts will follow. So simple root cause analysis tells me: to avoid depression, don't spend too much time alone.

The thing about it is, like a frog will sit and boil to death in a gradually heated pot of water, you think you're doing just fine on your own... until it hits you like a ton of bricks.

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My source is my wife's professional reference books & research she's done regarding depression in her professional practice (licensed mental health clinician) (edit to add- not attempting argument from authority, post I'm responding to asked for sources)

[...]

If you don't attempt to treat the cause (improper brain function) all other therapies are just covering the symptoms.

From what I saw of the sources you provided regarding the effects of sunlight on mood, you have missed my point. This effect is well known and not controversial to my knowledge. However, the use of artificial "full-spectrum" lighting devices to produce the same effect requires more proof than pointing out this fact. Basically, these devices assume that it is the specific solar frequency spectrum that counts, and not the intensity of the light (note that sunlight is typically vastly more intense than most artificial lights). In fact, the sources you cite seem to correlate serotonin levels with the intensity of sunlight, without making a comparison with other spectral distributions at similar overall intensities. In any case, the point is that the OP should be aware that these devices are controversial before spending money on them.

Regarding vitamin supplements: I have no medical training, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but my understanding is that the body needs a certain amount of each vitamin, and that more is not "extra good" in any sense. Judging from the OP's description about his diet, getting this required amount may indeed be a problem, but I would guess that the solution is a better diet, and not vitamin supplements (unless prescribed by a physician). My point here is the same; the OP should know that vitamin supplements not intended to treat any specific deficiency are controversial, so that he does not leap into taking them and simply assume they will help. Edit: you say that you are not talking about supplements, and are concerned that the OP may be malnourished; in that case, I have no problem with your suggestion as such, although I think it might be easier (and likely cheaper) to adopt a better diet in the first place.

I would be happy to continue this discussion, but if you wish to do so, I would suggest splitting it into a different thread so as not to hijack this one.

Edited by Tenzing_Shaw
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My point here is the same; the OP should know that vitamin supplements not intended to treat any specific deficiency are controversial, so that he does not leap into taking them and simply assume they will help. Edit: you say that you are not talking about supplements, and are concerned that the OP may be malnourished; in that case, I have no problem with your suggestion as such, although I think it might be easier (and likely cheaper) to adopt a better diet in the first place.

For the second (and hopefully last time) I will point out again that my first advice was to see a doctor immediately. Blood work will usually be done to determine what is deficient and by how much (assuming he has decent medical insurance or money to pay up front)

And again point out that consistency is key. The OPs full description of his state, his lack of initiative to keep up with his meds, his unemployment and lack of drive to get up would indicate that the step of preparing himself healthy meals every day is a down the road goal, not an immediate one despite healthy foods being ideal over pills in many ways.

First someone suffering from debilitating depression needs to stablize.

That means consistency.

Taking vitamins to meet daily nutritional requirements is a much more realistic expectation from someone who is having trouble with basic day to day life functions (as the OP has indicated) than going out shopping, preparing and cooking nutritious meals on a daily basis. Fact is- most non-depressed American adults barely seem to manage that (for whatever reasons).

More often than not these days a psychiatrist will question a person's diet, ask if they are able to make necessary changes and if the person indicates they are not (or not in a consistent, meaningfull way) they will tell the patient what vitamins to take.

>>putting mod hat on<<<

Regarding splitting out the topic, nothing being dicussed here is lacking in relevence to the OP's question. If things posted here do go off topic I will split it out.

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First someone suffering from debilitating depression needs to stablize.

That means consistency.

Taking vitamins to meet daily nutritional requirements is a much more realistic expectation from someone who is having trouble with basic day to day life functions (as the OP has indicated) than going out shopping, preparing and cooking nutritious meals on a daily basis. Fact is- most non-depressed American adults barely seem to manage that (for whatever reasons).

Now that you put it that way, this certainly makes sense to me. I maintain my position regarding the full-spectrum lighting, however. See the "Full-spectrum light sources and health" section from an article produced by Rensselaer's Lighting Research Center: http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/nlpip/lightingAnswers/fullSpectrum/claims.asp

Edited by Tenzing_Shaw
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Now that you put it that way, this certainly makes sense to me. I maintain my position regarding the full-spectrum lighting, however. See the "Full-spectrum light sources and health" section from an article produced by Rensselaer's Lighting Research Center: http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/nlpip/lightingAnswers/fullSpectrum/claims.asp

The spectrum lighting is certainly an inexact science and many of the ones on the market are shoddy indeed. That said, in instances where there is little available natural light (certain areas of the world during certain seasonal changes, certain job descriptions) psychiatrists will often prescribe them as "better than nothing".

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One quote I like that addresses problems is: "The bigger the problem, the more action needs to be taken." People get frustrated because their actions don't match up with what they know they need. You know at some level that you need to start taking some dramatic, constructive action. You have not. The sooner you do, the better. As soon as you start on this path, you will feel better and better. Also, don't commit suicide. As they say, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Edited by James Bond
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I hope this helps you in someway. Just get out and do something. Sitting around will make life seem hopeless. Nothing is going to fall in to your lap and most things don't happen over night.

Geoff I really appreciate your perspective, it was helpful. It's interesting that you play WoW...for me it becomes addictive and I play it way too much, so I have to unsub and uninstall it to force myself not to play it seems, as I can't balance things like that.

And I used to be in better shape, in fact I was originally going to school for physical therapy. I arranged a 12 week program where I set goals to put on 10 lbs of muscle, lose fat and build strength, while working out no more than 3.5 hours total per week. I actually put on 12 lbs of muscle and lowered my % bodyfat to 7% from 13ish. I took before and after photos and documented the whole process. I'm really not sure how I was so motivated, but I think it's because at the time, it was related to what I knew I wanted to do...I had a purpose. I think I dwell on and exaggerate the importance of that bodybuilding achievement tho.

So I think that temporary depression/sadness can be really good. But if this is your constant state then I agree you should go to a doctor and actually take the meds he prescribes (and not be ashamed to do so!).

I have to admit shame and a bit of laziness are part of the reasons I stopped taking Adderall. As far as antidepressants go, I must have tried four different types—taking each for 9 to 10 weeks—with no noticeable results. However, I wasn't taking Adderall during that time either, and I wasn't going to any therapy (this was before I discovered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.) I think I was hoping to rely solely on the antidepressants.

Currently my ADD meds cost me $70—$80 a month as I don't have health insurance, and the hassle of having to drive an hour to my doctor each month to get a new prescription as it's a controlled substance. It being controlled is something I understand since I've seen so many stupid kids abuse it, thinking it's some miracle pill.

When you took yourself off of the medication you not only deprived yourself of some stimulants that your body and brain were accustomed to having you also likely sent yourself into withdrawal.

I always wondered about this to be honest...I don't know enough about it so I ignored the part of my mind that thought there could be effects to suddenly stop taking it. I definitely noticed withdrawal symptoms at first...in fact I think I still do feel them...but many bouts of depression have made me slightly resilient when it comes to things like being constantly hungry, or constantly cold in my 55° house, or in withdrawal from lack of Adderall. In fact I think my endurance can be a bit masochistic and self–pitying, as a way to verify my own feelings of hopelessness, e.g., "life sucks: notice how stressed/hungry/anguished I always feel, so it must suck."

Also, I found the discussion between you and Tenzing_Shaw very informative. I did take out my old supply of multivitamins and omega–3 pills from my days of fitness zeal. Usually my motivation to stay healthy lately is based on fear of degrading physically. I have huge self–image issues, probably related to social phobia, so the idea of becoming even more unattractive panics me. I sort of ignored considering what my malnutrition could be doing to my body, and planned on getting back and shape and healthy again once I got better. I figure taking them couldn't hurt.

They added iodine to salt and A & D to milk to deal with national vitamin deficiency issues, so there's got to be some value in them. Although they do put a lot of stuff in there that your body can't really absorb that way, like iron, which even with the help of Vitamin C I think you only absorb like 10% of it since it's not in meat (attached to hemoglobin).

Depression is a side effect of many with ADD, he says; which makes sense, as one is living in a world of limited focus, dreaminess, and wandering attention, most of the time.

Which leads to mistakes, and then feelings of inadequacy and inefficacy, at study, work, and relationships - and of course to a sense of uselessness, depression, and low self-esteem.

Your perspective on this is very useful, since you said you've managed to overcome your challenges with ADD. I suspected that ADD, as well as my withdrawal from Adderall, could be contributing to a depressed state, but I think it's a number of things. It's sometimes hard to see what's a symptom and what's the real root of the problem: maybe it's from ADD, or lack of the meds for ADD, or/and because of social phobia, or some other biological tendency to depression, coupled with everything else. I've speculated pointlessly about this before however, and it just lets me create more excuses and deliberation.

The thing about it is, like a frog will sit and boil to death in a gradually heated pot of water, you think you're doing just fine on your own... until it hits you like a ton of bricks.

I think the nature of my job for my dad, working alone, living alone in the woods, and having no social activities or friendships, could be part of the problem. But I've dealt with isolation and social phobia my whole life, and it's really a whole separate issue for me. I've learned to tolerate isolation and lack of friendships. I usually keep a girlfriend, maybe so I don't feel totally alone, but often the types of girls that stay with me when I'm depressed aren't the types of girls I can ever look up to. I'm not really attracted to the girl I'm seeing now, and sort of find her boring. She likes me a lot more than I like her (she latched on pretty quickly) but she's someone at least to spend time with I guess.

Edited by Ben Archer
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I have to admit shame and a bit of laziness are part of the reasons I stopped taking Adderall. As far as antidepressants go, I must have tried four different types—taking each for 9 to 10 weeks—with no noticeable results. However, I wasn't taking Adderall during that time either, and I wasn't going to any therapy (this was before I discovered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.) I think I was hoping to rely solely on the antidepressants.

Well that's no good. According to the shrink I'm seeing right now, antidepressants are supposed to be taken in conjunction with going to see a shrink. I think what she's been saying is that the antidepressants alone don't do the trick so much as they make it much easier for the therapy to make significant progress, removing what may otherwise have been a darn near impossible obstacle for the therapy alone to overcome. So, though just taking the antidepressants alone hasn't solved your depression, I hope don't consider that to mean such things can't be of any use to you. Maybe you do have a physical problem they can help with, but you've simply been missing an important second element of the treatment to get the meds to be able to really do their job to the best they can. Hopefully if you aren't able to get better on your own soon, you will be able to get into some good cognitive behavioral program and then that or that combined with the antidepressants will start helping you make some notable headway on this issue.

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According to the shrink I'm seeing right now, antidepressants are supposed to be taken in conjunction with going to see a shrink.

This is what I suspected which is why I wrote that. Thank you for your encouraging words. I hope to get back into CBT soon because I really liked how it was proactive, and addressed thoughts and behaviors together.

On another note, I threw together a resume tonight...sort of as a joke I guess. Took me 25 minutes...obviously not done. I've never had to make one before =\

The only place I've applied to so far is Wawa, however.

Edited by Ben Archer
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