Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by greatcheese, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. greatcheese

    greatcheese Member

    Sorry for such a down-beat thread but I'm looking for anyone's advice on how people cope with clinical depression. A good friend has been diagnosed and on pills for sometime now but things seem to be getting worse rather than better.

    Has anyone out there experience depression and if so, how does it make you feel and what is your real wish for people around you to do in order for them to understand?

    I feel I am very guilty of evasive tactics as I really don't know what to do and can't imagine what my mate is going through. I have tried talking but she is very good at pretending everything is fine.

    Any thoughts gratefully received....
  2. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    No matter how you're sad and blue, there's always someone who has it worse than you.

    (Shaggy - Hot Shot)

    **** song, but pertinent lyrics.
  3. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    It has to be remembered that depression isn't a state of mind, it's a chemical imbalance in the brain...hence the pills.
    Understanding and friendship is the best thing you can give...and talk to them about it if you can get them to talk, but don't push it if they're not up to talking.
    If she's on the pills she's past the first hurdle, however if she appears to be going backwards perhaps it's a different pill she needs (there are many different kinds and not all work for everybody).
    You could try to convince her to go see her gp and be prescribed something different...and once they take effect for the good, the normal procedure then is to gradually come off them over a period of time, whilst keeping the chemical levels steady.

    It isnt easy and sometimes because youre the closest you'll be the one who bears the brunt of their feelings. Be patient and just be there for isn't easy at all.
  4. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I suffered from depression when I was younger, and I found the one thing I wanted people to do was not talk about it or make any special dispensation for it. You already feel bad enough, you don't need to be singled out for it! Sure, there are bad days, as well as good days, but if you stay busy as much as possible it helps you to get through it. Also, try not to feel uncomfortable when they want to talk about it (or at least, pretend you don't feel uncomfortable) There were times when I would mention it and the conversation would die pretty sharpish, but my best friends would just go with it because they sort of knew how my head worked... It's a horrible situation to be in, and I hope your friend gets through it soon.
  5. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Good luck to your friend. I have been treated with pills for the past 18 months now. The first batch of pills I was given made me worse. 2MD has it spot on; there's more than one type of anti depressant pill, each with their own merits/demerits and list of side effects (Your friend MUST check for the possible side effects as some of these can lead to a worsening mood!)

    2MD is also right when he says it's not a state of mind but a chemical imbalance. I resisted pills for years because I thought it was a state of mind and that pills would only give me a 'temporary buzz'.

    The ones I'm using at the moment are Venlafaxine, (and are working fine, generally) and remember, the depression can be countered with a higher dosage without necessarily changing the type of pill.

    One very, very important thing; your friend must follow your GP's advice as to HOW to come off the pills. Don't just stop once he/she thinks they feel better. He/she need to come off them gradually otherwise all sorts of dizziness and nausea can ensue as I've found out to my cost!

    Hope this helps, and once again, good luck to your friend. Whether your friend is make or female, it matters not, give 'em a big hug from me! ;-)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2004
  6. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    I've suffered from depression twice badly (2 separate situations)... once when I was 15 and the next when I was 20 (a year ago)....

    I was put on pills last summer and after several months they really made me worse. It was making me into someone I didn't want to be. I was very scared and did some very stupid things which I'd rather not mention on here...

    ... I needed my friends more than ever during this whole period. Instead of bottling things up I needed them to get these things off my chest; talk to them about what was happening and cry my eyes out. Coping with depression alone is not easy at all. I found it impossible... I couldn't cope with anything that was going on at the time and it took me months to sort my head out.
    I stopped taking the pills and it took a good 2 months to get them out my system...

    Never, ever again...

    Although the first few weeks/month or so of taking the pills seemed to help, on the long term, it was doing me a lot of damage...

    If there's one way to help someone with depression, it's just to support them and be there for them. Be those ears to listen, arms to hug them and mouth to give advise and comfort to... take them out places and get their minds off whatever the situation is about... I'd say to anyone to stay away from the tablets... they don't help... I had to think positive and I've done so much to help myself just changing my frame of mind to help me get through the bad times and stuff (this is something that I have to do all the time- I still get flash backs from what happened once every blue moon and the reason for causing my depression is something that I will always face for the rest of my life)... I have advised friends recently to do this (PMA!!!) and it has really benefit'ted them :) which has been good to hear.

    My friends at uni were great... I couldn't have got through those bad situations without them and I can't say thanks enough.

    I hope your friend improves and I wish them all the best :)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2004
  7. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member


    First and foremost, let me say how glad I am that you've come through the other side. (Wish I could give you a mega hug!). However, the pills clearly haven't worked for you. They don't work for everybody but I can honestly say they have worked for me. I'm not 100% cured by any stretch of the imagination but after some trial and error with the pills, I fel a lot better than I did 18 months ago. I also know how I felt when I went away for a few days only to forget the pills, so it isn't to me the fact that it's a case of my state of mind improving and telling me it's the pills that are working. So rather than say, 'don't listen to Naomi, listen to me', all I can suggest is that your friend talks through this at length with his/her GP to see whether pills or therapy or whatever is the right answer. Again, good luck to your friend.
  8. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Yes, very true that they didn't work for me (didn't I know it!) but I know that they have worked for some people, which is good... and I'm glad you feel a lot better than you have done (*hugs back*)...
    Feels bad when you forget to take them doesn't it! Drove me somewhat mad when I stopped altogether, but was very much releaved to get them out my system.
    I refused all other help given to me... counselling and stuff... not for me... my friends were and still are my counsellors.

  9. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    It's very interesting to see this thread because I think my recent illness is tied in with depression.

    It has always been a family tradition to "pick yourself up by the ear, give yourself a ****** good talking to and get on with it" when depression strikes. However, I have found it hard to do this year. I've had a whole list of minor illnesses one after another and got run down and lost my resilience. The situation at work has been appalling and I think I'm now past the stage where a good talking to will sort me out. I strongly suspect that the root cause of my angina is depression/anxiety.

    Anyone who suffers from depression needs to get some professional advice about how to get it treated. It doesn't matter what the source of the problem is, whatever the cause it will only get worse if you don't do something constructive about it.

    One thing you can always do as well - not instead - is rely on your friends.
  10. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Put my Psychology students hat on here.

    It is true that depression can be due to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, however that can also over simplify the matter and make one reliant on a "chemical" treatment.

    We may have a propensity for depression but sometimes there is still an "event" that makes the depression appear.

    If someone loses a loved one and gets depression we can't say it's because of a chemical imbalance and just issue that person with pills. The pills may work but once you take that treatment away the underlying problems that allowed the depression to come to the surface will still be there.

    Depending on the reasons or catalyst for the depression it's also best to look at some form of counselling alongside any prescribed pills. That way the pills take care of the chemical side of things whilst the counselling will deal with the emotional and human side of the depression
  11. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I agree that you should go for the duel attack of pills and therapy (mainly because that's what my parents put me into...) as it seemed like the way to go. Although sometimes I hated the guy who I went to see, he was at least someone who understood me and could help.

    The pills do often have unwanted side-effects (some people thought I got stoned before school every day) but if they're not working speak to the doctor who prescribed them. Unfortunately with something as variable as depression, there is often a lot of trial and improvement to be done.

    Mike, from your situation it sounds like you're under masses of stress! I don't really know about how similar stress is to depression, but from what I've heard it is being recognised by doctors more and more these days, so I'd talk to the ol general practitioner about it.
  12. MartinT

    MartinT Member

    One thing I would say is that I was helped a lot more by a herbal remedy (St John's Wort) than I was by prescription tablets. My depression was mild, though.
  13. greatcheese

    greatcheese Member

    I can't thank you all enough for your advice/thoughts and for those of you recounting personal experiences. I'm glad that those who have suffered are now recovered or at least recovering.

    The first i knew of my friends depression was an overdose (fortunately nothing too damaging but more of a cry for help.) Since then she has been on pills (not sure if they've all been the same ones) and had a weekly apointment at hospital. She seemed to be making good progress and had a much more positive outlook on life.

    All this was until about a month ago when her dosage was increased and hospital apointments greatly reduced....a strange combination to me? She now seems to have gone back to how she was months ago??

    She has a young child which means that it's not easy for her to get out and enjoy herself. When I do get her out and she gets a babysitter in, she feels guilty and isn't happy until she is home.

    I'm afraid I am not the most sensative person in the world and find it hard to show my feelings but although, we don't talk about the illness and how it effects her much, I hope that my being there is of some help.

    Thanks again guys.
  14. The best thing you can do is go with the flow and be there for her.... I have a set of best friends who are almost like family to me. When I was severely depressed they never mentioned it, I just knew they cared cos they were always there whenever I was down. I remember one day I spoke to one of my best friends and said I didn't feel too great, things were getting me down - her and her boyfriend turned up at my house within a couple of hours and took me out to cheer me up - when you have friends like that, you soon realise there is enough to smile about.

    The problem in trying to get advice on here is that for obvious reasons, you can't tell us whether there is an underlying problem for her depression, and what that problem is. I know I was depressed about a particular thing, and soon learnt to live with it and deal with it. The 2nd time I hit depression was when my friend died earlier this year, and to make matters worse I didn't find out until after the funeral. Which, I'm sure you'll have figured, is why I love my friends and adore them so much.

    If people always have someone to rely on, they shouldn't go far wrong. If she needs to cry, be there. If you think she's a little down, try and do something to cheer her up - suprise her, let her know you appreciate her. I hope the situation gets better soon... and I'm sure it will !! :-D Put a grin on your chin!! :-D
  15. elizabeth connor

    elizabeth connor New Member


    First of all i'd like to thankyou for bringing this really difficult subject into the 'open', i've been unfortunate enough to suffer depression - and still am.

    The comments from fellow members have been excellent and really informative at least i know i am not alone!

    All i will say that depression IS a LEGITIMATE illness, medication can help and the support of family and friends are so important, she just needs to know that you will be there for her. If she doesnt want to talk then dont force the issue, this will make her feel under pressure, you sound like a really caring person and your friend is very lucky to have you.

    There are many websites devoted to the subject - have you ever heard of the mental health charity 'MIND'? - they are great at offering advice and support groups for all sorts of mental illness. If your friend ever feels ill in the future and needs someone objective to talk to would she consider the SAMARITANS?? Dont forget relaxation techniques might also be able to help her and EXCERSISE and DIET really can play a part to help fight depression too.

    Believe me - i'm trying to practice what i preach but speaking from experience, it's just so hard and upsetting BUT with the right medication, motivation and support she WILL get there,Your friend needs encouragement and things to look forward to, even if its just taking her out for a coffee!

    I'm sure that she will get better, if i can say anything at all to help your friend or anyone else PLEASE contact me.

    Liz x
  16. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Yup... my doctor recommended this to me and it does help... :)

    ....I also know a very good stress reliever by the way....... Helped me sometimes to get any anger/stress out the system.... simply, go to a bandroom or place where their is at least one drum kit in the room and beat the *%"£$(! daylight out of it ;)

    Made me feel a bit better anyway :) :-D ;)