Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some personal comments about depression

Many - most? -- of us try to resolve our own issues by ourselves, thank you very much. Fine.

However, in a period of depression a guy or gal doesn't know where to begin. This adds to a feeling of helplessness which is already there.

It has been said that the number of support groups have grown by leaps and bounds in the last 30 years. There are support groups for almost every conceivable need you can imagine 'big toe bursitis' to 'lack a nookey'. . .LOL To be serious, and I am, Starting with Bill Wilson's now famous 12 Step Program for Recovery from Alcoholism and based of variations recovery programs based on his original 12 steps, -- because "they do work IF you work them. . " --- you can find a group to help and support you.

Let's get down to depression. Often. . .even most times. . a depressed person eventually needs outside help because, as I stated above, they do not know where or how to start. This is why such a starter or focus-er like Dr Segal suggests gives the suffering guy or gal something to hang onto, some sort of clear, orderly direction to begin to narrow down the problem.

Once I can say to myself: This is my problem and it is ruining/spoiling/ injurious to the quality of my life. . . and right now I seem unable to change anything, I feel helpless before this huge mess. . . .I am on the road. I have a focus.

Now, how am I going to do this? Practical and do-able things. Not vague and . . .and. . . ..and . . . .and. . .spinning my psychic heels in the beach sand. . . . A definition i hold onto for myself of INSANITY. . .doing the same things over and over again expecting different results.

Ever been depressed? Ever felt like the above def.? I have. My rut kept getting deeper. . . .until I had a plan. I had a blue-print, a road map. I had some good orderly direction, some things outside of me, to work with and hang onto step by step. [This isn't going to be my personal witness story of how I got my head outa my ass. . .LOL ]

All most of us need to work it thru is some tools, some HOW. . . In some instances a person may need medication because there is a chemical imbalance in the brain/body/ gonads??? hahah -- which needs to be corrected, balanced which is causing much of the feelings of depression and symptoms.

What Dr Segal offers. . ..what any therapist can offer. . . is TOOLS to work with. . so I can sort out whatever it is I am doing or allowing to be done and then throw away. . . .so I can return to a good quality of life. . . . .IF I am willing to do the work.

ciao, bambini. . . .


Gary Kelly said...

I must be living on another planet, so I'll wait to see the comments of others before I dip my big toe into this one.

JustinO'Shea said...

Aaawww. . .come on, Gary. What's stopping you? Never has before, to my knowledge . . . .LOL

You;re among friends here. . .;-)


Stew said...

A person first needs to want to make a change.
I fill in my lack of income, working for a large pharmacy and I know that prescription medication can be a huge help for many people. I don't however think that it is the answer to long term problems.
Each of us is a result of what we take in. Be it physically or mentally, we are always injesting something. Perhaps (as with myself) problems can come from an imbalance from dietary consumption. Or it could be what you suround yourself with on a daily basis.
A friend that lived in my spare room for a while was raised mormon and shut out the world (so his parents thought). He was really sitting in his room playing video games and constantly blowing things up and killing people. So when another friend's car was set on fire one night, no one suspected that the quiet mormon boy had anything to do with it.
As a result of the violent games and his lack of interaction with real people, he had no idea of how to express his feelings other than to blow things up. I know it's extreme, but it was very real.

I think that we will see more and more of this as people become desensitized to the real world. Even driving has become more dangerous. You just don't know what people are capable of anymore.

Perhaps this method of discovering where your feelings are coming from and dealing with the problem instead of the result should be taught in junior high or high school. Maybe add a class on socializing.
We need to be more proactive or we'll end up with a whole bunch of sexually confused, car burning, mormons out there. And Josh, if you ever read this, everyone (including your parents) already knows that you're gay.

JustinO'Shea said...

STEW. . . you and I are on the same page about the need to look inward,see where my stuff is coming from , , ,and, if I am convinced I need to change, then I will begin to do it.
People can and do tell me lots of things, but I only act on them once I am convinced I need to do this. I have to agree and decide to do it.

Long-term drug usage may have its place. . .and does. . .but the person him/herself MUST do the work.

I think I was clear in my presentation. ;-) I hope I was. . .

Gary Kelly said...

Hmmm. When the ass fell out of my world in my 50s, there was nothing left. I'm not sure it was depression per se but it sure was a feeling of hopelessness and total abandonment. Then I met a young bloke on line and immersed myself in his life - his friends, his family, his interests, his sports, his loves, his fears and his triumphs. His life became my life. It gave mine purpose and meaning. So I forgot all about my woes and focused on his. I discovered later that I'd saved him and his best mate from a suicide pact. Indirectly, he saved my life too. That, basically, is what my book Green Room is all about.

So I guess the lesson is this: take a genuine interest in other people. Find reasons to focus on things outside yourself. I'm no expert but I suspect depression is all about me, me, me. So why not change course to them, them, them. It worked for me.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly my mode of operation.
Recognition, a plan, and some action.

I dealt with a seriously stressed time in my life in this manner.

In my view, your description of how to tackle depression is of course intertwined and is also dealt with in this way.

I've often wondered, from a personal point of view, where the stress and depression began and ended, in fact they were so intermingled as to be feeding each other. But in my case I had to deal directly with the reasons and causes of my stress.
Once recognised and a plan of attach was implemented and things began to subside and I was at last feeling that I could deal with it all, the depression lifted.

So, perhaps dealing with the stresses in life can be the first step in dealing with depression in some (or all?) instances....hmmm...I need to think on this some more, it is a work in progress in my tiny head at the moment, maybe I should not have posted yet...haha!

Greg in Adelaide

Coop said...

Everyone feels depressed at one time or another. Nobody has a good day every day... if they say they do; they are LYING.

I get depressed sometimes... and if something or someone doesn't shock me out of it, I immerse myself in an activity. Reading, play Ninetndo, take a walk, crank the stereo, watch TV etc. etc. etc. Something else to distract my attention.
I also solve the problem by being in public. Even a long @s walk down Beacon Street where I know nobody does the trick. I had the day off at the time and to get to Boston, I took the train. I was around other people.

involving external stimulus.

Coop said...

Oops... the was supposed to read...

Jeez... I'm long winded. In other words, I do something involving external stimulus.

Coop said...

Gary wrote
"Find reasons to focus on things outside yourself. I'm no expert but I suspect depression is all about me, me, me. So why not change course to them, them, them. It worked for me."

That's a good point, Gary. I never thought of it exactly like that.
I'm no expert either, but my depressed feelings are based in the irrational conclusion "The World is against ME".

I can't explain it but, whenever I was deeply depressed, I always got a message or a call from a friend or a cousin or someone.
They have no idea that I'm feeling bad.

I never get depressed during the work week either. Something or someone ELSE always needs my attention.

People need to feel like they're needed.

JustinO'Shea said...

You got it babe! People need to feel needed! Important, significant, like we do make a difference.

As Gary pointed out, and you follow on his, Coop. too often when alone and inward too much we loose sight and feeling of inter-connectedness. . ."it's just me against the world ."

Like when someone I have a wicked crush on = when I want him to pay more attention to me and he is really shagging someone else. . the world falls apart. . and I translate that as a direct, willed,rejection and therfore PROOF POSITIVE that I am no good, and ugly scag, "who'd want me anyway" etc etc. . .I sink into a pity party. . .and hav a wicked awful case of the "poor me"...waaaaggh. . .

And for those weak in this area the pity party turns into "poor me". . ."pour me. . . yeah, pour me another drink. . . " And thus I can be off drinking my chemical depressant, and funking into a drunk!
Vicious circle. . .

Then long enough I can sink into the self-inflicting-pain, like beating myself over the head with a club "I'm no good. . see, I'm no good. . I'm no damned good. . see, he never even bothered to reply to ny text or email. . I am no damned good. . "
And the self-loathing sets in. . well, if you've ever been there you can prolong the draaahma and recite all the lines from the combined tragic queens in "The Young and the Restless"..or whatever.

Get into that state there are several bad scenes to portray. . [1] crawl into bed, with the covers over my head. [2] Get enough booze, then head out in my car and go cruising to see if I can find someone to prop up my flaccid ego [and my flaccid cock! hahaha] and if I really get into the booze sufficiently I might sink into a 'black out' and continue to as like what passes as 'normal' find someone and even engage in sex acts. . .and have absolutely no memory of it! And then 'wake up' with no idea where you are or how you got there. . .

[Notice, I have slipped from first person narration to "you. . ." LOL]

Well, a little psycho-drama to add one aspect to the depression cycle. To make my point I've put together several scenarios some personal just skimming the surface, others what I've observed and learned from others.

Got more ideas? ;-))