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The Grand Inquisitor
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27 Jan 2018, 1:43 am

I developed depression in my young teens and it has stayed with me all this time, but I've never felt like I was depressed for no reason. I've always been able to link the negative feelings with negative circumstances. I've never felt like I couldn't pin my depression down to feeling psychologically unfulfilled for one reason or another. I strongly believe that, at least for me, the only way to create lasting emotional change is to tackle my problems with solutions. I feel that would work a million times better and the changes would last a hell of a lot longer than taking a cocktail of medications just to get through each day, but doctors, psychs and all the rest are all too willing to shove medication down your throat as if the problem originates in the brain.

Well I can't speak for others but I'm only depressed when I feel I have reason to be depressed (which is unfortunately often). I don't really feel like my response to the circumstances I'm facing is unreasonable or irrational, and thus I don't see how doing anything other than fixing those circumstances is going to provide me with any lasting fulfillment and fix my depression permanently.

How do others feel? Do you feel like you have a chemical imbalance in your brain, or do you feel that your depression is a response to the circumstances you're facing?



LittleCoyoteKat
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28 Jan 2018, 3:08 am

It depends, honestly.

There are times where I have Situational Depression; something has triggered a depressive episode and it's up to me to either ride it out or try to work through the Cognitive Distortions list and hope it helps.

There are also times where I have no reason to be Depressed, things are good and stresses are minimal to nonexistent, but I will still be depressed.

More often than not, I carry around what I call "residual depression" every day. Everything is less, the volume of life is lower. Fun things aren't as fun, I can't enjoy things to the same extent I did before, I can feel bursts of happiness and pleasure but they're limited and gone before I know it.


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B19
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28 Jan 2018, 4:20 am

Depression is a common sequel of traumatic stress. Many studies on trauma victims have verified this, whereas the "chemical imbalance" theory has no definitive research to back it up, despite what Big Pharma does to create that impression.

The old saying "follow the money" is - to my mind, a wise and cautionary one. The many adverse effects of SSRIs have been deliberately down played. Even the "evidence" that depression is related to low serotonin is not very scientifically sound. But GPs were lured into believing it and many still do. They are also paid to prescribe them in some countries, so it is lucrative for them to continue believing.

I wouldn't want anyone in my family using them, ever.



Tibergrace
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28 Jan 2018, 4:59 am

B19 wrote:
Depression is a common sequel of traumatic stress. Many studies on trauma victims have verified this, whereas the "chemical imbalance" theory has no definitive research to back it up, despite what Big Pharma does to create that impression.


Depression is also common while being subjected to traumatic stress :lol:

PTSD itself does have research which suggests a relation to changes in specific areas of the brain, in particular the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. Certain medications affect those areas of the brain, and therefore one can say that, while not every medication is going to work on everyone, certain things are going to tend to help in regards to medicating PTSD sufferers. Norepinephrine and cortisol levels are often different in people with PTSD when compared to people without mental illness, and medications that affect those receptors in some way can give some relief from symptoms.

As far as SSRIs go, I'm not too fond of them myself. I have PTSD and I am on bupropion as part of my treatment, but I probably need a dose increase. That said, it's working very well in that it has greatly increased my quality of life. I'm no longer in 24/7 panic mode, and I don't need to be constantly popping valium anymore, I only need it 2-3 times per week. I also am having better focus and memory, though I could still use improvement there. I also do often feel down, which is part of why I think an increase of dosage might help.

I think that depression has way too many causes to be simply written off as a chemical imbalance, but I also think that chemical imbalances can play a role in depression, or even play a big role, whether they are caused by depressing events or whether they cause depression themselves.



komamanga
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28 Jan 2018, 7:11 am

I don't suffer from PTSD. And there have been many times that I was depressed without any stressor in my life.



alittleblackdog
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28 Jan 2018, 7:25 am

I've had depression my whole life (along with and exacerbated by PTSD) but there aren't specific reasons for my feelings. They come as a result of overwhelming stimuli or events, with natural hormonal cycles, because of the PTSD, because of bad mental processes such as comparing myself to others or judging myself, and then often "just because". I've been reading a lot about these issues for university and I have found quite the solid link between ASDs and depression and anxiety disorders, OCD as well. There's something there. But depression is definitely not a chemical imbalance. If you look deep enough into the science, there are structural changes in the brain in those who are depressed that shift functioning. In fact, some of the brain that would normally be illuminated with activity in a brain scan looks like "lights out" when the subject is depressed. Events that happen in your life or things you were exposed to in utero or in development can absolutely shift the structure, functioning, and thought processes in your brain. But these can also have genetic factors. With ASDs, I find that feeling alien in social situations, overwhelmed or unable to communicate definitely takes a toll on my mind and wellbeing. I think this is a common issue.



B19
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28 Jan 2018, 3:25 pm

Inflammation has emerged recently as a probable contributing factor.



LittleCoyoteKat
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02 Feb 2018, 11:53 pm

Tibergrace wrote:
PTSD itself does have research which suggests a relation to changes in specific areas of the brain, in particular the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. Certain medications affect those areas of the brain, and therefore one can say that, while not every medication is going to work on everyone, certain things are going to tend to help in regards to medicating PTSD sufferers. Norepinephrine and cortisol levels are often different in people with PTSD when compared to people without mental illness, and medications that affect those receptors in some way can give some relief from symptoms.


I think that depression has way too many causes to be simply written off as a chemical imbalance, but I also think that chemical imbalances can play a role in depression, or even play a big role, whether they are caused by depressing events or whether they cause depression themselves.


The Body Keeps The Score. Great read. I'm not sure if you're referencing the material in that book or if you found it elsewhere. If you haven't read it I definitely recommend, though it could be a bit redundant considering your current level of knowledge.

I agree that there are far too many causes for it to be given one singular explanation. It only makes sense to me that the alteration of brain function impacts the correct delivery of necessary hormones and chemicals for proper brain function and so, loosely, chemical imbalance is still a contributing factor.


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elbowgrease
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03 Feb 2018, 9:50 am

At the op.

I basically agree. I've always felt that my depression is rooted in reality, a rational response to insurmountable circumstances, or some such. I'm not always good at articulating it.

My thoughts on the idea of chemical imbalance are along the same lines, I think. If my depression has to do with chemistry on any level, then there may be an imbalance because of it. But why? That's always been my question. I don't think that there is just an excess of whatever chemical in my brain causes me to be depressed, I've always believed there must be something causing that. The external circumstances, to which it seems to be a natural response to become depressed, which causes this excess chemical release, which is some amount of out of balance.
And I'm really only speaking my opinion on this.
It's always seemed like "doctors" just want to address the end result of it, the easiest way possible. Like they just can't be bothered to try to find the root of the issue. It's caused me some real problems in the past. I think it has a lot to do with why it took so long to figure out that I'm autistic. They don't want to talk about what's actually going on, just "here, take these drugs and go away".
Anyway.
Sorry if that turned into a rant.
My thoughts are that, my own depression may involve a chemical Imbalance, but I think it is a symptom rather than the root. And I think it's far more important to address the root.



B19
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03 Feb 2018, 3:49 pm

The website "Mad In America" has a lot of articles about the lack of evidence for the "serotonin" theory which make some interesting points.



blooiejagwa
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04 Feb 2018, 8:53 pm

I had depression since I was 10 yrs old. Mine didn’t get affected by circumstances or anything external. I tried all forms of motivational and affirmations since i was 11. Till now
I always ate healthy organic foods n had supplements like fish oil (filtered fr no mercury). My mom was a health nut.

I am also an overly positive thinker. But i still was crying, or numb, n panicking every day even if i did nothing.

I have real depression.

SSRIs are the only thing that gave me a glimpse into what not sobbing n breaking down every day is like.


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B19
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04 Feb 2018, 8:56 pm

I hope they continue to work for you then. Doing what works for you is always a good thing where depression is concerned, though for most people that involves trial and error. Glad you were luckier.



blooiejagwa
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04 Feb 2018, 10:17 pm

Thank yoy so much.


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nick007
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20 Feb 2018, 9:37 am

I developed a psychotic depression when I was 20 over my 1st realtionship ending. It was at least partly chemical because my depression would alternate between feeling very happy for no reason after being up abit to feeling horrible at night even thou things went well for me during the day. I spent 5 years seeing psychs & taking meds & didn't feel like my depression was truly better till I stopped all that but I do believe that the meds helped hold me together while I worked on things. After I moved in with my current girlfriend a few years later she started saying that I was acting depressed even thou I had no reason to be depressed cuz my life was going a lot better. I didn't really feel that depressed but after a while some stuff went wrong in life & I talked to my GP about trying meds again. She put me on Trazodone because I was having problems sleeping & it helped. A couple years later I started Wellbutrin because Cass didn't think my depression was fully better & i was sleeping a lot & feeling tired during the day. We both notice difference in my behavior after starting it & my ADD is a tad better too. I'm still taking the Trazodone before bed but it's a lower dose that's to help me fall asleep. I'm thinking of getting off of it thou.


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