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Re: Coming to terms with mainc depression

Posted by cynthia on June 8, 1999, at 18:22:42

In reply to Coming to terms with mainc depression, posted by Ellen Brodie on June 6, 1999, at 7:20:26

> In reading about everybody's depressive episodes I am having a hard times coming to terms with mine. I seem to have more Depression than mania. More anxiety which I think is from the reality of having this shitty disease. How do you all cope. I am on topomax which I am I am starting to think is a waste. The only thing saving me is Klonopin. I am on 25mg a day. I seem to need a lot of sleep. I am having a hard time adjusting to the fact that my whole life has been turned upside down because of this. Any advice on how you all cope with you illness would be appreciated. Ellen

Hi Ellen,

I posted this orginal thread. Yeah, that seems to be the question, how to get the good highs, while minimizing the lows. It seems like the people who may have the answers are not surfing this web page. I've got my depressions down to about 20% of my life, I'd say 4 days of 30 are impaired moderately because of my depression. The worst thing about depression though is one minute of it feels like at least an hour! Uggg, the agony of even 20% of my life depressed. How did I do this, how did I come this far? - not that it just might one day go Pooh! - with one good major depressive episode. So I'm cyclothymic, and suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and used to have a major depressive episode. I've gotten rid of the major depressive episode with medication, lots of psychotherapy and lots of hard work. Right now it is late spring in Canada, which alleviates any depressive symptoms that might lie over my cyclothymia (in winter I use lights). After this, I am left with my rapid cycling. 3 days a week up, 2 and 1/2 a days okay, approximately 1 and 1/2 days depressed, but still functioning (maybe 1 day out of 30 where I can't get out of bed).

Okay Ellen, I type fast and can really ramble. So what I am trying to say is that first, for me, it was about getting to know the biological part of your illness - how my body reacts to cycles, the circadian cycle (24 hours), the weekly cycle (my cyclothymia), the monthly cycle (I am on the pill for this one because of anxiety at ovulation and severe PMS), and my yearly, seasonal affective disorder, cycle. So intially, it was about finding out what I could do to take care of the physical/biological part of this illness (of course this includes medication, constantly trying to stay on top of my symptoms with various combinations of medications)

Then, for me, it was about finding my triggers, what could contribute or attenuate the existing mood. For me, a cloudy day, standing in line ups (I also have ADD), doing practical things (I'm happiest when I am using my imagination) are examples of bad triggers. Having a conversation that leads to intimacy with another person, listening to music, patting my dog are pretty well guaranteed good triggers for me.

So I experiment with my triggers constantly, keep a journal, examining the journal with a psychotherapist, exercise only on my BAD days because exercise for me is like a 'happy pill', but then, I can't get addicted to it or else I only feel shitty on the days I don't exercise.

You get the drift, it's alot of hard fucking work, and I would imagine every individual is very unique in finding their own solutions.

So Dear Ellen, from what I can tell, from my years of having this illness, is the only thing that probably ever gets anyone better (except for those people who are perhaps better and nowhere near this website - does anyone really think these people really exist? Does anyone know any real success stories? If you do I wanna know) is determination.

Determination, educating ourselves by reading and maybe sharing our experiences can help give each other ideas.

I wish the psychiatrists could cut us people in pain a break, and make their medications to help us feel better than normal. As I understand it, they just want to get us back to normal. I say, aim higher!

Best wishes. I hope other people will follow this thread and give us some ideas.

ps lately, my wonder medication has been Dexedrine used for people with Attention Deficit Disorder. It helps with my depression by eliminating that 'sleep bug'.

My grammar teacher would be horrified.





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