Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | List of forums | Search | FAQ

Re: please explain depression!!

Posted by JohnL on June 17, 1999, at 2:25:13

In reply to please explain depression!!, posted by sandy on June 16, 1999, at 21:01:09

> I posted earlier about my brother who says he has been depressed since he was nine ( now 48). He is on all kinds of drugs right now and pretty much out of it. I wanted to hear from antone on what being depressed is all about. I really cannot relate but need to to help my brother. It is very easy for me to say , geez get on with it man we all have our problems, but if this is indeed a condition I would like to understand the feelings behind it and what it feels like. He has not expressed this to me and I think part of that may be because his unlieing problem is alcoholism. He has been in a hospital for that and remained sober for 6 years in which none of this depression stuff surfaced but since he has fallen on bad times he seems to fall back on depression and drug therapy. Please all your inputs to what it is like would be appreciated as I just want the best for my brohter anf want the right proble treated...i.e. alcoholism vs depression.
> sandy

Sandy, it breaks my heart to hear of anyone suffering from depression. My best wishes to your brother.

There is one kind of depression caused by a very disturbing life event. For example, someone very close to you dies. The crying seems to go on and on, insomnia, not eating, or overeating, can't think about anything else, can't go to work. Your entire life is disrupted. But with a little time, that mourning of your loved-one's death is dealt with and the event-related depression fades away.

Or how about someone who has worked at a job for years or decades, they love it, but suddenly find themselves laid-off or fired. Weeks or months have gone by and dozens of interviews and resumes have failed. It seems no one wants you, you are worthless, you have been discarded, there is no hope, you've tried everything, depair, panic. That too is a life-event related depression, which will likely fade away the day a good job is landed.

There is another kind of depression which is caused by physical abnormalities in the brain, either in its chemical composition, its structure, or its ability to adjust the chemical balance. It can be triggered by a life-event, but often it comes out of nowhere without any apparent cause or warning. Diabetes is a condition resulting from an organ not functioning properly. If you consider it for a moment, the brain is an organ just like any other. What exempts it from having a malfunction? Nothing. The symptoms of malfunction are varied...depression, mania, psychosis, etc. etc.

So what's it like? I have found it totally confounding to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. You really can't fully understand it unless you've been there. If you've ever experienced the grief, despair and hopelessness of someone very close being lowered into their grave, to be covered with dirt and never seen again, that is similar. Except it goes on and on and on. It's the despair of a one-way ticket to hell, with no idea if or when you may ever get a return-ticket home. Total despair, hopeless, not even a speck of light at the end of the tunnel, imprisoned in a kind of insanity. There is no "pulling oneself up from the bootstraps", any more than a diabetic can overcome an organic malfunction by just "getting it together". All ability to experience joy, pleasure, interest is wiped off the face of the earth. The brain no longer has the organic ability to process information correctly.

Drug therapy helps and sometimes cures the problem. Counseling helps. The two together are more effective than either alone. Counseling can at least give the sufferer coping techniques.

It is extremely important that relatives and friends learn about their loved-one's depression, and for that I praise you very highly. If only my own family would do the same. It is so helpful just to know someone cares, even if they can't understand. Those around a depressed person will find there is so little they can do right, and so much they can do wrong, unintentionally. That is why learning all you can is crucial. It is like gathering ammunition to help the sufferer go to war against the enemy.

You might want to skip all the regular drug therapies and go straight to this SSRI (Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil) with Naltrexone. Naltrexone is not only used for alcoholism problems, but is proving very effective in combination with an SSRI for depression, especially in people with drug or alcohol histories, and especially where all other standard approaches fail. The combo would be well-suited to deal with both the depression and the alcoholism simultaneously and synergistically. A mood stabilizer like small-dose lithium or lamactil can turbocharge the other drugs as well. Two, three, or four drugs is not uncommon ammunition to win the war. No price is too much to get the person back into a life again, to bring them back from the dead. For further info on SSRI/Naltrexone, check the posts at this site by Wayne. This is just a suggestion from a layperson, not a pro. But as I've been to this war, and continue a long battle, like so many others at this site, I and we know about this war, inside-out and upside-down and every which way. Wayne gives web links for SSRI/Naltrexone info, print them out, bring them to the doctor for consideration. You will likely surprise him/her with your cutting-edge knowledge. And you stand a good chance of rescuing your brother from hell.

Hope this helps some. May many other responders come forth to better describe what it's like to be depressed, and what to do about it. Compassionate Regards, JohnL.




Post a new follow-up

Your message only Include above post

Notify the administrators

They will then review this post with the posting guidelines in mind.

To contact them about something other than this post, please use this form instead.


Start a new thread

Google www
Search options and examples
[amazon] for

This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | FAQ
Psycho-Babble Medication | Framed

poster:JohnL thread:7466