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Re: Adam

Posted by Adam on October 22, 1999, at 12:08:06

In reply to Adam, posted by Janice on October 21, 1999, at 22:17:27

Hi, Janice,

I do work in the sciences, but I'm actually doing gene therapy research on cardiovascular diseases.
Whatever I say about depression or drugs or anything else is based on what I have gathered through
my own reading and experiences, which makes me no more an expert than anyone who posts here.

But, you think of the term "depression" and then think of all the subtypes of depression, it's a bit
like saying to somebody with hepatitis B that they've got an infection. Gosh there's melancholia,
dysthymia, cyclothymia, seasonal affective disorder, hysteriod dysphoria, typical, atypical, psychotic,
bipolar, and on and on. I think some diagnoses are pretty cut and dry (bipolar, which has its
depressive phases), and some are fairly subtle. I've been called melancholic by one doctor and
prescribed desipramine, and I've been called dysthymic by another and prescribed SSRIs. One of my
favorites was a guy who, when I described some of my OCD-related symptoms suggested I might be
psychotic (this is not depression, of course, but you see what I mean).

For what I've got, whatever it is, I think the best diagnosis I have ever had was the simplest: major
depression. What do you do with such a diagnosis? The answer is try a bunch of stuff until you find
what works. As it turns out, the doctor's first choice was probably the best: an MAOI plus CBT. I
did the last part but not the first initially. Now I'm doing what he told me to do, and I'm benefitting.
I'm not cured, but I'm doing better than I have in a long time.

Some day, maybe, someone like me will walk into a hospital, and a number or routine tests will be taken.
I'll get blood tests to check out all my hormones, etc. (never done before I checked myself into the
hospital this year), maybe they'll take a sample of CSF, and perhaps do an MRI or SPECT or some other
advanced imaging to look at my brain structure. Maybe initial clues based on these tests and some psy-
chological diagnostics will lead the team to look at some specific genes (either the products of those
genes or the sequences themselves) to see if I might be a good responder. The process won't be so sub-
jective. Some day. Imagine the time that could be saved, and the unhappyness that could be prevented.

> Hi Adam,
> I read and enjoyed your post about driving yourself to the hospital and your stay there. At one point in my history (for a 3 month period) my brain was also trying to convince me that I was homosexual. I am, like you, a thoroughly heterosexual person.
> anyway, I'm curious as to what you said in the above post, "Since depression probably has multiple origins and is not itself a disease but a rather untidy blanket term for a wide spectrum of disorders." Could you explain further? Is the research you do in the sciences. thanks, Janice.




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