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Old 02-23-2011, 09:52 AM   #61
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I notice several people referring to anti-depressants as "Happy Pills "in a negative way . I struggled a long time before I finally decided I needed a short term of anti-depressants and believe me they don't make you happy . Nothing can make you happy when your life is in the pits . What they did was help me cope and work through the bad times . I know they have a stigma attached because I even used to wonder about people that take them but frankly until you have walked in somebody's shoes who is severely depressed you don't realize how tough it is to just move on . The only way I can explain a depression is suddenly your whole world is in black & white and all the color is gone . Well little by little the anti depressants restore the color so you can start to live again. Sorry for going off topic Brewer but this misconception drives me nuts .
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Very well said.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:54 AM   #62
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Moe, you couldn't be more on topic.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:01 AM   #63
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My suggestions are to get up and move, find someone who's life is tough, and to do something that will make their life easier. Buy a meal for someone who is hungry, donate some time in a food bank or whatever that will help that fits your beliefs. finally, take some time to relish the small good that you passed on and then spend some time to be grateful for the good that is in your life.

I was going through a bad time a few years ago, volunteered to pick up a friend at an airport. Her flight was grounded because of a blizzard, and instead of picking her up, ended up going to a restaurant and buying food for all the passengers from a stranded plane at a closed because of a blizzard, local airport. I got more satisfaction out of that random opportunity for kindness than I have spending hundreds of times that money. BTW, I ended up marrying a manager of the restaurant chain that I bought the food from.

Hang in there, bad times do pass.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:07 AM   #64
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Am I the only one who was happier after the divorce?
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:29 AM   #65
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No new advice to offer....so many good thoughts are already here. My only hope is that as time goes by it feels better to be you.

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Old 02-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #66
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I notice several people referring to anti-depressants as "Happy Pills "in a negative way . I struggled a long time before I finally decided I needed a short term of anti-depressants and believe me they don't make you happy . Nothing can make you happy when your life is in the pits . What they did was help me cope and work through the bad times . I know they have a stigma attached because I even used to wonder about people that take them but frankly until you have walked in somebody's shoes who is severely depressed you don't realize how tough it is to just move on . The only way I can explain a depression is suddenly your whole world is in black & white and all the color is gone . Well little by little the anti depressants restore the color so you can start to live again. Sorry for going off topic Brewer but this misconception drives me nuts .
+1....Moemg. There are times in life where they absolutely are needed to cope. I was on them for a short round...after the loss of my mother. It was not the loss ...although...I felt it deeply for 3 years...it was due to the greed sharks coming out in my biological family from family members who actively tried and were willing to destroy any sibling to get what they wanted. Very ugly. I fought back ...and did o.k. Still...I had a hard time understanding it and was very affected by it. It colored my life in fear and negativity for a long time- several years. And so...a short round of anti-depressants helped.
I hope I never need them again. That said, if something happened to my child...they can just put me in the looney bin and dope me up.!
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:48 AM   #67
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best of luck Mate - it's an individual thing: many folks find relief thru a combo of therapy and various meds; life is too short to guess, find a competent dr and p-doc and explore what's going on.

something I've had to cling on to many times: "feels aren't facts".

good luck!
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:23 PM   #68
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I was one to mentioned "happy pills" and feel I should give a further explanation.

I am anti-happy pills due to my personal experience. For me, I believe feelings of sadness are normal the same as the feeling of happiness. As Keats said if you never know pain how can you feel pleasure, or something along those lines. Of course for some people who have a chemical imbalance they are the only solution.

A couple of years ago I went to the Dr asked for some sleeping pills and to have some bloodwork done as I knew there was something wrong with me. He told me there was no need to do any bloodwork as he could tell by looking at me I was fine. Told me I did not need sleeping pills, just needed to go camping for 10 days and that would fix me. I burst into tears as I was just so tired and worn out, I had not had more than 4 hours of sleep for the past 3 months. He told me he would give me some anti-depressants as he determined I was a housewife who was middle-aged and no children so he concluded depression had to be my problem.

I went to another Dr who did the appropriate blood tests and found I was Vit D deficient plus thyroid was not functioning correctly. She also sent me on a sleep study to find out what my sleep issue was.

I consider myself to be a "sad" person rather than a happy person. There has been a lot of crap in my life. In the past 19 months I have lost 11 family members/friends, 90% of these were to cancer and 30% were under 50 yos. My mother died last month after less than a month after diagnosis. So yes I am really sad at the moment. I cry regularly, but do I not think all this merits me taking happy pills. Not on your life. For me personally, I just think these are normal emotions. However, my sadness is not to the depth where I can't eat or sleep, I am able to function normally.

I think it is important to identify why one is sad and if that can be remedied do it. If a job is making you depressed you need to go elsewhere if possible. If a toxic relationship is doing it, cut them off.

I realise in some cases nothing other than medication can work, however I think that choice is between a prescribing physician and an individual.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:30 PM   #69
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Maybe it's because I live in post-Katrina New Orleans, and worked for the federal government, but it seemed to me that a full 1/4 to 1/3 of my co-workers were on anti-depressants (and even they referred to them as "happy pills", which is where I learned the term). To me, such a large percentage taking anti-depressants engenders doubt as to whether or not they are being over-prescribed around here or not. Probably 1/3 of my co-workers also lost their homes, but I'm still not sure that so many needed medication. Maybe so, maybe not.

There are times when anti-depressants are needed and I would urge anyone in those situations to ask for them. Particularly if one is feeling despondent or suicidal, this treatment of depression seems like a no-brainer.

But like DangerMouse, if my emotions are within a normal, bearable range of intensity and if they are appropriate for my situation, I would rather experience the emotions and go through the catharsis that allows me to naturally return to a happy frame of mind, in time. Otherwise I would feel I was covering up my emotions rather than dealing with them and their root causes.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:39 PM   #70
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I notice several people referring to anti-depressants as "Happy Pills "in a negative way . I struggled a long time before I finally decided I needed a short term of anti-depressants and believe me they don't make you happy . Nothing can make you happy when your life is in the pits . What they did was help me cope and work through the bad times . I know they have a stigma attached because I even used to wonder about people that take them but frankly until you have walked in somebody's shoes who is severely depressed you don't realize how tough it is to just move on . The only way I can explain a depression is suddenly your whole world is in black & white and all the color is gone . Well little by little the anti depressants restore the color so you can start to live again. Sorry for going off topic Brewer but this misconception drives me nuts .
I appreciate the explanation. That said, the only anti-depressants I would consider is steel-jacketed ones. The overuse of these things is part of what is wrong with the pharma industry and our medical system, IMO.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:09 PM   #71
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My methods:

1) Think big picture and long-term. If you're generally on the right track, you'll probably stay on that track and bad things will pass and/or will seem trivial. For other things you'll realize there's not much you can do about them (like parent's health) and learn to cope as best you can.

2) I look around and see whose life I'd trade for mine. I always conclude that I'd keep mine, and that makes me feel better.

3) Exercise of any kind helps. Find what you like and make time for it. If you can't figure something out, just try walking.

4) Someone mentioned an employee assistance program, and I agree. Talking to friends can help, but a professional may be a lot better at putting it in perspective. I was depressed when going through my divorce, and a counselor helped me realize that it wasn't about losing my wife, it was the feeling of losing my kid, and I focused on making the most of our time together. Sounds simple but I hadn't been seeing it, and I turned the corner after just 2-3 sessions.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #72
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Am I the only one who was happier after the divorce?
Do we need to ask your ex-spouse?
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:15 PM   #73
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...a counselor helped me realize that it wasn't about losing my wife, it was the feeling of losing my kid, and I focused on making the most of our time together. Sounds simple but I hadn't been seeing it, and I turned the corner after just 2-3 sessions.
Yes, that was my experience. Sometimes you need somebody outside your "sphere" that can view your situation as an observer - not clouded by any previous knowledge of you, your family, your friends, and your situation.

Like you, it took three sessions to "get my thinking straight" at the time...
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:23 PM   #74
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I appreciate the explanation. That said, the only anti-depressants I would consider is steel-jacketed ones. The overuse of these things is part of what is wrong with the pharma industry and our medical system, IMO.

I totally agree that they are over prescribed and believe me you will know when you need them . I also felt I would never take them because I could handle anything . I was wrong and I think taking them when I did was one of the smartest moves I made next to getting a great grief counselor . Most things in life can be handled without pharmaceutical intervention but never say never .
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:28 PM   #75
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Another great way to deal with the downs of life is writing . I wrote journals when I was grieving and they really did help me get my feelings out especially the anger .
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:34 PM   #76
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Do we need to ask your ex-spouse?
Yeah, if you want her side of the story...
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:36 PM   #77
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Yes, that was my experience. Sometimes you need somebody outside your "sphere" that can view your situation as an observer - not clouded by any previous knowledge of you, your family, your friends, and your situation.

Like you, it took three sessions to "get my thinking straight" at the time...
Exactly so. An observer can listen, note the highest stressors and your reaction to them, and give you IDEAS (not commands) to try to change or lessen your negative reactions to them.
My grief counselor told me that my self-awareness was probably the biggest advantage I had to recovering from loss. In other words, my own understanding of what was making me feel down (besides the obvious) was the identifying part of recovery. Facing my issues head on and looking for solutions made all the difference.
I actually returned to counseling a few years later. I have referred to having a "life coach" in posts early last year. I was there not for grief counseling, but to get feedback on my life direction. I had some very serious choices to make. Having a professional sounding board, without any biased judgement, was invaluable.


PS My life coach heartily approved of having Mr B in my life. She was right about that.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:57 PM   #78
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Another great way to deal with the downs of life is writing . I wrote journals when I was grieving and they really did help me get my feelings out especially the anger .
I tried writing in the past, but all it makes me do is stew. Now I have a journal of toxic rage mixed with observations of my kids as they grow, so while I would like to get rid of it I cannot part with the stuff about the kids. Will pass on that one in the future.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:52 PM   #79
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Am I the only one who was happier after the divorce?
In the long run, yes I was.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:47 PM   #80
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Now I have a journal of toxic rage mixed with observations of my kids as they grow...
The technical term is "blog", and if you strike the right nerves then AOL will buy it for hundreds of millions of dollars!
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