Mental Illness -

Old 08-15-2014, 08:50 PM
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Me too! I never thought of it that way.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:39 PM
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Depression takes many forms and has varying degrees of severity. The deepest clinical depression cannot be understood by one who has not had it. It is the blackest, deepest abyss of nothingness. It is a void of thought and emotion. You feel dead. No one can be in it with you. You are utterly alone.

The manic cycle is frightening. You can't think of one thing at a time. Your thoughts are out of control. Sometimes it s rapid cycling, up and down like a propeller coaster run amok.

Clinical depression is definitely not just sadness or feeling blue. It is not "situational depression" that has its root in some unfortunate circumstance of life. Given a million dollars, the clinically depressed will still cycle through the suffering. This type of depression shows in your eyes, and sometimes a person who knows you well can tell that it is coming even before you know it yourself.

I believe manic depression is most often genetic, as some others already said. It can start in very early childhood, and is something you work against until you die.

Getting help is easier said than done. Finding a psychiatrist who will keep trying and adjusting medications through a period of years is close to impossible, but that is what is necessary. Finding a competent psychologist is even more impossible. But you must continue to work at it.

Just surviving with the kind of manic depression that Robin Willams had takes hard work, usually over a period of decades. You just get so tired, and sometimes the effort seems futile, as when you feel close to normal for a few weeks, you know the cycle will come around again. Often the drinking and drug use are efforts to self-medicate the illness.

Last edited by donnamcr; 08-15-2014 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Elise1 View Post
Hugs to you, IBQUILTIN. It is tough to be a parent of a mentally ill child. I know only too well. It is the toughest job I have ever had.
Thanks for the bravery of this and the other posts.....from another Mother who walks the same road. Love, light and peace to you all.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AllyStitches View Post
I guess I just want to chime in here too.

I've seen a lot of comments intimating that suicide is the easy way out, comparing Robin's struggle with that of folks who have fought cancer or other diseases, combined with the idea that he had no right to make the choice to commit suicide when he wasn't facing terminal illness. Don't you know that Robin fought for his life too? Day in and day out-- addiction, depression, Parkinson's Disease? That sounds like a heck of a fight to me, and ultimately, he lost that fight. Any one of those things would put the average person into a tailspin, and Robin was dealing with all three. We are lucky we had him as long as we did. He showed up in the world, went to work and made movies that COUNTED. They are unforgettable. He made a difference in ALL of our lives.

I want to say that Depression is an illness-- a disease-- that kills people. It can be just as terminal as a physical illness. It's terribly difficult to treat for various reasons, just like some physical illnesses, like cancer, Parkinson's Disease, ALS, MS and others, are difficult to treat. I don't know the suicide rates of Depression sufferers-- but isn't it clear by now that Depression is just as real as any of these? It can be just as difficult to get out of bed and show up, care for your family, or do your job.

Until our society understands that sometimes suicide is not a CHOICE, we are going to have difficulty making changes to allow people to get the help they need. If someone is affected by depression or other mental illness and commits suicide-- often they have not made a CHOICE. They were forced into the action by the state of their illness. The control that gives power to a CHOICE is gone, it doesn't exist anymore. Depression isn't something you can talk yourself out of or pull yourself up by the bootstraps and feel better. I mean, look, Robin was an avid cyclist-- do you know how uplifting cycling is? My longest ride was 80 miles, and I can tell you right now that there is no better drug to help one's spirits. I've ridden some of the same routes he did. If he could have pulled himself up by his bootstraps and gone on a bike ride to feel better, he would have-- any cyclist would. BUT HE COULDN'T BECAUSE HE WAS SICK. Just like you can't ride with a broken leg, you can't ride with a broken brain! Most cyclists are avidly into nutrition, and committed to exercise. These are healthy people!!

One more thing: People say that suicide is selfish. Many people who commit suicide are convinced that their loved ones are better off without them. In that respect, suicide is not selfish-- it's selfless.

I hope that we can find a way to offer mental health services to people who need it. It's terribly difficult to get help in our day and age.

I guess I just want things to be better, and I want this to be the last suicide that I'm faced with in my life. I don't want families to suffer this sadness anymore. I want peace and contentment for folks who suffer. No one deserves to live with the kind of pain that Depression brings. Not the individual or their loved ones.
you make a lot of sense!
There are things I've puzzled over, but I have to agree with you, having been close to relieving my own pain, I think sometimes for some ppl the sickness does take the choice away.
I don't believe depressed or sick ppl commit suicide to hurt others.
I don't believe they are self absorbed and being selfish.
I agree with you.
If they were so self absorbed, they would never do such a thing, bc they would be above it.
Hurting other ppl is the last thing they are thinking about.
I didn't commit suicide bc I was very medically sick, but not too far gone to be able to stop.
I pray I never get in a situation where I lose control.
I wish it never happened to anyone.
Your absolutely right...Robin was fighting three battles at once and how much do we
expect one person to be able to do? We are only human. He was only human.
We are very fortunate to have had this man in our lives and I am thankful for that.
I think he didn't leave a "note", bc he knew his wife knew he was in a battle and
she was not going to say, "Oh, poor me,...he did this to ME."
No, she loved him and knew he was suffering and I don't think she blames him
at all.
When ppl die from diabetes, cancer etc. etc. nobody blames them.
Nobody says, "oh how selfish."
The only ppl that think someone suffering so badly from depression is
selfish, is a person that has never suffered the same.
So they don't know what they speak of!
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:40 PM
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One more thing: I know this thread was not created to try to "fix" anything.
Just bc a person can't be "fixed", doesn't mean they don't need support.
We all need support.
We all benefit from someone saying, "I have been there and I feel for you."
If it comes down to who can be fixed and who can't...we'd all be in
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:21 AM
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As far as "fixing" goes -

sometimes we have to settle for "repaired enough to be run for a while longer"
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:28 PM
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I, to, have been through the frustrations of being depressed. first time was as a senior in high school, second time took me away from a job that I loved and felt needed. After being under the care of some doctors, I have medication that helps, both with the physical pain of fibromyalgia and with the pain of depression, and I can tell when I have forgotten to take my meds. The best that has come of this is being able to help people with the same problems. You can often tell by looking at and talking to people that something is wrong and they are so scared to talk about it, but they will if you push a little. I work at a Tax Prep business that had many clients who were depressed because of life and problems with the IRS. After I talked to them and explained how I was once so low that all I could do was cry and watch tv and it took years of hard work to come out of it, they begin to see that it might not be too permanent. It is very rewarding to see them walk away with a smile on their face instead of a frown. I do have to be very careful about who I am around because I fall back very easily, especially when I do not work. keeping busy with something that is valued by someone is a part of coming back. that usefullness is too important to ignore. My extended family has had depression in every generation that I have known and it scares me to think about a cousin who is no longer with us because gramma convinced everyone that he did not need to get medical care for his problem.....
Best way to help? Be willing to really listen, watch, and be there when a person needs help, whether they know it or not. and do not give them the trite answers. you will never just snap out of it.... and if you want to know how it feels? Look around you when you are in a crowd of people and think : nobody cares about you, nobody wants to talk to you, they may want to be a friend but you have nothing in common. I used to be alone in a crowd of people, in a college dorm, and the housemother could not believe that was ever a possibility. Be a friend and listen. You do not have to agree, you do not have to share, just listen and listen and listen.

sorry for rambling on and on, I do hope that this strand does not stop. or if it does, that people keep it going by starting another one. it is too bad that robin williams was the one who got this started, we need to keep it going to keep others from following suit.....
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:42 PM
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My oldest sister suffered with severe mental illness beginning around the age of 15. I should say the entire family suffered from her illness. It was terrible! Words can not describe it unless you have lived it. Had to deal with her constant emotional outburst and her violence towards us. As a very young teenager girl I learned to fight like a man just for my own protection. If you didn't fight back she would hurt you bad! Her problems became even worse when she became an adult and began self medicating with alcohol and drugs. We lost her to an overdose several years ago. There was no support for families 30+ years ago and sad to say there is not much more available for families now. We learned to be our own support group.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:56 PM
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I have multipule anxiety depression disorders and come here to look at quilts to cheer me up although at times I disappear because I am too depressed to be here. I do go out but I take each outing as a drama class. All the time I'm acting a part to fulfill each activity and am exhausted when I return. Does anyone else do this?

I was reading fly lady comment this week. A patient who was depressed was told to go to the circus to see the clown best for depression and cheering him up he had seen . The patient was that clown . I know exactly how the clown felt, dr's don't know about depression and how useless some comments are ie. pull yourself together, nothing wrong, at last a broken foot a real illness.

I could go on. Do other relate.
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:55 AM
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I take an herbal remedy for depression/anxiety. Although I have experienced severe depression just a few times, it is enough to give me a profound respect for what people go through that have it. I mostly had generalized anxiety, at times it got to the point where I was semi-delusional. When I started taking the supplement (St. John's Wort) it was like I had my normal self back. I still worry but it does not possess me. I have tried going off it a couple of times but I always go back on.
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