Depression

  1. Anyone have experience with depression? What helped you?

    I have a strong family Hx and have intermittently had mild-moderate depression over the years. Recently though I have suffered "severe" clinical depression. First, I tried exercise. Then I tried a clinical psychologist. Now I think I am heading to medication, as I am just unable to function right now. It's so hard to explain to people what is wrong, or why you don't just "cheer up". I would if I could!

    Before anyone asks, I am in a corporate job and not a patient care area right now, so fitness to work is not an issue.

    I am really just looking for people that have overcome depression and methods they found useful.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   bargainhound
    Medication helps tremendously. You will be pleasantly surprised how
    much it helps. There are lots of choices these days on meds for
    depression. So, if one does not work for a particular person, there
    are others to try. I personally have been helped by medication and have
    had Rx changes over the years, as new meds were invented and/or there
    were other reasons to change the med I was currently taking. I thanked
    God years ago for medication and personally am so grateful there is
    something to help the brain chemistry. There is nothing wrong with
    taking med for depression. There is a big stigma and lots of public
    misinformation/misunderstanding/myths about depression.

    I think you assume that depression makes a nurse/healthcare professional
    unable to function appropriately ("fitness to work" comment). As long
    as a person is under a doctor's care and following treatment, there is no
    reason they cannot continue in their role.
  4. by   bookwormom
    Definitely medication!! If one med doesn't help, another may, so work with your health care provider and be prepared to try more than one if necessary. Also -- and you're doing it-- reach out to friends and anyone you think can give you support.

    Hang in there!!! It gets better.
  5. by   augigi
    Quote from bargainhound
    I think you assume that depression makes a nurse/healthcare professional unable to function appropriately ("fitness to work" comment). As long as a person is under a doctor's care and following treatment, there is no reason they cannot continue in their role.
    I did not mean to imply otherwise. I merely know that in my current condition, I would not be able to concentrate sufficiently to feel safe at the bedside. Luckily, I have a desk job right now.

    Thanks for the input.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have a very long hx w/depression in my family and myself. I have found it's something that takes a truly 3-pronged approach:

    1. Medication/medical consultation-----to address any physical and/or chemical reasons for this problem. Not just medicine, but a full body physical, to address other potential problems that go with this disease, like hypothryroidism, etc.

    2. Trustworthy, reliable and ongoing talk therapy with a qualified psychologist or social worker---- it is so important to address the emotional and mental health issues that bring on or prolong depression.

    3. Exercise, vigorous and regular exercise and a healthy diet. I don't believe depression can be completely treated without this important component.


    If you are unwilling to address all three of these things, you will have an uphill battle with depression. As you know, like with diabetes or other lifelong conditions, there is no cure, no magic pill, only lifelong treatment. Taking responsibility and control of this chronic condition is the only way to conquer it for good. Trust me, I know this from years of living with depression.

    I wish you well.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Sep 26, '06
  7. by   jetscreamer101
    I would have to agree with SmilingBluEyes.
  8. by   augigi
    Thanks for the support. Please note that I am not asking for advice on what *I* should do. I'll decide that in consultation with my doc.

    I am merely asking for you own recollections of what worked for you, or how you coped.
  9. by   Cardiac-RN
    i find that feeling depressed often comes hand in hand with feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, and it becomes one negative cycle : / in addition to those things SmilingBluEyes said, i try to address and change the things in my life that are causing me a heinous amount of stress- like people i associate with (catty friends for supportive ones), or the amount of credit hours i am taking (taking less hours or a semester off to refresh!), or a leaving a work environment that is unhealthy (mentally) for one that suits better.
  10. by   nuangel1
    for me it was a combo of medications ,psycotherapy ,and sleeping better .
  11. by   xtine
    Quote from augigi
    Anyone have experience with depression? What helped you?

    I have a strong family Hx and have intermittently had mild-moderate depression over the years. Recently though I have suffered "severe" clinical depression. First, I tried exercise. Then I tried a clinical psychologist. Now I think I am heading to medication, as I am just unable to function right now. It's so hard to explain to people what is wrong, or why you don't just "cheer up". I would if I could!

    Before anyone asks, I am in a corporate job and not a patient care area right now, so fitness to work is not an issue.

    I am really just looking for people that have overcome depression and methods they found useful.
    By the way, what was your depression all about? Then after figuring out, try to mingle with your friends and do some unwinding...If you're a religious one or even if not, the best thing that could help based on my own experience is reading the bible. Try to talk with Him through reading your bible, and believe me, He'll heal your depression.God bless...
  12. by   augigi
    Depression isn't "about" something. It may be exacerbated by certain stressors, but it's due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. I don't personally think reading the bible will help with that as I believe "god helps those who help themself", but thanks for the input.
  13. by   P_RN
    As you correctly said depression is due to a chemical imbalance. But also, remember that those chemicals are in a precarious balance. Too much serotonin or norepinephrine or too little and the scale tips the other way. Also over a period of time your medication may need to be tweaked to rebalance the brain chemistry.

    It takes a LONG several weeks for the med to become effective and those weeks are the time when the depression will seem to get worse. You may indeed be unable to function properly and even sink into a despair you fear will never end. A good and competent doctor will give you the support you need, be it hospitalization, intensive talk therapy, and increasing or lessening your dosages. Depression is real. It isn't ABOUT anything.
    I wish you well and though it may be trite and overused: HANG IN THERE.
  14. by   gradgitated
    I was diagnosed with depression at age 33, following a 20 year battle with it on my own. I never understood what made me feel (and behave) so differently from everyone I went to school with and worked with...I simply felt overwhelmed by life and didn't want to take proper care of myself.

    I started taking meds for depression as soon as I was diagnosed and was amazed one morning when I awoke, paused, and suddenly realized.."Whoa!!! THIS is what "normal" feels like!!!!".

    In addition to taking meds, I have found the following helpful:

    From September to April every year I try to spend at least 1 hour reading or working under a full spectrum light (all wavelengths of light, minus the UV)...the brand name is Reveal, made by GE.

    I try to stick to a regular pattern of sleep... go to bed at the same time, sleep the same amount of hours every night.

    I try to avoid the things that I KNOW will upset me (i.e. tear-jerker movies, negative media, negative people); when avoidance isn't possible (like in work situations) I have friends that I can talk to, which is extremely helpful.

    I take my meds faithfully and immediately report new/worsening symptoms to my doctor.

    Eating a healthy diet is helpful too, but sometimes caffeine and sugar can really mess me up.

    Sessions with a trained therapist can be a big help. In my case, learning to eliminate faulty thought patterns allowed me to feel much better about myself and to accept constructive criticism in a better way.

    By far the most lasting help that I've received has been the result of taking the time to educate my family and friends about depression....arming the people who are important to me with accurate information has allowed them to be more understanding and supportive. Often, people who are depressed don't notice or flatly deny new/worsening symptoms....input from knowledgable people can be very helpful.

    It took me a long time to get over feeling"ashamed" of my condition and there were times that I wanted to give up on finding the right medication. I'm happy to say that all of the effort was worthwhile and I'm feeling good about myself and my life. I wish you the same.

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