Battling Depression

Topics without replies are pruned every 365 days. Not moderated.

Moderator: Dux

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Bedlam, thanks for sharing your experiences.

I do have Michael Pollan’s book on psychedelics, but have yet to read it.

Job, work, drugs, walking (or other exercise) & bang people not your hand.

I’ve brought up doing a low dose of mushrooms together a few times to my cousin, but it remains an unexplored option. And he could always do them while I stay sober.

And I actually was never clear what microdosing meant, but 2g-eighth makes sense (I’ve used mushrooms a couple times at an eighth or less).

I got a lot out of what you shared, especially the simplicity of walking vs meditating.

Thank you and wishing you luck too!
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Grandpa's Spells wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:12 pm
Bedlam 0-0-0 wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:49 amYou might look into microdosing psylicobin or lsd.
JMO, but it sounds like these guys are hitting a lot of the psychedelic risk factor bingo squares and I would try lesser interventions first. MD can be adverse for people with anxiety, folks with undiagnosed mental illness, and especially people in that age group with more serious mental illness (which is sometimes misdiagnosed as anxiety and depression).

There is also the "more may be better" thing that affects a lot of people in that arena. Tim Ferriss is the big popularlizer of psychedelic treatments, and despite saying the right lawyerly things, he has retroactively admitted some unbelievably stupid practices.

MD seems like a pretty solid option with people with mild depression or robust mental health. But I'd be incredibly careful advising someone else to go down that road with the symptoms described.
I’ve always had a fear of LSD since a kid I grew up with split into a bunch of personalities after taking it.

I do think a mild dose of mushrooms for the 30 year-old (on a beautiful day outside) sounds reasonable.
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

nafod
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 12781
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:01 pm
Location: Looking in your window

Re: Battling Depression

Post by nafod »

I'd try a micro-dose if it wasn't a federal crime and I wouldn't lose my clearance.
Don’t believe everything you think.

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Fat Cat wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:35 pm
I'm just playing, you don't seem like the depressive type. Everybody gets discouraged, shit it's 2020 ninja, everybody IS discouraged, but that's different than true depression.

In my humble view, which is 100% correct, depression should not be seen as a "mental" illness at all, but a physical one, the brain being just another organ of our bodies. Find me one person who is in the peak of health who suffers from long-term depression (not manic depression, which is different from depressive mood disorder).

Bottom line: depression is a sign that the physical organ of the brain is not functioning properly due to specific factors (e.g., poor nutrition, inadequate exercise, environmental toxins, unhealthy habits, damage, etc.). Only brain damage, such as CTE, is "untreatable". The rest can be rapidly addressed.
I like that: thinking about the brain just needing to be healthy, like the heart likes good genes, diet and exercise.

Another takeaway that comes to mind from my summer courses in positive psychology is that the two biggest factors for robust mental well-being are connection and autonomy.

I do play dungeons and dragons every Saturday with my cousin and other family over Zoom. I’ll keep that up (was getting tired of it as it has been fucking up my surf time).
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

Fat Cat
Jesus Christ®
Posts: 40930
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:54 pm
Location: 悪を根付かせるな

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Fat Cat »

Grandpa's Spells wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:24 pm
Fat Cat wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:37 pm
Grandpa's Spells wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:12 pm But I'd be incredibly careful
I am Fat Cat's sense of utter shock and disbelief. The way you talk, walking down the hall is fraught with danger.
Most of the LSD-panic that led to legislation revolved around a very small number of high profile incidents. They typically revolved around young people with undiagnosed mental illness believed exacerbated by LSD/shrooms.

It seems today that LSD/shrooms are non-habit forming, there's no lethal dose, and there are huge therapeutic possibilities, including for depression and addiction. The only people who seem to be warned off them are people with anxiety or young people who may have more serious mental illness under 30, for whom the side-effects can be years-long or permanent.

I'm saying starting with exercise is probably better than starting with something linked to inducing schizophrenia in a small category of people they belong to.
I agree with you here, as I said in my post. I just like giving you a hard time, and that's not gonna change. <<<<q
Image
"That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy.
It is our job to see that it stays there." - George Orwell

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

syaigh wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:16 am Bram, I can't find the original podcast anymore. But here is an interview with the guy from USC that they interviewed: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/l ... story.html

Looking him up lead me down a rabbit hole of other resources:
His articles: https://muckrack.com/varun-soni/articles
A book on teaching youth to reconnect: https://www.springtideresearch.org/prod ... eneration/
These are great! Thank you for sharing! I love the part about having one trusted adult in their life cuts loneliness by half.
syaigh wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:16 am
My daughter had a very tough time in high school. She did have a circle of friends that didn't go to her school, but she just didn't feel connected to anyone at her own school. Part of that was her personality (she's difficult like her mother), but also the fact that she is an empathetic thinker and most high school kids aren't. She is doing much much better in college, but it required that she decide to go out and meet people. It was a little less scary for her to do that at an institution where everyone is a lot more like her, but she's been very successful. I was terrified when they shut down the dorms a week into the school year because I was afraid she'd sink back into her pattern of loneliness, but we were able to get her off campus housing with some of her suitemates.

For the record, she has had some friends who were severely depressed and talked about suicide when she was in high school and that threw her into a bit of a tailspin of depression and anxiety, but we got through that with the help of a behavioral therapist. I am a big fan of this kind of therapy, she has had it a few times throughout her childhood, and instead of dwelling on the problems and subsequent emotions, it teaches you to treat those things as separate entities so you can decide how you are going to react to them.
Thank you for sharing about your daughter...the courses I took this summer on positive psychology, over and over used behavioral therapy (along with exercise and mindfulness) to treat every symptom: depression, anxiety, etc.

I have a background in meditation and exercise, but not behavioral therapy. I’ll do some experimenting with it and see if I can’t help integrate it into my family’s life.

Best of luck to your daughter, it’s good you have the time and inclination to help her ❤️

My most depressed relative’s father thinks mental health is a hoax and has severely impeded the process :(
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

syaigh
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 5884
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:29 am
Location: Surrounded by short irrational people

Re: Battling Depression

Post by syaigh »

Bram wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:07 am
My most depressed relative’s father thinks mental health is a hoax and has severely impeded the process :(
It blows my mind that some people refuse to believe that the nervous system can be just as dysfunctional as the rest of the body. I think a lot of people are still stuck on the idea that our mind is somehow separate from our bodies.

Good luck!
Miss Piggy wrote:Never eat more than you can lift.

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Thanks Syaigh :)

I’m usually horrible at “sympathy not solutions,” but realizing that just being my cousin’s friend alone cuts severe isolation by 50%, I was finally able to just talk to him like a normal person (without worrying about him exercising, taking meds, getting a job, or getting a therapist).

Might not sound like a big shift, but couldn’t have done it without the feedback from this thread.

Thank you.
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

syaigh
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 5884
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:29 am
Location: Surrounded by short irrational people

Re: Battling Depression

Post by syaigh »

I think that's awesome. Good on you. I think its important to just be there sometimes. It can be more stressful when someone is always trying to fix you. And when they trust you, they will ask you for help when they think they need it. They are very lucky to have you.
Miss Piggy wrote:Never eat more than you can lift.


DrDonkeyLove...
Sarge
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:29 pm

Re: Battling Depression

Post by DrDonkeyLove... »

I'm interested in where the depression starts and how it grows. What's chemical can be treated chemically but what's of the body/mind is a different story. Societies are supposed to help with guardrails and direction. Right now guardrails are morphing, collapsing, and flipping - sometimes simultaneously. Masculinity/femininity is one example. G_d based values are in decline and being replaced by a race based equity cult. Thus, what is and isn't considered sin is in major flux. Simultaneously, kids are in a gladiator arena of massive praise or condemnation on social media. And....society can very affordably help them navigate all this depression inducing stuff by medicating them into blobs of no-self just like their friends and families. It's easy to see why they might be more depressed than previous generations even though life is better by almost every metric.

My guess is that education in rational thinking, the joy of purpose, the satisfaction of physical activity, fortitude, and travel, for those who can make that happen, would help a majority of these depressed kids navigate adolescence reasonably well. I don't think "society" is in a position to help very much, but one-to-one or small group mentoring similar to what Bram & Syaigh discussed is tried and true and probably as effective as anything.

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

syaigh wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:55 am I think that's awesome. Good on you. I think its important to just be there sometimes. It can be more stressful when someone is always trying to fix you. And when they trust you, they will ask you for help when they think they need it. They are very lucky to have you.
Thanks Syaigh :)

I was distanced from my oldest cousin with depression for about 12 years. The first time we hung out as adults together it was so fun: rock climbing, skateboarding, yoga, mountain biking, bookstores, etc.

And so I see his potential as that person. But every year since we reconnected he’s pulled more and more inwards, shedding interest in everything but occasionally cooking, TV, video games, the internet, and books.

I want to have that kick-ass cousin back, so I will keep trying :)
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Great thoughts, Doctor.

There’s a lot of failure at a lot of levels. But the biggest I think is connection to one another. Part of that is the collapse of religion without something better or equal to take its place.

For what it’s worth I believe in God, and in having a practical philosophy that works for you as an individual to be your best. But, as a non-religious person, I am envious of the different communities out there that aren’t part of my life as a result with my approach.

That’s why I guess my family means so much to me, especially my cousins and their kids.
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

A nice update:

The eldest cousin shared a short-story he wrote yesterday with me, his first ever.

It’s quite good, but more importantly, it’s the first significantly productive thing he’s done in over a year.

I’ve been mindful of just being his friend and it’s been a positive boost to our relationship.
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

lasalle
Top
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:13 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by lasalle »

Dad shot himself. My son goes through dark spells. And about 3-5x a year, it descends like a cloud on me. I'm convinced this shit is genetic.

Anyway, my two cents:

Exercise, per the earlier suggestion in this thread, is massively helpful. It's often/usually the thing that snaps me out of it. But you can lead some horses to water, but you can't make them drink. Unfortunately not everyone is going to see exercise as help. Go figure.

That said, if a kid is in deep enough that he's dropped out of school, professional help is in order. I'd recommend both a therapist (for talk therapy and mental tools) and a psychiatrist (to dispense meds if needed-no shame if it can help someone move forward).

Good luck. It sucks.

User avatar

syaigh
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 5884
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:29 am
Location: Surrounded by short irrational people

Re: Battling Depression

Post by syaigh »

You know there is a lot of evolutionary research on exercise, etc. You can go down a lot of rabbit holes, but here's a summary of some concepts I've been working on.
1. Bed rest, ie complete inactivity, is really bad for you, it affects all the major organ systems, causes insulin resistance and high cholesterol, and depression and anxiety. All of which can be reversed with light activity.
2. Modern hunter gatherers who avoid most of our modern diseases, including depression and anxiety, aren't much different in daily activity from us, but the way they spend their "sedentary" time is far different. Squatting, kneeling, and standing causes much more muscle activation than passive chair sitting and reclining. They also only engage in bouts of 15 minutes at a time before changing position, but up to 10 hours a day are spent in these active rest postures. It is thought that this is the bigger difference regarding health between HG and modern western lifstyles. Ie, not spending large amounts of time in passive rest (watching tv, etc.) may be the key to better health, both mental and physical.
3. We have a hard time overcoming our evolutionary need to rest and conserve energy whenever possible because our bodies think that we will require a lot of energy expending to procure food. Therefore, a lot of us need a "purpose" to be active otherwise we really lack the motivation. Sports works for a lot of folks, but not everyone. Things like geocaching or birding work for others. I have challenged a few relatives to instagram scavenger hunts (ie, they have to take a photo fitting some criteria that they post to show they went outside). I'm sure we can get far more creative.
4. For some reason, being outside, in nature, reduces stress hormones, reduces impulsivity and hyperactivity, and does a lot of good for our health. It is thought that part of this may have to do with an increase in spatial reasoning. We have both spatial and temporal reasoning, basically where you are and when you are and a reduction in spatial reasoning is bad for us. being outside corrects it. (which makes me wonder if the spatial/temporal distortions caused by lsd may be part of why it works for depression)

Other countries are much better at this, the Agita Sao Paolo project is a great example. I do think this is something where the government could provide a lot of leadership, ie more greenways and green spaces, more public recreational/sports facilities, national programs, etc.

Anyway, just saying, I do think exercise is the cure, but the gym is only a small part of what could really help a lot of people.
Miss Piggy wrote:Never eat more than you can lift.

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

lasalle wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:54 am Dad shot himself. My son goes through dark spells. And about 3-5x a year, it descends like a cloud on me. I'm convinced this shit is genetic.

Anyway, my two cents:

Exercise, per the earlier suggestion in this thread, is massively helpful. It's often/usually the thing that snaps me out of it. But you can lead some horses to water, but you can't make them drink. Unfortunately not everyone is going to see exercise as help. Go figure.

That said, if a kid is in deep enough that he's dropped out of school, professional help is in order. I'd recommend both a therapist (for talk therapy and mental tools) and a psychiatrist (to dispense meds if needed-no shame if it can help someone move forward).

Good luck. It sucks.
Good luck too, Lasalle. Please keep us in the loop if you need something.

I’m lucky that the two youngest have therapists, with the middle kid also on meds — I don’t think all meds are bad, but you need a competent doctor to prescribe and modify them — and the youngest exercises as well.

The oldest doesn't exercise, use meds, or see a therapist though. And that’s the one where I’ve offered to pay for therapy, pay for meds, found well-reviewed therapists, offered to exercise with him, etc.

Your comment about the non-drinking horses in apt. All of them were very athletic at one point. It just seems they’ve been depressed into inaction :(
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Syaigh,

I wasn’t aware of the Agita Sao Paolo program. I included a link if anyone’s interested:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14662077/

I constantly forget as a personal trainer that some movement is better than nothing and get caught up in strength training, cardio, flexibility, and diet.

Which are all great, but it’s almost always a quantity-based approach: increasing push-ups, running faster, losing body-fat, etc.

And I don’t even consider that moving around, in nearly any fashion, is still good for people’s quality of life.
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

syaigh
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 5884
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:29 am
Location: Surrounded by short irrational people

Re: Battling Depression

Post by syaigh »

Bram wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:05 am Syaigh,

I wasn’t aware of the Agita Sao Paolo program. I included a link if anyone’s interested:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14662077/

I constantly forget as a personal trainer that some movement is better than nothing and get caught up in strength training, cardio, flexibility, and diet.

Which are all great, but it’s almost always a quantity-based approach: increasing push-ups, running faster, losing body-fat, etc.

And I don’t even consider that moving around, in nearly any fashion, is still good for people’s quality of life.
I think for the majority of people who come to see personal trainers, their objective is to move more weight, get faster, get leaner, etc. But we are preaching to the choir. At least 60% of Americans don't exercise (or don't think they do) because we have framed exercise as something we do in the gym. Fundamentally, people just need to move more and move better and I think that we (the collective we) need to do a better job at reaching folks where they are and not necessarily pushing them into athletic development when all they need are good postural and movement habits and to get outside more.
Miss Piggy wrote:Never eat more than you can lift.

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

syaigh wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:21 am
I think for the majority of people who come to see personal trainers, their objective is to move more weight, get faster, get leaner, etc. But we are preaching to the choir. At least 60% of Americans don't exercise (or don't think they do) because we have framed exercise as something we do in the gym. Fundamentally, people just need to move more and move better and I think that we (the collective we) need to do a better job at reaching folks where they are and not necessarily pushing them into athletic development when all they need are good postural and movement habits and to get outside more.
Very good food for thought, thanks for sharing.
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

syaigh
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 5884
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:29 am
Location: Surrounded by short irrational people

Re: Battling Depression

Post by syaigh »

Hey Bram, how is your cousin doing?
Miss Piggy wrote:Never eat more than you can lift.

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Thanks for asking!

There was a bit of a breakthrough. In conversation, I brought up that another cousin had seen a dozen therapists before she found one that worked for her.

That clicked with him and he's met with four or five different therapists in the past month (more variety than he's seen in the past five years). Unfortunately, he's still yet to find one that works, and it seems each failed one derails him a bit more. Trying to keep him going on booking meet-ups, and not worrying if they're a success.

One other small victory is that us cousins play Dungeons and Dragon every week over teleconference. Usually it's one guy leading, rarely it's me, but we have him running the story for the first time -- and for the foreseeable future. I figure anything that causes him to plan, or prepare, is a good thing! He had the little kids in our group laughing at his jokes and did a good job of setting the scene and adapting on the fly.

Just trying to keep at it, mixing the friend and the advice giver, in hopefully a positive way.
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

syaigh
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 5884
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:29 am
Location: Surrounded by short irrational people

Re: Battling Depression

Post by syaigh »

Glad to hear it. Sounds like he's got some good outlets. Good work there.
Miss Piggy wrote:Never eat more than you can lift.

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Thanks! And again, appreciate you checking in on him :)
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

User avatar

lasalle
Top
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:13 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by lasalle »

I'm so glad to hear that.

User avatar

Topic author
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 6583
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Battling Depression

Post by Bram »

Thank you, lasalle! Appreciate the support :heart:
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

Post Reply