Depression and Other Mental Health Issues

Two things I am unable to do. The first I can't seem to - never really slept more than 5hrs in my life, except on occasions or am dead tired. And I am really guilty of the 2nd - constantly overthinking. There are certain things in my life right now which I am suffering from since Feb/ Mar of this year which have really put me into a toss. These are direct consequences of what I did last two years, some of which are medical which may/ may not be correctable for a "normal" quality of life.

So yeah, it's a constant struggle for me to try and not replay the scenarios and different decisions I took - a lot of what ifs and what if nots. Automatic triggers for me. I am currently not in full time work after quitting last year (another decision which I keep playing over and over), just do some consulting, so have some free time for the devil in the kitchen.

I am just trying to occupy myself as much as possible, even if it's just binge watching/ catching up on TV series or just posting here. Still, I have a super active brain (blame my childhood ADHD), automatically stop every 30mins and go back into negative thoughts. It's a struggle for sure, am trying to smile one day at a time. If I think of what to do in the next 3 months, I go down the dark path again. Sigh.
I used to be like that. Always got by on littl sleep, but you manage because it’s habit and habits are hard to break. My wife also suspects I have adult ADHD

It may be a cliche but don’t smoke, drink caffeine or alcohol before you go to bed.

It was my wife that got me into reading in bed.she even picked the books. She’s banned anything Non fiction so out went the books on military history. I was forced to read fiction books. She also made me read easy fiction books so I was forced to read Harry Potter and the hunger games. Books aimed at teenagers so easy to read and not too taxing.

I’ve gone from 5 hours a night to 9 easy.

tV was banned from the bedroom as well

Bed at 9. Get the kindle out and I’m sparko by half nine. It used to be about two or three in the morning when I’d finally get to sleep. I’d fallen into the habit of only falling to sleep when I couldn’t stay awake any longer.

I also learnt some breathing exercises to do
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
Two things I am unable to do. The first I can't seem to - never really slept more than 5hrs in my life, except on occasions or am dead tired. And I am really guilty of the 2nd - constantly overthinking. There are certain things in my life right now which I am suffering from since Feb/ Mar of this year which have really put me into a toss. These are direct consequences of what I did last two years, some of which are medical which may/ may not be correctable for a "normal" quality of life.

So yeah, it's a constant struggle for me to try and not replay the scenarios and different decisions I took - a lot of what ifs and what if nots. Automatic triggers for me. I am currently not in full time work after quitting last year (another decision which I keep playing over and over), just do some consulting, so have some free time for the devil in the kitchen.

I am just trying to occupy myself as much as possible, even if it's just binge watching/ catching up on TV series or just posting here. Still, I have a super active brain (blame my childhood ADHD), automatically stop every 30mins and go back into negative thoughts. It's a struggle for sure, am trying to smile one day at a time. If I think of what to do in the next 3 months, I go down the dark path again. Sigh.

May I suggest that binge watching TV is not necessarily a help as it allows the mind to wander and lose concentration. Perhaps something that actively engaged the brain may be more helpful

Some things I do which concentrate the mind include crosswords, playing a musical instrument or singing, soldering projects/kits, gardening..... Well you get the picture - if none of these appeal, try learning a new skill. Anything which takes the mind away from negative thoughts and keeps it occupied. The old saying "the devil finds work for idle hands" might equally be applied to idle brains.
 
May I suggest that binge watching TV is not necessarily a help as it allows the mind to wander and lose concentration. Perhaps something that actively engaged the brain may be more helpful

Some things I do which concentrate the mind include crosswords, playing a musical instrument or singing, soldering projects/kits, gardening..... Well you get the picture - if none of these appeal, try learning a new skill. Anything which takes the mind away from negative thoughts and keeps it occupied. The old saying "the devil finds work for idle hands" might equally be applied to idle brains.
Also binge watching encourages the ‘I know I’m really tired but just one more episode’ mentality
 
I don't think any of us suspected that a quarter of the country would suffer from depression or mental illness at some point in their lives. The good news about this is that we should no longer be concerned about stigma. The other good news is that more sufferers and former sufferers are prepared to talk about it and so maybe the causes can be better understood and more variety of possible paths to treatment / recovery made more accessible. Maybe it should be taught about in schools as that could have made a massive difference.

It's a complex subject and everyones black dog is different. I still wonder if I'd known how bad a pal was affected if I could have made a difference. It's easier with hindsight and having met his ex just how bad it was. The brain is a finely balanced machine. Chemical and hormonal balance can and do play a big part in emotions and drive. Alcohol can relax but is also a depressive agent and best avoided during black moods. From experience I would caution strongly against binging when depressed. After a couple of pints the black mood may seem to have been replaced with some laughter, be it cynical or genuine, leading to a notion to have some more as it seems to help. At some point the mood is likely to return with a vengeance. Better to have some chamomile tea or similar.

I can't say for sure what the turning point was. At some point I realised that I hadn't had recurring nightmares for a long time and any lows were much less frequent and far less intense. These days I just have ups and downs as do most people though from my frame of reference people tend to be a bit excitable.

Scenario setting is only useful if you run the positive as well as negative models. Easier said than done, I know but negative reinforcement is something we must overcome. Replaying the past is only useful if (a) we are having a personal mourning of the past and moving on from it and/or (b) learning from it.

There is no point worrying about things you cannot change. Draw a line and move on. You need that energy for taking the steps that do make a positive change. That's hard to do in a black mood but the more often you take a positive step, no matter how small, the more you are shifting the balance in your favour.

Mood shifting is a useful skill to develop.
Forcing a smile can work. Try it and see what happens. Try it again.
Instead of looking at the tired, drained reflection in the mirror, try entertaining it by making funny faces.

Lying in bed or slouched in the couch staring at the walls isn't great where opportunity is concerned. Getting out, depending on circumstances can make a significant difference. Whether you are watching stuff going by in the town or looking at insects and plants, birds, etc it's life. Going for walks helps take pressure off the heart and helps the chemical balance in the brain, so it's got to be worth trying that regularly. It can also help with sleep. Being stuck indoors all day with no exercise affects sleep. Getting out increases possibilities for opportunity, meeting people, getting ideas or inspiration. Take a camera with you. Anything will do. Maybe compare photos you take over weeks, months.

Changes to diet can and do affect mood. Quality vs quantity. Avoid sugary foods as they are well known for causing mood swings.
 
I used to be like that. Always got by on littl sleep, but you manage because it’s habit and habits are hard to break. My wife also suspects I have adult ADHD -> I probably still have a little bit of it, used to be hard for me to focus at work. But defo nowhere near as when I was a kid. And I agree with regarding the sleep habits.

It may be a cliche but don’t smoke, drink caffeine or alcohol before you go to bed. -> Used to drink a very small glass of bourbon/ a glass of wine before bed to help me sleep. Haven't had any alcohol at all since Feb this year as I figured it wasn't really helping my depression my much, some of the meds I am on don't mix well with booze. Was hard to give up (I started the thread here asking people what they drank!), but here I am. I was like a zombie initially after giving up booze as I couldn't sleep at all since my body was used to it, but now I do get those 5 something hrs of uninterrupted sleep.

It was my wife that got me into reading in bed.she even picked the books. She’s banned anything Non fiction so out went the books on military history. I was forced to read fiction books. She also made me read easy fiction books so I was forced to read Harry Potter and the hunger games. Books aimed at teenagers so easy to read and not too taxing. -> Probably a good idea

I’ve gone from 5 hours a night to 9 easy

tV was banned from the bedroom as well

Bed at 9. Get the kindle out and I’m sparko by half nine. It used to be about two or three in the morning when I’d finally get to sleep. I’d fallen into the habit of only falling to sleep when I couldn’t stay awake any longer. -> 9 is not going to happen but will be happy if I can get into bed by 11 so at least will be lights out by 12 at the latest.

I also learnt some breathing exercises to do -> Something I've been meaning to learn/do.
 
May I suggest that binge watching TV is not necessarily a help as it allows the mind to wander and lose concentration. Perhaps something that actively engaged the brain may be more helpful

Some things I do which concentrate the mind include crosswords, playing a musical instrument or singing, soldering projects/kits, gardening..... Well you get the picture - if none of these appeal, try learning a new skill. Anything which takes the mind away from negative thoughts and keeps it occupied. The old saying "the devil finds work for idle hands" might equally be applied to idle brains.
I have been doing an online course or two relating to a field I would like to make a career switch to. So yeah, that has been keeping me relatively occupied (as they teach some tough new concepts), apart from the last week or so when I have been very unmotivated/ lethargic. Which, as you correctly point out, leads to thoughts which don't really help you.
 
I don't think any of us suspected that a quarter of the country would suffer from depression or mental illness at some point in their lives. The good news about this is that we should no longer be concerned about stigma. The other good news is that more sufferers and former sufferers are prepared to talk about it and so maybe the causes can be better understood and more variety of possible paths to treatment / recovery made more accessible. Maybe it should be taught about in schools as that could have made a massive difference.

It's a complex subject and everyones black dog is different. I still wonder if I'd known how bad a pal was affected if I could have made a difference. It's easier with hindsight and having met his ex just how bad it was. The brain is a finely balanced machine. Chemical and hormonal balance can and do play a big part in emotions and drive. Alcohol can relax but is also a depressive agent and best avoided during black moods. From experience I would caution strongly against binging when depressed. After a couple of pints the black mood may seem to have been replaced with some laughter, be it cynical or genuine, leading to a notion to have some more as it seems to help. At some point the mood is likely to return with a vengeance. Better to have some chamomile tea or similar.

I can't say for sure what the turning point was. At some point I realised that I hadn't had recurring nightmares for a long time and any lows were much less frequent and far less intense. These days I just have ups and downs as do most people though from my frame of reference people tend to be a bit excitable.

Scenario setting is only useful if you run the positive as well as negative models. Easier said than done, I know but negative reinforcement is something we must overcome. Replaying the past is only useful if (a) we are having a personal mourning of the past and moving on from it and/or (b) learning from it.

There is no point worrying about things you cannot change. Draw a line and move on. You need that energy for taking the steps that do make a positive change. That's hard to do in a black mood but the more often you take a positive step, no matter how small, the more you are shifting the balance in your favour.

Mood shifting is a useful skill to develop.
Forcing a smile can work. Try it and see what happens. Try it again.
Instead of looking at the tired, drained reflection in the mirror, try entertaining it by making funny faces.

Lying in bed or slouched in the couch staring at the walls isn't great where opportunity is concerned. Getting out, depending on circumstances can make a significant difference. Whether you are watching stuff going by in the town or looking at insects and plants, birds, etc it's life. Going for walks helps take pressure off the heart and helps the chemical balance in the brain, so it's got to be worth trying that regularly. It can also help with sleep. Being stuck indoors all day with no exercise affects sleep. Getting out increases possibilities for opportunity, meeting people, getting ideas or inspiration. Take a camera with you. Anything will do. Maybe compare photos you take over weeks, months.

Changes to diet can and do affect mood. Quality vs quantity. Avoid sugary foods as they are well known for causing mood swings.
^ This. Wish I could give you another like.
 
I think laughter was a cloak (and a coping mechanism) to hide their depression.

The one person's (funny guy, but not a comedian) recent death by suicide which really hit me was that of Anthony Bourdain. He really did open my eyes to the world of travel, food, his thoughtful insights and life in general - definitely not your typical chef. It put me in a spiral when I myself was already was a bit down.
With me it’s the banter which I use to mask how really dark it is, laugh at the side effects of the medication, the banter of my non existent social life and female company.

The one thing that doesn’t seem to go away for to long is the urge not to be here, exist.
 
I don't expect everyone who reads this thread goes through it's 148 pages to date, so perhaps it 's worth mentioning, testosterone. A reduction in testosterone balance can lead to depression and low drive. There is no stigma involved. For some, adjustments in diet can help. However, treatment is available which has helped many. A search for testosterone in this thread will give posts from 2013 and 2016. Worth checking.
 
Is this proven? it’s never been mentioned to me and I receive testosterone injections.
I had heard about it from somewhere but didn't have any details to hand. This source suggests it may be effective for mild depression, wherever that is on the scale.
Compelling New Research Examines Low Testosterone and Depression
And another:
Effect of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Cognitive Performance and Depression in Men with Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome

Edited to add, I think I may have originally heard about it on BBC Radio 5 Live, "Up all night" with Rhod Sharp speaking with a doctor or scientist, while I was half asleep one night.
 
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With me it’s the banter which I use to mask how really dark it is, laugh at the side effects of the medication, the banter of my non existent social life and female company.

The one thing that doesn’t seem to go away for to long is the urge not to be here, exist.
Two things which can be changed if you do get out of the house and mingle a bit, even if it's just with strangers. Staying indoors all the time or just keeping to ones self won't change it. Join a club or a society or something. I personally haven't don't this bit (joining something) but I heard it helps a lot and is good for meeting people. The irony of today's "connected" world is how difficult it is to actually meet and interact with new people in real life. Especially if you're an adult and not some kid just out of college. I should know this, since I am not a Brit, currently living in the UK away from all/most of my friends and family. However, along the way I was lucky enough to make some good new ones , be it through flat shares or through others. Brits, I've found in general are a bit reticent when it comes to making new friendships. But once you're in, they are pretty good.
 
One technique I got taught was reframing - if a certain thought provokes certain emotions can you reframe it? For example, an old boss causing unhappy memories of bullying could be dressed as part of a chain gang. I have no idea if it works with low mood, but why not?
 
One technique I got taught was reframing - if a certain thought provokes certain emotions can you reframe it? For example, an old boss causing unhappy memories of bullying could be dressed as part of a chain gang. I have no idea if it works with low mood, but why not?
Visualisation techniques can be very effective.
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
Saw this on facebook, and it raised a wry smile.


If you're happy and you know it, overthink
If you're happy and you know it, overthink
If you're happy and you know it
Give your brain a chance to blow it
If you're happy and you know it, overthink
 
Why?

Why would it make you chuckle?
 
If you're responding to my post, I never said "chuckle".

It merely struck a chord with me, and perhaps others, who have a tendency to "self-sabotage" when they are afraid to believe that things are going well !
Sorry, for interpreting it that way.
 
Saw this on facebook, and it raised a wry smile.


If you're happy and you know it, overthink
If you're happy and you know it, overthink
If you're happy and you know it
Give your brain a chance to blow it
If you're happy and you know it, overthink
You've reminded me of a podcast I found mooching around the interwebs:

Happy and You Know It | The Depression Podcast

It's not as grim as it sounds, honest.

It's a couple of blokey 'awright, mate?' comedians (and occasional guests) who've both had life-long depression chatting about the nature of depression, treatments and therapies they've tried, and other life stuff, all with a good dose of black humour and taking the piss out of each other.
 

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